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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Lois

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(Gr. Λωίς)

The word Lois is of Greek origin, related to λῴων and λῴστος, ‘pleasant,’ ‘desirable.’ Lois was a Christian believer of Lystra and the grandmother of Timothy. Her name is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5 along with Eunice (q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ), the mother of Timothy. Probably Lois was a Jewess and the mother of Eunice, who in Acts 16:1 is described as a believing Jewess who had married a Greek. It is, however, not impossible that Lois may have been the mother-in-law of Eunice and a Gentile, in which case we must assume that she had married a Jew. This theory would account for the fact that both Lois and Eunice are Greek names, and also for the description of Eunice as a Jewess. But it was not uncommon for Hellenistic Jews to bear purely Gentile names, and the supposition that Lois was the mother of Eunice is on the whole more probable.

The Apostle refers to her ‘unfeigned faith,’ by which he no doubt means that Lois had accepted Christian faith, and not merely that she cherished the ancient faith of Israel. As we find Eunice described as a ‘Jewess who believed’ on the occasion of St. Paul’s second visit to Lystra, probably both she and Lois were converted on the Apostle’s first visit to the town. Timothy’s knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures to which the Apostle refers (2 Timothy 3:15) was probably due not only to his mother but also to Lois, whom we may regard as a faithful Jewish matron attached to the ancient hopes of Judaism, and who, influenced by her knowledge of the Scriptures, readily accepted St. Paul’s message on his first visit to Lystra.

W. F. Boyd.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lois'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/l/lois.html. 1906-1918.

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