Apocrypha

Apocrypha n. Greek (ah-POCK-rih-fah) A group of 14 religious books that were originally included in the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Old testament. The writings are thought to have been translated by Jewish scholars at the request of Ptolemy II. These books, which the ancient rabbis referred to as sefarim hizonim (extraneous books), […]

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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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AMETHYST (ἀμέθυστος, Rev 21:20)

AMETHYST (ἀμέθυστος, Rev 21:20) A variety of quartz of rock-crystal, of purple or bluish violet colour. Derived from ἀ, ‘not,’ and μεθύσκειν, ‘to intoxicate,’ it was regarded as a charm against the effects of wine. Quaffed from a cup of amethyst, or by a reveller wearing an amulet of that substance, the vine-juice could not […]

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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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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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ADVERSARY

ADVERSARY This renders three Greek words in the NT: ἀντίδικος, properly an adversary in a lawsuit, and used of an earthly adversary in Mt 5:25, Lk 12:58; 18:3—all these with a legal reference. It is used of an enemy of God in 1 S 2:10 (LXX), and in 1 P 5:8 of ‘the enemy,’ Satan; […]

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ABYSS

ABYSS This is the RV rendering of the word ἄβυσσος which occurs in Lk 8:31, Ro 10:7, Rev 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3. In Lk. and Rom. AV translates ‘deep’; in Rev., ‘bottomless pit’—no distinction, however, being made between τὸ φρέαρ τῆς ἀβύσσου in 9:1, 2 (RV ‘the pit of the abyss’) and […]

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