The meaning of the word"Protestant"

I hope this rather pedantic but nevertheless valuable note is helpful.I have noticed on this forum that many labour under a misapprehension of the true meaning of the verb “to protest” leading to a negative and wrong connotation being placed on the word “protestant”

To protest simply means to show. I may protest my love of a girl by giving her flowers. I may protest my dislike of a movie by leaving early. Protestants were people who “show” belief in god without acceptance of the magisterium. In modern American usage to protest is used regularly instead of the more correct “to protest against” thus leading to the misunderstanding in North America of the meaning ot the word protestant.

When I looked this up on Google putting “Protestant” “to show”, this was the result "No definitions were found for protestant “to show”.

This is what I did find:

Definitions of protest on the Web:

[list]
*]a formal and solemn declaration of objection; “they finished the game under protest to the league president”; “the senator rose to register his protest”; “the many protestations did not stay the execution”
*]utter words of protest
*]the act of protesting; a public (often organized) manifestation of dissent
*]express opposition through action or words; “dissent to the laws of the country”
*]the act of making a strong public expression of disagreement and disapproval; “he shouted his protests at the umpire”; “a shower of protest was heard from the rear of the hall”
*]affirm or avow formally or solemnly; "The suspect protested his innocence"
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn
[/list]Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. It generally refers to those that separated from the Catholic Church in the Reformation, their offshoots, and those that share similar doctrines or ideologies. It is commonly considered one of the three major branches of Christianity, along with Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Definitions of protestant on the Web:
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[list]
*]an adherent of Protestantism
*]Protestant Church: the Protestant churches and denominations collectively
*]protesting(a): making a protest
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn
[/list]Perhaps you meant to say that the word “profess” means “to show”? One would **profess **their love for their girlfriend by giving her flowers, not protest their love by giving her flowers. Is that what you mean?

[/size]

http://pics.drugstore.com/prodimg/10671/200.jpg
…sorry

Sorry, the OED doesn’t buy it:

**

A. n.

I. Eccles.

  1. Hist. usually pl. The name given to those German princes and free cities who made a declaration of dissent from the decision of the Diet of Spires (1529), which re-affirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms against the Reformation; hence, a general designation of the adherents of the Reformed doctrines and worship in Germany.

In the 16th c., the name Protestant was generally taken in Germany by the Lutherans; while the Swiss and French called themselves Reformed.

  1. a. A member or adherent of any of the Christian churches or bodies which repudiated the papal authority, and separated or were severed from the Roman communion in the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and generally of any of the bodies of Christians descended from them; hence in general language applied to any Western Christian or member of a Christian church outside the Roman communion. Opposed to Papist, Roman Catholic, or Catholic in the restricted sense.

b. spec. In reference to the Church of England the use has varied with time and circumstances. In the 17th c., Protestant was generally accepted and used by members of the Established Church, and was even so applied to the exclusion of Presbyterians, Quakers, and Separatists, as was usual at least until the early 20th c. in parts of England and Ireland. In more recent times the name has been disfavoured or disowned by many Anglicans. Also, a Low Church member of the Church of England.

In the 17th c., ‘protestant’ was primarily opposed to ‘papist’, and thus accepted by English Churchmen generally; in more recent times, being generally opposed to ‘Roman Catholic’, or (after common Continental and R.C. use) to ‘Catholic’ (see CATHOLIC A. 7, B. 2, 3), it is viewed with disfavour by those who lay stress on the claim of the Anglican Church to be equally Catholic with the Roman. (see also sense c below).

There’s more, but this is enough.**

I once had someone who tried to tell me that Protestant meant “Those who uphold the truth.” But the dictionary doesn’t support that. A protestant is one who protests. And since when can that be a positive thing? If someone “protested” their love for me, I’d take that as a negitive thing. Protesting means you are against something, not for it.

[quote=new man]I hope this rather pedantic but nevertheless valuable note is helpful.I have noticed on this forum that many labour under a misapprehension of the true meaning of the verb “to protest” leading to a negative and wrong connotation being placed on the word “protestant”

To protest simply means to show. I may protest my love of a girl by giving her flowers. I may protest my dislike of a movie by leaving early. Protestants were people who “show” belief in god without acceptance of the magisterium. In modern American usage to protest is used regularly instead of the more correct “to protest against” thus leading to the misunderstanding in North America of the meaning ot the word protestant.
[/quote]

I think pretty much everyone knows that protestants are those groups which separated from the Church in the 16th century or are derivatives of them. The primary ones would be Lutheran, Anglican, and Calvinist. Derivatives would be Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc.

[quote=Christy Beth]I once had someone who tried to tell me that Protestant meant “Those who uphold the truth.” But the dictionary doesn’t support that. A protestant is one who protests. And since when can that be a positive thing? If someone “protested” their love for me, I’d take that as a negitive thing. Protesting means you are against something, not for it.
[/quote]

You mustr remember Christy that he meaning of the verb in early 21st century America is radically different to what it meant to 16th century Britons. They used the word to mean avow professs or solemnly show. The entirely negative connotation of the word is new and Neew world nad even now is not entirely shared in Britiah english even if the Ameiican meaning is increasingly current. If a 16th century englishman protested his love for you he was doing you a great honour.

The meaning of words change and as G.B. Shaw pointed out the English speaking world is often divided by a common language.

[quote=Christy Beth]I once had someone who tried to tell me that Protestant meant “Those who uphold the truth.”
[/quote]

:rotfl:

I had one explanation that it means pro - testament, follows the Bible only.

[quote=new man]You mustr remember Christy that he meaning of the verb in early 21st century America is radically different to what it meant to 16th century Britons. They used the word to mean avow professs or solemnly show. The entirely negative connotation of the word is new and Neew world nad even now is not entirely shared in Britiah english even if the Ameiican meaning is increasingly current. If a 16th century englishman protested his love for you he was doing you a great honour.

The meaning of words change and as G.B. Shaw pointed out the English speaking world is often divided by a common language.
[/quote]

My dad is from England. He moved to the U.S. when he was 21 some 40 years ago. But the rest of my paternal family is still in England. I understand what you mean about being “divided by a common language”.

However, I can find nothing to support what you are saying about the word “protest”; or the original intent of the word “Protestant” other than “to protest against”.

Could you please provide a source or link to support your posts?

EXTRACTING MEANING BY CONTEXT

I once heard a dictionary maker explain how the meaning of the words in a dictionary are gotten. She explained that she reads an article which has the “word” in it. She throws out and forgets everything she knew about the word before. OUT OF THE WAY THE WORD IS USED IN THE ARTICLE, SHE EXTRACTS THE MEANING OF THE WORD BY “CONTEXT” AND WRITES DOWN ITS DEFENITION.

By the above process, she has done meanings of thousands of words BY CONTEXT, files and files of them she said. A group of people like her, all doing with words what she is exactly doing. “THAT’S HOW WE DO OUR DICTIONARIES”, SHE SAID!!!

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BY CONTEXT, (1) who are Protestants and (2) who are NOT PROTESTANTS?

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In the time of Christ, Jesus was talking to a crowd of Jews, telling them UNLESS YOU EAT MY BODY, DRINK MY BLOOD YOU WILL NOT HAVE LIFE IN YOU. As a result of this, many of his disciples no longer accompanied him. BUT JUDAS STILL ACCOMPANIED HIM AND IN THE LAST SUPPER JUDAS WAS EATING THE FLESH AND DRINKING THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.

By CONTEXT, the twelve apostles, including Judas ARE NOT PROTESTANTS. The disciples who did not leave Christ but still accompanied him ARE NOT PROTESTANTS. BUT ALL THOSE DISCIPLES WHO NO LONGER ACCOMPANIED CHRIST BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO EAT HIS BODY NOR DRINK HIS BLOOD ARE PROTESTANTS - JUST LIKE THE MANY OF THE SOME 30,000 PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS WHO WILL NOT EAT THE CATHOLIC PRIEST CONSECRATED HOST CONSECRATED WINE BECAUSE IT IS THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF CHRIST, but will eat and drink the bread and wine in the protestant churches because overthere they believe that the bread and wine are not the flesh and blood of Christ but only SYMBOLS (GRAVEN SYMBOLS AND/OR GRAVEN IMAGES) OF THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF CHRIST. BY CONTEXT TOO, THESE GRAVEN SYMBOLS AND IMAGES IN THE FORM OF BREAD AND WINE, THEY INTENTIONALLY EAT AND SWALLOW INTO THEIR BODIES, WHICH IS A HORROR WHEN YOU COME TO THINK OF IT. BUT THAT IS THE MEANING I GET WHEN I READ THESE PROTESTANT THEOLOGIES.

But they might be right in the sense that IF a Protestant Pastor or Minister IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO TURN BREAD AND WINE INTO THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST, THEN INDEED, PERHAPS, THE BREAD AND WINE THEY EAT AND DRINK IN THEIR CHURCH SERVICES ARE INDEED JUST BREAD AND WINE. One indication of this is that I, we have not yet heard of any Eucharistic Miracle in any of these some 30,000 Protestant denominations and churches. STATISTICALLY, OR PROBABILITY WISE, THEY HAVE (30,000/30,001) PROBABILITY, I THINK. BUT IT HAS NOT HAPPENNED YET ALL THESE CENTURIES!!! THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ONLY HAS (1/30,001) PROBABILITY, BUT ALREADY IT HAS NUMEROUS PUBLICLY KNOWN EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES. I SAY “KNOWN” BECAUSE I KNOW OF ONE TOLD TO ME BY A WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER. AND BY THEIR LIVES, I KNOW THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH. THERE MUST BE MANY MORE EXAMPLES OUT THERE!!! CATHOLICS TOO EMBARRASSED TO TELL WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!!!

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Now that you mention it, I do know that words can change meaning over the years. A long time ago, the word “gay” meant happy, carefree. Now it’s used as a derogatory word for homosexuals. Sad.

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