Glossary of Terms



Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition [book review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms,, or


1 An area in south-central Asia Minor, whose most famous king was Croesus (sixth century b.c.). Successively occupied by the Persians, Alexander the Great and his successors, and the Romans who incorporated it into the province of Asia, it is mentioned in 1 Macc. 8:8. Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia (see Rev. 2:18-3:13) were located in Lydia.

2 According to Acts 16:12-15, Paul’s first convert in Europe (at Philippi in Macedonia). Lydia was apparently a traveling merchant who sold luxurious purple-dyed cloth for a living. Perhaps she was a freedwoman and her name was given because she came from Thyatira, in the district of Lydia. As a Gentile, Lydia apparently had been attracted to the Jewish way of life in the synagogue, perhaps while she lived in Thyatira. She had a kind of ‘associate’ status with the Jews as a ‘worshiper of God,’ and her attachment to Judaism was strong enough that she maintained the ties even when in Philippi, where Judaism appears to have been weak (the account in Acts suggests that there were not enough Jews to form a synagogue, since they met by the river outside the city). Lydia met Paul and, along with her household, was converted to Christianity. According to Acts, she had sufficient means to give extended hospitality to Paul and Silas in her home (see Acts 16:15, 40), even though she may have been a widow. The Philippian church perhaps initially met in her home. Lydia’s stay in Philippi may not have been permanent; she is not mentioned in Paul’s Philippian correspondence.

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Topical index of terms
Edited for by Robert Nguyen Cramer
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