Congregation • Laymen • Laypeople
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
laity. The term is derived from the phrase λαὸς θεοῦ, the ‘people of God’, contrasted with those who had not been called by God to be His people (originally the ‘Gentiles’, but already in 1st-cent. Christian usage sometimes the Jews as well). In early Christian literature a lay person is a member
The Lutheran Cyclopedia
Laity, Luth. Conception of
Laity, Luth. Conception of. The word laity is derived from lay, which is from the Latin laicus, equivalent to the later Greek laïkos, which means, belonging to the people (laos). Laity therefore, according to its form, denotes collectively all those that belong to the people, the mass of the people.
A Catholic Dictionary
layman. One of the people (λαὸς), as distinguished from the clergy. The Septuagint (Exodus 19:24, Isai. 24:2) used the word λαὸς in contradistinction to the priests. The other Greek versions have the words λαικὸς, “laic,” and λαικοῦν “to profane;” and so the Vulgate (1 Reg. 21:4) has the expression
Global Dictionary of Theology: A Resource for the Worldwide Church
LAITYThe term laity is derived from the Greek word laos, “people.” In theological contexts laity refers to the people of God, often in contrast with “professional” clergy. Recent theological reflection on the laity has been rooted in the trinitarian nature of God. Viewed from a contemporary global perspective,
Dictionary of Theological Terms
LaityGreek laos, “people,” a term loosely used to designate the members of the church as distinct from its ordained ministers. It properly belongs to the members of churches whose ministers are regarded as priests and whose systems of worship and government are sacerdotal.*
Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
LAY—LAYMAN—LAITY. The word lay (layman/laity) is borrowed from the Greek λαικός and the Latin Graecism laicus which derives from the substantive λαός (“people”). The category “people” has great importance in the OT, in the relationship which Israel has with YHWH and in the relationship which it has
New Dictionary of Theology: Historical and Systematic
LAITYThe term ‘laity’ has travelled a long way from its simple biblical meaning of people, crowd, or people of God. The original term is indiscriminate and inclusive. All who come to Christ are the laos of God. People of every tribe and nation gather to Christ.The radical nature of Christianity in