In the context of religious thought, dogma is accepted belief defined by the church or the official body of believers. It is an opinion, a judgment whereby officially accepted truths are written, and spoken, and are used as a standard of measure. In the context of Christian thought, dogmas are officially accepted doctrinal statements and in some cases, can be statements declared to be true, but may not be biblically based - as in the case of Roman Catholicism or Eastern orthodoxy in regards to its sacred tradition, views on Mary, etc.
In Roman Catholicism, the magisterium defines dogma and Roman Catholics are obligated to affirm such dogmas.
The Greek word δόγμα dógma, occurs five times in the New Testament.
- Luke 2:1, "Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth."
- Acts 16:4, "Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe."
- Acts 17:7, "and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”"
- Ephesians 2:15, "by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,"
- Colossians 2:14, "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."