Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Porter ( θυρωρός, Mark 13:34, John 10:3; John 18:16 f. [in last passage, ‘she that kept the door’]).—The English word ‘porter’ is ambiguous, meaning ‘burden-bearer’ as well as ‘door-keeper.’ ‘Janitor’ or ‘gate-keeper’ would be a better rendering. ‘Porters’ were employed to guard city gates, and to keep watch at the entrance of public buildings and of private houses. It would appear from John 18:16 f., where a ‘damsel’ acts as door-keeper of the high priest’s palace, that in some instances women were thus employed (cf. Acts 12:13 f.); see, further, Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, artt. ‘Gate,’ ‘Porter,’ ‘Priests and Levites’ (iv. 93a).
The identity of the porter of the sheepfold ( John 10:3) has been much discussed. Obviously, he is the guardian of the fold, whose office is to open the door to any shepherd ( John 10:2 [Greek and (Revised Version margin)]) whose sheep are in the fold. See art. Sheep. Thus the porter may be (1) God : so Calvin ( Com. on John, in loc. ), Bengel ( Gnomon, in loc. ), and Hengstenberg ( Com. on John, in loc. ); (2) Christ : so Cyril and Augustine (quoted by Hengstenberg), who remark that Christ is His own porter; (3) the Holy Spirit : so Stier, Lange, Alford, and others. Others apply the figure to John the Baptist (so Godet) or to Moses. The most natural interpretation is that given by Westcott ( Gospel of John, in loc. ): ‘The interpretation will vary according to the special sense attached to the “sheep” and the “shepherd.” The figure is not to be explained exclusively of the Holy Spirit, or of the Father, or of Moses, or of John the Baptist, but of the Spirit acting through His appointed ministers in each case.’ For parallels to the symbolism of the passage, cf. Acts 14:27; Acts 16:14, 2 Corinthians 2:12, Colossians 4:3, Revelation 3:7.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
PORTER in EV [Note: English Version.] has always the sense of ‘doorkeeper’ (see House, Â§ 6 ) or ‘gatekeeper’ (see Fortification and Siegecraft, Â§ 5 , end). In John 10:3 the porter is the man left in charge of a sheepfold by the shepherd or shepherds whose sheep are there housed for the night. In private houses the doorkeeper might be a woman ( 2 Samuel 4:6 as restored from LXX [Note: Septuagint.] , Acts 12:13 ). In OT, however, porters are most frequently named in the Books of Chron., Ezrâ€ž and Neh. in connexion with the Temple ( 1 Chronicles 9:17 f. onwards), where they had charge of the various gates (see Temple, Â§ 6 , Priests and Levites, Â§ iii. 1, 2). The same word is rendered doorkeepers in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] 1 Chronicles 15:23 f., and in several other places in RV [Note: Revised Version.] ( 1 Chronicles 15:19 etc.). It is to be regretted that this term was not substituted throughout. In Psalms 84:10 the original is different, and should probably be rendered: ‘I had rather be [standing or lying] at the threshold in the house of my God.’
A. R. S. Kennedy.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words 
"a door-keeper" (thura, "a door," ouros, "a guardian"), is translated "porter" in Mark 13:34; John 10:3; it is used of a female in John 18:16,17 , translated "(her) that kept the door." In the Sept., 2—Samuel 4:6; 2—Kings 7:11; Ezekiel 44:11 .
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Shoeer ; Thuroros . A "gatekeeper" ( 1 Chronicles 9:21), John 10:3 symbolically "the Holy Spirit who opens gospel doors" ( Acts 14:27; 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3) and shuts them ( Acts 16:6-7); "by one Spirit we have access through Christ unto the Father" ( Ephesians 2:18). He opens the door of men's hearts ( Revelation 3:20, compare Acts 16:14).
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): ( n.) A carrier; one who carries or conveys burdens, luggage, etc.; for hire.
(2): ( n.) A malt liquor, of a dark color and moderately bitter taste, possessing tonic and intoxicating qualities.
(3): ( n.) A bar of iron or steel at the end of which a forging is made; esp., a long, large bar, to the end of which a heavy forging is attached, and by means of which the forging is lifted and handled in hammering and heating; - called also porter bar.
(4): ( n.) A man who has charge of a door or gate; a doorkeeper; one who waits at the door to receive messages.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
In scripture this word is used in the sense of doorkeeper. The Levites kept the doors of the temple: it was an honourable office. 2 Samuel 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10,11; 1 Chronicles 9:17-26; Mark 13:34 .
In John 10:3 the Porter is the Spirit of Jehovah working in Israel, who recognised the Lord Jesus as entering in by the door into the sheepfold that as the Good Shepherd He might have access to the sheep.
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types 
Mark 13:34 (b) This represents the servant of GOD who is watching constantly for the welfare of GOD's people and for the interests of his absent Lord.
John 10:3 (b) This is probably a figure of the gracious Spirit of GOD revealing the open door to the seeking heart. It may refer to a wise servant of GOD, some Sunday School teacher, pastor, or evangelist, who sees a troubled soul seeking the Saviour and opens the Scriptures of truth to him so that he enters into salvation.
King James Dictionary 
PORTER, n. L. porta, a gate.
1. A man that has the charge of a door or gate a door-keeper. 2. One that waits at the door to receive messages. 3. L. porto. A carrier a person who carries or conveys burdens for hire. 4. A malt liquor which differs from ale and pale beer, in being made with high dried malt.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
2 Samuel 18:26 2 Kings 7:10 1 Chronicles 9:21 2 Chronicles 8:14 1 Chronicles 23:5 1 Chronicles 15:18
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Porter. This word, when used in the Authorized Version, does not bear its modern signification of a carrier of burdens, but denotes in every case A Gate-Keeper , from the Latin, portarius , the man who attended to the porta , or Gate .
Holman Bible Dictionary 
2 Samuel 18:26 2 Kings 7:10 2 Kings 9:26 Mark 13:34 John 10:3Doorkeeper
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
This word, when used in the A. V., does not bear its modern signification of a carrier of burdens, but denotes in every case a gatekeeper, from the Latin portarius, the man who attended to the porta. In the original the word is שׁוֹעֵר or שֹׁעֵר , Shoer, from שִׁעִר , Shaar, a gate; once ( Ezra 7:24) Chald. תָּרָע , tara', the same (Sept. Θυρωρός and Πυλωρός ; Vulg. portarius and janitor). This meaning is evidently implied in 1 Chronicles 9:21; 2 Chronicles 23:19; 2 Chronicles 35:15; John 10:3. It is generally employed in reference to the Levites who had charge of the entrances to the sanctuary, but is used also in other connections in 2 Samuel 18:26 : 2 Kings 7:10-11; Mark 13:34; John 10:3; John 18:16-17. In two passages ( 1 Chronicles 15:23-24) the Hebrew word is rendered "doorkeeper," and in John 18:16-17, Ἡ Θυρωρὸς is "she that kept the door." Thus, in 2 Kings 7:10-11, and 2 Samuel 18:26, we meet with the porter at the gates of a town. In the palace of the high-priest ( John 18:17) the porter was a female, Ἡ Παιδισκη , Ἡ Θυρωρός . See also Acts 12:13. A porter seems to have been usually stationed at the doors of sheepfolds ( John 10:3). According to Stier and others, this Θυρωρὸς corresponds to the Holy Spirit, who opens the way for the true ministers of Christ. (See Door).
The porters of the Temple, who were guards as well as porters, were very numerous in David's time; for in 1 Chronicles 23:5 no less than 4000 are mentioned. They were divided into courses ( 1 Chronicles 26:1-19), and had their post assigned them by lot ( 1 Chronicles 26:13). Besides attending to the gates and keeping order there, they seem, as Lightfoot says, to have had charge of certain treasures ( 1 Chronicles 26:15, comp. with 2 Chronicles 25:24, and Lightfoot's Prospect Of The Temple, c. 5, § 6). Properly speaking, their office was in some respects military: they were the soldiers of Jehovah, and the guards of his Temple. The stations that were guarded were not all occupied by the same number-some being guarded by six, some by four, and others by two persons only. They were relieved every Sabbath-day by others who took their places ( 2 Kings 11:5; 1 Chronicles 9:17-29; 1 Chronicles 16:42; 2 Chronicles 8:14; 2 Chronicles 23:4; 2 Chronicles 31:14; 2 Chronicles 35:15). Their service was required by night as well as by day, and a man called "the Man of the Mountain of the House" went round every night to see that all were in their places, and that none of them slept. If he found any one asleep he struck him, and had liberty to burn his clothes. To this Lightfoot thinks there is a reference in Revelation 16:15 : "Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments" (Temple Service, c. 7 § 1). (See Temple).
- Porter from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Porter from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Porter from Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
- Porter from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Porter from Webster's Dictionary
- Porter from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Porter from Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types
- Porter from King James Dictionary
- Porter from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Porter from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Porter from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Porter from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature