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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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LAMP.—There are two words in the Gospels translated ‘lamp,’ λύχνος and λαμπάς. The former (Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘lamp,’ Authorized Version ‘candle’) is used Matthew 5:15, Mark 4:21, Luke 8:16 of the usual means of lighting a house. In Matthew 6:22 the eye, as the source of light, the organ by which light is appreciated, is called the lamp (Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ; Authorized Version ‘light’) of the body. In John 5:35 the same word is applied to John the Baptist, who is not the eternal light (φῶς, John 1:8), but the burning and shining lamp kindled by it and bearing witness to it.

The word λαμπάς occurs in John 18:3, where it is rendered ‘torch.’ It is also used in the parable of the Ten Virgins, Matthew 25, where it would be better translated ‘torch.’ In Eastern countries the torch, like the lamp, is fed with oil, which is carried in small vessels constructed for the purpose (ἀγγεῖον, Matthew 25:4). See Candle, Light, Torch.

Literature.—Trench, Synonyms, xlvi.; Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible , artt. ‘Lamp’ and ‘Lantern’; Edersheim, Life and Times, ii. 455 ff.; H. J. van Lennep, Bible Lands and Customs, p. 132; W. M. Thomson, Land and Book, iii. 472.

C. H. Prichard.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lamp'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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