alms


alms
In the Graeco-Roman world charity as the source of material support for the poor and destitute was almost unknown. Gifts [[➝ gifts]] of food and money were bestowed by the wealthy on those who could give something (e.g. political support) in return. But among the Hebrews there was an injunction encouraging compassion (Deut. 15:11) in a concern for the helpless (Ps. 41:1), especially widows and orphans, and Judaism developed this to the extent that righteousness was almost equated with almsgiving (Tob. 12:9). The synagogues had an organized system of aid to the poor and in the Temple there were six receptacles for receiving alms: these were in the shape of trumpets (cf. Mark 12:41–2; Matt. 6:2). Jesus condemned ostentatious almsgiving—as did some of the teachers among the Pharisees.
The early Church appointed officers to administer charitable gifts (Acts 4:32; 6:3) and Paul urged his Churches to establish a proper practice of almsgiving for the impoverished Christians of Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1 ff.). Eternal life [[➝ eternal life]] may depend on generosity and compassion (Matt. 25:31–46).

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  • Alms — or almsgiving exists in a number of religions. In general, it involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue. In Abrahamic religions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to …   Wikipedia

  • Alms — ([add]mz), n. sing. & pl. [OE. almes, almesse, AS. [ae]lmysse, fr. L. eleemosyna, Gr. elehmosy nh mercy, charity, alms, fr. eleei^n to pity. Cf. {Almonry}, {Eleemosynary}.] Anything given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alms — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Barbara Alms (* 1945), deutsche Kunsthistorikerin Eckardt Alms (* 1954), deutscher Fußballspieler Gernot Alms (* 1962), deutscher Fußballspieler ALMS steht für American Le Mans Series, eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • alms — (n.) O.E. ælmesse alms, almsgiving, from P.Gmc. *alemosna (Cf. O.S. alamosna, O.H.G. alamuosan, O.N. ölmusa), an early borrowing of V.L. *alemosyna (Cf. O.Sp. almosna, O.Fr. almosne, It. limosina), from Church L. eleemosyna (Tertullian, 3c.),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • alms — alms; alms·deed; alms·man; …   English syllables

  • alms — [ämz] n. pl. alms [ME almesse < OE ælmesse < LL(Ec) eleemosyna < Gr eleēmosynē, pity, mercy (in LXX & N.T., charity, alms) < eleēmōn, merciful < eleos, mercy, orig., woe, prob. < IE echoic base * el > Norw dial. jalm, noise]… …   English World dictionary

  • alms — [a:mz US a:mz, a:lmz] n [plural] literary [: Old English; Origin: Almesse, Alms, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek, from eleos pity ] money, food etc given to poor people in the past …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • alms — index contribution (donation), donation, largess (gift) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • alms — [ amz ] noun plural OLD FASHIONED money, food, or clothes given to poor people …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • alms — benefaction, contribution, *donation Analogous words: *charity, philanthropy: dole, pittance, allowance, *ration …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • alms — [n] handout aid, assistance, benefaction, charity, contribution, dole, donation, offering; concepts 337,657 …   New thesaurus