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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Laity

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Derived from the Latin Laicus, Greek Laikos, from Laos, meaning "people." The word means of, or pertaining to the People as distinguished from the Clergy. The term was first used in the second century. It ought to be noticed that the term Laity, or Layman does not mean the mere absence of rank, but denotes a positive order in the Church. The word is the equivalent of "brethren," as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, of the first Church Council which issued the first pastoral letter, which begins "The Apostles and Elders and brethren send greeting" (Acts 15:23). When in our Conventions or Councils the vote by orders is called for, the Clergy vote by themselves and the Laity by themselves; in this we have an illustration of the Laity as an order in the Church.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Laity'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/l/laity.html. 1901.

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