Ordinary

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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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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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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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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ADAM (Ἀδάμ)

ADAM (Ἀδάμ) Adam was the first man (אָדָם = man) and the parent of the human race.—1. When the writer of Jude (v. 14) thinks it worth noting that Enoch (q.v.) was ‘the seventh from Adam’ (ἕβδομος ἀπὸ Ἀδάμ), he probably has in mind the sacredness of the number seven. It seems to him an …

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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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ABRAHAM (Ἀβραάμ)

ABRAHAM (Ἀβραάμ) Addressing a Jewish crowd in the precincts of the Temple, St. Peter emphasizes the connexion between the Hebrew and the Christian religion by proclaiming that ‘the God of Abraham … hath glorified his servant (παῖδα; cf. RVm) Jesus’ (Ac 3:13). This Divine title, which is similarly used in St. Stephen’s speech (7:32), was …

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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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