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Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Imprisonment, usually of persons awaiting the judicial process, not as a punishment. In the New Testament, Christians are often imprisoned.
Lexham Bible Dictionary
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The Lexham Bible Dictionary
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
PRISON. In ancient Israel, mere imprisonment was not recognized as a formal punishment. When a convict was sentenced to prison (Ezra 7:26), he was to make good his offense by carrying out dull and heavy labor. The modern idea of a prison as a penitentiary, where criminals are to be reformed into decent
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
prison, a building or other facility used for holding individuals in judicial confinement.Types of Imprisonment: Various types of imprisonment were known in biblical times. Accused persons were often imprisoned either while their cases were being investigated or to assure their appearance for trial.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
PRISON. No less than eight Heb. terms appear in the OT for prison, of which two are the most common: (1) bêth sōhar. “round house, tower house, house of the fortress,” and (2) maṭṭārâh, “place of a guard, prison, jail.” The NT uses five words, phylakē. “watch, guard, prison,” being the most frequent.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
PrisonPeople were imprisoned for a variety of reasons in biblical times. Joseph was charged with sexual impropriety by Potiphar’s wife and held in the house of the captain of the guard (Gen. 40:3). The Mosaic code permitted imprisonment to allow time for clarifying the facts of a case (Lev. 24:12; Num.
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land
PRISONS The punitive system of the ancient Near East was based on the Lex talionis. It is known that this was common practice in Babylon and Assyria, and the biblical laws in relation to punishment do not differ from it (Exod, 21:23–5, etc.). The task of the legal authorities was confined to the assessment
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Prison, prisonerThe fact that Paul was imprisoned on more than one occasion is well attested. For the reasons, circumstances and results of those imprisonments we are dependent on the evidence from Acts and chiefly Paul’s letters, with an occasional allusion in the early Church Fathers (e.g., 1 Clem.
Catholic Bible Dictionary
PRISON In the ancient world, being held in prison was not usually a punishment in itself; rather, a prisoner was detained in prison while he awaited trial or execution. The first prison mentioned in Scripture is the one where Joseph was confined in Egypt (Gen 39:20). Joseph’s brothers were also detained
Dictionary of New Testament Background