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NAVE: Council
EBD: Council
Cottage | Cotton | Couch | Couching-Place | Coulter | Council | Counsel | Counselor | Count | Countenance | Counter-Charm


Council [EBD]

spoken of counsellors who sat in public trials with the governor of a province (Acts 25:12).

The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the "judgment," perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of Palestine (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor. 11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word "council" means simply a company of persons. (R.V. marg., "company.")

In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed account in Acts 15.

Council [NAVE]

COUNCIL, Apostolic, Acts 15:1-29.
Of War, 2 Sam. 16:20; 17:1-4; 2 Sam. 17:5-15.


  1. The great council of the Sanhedrin, which sat at Jerusalem. [SANHEDRIN]
  2. The lesser courts, (Matthew 10:17; Mark 13:9) of which there were two at Jerusalem and one in each town of Palestine. The constitution of these courts is a doubtful point. The existence of local courts, however constituted, is clearly implied in the passages quoted from the New Testament; and perhaps the "judgment," (Matthew 5:21) applies to them.
  3. A kind of jury or privy council, (Acts 25:12) consisting of a certain number of assessors, who assisted Roman governors in the administration of justice and in other public matters.


COUNCIL; COUNCILLOR - koun'-sil, koun'-siler (sumboulion): An assembly of advisers (Acts 25:12); a body of those taking counsel (see Schurer's Jewish People in the Time of Christ, I (1), 60). Distinguished from sunedrion, the supreme court of the Jews, by being of a less formal character, i.e. less of an institution. For "council" in the latter sense, its most frequent use, see SANHEDRIN. A councilor (Greek bouleutes) was a member of the Sanhedrin. Applied to Joseph of Arimathea (Mk 15:43; Lk 23:50). In the King James Version "counsellor."

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