The study of inscriptions on ancient buildings and statues, many of which are relevant to the NT. After discovery, they are deciphered and then related to the history of the period. For example, that officials at Thessalonica were called ‘politarchs’ (Acts 17:6–8) is confirmed by an inscription at the western side of the city, and the date of Gallio's proconsulship at Corinth is established as 51–2 CE by an inscription found in 1905 at Delphi.
More generally, inscriptions from Palestine in Greek testify to the widespread use of the language and to the influence of Hellenistic culture—previously it had been supposed there was much resistance to it. Light has also been thrown on social life and customs which parallel descriptions in the NT of the Christian communities, as also on those at Qumran as revealed in the Manual of Discipline.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Epigraphy — (ἐπιγραφολογία, from Greek ἐπιγραφή inscription ) is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs engraved into stone or other durable materials, or cast in metal, the science of classifying them as to cultural context and date, elucidating them and… …   Wikipedia

  • Epigraphy — E*pig ra*phy, n. The science of inscriptions; the art of engraving inscriptions or of deciphering them. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • epigraphy — [ē pig′rə fē, ipig′rə fē] n. 1. inscriptions collectively 2. the study that deals with deciphering, interpreting, and classifying inscriptions, esp. ancient inscriptions …   English World dictionary

  • epigraphy — epigraphist, epigrapher, n. /i pig reuh fee/, n. 1. the study or science of epigraphs or inscriptions, esp. of ancient inscriptions. 2. inscriptions collectively. [1850 55; EPIGRAPH + Y3] * * * ▪ historiography Introduction  the study of written… …   Universalium

  • epigraphy — noun Date: 1851 1. epigraphs, inscriptions 2. the study of inscriptions; especially the deciphering of ancient inscriptions …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • epigraphy — noun a) inscriptions collectively b) the study or decipherment of inscriptions, especially of ancient ones See Also: epigraph, epigrapher, epigraphist …   Wiktionary

  • epigraphy — n. study of epigraphs, study of inscriptions (especially ancient inscriptions) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • epigraphy — [ɪ pɪgrəfi, ɛ ] noun the study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions. Derivatives epigrapher noun epigraphic adjective epigraphical adjective epigraphically adverb epigraphist …   English new terms dictionary

  • epigraphy — epig·ra·phy …   English syllables

  • epigraphy — e•pig•ra•phy [[t]ɪˈpɪg rə fi[/t]] n. 1) the study of epigraphs or inscriptions, esp. ancient inscriptions 2) inscriptions collectively • Etymology: 1850–55 e•pig′ra•phist, e•pig′ra•pher, n …   From formal English to slang

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