noun \ˈbē-mə\

Definition of BEMA

:  the usually raised part of an Eastern church containing the altar
:  bimah

Origin of BEMA

Late Latin & Late Greek; Late Latin, from Late Greek bēma, from Greek, step, tribunal, from bainein to go — more at come
First Known Use: 1683

Rhymes with BEMA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(Greek: “step”) Raised stone platform originally used in Athens as a tribunal where orators addressed the citizens and courts of law. In modern times it is usually a rectangular wooden platform. The bema became a standard fixture in Eastern Orthodox churches, functioning as a stage for the altar and clergy. In synagogues, the bema (or bimah) is a raised platform with a reading desk from which the Torah and passages from the Prophets are read.


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