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King James Dictionary [1]

PECU'LIAR, a. L. peculiaris, from peculium, one's own property, from pecus, cattle.

1. Appropriate belonging to a person and to him only. Almost every writer has a peculiar style. Most men have manners peculiar to themselves. 2. Singular particular. The man has something peculiar in his deportment. 3. Particular special.

My fate is Juno's most peculiar care.

Most cannot, in strict propriety, be prefixed to peculiar, but it is used to give emphasis to the word.

4. Belonging to a nation,system or other thing, and not to others.

PECU'LIAR, n. Exclusive property that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.

1. In the canon law, a particular parish or church which has the probate of wills within itself, exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop's court.

Court of peculiars, in England, is a branch of the court of arches. It has jurisdiction over all the parishes dispersed through the province of Canterbury, in the midst of other dioceses, which are exempt from the ordinary jurisdiction, and subject to the metropolitan only.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) A particular parish or church which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the ordinary.

(2): ( a.) Particular; individual; special; appropriate.

(3): ( a.) Unusual; singular; rare; strange; as, the sky had a peculiarappearance.

(4): ( n.) That which is peculiar; a sole or exclusive property; a prerogative; a characteristic.

(5): ( a.) One's own; belonging solely or especially to an individual; not possessed by others; of private, personal, or characteristic possession and use; not owned in common or in participation.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

 1 Peter 2:9 Ephesians 1:14

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [5]

pḗ - kūl´yar  : The Latin peculium means "private property," so that "peculiar" properly = "pertaining to the individual." In modern English the word has usually degenerated into a half-colloquial form for "extraordinary," but in Biblical English it is a thoroughly dignified term for "esp. one's own"; compare the "peculiar treasure" of the king in   Ecclesiastes 2:8 (the King James Version). Hence, "peculiar people" (the King James Version   Deuteronomy 14:2 , etc.) means a people especially possessed by God and particularly prized by Him. The word in the Old Testament (the King James Version  Exodus 19:5;  Deuteronomy 14:2;  Deuteronomy 26:18;  Psalm 135:4;  Ecclesiastes 2:8 ) invariably represents סגלּה , ṣeghullāh , "property," an obscure word which Septuagint usually rendered by the equally obscure περιούσιος , perioúsios (apparently meaning "superabundant"), which in turn is quoted in  Titus 2:14 . In  Malachi 3:17 , however, Septuagint has περιποίησις , peripoı́ēsis , quoted in  1 Peter 2:9 . the English Revised Version in the New Testament substituted "own possession" in the two occurrences, but in the Old Testament kept "peculiar" and even extended its use ( Deuteronomy 7:6;  Malachi 3:17 ) to cover every occurrence of ṣeghullāh except in  1 Chronicles 29:3 ("treasure"). the American Standard Revised Version, on the contrary, has dropped "peculiar" altogether, using "treasure" in   1 Chronicles 29:3;  Ecclesiastes 2:8 , and "own possession" elsewhere. the King James Version also has "peculiar commandments" (ἴδιος , ı́dios , "particular," the Revised Version (British and American) "several") in The Wisdom of Solomon 19:6, and the Revised Version (British and American) has "peculiar" where the King James Version has "special" in The Wisdom of Solomon 3:14 for ἐκλεκτή , eklektḗ , "chosen out."

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

(Fr. peculier, i.e. private) is in English ecclesiastical law a particular parish or church having jurisdiction within itself, and which is not subject to the ordinary of the diocese in which it is locally situated, but has an ordinary of its own. There are various kinds of peculiars:

1. Royal peculiars, subject only to the king. The king's chapel is a royal peculiar, reserved to the immediate government of the king himself.

2. Archbishops' peculiars, exclusive of the jurisdiction of bishops and archdeacons. The archbishop has many such peculiars, it being an ancient privilege of the see of Canterbury that whenever any manors or advowsons belong to it, they forthwith become exempt from the ordinary, and are peculiars to that see.

3. Bishops' peculiars, exclusive of the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in- which they are situated.

4. Peculiars of bishops in their own diocese, exclusive of archidiaconal jurisdiction.

5. Peculiars of deans, deans and chapters, prebendaries, and the like, which are places wherein, by ancient compositions, the bishops have parted with their jurisdiction. Under the statute 1 George I and II, c. 10, all donatives (which are in their nature peculiars) receiving augmentation from queen Anne's bounty are thenceforth to become subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese. (See Donative).