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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Apron

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The word σιμικίνθια (pl. [Note: plural.] ), a modified form of the Latin semicinctia, occurs only in Acts 19:12, where it is translated ‘aprons,’ and placed in an alternative relation to σουδάρια (see Handkerchief). The two articles are not to be identified. The σιμικίνθιον is, as the derivation suggests, a half-girdle, or forecloth; not an essential of dress, like the girdle itself, but an accessory, worn by artisans and slaves for protection of their clothes during work. Presumably the material was linen or cotton. Still there is some doubt as to its precise nature see L. S. Potwin, Here and There in the Greek New Testament, New York, 1898, p. 169, where a parallel from Martial, xiv. 151ff. is quoted).

It is not said that the aprons were the property of St. Paul; but, judging from the word used for body (ἀπὸ τοῦ χρωτός), this is not impossible. The deduction has been made that he used them in pursuing his craft as a tentmaker. All that was needed, however, was that the articles should have touched his person, and thereafter those suffering from disease (cf. Luke 8:44). For the usage, and belief underlying, cf. Acts 5:15, and for modern instances, Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) (s.v.), and S. I. Curtiss, Primitive Semitic Religion To-Day, London, 1902, p. 91f.

W. Cruickshank.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Apron'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/a/apron.html. 1906-1918.

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