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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Pilgrim 1. Although the word is not found in the Gospels, they constantly indicate the place of the annual pilgrimages in the life and thought of the people. There is always an air of movement over the scenes, and a frequent change of setting in the lives of the men and women; they are constantly moving to and fro as the festivals come round. The parents of Jesus kept this custom, and at the age of twelve Jesus made with them His first (?) pilgrimage ( Luke 2:41-49). In the Fourth Gospel there are many references to other visits to the feasts ( John 2:13;  John 5:1;  John 7:14;  John 10:22;  John 11:55-56). No mention is made of them in the Synoptic Gospels; but. it may safely be assumed that Jesus had often made the journey to Jerusalem with the caravans of pilgrims (cf.  Matthew 23:37). The custom explains the rapidity with which news spread; the name of Jesus had become a familiar word in such places as Jericho on the main route ( Luke 18:37-38). The last journey to Jerusalem was made among pilgrims. There is an implied contrast where it is said that Jesus went in silence before His disciples; pilgrims marched with song and rejoicing ( Psalms 42:4), but silence and fear marked the disciples ( Mark 10:32). The multitudes who hailed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem included many Galilaean pilgrims, not without a certain local pride ( Matthew 21:9,  John 12:12). The rejection of Jesus by the Samaritan village ( Luke 17:11-12) was due to their knowledge that Jesus and His band, though taking the less familiar route, were pilgrims to the hated Jerusalem (Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah [abridged ed. of LT [Note: T Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah [Edersheim].] ], p. 297). In estimating the rapid progress of the Christian faith, especially amongst the Dispersion, it must be remembered that many strangers, such as Simon of Cyrene ( Luke 23:26), would be at the feast, and would carry away some knowledge to prepare their minds for the Apostolic message.

2. These pilgrim experiences illustrate some of the words of Jesus. The disciple must travel through the world with heart detached and his treasure laid up in heaven ( Luke 12:33,  Matthew 6:19). His must be the straitened way, not the broad path ( Matthew 7:13); to follow in the way he must give up all ( Mark 10:29,  Matthew 19:29). In their missionary journeys the disciples have the equipment and the mobility of pilgrims ( Matthew 10:9 etc.). The would-be disciple must expect to be homeless ( Matthew 8:20). The disciples are to be sojourners who guard against the dangers of an alien world from which they must be detached (cf.  Hebrews 11:13,  1 Peter 2:11, where the word ‘pilgrim’ [παρεπίδημος] is used). In the Fourth Gospel Jesus denies ( John 4:21) that the annual pilgrimage will be an abiding necessity. Everywhere He speaks of Himself as sojourning in the world for a Divine purpose ( John 8:14,  John 16:28,  John 13:37); the disciples must so look upon their life ( John 12:35,  John 17:16). They are in the world, but not of it ( John 17:15-18,  John 15:19); their true home would be in God. But even in their earthly life they would be in one of the mansions (μοναί) of the Father’s house ( John 14:2). At intervals along the road stood the caravanserais where travellers lodged. The disciples were like travellers, and His companionship had hitherto cheered them. Now He must leave them that He might go forward; but when they arrived He would be waiting for them. (See D. Smith, The Days of His Flesh , p. 449). To complete the thought of life as a pilgrimage, it is to be remembered that the journey is through the outlying parts of the Father’s Kingdom to the centre. See, further, art. Feasts.

Literature.—Josephus BJ vi. ix. 3; Schürer, HJP [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] n. [Note: note.] ii. 51, 220; Farrar, Life of Christ , ch. vi.; A. S. Laidlaw, ‘The Priest and the Pilgrim’ in ExpT [Note: xpT Expository Times.] xi. (1900) 345.

E. Shillito.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

a German prelate of mediaeval times, flourished from 970 to 991. He was first engaged in missionary work among the Hungarians. He held different ecclesiastical positions, and at last was made bishop of Passau. In 974 he drew up for pope Benedict VI a remarkable report concerning the spread of Christianity in Hungary, but the paper was somewhat exaggerated and probably prepared by Pilgrim to further some particular interest of his own. The truth is that, like his predecessors, he was striving to assert his independence of the archbishopric of Salzburg; and he defended the dignity and rights of that ancient metropolis, the long since dilapidated city of Lorch (Laureacum), whose diocese stretched onward to Pannonia. "And so we may suppose," says Neander, "that in his efforts to convince the pope (from whom, in fact, he obtained the fulfillment of his wishes) how necessary the restoration of this metropolis was to Pannonia and to its subordinate bishoprics, he allowed himself to be betrayed into a somewhat exaggerated representation of this new sphere of labor in Hungary." See Neander, History of the Christian Church, 3, 331 sq.; Kurtz, Lehrbuch d. Kirchengesch. (7th ed.) 1, 294; Theolog. Univ. Lex. s.v. (B. P.)