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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Holy Thing

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HOLY THING (τὸ ἅγιον)—1. Luke 1:35 Authorized Version ‘Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 prefers to render, ‘Wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God.’ On the expression to τὸ γεννώμενον cf. Matthew 1:20 τὸγεννηθέν, and for the use of ἅγιον applied to our Lord, see artt. Holy One, Holiness.

2. Matthew 7:6 μὴ δῶτε τὸ ἅγιον τοῖς κυσίτὸ ἄγιον is usually taken to refer here to sacrificial meat or the provision of the priests. So Lange, Alford, and most Comm.; but Meyer objects to this as requiring to be more precisely designated, and urges that Christ has in view ‘the holy’ in general, and that what is meant by this is the holy, because Divine, evangelic truth by which men are converted. The fundamental idea of ἄγιος is consecration: τὸ ἅγιον, that which is consecrated or set apart to the service of God; its general opposite would be βέβηλος, ‘profane.’ (See Westcott on Hebrews 7:26 and literature of Holy One generally).

In Christian writings we find τὰ ἅγια used for the gifts as offered in the offertory or prothesis, i.e. the act of setting forth the oblation, and also for the consecrated gifts; thus in the Liturgy of the Nestorians we find the direction: ‘And when the people have received the holy thing, the priest,’ etc. (See Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, pp. 122, 301, 379, 398).

J. B. Bristow.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Holy Thing'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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