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Demeter Δημήτηρ

(1,472 words)

Author(s): L. J. Alderink
I. Name Demeter is the Greek deity known and worshipped for her power over grain and thus the fertility of the earth, the food supply for human beings, and mystery rites that provide a happy afterlife. Acts 19.24, Acts 38 refers to a man named after her, Demetrius, a craftsman who made shrines of Artemis; another Demetrius is mentioned in 3 John 1.12 as a reliable Christian. II. Identity Daughter of Kronos and Rhea, sister of Zeus, and mother of Kore-Persephone, Demeter was often called the Corn Goddess. Through her close relation to Persephone, Demeter has stron…

Nike Νίκη

(1,056 words)

Author(s): L. J. Alderink
I. Name Nike was the Greek deity of victory whose popularity grew rapidly in the mid-sixth century bce Greek world. Lacking any extended myths and rarely worshipped, she was hardly an independent deity in her own right; she was a feature or attribute of Athena: and thus esteemed and revered as the giver and rewarder of victory. Several names in the New Testament reveal etymological connections with nikē: e.g. Nikanor and Nikolaos in Acts 6.5; Nikodemos in John 3.1–9; John 7.50 and John 19.39, as well as a group of people, called Nikolaitans in Rev. 2.6 and Rev. 15. In addition, the concept…

Stoicheia στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου

(2,269 words)

Author(s): L. J. Alderink
I. Name Stoicheia tou kosmou has several meanings. From the root stich-, meaning row or rank, the singular stoicheion designates the shadow cast by the pole of a sundial, a letter of the alphabet, the sound the human voice makes as a basic element of language, and an element as the fundamental constituent of an object or entity. Most likely derived from stoichos, the row or line in which soldiers stand, the plural with the addition ‘of the world’, stoicheia tou kosmou means the basic components of the world. The phrase is used three times in the New Testament, Gal. 4.3, Col. 2.8 and Col. 2.20. II. I…