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Tuesday
Nov112014

Theological Term of the Week

diaspora
The scattering of the Jews from Israel into foreign countries; the Jews forced to live outside of Israel in other parts of the Roman Empire; also called the dispersion. Later in the New Testament, diaspora is used to refer to Christians, both Jew and Gentile, who were scattered throughout the world.

  • In scripture: 

    Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?” (John 7:33-36 ESV)

    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia … . (1 Peter 1:1 ESV)

    The result of the diaspora was that by New Testament times as many Jews lived outside of Palestine as lived within the land. In almost every city which Paul visited on his missionary journeys, he found a Jewish synagogue (Acts 14:1;  Acts 17:1, Acts 17:10Acts 18:4). The diaspora thus helped pave the way for the spread of the gospel.

Learn more:

  1. Theopedia: Historical theology
  2. GotQuestions.org: What does the Bible mean when it refers to the Diaspora?
  3. Holman Bible Dictionary: Diaspora

Related terms:

  • persecution

Filed under Miscellaneous

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

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