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Lazarus and Dives
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Jesus’ parable about the encounters—both before and after death—between a rich man and Lazarus, a poor and sick man (Luke 16:19–31). In the context of poetry and literature, “dives” refers to a typical or hypothetical rich man.Dives is the Latin proper name given to the rich man (πλούσιος, plousios) in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31). The Latin adjective dives simply means “rich” or “wealthy.” The addition of a proper name to the rich man, which is not present in Luke’s version of the parable, was likely added by medieval scribes who translated the Greek text into Latin (Cadbury, “A Proper Name for Dives,” 399–400).Ancient Jewish and Graeco-Roman readers might well have connected the rich man to the hedonists (Hatcher, “In Gold We Trust,” 278). Perhaps the most famous teaching on Jesus’ parable came from the pastor and archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom (ca. ad 347–407), who preached several sermons on the parable. According to Chrysostom, the rich man was not condemned for his wealth, but rather for his complete lack of compassion or righteous actions toward the beggar Lazarus (Costanzo, Harbor for the Poor, 82–90).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Lazarus and Dives
Lazarus and Dives Jesus’ parable about the encounters—both before and after death—between a rich man and Lazarus, a poor and sick man (Luke 16:19–31). In the context of poetry and literature, “dives” refers to a typical or hypothetical rich man.Dives is the Latin proper name given to the rich man (πλούσιος,
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Lazarus and Dives
LAZARUS AND DIVES. Only the Gospel of Luke has preserved a story that has come to be known as the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (16:19–31). It tells of a rich man who, while alive, used to dress in purple and linen and to feast daily (v 19), and of Lazarus, a crippled, sick, and destitute man who
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Lazarus
Lazʹa-rus [God has helped], an abridged form of the Hebrew name Eleazar, with a Greek termination. It is the name of two persons in the New Testament.1. An inhabitant of Bethany, brother of Mary and Martha, honored with the friendship of Jesus, by whom he was raised from the dead after he had been four
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Aaron–Zion
Dives
DIVES.—The Latin adjective for ‘rich,’ commonly employed as a quasi-proper name for the rich man in our Lord’s parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19–31). This use of the word Dives, derived, no doubt, from the Vulgate, is common in English literature, and can be traced back at least to the time
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 3, H–L
Lazarus and Dives
Lazarus and Dives laz’uh-ruhs, di’veez. Traditional title of Jesus’ parable of “Lazarus and the rich man” (Lk. 16:19–31). The name Dives comes from the Latin word for “rich” (the first words of the parable, “There was a rich man,” are translated in the Latin Vulgate as “Homo quidam erat dives”). In the
All the People in the Bible: An A–Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels, and Other Characters in Scripture
Lazarus
Lazarus and DivesLazarus is the only man given a name in any of Jesus’ parables (Luke 16:19ff.); Dives is often taken as a proper name but it is simply the Latin Vulgate translation of the Greek for “rich man.”The Lazarus of the parable is not to be taken as the same as Jesus’ friend Lazarus of Bethany,
Key passages
Lk 16:19–31

“Now a certain man was rich, and dressed in purple cloth and fine linen, feasting sumptuously every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, lay at his gate, and was longing to be filled with what fell from the table of the rich man. But even …

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