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Virgin
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Generally, a woman of marriageable age, with or without focus on virginity; could be translated “girl.” In early Christian literature the term referred to one who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. In the Hebrew Bible, “virgin” customarily meant a female who had begun to menstruate and was therefore marriageable (Wenham, “Betûlāh”). Virginity is prized; unmarried girls living in their father’s house are expected to remain virgins until they are married to a man of their father’s choosing.Consideration of the New Testament and Septuagint’s παρθένος (parthenos) (15 and 64 occurrences, respectively) and the roughly corresponding Hebrew בְּתוּלָה‎ (bethulah) or עַלְמָה‎ (almah) of the Masoretic Text (50 and 11 occurrences, respectively) has confirmed the importance of attending to the literary context in which the terms appear. Both the Hebrew and Greek terms can refer to either sexual status, age, or both, and are therefore alternatively translated as “virgin” or “young woman.”In her survey of Graeco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian discourse, Mary Foskett has shown that the figure of the virgin “is not a single cultural symbol, nor does she bear a single valence. Rather, she is multidimensional, connoting a spectrum of images and meanings” (Foskett, A Virgin Conceived, 72). Virginity might connote prophetic power as well as vulnerability; purity as well as erotic attraction and danger; single-mindedness as well as physical integrity.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Virgin
Virgin (בְּתוּלָה‎, bethulah; עַלְמָה‎, almah; παρθένος, parthenos). Generally, a woman of marriageable age, with or without focus on virginity; could be translated “girl.” In early Christian literature the term referred to one who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. In the Hebrew Bible, “virgin”
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Virgin
VIRGIN [Heb bĕtûlâ (בְּתוּלָה)]. The Hebrew word occurs 50 times in the OT; the Greek word (parthenos) appears 15 times in the NT.The Semitic root from which the Hebrew word derives does not appear in other Hebrew words except in a plural form, which means “virginity.” The closest cognate is Akk
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Virgin
Virgin. Word used only of women and (metaphorically) of places, nations, and the church. Literally, it describes a woman who has reached physical maturity but has not experienced sexual intercourse. Mary, mother of Jesus, is an obvious example (Mt 1:18–25).The OT puts a very high value on premarital
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Virgin
Virgin A person (usually female) who has not had sexual intercourse. The usual OT clause specifying such a woman is “who has not known a man” (e.g., Gen. 19:8; Nu. 31:18, 35; Jgs. 11:39; 21:12); the NT has a specific word, Gk. parthénos. The RSV OT uses “virgin” only to translate Heb. beṯûlâ,
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Virgin
VIRGIN Word used only of women and (metaphorically) of places, nations, and the church. Literally, it describes a woman who has reached physical maturity but has not experienced sexual intercourse. Mary, mother of Jesus, is an obvious example (Mt 1:18–25).The OT puts a high value on premarital virginity.
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Virgin
virgin (Heb. betulah, lit., “separated”; Gk. parthenos). In the Hebrew Bible, a betulah is a woman who has not had sexual intercourse with a man. The word is also used metaphorically of Israel in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Jer. 18:15). A different Hebrew word, ‘almah, means simply “a woman of marriageable
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Virgin
VIRGIN. virgin is one who has never had sexual intercourse, in usage usually a woman. The word itself is a translation of two Heb. words in the OT and one Gr. word in the NT: (1) Heb. btûlâ, “virgin.” It is also used figuratively of nations and place-names. (2) Heb. ˓almâ, “young woman virgin.” This
Virginity
VIRGINITY. virgin (q.v.) is one who has had no sexual intercourse. The reference is usually to the female sex. His fiancee’s virginity was especially important to the Israelite before marriage (Lev 21:13; Deut 22:13–21). Therefore proof of virginity could be demanded by the groom before the consummation
Chaste, Chastity
CHASTE, CHASTITY. Used to indicate inward, personal purity which shrinks from contamination or pollution, consequently free from defilement generally (1 Pet 3:2), and from carnality and sexual sins (2 Cor 11:2, “pure,” RSV; Tit 2:5). See Purity.
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Virgin
VIRGIN. Heb. beṯûlâ comes from a root meaning ‘to separate’ and is the common word for a woman who has never had sexual intercourse (Gk. parthenos). Metaphorically it is used of nations and place-names, e.g. the virgin of Israel (Je. 18:13; 31:4, 21; Am. 5:2); the virgin daughter of Zion (Is. 37:22);
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Virgin
VirginHeb. bĕṯûlâ, typically translated “virgin,” is more accurately understood as designating a female who had reached puberty and who therefore was potentially able to bear children. This potential fertility meant that the young woman was, according to the customs and values of her culture, of
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Virgin
Virgin (Heb. beeṯûlâ, ˓almâ; Gk. parthénos). † In the basic sense, a woman who has not experienced sexual intercourse. The technical term for virgin in the Old Testament is Heb. beṯûlâ, from a root meaning “separated,” hence “a woman living apart.” Strictly speaking, the term designates
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible
Virgin
VIRGIN עלמה‎/בתולהπαρθένοςI. In Hebrew two nouns occur which traditionally have been translated with ‘virgin’: ʿalmâ and bĕtûlâ. A convincing etymology of the noun ʿalmâ has not been given. The word has cognates in various Semitic languages; Ugar ǵlmt, ‘girl’; Phoen ʿlmt; Aram ʿljmt. The exact
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Virgin
VIRGIN, VIRGINITY The Hebrew term is bĕtûlâ, which in biblical terms means a female “whom no man had known” in a sexually intimate way (Gen 24:16; Judg 21:12). The term was used as a figure of speech or as an image for nations and peoples, such as Israel and Zion (2 Kgs 19:21; Jer 18:13, 31:4; Lam 2:13;