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Barbarian
Barbarous
Dictionaries
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Barbarian
Barbarian. Foreigner, especially a person from a culture regarded as primitive or uncivilized. The Greek word barbaros, translated “barbarian” (kjv), originated as a repeated nonsense syllable, “bar-bar,” in imitation of the strange sound of a foreign language. The Greeks, viewing themselves as the only
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Barbarian
Barbarian [GK. bárbaros] (Rom. 1:14; Col. 3:11); NEB also NON-GREEK. Elsewhere the RSV renders “natives” (Acts 28:2, 4), “foreigner” (1 Cor. 14:11); the NEB also renders “(rough) islanders” and paraphrases in 1 Cor. 14:11 “words will be gibberish.” The Greek word was probably formed by imitation of
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
BARBARIAN* Foreigner, especially a person from a culture regarded as primitive or uncivilized. The Greek word barbaros, translated “barbarian” (kjv), originated as a repeated nonsense syllable, “bar-bar,” in imitation of the strange sound of a foreign language. The Greeks, viewing themselves as the only
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Barbarian
barbarian, a non-Jew who is also not Greek or Roman. In Col. 3:11, the phrase “Greek and barbarian” is used to mean the entire Gentile world. Elsewhere, 2 Macc. 2:21 uses the word pejoratively for the followers of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. See also Gentile; Greek, Greeks; nations.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Barbarian
BARBARIAN. This word is not found in the OT, though the LXX uses it; e.g., Ps 114:1. It is used five times in the NT. “Barbarian” may be a repeated syllable imitative of a foreigner, “bar bar.” Similarly Egyptians called non-Egyptians berber. So it means speaking an unintelligible tongue in 1 Cor 14:11.
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Barbarian
BARBARIAN. A term applied by the Greeks to all non-Greek-speaking peoples. It was not originally, or necessarily, pejorative. Luke actually praises the ‘barbarians’ of *Malta for their exceptional kindness (Acts 28:2–4). Inscriptions show that a Phoenician dialect was spoken on Malta. Perhaps Luke recalls
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Barbarian
BarbarianA person not of Greek culture or language (Gk. bárbaros). Originally an onomatopoeic term denoting stammering or unintelligible sounds (“bar bar”), it was used in the LXX, Philo, Josephus, and NT to distinguish “uncivilized” hellenized persons, often but not necessarily with a derogatory connotation.
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
Barbarian (Gk. bárbaros). To the Greeks everyone who did not speak the Greek language was a barbarian. Thus the word had a linguistic and cultural reference; it was not a contemptuous or coarse expression. In the New Testament all who did not share the Greco-Roman culture were called barbarian (“natives,”
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
Barbarian. “Every one not a Greek is a barbarian” is the common Greek definition, and in this strict sense the word is used in Rom. 1:14. It often retains this primitive meaning, as in 1 Cor. 14:11; Acts 28:24.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
BARBARIAN (Gk. barbaros, “rude”). Originally the term was the Gk. epithet for a people speaking any language other than Gk. After the Persian wars it began to carry with it associations of hatred and to imply vulgarity and lack of culture. The Romans were originally included by the Greeks under the name
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
Barbariana Greek word used in the New Testament (Rom. 1:14) to denote one of another nation. In Col. 3:11, the word more definitely designates those nations of the Roman empire that did not speak Greek. In 1 Cor. 14:11, it simply refers to one speaking a different language. The inhabitants of Malta
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Barbarian
Barbarianbarbarian, a term originally referring to one who spoke a foreign language. Herodotus, the Greek historian who lived in the fifth century b.c., called Egyptians ‘barbarians,’ i.e., alien speakers. 1 Cor. 14:11 and Ps. 113:1 in the Septuagint (lxx; 114:1 in Hebrew) carry the same nuance. From
Key passages
Ro 1:14

I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.

Col 3:11

where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free, but Christ is all, and in all.

See also
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