In the OT, a place of sacrifice near which animals were slaughtered and on which oblations of corn, wine, and incense were burnt and offered, in the open air. The ‘high places’ (cf. e.g. 2 Kgs. 23:5) were shrines with a natural kind of altar. Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem had an altar in the courtyard overlaid with bronze (1 Kgs. 8:64) and Ahaz commissioned a larger altar with horns at the four corners. As places for sacrifice, altars were imbued with a sense of holiness where people would approach God and in some cases also seek refuge (1 Kgs. 2:28). Altars might be of stone, either shaped or natural (Judg. 6:19–23), or of earth (Exod. 20:24), or of metal, as was the altar of incense (Exod. 30:3). After the Jerusalem Temple was established as the national centre for worship, locally installed altars were officially no longer allowed.
In the NT there are eight references to an altar in the Temple or in the New Jerusalem according to the vision in Rev. (e.g. 8:5). The altar in the existing Temple at Jerusalem is referred to in Matt. 5:23–4, for in Herod's Temple there was the new altar which the Maccabees [[➝ Maccabees, books of]] had restored (1 Macc. 4:41 ff.) after the ‘desolating sacrilege’ of Antiochus Epiphanes had polluted the altar in 167 BCE. The reference in 1 Cor. 10:21 to ‘the Lord's table’ is probably more a reference to the Eucharist than to any structure used for its celebration, and in Heb. 13:10 the writer claims that Christians have an altar ‘from which those who officiate in the tent [[➝ tents]] (or tabernacle) have no right to eat’, which would appear to be a reference to the Eucharist contrasted with the sacrifices of Judaism.
In the writings of the early Fathers of the Church structures on which the Eucharist was celebrated are sometimes called a ‘table’ and sometimes an ‘altar’. They were made of wood, though stone altars were introduced when the Eucharist was celebrated at the tomb of a martyr in the Roman catacombs in the 4th cent. CE.

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  • ALTAR — (Heb. מִזְבֵּח, mizbe aḥ, derived from the root zbḥ (זבח), meaning to slaughter (as a sacrifice) ), originally the place where sacrificial slaughter was performed (e.g., the sacrifice of Isaac in Gen. 22). According to biblical law however,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Altar — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Este artículo trata sobre el espacio o estructura consagrados al culto religioso. Para otros usos de este término, véase Altar (desambiguación). Un altar (del latín altare, de altus «elevación») es un espacio o… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Altar — Al tar, n. [OE. alter, auter, autier, fr. L. altare, pl. altaria, altar, prob. fr. altus high: cf. OF. alter, autier, F. autel. Cf. {Altitude}.] 1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • altar — (Del lat. altāre). 1. m. Montículo, piedra o construcción elevada donde se celebran ritos religiosos como sacrificios, ofrendas, etc. 2. ara (ǁ piedra consagrada). 3. En el culto cristiano, especie de mesa consagrada donde el sacerdote celebra el …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Altar — (vom lateinischen alta ara), jede künstliche Erhöhung zur Darbringung von Opfern, in heidnischer Vorzeit aus Rasen und Erde, auch aus Holz aufgebaut, das dann mit dem Opfer durch das Feuer verzehrt wurde. I. Heidnische Altäre. Den oberirdischen… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • altar — sustantivo masculino 1. Uso/registro: elevado. Mesa sobre la que el sacerdote cristiano celebra la misa: el altar de la iglesia, poner flores sobre el altar. ). Sinónimo: ara ( 2. Zona delantera de las iglesias católicas donde están los altares:… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • altar — ALTÁR, altare, s.n. 1. Parte a bisericii, despărţită de naos prin catapeteasmă, în care se oficiează liturghia. ♦ Masă de cult pe care se oficiază liturghia, în biserica creştină. 2. Ridicătură din piatră, pământ sau lemn pe care, în antichitate …   Dicționar Român

  • ALTAR — (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Selon le contexte, « Altar » peut signifier : L Altar, un volcan éteint d Équateur ; Altar Interactive, une société de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Altar [2] — Altar (o. lat. alta ara), jede künstliche Erhöhung zur Darbringung von Opfern, im Altertum ursprünglich aus Rasen, Erde, Steinen oder Holz roh aufgebaut. Griechen und Römer machten aus den Altären Werke der Kunst (Fig. 1), sie bildeten sie aus… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • altar — altar, llevar (pasar por el) al altar expr. casarse. ❙ «Frecuentemente en las construcciones ir al altar, casarse, y llevar al altar a una persona, casarse con ella.» DH. ❙ ▄▀ «Han tenido que pasar por el altar porque ella andaba con bombo,… …   Diccionario del Argot "El Sohez"

  • altar — (n.) O.E. alter, altar, from L. altare (pl. altaria) high altar, altar for sacrifice to the great gods, perhaps originally meaning burnt offerings (Cf. L. adolere to worship, to offer sacrifice, to honor by burning sacrifices to ), but influenced …   Etymology dictionary

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