Church

ALPHA AND OMEGA

ALPHA AND OMEGA These are the first and last letters of the Gr. alphabet; cf. Heb. ‘Aleph to Tau’; Eng. ‘A to Z.’ The title is applied to God the Father in Rev 1:8; 21:5, and to Christ in Rev 22:13 (cf. 2:8). The ancient Heb. name for God, יהוה, has been very variously derived, …

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ALMS

ALMS The duty of kindliness to and provision for the poor is constantly taught in the OT; in the later Jewish literature, and especially in Sirach and Tobit, it is even more emphatically asserted. It is clear that our Lord and the Apostolic Church taught this as a religious obligation with equal force. In the …

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ALLEGORY

ALLEGORY The word is derived from the Greek ἀλληγορία, used of a mode of speech which implies more than is expressed by the ordinary meaning of the language. This method of interpreting literature was practised at an early date and among different peoples. When ideas of a primitive age were no longer tenable, respect for …

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ALEXANDRIANS

ALEXANDRIANS Among the active opponents of St. Stephen were ‘certain of them that were of the synagogue called the synagogue … of the Alexandrians’ (Ἀλεξανδρέων, Ac 6:9). Grammatically the sentence is not in good form, and admits of a variety of interpretations. Some exegetes (Calvin, Bengel, O. Holtzmann, Rendall) assume that the Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, …

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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 …

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ALEXANDER (Ἀλέξανδρος, ‘helper of men’)

ALEXANDER (Ἀλέξανδρος, ‘helper of men’) This name is found in the NT in five different connexions, and possibly designates as many different individuals. The son of Simon of Cyrene, who bore the cross to Calvary (Mk 15:21), and the brother of Rufus. In all probability Alexander and his brother were well-known and honoured men in …

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AIR

AIR The apostles, like other Jews of their time, regarded the air as a region between earth and the higher heavens, inhabited by spirits, especially evil spirits. In Eph 2:2 the air is the abode or Satan (see below); in Eph 6:12 ‘the heavenlies’ (τὰ ἐπουράνια)—a vague phrase used also in Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; …

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AGED

AGED In Philem 9 the writer speaks of himself as Παῦλος πρεσβύτης (AV and RV ‘Paul the aged,’ RVm ‘ambassador’). In strictness the translation ‘ambassador’ requires πρεσβευτής, a word which does not occur in the NT. The two forms may have been confused in transcription or in common use. The translation ‘ambassador’ is more fitting …

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AGE

AGE The general significance of ‘age’ is a period of time, or a measure of life. Specially, it expresses the idea of advancement in life, or of oldness. Several Greek words are employed in NT for ‘age.’ (1) αἰών (see Æon). (2) γενεά, ‘a generation,’ loosely measured as extending from 30 to 33 years. In …

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