Worshipper is a translation of the Greek word νεωκόρος, used once only (Ac 19:35; marg. "temple-keeper"). The neocoros was originally an attendant in a temple, probably intrusted with its charge (Eurip. Ion [ed. Dindorf], pages 115, 121; Plato, Leg. [ed. Bekker], 6:7; Theodoret, Hist. Eccles. 3:14, 16; Pollux, 1:14; Philo, De Proverbs Sac. 6, 2:237; Hesychius explains it by ὁ τὸν ναὸν κοσμῶν, κορεῖν γὰρ τὸ σαίρειν; Suidas, κοσμῶν καὶ εύτρεπίζων, ἀλλ᾿ οὐχ ὁ σαρῶν [ed. Gaisf. p. 2579]). The divine honors paid in later Greek times to eminent persons, even in their lifetime, were imitated and exaggerated by the Romans under the empire, especially in Asia (Plut. Lys. page 23; Appian, Mith., page 76; Dion Cass. 31:6). The term neocorsos became thus applied to cities or communities which undertook the worship of particular emperors, even in their lifetime, but there is no trace of the special title being applied to any city before the time of Augustus. The first occurrence of the term in connection with Ephesus is on coins of the age of Nero (A.D. 54-68), a time which would sufficiently agree with its use in the account of the riot there, probably in 55 or 56. In later times the title appears with the numerical adjuncts δίς, τρίς, and even τετράκις . A coin of Nero's time bears on one side Ε᾿φεσιων νεωκόρων, and on the reverse a figure of the temple of Artemis (Mionnet, Inscr. 3:93; Eckhel, Doctr. Vet. Num. 2:520). The ancient veneration of Artemis and her temple, on the part of the city of Ephesus, which procured for it the title of νεωκόρος τῆς Α᾿ρτέμιδος, is too well known to need illustration; but in later times it seems probable that with the term νεωκόρος the practice of neocorism became reserved almost exclusively for the veneration paid to Roman emperors, towards whom many other cities also of Asia Minor are mentioned as neocorists, e.g. Nicomedia, Perinthus, Sardis, Smyrna, Magnesia (see Herod. i, 26; Strabo, 14:640; Aristid. Or. [ed. Dindorf], 42:775; Mionnet, Inscr. 3:97, Nos. 281, 285; Eckhel, De Num. 2:520, 521; Boeckh, Inscr. 2617, 2618, 2622, 2954, 2957, 2990, 2992, 2993; Krause. De Civ. Neocoris; Hoffmann, Lex. s.v. "Neocoros." SEE EPHESUS.

Bible concordance for WORSHIP.

Definition of worshiper

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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