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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Στοά (Strong'S #4745 — Noun Feminine — stoa — sto-ah' )

"a portico," is used (a) of the "porches" at the pool of Bethesda,  John 5:2; (b) of the covered colonnade in the Temple, called Solomon's "porch,"  John 10:23;  Acts 3:11;  5:12 a portico on the eastern side of the temple; this and the other "porches" existent in the time of Christ were almost certainly due to Herod's restoration. Cp. Stoics (  Acts 17:18 ), "philosophers of the porch."

2: Πυλών (Strong'S #4440 — Noun Masculine — pulon — poo-lone' )

akin to pule, "a gate" (Eng., "pylon"), is used of "a doorway, porch or vestibule" of a house or palace,  Matthew 26:71 . In the parallel passage  Mark 14:68 , No. 3 is used, and pulon doubtless stands in  Matthew 26 for proaulion. See Gate , No. 2.

3: Προαύλιον (Strong'S #4259 — Noun Neuter — proaulion — pro-ow'-lee-on )

"the exterior court" or "vestibule," between the door and the street, in the houses of well-to-do folk,  Mark 14:68 , "porch" (RV marg., "forecourt").

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

PORCH . This word is a doublet of ‘portico’ (from Lat. porticus ), both originally denoting a covered entrance to a building. When the front of this entrance is supported on pillars, the porch becomes a portico. particus , like the Gr. stoa , was extended to signify a roofed colonnade running round a public building such as a temple, or enclosing an open space, like the cloisters of a mediæval monastery. The most famous of these ‘porches’ a sense in which the word is now obsolete were the ‘painted porch’ the Porch par excellence at Athens, and Solomon’s porch at Jerusalem (see below).

In the OT a porch is named chiefly in connexion with the Temple (see below), or with the palace (wh. see) of Solomon. The pillars of the temple of Dagon at Gaza which Samson pulled down, or rather slid from their stone bases, were probably two of those supporting the portico, as ingeniously explained by Macalister, Bible Sidelights , etc., ch. vii. (see House, § 5 ). The word rendered ‘porch’ in   Judges 3:23 is of quite uncertain meaning and even of doubtful authenticity.

In the NT, in connexion with the trial of Jesus, mention is made of a ‘porch’ or, as RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] , ‘forecourt’ ( Mark 14:63 ), as distinguished from the ‘court’ (  Mark 14:66 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ) of the high priest’s palace, for which   Matthew 26:71 (EV [Note: English Version.] ‘porch’) has a word elsewhere rendered ‘gate.’ In both cases the covered gateway leading from the street to the court is probably meant.

Solomon’s porch (  John 10:23 ,   Acts 3:11;   Acts 5:12 ) was a covered colonnade or cloister running along the east side of the Temple enclosure (see Temple, § 1 ( a ), where the triple colonnade of Herod’s temple the ‘Royal Porch’ of Josephus is also discussed. For details see ExpT [Note: Expository Times.] , Nov. 1908, p. 68). A similar colonnade enclosed the pool of Bethesda (  John 5:2 ).

A. R. S. Kennedy.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

When ‘porch’ is a translation of στοά, it denotes a portico (so  Acts 3:11 RVm_), covered colonnade, or cloister, where people could walk and talk, protected from sun or rain, and where liberty of public speaking and teaching was generally enjoyed. Round the entire area of Herod’s Temple there ran a succession of magnificent porticces built against the enclosing wall. Solomon’s Porch, which adorned the eastern side-hence called also the στοὰ ἀνατολική (Jos. Ant. XX. ix. 7)-and faced the entrance to the Women’s Court, was a double portico, about 50 ft. wide, formed by three rows of white marble monolithic columns, each about 40 ft. high. It was roofed by cedar beams, richly carved, and its aisles were paved in mosaic fashion with stone (Jos. Ant. XV. xi. 5, BJ_ V. v. 2). Josephus appears to have believed that it had survived from the time of Solomon (Ant. XX. ix. 7, BJ_ V. v. 1), but in all probability its name implied no more than that on the same foundations there had stood a previous structure which partly dated from Solomon’s time. The porch in which Jesus walked on the Feast of Dedication ( John 10:23), to which the people ran together after witnessing St. Peter’s miracle at the Beautiful Gate ( Acts 3:11), and which was a rendezvous of the early Church (5:12), was certainly modern. It was in the style of contemporary Hellenistic architecture, and was only less magnificent than the triple colonnade known as the ‘Royal Porch’-στοὰ βασιλική-which ran along the south side of the Temple court.

Literature.-A. Edersheim, LT_4 i. 244 f., ii. 151; A. R. S. Kennedy, ‘Some Problems of Herod’s Temple,’ in ExpT_ XX. [1908-09], art._ ‘Temple’ in EBr_11; B. Kleinschmidt, art._ ‘Temple’ in JE_.

James Strahan.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]


1. U'lam or ul'am .  1 Chronicles 28:11. Strictly a vestibule, was probably, a sort of veranda chamber, in the works of Solomon, open in front and at the sides, but capable of being enclosed with awnings or curtains..

2. Misderon [ulam] .  Judges 3:23. The porch,  Matthew 26:71, may have been the passage from the street, into the first court of the house, in which, in eastern houses, is the mastabah , or stone bench, for the porter or persons waiting, and where also, the master of the house often receives visitors and transacts business, or it may have been a corridor, connecting the principal rooms of the house.  Matthew 16:71.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [5]

'Uwlam .  1 Chronicles 28:11, of Solomon's temple, a "vestibule open in front and on the sides". The porch ( Puloon or Proaulion ),  Matthew 26:71, is the passage beneath the housefront from the street to the aule or court inside, open to the sky. This passage or porch was closed next the street by a large folding gate with a small wicket for single persons, kept by a porter ( John 18:16-17). The "porches" ( John 5:2) were arches or porticoes opening upon and surrounding the reservoir Solomon's porch ( John 10:23) was on the E. side of the temple (Josephus, Ant. 20:9, section 7).

King James Dictionary [6]

PORCH, n. L. porticus, from porta, a gate, entrance or passage, or from portus, a shelter.

1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by columns at the entrance of temples, halls, churches or other buildings. 2. A portico a covered walk. 3. By way of distinction, the porch, was a public portico in Athens, where Zeno, the philosopher, taught his disciples. It was called the painted porch, from the pictures of Polygnotus and other eminent painters, with which it was adorned. Hence, the Porch is equivalent to the school of the Stoics.

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(1): ( n.) A portico; a covered walk.

(2): ( n.) A covered and inclosed entrance to a building, whether taken from the interior, and forming a sort of vestibule within the main wall, or projecting without and with a separate roof. Sometimes the porch is large enough to serve as a covered walk. See also Carriage porch, under Carriage, and Loggia.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 1 Kings 6:19 Matthew 26:71  Mark 14:68  John 5:2  Acts 3:11Arch

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [9]

See House and TEMPLE.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

pōrch  : Chiefly in the Old Testament אוּלם , 'ūlām , used of the temples of Solomon and Ezekiel (see Temple ); once miṣderōn , a "vestibule," in   Judges 3:23 . In the New Testament, the word occurs in connection with the high priest's palace ( Matthew 26:71 , pulṓn  ;  Mark 14:68 , proaúlion ), and as the rendering of στοά , stoá , a "portico," in  John 5:2 (pool of Bethesda); and   John 10:23;  Acts 3:11;  Acts 5:12 . See Porch , Portico , Solomon 'S.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Porch'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/porch.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.