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Pollution

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

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(ἀλίσγημα, only found as noon in Acts 15:20; as verb in Daniel 1:8, Malachi 1:7; Malachi 1:12, Sirach 40:29 [LXX_])

ἀλίσγημα is probably from a root meaning ‘smear with fat or blood’ (cf. ἀλίνειν, Lat. linere), and is therefore a natural word for Jews to use of idol offerings (Leviticus 3:17). It is a real ‘Jewish Greek’ word, very rare, and is a translation of (gâ’al, root-meaning ‘loathe,’ afterwards ‘pollute’). Possibly it is also a partial transliteration of âÌÈàÅi, combining this and the Greek root ἀλιν-. It would then be a similar formation to Eng.-Fr. ‘crayfish,’ ‘Rotten Row’ (for instances of this principle see F. J. A. Hort, 1 Peter I. 1-II. 17, 1898, p. 77, LXX_ translation of Jeremiah 9:5, A. Edersheim, LT_4 i. 448, n._ 3; cf. also ἀγαπή as a sound- as well as sense-translation of àÇäÂáÈä). This would make St. James use a peculiarly biting word, ‘a loathed smearing.’ Its use in the LXX_ suggests also that it referred to the ordinary food of Gentiles (Daniel 1:8, Sirach 40:29) as well as to idol offerings. The Council did not adopt it, and changed it to the more colourless εἰδωλόθυτον, ‘idol offering,’ wishing perhaps to avoid a racial word which might suggest a separation in the matter of ordinary food between Jew and Gentile, such as afterwards actually happened (Galatians 2:9) under the influence of those who ‘came from James.’

Literature.-R. J. Knowling, in EGT_, ‘Acts,’ 1900, p. 324; Conybeare-Howson, The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, new ed., 1889, ch. vii. esp. pp. 162, 172.

Sherwin Smith.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Pollution'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​p/pollution.html. 1906-1918.
 
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