(1 Cor. 12:28), the powers which fit a man for a place of
influence in the church; "the steersman's art; the art of
guiding aright the vessel of church or state."
nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a
member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).
(1 Cor. 16:17), one of the members of the church of Corinth who,
with Fortunatus and Stephanas, visited Paul while he was at
Ephesus, for the purpose of consulting him on the affairs of the
church. These three probably were the bearers of the letter from
Corinth to the apostle to which he alludes in 1 Cor. 7:1.
sacred city, a city of Phrygia, where was a Christian church
under the care of Epaphras (Col. 4:12, 13). This church was
founded at the same time as that of Colosse. It now bears the
name of Pambuk-Kalek, i.e., "Cotton Castle", from the white
appearance of the cliffs at the base of which the ruins are
the epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; so called because
they are addressed to Christians in general, and not to any
church or person in particular.
Jehovah is there, the symbolical title given by Ezekiel to
Jerusalem, which was seen by him in vision (Ezek. 48:35). It was
a type of the gospel Church.
conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic
Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.
fortunate; affable, a female member of the church at Philippi,
whom Paul beseeches to be of one mind with Euodias (Phil.
The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the
"deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is
blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (15). They
were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to
introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness,
thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16,
19), and were probably identical with those who held the
doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.
Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's
house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of
In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word
ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew _kahal_ of the Old
Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character
of which can only be known from the connection in which the word
is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a
place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times
it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to
denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same
profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church
of Scotland," etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the
New Testament: (1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary
classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
(2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom
the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church
(Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).
(3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the
ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
(4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they
assembled together in one place or in several places for
religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in
Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts
13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at Corinth" (1 Cor.
1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church of
Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.
(5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the
world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of
The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world
that profess the true religion, together with their children."
It is called "visible" because its members are known and its
assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of "wheat and
chaff," of saints and sinners. "God has commanded his people to
organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical
communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges,
ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving
visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that
kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of
these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the
great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all
together constitute the catholic or universal visible church." A
credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a
member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose
character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in
The children of all who thus profess the true religion are
members of the visible church along with their parents. Children
are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go
along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5;
Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the
beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same
great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed
the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts
2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e.,
are "saints", a title which designates the members of the
Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14). (See BAPTISM ¯T0000435.)
The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the
elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under
Christ, the head thereof." This is a pure society, the church in
which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called
"invisible" because the greater part of those who constitute it
are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its
members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The
qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden.
It is unseen except by Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord
knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19).
The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises
appertaining to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body
consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.
(1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We
sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New
Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old
Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa.
49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they
will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into
"their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The
apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry
disciples were "added" to the "church" already existing (Acts
(2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not
confined to any particular country or outward organization, but
comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.
(3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the
end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an
my lord, a title the prophet (Hos. 2:16) reproaches the Jewish
church for applying to Jehovah, instead of the more endearing
title Ishi, meaning "my husband."
verdure, a female Christian (1 Cor. 1:11), some of whose
household had informed Paul of the divided state of the
Corinthian church. Nothing is known of her.
of the Gentiles (Isa. 60:5, 11; R.V., "the wealth of the
nations") denotes the wealth of the heathen. The whole passage
means that the wealth of the Gentile world should be consecrated
to the service of the church.
the process of inoculating fruit-trees (Rom. 11:17-24). It is
peculiarly appropriate to olive-trees. The union thus of
branches to a stem is used to illustrate the union of true
believers to the true Church.
frequently used in the ordinary sense (Isa. 49:18; 61:10, etc.).
The relation between Christ and his church is set forth under
the figure of that between a bridegroom and bride (John 3:29).
The church is called "the bride" (Rev. 21:9; 22:17). Compare
parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13).
(1.) Of time (Gal. 4:4), the time appointed by God, and foretold
by the prophets, when Messiah should appear. (2.) Of Christ
(John 1:16), the superabundance of grace with which he was
filled. (3.) Of the Godhead bodily dwelling in Christ (Col.
2:9), i.e., the whole nature and attributes of God are in
Christ. (4.) Eph. 1:23, the church as the fulness of Christ,
i.e., the church makes Christ a complete and perfect head.
myrrh, an ancient city of Ionia, on the western coast of Asia
Minor, about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus. It is now the
chief city of Anatolia, having a mixed population of about
200,000, of whom about one-third are professed Christians. The
church founded here was one of the seven addressed by our Lord
(Rev. 2:8-11). The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle
John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church
of Smyrna. Here he suffered martyrdom, A.D. 155.
fair, graceful; belonging to Aphrodite or Venus the messenger
who came from Phillipi to the apostle when he was a prisoner at
Rome (Phil. 2:25-30; 4:10-18). Paul mentions him in words of
esteem and affection. On his return to Philippi he was the
bearer of Paul's letter to the church there.
a good journey, a female member of the church at Philippi. She
was one who laboured much with Paul in the gospel. He exhorts
her to be of one mind with Syntyche (Phil. 4:2). From this it
seems they had been at variance with each other.
as used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Pet. 2:9, is
derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the
Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special
possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his
"purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14; R.V., "God's own
a "deaconess of the church at Cenchrea," the port of Corinth.
She was probably the bearer of Paul's epistle to the Romans.
Paul commended her to the Christians at Rome; "for she hath
been," says he, "a succourer of many, and of myself also" (Rom.
or Colosse, a city of Phrygia, on the Lycus, which is a
tributary of the Maeander. It was about 12 miles above Laodicea,
and near the great road from Ephesus to the Euphrates, and was
consequently of some mercantile importance. It does not appear
that Paul had visited this city when he wrote his letter to the
church there (Col. 1:2). He expresses in his letter to Philemon
(ver. 1:22) his hope to visit it on being delivered from his
imprisonment. From Col. 1:7; 4:12 it has been concluded that
Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church. This town
afterwards fell into decay, and the modern town of Chonas or
Chonum occupies a site near its ruins.
hot baths, a village "three-score furlongs" from jerusalem,
where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the
day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified
with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of
Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning "little dome," is
derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be
found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet
Khamasa i.e., "the ruins of Khamasa", about 8 miles south-west
of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church.
Its site, however has been much disputed.
wood, a prominent member of the church at Jerusalem; also called
Silvanus. He and Judas, surnamed Barsabas, were chosen by the
church there to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their return to
Antioch from the council of the apostles and elders (Acts
15:22), as bearers of the decree adopted by the council. He
assisted Paul there in his evangelistic labours, and was also
chosen by him to be his companion on his second missionary tour
(Acts 16:19-24). He is referred to in the epistles under the
name of Silvanus (2 Cor. 1:19; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1
Pet. 5:12). There is no record of the time or place of his
son of consolation, the surname of Joses, a Levite (Acts 4:36).
His name stands first on the list of prophets and teachers of
the church at Antioch (13:1). Luke speaks of him as a "good man"
(11:24). He was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He
was a native of Cyprus, where he had a possession of land (Acts
4:36, 37), which he sold. His personal appearance is supposed to
have been dignified and commanding (Acts 14:11, 12). When Paul
returned to Jerusalem after his conversion, Barnabas took him
and introduced him to the apostles (9:27). They had probably
been companions as students in the school of Gamaliel.
The prosperity of the church at Antioch led the apostles and
brethren at Jerusalem to send Barnabas thither to superintend
the movement. He found the work so extensive and weighty that he
went to Tarsus in search of Saul to assist him. Saul returned
with him to Antioch and laboured with him for a whole year (Acts
11:25, 26). The two were at the end of this period sent up to
Jerusalem with the contributions the church at Antioch had made
for the poorer brethren there (11:28-30). Shortly after they
returned, bringing John Mark with them, they were appointed as
missionaries to the heathen world, and in this capacity visited
Cyprus and some of the principal cities of Asia Minor (Acts
13:14). Returning from this first missionary journey to Antioch,
they were again sent up to Jerusalem to consult with the church
there regarding the relation of Gentiles to the church (Acts
15:2: Gal. 2:1). This matter having been settled, they returned
again to Antioch, bringing the decree of the council as the rule
by which Gentiles were to be admitted into the church.
When about to set forth on a second missionary journey, a
dispute arose between Saul and Barnabas as to the propriety of
taking John Mark with them again. The dispute ended by Saul and
Barnabas taking separate routes. Saul took Silas as his
companion, and journeyed through Syria and Cilicia; while
Barnabas took his nephew John Mark, and visited Cyprus (Acts
15:36-41). Barnabas is not again mentioned by Luke in the Acts.
Kingly office of Christ
one of the three special relations in which Christ stands to his
people. Christ's office as mediator comprehends three different
functions, viz., those of a prophet, priest, and king. These are
not three distinct offices, but three functions of the one
office of mediator.
Christ is King and sovereign Head over his Church and over all
things to his Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18; 2:19). He
executes this mediatorial kingship in his Church, and over his
Church, and over all things in behalf of his Church. This
royalty differs from that which essentially belongs to him as
God, for it is given to him by the Father as the reward of his
obedience and sufferings (Phil. 2:6-11), and has as its especial
object the upbuilding and the glory of his redeemed Church. It
attaches, moreover, not to his divine nature as such, but to his
person as God-man.
Christ's mediatorial kingdom may be regarded as comprehending,
(1) his kingdom of power, or his providential government of the
universe; (2) his kingdom of grace, which is wholly spiritual in
its subjects and administration; and (3) his kingdom of glory,
which is the consummation of all his providential and gracious
Christ sustained and exercised the function of mediatorial
King as well as of Prophet and Priest, from the time of the fall
of man, when he entered on his mediatorial work; yet it may be
said that he was publicly and formally enthroned when he
ascended up on high and sat down at the Father's right hand (Ps.
2:6; Jer. 23:5; Isa. 9:6), after his work of humiliation and
suffering on earth was "finished."
an ordinance immediately instituted by Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20),
and designed to be observed in the church, like that of the
Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and "baptism" are
simply Greek words transferred into English. This was
necessarily done by the translators of the Scriptures, for no
literal translation could properly express all that is implied
The mode of baptism can in no way be determined from the Greek
word rendered "baptize." Baptists say that it means "to dip,"
and nothing else. That is an incorrect view of the meaning of
the word. It means both (1) to dip a thing into an element or
liquid, and (2) to put an element or liquid over or on it.
Nothing therefore as to the mode of baptism can be concluded
from the mere word used. The word has a wide latitude of
meaning, not only in the New Testament, but also in the LXX.
Version of the Old Testament, where it is used of the ablutions
and baptisms required by the Mosaic law. These were effected by
immersion, and by affusion and sprinkling; and the same word,
"washings" (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21) or "baptisms," designates
them all. In the New Testament there cannot be found a single
well-authenticated instance of the occurrence of the word where
it necessarily means immersion. Moreover, none of the instances
of baptism recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (2:38-41;
8:26-39; 9:17, 18; 22:12-16; 10:44-48; 16:32-34) favours the
idea that it was by dipping the person baptized, or by
immersion, while in some of them such a mode was highly
The gospel and its ordinances are designed for the whole
world, and it cannot be supposed that a form for the
administration of baptism would have been prescribed which would
in any place (as in a tropical country or in polar regions) or
under any circumstances be inapplicable or injurious or
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical
ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper represents the work
of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper
a small amount of bread and wine used in this ordinance exhibits
in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of
the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water poured or sprinkled
on the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
That which is essential in baptism is only "washing with water,"
no mode being specified and none being necessary or essential to
the symbolism of the ordinance.
The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost
(Matt. 3:11) by his coming upon them (Acts 1:8). The fire also
with which they were baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary
event of Pentecost was explained by Peter as a fulfilment of the
ancient promise that the Spirit would be poured out in the last
days (2:17). He uses also with the same reference the expression
shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit (33). In
the Pentecostal baptism "the apostles were not dipped into the
Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed
forth, poured out, fell on them (11:15), came upon them, sat on
them." That was a real and true baptism. We are warranted from
such language to conclude that in like manner when water is
poured out, falls, comes upon or rests upon a person when this
ordinance is administered, that person is baptized. Baptism is
therefore, in view of all these arguments "rightly administered
by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person."
The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater
importance than those relating to its mode.
1. The controversy here is not about "believers' baptism," for
that is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in
apostolic times, and they have been baptized in all time by all
the branches of the church. It is altogether a misrepresentation
to allege, as is sometimes done by Baptists, that their doctrine
is "believers' baptism." Every instance of adult baptism, or of
"believers' baptism," recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:41;
8:37; 9:17, 18; 10:47; 16:15; 19:5, etc.) is just such as would
be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the
Protestant Church, a profession of faith or of their being
"believers" would be required from every one of them before
baptism. The point in dispute is not the baptism of believers,
but whether the infant children of believers, i.e., of members
of the church, ought to be baptized.
2. In support of the doctrine of infant baptism, i.e., of the
baptism of the infants, or rather the "children," of believing
parents, the following considerations may be adduced:
The Church of Christ exists as a divinely organized community.
It is the "kingdom of God," one historic kingdom under all
dispensations. The commonwealth of Israel was the "church" (Acts
7:38; Rom. 9:4) under the Mosaic dispensation. The New Testament
church is not a new and different church, but one with that of
the Old Testament. The terms of admission into the church have
always been the same viz., a profession of faith and a promise
of subjection to the laws of the kingdom. Now it is a fact
beyond dispute that the children of God's people under the old
dispensation were recognized as members of the church.
Circumcision was the sign and seal of their membership. It was
not because of carnal descent from Abraham, but as being the
children of God's professing people, that this rite was
administered (Rom. 4:11). If children were members of the church
under the old dispensation, which they undoubtedly were, then
they are members of the church now by the same right, unless it
can be shown that they have been expressly excluded. Under the
Old Testament parents acted for their children and represented
them. (See Gen. 9:9; 17:10; Ex. 24:7, 8; Deut. 29:9-13.) When
parents entered into covenant with God, they brought their
children with them. This was a law in the Hebrew Church. When a
proselyte was received into membership, he could not enter
without bringing his children with him. The New Testament does
not exclude the children of believers from the church. It does
not deprive them of any privilege they enjoyed under the Old
Testament. There is no command or statement of any kind, that
can be interpreted as giving any countenance to such an idea,
anywhere to be found in the New Testament. The church membership
of infants has never been set aside. The ancient practice,
orginally appointed by God himself, must remain a law of his
kingdom till repealed by the same divine authority. There are
lambs in the fold of the Good Shepherd (John 21:15; comp. Luke
1:15; Matt. 19:14; 1 Cor. 7:14).
"In a company of converts applying for admission into Christ's
house there are likely to be some heads of families. How is
their case to be treated? How, for example, are Lydia and her
neighbour the keeper of the city prison to be treated? Both have
been converted. Both are heads of families. They desire to be
received into the infant church of Philippi. What is Christ's
direction to them? Shall we say that it is to this effect:
'Arise, and wash away your sins, and come into my house. But you
must come in by yourselves. These babes in your arms, you must
leave them outside. They cannot believe yet, and so they cannot
come in. Those other little ones by your side, their hearts may
perhaps have been touched with the love of God; still, they are
not old enough to make a personal profession, so they too must
be left outside...For the present you must leave them where they
are and come in by yourselves.' One may reasonably demand very
stringent proofs before accepting this as a fair representation
of the sort of welcome Christ offers to parents who come to his
door bringing their children with them. Surely it is more
consonant with all we know about him to suppose that his welcome
will be more ample in its scope, and will breathe a more
gracious tone. Surely it would be more like the Good Shepherd to
say, 'Come in, and bring your little ones along with you. The
youngest needs my salvation; and the youngest is accessible to
my salvation. You may be unable as yet to deal with them about
either sin or salvation, but my gracious power can find its way
into their hearts even now. I can impart to them pardon and a
new life. From Adam they have inherited sin and death; and I can
so unite them to myself that in me they shall be heirs of
righteousness and life. You may without misgiving bring them to
me. And the law of my house requires that the same day which
witnesses your reception into it by baptism must witness their
reception also'" (The Church, by Professor Binnie, D.D.).
a province in Asia Minor, to the south of the Euxine and
Propontis. Christian congregations were here formed at an early
time (1 Pet. 1:1). Paul was prevented by the Spirit from
entering this province (Acts 16:7). It is noted in church
history as the province ruled over by Pliny as Roman proconsul,
who was perplexed as to the course he should take with the
numerous Christians brought before his tribunal on account of
their profession of Christianity and their conduct, and wrote to
Trajan, the emperor, for instructions (A.D. 107).
imperfection or bodily deformity excluding men from the
priesthood, and rendering animals unfit to be offered in
sacrifice (Lev. 21:17-23; 22:19-25). The Christian church, as
justified in Christ, is "without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Christ
offered himself a sacrifice "without blemish," acceptable to God
(1 Pet. 1:19).
millet, the eastern harbour of Corinth, from which it was
distant about 9 miles east, and the outlet for its trade with
the Asiatic shores of the Mediterranean. When Paul returned from
his second missionary journey to Syria, he sailed from this port
(Acts 18:18). In Rom. 16:1 he speaks as if there were at the
time of his writing that epistle an organized church there. The
western harbour of Corinth was Lechaeum, about a mile and a half
from the city. It was the channel of its trade with Italy and
mild, a Christian of Philippi, Paul's "fellow-labourer," whose
name he mentions as "in the book of life" (Phil. 4:3). It was an
opinion of ancient writers that he was the Clement of Rome whose
name is well known in church history, and that he was the author
of an Epistle to the Corinthians, the only known manuscript of
which is appended to the Alexandrian Codex, now in the British
Museum. It is of some historical interest, and has given rise to
much discussion among critics. It makes distinct reference to
Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians.
a centurion whose history is narrated in Acts 10. He was a
"devout man," and like the centurion of Capernaum, believed in
the God of Israel. His residence at Caesrea probably brought him
into contact with Jews who communicated to him their
expectations regarding the Messiah; and thus he was prepared to
welcome the message Peter brought him. He became the first fruit
of the Gentile world to Christ. He and his family were baptized
and admitted into the Christian church (Acts 10:1, 44-48). (See
lovely, spoken of by Paul (Col. 1:7; 4:12) as "his dear
fellow-servant," and "a faithful minister of Christ." He was
thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians.
He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the
Colossian church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to
Philemon (1:23), where he is called by Paul his
the holy writings, a term which came early into use in the
Christian church to denote the third division of the Old
Testament scriptures, called by the Jews Kethubim, i.e.,
"Writings." It consisted of five books, viz., Job, Proverbs, and
Psalms, and the two books of Chronicles. The ancient Jews
classified their sacred books as the Law, the Prophets, and the
Kethubim, or Writings. (See BIBLE ¯T0000580.)
In the New Testament (Luke 24:44) we find three corresponding
divisions, viz., the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms.
extended, a Levitical city in the mountains or hill-country of
Judah (Josh. 15:55; 21:16). Its modern name is Yutta, a place
about 5 1/2 miles south of Hebron. It is supposed to have been
the residence of Zacharias and Elisabeth, and the birthplace of
John the Baptist, and on this account is annually visited by
thousands of pilgrims belonging to the Greek Church (Luke 1:39).
(See MARY ¯T0002428.)
reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian of Jerusalem with whom
Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus,
like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians
of Caesarea (4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early
disciple"), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of
the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
an inhabitant of Colosse, and apparently a person of some note
among the citizens (Col. 4:9; Philemon 1:2). He was brought to a
knowledge of the gospel through the instrumentality of Paul
(19), and held a prominent place in the Christian community for
his piety and beneficence (4-7). He is called in the epistle a
"fellow-labourer," and therefore probably held some office in
the church at Colosse; at all events, the title denotes that he
took part in the work of spreading a knowledge of the gospel.
crown, a member of the church at Corinth, whose family were
among those the apostle had baptized (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15, 17).
He has been supposed by some to have been the "jailer of
Philippi" (comp. Acts 16:33). The First Epistle to the
Corinthians was written from Philippi some six years after the
jailer's conversion, and he was with the apostle there at that
chance, an Asiatic Christian, a "faithful minister in the Lord"
(Eph. 6:21, 22), who, with Trophimus, accompanied Paul on a part
of his journey from Macedonia to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He is
alluded to also in Col. 4:7, Titus 3:12, and 2 Tim. 4:12 as
having been with Paul at Rome, whence he sent him to Ephesus,
probably for the purpose of building up and encouraging the
Philippians, Epistle to
was written by Paul during the two years when he was "in bonds"
in Rome (Phil. 1:7-13), probably early in the year A.D. 62 or in
the end of 61.
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with
contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his
return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious
communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey.
"The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful
letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden
from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church
itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet
cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was
once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the
most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and
fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To
myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter
written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way
by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a
cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life" (Professor
The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European
Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent,
and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the
churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully
acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The
pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very
conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). "This was a characteristic of the
Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully
prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a
class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their
poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary
and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the
missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion,
really greater than that of the rich" (Moule's Philippians,
The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into
the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written.
Paul's imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his
preaching the gospel, but rather "turned out to the furtherance
of the gospel." The gospel spread very extensively among the
Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the
Christians grew into a "vast multitude." It is plain that
Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome.
The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation
to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20
with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea
of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul's writings.
The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost
parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph.
1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. "This exposition of the grace
and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and
personal exaltation after it," found in these epistles, "is, in
a great measure, a new development in the revelations given
through St. Paul" (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of
expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of
Corinthians, Second Epistle to the
Shortly after writing his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul
left Ephesus, where intense excitement had been aroused against
him, the evidence of his great success, and proceeded to
Macedonia. Pursuing the usual route, he reached Troas, the port
of departure for Europe. Here he expected to meet with Titus,
whom he had sent from Ephesus to Corinth, with tidings of the
effects produced on the church there by the first epistle; but
was disappointed (1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 1:8; 2:12, 13). He then
left Troas and proceeded to Macedonia; and at Philippi, where he
tarried, he was soon joined by Titus (2 Cor. 7:6, 7), who
brought him good news from Corinth, and also by Timothy. Under
the influence of the feelings awakened in his mind by the
favourable report which Titus brought back from Corinth, this
second epistle was written. It was probably written at Philippi,
or, as some think, Thessalonica, early in the year A.D. 58, and
was sent to Corinth by Titus. This letter he addresses not only
to the church in Corinth, but also to the saints in all Achaia,
i.e., in Athens, Cenchrea, and other cities in Greece.
The contents of this epistle may be thus arranged:
(1.) Paul speaks of his spiritual labours and course of life,
and expresses his warm affection toward the Corinthians (2 Cor.
(2.) He gives specific directions regarding the collection
that was to be made for their poor brethren in Judea (8; 9).
(3.) He defends his own apostolic claim (10-13), and justifies
himself from the charges and insinuations of the false teacher
and his adherents.
This epistle, it has been well said, shows the individuallity
of the apostle more than any other. "Human weakness, spiritual
strength, the deepest tenderness of affection, wounded feeling,
sternness, irony, rebuke, impassioned self-vindication,
humility, a just self-respect, zeal for the welfare of the weak
and suffering, as well as for the progress of the church of
Christ and for the spiritual advancement of its members, are all
displayed in turn in the course of his appeal."--Lias, Second
Of the effects produced on the Corinthian church by this
epistle we have no definite information. We know that Paul
visited Corinth after he had written it (Acts 20:2, 3), and that
on that occasion he tarried there for three months. In his
letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from
some of the principal members of the church to the Romans.
sons enjoyed certain special privileges (Deut. 21:17; Gen.
25:23, 31, 34; 49:3; 1 Chr. 5:1; Heb. 12:16; Ps. 89:27). (See
The "first-born of the poor" signifies the most miserable of
the poor (Isa. 14:30). The "church of the first-born" signifies
the church of the redeemed.
The destruction of the first-born was the last of the ten
plagues inflicted on the Egyptians (Ex. 11:1-8; 12:29, 30).
Menephtah is probably the Pharaoh whose first-born was slain.
His son did not succeed or survive his father, but died early.
The son's tomb has been found at Thebes unfinished, showing it
was needed earlier than was expected. Some of the records on the
tomb are as follows: "The son whom Menephtah loves; who draws
towards him his father's heart, the singer, the prince of
archers, who governed Egypt on behalf of his father. Dead."
hearing. (1.) The second son of Jacob by Leah (Gen. 29:33). He
was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance
against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25, 26). He was detained
by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying,
pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the
Authorized Version (49:6), "they digged down a wall," ought to
be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "they houghed
(2.) An aged saint who visited the temple when Jesus was being
presented before the Lord, and uttered lofty words of
thankgiving and of prophecy (Luke 2:29-35).
(3.) One of the ancestors of Joseph (Luke 3:30).
(4.) Surnamed Niger, i.e., "black," perhaps from his dark
complexion, a teacher of some distinction in the church of
Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). It has been supposed that this was the
Simon of Cyrene who bore Christ's cross. Note the number of
nationalities represented in the church at Antioch.
(5.) James (Acts 15:14) thus designates the apostle Peter
a large and populous city on the Thermaic bay. It was the
capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, and was
ruled by a praetor. It was named after Thessalonica, the wife of
Cassander, who built the city. She was so called by her father,
Philip, because he first heard of her birth on the day of his
gaining a victory over the Thessalians. On his second missionary
journey, Paul preached in the synagogue here, the chief
synagogue of the Jews in that part of Macedonia, and laid the
foundations of a church (Acts 17:1-4; 1 Thes. 1:9). The violence
of the Jews drove him from the city, when he fled to Berea (Acts
17:5-10). The "rulers of the city" before whom the Jews "drew
Jason," with whom Paul and Silas lodged, are in the original
called politarchai, an unusual word, which was found, however,
inscribed on an arch in Thessalonica. This discovery confirms
the accuracy of the historian. Paul visited the church here on a
subsequent occasion (20:1-3). This city long retained its
importance. It is the most important town of European Turkey,
under the name of Saloniki, with a mixed population of about
honourable, was with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, and
accompanied them to the council at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1-3; Acts
15:2), although his name nowhere occurs in the Acts of the
Apostles. He appears to have been a Gentile, and to have been
chiefly engaged in ministering to Gentiles; for Paul sternly
refused to have him circumcised, inasmuch as in his case the
cause of gospel liberty was at stake. We find him, at a later
period, with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus, whence he was sent by
Paul to Corinth for the purpose of getting the contributions of
the church there in behalf of the poor saints at Jerusalem sent
forward (2 Cor. 8:6; 12:18). He rejoined the apostle when he was
in Macedonia, and cheered him with the tidings he brought from
Corinth (7:6-15). After this his name is not mentioned till
after Paul's first imprisonment, when we find him engaged in the
organization of the church in Crete, where the apostle had left
him for this purpose (Titus 1:5). The last notice of him is in 2
Tim. 4:10, where we find him with Paul at Rome during his second
imprisonment. From Rome he was sent into Dalmatia, no doubt on
some important missionary errand. We have no record of his
death. He is not mentioned in the Acts.
one of the most important products of Israel. The first
mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is
afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New
Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are
evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was
cultivated in Israel before the Israelites took possession of
it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley
of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that "they bare it
between two upon a staff" (Num. 13: 23). The vineyards of
En-gedi (Cant. 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa.
16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as
of Eshcol, were celebrated.
The Church is compared to a vine (Ps. 80:8), and Christ says
of himself, "I am the vine" (John 15:1). In one of his parables
also (Matt. 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard
which "a certain householder planted, and hedged round about,"
Hos. 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Israel is a
luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit," instead of
"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself,"
of the Authorized Version.
(1) of love (Hos. 11:4); (2) of Christ (Ps. 2:3); (3) uniting
together Christ's body the church (Col. 2:19; 3:14; Eph. 4:3);
(4) the emblem of the captivity of Israel (Ezek. 34:27; Isa.
28:22; 52:2); (5) of brotherhood (Ezek. 37:15-28); (6) no bands
to the wicked in their death (Ps. 73:4; Job 21:7; Ps. 10:6).
Also denotes chains (Luke 8:29); companies of soldiers (Acts
21:31); a shepherd's staff, indicating the union between Judah
and Israel (Zech. 11:7).
Baptism for the dead
only mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:29. This expression as used by the
apostle may be equivalent to saying, "He who goes through a
baptism of blood in order to join a glorified church which has
no existence [i.e., if the dead rise not] is a fool." Some also
regard the statement here as an allusion to the strange practice
which began, it is said, to prevail at Corinth, in which a
person was baptized in the stead of others who had died before
being baptized, to whom it was hoped some of the benefits of
that rite would be extended. This they think may have been one
of the erroneous customs which Paul went to Corinth to "set in
The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic
law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired
to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the
law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to
the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon
for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight
pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18).
These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in
the Christian Church.
(Gr. charismata), gifts supernaturally bestowed on the early
Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the
edification of the body of Christ. These were the result of the
extraordinary operation of the Spirit, as on the day of
Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting
out devils, healing, etc. (Mark 16:17, 18), usually communicated
by the medium of the laying on of the hands of the apostles
(Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14). These charismata were enjoyed
only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church.
They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those
the capital of ancient Lycaonia. It was first visited by Paul
and Barnabas from Antioch-in-Pisidia during the apostle's first
missionary journey (Acts 13:50, 51). Here they were persecuted
by the Jews, and being driven from the city, they fled to
Lystra. They afterwards returned to Iconium, and encouraged the
church which had been founded there (14:21,22). It was probably
again visited by Paul during his third missionary journey along
with Silas (18:23). It is the modern Konieh, at the foot of
Mount Taurus, about 120 miles inland from the Mediterranean.
Kingdom of God
(Matt. 6:33; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43) = "kingdom of Christ"
(Matt. 13:41; 20:21) = "kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:5)
= "kingdom of David" (Mark 11:10) = "the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12;
13:19) = "kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 13:41), all
denote the same thing under different aspects, viz.: (1)
Christ's mediatorial authority, or his rule on the earth; (2)
the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from this
rule; (3) the subjects of this kingdom taken collectively, or
as represented by Ezekiel (1-10) and John (Rev. 4, etc.), are
the cherubim. They are distinguished from angels (Rev. 15:7);
they join the elders in the "new song" (5:8, 9); they warn of
danger from divine justice (Isa. 6:3-5), and deliver the
commission to those who execute it (Ezek. 10:2, 7); they
associate with the elders in their sympathy with the hundred and
forty-four thousand who sing the new song (Rev. 14:3), and with
the Church in the overthrow of her enemies (19:4).
They are supposed to represent mercy, as distinguished from
justice, mercy in its various instrumentalities, and especially
as connected with the throne of God, the "throne of grace."
the chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven
churches" was planted here (Rev. 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for
its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was
there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the
truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the
Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed
his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20
miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a
population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand
profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here,
and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the
a name figuratively given to Christ (Rev. 22:16; comp. 2 Pet.
1:19). When Christ promises that he will give the "morning star"
to his faithful ones, he "promises that he will give to them
himself, that he will give to them himself, that he will impart
to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion; for
the star is evermore the symbol of royalty (Matt. 2:2), being
therefore linked with the sceptre (Num. 24:17). All the glory of
the world shall end in being the glory of the Church." Trench's
house of bread. (1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah. It
was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11).
It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2),
Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and "the city of David" (Luke
2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel
died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of
the city (Gen. 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of
the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which
she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the
town. Here was David's birth-place, and here also, in after
years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:4-13); and
it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes
brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in
the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13-17). But it was distinguished
above every other city as the birth-place of "Him whose goings
forth have been of old" (Matt. 2:6; comp. Micah 5:2). Afterwards
Herod, "when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men," sent
and slew "all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all
the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" (Matt. 2:16,
18; Jer. 31:15).
Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e., "house of
flesh." It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, standing at an
elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus 100 feet
higher than Jerusalem.
There is a church still existing, built by Constantine the
Great (A.D. 330), called the "Church of the Nativity," over a
grotto or cave called the "holy crypt," and said to be the
"stable" in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps the oldest
existing Christian church in the world. Close to it is another
grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to have spent
thirty years of his life in translating the Scriptures into
Latin. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
(2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Josh. 19:15. Now
Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west-north-west of
Ephesians, Epistle to
was written by Paul at Rome about the same time as that to the
Colossians, which in many points it resembles.
Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly
polemical, designed to refute certain theosophic errors that had
crept into the church there. That to the Ephesians does not seem
to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a
letter springing from Paul's love to the church there, and
indicative of his earnest desire that they should be fully
instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains
(1) the salutation (1:1, 2); (2) a general description of the
blessings the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which
they are attained, purpose for which they are bestowed, and
their final result, with a fervent prayer for the further
spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (1:3-2:10); (3) "a record
of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile
believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's
selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom,
a fact so considered as to keep them from being dispirited, and
to lead him to pray for enlarged spiritual benefactions on his
absent sympathizers" (2:12-3:21); (4) a chapter on unity as
undisturbed by diversity of gifts (4:1-16); (5) special
injunctions bearing on ordinary life (4:17-6:10); (6) the
imagery of a spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and
valedictory blessing (6:11-24).
Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried
visit for the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in
Acts 18:19-21. The work he began on this occasion was carried
forward by Apollos (24-26) and Aquila and Priscilla. On his
second visit, early in the following year, he remained at
Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key to the
western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and
effectual" was opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9), and the church was
established and strengthened by his assiduous labours there
(Acts 20:20, 31). From Ephesus as a centre the gospel spread
abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (19:26). The word "mightily
grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution
On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at
Miletus, and summoning together the elders of the church from
Ephesus, delivered to them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts
20:18-35), expecting to see them no more.
The following parallels between this epistle and the Milesian
charge may be traced:
(1.) Acts 20:19 = Eph. 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind"
occurs nowhere else.
(2.) Acts 20:27 = Eph. 1:11. The word "counsel," as denoting
the divine plan, occurs only here and Heb. 6:17.
(3.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 3:20. The divine ability.
(4.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 2:20. The building upon the foundation.
(5.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 1:14, 18. "The inheritance of the
Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently
written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (3:1; 4:1;
6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there, about the year
62, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at
Miletus. The subscription of this epistle is correct.
There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing
of this letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not
polemical. No errors had sprung up in the church which he sought
to point out and refute. The object of the apostle is "to set
forth the ground, the cause, and the aim and end of the church
of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type
or sample of the church universal." The church's foundations,
its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the
foundation of the church is the will of the Father; the course
of the church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the
church is the life in the Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the
Romans, Paul writes from the point of view of justification by
the imputed righteousness of Christ; here he writes from the
point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and hence of
the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the
profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the
lowest depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest
heights of Christian experience;" and the fact that the apostle
evidently expected the Ephesians to understand it is an evidence
of the "proficiency which Paul's converts had attained under his
preaching at Ephesus."
Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians
(q.v.). "The letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of
pastoral zeal and attachment, written without reserve and in
unaffected simplicity; sentiments come warm from the heart,
without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious arrangement of
a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar
transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of
coloquial idiom, and so much of conversational frankness and
vivacity, that the reader associates the image of the writer
with every paragraph, and the ear seems to catch and recognize
the very tones of living address." "Is it then any matter of
amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that two
written about the same time should have so much in common and so
much that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and
subject between the epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike
every reader. Their precise relation to each other has given
rise to much discussion. The great probability is that the
epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages in
Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the
appearance of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse.
Eph 1:7; Col 1:14
Eph 1:10; Col 1:20
Eph 3:2; Col 1:25
Eph 5:19; Col 3:16
Eph 6:22; Col 4:8
Eph 1:19-2:5; Col 2:12,13
Eph 4:2-4; Col 3:12-15
Eph 4:16; Col 2:19
Eph 4:32; Col 3:13
Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10
Eph 5:6-8; Col 3:6-8
Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5
Eph 6:19,20; Col 4:3,4
Eph 5:22-6:9; Col 3:18-4:1
"The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and
corresponds with the state of the apostle's mind at the time of
writing. Overjoyed with the account which their messenger had
brought him of their faith and holiness (Eph. 1:15), and
transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of
God displayed in the work of man's redemption, and of his
astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers
through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars
high in his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his
thoughts utterance in sublime and copious expression."
(1 Cor. 11:20), called also "the Lord's table" (10:21),
"communion," "cup of blessing" (10:16), and "breaking of bread"
In the early Church it was called also "eucharist," or giving
of thanks (comp. Matt. 26:27), and generally by the Latin Church
"mass," a name derived from the formula of dismission, Ite,
missa est, i.e., "Go, it is discharged."
The account of the institution of this ordinance is given in
Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19, 20, and 1 Cor.
11:24-26. It is not mentioned by John.
It was designed, (1.) To commemorate the death of Christ:
"This do in remembrance of me." (2.) To signify, seal, and apply
to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. In this
ordinance Christ ratifies his promises to his people, and they
on their part solemnly consecrate themselves to him and to his
entire service. (3.) To be a badge of the Christian profession.
(4.) To indicate and to promote the communion of believers with
Christ. (5.) To represent the mutual communion of believers with
The elements used to represent Christ's body and blood are
bread and wine. The kind of bread, whether leavened or
unleavened, is not specified. Christ used unleavened bread
simply because it was at that moment on the paschal table. Wine,
and no other liquid, is to be used (Matt. 26:26-29). Believers
"feed" on Christ's body and blood, (1) not with the mouth in any
manner, but (2) by the soul alone, and (3) by faith, which is
the mouth or hand of the soul. This they do (4) by the power of
the Holy Ghost. This "feeding" on Christ, however, takes place
not in the Lord's Supper alone, but whenever faith in him is
This is a permanent ordinance in the Church of Christ, and is
to be observed "till he come" again.
portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together
with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a
family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible
localities about the identification of which there can be no
doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron,
"before Mamre." Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Sarah,
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31;
50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected,
probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This
church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is
surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., "the sacred enclosure," about
200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50.
This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and
the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by
some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon,
while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon
as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture.
On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as
monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath.
Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular
opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of
Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was
embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed
bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in
Egypt, see PHARAOH ¯T0002923), though those of the others there
buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of
the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a
special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting
account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley's Lectures on the
Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of
Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany,
then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the
two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson
and others. (See Israel Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
a name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person
clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence
(Gen. 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num. 22:7). The
"elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of
authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Ex. 3:16). They
attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them
attended on him at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:1). Seventy
also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the
burden of the people (Num. 11:16, 17). The "elder" is the
keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the
patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case
among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the
highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of
Israel were the representatives of the people from the very
first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through
the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as
exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors
(Deut. 31:28), as local magistrates (16:18), administering
justice (19:12). They were men of extensive influence (1 Sam.
30:26-31). In New Testament times they also appear taking an
active part in public affairs (Matt. 16:21; 21:23; 26:59).
The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation
to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere
recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and
apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new
and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from
the earlies times. In other words, the office of elder was the
only permanent essential office of the church under either
The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors"
(Eph. 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Acts 20:28), "leaders" and
"rulers" (Heb. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in
the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one
and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called
presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also
called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay
upon him (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; Phil. 1:1).
Romans, Epistle to the
This epistle was probably written at Corinth. Phoebe (Rom. 16:1)
of Cenchrea conveyed it to Rome, and Gaius of Corinth
entertained the apostle at the time of his writing it (16:23; 1
Cor. 1:14), and Erastus was chamberlain of the city, i.e., of
Corinth (2 Tim. 4:20).
The precise time at which it was written is not mentioned in
the epistle, but it was obviously written when the apostle was
about to "go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints", i.e.,
at the close of his second visit to Greece, during the winter
preceding his last visit to that city (Rom. 15:25; comp. Acts
19:21; 20:2, 3, 16; 1 Cor. 16:1-4), early in A.D. 58.
It is highly probable that Christianity was planted in Rome by
some of those who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost
(Acts 2:10). At this time the Jews were very numerous in Rome,
and their synagogues were probably resorted to by Romans also,
who in this way became acquainted with the great facts regarding
Jesus as these were reported among the Jews. Thus a church
composed of both Jews and Gentiles was formed at Rome. Many of
the brethren went out to meet Paul on his approach to Rome.
There are evidences that Christians were then in Rome in
considerable numbers, and had probably more than one place of
meeting (Rom. 16:14, 15).
The object of the apostle in writing to this church was to
explain to them the great doctrines of the gospel. His epistle
was a "word in season." Himself deeply impressed with a sense of
the value of the doctrines of salvation, he opens up in a clear
and connected form the whole system of the gospel in its
relation both to Jew and Gentile. This epistle is peculiar in
this, that it is a systematic exposition of the gospel of
universal application. The subject is here treated
argumentatively, and is a plea for Gentiles addressed to Jews.
In the Epistle to the Galatians, the same subject is discussed,
but there the apostle pleads his own authority, because the
church in Galatia had been founded by him.
After the introduction (1:1-15), the apostle presents in it
divers aspects and relations the doctrine of justification by
faith (1:16-11:36) on the ground of the imputed righteousness of
Christ. He shows that salvation is all of grace, and only of
grace. This main section of his letter is followed by various
practical exhortations (12:1-15:13), which are followed by a
conclusion containing personal explanations and salutations,
which contain the names of twenty-four Christians at Rome, a
benediction, and a doxology (Rom. 15:14-ch. 16).
cutting around. This rite, practised before, as some think, by
divers races, was appointed by God to be the special badge of
his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration to him.
It was established as a national ordinance (Gen. 17:10, 11). In
compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine
years of age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who
was thirteen years old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or
purchased, were circumcised (17:12, 13); and all foreigners must
have their males circumcised before they could enjoy the
privileges of Jewish citizenship (Ex. 12:48). During the journey
through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into
disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they
entered the Promised Land (Josh. 5:2-9). It was observed always
afterwards among the tribes of israel, although it is not
expressly mentioned from the time of the settlement in Canaan
till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The Jews prided
themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judg.
14:3; 15:18; 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26; 2 Sam. 1:20; Ezek. 31:18).
As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times
began (Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to
impose it, however, on the Gentile converts; but this the
apostles resolutely resisted (Acts 15:1; Gal. 6:12). Our Lord
was circumcised, for it "became him to fulfil all
righteousness," as of the seed of Abraham, according to the
flesh; and Paul "took and circumcised" Timothy (Acts 16:3), to
avoid giving offence to the Jews. It would render Timothy's
labours more acceptable to the Jews. But Paul would by no means
consent to the demand that Titus should be circumcised (Gal.
2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was the free
admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He
contended successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to
circumcision. It was the symbol of purity (Isa. 52:1). We read
of uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:12, 30), ears (Jer. 6:10), hearts
(Lev. 26:41). The fruit of a tree that is unclean is spoken of
as uncircumcised (Lev. 19:23).
It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of
the national covenant between God and the Hebrews. (1.) It
sealed the promises made to Abraham, which related to the
commonwealth of Israel, national promises. (2.) But the promises
made to Abraham included the promise of redemption (Gal. 3:14),
a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham was
a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and
circumcision was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a
spiritual meaning. It signified purification of the heart,
inward circumcision effected by the Spirit (Deut. 10:16; 30:6;
Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:28; Col. 2:11). Circumcision as a
symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now
given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth
embodied in both ordinances is ever the same, the removal of
sin, the sanctifying effects of grace in the heart.
Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were
identical. No one could be a member of the one without also
being a member of the other. Circumcision was a sign and seal of
membership in both. Every circumcised person bore thereby
evidence that he was one of the chosen people, a member of the
church of God as it then existed, and consequently also a member
of the Jewish commonwealth.
spoken of counsellors who sat in public trials with the governor
of a province (Acts 25:12).
The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of
the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the
"judgment," perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of
Israel (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the
functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor.
11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word "council" means simply a company
of persons. (R.V. marg., "company.")
In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an
assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation
of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the
apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed
account in Acts 15.
a city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a
colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). It contained latterly a large
number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy,
the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to
the security of the place. They increased in number and
influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references
to them in connection with the early history of Christianity.
Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place
(Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at
Pentecost (Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at
Jerusalem (6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the
formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (11:20). Among
"the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at
Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (13:1).
the common name of the spot where Jesus was crucified. It is
interpreted by the evangelists as meaning "the place of a skull"
(Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). This name represents in
Greek letters the Aramaic word Gulgaltha, which is the Hebrew
Gulgoleth (Num. 1:2; 1 Chr. 23:3, 24; 2 Kings 9:35), meaning "a
skull." It is identical with the word Calvary (q.v.). It was a
little knoll rounded like a bare skull. It is obvious from the
evangelists that it was some well-known spot outside the gate
(comp. Heb. 13:12), and near the city (Luke 23:26), containing a
"garden" (John 19:41), and on a thoroughfare leading into the
country. Hence it is an untenable idea that it is embraced
within the present "Church of the Holy Sepulchre." The hillock
above Jeremiah's Grotto, to the north of the city, is in all
probability the true site of Calvary. The skull-like appearance
of the rock in the southern precipice of the hillock is very
(Heb. kinnor), the national instrument of the Hebrews. It was
invented by Jubal (Gen. 4:21). Some think the word _kinnor_
denotes the whole class of stringed instruments. It was used as
an accompaniment to songs of cheerfulness as well as of praise
to God (Gen. 31:27; 1 Sam. 16:23; 2 Chr. 20:28; Ps. 33:2;
In Solomon's time harps were made of almug-trees (1 Kings
10:11, 12). In 1 Chr. 15:21 mention is made of "harps on the
Sheminith;" Revised Version, "harps set to the Sheminith;"
better perhaps "harps of eight strings." The soothing effect of
the music of the harp is referred to 1 Sam. 16:16, 23; 18:10;
19:9. The church in heaven is represented as celebrating the
triumphs of the Redeemer "harping with their harps" (Rev. 14:2).
from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion
chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the
Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without
reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New
Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks
"heresies" with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also
denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In
Titus 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own
self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus
came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2
Maccabees, Books of the
There were originally five books of the Maccabees. The first
contains a history of the war of independence, commencing (B.C.
175) in a series of patriotic struggles against the tyranny of
Antiochus Epiphanes, and terminating B.C. 135. It became part of
the Vulgate Version of the Bible, and was thus retained among
The second gives a history of the Maccabees' struggle from
B.C. 176 to B.C. 161. Its object is to encourage and admonish
the Jews to be faithful to the religion of their fathers.
The third does not hold a place in the Apocrypha, but is read
in the Greek Church. Its design is to comfort the Alexandrian
Jews in their persecution. Its writer was evidently an
The fourth was found in the Library of Lyons, but was
afterwards burned. The fifth contains a history of the Jews from
B.C. 184 to B.C. 86. It is a compilation made by a Jew after the
destruction of Jerusalem, from ancient memoirs, to which he had
access. It need scarcely be added that none of these books has
any divine authority.
the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so
designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth
undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made
manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other
doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully
understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1
Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized
by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven
stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman
clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The
anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle
(2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
Solomon, Song of
called also, after the Vulgate, the "Canticles." It is the "song
of songs" (1:1), as being the finest and most precious of its
kind; the noblest song, "das Hohelied," as Luther calls it. The
Solomonic authorship of this book has been called in question,
but evidences, both internal and external, fairly establish the
traditional view that it is the product of Solomon's pen. It is
an allegorical poem setting forth the mutual love of Christ and
the Church, under the emblem of the bridegroom and the bride.
(Compare Matt. 9:15; John 3:29; Eph. 5:23, 27, 29; Rev. 19:7-9;
21:2, 9; 22:17. Compare also Ps. 45; Isa. 54:4-6; 62:4, 5; Jer.
2:2; 3:1, 20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 2:16, 19, 20.)
Timothy, First Epistle to
Paul in this epistle speaks of himself as having left Ephesus
for Macedonia (1:3), and hence not Laodicea, as mentioned in the
subscription; but probably Philippi, or some other city in that
region, was the place where this epistle was written. During the
interval between his first and second imprisonments he probably
visited the scenes of his former labours in Greece and Asia, and
then found his way into Macedonia, whence he wrote this letter
to Timothy, whom he had left behind in Ephesus.
It was probably written about A.D. 66 or 67.
The epistle consists mainly, (1) of counsels to Timothy
regarding the worship and organization of the Church, and the
responsibilities resting on its several members; and (2) of
exhortation to faithfulness in maintaining the truth amid
sunny; height, one of the eminences on which Jerusalem was
built. It was surrounded on all sides, except the north, by deep
valleys, that of the Tyropoeon (q.v.) separating it from Moriah
(q.v.), which it surpasses in height by 105 feet. It was the
south-eastern hill of Jerusalem.
When David took it from the Jebusites (Josh. 15:63; 2 Sam.
5:7) he built on it a citadel and a palace, and it became "the
city of David" (1 Kings 8:1; 2 Kings 19:21, 31; 1 Chr. 11:5). In
the later books of the Old Testament this name was sometimes
used (Ps. 87:2; 149:2; Isa. 33:14; Joel 2:1) to denote Jerusalem
in general, and sometimes God's chosen Israel (Ps. 51:18; 87:5).
In the New Testament (see SION ¯T0003448) it is used sometimes
to denote the Church of God (Heb. 12:22), and sometimes the
heavenly city (Rev. 14:1).
the apostolic letters. The New Testament contains twenty-one in
all. They are divided into two classes. (1.) Paul's Epistles,
fourteen in number, including Hebrews. These are not arranged in
the New Testament in the order of time as to their composition,
but rather according to the rank of the cities or places to
which they were sent. Who arranged them after this manner is
unknown. Paul's letters were, as a rule, dictated to an
amanuensis, a fact which accounts for some of their
peculiarities. He authenticated them, however, by adding a few
words in his own hand at the close. (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO
The epistles to Timothy and Titus are styled the Pastoral
(2.) The Catholic or General Epistles, so called because they
are not addressed to any particular church or city or
individual, but to Christians in general, or to Christians in
several countries. Of these, three are written by John, two by
Peter, and one each by James and Jude.
It is an interesting and instructive fact that a large portion
of the New Testament is taken up with epistles. The doctrines of
Christianity are thus not set forth in any formal treatise, but
mainly in a collection of letters. "Christianity was the first
great missionary religion. It was the first to break the bonds
of race and aim at embracing all mankind. But this necessarily
involved a change in the mode in which it was presented. The
prophet of the Old Testament, if he had anything to communicate,
either appeared in person or sent messengers to speak for him by
word of mouth. The narrow limits of Israel made direct
personal communication easy. But the case was different when the
Christian Church came to consist of a number of scattered parts,
stretching from Mesopotamia in the east to Rome or even Spain in
the far west. It was only natural that the apostle by whom the
greater number of these communities had been founded should seek
to communicate with them by letter."
flight, or, according to others, stranger, an Egyptian, Sarah's
handmaid (Gen. 16:1; 21:9, 10), whom she gave to Abraham (q.v.)
as a secondary wife (16:2). When she was about to become a
mother she fled from the cruelty of her mistress, intending
apparently to return to her relatives in Egypt, through the
desert of Shur, which lay between. Wearied and worn she had
reached the place she distinguished by the name of
Beer-lahai-roi ("the well of the visible God"), where the angel
of the Lord appeared to her. In obedience to the heavenly
visitor she returned to the tent of Abraham, where her son
Ishmael was born, and where she remained (16) till after the
birth of Isaac, the space of fourteen years. Sarah after this
began to vent her dissatisfaction both on Hagar and her child.
Ishmael's conduct was insulting to Sarah, and she insisted that
he and his mother should be dismissed. This was accordingly
done, although with reluctance on the part of Abraham (Gen.
21:14). They wandered out into the wilderness, where Ishmael,
exhausted with his journey and faint from thirst, seemed about
to die. Hagar "lifted up her voice and wept," and the angel of
the Lord, as before, appeared unto her, and she was comforted
and delivered out of her distresses (Gen. 21:18, 19).
Ishmael afterwards established himself in the wilderness of
Paran, where he married an Egyptian (Gen. 21:20,21).
"Hagar" allegorically represents the Jewish church (Gal.
4:24), in bondage to the ceremonial law; while "Sarah"
represents the Christian church, which is free.
the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It
is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament
was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of
the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of
which the half were slaves, and including representatives of
nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its
wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the
capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.
On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers
from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings
of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church
there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he
remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) "in his own hired
house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians,
to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably
also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions
Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1),
Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark
(Col. 4:10). (See PAUL ¯T0002871.)
Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs,"
which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the
inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some
three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of
persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand
inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an
interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down
to the time of Constantine.
Thessalonians, Epistles to the
The first epistle to the Thessalonians was the first of all
Paul's epistles. It was in all probability written from Corinth,
where he abode a "long time" (Acts 18:11, 18), early in the
period of his residence there, about the end of A.D. 52.
The occasion of its being written was the return of Timotheus
from Macedonia, bearing tidings from Thessalonica regarding the
state of the church there (Acts 18:1-5; 1 Thess. 3:6). While, on
the whole, the report of Timothy was encouraging, it also showed
that divers errors and misunderstandings regarding the tenor of
Paul's teaching had crept in amongst them. He addresses them in
this letter with the view of correcting these errors, and
especially for the purpose of exhorting them to purity of life,
reminding them that their sanctification was the great end
desired by God regarding them.
The subscription erroneously states that this epistle was
written from Athens.
The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably also
written from Corinth, and not many months after the first.
The occasion of the writing of this epistle was the arrival of
tidings that the tenor of the first epistle had been
misunderstood, especially with reference to the second advent of
Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had
taught that "the day of Christ was at hand", that Christ's
coming was just about to happen. This error is corrected
(2:1-12), and the apostle prophetically announces what first
must take place. "The apostasy" was first to arise. Various
explanations of this expression have been given, but that which
is most satisfactory refers it to the Church of Rome.
Acts of the Apostles
the title now given to the fifth and last of the historical
books of the New Testament. The author styles it a "treatise"
(1:1). It was early called "The Acts," "The Gospel of the Holy
Ghost," and "The Gospel of the Resurrection." It contains
properly no account of any of the apostles except Peter and
Paul. John is noticed only three times; and all that is recorded
of James, the son of Zebedee, is his execution by Herod. It is
properly therefore not the history of the "Acts of the
Apostles," a title which was given to the book at a later date,
but of "Acts of Apostles," or more correctly, of "Some Acts of
As regards its authorship, it was certainly the work of Luke,
the "beloved physician" (comp. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). This is
the uniform tradition of antiquity, although the writer nowhere
makes mention of himself by name. The style and idiom of the
Gospel of Luke and of the Acts, and the usage of words and
phrases common to both, strengthen this opinion. The writer
first appears in the narrative in 16:11, and then disappears
till Paul's return to Philippi two years afterwards, when he and
Paul left that place together (20:6), and the two seem
henceforth to have been constant companions to the end. He was
certainly with Paul at Rome (28; Col. 4:14). Thus he wrote a
great portion of that history from personal observation. For
what lay beyond his own experience he had the instruction of
Paul. If, as is very probable, 2 Tim. was written during Paul's
second imprisonment at Rome, Luke was with him then as his
faithful companion to the last (2 Tim. 4:11). Of his subsequent
history we have no certain information.
The design of Luke's Gospel was to give an exhibition of the
character and work of Christ as seen in his history till he was
taken up from his disciples into heaven; and of the Acts, as its
sequel, to give an illustration of the power and working of the
gospel when preached among all nations, "beginning at
Jerusalem." The opening sentences of the Acts are just an
expansion and an explanation of the closing words of the Gospel.
In this book we have just a continuation of the history of the
church after Christ's ascension. Luke here carries on the
history in the same spirit in which he had commenced it. It is
only a book of beginnings, a history of the founding of
churches, the initial steps in the formation of the Christian
society in the different places visited by the apostles. It
records a cycle of "representative events."
All through the narrative we see the ever-present,
all-controlling power of the ever-living Saviour. He worketh all
and in all in spreading abroad his truth among men by his Spirit
and through the instrumentality of his apostles.
The time of the writing of this history may be gathered from
the fact that the narrative extends down to the close of the
second year of Paul's first imprisonment at Rome. It could not
therefore have been written earlier than A.D. 61 or 62, nor
later than about the end of A.D. 63. Paul was probably put to
death during his second imprisonment, about A.D. 64, or, as some
The place where the book was written was probably Rome, to
which Luke accompanied Paul.
The key to the contents of the book is in 1:8, "Ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." After
referring to what had been recorded in a "former treatise" of
the sayings and doings of Jesus Christ before his ascension, the
author proceeds to give an account of the circumstances
connected with that event, and then records the leading facts
with reference to the spread and triumphs of Christianity over
the world during a period of about thirty years. The record
begins with Pentecost (A.D. 33) and ends with Paul's first
imprisonment (A.D. 63 or 64). The whole contents of the book may
be divided into these three parts:
(1.) Chaps. 1-12, describing the first twelve years of the
Christian church. This section has been entitled "From Jerusalem
to Antioch." It contains the history of the planting and
extension of the church among the Jews by the ministry of Peter.
(2.) Chaps. 13-21, Paul's missionary journeys, giving the
history of the extension and planting of the church among the
(3.) Chaps. 21-28, Paul at Rome, and the events which led to
this. Chaps. 13-28 have been entitled "From Antioch to Rome."
In this book it is worthy of note that no mention is made of
the writing by Paul of any of his epistles. This may be
accounted for by the fact that the writer confined himself to a
history of the planting of the church, and not to that of its
training or edification. The relation, however, between this
history and the epistles of Paul is of such a kind, i.e., brings
to light so many undesigned coincidences, as to prove the
genuineness and authenticity of both, as is so ably shown by
Paley in his _Horae Paulinae_. "No ancient work affords so many
tests of veracity; for no other has such numerous points of
contact in all directions with contemporary history, politics,
and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman." Lightfoot.
(See PAUL ¯T0002871.)
a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once
used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of
the Father (Heb. 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally
used as designating the body of disciples to whom he intrusted
the organization of his church and the dissemination of his
gospel, "the twelve," as they are called (Matt. 10:1-5; Mark
3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles,
one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark
3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the Acts (1:13). No two of these
lists, however, perfectly coincide.
Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the gift
of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of
his church (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-15). To them, as
representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the
gospel to every creature" (Matt. 28:18-20). After his ascension
he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural
gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts
2:4; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2:7, 10, 13; 2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 11:2). Judas
Iscariot, one of "the twelve," fell by transgression, and
Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Saul of
Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4;
26:15-18; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11).
Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two
Jameses (Acts 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18), but beyond this we know
nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original
twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2),
James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the
apostle of the uncircumcision," usually travelled as a
missionary among the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8). It was characteristic
of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the
Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection
from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 9:1;
Acts 22:14, 15). (2.) They must have been immediately called to
that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1). (3.) It was
essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus
secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching,
whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess.
(4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles
(Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore
could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative
teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle
ceased with its first holders.
In 2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25 the word "messenger" is the
rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."
Corinthians, First Epistle to the
was written from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8) about the time of the
Passover in the third year of the apostle's sojourn there (Acts
19:10; 20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit
Macedonia, and then return to Corinth (probably A.D. 57).
The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth
frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions
that had arisen among them, first from Apollos (Acts 19:1), and
then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also
from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and
his two friends who had visited him (1 Cor. 1:11; 16:17). Paul
thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the
factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had
sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and
disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose
name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter (2
Cor. 2:13; 8:6, 16-18).
The epistle may be divided into four parts:
(1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable
divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them (1 Cor.
(2.) He next treats of certain cases of immorality that had
become notorious among them. They had apparently set at nought
the very first principles of morality (5; 6).
(3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of
doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain
communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies
certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's
(4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate
defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which
had been called in question by some among them, followed by some
general instructions, intimations, and greetings.
This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle
in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances,
his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was
written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction
and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' (2 Cor. 2:4);
yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with
a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win
back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early
church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic
church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or
purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and
applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages
in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they
This is one of the epistles the authenticity of which has
never been called in question by critics of any school, so many
and so conclusive are the evidences of its Pauline origin.
The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the
Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error
arose from a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 16:5, "For I do pass
through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am
passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of
remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose
is to "pass through Macedonia."
conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit
intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a
woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and
an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a
great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected
wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy."
There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of
this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various
regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and
of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John
8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding
the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery
spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev.
2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek.
23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation"
(Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)
house of mercy, a reservoir (Gr. kolumbethra, "a swimming bath")
with five porches, close to the sheep-gate or market (Neh. 3:1;
John 5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the
sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha"
(John 5:2, R.V. marg.). Under these "porches" or colonnades were
usually a large number of infirm people waiting for the
"troubling of the water." It is usually identified with the
modern so-called Fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of the
Kidron, and not far from the Pool of Siloam (q.v.); and also
with the Birket Israel, a pool near the mouth of the valley
which runs into the Kidron south of "St. Stephen's Gate." Others
again identify it with the twin pools called the "Souterrains,"
under the convent of the Sisters of Zion, situated in what must
have been the rock-hewn ditch between Bezetha and the fortress
of Antonia. But quite recently Schick has discovered a large
tank, as sketched here, situated about 100 feet north-west of
St. Anne's Church, which is, as he contends, very probably the
Pool of Bethesda. No certainty as to its identification,
however, has as yet been arrived at. (See FOUNTAIN ¯T0001378;
one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles
long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian
coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24).
The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus,
i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE ¯T0000701), which grew on this
island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477
it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman
province B.C. 58. In ancient times it was a centre of great
commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in
the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in
It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the
native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first
missionary labours (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark
were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards
visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an "old
disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost
belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also
mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3;
27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it
was given up to the British Government in 1878.
the name given by the Greek fathers to the ten commandments;
"the ten words," as the original is more literally rendered (Ex.
20:3-17). These commandments were at first written on two stone
slabs (31:18), which were broken by Moses throwing them down on
the ground (32:19). They were written by God a second time
(34:1). The decalogue is alluded to in the New Testament five
times (Matt. 5:17, 18, 19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 7:7, 8;
13:9; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10).
These commandments have been divided since the days of Origen
the Greek father, as they stand in the Confession of all the
Reformed Churches except the Lutheran. The division adopted by
Luther, and which has ever since been received in the Lutheran
Church, makes the first two commandments one, and the third the
second, and so on to the last, which is divided into two. "Thou
shalt not covet thy neighbour's house" being ranked as ninth,
and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife," etc., the
tenth. (See COMMANDMENTS ¯T0000871.)
Tents were in primitive times the common dwellings of men.
Houses were afterwards built, the walls of which were frequently
of mud (Job 24:16; Matt. 6:19, 20) or of sun-dried bricks.
God "dwells in light" (1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 1:7), in heaven
(Ps. 123:1), in his church (Ps. 9:11; 1 John 4:12). Christ dwelt
on earth in the days of his humiliation (John 1:14). He now
dwells in the hearts of his people (Eph. 3:17-19). The Holy
Spirit dwells in believers (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14). We are
exhorted to "let the word of God dwell in us richly" (Col. 3:16;
Dwell deep occurs only in Jer. 49:8, and refers to the custom
of seeking refuge from impending danger, in retiring to the
recesses of rocks and caverns, or to remote places in the
that which is out of sight, a Greek word used to denote the
state or place of the dead. All the dead alike go into this
place. To be buried, to go down to the grave, to descend into
hades, are equivalent expressions. In the LXX. this word is the
usual rendering of the Hebrew sheol, the common receptacle of
the departed (Gen. 42:38; Ps. 139:8; Hos. 13:14; Isa. 14:9).
This term is of comparatively rare occurrence in the Greek New
Testament. Our Lord speaks of Capernaum as being "brought down
to hell" (hades), i.e., simply to the lowest debasement, (Matt.
11:23). It is contemplated as a kind of kingdom which could
never overturn the foundation of Christ's kingdom (16:18), i.e.,
Christ's church can never die.
In Luke 16:23 it is most distinctly associated with the doom
and misery of the lost.
In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the LXX. version of Ps. 16:8-11,
plainly for the purpose of proving our Lord's resurrection from
the dead. David was left in the place of the dead, and his body
saw corruption. Not so with Christ. According to ancient
prophecy (Ps. 30:3) he was recalled to life.
i.e., "fiftieth", found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1;
20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in
Ex. 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again in Ex. 34:22 as
"the day of the firstfruits" (Num. 28:26). From the sixteenth of
the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven
complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and
this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it
was to be kept is described in Lev. 23:15-19; Num. 28:27-29.
Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one
was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering"
(Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate
the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature
was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn
of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved
before the Lord as a thank offering.
The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the
day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on
which, under Peter's preaching, so many thousands were converted
in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we
have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers
of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at
the instigation of his wife Jezebel, "a woman in whom, with the
reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united
the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic
race", sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the
worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of
Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab's example in this respect was followed
by Manasseh, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had
filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16; comp.
24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God
have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the
Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of
subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad
record may be made.
Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel
by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12).
The words of Ps. 7:13, "He ordaineth his arrows against the
persecutors," ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, "He
maketh his arrows fiery [shafts]."
(1.) Formerly Crenides, "the fountain," the capital of the
province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about
8 miles north-west of Kavalla. It is now a ruined village,
called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old
Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name
Philippi (B.C. 359-336). In the time of the Emperor Augustus
this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of
Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the
district recently conquered. It was a "miniature Rome," under
the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers,
called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having
been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion
Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe.
(See LYDIA ¯T0002339.) This success stirred up the enmity of the
people, and they were "shamefully entreated" (Acts 16:9-40; 1
Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and
proceeded to Amphipolis (q.v.).
(2.) When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to
the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he
enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honour
of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea
on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and
called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).
(an old name for the lime-tree, the tilia), Isa. 6:13, the
terebinth, or turpentine-tree, the Pistacia terebinthus of
botanists. The Hebrew word here used (elah) is rendered oak
(q.v.) in Gen. 35:4; Judg. 6:11, 19; Isa. 1:29, etc. In Isa.
61:3 it is rendered in the plural "trees;" Hos. 4:13, "elm"
(R.V., "terebinth"). Hos. 4:13, "elm" (R.V., "terebinth"). In 1
Sam. 17:2, 19 it is taken as a proper name, "Elah" (R.V. marg.,
"The terebinth of Mamre, or its lineal successor, remained
from the days of Abraham till the fourth century of the
Christian era, and on its site Constantine erected a Christian
church, the ruins of which still remain."
This tree "is seldom seen in clumps or groves, never in
forests, but stands isolated and weird-like in some bare ravine
or on a hill-side where nothing else towers above the low
a section of the western wall of the temple area, where the Jews
assemble every Friday afternoon to bewail their desolate
condition (Ps. 79:1, 4, 5). The stones in this part of the wall
are of great size, and were placed, as is generally believed, in
the position in which they are now found in the time of Solomon.
"The congregation at the wailing-place is one of the most solemn
gatherings left to the Jewish Church, and as the writer gazed at
the motley concourse he experienced a feeling of sorrow that the
remnants of the chosen race should be heartlessly thrust outside
the sacred enclosure of their fathers' holy temple by men of an
alien race and an alien creed. Many of the elders, seated on the
ground, with their backs against the wall, on the west side of
the area, and with their faces turned toward the eternal house,
read out of their well-thumbed Hebrew books passages from the
prophetic writings, such as Isa. 64:9-12" (King's Recent
Discoveries, etc.). The wailing-place of the Jews, viewed in its
past spiritual and historic relations, is indeed "the saddest
nook in this vale of tears." (See LAMENTATIONS, BOOK OF
Colossians, Epistle to the
was written by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment there
(Acts 28:16, 30), probably in the spring of A.D. 57, or, as some
think, 62, and soon after he had written his Epistle to the
Ephesians. Like some of his other epistles (e.g., those to
Corinth), this seems to have been written in consequence of
information which had somehow been conveyed to him of the
internal state of the church there (Col. 1:4-8). Its object was
to counteract false teaching. A large part of it is directed
against certain speculatists who attempted to combine the
doctrines of Oriental mysticism and asceticism with
Christianity, thereby promising the disciples the enjoyment of a
higher spiritual life and a deeper insight into the world of
spirits. Paul argues against such teaching, showing that in
Christ Jesus they had all things. He sets forth the majesty of
his redemption. The mention of the "new moon" and "sabbath days"
(2:16) shows also that there were here Judaizing teachers who
sought to draw away the disciples from the simplicity of the
Like most of Paul's epistles, this consists of two parts, a
doctrinal and a practical.
(1.) The doctrinal part comprises the first two chapters. His
main theme is developed in chapter 2. He warns them against
being drawn away from Him in whom dwelt all the fulness of the
Godhead, and who was the head of all spiritual powers. Christ
was the head of the body of which they were members; and if they
were truly united to him, what needed they more?
(2.) The practical part of the epistle (3-4) enforces various
duties naturally flowing from the doctrines expounded. They are
exhorted to mind things that are above (3:1-4), to mortify every
evil principle of their nature, and to put on the new man
(3:5-14). Many special duties of the Christian life are also
insisted upon as the fitting evidence of the Christian
character. Tychicus was the bearer of the letter, as he was also
of that to the Ephesians and to Philemon, and he would tell them
of the state of the apostle (4:7-9). After friendly greetings
(10-14), he bids them interchange this letter with that he had
sent to the neighbouring church of Laodicea. He then closes this
brief but striking epistle with his usual autograph salutation.
There is a remarkable resemblance between this epistle and that
to the Ephesians (q.v.). The genuineness of this epistle has not
been called in question.
help. (1.) A priest among those that returned to Jerusalem under
Zerubabel (Neh. 12:1).
(2.) The "scribe" who led the second body of exiles that
returned from Babylon to Jerusalem B.C. 459, and author of the
book of Scripture which bears his name. He was the son, or
perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal
descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). All we
know of his personal history is contained in the last four
chapters of his book, and in Neh. 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see
DARIUS ¯T0000975), he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and
to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes
manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him
"all his request," and loading him with gifts for the house of
God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about 5,000 in
all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the
banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were
put into order for their march across the desert, which was
completed in four months. His proceedings at Jerusalem on his
arrival there are recorded in his book.
He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared
his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach
in Israel statutes and judgments." "He is," says Professor
Binnie, "the first well-defined example of an order of men who
have never since ceased in the church; men of sacred erudition,
who devote their lives to the study of the Holy Scriptures, in
order that they may be in a condition to interpret them for the
instruction and edification of the church. It is significant
that the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of
Ezra's ministry (Neh. 8:4). He was much more of a teacher than a
priest. We learn from the account of his labours in the book of
Nehemiah that he was careful to have the whole people instructed
in the law of Moses; and there is no reason to reject the
constant tradition of the Jews which connects his name with the
collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The final
completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the
work of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much
into the shape in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible.
When it is added that the complete organization of the synagogue
dates from this period, it will be seen that the age was
emphatically one of Biblical study" (The Psalms: their History,
For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no
record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order
the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the nation. In that year
another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears on the scene.
After the ruined wall of the city had been built by Nehemiah,
there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem
preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day
the whole population assembled, and the law was read aloud to
them by Ezra and his assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene
is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening.
For successive days they held solemn assemblies, confessing
their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They kept also the
feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm,
and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's.
Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service
completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the
walls of the city (Neh. 12).
This word is used, (1.) To express the idea that the Egyptians
considered themselves as defiled when they ate with strangers
(Gen. 43:32). The Jews subsequently followed the same practice,
holding it unlawful to eat or drink with foreigners (John 18:28;
Acts 10:28; 11:3).
(2.) Every shepherd was "an abomination" unto the Egyptians
(Gen. 46:34). This aversion to shepherds, such as the Hebrews,
arose probably from the fact that Lower and Middle Egypt had
formerly been held in oppressive subjection by a tribe of nomad
shepherds (the Hyksos), who had only recently been expelled, and
partly also perhaps from this other fact that the Egyptians
detested the lawless habits of these wandering shepherds.
(3.) Pharaoh was so moved by the fourth plague, that while he
refused the demand of Moses, he offered a compromise, granting
to the Israelites permission to hold their festival and offer
their sacrifices in Egypt. This permission could not be
accepted, because Moses said they would have to sacrifice "the
abomination of the Egyptians" (Ex. 8:26); i.e., the cow or ox,
which all the Egyptians held as sacred, and which they regarded
it as sacrilegious to kill.
(4.) Daniel (11:31), in that section of his prophecies which
is generally interpreted as referring to the fearful calamities
that were to fall on the Jews in the time of Antiochus
Epiphanes, says, "And they shall place the abomination that
maketh desolate." Antiochus Epiphanes caused an altar to be
erected on the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were
offered to Jupiter Olympus. (Comp. 1 Macc. 1:57). This was the
abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem. The same language is
employed in Dan. 9:27 (comp. Matt. 24:15), where the reference
is probably to the image-crowned standards which the Romans set
up at the east gate of the temple (A.D. 70), and to which they
paid idolatrous honours. "Almost the entire religion of the
Roman camp consisted in worshipping the ensign, swearing by the
ensign, and in preferring the ensign before all other gods."
These ensigns were an "abomination" to the Jews, the
"abomination of desolation."
This word is also used symbolically of sin in general (Isa.
66:3); an idol (44:19); the ceremonies of the apostate Church of
Rome (Rev. 17:4); a detestable act (Ezek. 22:11).
among the Jews was suited to the climate and conditions of the
country. They probably adopted the kind of architecture for
their dwellings which they found already existing when they
entered Canaan (Deut. 6:10; Num. 13:19). Phoenician artists (2
Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5:6, 18) assisted at the erection of the
royal palace and the temple at Jerusalem. Foreigners also
assisted at the restoration of the temple after the Exile (Ezra
In Gen. 11:3, 9, we have the first recorded instance of the
erection of buildings. The cities of the plain of Shinar were
founded by the descendants of Shem (10:11, 12, 22).
The Israelites were by occupation shepherds and dwellers in
tents (Gen. 47:3); but from the time of their entering Canaan
they became dwellers in towns, and in houses built of the native
limestone of Israel. Much building was carried on in
Solomon's time. Besides the buildings he completed at Jerusalem,
he also built Baalath and Tadmor (1 Kings 9:15, 24). Many of the
kings of Israel and Judah were engaged in erecting various
Herod and his sons and successors restored the temple, and
built fortifications and other structures of great magnificence
in Jerusalem (Luke 21:5).
The instruments used in building are mentioned as the
plumb-line (Amos 7:7), the measuring-reed (Ezek. 40:3), and the
saw (1 Kings 7:9).
Believers are "God's building" (1 Cor. 3:9); and heaven is
called "a building of God" (2 Cor. 5:1). Christ is the only
foundation of his church (1 Cor. 3:10-12), of which he also is
the builder (Matt. 16:18).
the lamp-stand, "candelabrum," which Moses was commanded to make
for the tabernacle, according to the pattern shown him. Its form
is described in Ex. 25:31-40; 37:17-24, and may be seen
represented on the Arch of Titus at Rome. It was among the
spoils taken by the Romans from the temple of Jerusalem (A.D.
70). It was made of fine gold, and with the utensils belonging
to it was a talent in weight.
The tabernacle was a tent without windows, and thus artificial
light was needed. This was supplied by the candlestick, which,
however, served also as a symbol of the church or people of God,
who are "the light of the world." The light which "symbolizes
the knowledge of God is not the sun or any natural light, but an
artificial light supplied with a specially prepared oil; for the
knowledge of God is in truth not natural nor common to all men,
but furnished over and above nature."
This candlestick was placed on the south side of the Holy
Place, opposite the table of shewbread (Ex. 27:21; 30:7, 8; Lev.
24:3; 1 Sam. 3:3). It was lighted every evening, and was
extinguished in the morning. In the morning the priests trimmed
the seven lamps, borne by the seven branches, with golden
snuffers, carrying away the ashes in golden dishes (Ex. 25:38),
and supplying the lamps at the same time with fresh oil. What
ultimately became of the candlestick is unknown.
In Solomon's temple there were ten separate candlesticks of
pure gold, five on the right and five on the left of the Holy
Place (1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:7). Their structure is not
mentioned. They were carried away to Babylon (Jer. 52:19).
In the temple erected after the Exile there was again but one
candlestick, and like the first, with seven branches. It was
this which was afterwards carried away by Titus to Rome, where
it was deposited in the Temple of Peace. When Genseric plundered
Rome, he is said to have carried it to Carthage (A.D. 455). It
was recaptured by Belisarius (A.D. 533), and carried to
Constantinople and thence to Jerusalem, where it finally
(Heb. kahal), the Hebrew people collectively as a holy community
(Num. 15:15). Every circumcised Hebrew from twenty years old and
upward was a member of the congregation. Strangers resident in
the land, if circumcised, were, with certain exceptions (Ex.
12:19; Num. 9:14; Deut. 23:1-3), admitted to the privileges of
citizenship, and spoken of as members of the congregation (Ex.
12:19; Num. 9:14; 15:15). The congregation were summonded
together by the sound of two silver trumpets, and they met at
the door of the tabernacle (Num. 10:3). These assemblies were
convened for the purpose of engaging in solemn religious
services (Ex. 12:27; Num. 25:6; Joel 2:15), or of receiving new
commandments (Ex. 19:7, 8). The elders, who were summonded by
the sound of one trumpet (Num. 10:4), represented on various
occasions the whole congregation (Ex. 3:16; 12:21; 17:5; 24:1).
After the conquest of Canaan, the people were assembled only
on occasions of the highest national importance (Judg. 20; 2
Chr. 30:5; 34:29; 1 Sam. 10:17; 2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Kings 12:20; 2
Kings 11:19; 21:24; 23:30). In subsequent times the congregation
was represented by the Sanhedrim; and the name synagogue,
applied in the Septuagint version exclusively to the
congregation, came to be used to denote the places of worship
established by the Jews. (See CHURCH ¯T0000828.)
In Acts 13:43, where alone it occurs in the New Testament, it
is the same word as that rendered "synagogue" (q.v.) in ver. 42,
and is so rendered in ver. 43 in R.V.
a Grecian city, on the isthmus which joins the Peloponnesus to
the mainland of Greece. It is about 48 miles west of Athens. The
ancient city was destroyed by the Romans (B.C. 146), and that
mentioned in the New Testament was quite a new city, having been
rebuilt about a century afterwards and peopled by a colony of
freedmen from Rome. It became under the Romans the seat of
government for Southern Greece or Achaia (Acts 18:12-16). It was
noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious and immoral and
vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of
Romans, Greeks, and Jews. When Paul first visited the city (A.D.
51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Here
Paul resided for eighteen months (18:1-18). Here he first became
aquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, and soon after his
departure Apollos came to it from Ephesus. After an interval he
visited it a second time, and remained for three months (20:3).
During this second visit his Epistle to the Romans was written
(probably A.D. 55). Although there were many Jewish converts at
Corinth, yet the Gentile element prevailed in the church there.
Some have argued from 2 Cor. 12:14; 13:1, that Paul visited
Corinth a third time (i.e., that on some unrecorded occasion he
visited the city between what are usually called the first and
second visits). But the passages referred to only indicate
Paul's intention to visit Corinth (comp. 1 Cor. 16:5, where the
Greek present tense denotes an intention), an intention which
was in some way frustrated. We can hardly suppose that such a
visit could have been made by the apostle without more distinct
reference to it.
(1.) Of cities, as of Jerusalem (Jer. 37:13; Neh. 1:3; 2:3;
3:3), of Sodom (Gen. 19:1), of Gaza (Judg. 16:3).
(2.) Of royal palaces (Neh. 2:8).
(3.) Of the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:34, 35; 2 Kings
18:16); of the holy place (1 Kings 6:31, 32; Ezek. 41:23, 24);
of the outer courts of the temple, the beautiful gate (Acts
(4.) Tombs (Matt. 27:60).
(5.) Prisons (Acts 12:10; 16:27).
(6.) Caverns (1 Kings 19:13).
(7.) Camps (Ex. 32:26, 27; Heb. 13:12).
The materials of which gates were made were,
(1.) Iron and brass (Ps. 107:16; Isa. 45:2; Acts 12:10).
(2.) Stones and pearls (Isa. 54:12; Rev. 21:21).
(3.) Wood (Judg. 16:3) probably.
At the gates of cities courts of justice were frequently held,
and hence "judges of the gate" are spoken of (Deut. 16:18; 17:8;
21:19; 25:6, 7, etc.). At the gates prophets also frequently
delivered their messages (Prov. 1:21; 8:3; Isa. 29:21; Jer.
17:19, 20; 26:10). Criminals were punished without the gates (1
Kings 21:13; Acts 7:59). By the "gates of righteousness" we are
probably to understand those of the temple (Ps. 118:19). "The
gates of hell" (R.V., "gates of Hades") Matt. 16:18, are
generally interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but
probably they may mean the power of death, denoting that the
Church of Christ shall never die.
The central fact of Christian preaching was the intelligence
that the Saviour had come into the world (Matt. 4:23; Rom.
10:15); and the first Christian preachers who called their
account of the person and mission of Christ by the term
_evangelion_ (= good message) were called _evangelistai_ (=
evangelists) (Eph. 4:11; Acts 21:8).
There are four historical accounts of the person and work of
Christ: "the first by Matthew, announcing the Redeemer as the
promised King of the kingdom of God; the second by Mark,
declaring him 'a prophet, mighty in deed and word'; the third by
Luke, of whom it might be said that he represents Christ in the
special character of the Saviour of sinners (Luke 7:36; 15:18);
the fourth by John, who represents Christ as the Son of God, in
whom deity and humanity become one. The ancient Church gave to
Matthew the symbol of the lion, to Mark that of a man, to Luke
that of the ox, and to John that of the eagle: these were the
four faces of the cherubim" (Ezek. 1:10).
Date. The Gospels were all composed during the latter part of
the first century, and there is distinct historical evidence to
show that they were used and accepted as authentic before the
end of the second century.
Mutual relation. "If the extent of all the coincidences be
represented by 100, their proportionate distribution will be:
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 53; Matthew and Luke, 21; Matthew and
Mark, 20; Mark and Luke, 6. Looking only at the general result,
it may be said that of the contents of the synoptic Gospels
[i.e., the first three Gospels] about two-fifths are common to
the three, and that the parts peculiar to one or other of them
are little more than one-third of the whole."
Origin. Did the evangelists copy from one another? The opinion
is well founded that the Gospels were published by the apostles
orally before they were committed to writing, and that each had
an independent origin. (See MATTHEW, GOSPEL OF ¯T0002443.)
festive, one of the twelve so-called minor prophets. He was the
first of the three (Zechariah, his contemporary, and Malachi,
who was about one hundred years later, being the other two)
whose ministry belonged to the period of Jewish history which
began after the return from captivity in Babylon. Scarcely
anything is known of his personal history. He may have been one
of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He began his
ministry about sixteen years after the Return. The work of
rebuilding the temple had been put a stop to through the
intrigues of the Samaritans. After having been suspended for
fifteen years, the work was resumed through the efforts of
Haggai and Zechariah (Ezra 6:14), who by their exhortations
roused the people from their lethargy, and induced them to take
advantage of the favourable opportunity that had arisen in a
change in the policy of the Persian government. (See DARIUS
¯T0000975 .) Haggai's prophecies have thus been
characterized:, "There is a ponderous and simple dignity in the
emphatic reiteration addressed alike to every class of the
community, prince, priest, and people, 'Be strong, be strong, be
strong' (2:4). 'Cleave, stick fast, to the work you have to do;'
or again, 'Consider your ways, consider, consider, consider'
(1:5, 7;2:15, 18). It is the Hebrew phrase for the endeavour,
characteristic of the gifted seers of all times, to compel their
hearers to turn the inside of their hearts outwards to their own
view, to take the mask from off their consciences, to 'see life
steadily, and to see it wholly.'", Stanley's Jewish Church. (See