John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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convict, conviction


The expressions “to be convicted”, “to come under conviction”, used to be more prevalent in Pentecostal circles than they are today.
[1] They seem to be derived from the Revised Version rendering of John 16:8: “And he [the Spirit of truth], when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement…” Or perhaps they come from across the Atlantic, from the Revised Version’s “sister” version, the American Standard Version. At any rate, when people realised their sinful state, usually after the preaching of the gospel in a meeting, they were said to be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.
[1] Today: I wrote this note in the 1990s.
Here are the definitions of “convict” and “conviction” that are given in my Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (London: G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., 1963), and indeed in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
convict
transitive verb
\kənˈvɪkt\
1: to find or prove to be guilty 2: to convince of error or sinfulness
conviction
noun
\kənˈvɪkʃən\
1: the act or process of convicting of a crime especially in a court of law 2a: the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth b: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth 3a: a strong persuasion or belief b: the state of being convinced


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