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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Porch

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When ‘porch’ is a translation of στοά, it denotes a portico (so Acts 3:11 RVm_), covered colonnade, or cloister, where people could walk and talk, protected from sun or rain, and where liberty of public speaking and teaching was generally enjoyed. Round the entire area of Herod’s Temple there ran a succession of magnificent porticces built against the enclosing wall. Solomon’s Porch, which adorned the eastern side-hence called also the στοὰ ἀνατολική (Jos. Ant. XX. ix. 7)-and faced the entrance to the Women’s Court, was a double portico, about 50 ft. wide, formed by three rows of white marble monolithic columns, each about 40 ft. high. It was roofed by cedar beams, richly carved, and its aisles were paved in mosaic fashion with stone (Jos. Ant. XV. xi. 5, BJ_ V. v. 2). Josephus appears to have believed that it had survived from the time of Solomon (Ant. XX. ix. 7, BJ_ V. v. 1), but in all probability its name implied no more than that on the same foundations there had stood a previous structure which partly dated from Solomon’s time. The porch in which Jesus walked on the Feast of Dedication (John 10:23), to which the people ran together after witnessing St. Peter’s miracle at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:11), and which was a rendezvous of the early Church (5:12), was certainly modern. It was in the style of contemporary Hellenistic architecture, and was only less magnificent than the triple colonnade known as the ‘Royal Porch’-στοὰ βασιλική-which ran along the south side of the Temple court.

Literature.-A. Edersheim, LT_4 i. 244 f., ii. 151; A. R. S. Kennedy, ‘Some Problems of Herod’s Temple,’ in ExpT_ XX. [1908-09], art._ ‘Temple’ in EBr_11; B. Kleinschmidt, art._ ‘Temple’ in JE_.

James Strahan.

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

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