HomeTheological DictionaryPentecost

The Holy Spirit arrived, as Jesus said He would, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

The word pentecost means “the fiftieth day.” More specifically, Pentecost is a Jewish festival that celebrates the end of harvest. It’s the second of three major Jewish festivals:

  1. Passover (Pesach)
  2. Pentecost (Shavuot)
  3. Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Pentecost is a Greek word. In Hebrew, Shavuot is “the festival of weeks.” Celebrated seven weeks and one day after Passover (the feast of unleavened bread), we find instructions for Pentecost in Leviticus 23:15-21.

The old English word Whitsunday was sometimes used for Pentecost, probably reflecting the white robes worn by those baptized being baptized on that day.

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