Bat-to-log -i-a, βαττολογία, vain repetitions. These are repetitions, of course, which are vain, meaningless, and senseless.


None of these is to be found in the word of God. Indeed, we are exhorted not to use them as the heathen do, who think that by using them in their prayers they shall be “ heard for their much speaking.” The verb in Matt. 6:7 is βαττολογήσητε (battologeeseete) use not vain repetitions. The Holy Spirit therefore does not use them: so that we have no examples to give for this figure which man has named and so frequently uses.


Examples of man’s use of Battologia may easily be found, e.g., 1 Kings 18:26. Acts 19:34, etc. Also in the Prayer Book.


References: KJV
Mat 6:7  – But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

1 Ki 18:26  – And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

 Act 19:34  – But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) page 404. Adapted for website compatibility.
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