Cremation
Jump to: ISBEWebster'sThesaurusHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTerms
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) A burning; esp., the act or practice of cremating the dead.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
CREMATION

kre-ma'-shun (compare saraph, Joshua 7:15, etc., "shall be burnt with fire"; kaio, 1 Corinthians 13:3, "If I give my body to be burned," etc.): Cremation, while the customary practice of the ancient Greeks, and not unknown among the Romans, was certainly not the ordinary mode of disposing of the dead among the Hebrews or other oriental peoples. Even among the Greeks, bodies were often buried without being burned (Thuc. i. 134, 6; Plato Phaedo 115 E; Plut. Lyc. xxvii). Cicero thought that burial was the more ancient practice, though among the Romans both methods were in use in his day (De leg. ii.22, 56). Lucian (De luctu xxi) expressly says that, while the Greeks burned their dead, the Persians buried them (see BURIAL, and compare 2 Samuel 21:12-14). In the case supposed by Amos 6:10, when it is predicted that Yahweh, in abhorrence of "the excellency of Jacob," shall "deliver up the city," and, "if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die," and "a man's kinsman (ARVm) shall take him up, even he that burneth him," etc., the suggestion seems to be that of pestilence with accompanying infection, and that this, or the special judgment of Yahweh, is why burning is preferred. When Paul (1 Corinthians 13:3) speaks of giving his body to be burned, he is simply accommodating his language to the customs of Corinth. (But see Plutarch on Zarmanochegas, and C. Beard, The Universal Christ.)

How far religious, or sanitary, or practical reasons were influential in deciding between the different methods, it is impossible to say. That bodies were burned in times of pestilence in the Valley of Hinnom at Jerusalem is without support (see Ezekiel 39:11-16). The "very great burning" at the burial of Asa (2 Chronicles 16:14) is not a case of cremation, but of burning spices and furniture in the king's honor (compare Jeremiah 34:5). Nor is 1 Kings 13:2 a case in point; it is simply a prophecy of a king who shall take the bones of men previously buried, and the priests of the high places that burn incense in false worship, and cause them to be burned on the defiled altar to further pollute it and render it abominable.

There is in the New Testament no instance of cremation, Jewish, heathen or Christian, and clearly the early Christians followed the Jewish practice of burying the dead (see Tert., Apol., xlii; Minuc. Felix, Octav., xxxix; Aug., De civ. Dei, i.12, 13). Indeed, cremation has never been popular among Christians, owing largely, doubtless, to the natural influence of the example of the Jews, the indisputable fact that Christ was buried, the vivid hope of the resurrection and the more or less material views concerning it prevalent here and there at this time or that. While there is nothing anti-Christian in it, and much in sanitary considerations to call for it in an age of science, it is not likely that it will ever become the prevailing practice of Christendom.

George B. Eager

Strong's Hebrew
8613. Tophteh -- a place of burning, probably the same as Topheth
... Tophet. Probably a form of Topheth; Tophteh, a place of cremation -- Tophet. see
HEBREW Topheth. 8612, 8613. Tophteh. 8614 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8613.htm - 6k

8316. serephah -- a burning
... 3), thoroughly (1). burning. From saraph; cremation -- burning. see HEBREW
saraph. 8315, 8316. serephah. 8317 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/8316.htm - 6k

4955. misraphah -- a burning
... burning. From saraph; combustion, ie Cremation (of a corpse), or calcination (of
lime) -- burning. see HEBREW saraph. 4954, 4955. misraphah. 4956 . ...
/hebrew/4955.htm - 6k

Library

Pagan Cemeteries.
... Various modes of burial in Rome."Inhumation and cremation."Gradual predominance
of the latter."Columbaria."Inscription describing the organization of ...
/.../lanciani/pagan and christian rome/chapter vi pagan cemeteries.htm

Index.
... Burial, rights of, accorded the Christians, 119; more common than cremation in
prehistoric times, 253; early burial in the trunks of trees, 254; clay coffins ...
//christianbookshelf.org/lanciani/pagan and christian rome/index 2.htm

Imperial Tombs.
... army, and the whole population skirted the Circus Flaminius and the Septa Julia,
and by the Via Flaminia reached the ustrinum, or sacred enclosure for cremation ...
/.../lanciani/pagan and christian rome/chapter iv imperial tombs.htm

Egypt
... and where the cemeteries of the dead adjoined the houses of the living, brick was
needful instead of stone, and sanitary considerations made cremation necessary ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/chapter v egypt.htm

Missed Ends
... Rice was prepared for the dead man's use, and balls of rice were ready to be offered
to his spirit after his cremation; for the Hindus think that an ...
/.../wilson-carmichael/things as they are/chapter vi missed ends.htm

In Death and after Death
... among them. Cremation was denounced as a purely heathen practice, contrary
to the whole spirit of Old Testament teaching. Secondly ...
/.../edersheim/sketches of jewish social life/chapter 10 in death and.htm

The City of Benares.
... The fire at that place never goes out. Cremation, not burial, it is well
known, is the Indian mode of disposing of the dead. The ...
/.../life and work in benares and kumaon 1839-1877/chapter vii the city of.htm

The Life of Sir Thomas Browne.
... which nation buried their dead in the ground, which threw them into the sea, or
which gave them to birds and beasts; when the practice of cremation began, or ...
//christianbookshelf.org/browne/christian morals/the life of sir thomas.htm

The Death and the Raising of Lazarus - the Question of Miracles ...
... When afterwards earth-burials had to be vindicated against the Parsee idea of cremation,
Jewish divines more fully discussed the question of burial, and ...
/.../edersheim/the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter xxi the death and.htm

Notes
... The general practice of cremation was rejected, partly owing to the new belief in
the resurrection of the body, and partly from a desire to imitate the burial ...
//christianbookshelf.org/prudentius/the hymns of prudentius/notes.htm

Thesaurus
Cremation
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) A burning; esp., the act or practice of cremating
the dead. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. CREMATION. ...
/c/cremation.htm - 9k

Burial (25 Occurrences)
... FOR BURIAL 1. Often Informal and Hasty 2. Usually with More Ceremony 3. Contrasts
between Jewish Customs and Other Peoples' (1) Cremation (2) Embalming III. ...
/b/burial.htm - 42k

Creeps (13 Occurrences)

/c/creeps.htm - 10k

Urn (1 Occurrence)
... or pedestal, employed for different purposes, as for holding liquids, for ornamental
uses, for preserving the ashes of the dead after cremation, and anciently ...
/u/urn.htm - 7k

Furnace (35 Occurrences)
... This furnace would be in constant requisition, for the Babylonians disposed of their
dead by cremation, as did also the Accadians who invaded Mesopotamia. ...
/f/furnace.htm - 22k

Crept (3 Occurrences)

/c/crept.htm - 7k

Gezer (14 Occurrences)
... living in the many caves which riddled the hill surface; they were apparently a
non-Sem race, and there was some evidence that they at least knew of cremation. ...
/g/gezer.htm - 27k

Relationships (1 Occurrence)
... Amos 6:10 (where the dodh, "even he that burneth him" (mecarepho, perhaps "maternal
uncle"; the Jewish Encyclopedia, under the word "Cremation"), takes charge ...
/r/relationships.htm - 38k

Family (438 Occurrences)
... Amos 6:10 (where the dodh, "even he that burneth him" (mecarepho, perhaps "maternal
uncle"; the Jewish Encyclopedia, under the word "Cremation"), takes charge ...
/f/family.htm - 87k

Religion (23 Occurrences)
... seem not to have attached so much importance to this after-existence as did the
Egyptians, but they did practice burial and not cremation, and placed often ...
/r/religion.htm - 101k



Creeps
Top of Page
Top of Page