Christianity

anusim

anusim pl. n. Hebrew (ah-noo-SEEM) Literally, “compelled ones.” The historical term for Jews who were forced to convert to another religion. The anusim often tried secretly to preserve their Jewish customs and teach them to their children. Perhaps the most famous anusim are the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were compelled to convert to Christianity …

anusim Read More »

ANANIAS (Gr. Ἀνανίας; Heb. חָנָן ‘Jahweh is gracious’)

ANANIAS (Gr. Ἀνανίας; Heb. חָנָן ‘Jahweh is gracious’) A very common name in later Jewish times, corresponding to Hananiah or Hanani of the OT. We find it occurring frequently in the post-exilic writings and particularly in the Apocrypha. In the history of the Apostolic Church, we meet with three persons bearing this name. An early …

ANANIAS (Gr. Ἀνανίας; Heb. חָנָן ‘Jahweh is gracious’) Read More »

ALTAR

ALTAR In the NT, as in the LXX, the usual term for ‘altar’ is θυσιαστήριον—a word otherwise confined to Philo, Josephus, and ecclesiastical writers—while βωμός, as contrasted with a Jewish place of sacrifice, is a heathen altar. The most striking example of the antithesis is found in 1 Mac 1:54–59. Antiochus Epiphanes erected a small …

ALTAR Read More »

ALEXANDRIA (Ἀλεξάνδρια)

ALEXANDRIA (Ἀλεξάνδρια) The city of Alexandria almost realized Alexander the Great’s dream of ‘a city surpassing anything previously existing’ (Plutarch, Alex. xxvi.). Planned by Dinocrates under the king’s supervision, and built on a neck of land two miles wide interposed between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis (Mariut), about 14 miles from the Canopic mouth …

ALEXANDRIA (Ἀλεξάνδρια) Read More »

ÆON (αἰών, αἰῶνες, ‘age,’ ‘ages’)

ÆON (αἰών, αἰῶνες, ‘age,’ ‘ages’) There is some uncertainty as to the derivation of the word αἰών. Some relate it with ἄημι, ‘to breathe,’ but modern opinion connects it with ἀεί, αἰεί (= αἰών), and finds as other derivatives the Latin œvum and the English ‘aye.’ In the LXX αἰών is used to translate עוֹלָם …

ÆON (αἰών, αἰῶνες, ‘age,’ ‘ages’) Read More »

ABUSE, ABUSERS

ABUSE, ABUSERS The Latin abūtor means either (1) ‘use badly,’ ‘misuse,’ or (2) ‘use to the full.’ In this second sense Cicero uses the word of spending one’s whole leisure time with a friend (see Lewis and Short, Latin Dict., s.v. ‘Abūtor’), The Greek verb καταχράομαι had both these meanings. Thus in Plato (Menex. 247 …

ABUSE, ABUSERS Read More »

ABSTINENCE

ABSTINENCE Introduction.—The whole of morality on its negative side may be included under Abstinence. Christian moral progress (sanctification) includes a holding fast (κατέχεσθαι) of the good, and an abstaining from (ἀπέχεσθαι) every form of evil (1 Th 5:21f.). While Christianity has general laws to distinguish the good from the bad, yet for each individual Christian …

ABSTINENCE Read More »