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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(gad' uh reene) A resident of Gadara, one of the cities of Decapolis (Mark 5:1 ). In the New Testament, it is mentioned only in the Gospel accounts of the healing of the Gadarene man who was afflicted by demons. (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37 ). The textual tradition in the Greek manuscripts of each of these passages shows confusion among Gadarenes, Gerasenes, and Gergesenes. Textual evidence appears to favor Gadarenes in Matthew, Gerasenes in Mark and Luke. Origen, an early church father, apparently introduced Gergesenes into the tradition. Gadarene, in the context, would have to refer to the larger area, not just the city of Gadara. Gergasenes points to the modern city of Kersa on the lake's edge. Gerasene comes from the city of Gerasa about 30 miles southeast of the lake. Early tradition may have confused the Hebrew or Aramaic spelling of Gedara and Gerasa or may have seen Gerasa as the dominant town in the area. Whatever the original name, Gentiles and their pigs dominated the area. It has been identified with modern Um Keis, approximately five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee. The designation “country of the Gadarenes” evidently applied to an area that extended as far as the shore of Galilee.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Gadarene'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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