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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Judgment-Hall

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In ancient times justice was dispensed in the open, usually in the market-place, near the city gate. With the development of civic life, however, special courts of justice began to be built. Thus Solomon had his ‘throne-room’ or portico erected within the complex of his palace buildings (1 Kings 7:7), where justice continued to be administered no doubt till the latest period of the Monarchy. The Sanhedrin also convened for judgment in the ‘Hall of Hewn Stone’ on the south side of the great court of the Temple. In Rome, too, the Imperial Age saw the law-courts transferred to basibicae, or open colonnades near the Forum, and finally to closed halls, where cases were heard in secret (in secretario). The administration of justice in basilicae has been traced to Pompeii and other centres of Roman life, but was apparently not the custom in Palestine, the word translated ‘judgment hall’ in the Authorized Version (John 18:28; John 18:33; John 19:9, Acts 23:35) being really πραιτώριον or palace.

A. R. Gordon.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Judgment-Hall'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/j/judgment-hall.html. 1906-1918.

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