Though we cannot state with perfect accuracy the date either of the birth or death of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, both may be inferred within narrow limits. When he is first mentioned, on the occasion of Stephen’s martyrdom, he is called a young man, and when he wrote the Epistle to Philemon he calls himself Paul the aged.
Among the outward means by which the religion of Israel was preserved, one of the most important was the centralization and localization of its worship in Jerusalem.
Name and General Character [far'-i-sez (perushim; Pharisaioi)] A prominent sect of the Jews. The earliest notice of them in Josephus occurs in connection with Jonathan, the high priest. Immediately after the account of the embassy to the Lacedaemonians, there is subjoined (Josephus, Ant, XIII, v, 9) an account of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, therefore... Continue Reading →
1. Name: Rival Etymologies. Probably from Zadok the High Priest: [sad'-u-sez (tsadduqim; Saddoukaioi)] The Talmud form suggests derivation from the name of their founder, but the form in the New Testament and Josephus would imply a connection with the verb "to be righteous." The probability is, that the name is derived from some person named... Continue Reading →
BABYLONIANS bab-i-lo'-ni-anz: The inhabitants of BABYLONIA (which see). They were among the colonists planted in Samaria by the Assyrians (Ezra 4:9). "The likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea" (Eze 23:15) refers to the pictures which were common on the walls of Babylonian palaces, and the reports of them being heard in Jerusalem, or copies of... Continue Reading →
PERSIA pur'-sha, (parats; Persia; in Assyrian Parsu, Parsua; in Achemenian Persian Parsa, modern Fars): In the Bible (2Ch 36:20,22-23; Ezr 1:1,8; Es 1:3,14,18; 10:2; Eze 27:10; 38:5; Da 8:20; 10:1; 11:2) this name denotes properly the modern province of Fars, not the whole Persian empire. The latter was by its people called Airyaria, the present Iran (from the Sanskrit word arya, "noble"); and... Continue Reading →
Parentage and Early Life Alexander, of Macedon, commonly called "the Great" (born 356 BC), was the son of Philip, king of Macedon, and of Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemos, an Epeirote king. Although Alexander is not mentioned by name in the canonical Scriptures, in Dan he is designated by a transparent symbol (8:5,21). In 1 Macc... Continue Reading →
[es-senz', (Essenoi, Essaioi)] When Josephus describes the sects of the Jews, he devotes most of his time and attention to the third of these sects, the Essenes. Strangely enough, although there are frequent references in the New Testament to the other two sects, the Sadducees and Pharisees, no reference has been found to the Essenes.... Continue Reading →
Ebionism; Ebionites e'-bi-o-niz'-m, e'-bio-nits (Ebionaioi, from 'ebhyonim, "poor people") General Statement The Ebionites were a sect of heretics frequently mentioned by the early Fathers. In regard to their opinions, as in regard to those of most early heretical sects, there is the difficulty that to a large extent we are dependent for our information on... Continue Reading →
INTRODUCTION Early Gospels [a-pok'-ri-fal gos'-pels] The introduction to the third canonical Gospel shows that in the days of the writer, when the apostles of the Lord were still living, it was a common practice to write and publish accounts of the acts and words of Jesus. It has even been maintained (S. Baring-Gould, Lost and... Continue Reading →