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Bema
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
In ancient Athens, the bema was as a raised platform used by orators within law courts and was likely influential in the use of the raised pulpit found in many synagogues and churches throughout history. In the New Testament, reference is also made to the bema as a seat of judgment (Matt 27:19; John 19:13; Acts 15:10; Rom 14:10).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Bema
Bema (βῆμα, bēma). In ancient Athens, the bema was as a raised platform used by orators within law courts and was likely influential in the use of the raised pulpit found in many synagogues and churches throughout history. In the New Testament, reference is also made to the bema as a seat of judgment
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Bema
Bema. Judgment seat or tribunal of a Roman official. Although the term also means “to step” or “stride” (Acts 7:5, “a foot’s length”; cf. Dt 2:5), it was used in the first century primarily to denote an elevated area of platform (reached by steps) from which political orations or judicial decisions were
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Bema
BEMA* Greek term for a judgment seat or tribunal of a Roman official. Although the term also means “to step” or “stride,” it was used in the first century ad primarily to denote an elevated area or platform (reached by steps) from which political orations or judicial decisions were made. Excavations
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
bema
bema (Gk. βῆμα, ‘platform’). Acc. to E. usage, the space, usually raised above the level of the *nave of a church, which is shut off by the *iconostasis and contains the *altar, i.e. the counterpart of the *sanctuary in the W. The word is also used, less correctly, for the altar itself.
Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship
bema
bema. From a Greek word meaning “step,” the raised *chancel area (the *sanctuary) in EC architecture, separated from the congregation by the *iconostasis.
The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, Volumes 1–3
Bema
Bema(βῆμα, from βαίνω). Raised step, platform, seat, tribunal (semicircular or square platform in a Roman basilica), or throne (McVey.1983); in classical sources a magistrate addressed his audience from the b., especially the elevated seat of judicial authority: Jn. 19:13 portrays Pilate ἐπὶ βήματος