Bema

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The '''bema''' is the raised floor or platform in the eastern end of Orthodox [[church]]es upon which the [[altar]], with the altar table, is located. The word bema comes from the Greek, meaning a platform, step, tribunal, or judgment seat. 
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In general, the platform extends into the [[nave]] from the [[altar|sanctuary]] and is separated by an [[iconostasis]].  The area in the nave is called the [[solea]] with the [[ambon]].
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The bema had its origin in antiquity as raised platforms used by Greeks and Romans for speakers addressing assemblies. In Greek law courts the two parties to a dispute presented their arguments each from separate bemas. Bema was also used as the name for a place of judgment, that is the raised seat of the judge, as described in the New Testament, in Matthew 27:19 and John 19:13, and further, as the seat of the Roman emperor, in Acts 25:10, and of [[God]], in Romans 14:10, when speaking in judgment.
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Bema, or Binah, was also used in reference to the raised platform in the [[synagogue]]s of the Jews, upon which the Ark rests containing the Scrolls of the [[Pentateuch|Torah]], thus being a prototype for Christian [[church]]es where the platform supports the altar table upon which rests the [[Holy Gospel]].
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==External links==
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bema  Wikipedia: Bema]
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*[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bema  Wiktionary: Bema]
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*[http://www.searchgodsword.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T5213  Bema]
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*[http://www.answers.com/main/ntq-tname-bema-fts_start- Answers: Bema]
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[[Category: Church architecture]]
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Revision as of 03:03, June 10, 2008

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