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The first biblical reference to prison is of Joseph in Egypt (Gen. 38.20-23) where he was placed by Potiphar. The word in Hebrew (sohar) can be defined as a round tower or fortress. It may have been a part of Potiphar’s house where state prisoners were kept. The Law of Moses had no provision for prison as a punishment. The concept of prison is mentioned in Psalms (Psa. 69.33; 79.11; 142.7). Frequent mention is made of prison during the period of the Kings (1 Kings 22.27; 2 Kings 17.4; 25.27, 29; 2 Chron. 16.10; Isa. 42.7; Jer. 32.2). In the New Testament, prisons were common (Matt. 11.2; 25.36, 43). There are four related terms in the New Testament that are translated prison (Matt. 11.2; Act 5.18; Acts 12.7; Acts 16.23-40).


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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)