Shrines

SHRINES. Anglo-Saxon scrīn from Lat. scrinium, “a case,” “box.” (See Diana.) The term is used to tr. the word ναός, G3724, (Acts 19:24) which in all other texts in the NT is tr. “temple” (RSV trs. ναός, G3724, as “shrine,” also in Acts 17:24). The term refers to a place where holy relics or idols or objects of worship are kept. In Acts 19:24, “shrine” refers to certain small idol houses made by the silversmith, Demetrius. He sold these shrines to worshipers of Diana (Artemis). It was a lucrative trade and one which he was not willing to lose. His opposition to the preaching of the Gospel, which had hurt his business, instigated a riot in Ephesus while Paul was preaching there.

One other time in the RSV the term “shrine” occurs in the NT. It is found in Hebrews 6:19 tr. ἐσὡτερον and referring to that place of which the Holy of Holies is a type, namely the very presence of God.

In addition, RSV trs. various Heb. terms in the OT by this word. In Judges 17:5, referring to the place where Micah of Ephraim put his idol, it so trs. בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהִ֑ים (house of god or gods).

In several passages in 2 Kings RSV trs. בֵ֣ית הַבָּמֹ֗ות (house of the high places) as “shrine” (2 Kings 17:29, 32; 23:19). In Ezekiel 16:16, just the word בָּמֹ֔ות (high places) is tr. “shrines” by the RSV.

Bibliography

W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (1949), 62, 63; A. Sachar, A History of the Jews (1965), 28; National Geographic Society, Everyday Life in Bible Times (1967), 119.