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Zeal

Zeal (Gk., zelos, ‘be hot, boil’). Enthusiasm which may become intemperate, and thus an ambiguous religious emotion. The Septuagint used zelos to translate Heb., qana, ‘to be dyed red’, which expresses the visible change of appearance of those under strong emotion. In Jewish scripture, the zeal of God expresses his involvement in his chosen people, and this zeal may be expressed as anger or mercy. Conversely, people are full of zeal for God, (Psalm 69. 5), but zealots are not unambiguously good people. In the New Testament, the same ambiguity continues: Paul regarded himself as a zealot for the traditions of Judaism when he tried to destroy the new movement which became Christianity (Galatians 1. 14), and zelos (or zeloi in the plural) are included in his list of vices in Galatians 5. 20 and 2 Corinthians 12. 21. Yet equally, he praises the Christians at Corinth for their zeal for the good of others.

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Zeal

711. Zeal

  1. Bows, Mr. crippled fiddler with intense feelings. [Br. Lit.: Pendennis ]
  2. Cedric of Rotherwood zealous about restoring Saxon independence. [Br. Lit.: Ivanhoe ]
  3. Faustus, Doctor zealous for universal knowledge; sells soul to Lucifer. [Medieval Legend and Ger. Lit.: Faust ; Br. Lit.: Doctor Faustus ]
  4. flaming heart attribute of St. Augustine; symbol of religious fervor. [Art: Hall, 123]
  5. Merridew, Jack boy with lust for authority and killing. [Brit. Lit.: Lord of the Flies ]
  6. Olsen, Jimmy eager-beaver cub reporter and Supermans friend. [Comics: Superman in Horn, 341]
  7. Palace Guard term used in alluding to Richard Nixons zealous, ardent staff, with reference to Watergate and cover-up. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
  8. white dittany traditional symbol of zeal. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 173]

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zeal

zeal (in biblical language) fervour XIV; †ardent love, fervent longing XV; intense ardour in a pursuit XVI. ME. zele — late L. zēlus — Gr. zêlos.
So zealot member of an ancient Jewish sect XVI; zealous person XVII. — late L. zēlōtēs — Gr. zēlōtḗs. zealous XVI. — medL. zēlōsus.

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zeal

zeal / zēl/ • n. great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective: his zeal for privatization.

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Zeal

Zeal

of zebras: zebras collectively.

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zeal

zealallele, anele, anneal, appeal, Bastille, Beale, Castile, chenille, cochineal, cockatiel, conceal, congeal, creel, deal, eel, Emile, feel, freewheel, genteel, Guayaquil, heal, heel, he'll, keel, Kiel, kneel, leal, Lille, Lucille, manchineel, meal, misdeal, Neil, O'Neill, ordeal, peal, peel, reel, schlemiel, seal, seel, she'll, spiel, squeal, steal, steel, Steele, teal, underseal, veal, weal, we'll, wheel, zeal •airmobile • Dormobile • snowmobile •Popemobile • bookmobile •automobile • piecemeal •sweetmeal, wheatmeal •fishmeal • inchmeal • cornmeal •wholemeal • bonemeal • oatmeal •kriegspiel • bonspiel • Glockenspiel •newsreel • imbecile • Jugendstil •cartwheel • treadwheel • millwheel •pinwheel • flywheel • gearwheel •waterwheel

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Zeal

ZEAL

From the Greek ζ[symbol omitted]λος, which derives from a root meaning to be hot or to begin to boil, signifies a vehement intensity of emotion or of will with respect to a cause, coupled, as circumstances permit, with energetic activity in its service. In classical as well as Biblical usage the word was associated with the notions of emulation and jealousy; the English word "jealousy" is in fact derived from "zeal." Zeal is a desirable or undesirable quality depending upon the merit of the cause toward which it is directed. The pejorative sense predominates in the derivative "zealot," which commonly designates a person with an excessive enthusiasm for a good cause or a fanatical dedication to an unworthy one. In Christian usage, however, zeal generally indicates an enthusiasm activated by a true good, and it is most commonly applied to a notable degree of fervor when this marks an individual's love of God and neighbor. A zealous person is not content to do the minimum to which he is strictly obliged, but strives rather to do the most that he can. It is a quality manifested in many waysin a strong desire to promote God's glory (1 Kgs 19.14), in the eagerness to do charitable service to others (2 Cor 9.2), in striving after better gifts (1 Cor 12.31), in the doing of good works (Ti 2.14). Above all, it is the love of Christ urging one on (2 Cor5.14). As the fervor of charity, the excellence of zeal is that of charity itself.

Bibliography: a. tanquerey, The Spiritual Life, tr. h. branderis (2d ed. Tournai 1930; repr. Westminster, MD 1945). x. lÉon-dufour, ed., Vocabulaire de théologie biblique (Paris 1962) 113538.

[r. l. cole]

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