From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

This word in the Epistles of the NT is the translation of the Greek word προσαγωγή ( Romans 5:2,  Ephesians 2:18;  Ephesians 3:12; cf.  1 Peter 3:18, where the verb is used actively). It has been treated very thoroughly in Dict. of Christ and the Gospels ( s.v. ). Here we shall confine ourselves to-

1. The connotation of the word. -In classical Greek, the term προσαγωγεύς was used primarily for ‘one who brings to,’ ‘introduces to another as an intermediary,’ mainly in a derogatory sense (cf. προσαγωγεὺς λημμάτων, one who hunts for another’s benefit-a jackal [Dem. 750. 21; cf. Aristid. ii. 369, 395]; the spies of the Sicilian kings were called προσαγωγεῖς, ‘tale-bearers’ [Plut. ii. 522 D]). It was, however, used later in a technical sense, the court προσαγωγεύς being a functionary whose business it was to bring visitors or suppliants into the king’s presence, προσαγωγή came thus to mean access to the royal presence and favour. It is from this association of ideas that the word derives its religious connotation in the NT. God is conceived in the kingly relation (as frequently in the OT), as one whose favour is sought and found, and Christ as the προσαγωγεύς who introduces the sinner into the Divine presence. It is thus a form of words representing Him in the light of a Mediator between God and man; and it throws light on the relation of the three parties in the transaction.

2. The light thrown on the character and attitude of God towards man. -The kingly concept represents God as supreme, one to whom all allegiance is due, and who has the power of life and death over all His subjects. In the OT, Jahweh, especially in the Psalms, is often represented as the King of His people Israel (cf.  Psalms 10:16;  Psalms 24:8-10;  Psalms 44:4;  Psalms 47:2;  Psalms 68:24 etc.) It is noticeable, however, that in most of these passages the Oriental awe in which alt potentates were habitually held is suffused with a sense of joy and pride in God as Israel’s King; His power, favour, and victorious character are mainly dwelt on. The idea which lies behind the NT references, however, is rather that of the difficulty of approach to the King’s presence, not merely on account of His loftiness and majesty, but of His alienation, which demands a process of reconciliation. It suggests that the normal relation of the King and His subjects has been disturbed by rebellion or wrong-doing. The Divine dignity has been outraged, and His claim to obedience set at defiance. There is thus no longer a right of admittance to the Divine presence unless the wrong is righted and the lost favour restored; and, till that has been secured, the protection and kindly attitude of God can no longer be relied on.

3. The light thrown on the condition and attitude of man towards God. -The suggestion is that man in conscious of being alienated from God by sin; that he has no confidence in approaching God in consequence, being uncertain of his reception; that he knows of nothing which he can do to restore the lost relation; and that he is deeply sensible of the shame and peril of his condition. The conception of the effects of evil-doing as separating God and man is one that runs through the priestly ritual of Judaism (cf. also the prophetic declaration in  Isaiah 59:2 ‘your iniquities have separated between you and your God’), and corresponds to a fact in the consciousness of all awakened sinners. In the earlier experience of St. Paul this feeling was evidently poignantly emphasized; and the sense of deliverance that came to him through the gospel may be taken as the measure of the pain and sorrow from which he had been delivered.

4. The function fulfilled by Christ as the One through whom the renewal of the lost relation between God and man was accomplished. -The word προσαγωγή is insufficient to represent this function. In itself it stands for the work of a functionary whose rôle is to act as a merely official link between the two parties, having no active part in the process of reconciliation, and having therefore no claim to the gratitude of the beneficiary in the process. On the other band, the apostolic use of the word in its reference to the person and work of Christ includes the suggestion that the ‘access’ to God referred to has been accomplished by Christ Himself, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude is awakened by this fact. This appears in the four passages in which the word is used, especially in the last ( 1 Peter 3:18). According to this, the bringing of man to God is effected through the work of Christ in His Passion; ‘because Christ also suffered for sins once (ἅποξ, meaning here ‘once for all’ = a fact accomplished), the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us (προσαγάγῃ) to God,’ i.e. restore ns to His favour, and lead us to the benefits of the Divine reconciliation. In  Romans 5:2, again, the ‘access’ receives its meaning and privilege through its consummation in and by Christ, ‘through whom we have also (καί, ‘copulat et auget’ [Toletus], ‘answering almost to our “as might be expected” ’ [Alford]) got (ἐσχήκαμεν) our (τὴν) access (introduction) by our (τῇ) faith, into this grace wherein we stand’ (see Dict. of Christ and the Gospels i. 13a). Here the Person of the προσαγωγεύς is chiefly thought of (‘this has come to us through Him’); and the resulting benefit is urged as a reason for holy exultation, since it means justification as a ground for ‘rejoicing in the hope of glory.’ In  Ephesians 2:18 a slightly different emphasis is suggested: ‘for through Him we both ( i.e. Jew and Gentile) have our access in one spirit unto the Father.’ Here that revelation of God, not as universal King but as the All-Father, which came through Jesus Christ, is included in the benefit secured by Him for mankind at large, and the reconciliation of humanity at variance with itself as well as with God is brought into the circle of mediation (cf.  Ephesians 2:14 ‘for he is our peace [ i.e. He is the peace-maker, the προσαγωγεύς between us, Jew and Gentile, who were once far off from each other] who hath made both one’ by His blood [ Ephesians 2:13]). Through this word we are thus led into the deep places of the gospel as the reconciling agency of God to man, man to God, and man to man.

Literature.-To the literature in the Dict. of Christ and the Gospels add John Foster. Lectures , 1853, ii. 69; R. W. Dale, The Jewish Temple and the Christian Church , 1877, p. 205; A. J. Gordon, The Twofold Life , 1886, p. 175; W. M. Macgregor, Jesus Christ the Son of God , 1907, p. 175.

E. Griffith-Jones.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Access (Gr. prosagôgç ). The word occurs only in   Romans 5:2 ,   Ephesians 2:18;   Ephesians 3:12 , and the question (regarding which commentators are much divided) is whether it ought to be understood in the trans. sense as ‘introduction,’ the being brought near by another, or in the Intrans. sense as ‘access’ or personal approach. The trans. sense is most in keeping with the ordinary use of the vb. prosagô in classical Gr. (cf. its use in   1 Peter 3:18 ‘that he might bring us to God’) the idea suggested being that of a formal introduction into a royal presence. ‘Access,’ moreover, does not so well express the fact that we cannot approach God in our own right, but need Christ to Introduce us; cf. ‘by [RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘through’] whom’ (  Romans 5:2 ), ‘through him’ (  Ephesians 2:18 ), ‘in whom’ (  Ephesians 3:12 ). The word ‘access’ does not occur in Hebrews, but the writer has much to say on the subject of our approach to God through Christ, esp. for the purpose of prayer (  Hebrews 4:14 ff.) and worship (  Hebrews 10:19 ff.).

J. C. Lambert.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [3]

This, in Scripture language, means, the drawing nigh to a throne of grace, and having a nearness, and audience with God in Christ. The apostle Paul hath a short but comprehensive verse, ( Ephesians 2:18) which explains this most fully; and at the same time shews, how each glorious person of the Godhead takes part, in the distinct office of each, on those sweet and blessed occasions. "For through him (that is the Lord Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." It is through the mediation of the Lord Jesus believers draw nigh, and have access unto the Father; and this, by the gracious leadings and influences of the Holy Ghost. And I beg the reader to note yet farther; the blessedness of this access to the throne. It is not simply as introduced by Christ, but beheld, and accepted also in Christ. He is our peace, our cause, both of access and acceptance: for it is "to the praise of the glory of JEHOVAH'S grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved." (See  Romans 5:2;  Ephesians 1:6; Eph 2:18; Eph 3:12;  1 Peter 3:18.) This seems to be the scriptural sense of access.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

1: Προσαγωγή (Strong'S #4318 — Noun Feminine — prosagoge — pros-ag-ogue-ay' )

lit., "a leading or bringing into the presence of" (pros, "to," ago, "to lead"), denotes "access," with which is associated the thought of freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another. It is used three times, (a)  Romans 5:2 , of the "access" which we have by faith, through our Lord Jesus Christ, into grace; (b)  Ephesians 2:18 , of our "access" in one Spirit through Christ, unto the Father; (c)  Ephesians 3:12 , of the same "access," there said to be "in Christ," and which we have "in confidence through our faith in Him." This "access" involves the acceptance which we have in Christ with God, and the privilege of His favor towards us. Some advocate the meaning "introduction."

King James Dictionary [5]

ACCESS', n. L. accessus, from accedo. See Accede.

1. A coming to near approach admittance admission, as to gain access to a prince. 2. Approach, or the way by which a thing may be approached as, the access is by a neck of land. 3. Means of approach liberty to approach implying previous obstacles.

By whom also we have access by faith.  Romans 5

4. Admission to sexual intercourse.

During coverture, access of the husband shall be presumed, unless the contrary be shown.

5. Addition increase by something added as an access of territory but in this sense accession is more generally used. 6. The return of a fit or paroxysm of disease, or fever. In this sense accession is generally used.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

free admission, open entrance. Our access to God is by Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life,  Romans 5:2;  Ephesians 2:18 . Under the law, the high priest alone had access into the holiest of all; but when the veil of the temple was rent in twain, at the death of Christ, it was declared that a new and living way of access was laid open through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. By his death, also, the middle wall of partition was broken down, and Jew and Gentile had both free access to God; whereas, before, the Gentiles had no nearer access in the temple worship than to the gate of the court of Israel. Thus the saving grace and lofty privileges of the Gospel are equally bestowed upon true believers of all nations.

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(1): (n.) An onset, attack, or fit of disease.

(2): (n.) A paroxysm; a fit of passion; an outburst; as, an access of fury.

(3): (n.) Admission to sexual intercourse.

(4): (n.) The means, place, or way by which a thing may be approached; passage way; as, the access is by a neck of land.

(5): (n.) A coming to, or near approach; admittance; admission; accessibility; as, to gain access to a prince.

(6): (n.) Increase by something added; addition; as, an access of territory. [In this sense accession is more generally used.]

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Esther 1:14 Zechariah 3:7 Esther 4:11 Romans 5:1-2 Ephesians 2:10-18 Ephesians 3:12 Leviticus 16:2 16:34 Hebrews 10:19-22

Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [9]

There are many locks in my house and all with different keys, but I have one master-key which opens all. So the Lord has many treasuries and secrets all shut up from carnal minds with locks which they cannot open; but he who walks in fellowship with Jesus possesses the master-key which will admit him to all the blessings of the covenant; yea, to the very heart of God. Through the Well-beloved we have access to God, to heaven, to every secret of the Lord.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

( Προσαγωγή , A Bringing Toward) is the privilege of approaching a superior with freedom. It is distinguished from admittance thus: "We have Admittance where we enter; we have Access to him whom we address. There can be no Access where there is no Admittance; but there may be Admittance without Access. Servants or officers may grant us Admittance into the palaces of princes; the favorites of princes only have Access to their persons" (Crabbe, Engl. Syn. s.v.). (See Acceptance).

1. Introduction, free admission into the presence of a superior. In the New Testament it signifies the free intercourse which we enjoy with God in the exercise of prayer, resulting from our having entered into a state of friendship with him ( Romans 5:2;  Ephesians 2:18;  Ephesians 3:12). It is more than simple admittance; it is such an introduction as leads to future and frequent intercourse. When the vail of the temple was rent at the death of Christ, a new and living way of access to God was opened. Under the law, the high-priest alone had access into the holy of holies. By the death of Christ the middle wall of partition was broken down, and Jew and Gentile have both free access to God; before this, the Gentiles, in the temple- worship, had no nearer access than to the gate of the court of Israel. All the privileges of Christianity are equally bestowed on all believers of all nations. (See Prayer).

2. In Roman ecclesiastical usage

(1.) a collection of preparatory prayers, used by the priests before the celebration of the mass;

(2.) in the election of the pope, a transfer of votes from one candidate to another to secure the necessary number is called an access. If a voter wishes to change his vote to another person, he writes on his paper accedo domino, etc.

Access (Communion prayer)

the name given to the prayer, in the Communion office, beginning with the words "We do not presume to come to this thy table."

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

ak´ses ( προσαγωγή , prosagōgḗ , "a leading to or toward," "approach"): Thrice used in the New Testament to indicate the acceptable way of approach to God and of admission to His favor. Jesus said, "I am the way" ( John 14:6 ). His blood is the "new and living way" ( Hebrews 10:20 ). Only through Him have we "access by faith into this grace wherein we stand" ( Romans 5:2 ); "Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" ( Ephesians 2:18 the King James Version); "in whom we have ... access in confidence, through our faith in him" (  Ephesians 3:12 ).

The goal of redemption is life in God, "unto the Father." The means of redemption is the cross of Christ, "in whom we have our redemption through his blood" ( Ephesians 1:7 ). The agent in redemption is the Holy Spirit, "by one Spirit," "sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" ( Ephesians 1:13 ). The human instrumentality, faith. The whole process of approach to, and abiding fellowship with, God is summed up in this brief sentence Access to the Father, through Christ, by the Spirit, by faith.