Language

Ashrei

Ashrei n. Hebrew (OSH-ray) Literally, “happy are they.” A responsive prayer recited during daily and Shabbat services. It includes language from three psalms; its theme is God’s concern for humankind. The prayer is an acrostic; each line begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet except for the letter nun. noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, …

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Ashkenazim

Ashkenazim pl. n. Hebrew (osh-keh-NAH-zeem) The name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France (and their descendants). The word Ashkenaz is the Hebrew name for Germany. The Ashkenazim migrated to Central and Eastern Europe during times of oppression. In pre-World War II Europe, Ashkenazim comprised 90 percent of world …

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ANGER

ANGER Human anger.—Except by the stoical mind which finds no place for strong emotion in a moral scheme, anger has been recognized as a quality which, under certain conditions and within certain limits, may not only be permissible but commendable. Its ready abuse has, however, led to its being commonly placed among the evils of …

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ANGELS

ANGELS The scope of this article.—The passages in the apostolic writings in which angels are mentioned or referred to will be examined; some of them are ambiguous and have been interpreted in various ways. The doctrine of the OT and of the apocryphal period on the subject has been so fully dealt with in HDB …

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ANATHEMA

ANATHEMA The transliteration of a Gr. word which is used in the LXX to represent the Heb. ḥērem, ‘a person or thing devoted or set apart, under religious sanctions, for destruction’ (Lv 27:28, 29, Jos 6:17). It is capable of use in the good sense of an offering to God, but was gradually confined to …

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AMEN

AMEN The lack of a common language has always been a barrier to the mutual knowledge and intercourse of the great nations of mankind, all the more that the days when the educated men of all European nations were wont to converse in Latin have long since passed away. To a certain extent the gulf …

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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 …

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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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