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Posted: October 12th, 2013, 2:50 pm
by Alan Patterson
2 Cor 5:10 τους γαρ παντας ημας φανερωθηναι δει εμπροσθεν του βηματος του χριστου ινα κομισηται εκαστος τα δια του σωματος προς α επραξεν ειτε αγαθον ειτε φαυλον

Here is a brief definition of βημα. See my comment below.

The Meaning of the Judgment (Bema) Seat (from
By: J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M.

Both Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:9 speak of the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is a translation of one Greek word, the word βημα. While βημα is used in the gospels and Acts of the raised platform where a Roman magistrate or ruler sat to make decisions and pass sentence (Matt. 27:19; John 19:13), its use in the epistles by Paul, because of his many allusions to the Greek athletic contests, is more in keeping with its original use among the Greeks.

This word was taken from Isthmian games where the contestants would compete for the prize under the careful scrutiny of judges who would make sure that every rule of the contest was obeyed (cf. 2 Tim. 2:5). The victor of a given event who participated according to the rules was led by the judge to the platform called the βημα. There the laurel wreath was placed on his head as a symbol of victory (cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-25).

I have read articles like this a 1,000 times on βημα. I've seen this Isthmian games reference equally as much, and yet, as far as the βημα is concerned, I have never found any original source that can confirm this word βημα was used for a platform and was used at the Isthmian games for the judges to sit/stand on to give out the prizes to the victors.

Has anyone ever seen an original source that can confirm βημα being used in the Isthmian games as a platform for the judges? I have seen authors reference other authors, but nobody has cited an original source.

[Pardon this post; I am sure this word has been discussed out here too many times, but I am trying to find this supposed meaning that 100s of authors/scholars reference. This is getting quite frustrating!

Re: βημα

Posted: October 13th, 2013, 10:36 pm
by Ken M. Penner
This has come up on B-Greek before. See ... 44239.html

Re: βημα

Posted: October 14th, 2013, 12:21 am
by Louis L Sorenson
I'll try some searches in TLG. I'm thinking βημα* + νικ* may retrieve some passages. Do you have any more suggestions for additional words? Have there been any suggestions as to which author this citation is listed? I have not found any entries to the Olympian or Isthmian games as of yet. Here are the LSJ and BDAG entries:

II. = βάθρον, step, seat, S.OC193 (lyr.).
2. raised place or tribune to speak from in a public assembly, etc., Th.2.34, LXX Ne.8.4, etc.; in the Pnyx at Athens, ἐπὶ τὸ β. ἀναβῆναι enter public life, D.18.66; “αἱ ἀπὸ τοῦ β. ἐλπίδες” Id.4.45; also in the lawcourts, Id.48.31, Aeschin.3.207; of a suppliant, “ἐπὶ τοῦ β. καθεδούμενον” Ar.Pl.382; in the βουλευτήριον, Antipho6.40.
b. tribunal of a magistrate, “τοῦ ἡγεμόνος β.” PTeb.434 (ii A. D.).
3. = θυμέλη, Poll.4.123; “β. θεήτρου” IG3.239.
4. base, pedestal, OGI219.36 (Ilium, iii B. C.), 299.15 (Pergam., ii B. C.).

③ a dais or platform that required steps to ascend, tribunal (Thu. 2, 34, 8; Epict. 4, 10, 21; Jos., Bell. 2, 172; 2 Esdr 18:4; 2 Macc 13:26). A magistrate would address an assembly from a chair placed on the structure. Esp. judicial bench (Isocr., Ep. 8, 7; Ps.-Demosth. 48, 31; POxy 237 V, 13; PTebt 316, 11; PAmh 80, 7 al. S. καθίζω 3 and s. Reisch in Pauly-W. III 264; Preisigke, Fachwörter) Mt 27:19; J 19:13; Ac 18:12, 16f; 25:6, 10, 17; also God’s judgment seat (SibOr 2, 218; 8, 222 and 242) Ro 14:10 and Christ 14:10 v.l.; 2 Cor 5:10; Pol 6:2.—Ac 12:21, 23 D of the throne-like speaker’s platform (Appian, Liby. 115 §546; Arrian, Anab. 7, 8, 3; 7, 11, 1; Jos., Ant. 4, 209; 7, 370) of Herod Agrippa I. In mng. 2 בֵּימָה is a loanw. in rabb.—DELG s.v. βαίνω p. 157. M-M. TW.