Language

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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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 …

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ADOPTION

ADOPTION The term.—The custom of adopting children is explicitly alluded to by St. Paul alone of biblical writers; he uses the word ‘adoption’ (υἱοθεσία, Vulg. adoptio filiorum, Syr. usually sīmath benayā)) five times: Ro 8:15, 23; 9:4, Gal 4:5, Eph 1:5. This Greek word is not found in classical writers (though θετὸς υἱός is used …

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ACHAICUS

ACHAICUS One of many worthies whose character adorned the early Church, and whose service edified it, but whom we know only by a casual reference in the NT. In 1 Co 16:17 St. Paul rejoices ‘at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus.’ Probably they formed a deputation from the Corinthian Church; they may …

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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 …

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ABOUNDING

ABOUNDING The English word ‘abound’ in the Epistles of the NT is the translation of the Gr. words πλεονάζω and περισσεύω. There is nothing of special interest in these terms; perhaps the former has the less lofty sense, its primary connotation being that of superfluity. As used by St. Paul, however, there seems little to …

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ABBA

ABBA Abba is the emphatic form of the Aram. word for ‘father’ (see Dalman, Aram. Gram. p. 98, for אב and its various forms; also Maclean, in DCG, s.v.). It is found only in three passages in the NT, viz. Mk 14:36, Ro 8:15, Gal 4:6; in each case ὁ πατήρ is subjoined to Ἀββᾶ, …

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