Pentecost

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek πεντηκοστή (pentēkostē, fiftieth).

Proper noun[edit]

Pentecost (plural Pentecosts)

  1. A Jewish festival (also known as Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks) seven weeks after the feast of Firstfruits or Yom Habikkurim, originally a harvest festival but, since the destruction of the Temple, also commemorating the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai. [See Wikipedia article on Shavuot for further information on, and chronology of, these feasts.]
    • 1611: Bible, King James version, Acts of the Apostles 2:1 - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
    • 1854: Walter Farquhar Hook, A Church Dictionary - The first lesson for the morning contains the law of the Jewish Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks, which was a type of ours.
    • 2005: Alfred J Kolatch, A Handbook for the Jewish Home - Because Shavuot is celebrated on the fiftieth day after the advent of Passover, it has been called Pentecost, a Greek word meaning “fiftieth [day]".
  2. The particular (Jewish) Pentecost 49 days (inclusive) after the resurrection of Jesus on the (Jewish) Day of First Fruits, when (in Christian teaching) the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles with miraculous effects including the ability to explain the Gospel intelligibly in languages they did not know; or a similar occasion since.
    • 1762: Voltaire, William Vade included in Works - He spoke either Latin or Welsh; and the Sicambri spoke the antient Teutonic. Remi, in all appearance, renewed the miracle of the Pentecost: Et unusquisquis intendebat linguam suam, And each understood his own language.
    • 1786: Joseph Priestley, An History of Early Opinions Concerning Jesus Christ: Compiled from Original Writers; Proving that the Christian Church was at first Unitarian - If it be supposed that the divinity of Christ was unknown to the apostles till the day of Pentecost ... we have no account of any such discovery having been made.
    • 2005: Frank J Lechner, John Boli, World Culture: Origins and Consequences - They think a new Pentecost is afoot, in which the Holy Spirit brings millions the good news of salvation in the hereafter and real blessings in the here and now.
  3. Christian festival (also known as Whitsun or Whitsunday), which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (see above definition).
    • 1797: Richard Burn, Simon Fraser, Ecclesiastical Law - Spiritual profits, commonly called whitsun-farthings, ... offered at the time of pentecost.
    • 2005: Edward Kessler, Neil Wenborn (editors), A Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations - Shavuot is linked to Passover in the same way that Pentecost is linked to Easter, by a period of seven weeks.
    • 2006: Alister E McGrath, Christianity: An Introduction - The specific event which is commemorated at Pentecost is the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is described in the Acts of the Apostles.
  4. Pentecostal manifestation, such as in a church service.

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