The Word

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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AMOMUM

AMOMUM (ἄμωμον, perhaps from Arab. hamma, ‘heat’) An aromatic balsam used as an unguent for the hair, made from the seeds of an eastern plant which has not been identified with certainty, Josephus (Ant. xx. ii. 2) speaks of Harran as ‘a soil which bare amomum in plenty,’ and Vergil (Ecl. iv. 25) predicts that …

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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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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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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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