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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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bīʕaẗ ‎ ‎بيعة‎ , pl. ‎biyaʕ
ID ... • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
BYʕ
n.f.
(Chr. ) church; ‎synagogue – WehrCowan1979.
Akin to byḍ ‘white’, not bāʕa ‘to sell’
eC7 Q xxii, 41 (in the pl. biyaʕ ) ‘place of worship’
SAr bʕt ‘church’
▪ Jeffery1938, 86-87: »It was early recognized as a ‎foreign word (as-Suyūṭī, Itq , 320 ; Mutaw , 46), and is said by al-Ǧawālīqī, Muʕarrab , 35, to be ‎a borrowing from Pers. One is at a loss to know why al-Ǧawālīqī should think it was Pers, ‎when it is so obviously the Syr bīʕtā ,1 unless perhaps we may suggest that he knew of Syrian churches ‎in Pers territory called by this name and jumped to the conclusion that it was a Pers word. ‎Syr bīʕtā is originally an ‘eggʼ (cf. Ar →bayḍ ; Hbr bēṣā ; Aram bīʕā ) and then was used ‎metaphorically for the top of a rounded arch – BīʕTā ḏ-QBBH ḏ-PūRQSā , and so for the domed ‎buildings used for worship. – The word was well known in pre-Islamic times, being found in the SAr ‎inscriptions,2 and ‎occurring not infrequently in the old poetry (e.g. Diwan Hudh. , ed. Kosegarten, 3, l. 5), and may ‎be assumed to have entered Ar from the Mesopotamian area. It is interesting that the ‎traditional exegesis of the Qurʔān seems to favour the word in xxii, 41, being referred to maʕbad ‎al-naṣārā , though some thought it meant kanīsat al-yahūd , cf. Zam., Baiḍ., Ṭab., on the ‎passage, and TA , v, 285 ; as-Siǧistānī, 65.«
▪ Unrelated to →bāʕa ‘to buy/sell’.
1. This has been generally recognized, cf. Sprenger, ‎‎Leben , iii, 310, n.1 ; Fraenkel, Vocab , 24; Fremdw , 274 ; Rudolph, Abhängigkeit , 7 ; ‎Cheikho, Naṣrāniya , 201. 2. bʕt in the Abraha inscription, CIS , iv, No. 541, ll. 66 and 117.
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