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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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BARBARIAN . The Eng. word is used in Acts 28:2 ; Acts 28:4 , Romans 1:14 , 1 Corinthians 14:11 , Colossians 3:11 to translate a Gr. word which does not at all connote savagery, but means simply ‘foreign,’ ‘speaking an unintelligible language.’ The expression first arose among the Greeks in the days of their independence, and was applied by them to all who could not speak Greek. When Greece became subject to Rome, it was then extended to mean all except the Greeks and Romans. There may be a touch of contempt in St. Luke’s use of it, but St. Paul uses it simply in the ordinary way; see esp. 1 Corinthians 14:11 .

A. Souter.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Barbarian'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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