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The Judgement Seat in Antiquity

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 7:35 PM
The Idea of a Judgement Seat in antiquity was usually a large raised stone or marble slab in a public place where a person for one example could be tried before execution or imprisonment. The Greek word for Judgement seat is "bema". The idea of the Judgement seat is not Christian but a much older tradition, most likely long before Greek civilisation also. The New Testament Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:10 "we must stand before the judgment seat (bema) of Christ. " The Jews of Corinth brought Paul to the Bema to be tried by Governor Gallio, Acts 18 12-17. The Corinthian Bema where Paul was tried has been excavated. It is a large stone structure at the side of the Agora or public market, rising 2.3 metres above the cobble stone pavement. This Bema was originally covered in ornately carved marble. Jesus was tried by Pilate at the Bema in Jerusalem Matthew 27:19 and Paul was back at the Bema when he appeared before Governor Porcius Festus Acts 25:1-12. There seems to be no escape of appearing before the Bema. Curator.

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