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Glossary - P



Paidagogos - A slave attendant who accompanied students from wealthy families to school in order to tutor them in the lessons they received from the teacher in the gymnasium. (See Gal. 3:24).

Palaestra - Courtyard of gymnasium used for exercise, wrestling, and boxing.

Palestine - Name given to the Promised Land after the Second Jewish Revolt (AD 132-235). It is derived from the word Philistia and was used by the Romans to denigrate the Jews.

Pan - Greek and Roman god of the shepherds and goatherds, associated with fertility. Son of Hermes.

Parable - A short story that is told to show how one thing is like another. Most of the parables in the Bible are stories used by Jesus. These parables teach us what the kingdom of God is like.

Passover - A Jewish celebration feast. It reminds the people how God saved them from slavery in Egypt. Part of the meal includes the Passover Lamb. At the first Passover a lamb was killed and its blood was placed on the people's doorframes. This was so God would "pass over" the homes of his people and spare the lives of their firstborn sons. Jesus is the Passover lamb for all of God's people. He was sacrificed so his people could be saved from sin and death.

Passover Cup - During the Passover liturgy of Jesus' day, participants would drink from four cups of wine at different times. The third cup was called the cup of salvation. While celebrating the Passover with his disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus offered them the cup of salvation and said, "This cup is a new covenant in my blood." He was saying, in effect, "I love you. I give you my life. Will you give your life to me?" So, every time we drink from the Communion cup when the minister says, "This cup is a new covenant in my blood," God is saying to us, "I love you. I invite you to be my spiritual bride." And every time we drink it, we are in effect saying to him, "I accept your gift, and I give you my life in return."

Patriarch - Any of the very early Biblical personages regarded as the fathers of the human race, comprising those from Adam to Noah, and those between the Deluge and the birth of Abraham.

Peloponnese - The peninsula forming the southern part of Greece.

Peripteros - Temple surrounded by a row of columns.

Peristyle - Row of columns surrounding a building or open court.

Peristyle garden - Cultivated garden inside a colonnaded area. Herod the Great built several peristyle gardens, including Jericho and the Herodion.

Pharisees - Means "the separate ones". Descended from the Hasidim ("pious ones"); considered obedience to Torah to be the heart of a godly life. Separated from sinful ways and people in their desire to be faithful. Believed strongly in God's judgment and a resurrection where men would be rewarded or punished according to their deeds. Constituted the largest Jewish sect during Jesus' lifetime; exerted great control over society through synagogues.

Philistia - Means "land of the Philistines". It was located on the fertile coastal plain.

Philistine - This cultured seafaring group from the Aegean moved into Israel at about the same time as the Israelites. They lived on the fertile coastal plain, had advanced iron technology, and worshiped many gods through extremely immoral religious practices, including sacred prostitution.

Phoebus - Roman god of light, music, and poetry. He is often pictured with bow and arrow; Son of Zeus and Leto.

Phonecia - Country along the Mediterranean Sea to the north of Israel. The people worshiped Baal in the same fertility cults as did the Canaanites. Jezebel came from here.

Pluto - Roman god of the underworld. Brother of Zeus and Poseidon.

Pool of Siloam - Located near where the Tyropoeon Valley joins the Kidron; supplied drinking water for a large portion of Jerusalem. Water for the pool came from Spring of Gihon through Hezekiah's tunnel. Jesus sent a blind man he had healed here to wash the mud off his eyes.

Portico - Stoa or colonnade.

Poseidon - Greek god of the sea and earthquakes. Brother of Zeus and Hades.

Potter's Workshop - Here, archaeologists have found a basin for preparing clay, a base for a potter's wheel, and two kilns. The clay jars, which helped to preserve the Dead Sea Scrolls for nearly two thousand years, were probably made here.

Priest - A person who brought sacrifices and prayers to God for all the people. In Israel, a priest had to be from the tribe of Levi.

Procurator - Roman military governor. Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea.

Prohedria - Special seat in a theater.

Promised Land - Canaan, the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 12:7). Also is referred to as heaven.

Prophet - A person God has chosen to bring his message to the people.

Propylon - Entrance gate to sacred enclosure.

Prytaneion - Administrative building in a city, dedicated to Hestia.

Psalm - Means "song." In the Bible, God's people used psalms to (1) praise God, (2) cry out for help during trouble, and (3) thank God. The people also sang the psalms when they were together to worship God.

Psuedo-dipteros - Dipteral temple without inner row of columns.

Ptolemies - Descendants of Ptolemy I (one of the generals of Alexander the Great) who ruled over Egypt from 323 BC until 198 BC. Israel was under their control during this time. Generally, they were benevolent rulers, though they sought to spread the influence of Hellenism among the Jews.

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