Palace - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G833, aule ]
a court, dwelling, palace:" See COURT.

[ 2,,G4232, praitorion ]
signified originally "a general's (praetor's) tent." Then it was applied to "the council of army officers;" then to "the official residence of the governor of a province;" finally, to "the imperial bodyguard." In the AV the word appears only once, Mark 15:16, "the hall, called Praetorium" (RV, "within the court which is the Praetorium," marg., "palace"); in the Greek of the NT is also occurs in Matthew 27:27, AV, "the common hall," marg., "the governor's house;" RV, "palace," See marg.; John 18:28 (twice), AV, "the hall of judgment;" and "judgment hall," marg., "Pilate's house," RV, "palace," See marg.; so in Acts 23:35; in Philippians 1:13, AV, "in all the palace," marg., "Caesar's court," RV, "throughout the whole praetorian guard," marg., "in the whole Praetorium."

"In the Gospels the term denotes the official residence in Jerusalem of the Roman governor, and the various translations of it in our versions arose from a desire either to indicate the special purpose for which that residence was used on the occasion in question, or to explain what particular building was intended. But whatever building the governor occupied was the Praetorium. It is most probable that in Jerusalem he resided in the well-known palace of Herod. ... Pilate's residence has been identified with the castle of Antonia, which was occupied by the regular garrison. The probability is that it was the same as Herod's palace. Herod's palace in Caesarea was used as the Praetorium there, and the expression in Acts 23:35, marg., 'Herod's praetorium,' is abbreviated from 'the praetorium of Herod's palace.'" (Hastings' Bib. Dic.).

In Philippians 1:13, marg., "the whole Praetorium" has been variously explained. It has been spoken of as "the palace," in connection with Philippians 4:22, where allusion is made to believers who belong to Caesar's household. Others have understood it of the barracks of the "praetorian" guard, but Lightfoot shows that this use of the word cannot be established, neither can it be regarded as referring to the barracks of the "palace" guard. The phrase "and to all the rest" in Philippians 1:13 indicates that persons are meant. Mommsen, followed by Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveller, p. 357) regards it as improbable that the Apostle was committed to the "praetorian" guard and holds the view that Julius the centurion, who brought Paul to Rome, belonged to a corps drafted from legions in the provinces, whose duty it was to supervise the corn supply and perform police service, and that Julius probably delivered his prisoners to the commander of his corps. Eventually Paul's case came before the praetorian council, which is the "praetorium" alluded to by the Apostle, and the phrase "to all the rest" refers to the audience of the trial.

Note: Some scholars, believing that this Epistle was written during an Ephesian imprisonment, take the "Praetorium" here to be the residence in Ephesus of the proconsul of the province of Asia, and "Caesar's household" to be the local imperial civil service (Deissmann etc.).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words