the Fourth Week of Lent
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
the most renowned of all the exercises used in the Olympic games of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and those from which the victors were held to derive the greatest honor. There appear to be but one or two allusions to them in the New Testament, and these are involved in some uncertainty. In Corinthians 16:9, the apostle refers to his great success in collecting a church at Ephesus: "But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost, for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries;" alluding, it is thought, to the door of the circus, which was opened to admit the chariots when the races were to begin; and by the word ἀντικείμενοι, "adversaries," which Doddridge renders "opposers," he is supposed to mean antagonists or competitors. In Colossians 3:15, he says, "Let the peace of God rule (βραβεύω, preside, as the arbiters or judges of the games) in your hearts;" 2 Thessalonians 3:1, "that the word of the Lord may have free course (τρέχω, run), and be glorified," referring, as it seems, to the applause of the spectators; 1 Timothy 4:8, "Bodily exercise (γυμνασία, gymnastic discipline) profiteth little," alluding to the training of the racers; Hebrews 12:23, "the general assembly" (πανήγυρις, crowd of attendants). (See GAMES).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Chariot-Race'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​c/chariot-race.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.