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The Word Explained

(A state of) grace: To live an undeserved and free life because of God's favour.
Abaddon: The place of destruction.
Abba: a) Jesus‘ term of endearment for God as our heavenly Father, a relationship embracing trust and intimacy.
b) A Christian’s relationship with God is also to reflect this Father – child connection.
Abbey: The building for a community of monks or nuns.
Abbot: The leader of a monastery.
Abiding: Christians are exhorted, especially in John's writings, to abide in Christ; to live life closely connected to Jesus.
Abiogenesis: The creation of living matter from inanimate matter.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: These three men, when referenced together, were God's means of establishing a New Covenant for humanity through faith.
Abrahamic covenant: God’s contractual promise to bless Abraham and all people through Him; a blessing fulfilled in and through Jesus.
Absolution: a) The assurance of God's forgiveness when a believer confesses their sin with genuine remorse.
b) Roman Catholic practice of confessing sin to a priest who on Christ's authority then forgives.
Absolve: To release from blame and the consequences of a given behaviour.
Absolved/absolution: To be released from the guilt, blame and ultimate consequences of sin through Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the cross.
Abstinence: To keep yourself from. Biblical references usually refer to immoral behaviour.

Abyss: The prison for all who stubbornly refuse to obey God.
Acceptable (Year of the Lord): Isaiah’s prophetic allusion to and Jesus' proclamation of His work being a God- appointed, delightful and desirable time for liberation from sin and its consequences.
Access: A freedom to enter because of the favour and assistance of another (Jesus); Refers to grace and God the Father in the New Testament.
Accuser: A title for Satan as the one who accuses, charges and blames in an attempt to undo what God has done.
Acolyte: Priest’s assistant in a service or procession.
(Act of) contrition: a) A prayer of remorse and penitence.
b) An act showing sorrow for a past deed.
Adonai: God, Lord and Master over all created beings.
Adoption: Speaks of the rights and privileges of sonship given to those who receive Jesus as their Lord through God's grace.
Adoptionism: Its principle tenet is Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at either His baptism, resurrection or ascension.
Adore: To worship, love and give divine honour to God.
Adulterer: a) A person who has sex with someone other then their spouse.
b) Often said of Israel who breached their relationship with God by turning to idols.
c) Christians who choose to be ‘friends with the world’ (In today’s parlance – ‘friends with benefits’.) and so fail to remain committed to Christ.
Advent: The celebratory lead up to Christmas incorporating the four Sundays prior to 25th December.
Adventists: Historically, a Christian group who were waiting for the Second Coming (advent) of Jesus. The Seventh Day Adventist Church grew from this group.
Adversary: a) Enemy, foe, legally someone who opposes you in a lawsuit.
b) Satan. He seeks to bring a lawsuit against Christians in an attempt to undo what God’s grace has set out to achieve.
Advocate: a) A counsel for defence who pleads another’s cause.
b) God the Holy Spirit is a Christian’s advocate (John 14:16).
Aetiology: An explanation of the origin of something (for example, mankind in Genesis.)
Agnosticism:  A belief that if God exists, He is unknowable.
Alembic: a) That which refines or makes pure.
b) Nature of the Holy Spirit’s work in a Christian’s life.
Allegory: A story infused with a spiritual meaning.
Almighty: God; the One who has the strength to be ruler of all.
Almoner: Archaic term for pastoral work in the church such a visiting the sick or helping someone in need.
Alms: Outdated term for giving goods/money to the poor. New Testament references denote this giving comes from a merciful and empathetic attitude.
Alpha and Omega: God is first and last in time, eminence, source and consummation; He is all in all.
Altar: Place for sacrifices. In a church, the altar is a constant reminder of Jesus' sacrificial life and hence it is often a communion table.
Ambassador: As ambassadors for Christ we have been appointed to interpret the mind of our master to those who live contrary to His good judgement.
Amen: a) Said by people: "Let it be so".
b) Said by God: Emphatic - "It is and it shall be so”.

Anabaptists: Middle Age breakaway Christian sect whose core beliefs included adult baptism, a denial of trans-substantiation and that goods should be held in common with no social distinctions between people.
Anam chara: (Early Middle Ages) A person you discuss life with, including confession.
Anchorite: A person who chooses a solitary life for religious reasons.
Ancient of Days: A descriptive name for God in the book of Daniel.
Angels: Spiritual beings who are the messengers, representatives and attendants of God.
Animism: A belief life is in nature; that trees, animals etc have souls.
Anno Christi: Latin for 'in the year of Christ'.
Anno Domini: Latin for 'in the year of our Lord'.
Annunciation: The angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary stating she will become pregnant with Jesus, the Son of God, who will establish an eternal kingdom.
Anoint: God gives authority to a person to operate in a particular gift, ministry or area of service.
Anointing: When the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit touch a person, or group of people; to heal, strip away, encourage, enthuse, restore etc. God's presence is electric on these occasions.
Antediluvian: Of, or relating to, the time before Noah’s flood.
Anthropomorphism: A representation of God in human terms to aid our understanding of Him.
Anthropopaphic: Applying human feelings to God.
Antichrist: A person who stands opposed to Jesus the Christ (anointed of God) and who is seen as the embodiment of evil.
Antinomianism: A belief that Christian faith supersedes moral law and therefore you can do as you please.
Antitype: The fulfilment of a type. Many Old Testament practices, events and people are types fulfilled in the New Testament. For example, Jesus is the antitype of the Levitical sacrifices.
Apocalypse: To reveal, unveil, disclose. (Originally, it did not have the cataclysmic end of all things focus.)
Apocalyptic: Relating to the end of sin’s reign in this world and the coming of Christ’s messianic kingdom.
Apocrypha: A collection of 15 books found in some Old Testaments. They are generally omitted because they were not in the Hebrew canon, are not quoted in the New Testament and make no claims to be divinely inspired.
Apollinarianism: Its principle tenet is Jesus had a human body and a divine mind.
Apologetics: A branch of theology where people engage the public arena to present a reasoned objective defence of the Christian faith and it's doctrines.
Apostasy: Desertion from the faith.
Apostle: Someone commissioned and sent out with the message of Jesus.
Apostle's Creed: Early Christian statement of key beliefs.
Apostolic decrees: Collective decisions made by the apostles regarding the interpretation of Scripture and church governance.
Apostolic See: The Catholic Church founded by Peter in Rome.
Apostolic succession: A belief that church leaders when commissioned are physically linked back to the first apostles.
Apostolic teaching: A teaching based on the necessity of experiencing Christ risen from the dead and a way of living defined by Jesus' example and the Holy Spirit’s instruction.
Aramaic: Primary language of Palestine in the New Testament era.
Archbishop: Person who, in some denominations, oversees a large region of the church.
Arianism: Early heresy denying Jesus divinity. States Jesus was created by God the Father.
Arm of the Lord: A symbolic reference to God’s power.
Arrogance: To think more of yourself than you ought, especially in respect to shaping your own life and being the master of your destiny.
Ascension: Jesus' movement from Earth to Heaven.
Ascension Day: A celebration, 40 days after Easter, of Jesus' ascension into Heaven.
Asceticism: A belief spiritual discipline can be achieved through extreme forms of self-denial.
Ascription: A text heralding God.
Ash Wednesday: Follows Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras); a day for placing ash on your head as a sign of penitence. Marks the start of Lent.
Ashes (on head): Used for fasting and mourning.
Assurance: A confidence that comes from knowing Jesus and what He has done for humanity.
Astrology: A belief that a person’s future can be foretold by studying the stars.
Athanasian Creed: Fourth century statement of the Christian faith which articulates the trinity and incarnation.
Atheism: A belief there is no God.
Atonement: An act that brings enemies together as friends, the most notable of which is Jesus offering up His life for ours. This was God's way of offering the hand of friendship and destroying the enmity (sin) that separated us. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...
Awe: A mixed emotion of wonder, respect and fear often stemming from a revelation or epiphany.
Backslide: To lapse into the life lived before salvation.
Balm: a) An aromatic resin used medicinally.
b) A figurative reference for healing of the soul and spirit.
Banner: Jesus is the 'banner' under which God the Father has called the people's of all nations to rally.
Baptism: A public declaration that my old life has been washed away and I have begun to live focusing on Jesus and His ability to make all things new, not just for me but for anyone who gives their life to Him.
Baptism of the Spirit: To receive the Holy Spirit into your life and so be better equipped to follow Jesus.
Beatified: Roman Catholic tradition of declaring a person a saint.
Beatitudes: Jesus' nine declarations of those who know true, deep salvation joy.
Beelzebub: Satan; The Devil.
Begotten: Jesus was born in Bethlehem but the more accurate word for understanding His birth is 'begotten'. Jesus was, is and always will be one with God the Father, 'begotten' of Him, that is separate and distinct from Him, yet still uniquely and intimately one with Him. (John 3:16-18)
Beguines: Thirteeth century revival movement of female communities who stressed care for others, voluntary poverty and spiritual devotion.
Behold: To take in everything as it is presented. To meditatively fix on what you are seeing.
For a fuller explanation of behold, visit The Word...
Behove: An archaic term meaning "it was necessary that..."
Believer: Someone fully committed to Jesus' purpose for their life (not just a mental exercise acknowledging certain facts about Him).
Benediction: A prayer for God’s blessing (some church traditions have a benediction as the final element in their church service.)
Benedictus: Zachariah’s prophetic song of joy at the birth of his son, John the Baptist.
Benevolence: God’s good care bestowed on us.
Beseech: To plead strongly and urgently. Often used in connection with praying.
Bestowed: Given to one as a gift. For example, God has bestowed on us the gift of life, the ministries of the Holy Spirit and eternity with Him.
Bethlehem: Literally means house of bread. The Messiah, being of King David's lineage, was expected to be born here. He would come as the bread of life for His people.
Bible: The set of books recognised as God 'breathed'.
Bishop: A supervisor of clergy and churches.
Blaspheme: To doubt, deny or mock Father, Son or Holy Spirit.
Bless: a) To worship, honour and adore God.
b) To honour and respect a person for being holy.
Blessed/blessing: a) To have a deep-rooted joy which comes from joining with Christ to live the life God planned for us.
b) To receive a God-given gift at a particular time, such as protection.
Blessing (in disguise): A hardship or misfortune which produces something positive.
Boasting: Seeking to impress others. An evil flowing out of pride that great separator of man from God.
For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...
Book of Life: God's list of believers who will abide with Him.
Booths: Rough shelters made of woven boughs that were constructed on roof tops or in fields as part of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Born again: This is synonymous with being a Christian. It's about receiving the life Jesus offers.
Brethren/brothers: A term indicating the connection and love that is to exist between Christians.
Breviary: A book of daily readings and prayers.
Bridegroom: At the end of this age Jesus will be a bridegroom to His bride, the church. He will come feasting and celebrating His marriage (see the Titles of Christ).
Bruised reeds: Hurting people. Jesus says He will mend rather than break and toss these "reeds".
(But for the) grace (of God): If it was not for God's grace, something unfortunate would have transpired.
(By the) grace (of God): Gratefully made possible by God's favour.
Calling: a) God asks everyone to honor and serve Him; become more Christlike; add to the health and well-being of His church; and, to witness to this world what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done and are doing.
b) A particular area of service God has asked a person to be committed to and for which He has prepared them.
Calvinism: John Calvin’s theology which emphasises God’s sovereignty and includes the doctrines of predestination, depravity and irresistible grace.
Campanology: The skill of ringing bells musically.
Canon: The 66 books which are the authoritative Word Of God, the Bible.
Canon (church official): A priest with particular duties in a cathedral.
Canonical Hours: Catholic tradition of seven prayer times to the day.
Matins: Daybreak
Prime: 6am
Tierce: 9am
Sext: Noon
Nones: 3pm
Evensong (Vespers): Early evening
Compline: Just before bed
Canonise: To formally recognise someone deemed to be a saint.
Canticle: A song or chant of praise, without metre, which has lyrics sourced from a Biblical text.
Captive: Theology declares we are a prisoner of sin and error, or a captive of Christ and His love.
Cardinal: The second ranks of leaders, under the Pope, in the Roman Catholic Church.
(Cardinal) sin: a) A serious error in moral judgement.
b) Any of the seven deadly sins.
Carnal: To seek to fulfil all physical desires or to be content with pursuing only what this world can offer.
Carol: A joyful song, usually penned to celebrate Jesus' birth.
Caroling: To go outdoors, in shopping centres, etc, singing cheerful Christmas songs.
Cassock: A full-length robe traditionally worn by clergy.
Catechised: To be systematically instructed in the Christian faith.
Catechism: An instructional Christian book summarising creedal beliefs in a question and answer format.
Catharism: Late Middle Ages sect teaching: 1. Salvation comes through knowledge. 2. Matter is evil and the spirit realm is good. 3. An angelic Jesus did not experience birth or death.
Cathedral: A central church usually presided over by a bishop.
Catholic: A Christian adhering to the Roman Catholic Church centred on the Pope.
Cerinthianism: Heretical view that the Christ spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and left just before His death on the cross. Tries to maintain there is a Christ spirit separate from Jesus.
Chancel: The front part of a church containing the altar, sanctuary and sometimes the choir.
Chantries: Endowments left to the church to pay for masses to be conducted for the souls of loved ones. This was part of the medieval belief you could move a person on from purgatory to Heaven.
Charismatic: Of or relating to spiritual gifts given to the church by the Holy Spirit.
Charismatic movement: Effort begun around the 1960s to bring spiritual gifts, such as healing and speaking in tongues, back to the church. It has some similarities to the beliefs and practices of Pentecostal denominations.
Charity: Love
Cherubim: Mighty angelic beings whose chief duty is to guard the throne of God. Their field of expertise is justice.
Chi-Rho: A monogram of the first two Greek letters for Christ. Chi-Rho symbolises Christ’s victory over death.
Chief Cornerstone: Jesus is the foundation strength of the church. That which is built on Him cannot be washed away (see the Titles of Christ).
Child sacrifice: A practice adopted by numerous Middle Eastern cultures in ancient times but despised in Old Testament Israel.
Choir: Traditionally, a group of singers in a church.
Choral: A traditional stately Protestanttune sung by a choir; especially in the Lutheran church.
Chosen: To be chosen by God means you are known to Him and there is a vital relationship. God chooses us to follow Christ and He can also choose us for a particular task.
Christ: A title given to Jesus which emphasises He is the anointed of God; the one with the power and the authority to restore the relationship between fallen man and God.

The Titles of Christ - 1. Last Adam: Jesus is the DNA of all who are born again.

2. Head of The Body: Jesus is the director of and sustainer of the church.

3. Great Shepherd: Jesus is the leader, protector and sustainer of His people.

4. True Vine: Jesus infuses His disciples with His life so they can bear fruit.

5. Chief Cornerstone: Jesus is the foundation strength of the church. That which is built on Him cannot be washed away.

6. High Priest: Jesus represents humanity to God interceding on their behalf through His completed salvation work.

7. Bridegroom: At the end of this age Jesus will be a bridegroom to His bride, the church. He will come feasting and celebrating His marriage.
Christendom: The part of the world where the Christian faith has a prominent role in society.
Christian: Followers of Jesus. People who recognise they are under a higher command.
Christianese: Jargon and language peculiar to Christians or a branch of Christianity which is unfamiliar to anyone outside that group.
Christmas: The annual celebration of Christ’s birth.
Christocentric: Theology centred in Jesus.
Christology: The study of Christ and theories or doctrines related to Him.
Christus Victor: A statement summarising the belief that on the Cross, Jesus conquered the powers of evil.
Church: a) The collective body of all Christians or a local group of that body.
b) The building Christians worship in.
Circumcision: Instituted in the Abrahamic covenant, the cutting off of every male’s foreskin signified a commitment to God through the generations and a firm belief that He is the one who blesses us with life.
Clairvoyant: A person who claims insight into hidden or future occurrences.
Cloister: A quiet enclosed place for spiritual reflection.
Cloistered: To shut oneself away to pray and reflect.
'Come to Jesus' moment: A moment of revelation, truth, insight. (Sometimes used sarcastically).
Comforter: A name given to the Holy Spirit that denotes the strength, encouragement and presence of God that is imparted in troubled times.
Commitment: To entrust your life to God as you actively serve Him.
(Common) Grace: God’s kindness to all, despite our sin, exemplified by material and social blessings - for example food, shelter, decency reflective of the Creator.
Communion: a) Remembering Jesus' sacrifice for us by eating bread and drinking wine.
b) To be ‘in communion’ with God is to have an intimacy with Him that is based on shared hearts.
Condemnation: God's verdict on sin. Bearing the guilt of our sin is not where God finished the story though.
(Confer) Holy Orders: Catholic ordination service.
Confess: a) To admit openly to a sin.
b) To declare your agreement with God's Word.
Confession (of faith): Traditional statements of belief in various Protestant churches.
Confession (sacrament): To confess sins to a Catholic priest to obtain absolution.
Consecrate: The act of giving to God so He can use what is offered (for example, the writing of a book or the commitment of your life) for His kingdom purposes.
Conversion: To become a follower of Jesus either through an experience or an evolving process.
Convert: A person who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, turning their back on all other ways of living.
Coptic: Christians who live in Egypt and Ethiopia. 
Corpus: All writings on a subject.
Corpus Christi (feast of): A Catholic festival, this held on 11th June, established in 1246 to honour the literal presence of Christ in the eucharist.
Covenant: God has drawn up an agreement, a contract, which binds Him to making it possible for us to build a healthy relationship with Him and each other.
Covenanter: 17th century Scottish Presbyterians who defended their faith by upholding a covenant in response to a political push by the Church of England.
Creation theories - 1.Traditional: Creation took place in six, 24 hour, days.

                                    2. Gap: Original creation (Genesis1:1) was destroyed by judgement. A re-creation then occurred in six, 24 hour days (Genesis1:2 on).

                                    3.Theistic evolution: Genesis is figurative and God used evolution to develop life. At an appointed time the animal became man with a soul.

                                    4. Pictorial: God revealed creation in six days; He did not create in six days.

                                    5. Universal flood: Creation occurred in six days but the flood of Noah dramatically changed the earth’s surface.

                                    6. Alternate day and age: God created in six, 24 hour days but these days were separated by vast geological ages.

                                    7. Age-long day: The creation days are a sequence of consecutive ages, as day in the Bible does not always refer to 24 hours.
Credo: A set of strongly held beliefs that guide action.
Creed: A formal statement of Christian belief.
Criticism (Higher): The use of historical and scientific techniques to critically determine authorship and other aspects of accuracy which go to the credibility of the Bible.
Criticism (Lower): The use of available manuscripts to critically determine the original wording of texts.
Cross-cultural evangelism: Introducing Jesus to people with a different ethnic and cultural background than your own.
Crown: Symbolic of royal authority, race winners and celebratory events such as weddings. Each symbolic element represents aspects of living for Christ.
1. Royal authority is given to those with faith in Christ to speak with His authority.
2. Competitors enter heaven at the end of life’s race.
3. The wedding between Jesus and the church (in Revelation) awaits.
Cry of Dereliction: Jesus' cry of despair on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Cubit: The length from elbow to fingertip of a man.
Cult: A sect which often has extreme religious ideas.
Culus regio elus religio: A Latin phrase meaning "the religion of those in power dictates the religion of the people".
Daily devotional: A daily commitment to connect with God through prayer and reading Scripture.
Damnation: To face the judgement of God having rejected Christ as The Way to come to Him/Eternal punishment resulting from living a life of sin.
Deacon: Church appointees who can exercise both practical and spiritual responsibilities for others.
Dean: A priest who manages a large church in the Catholic or Anglican traditions.
Deanery: a) The dean’s house.
b) A group of parishes overseen by a dean.
Decalogue: The Ten Commandments.
Defrock: An archaic term for removing a priest from ministry for inappropriate behaviour.
Deify: To exalt a man or idol to the position of God.
Deism: A belief in God resulting from reason. Emphasises morality.
Deliverance: God frees us from the bondage of our misdirected lives and enables us to live full lives for Him.
Demon: An evil spirit.
Denarius: A Roman coin equivalent to one day's wage.
Desecrate: To divest or violate the holy and sacred character of a place or object.
Desert fathers: Third century Christians who lived ascetically in the desert as an alternative to living within the influence of the Roman empire. They inspired later monastic orders.
Destroyer: A name given to Satan because his purpose is to wreck what God has built.
Determinism: A belief that everything is determined by forces beyond a person’s will (similar to stoicism).
Deuteronomistic history: Israel’s history prior to exile as recounted in the books of Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel and I and II Kings. Probably written in exile.
Devil: A deceiver and tempter who uses these tactics against God, Christians and anything good or pure (see Satan).
Devil's advocate: Someone who opposes for the sake of argument.
Devout: A sincere commitment to Christ; to be godly.
Diaspora: The scattering of the Jews from Palestine, beginning with the Babylonian conquest in 731 B.C.
Diocese: Region overseen by a bishop (Archdiocese - a region overseen by an archbishop).
Discernment: An ability to see into a problem, to understand why things differ. Christians are required to exercise discernment in respect to spirits, expressions of faith, separating good and evil; and so on.
Disciple: A student of Jesus who daily looks to Him on how best to live.
Discipleship: The process of learning from Jesus and applying His insight, spirit and actions to the circumstances of our life whilst showing others how to do likewise.
Dispensationalism: Theological perspective which sees history as a series of eras where God reveals Himself and holds people responsible for adhering to that revelation.
Dissenter: A person who does not conform to established doctrine.
Divination: Using omens or other means to discover hidden knowledge or foresee the future.
Divine: Of God; relating to God.
Divine election: The doctrine God selects those who will be saved.
Divinisation: The belief Jesus made divinity, or union with God, possible.
Docetism: Heretical view that Jesus wasn’t really human but more like a spirit who appeared for awhile and then disappeared.
Doctrine: A foundational teaching. For example, only through Jesus can we come to God.
Dogma: An established belief held to be true, such as doctrine taught in the church.
Dominion: A realm under a single government.
Donkey: An animal symbolic of peace and humility.
Doom: An unfavourable judgement resulting in ruin, physically or spiritually.
Dowry: A cultural mandate in Biblical times requiring a man to give the parents of his bride a gift.
Doxology: A statement of praise to God. It is often the final statement in a church service, an epistle or even a line of thought within a book in the Bible, and it underscores everything prior to it.
Dualism: A belief that the universe is controlled by two equal opposing forces – good and evil.
(Dynamic Equivalent) Translation: A free translation of the Bible which seeks to use equivalent grammatical and style elements in the receptor language to aid accessibility.
Earthly: Things which are weak, perishable and lacking the glory of Heaven.
Eastern Orthodox: An expression of the Christian faith located mainly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Ecclesia: The people who constitute a congregation, a church.
Ecclesiological: Related to the study of the doctrine of the church.
Ecclesiology: The study of the doctrine of the church.
Ecumenical: The fostering of Christian unity through inter-denominational organisations worldwide.
Ecumenical council: A conference of Christian leaders for the shaping of church doctrine and practice.
Ecumenical movement: Movement begun amongst some Protestant churches in the 1800s to unite Christians universally. It continues today and involves the gamut of Christian traditions.
Ecumenical service: A church service for bringing diverse Christian groups together. Some services can also involve other religions.
Eden: Mankind's first abode; paradise; a place deemed to be perfect.
Edify: To build up or to strengthen someone's spiritual growth.
El Elyon: God is supreme; the Most High One.
El Olam: God is eternal and unchangeable.
El Shaddai: God is complete, all sufficient and all powerful; able to fulfil His promises.
Elect: (Noun) God chose to be for mankind long before anyone gave their life to Him. Hence He elected us. We simply have to choose to be a disciple of Jesus to be in God's elect.
Elohim: God, the mighty judge, who is to be revered.
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani!": Jesus’ cry of pain in the cross when He senses He is completely alone, without His heavenly Father, for the final stage of His sacrificial death.
End Time(s): The final climax of world events.
Enshrine: To cherish as holy, to treasure as sacred.
Entreaty: A prayer or appeal earnestly requested.
Ephod: Old Testament priest’s embroidered cape.
Epicureanism:  A belief that there is no God or if there is a God, He does not care about this world. Random chance dictates everything. Death is the end so we should live for pleasure. (Similar to hedonism)
Epiphany: a) The showing of the baby Jesus to the magi which is celebrated on 6th January.
b) Any revelation or manifestation of Jesus where a person’s response is "once I was blind but now I see Jesus for who He truly is".
Epistle: Any of the New Testament letters written by an apostle.
Eschatology: A branch of theology which addresses the end of this age and world as we know it.
Essenes: A strict Jewish sect with a focus on purity laws and communal poverty who attributed all to fate.
Eternal: Without beginning or end - such as God's power, Jesus' redemption, the life given to a believer in Christ.
Eucharist: The Lord’s Supper, wine and bread, celebrated in acknowledgement of  Jesus' sacrifice for humanity and our union with Him.
Evangel: Any one of the four Gospels.
Evangelical: Christians who believe humanity needs to be born again, as Jesus explained, and who share this belief/experience as good news.
Evangelism: Introducing Jesus to people through whatever medium or method the Holy Spirit anoints.
Evangelist: Someone who regularly introduces Jesus to others.
Evensong: Evening prayer (vespers) and Bible reading. Held Sunday nights in some traditions.
Evil: Any act that is morally bankrupt and whose source is the flesh or Satan - can apply to thoughts and words.
Evil One: A spirit, a force, that seeks to seduce us away from God.
Ex nihilo: A term indicating God created out of nothing.
Exceedingly abundantly: Surpassing far beyond and above what we think is possible.
Excommunicate: To exclude a person from the fellowship of a church or the church.
Exegesis: A close study of words and passages in the Bible.
Existentialism: A belief that only the here and now is real. Any consideration of origins and destiny is considered pointless.
Exodus: A departure, especially a mass departure, the most notable being Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt into Canaan.
Exorcism: The removal of demons or spiritual entities from a person.
Expiate: To fully make amends for wrongdoing and hence restore a wronged relationship.
Expiation: Jesus’ crucifixion atoned for mankind’s sin.
Faith: A conviction, a confidence to act on the beliefs Christ has stored up in your heart.
(Fall from) grace: To lose status, respect, protection, prestige, and/or approval. Stems from Adam and Eve's loss of God's protection and approval in Eden.
Fallen: Men and angels who lost the level of intimacy God designed for them to have with Him.
Fasting: Abstinence from food for the purpose of purifying motives and being attuned to God's will.
Fear of God: Being in awe before God, the One to whom you owe everything to and are responsible to. Embedded in this wonder is a heightened sense of God's just judgement directed by His pure love.
Feast of Passover: The first of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year. The Passover meal celebrated being freed from Egyptian slavery by God. It was followed by a week of eating only unleavened bread.
Feast of Tabernacles: The third of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year was held at the end of harvesting. People lived in temporary shelters (booths) to remember their wilderness wanderings under Moses and so celebrate God as their provider in the bountiful land they now possessed.
Feast of Weeks: The second of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelite men each year occurred 50 days after Passover. Offerings of grains and flour were made to celebrate God’s daily provision.
Fellowship: To enjoy the company of others who have the same foundation of faith in Jesus.
Fire (of God): Refers to the holiness of God which has a cleansing and unquenchable aspect to it.
(First) Apostles: The first leaders of the church drawn from Jesus’ disciples after His ascension.
Firstfruit: a) Giving to God, in faith, the first portion of your livelihood.
b) The gift of the Holy Spirit to Christians, a first portion of God's presence.
c) Jesus, whose death and resurrection is the beginning of a harvest of souls into Heaven.
Fishes and loaves: a) The supply of basic needs as in how Jesus fed the crowds.
b) Symbolic of people being more interested in a miracle than the miracle producer (Jesus).
Flesh: The desires of self that are at odds with God's best for us.
Follow (Jesus): To surrender your ambitions, goals, desires and whole life to the cleansing, enabling, energising Lord of life and companion of followers.
Font: A water receptacle in churches that conduct baby baptisms.
Fool: A person who exhibits any or all of these traits: quick to argue, vents their anger, trusts themselves rather than God, hates being corrected, rejects knowledge and is complacent and idle.
Footstool: Symbolically references God’s authority over all things.
Forbearance: a) Putting up with the faults of others.
b) A fruit/outworking of the Holy Spirit in people's lives.
Foreigner: A term applied to Christians because they are citizens of heaven to which they owe their first allegiance. Hence, the foreigner prays Jesus' prayer "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".
Foretaste: The Holy Spirit ‘in’ believers is a foretaste and a pledge of life in the presence of God in Heaven.
Forgiveness: Saying you bear no grudge for any wrong committed against you. You won't even talk about it anymore because you want a clean sheet to build a healthy relationship on.
Form criticism: The method of grouping the Bible into its varying literary forms for interpretation (for example, parables, poetry, letters).
Fornication: Sex outside the covenant of marriage.
Fourth watch: 3am to 6am; the point of greatest weariness before the new day.
Franciscan: A nun or friar in the order founded by St Francis of Assisi.
Free church: A church which only recognises the authority of its leaders.
(Free) Church: A church which does not have a set from of worship.
(Free) Translation: A Bible translation seeking to be as accessible as possible in the receptor language with less concern about the exact words applicable to the original language. For example, using torch instead of lamp.
Futurist: A belief that Revelation chapters one to three refer to the time of writing, or that the seven churches are seven eras from the apostles to Jesus' return, and the remainder of Revelation refers to the Great Tribulation.
Gehenna: A rubbish and waste dump outside Jerusalem which continually burnt. It became a figurative description of hell.
Genealogy: A family tree tracing back to a particular ancestor. For example, Matthew’s genealogy for Jesus traces back to Abraham because he was writing to a Jewish audience.
Genesis: The title of this Old Testament book is derived from its first three words in the beginning.
Gentile: a) A non-Jew.
b) Those outside the privileges and unique experiences afforded the Jews by God. They were not to remain so with the coming of Jesus.
Genuflect: To bend the knee, to humble oneself, in worship.
Gird: To be ready for action in Christ's service. (From the idea of hitching up your long garments so you can move faster and more freely.)
'Gloria in excelsis Deo': The angels' song of praise at Jesus’ birth.
Glorification: The point at which a believer is brought, morally perfect and in a Christ-like ascended body, into God's presence. It will then be impossible to sin again.
Glory: a) Beauty, honour and adoration all rolled into one. Empires or individuals can "shine" in this way.
b) God is glorious. Everything He creates emanates glory. Think splendour, perfection and goodness all rolled into one; that is the glory of God.
Gnosticism: A philosophy which arose in the earlychurch era that states all matter is evil and freedom from this evil comes through a special knowledge of spiritual truth.
God: The one Supreme Being who creates everything and maintains governance over what He creates.
God Fearer: In Jesus' time, they were Gentile sympathisers of the Jewish faith who have not become converts.
(God is) One: A description and title of God recognising His pre-eminence, wholeness, and His being first in all things.
(God the) Creator: The source and sustainer of everything outside Himself. The Lord over all creation. For a fuller explanation of atonement, visit The Word...
God-fearing: To devoutly revere God.
God-forsaken: To be be rejected and forlorn.
(God’s) Pleasure: Everything touching on salvation; as seen in the heart of the prodigal son’s father.
Godfather/Godmother: Traditionally a man or woman who oversees a child's spiritual growth in the Christian faith.
Godhead: The nature of God personified in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Godless: To give God no thought, thus enabling wickedness and evil to manifest.
Godly: To live reverently, seeking God's will for your life.
Godsend: A surprise boon, readily welcomed.
Godspeed: May your journey be joyous, prosperous and successful.
Golden rule: a) The essential principle relevant to a particular situation.
b) The Great Commandment, which is the heart of Christianity.
Good soil: People who receive God’s love and enable that love to be reproduced.
Gospel: Good news! Jesus has ascended to the Father so that we can follow in His footsteps!
Grace: 1. With pleasure, God offers humanity His free and undeserved favour. It is up to us whether we will waste or embrace His grace.
2. Prayer of gratitude before eating.
Gracious: A spirit of generosity towards others.
Great Apostasy: Seen as part of the End Time when a significant number of people will turn their backs on Christ.
Great Commandment: To love God and your neighbour, which is the essence of Christianity.
Great Commission: After His resurrection, Jesus commissioned His disciples to spread his teaching and the truth of who He is to the world.
Great Shepherd: Jesus is the leader, protector and sustainer of His people (see the Titles of Christ).
“Greater than the temple”: Jesus' description of Himself, indicating He was God in their midst and the One who connects people to God the Father.
Grecians: New Testament Greek-speaking Jews.
Greed: An excessive desire for money, even to the point of using dishonest and questionable means to obtain it. 
Hagia Sophia: Refers to Jesus as God's "holy wisdom".
Hallel: Songs of praise; principally Psalms 146 to 150.
Hallelujah!: An exclamation of delight meaning literally "praise be to the God of our salvation".
Hallowed: Anything set apart for holy use.
Halo: A radiant light over a divine image or person's head, indicating glory ot saintliness.
Hamartiology: The aspect of theology dealing with sin.
Hand of God: Incidents, events or experiences where God was clearly involved.
Hardness (of heart): A rejection of God or His will in a particular situation.
Head of The Body: Jesus is the director of and sustainer of the church.
Head of The Body: Jesus is the director of and sustainer of the church.
Heart: The real self; the inner man with all his affections, motivations and spirit.
Heathen: An archaic term for someone who isn’t a Christian.
Heaven: God's home, filled with his servants (angels) and invited guests (Christians who have stepped beyond the grave). It's a house of unbelievable joy and celebration.
Heaven sent: A timely and beneficial occurrence attributed to God.
Hedonism: A belief that pleasure is the primary goal and value of life (similar to epicureanism).
Hell: Satan's home, filled with his misguided lackeys (fallen angels) and house bound guests (people who chose not to love God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). It's a house of pain, "worms" and "unquenchable fire". (The opposite of heaven.)
Henotheism: A belief you can worship one god while not denying other gods.
Heresy: Opinions or beliefs contrary to the established doctrines of the Bible.
Hermeneutics: The use of methodological principles to understand how the Bible applies to our lives.
Herodians: Political party who supported Herod the Great when Jesus was born and his parents had to flee to Egypt. They supported Herod Antipas when Jesus was crucified.
High place: a) Elevated places where altars were often built, in Old Testament times, and which were sources of apostasy for Israel.
b) Used figuratively of the place God calls humanity to step up into, a place of worship, glory and intimacy.
High Priest: Jesus represents humanity to God interceding on their behalf through His completed salvation work. (see the Titles of Christ).
(Historical) Context: An understanding of the people and their culture in a Biblical passage.
Historicist: A belief that the whole of Revelation addresses church history from Pentecost to Jesus’ return.
Holiness: Christians are called to be holy because God is holy. Our character should reflect something of His unblemished virtue.
Holy: Someone set apart from his or her former life (or something set apart from its common use) to serve God.
Holy matrimony: A Christian wedding recognising God has united the couple.
Holy One of Israel: An Old Testament name for God denoting His uniqueness and how imperative it is to worship Him alone.
Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost): The second person in the Trinity who was sent by God, the Father and Son, on Pentecost, to dwell with those who believe in Jesus.
Homiletics: The craft of preaching.
Hope: A substantial conviction that what has not yet fully transpired in our relationship with Jesus will occur. Not just a wish. A trust or promise received. A confidence and expectation of things to come that is stronger than mere desire or possibility.
Hosanna: A worshipful exclamation to God meaning 'We ask you to save now, Lord'.
House church: The political and social climate for early Christians often meant they could only meet in each other’s houses for worship, a practice that has continued until today in some settings.
Household code: Some New Testament letters give guidelines on what relationally makes a healthy Christian household.
Humanism: A belief that man is a moral being capable of self-fulfilment.
Humility: An awareness of our shortcomings, a lowliness of spirit, because of Christ’s provision for us, but not a downcast spirit.
Husband: a) An illustration highlighting some of the attributes of God's love for His people.
b) An image of Jesus as He waits for His bride, the church, who is preparing herself for their wedding at the end of this age.
Hussite: Follower of the religious reforms of John Huss in 14th century Bohemia.
Hymn: Traditional song or thanksgiving or praise to God.
Hymnal: Traditional church songbook.
Hymneal: A wedding hymn, song or poem.
Ichthus: Greek word for fish. Adopted by early Christians as the Greek initial letters (Iesous Christos, Theou Uious, Soter) spell Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.
Iconostasis: A screen adorned with icons separating the nave from the rest of the church in Eastern Orthodox churches.
Idealist: A belief that Revelation is a symbolic picture of the ongoing struggle between Christianity and paganism, good and evil.
Ignorance: A lack of information. In the New Testament it also carries the idea of a need for forgiveness because of the failure to understand.
Imago Dei: Humanity has been created in the image of God. This gives each person dignity and worth and it elicits adoration of God.
Immaculate conception: Roman Catholic tradition that Mary, Jesus' mother, was free from original sin.
Immanentism: A belief that God indwells all creation.
Immanuel (also Emmanuel): Literally means ‘with us is God’ and has become a title of God the Son.
Immutable: Unchanging and unchangeable - said of God and His plans and purposes.
Imperishable: Something that cannot be ruined or changed for the worse.
Impute: To credit one person with something that belongs to another. (When we put our faith in Jesus, He gives us His righteousness.)
(In someone's good or bad) grace: To have their favour or disfavour.
Incarnate: a) To give a bodily or human form to. Applies to the essence of a person, eg "he is the devil incarnate".
b) Incarnate defines Jesus, God the Son, as fully human.
Incarnation: The divine Christ revealed as the human Jesus.
Ineffable: a) In a spiritual context, this is an experience of God so overpowering that you fail to find the words to express it.
b) It also refers to things that should not be said. For example, the Israelites' unwillingness to speak the name of God in Old Testament times.
Infidel: A person who has no religious conviction (currently more generally applied by some Muslims to non-Muslims).
Iniquity: Anything, word or deed, that does not meet God's standard of holiness, hence the fallen condition of humanity.
Inner man: The spirit or innermost self of a person that lives on after the body is dead.
Inspiration: God's act of imparting something to one's mind or heart. It's where you know this thought, image, feeling or whatever construct it takes is a spirit-to-spirit communication from God.
Intercession: A prayer where you stand before God on behalf of someone else and plead their case.
Interfaith dialogue: Discussion, cooperation and interaction between people of different faiths.
Investiture: To put on the robes of office for a church-appointed position. An inauguration.
Invoke: To earnestly seek God for help and support.
Itinerant: A person who travels, often on a circuit, for work. Hence a travelling preacher.
Itinerate: To move from place to place, much like Jesus or the apostle Paul.
Jehovah: God, the Lord of all creation. (Originally spelt JHVH as the Jews, in reverence, were not permitted to pronounce God’s name.)
Jesus: The Saviour who came to rescue sinners (humanity) from our misguided ways and restore us to an open relationship with God.
Jesus (the shepherd): He is the compassionate protector and guide of His sheep (believers).
Jesus' 'passion': The time from Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (on Palm Sunday) until His crucifixion.
Joint: Found in Hebrews 4:12, "joints and marrow". A figurative expression for the totality of a person's spiritual and moral being.
Joint-heirs: Christians are to receive the same estate from God as did Jesus.
Joy:  A steady delight, contentment and strength stemming from God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s engagement with our lives.
Judaiser: Someone who seeks to win others to Judaism. The term was used negatively by the beginning church to describe those who adhere to a strict legalism which erects a barrier between people and God.
Judaism: The monotheistic, ethical, tribal/national religion of the Jewish people centred on God’s self revelation.
Judeo-Christian tradition: Beliefs stemming from the Hebrew and Christian faiths.
Judge: a) To decide on the basis of the knowledge we have.
b) A powerful title for our omniscient God.
c) The Hebrew word ‘shophet’ for a judge in the Old Testament meant to bring into a right relationship. This is the purpose and nature of the work of a judge and as such Christians are to be ‘shophet’ judges and not judgemental.
Judgement Day: The final judgement made by God at this world’s end.
Judgement seat (of Christ): a) The throne from which Jesus judges what Christians built with their lives when they pass through death into His presence.
b) The throne from which Christ rules in the Millennium.
Judgemental: The tendency to point a critical finger at others while not doing anything to change things for the better.
Justification: Despite the pain we have caused God, the wrongs we have committed against Him, our case has been thrown out of Heaven’s court because there is no accuser for those who seek to live for Jesus.
Kantianism: A belief that God is outside the scope of human experience and knowledge.
Kingdom of God: Christ’s rule and salvation for those who receive. It is unshakeable, eternal and heavenly. We are to seek it earnestly – ‘thy kingdom come’.
Kingdom of Heaven: God's rule now, and its complete future fulfilment
Kinsman marriage: Old Testament marriage law requiring a dead husband’s brother to marry his childless widow so his family line does not die out.
Koinonia: A Greek word defining the church as a sharing partnership and fellowship.
Laity: The mass of people in the Christian faith, excluding clergy.
Lamb: Applied to Jesus, it refers to His purity, patient suffering and substitutional death for humanity.
Lament: To mourn the loss of someone through finding the words and expression that can give voice to that pain.
Lamentations: An Old Testament book which mourns the loss of all God gave Israel when they were carted into exile as Babylonian slaves.
Last Adam: Jesus is the DNA of all who are born again (see the Titles of Christ)
Last Supper: Jesus’ final meal of bread and wine with His disciples represented His body and blood sacrificially given to restore humanity to God.
(Last) Adam: Christ the redeemer who restores God’s creation to an Edenic relationship with Him
Laver: Large basin used by Israel's priests in the Tabernacle and Temple areas.
Law: The demand and expectation of God; a demand and expectation that necessitated Jesus' substitutional death for us.
Lay person: Non-ordained person in the Christian faith.
Lay preacher: A non-ordained preacher/speaker.
Lay witness: Archaic term referring to non-clergy who seek to introduce Jesus to people.
Lectionary: A collection of Scripture readings to be used on a given Sunday or occasion.
Legalism: a) The tendency to reduce relating to God to a set of impersonal rules.
b) An obsessive adherence to the letter of the law.
Lent: A 40 day reflective lead-up to Easter as preparation for celebrating Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Leper: Lepers were outcasts living in restricted communities in Jesus' day, yet the New Testament records lepers being miraculously healed.
Leviathan: Poetic name for giant water-bound creature.
Levirate marriage: Part of the Mosaic law requiring a childless widow to be married to her husband’s brother so as to continue the family line.
Levite: A member of the tribe of Levi which had priestly and political responsibilities in Israel.
Liberator: As applied to Jesus, it speaks of the freedom He gives his followers; a freedom from sin, Satan and the illusions of our current world.
Libertine: a) A person who lacks moral restraint, especially in sexual relations.
b) A person with unorthodox or unconventional religious views.
Libertinism: Deviation from moral restraints; a promiscuous and unscrupulous approach to life.
Life: a) existence; being; the time between birth and death.
b) God is life and in Him is life. This life incorporates power, love and righteousness, all of which are imparted to those who believe in Jesus.
Light of the World: A phrase coined by Jesus to describe Himself and His disciples which focuses on their role of dispelling the darkness of this world by passing on God, the Father's, love.
Litany: Prayer consisting of a series of similar responses from a congregation to a leader.
(Literal) Translation: A Bible translation seeking to remain as close to the original language as possible while still making sense in the receptor language.
(Literary) Context: An understanding of the author and stylistic features of a Biblical passage.
Liturgy: A prescribed form of church service.
Logos: God the Son, incarnate, who is The Word.
Lollards: British Isles followers of John Wycliffe in the 14th to 16th centuries.
Lord: A title that applies equally to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, signifying their status as the highest and final authority.
Lord Jesus Christ: This phrase identifies the three dimensions of His character as man (Jesus); as God (Christ); and as sovereign (Lord).
Love of God: a) The essence of who God is, as revealed in Jesus the fulfilment of His salvation plan.
b) To be so enraptured with God you can’t imagine living without Him.
Mea culpa: (Latin) I acknowledge my fault, my guilt.
(Mortal) Sin: Roman Catholic theology stating that some sins are more serious than others.
Nard: An expensive perfume, balm or medicine used twice in the New Testament: when a woman pours it on Jesus’ head and when Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’ feet.
Narthex: A lobby or entrance hall in early churches.
Nave: The central space in a church.
Nazarite vow: A vow taken as a consecration to God. The original Nazarite vow involved not touching a dead body, growing your hair and abstinence from alcohol. These acts were living memorials of a life to be lived faithfully unto God.
Nebo: A mountain in Jordan from which Moses observed the Promised Land but was not allowed to enter.
Nestorianism: It’s principle tenet is Jesus was two persons; human and divine.
New Covenant: As Israel did not keep the Old Covenant of the Law, Jeremiah prophesied God would write a "new covenant" on people’s hearts. Jesus then wrote the new covenant on people’s hearts by fulfilling the law and giving salvation.
New Testament: Twenty-six books which record the outworking of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the fulfilment of God’s first covenant.
New Year's Day: (Historical fact) The Gregorian calendar traditionally earmarked 1st January as the day Jesus was circumcised.
Next of kin: A person’s closest living relative.
Nicene Creed: A statement formulated in 325AD summing up orthodox beliefs, held from the apostles onwards, concerning the character and personage of God. (A belief in the Trinity is one key tenet of the creed.)
Nicolaitan heresy: Taught the spiritual and physical realms are separate and therefore immorality does not affect your spiritual well-being.
Nihilism: A belief that life is meaningless and useless.
Noble: a) A person of high social standing
b) Doing the right and good thing; generous actions
(Ideally a is achieved by b, and b epitomises a.)
Noel: From the Latin word nasci meaning to be born, hence the Christmas connection.
Nominal: Barely existent or non-existent. (When actions do not match a professed faith then that faith is nominal.)
Non-denominational: Organisation, publication, event, etc, involving people from different denominations.
Northern Kingdom: Ten of the 12 tribes of Israel made up this kingdom mostly known for its evil kings. It lasted 200 years.
Novena: Roman Catholic tradition of nine days of devotional prayers and/or services.
Numen: A spiritual or divine power (can be applied to a specific location or object.)
Nun: A Christian woman who commits to a religious order that lives by a set of vows.
Nuncio: The Pope's representative abroad, similar in status to an ambassador.
(Occasional) Epistles: New Testament letters penned in response to a set of circumstances.
Occult: Magic, incantation, astrology, divination or other forms of supernatural practice.
Oil (on head): Used for celebrations and joyous events.
Old Covenant: An agreement struck by God with man that reveals His holiness through the Law. As mankind could not keep the Law, a sacrificial system involving the blood of animals for blotting out failure was instituted.
Old Testament: Thirty-nine books comprising the canon of God’s first covenant with mankind and its history.
Omnibenevolent: God is a personal God who cares deeply for humanity (as witnessed by Jesus’ life, death and ascension).
Omnipotence: God's unlimited power and authority.
Omnipresent: God, unlimited by space, is present everywhere.
Omniscience: The limitless knowledge, awareness and wisdom of God.
Oratory: A prayer room.
Ordain: A public declaration and acknowledgement of the authority God has given to someone to minister in His name.
Ordination: A minister's induction service.
(Original) sin: Adam and Eve's first act of disobedience against God. This propensity for sin has been inherited by humanity.
Orison: A fervent prayer seeking wisdom, guidance, etc.
Orthodox: The traditional, established, Bible-based doctrine of faith.
Outreach: Any structured approach by a group of Christians to spread the good news of Jesus to people.
Over-spiritualising: Looking to draw a spiritual application from every event, person, place and verse in the Bible.
Overcomer: A Christian who faithfully follows Jesus, come what may.
Palm Sunday: The Sunday before Easter when Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Christians celebrate this day with an eye to Easter when Jesus fulfilled His ministry.
Pantheism: A belief that God only exists within the natural laws of the universe and therefore the creation we see around us is to be worshipped as God.
Papacy: The jurisdiction and office of the Pope.
Papal Bull: An official proclamation issued by the Pope.
Parable: A story from everyday life used to tell a truth.
Parable of the Sower:
The ‘evil one’. Satan and his devotees who feed on removing the Gospel.
Good ground: 
People who accept Jesus, live a changed life because of Him and reproduce what He has given them.
     Path: People whose lives are hardened to a set course making it easy for the seed to be plucked away.
     Reproduced seed (harvest): People who live the life Jesus calls them to passing on His message.
Seed: The Gospel of Jesus.
     Soil: People's lives.
     Sower: Jesus, the herald of good news.
     Stoney ground: People whose commitment to Jesus is short-lived because love has not been rooted deeply in their life.
     Sun: Hardship and trouble. Applied to people who wilt when the heat comes on because of their faith.
     Thorns: This world’s concerns such as the pursuit of money. Any distraction from what Jesus offers.
Parable of the Wedding Feast:
Called: A general invitation for us all to come to the wedding.
Chosen: People who accept the wedding invitation.
     Darkness and weeping: A contrast to the well-lit wedding hall in full celebration. Gate-crashers are thrown out into the night.
     Good and bad: People with varied backgrounds who accept the wedding invitation.
     Gate-crashers: People who sneak in without the host's appropriate clothing
     Rejected invitations: People not interested in, or hostile to, God's celebratory offer.
     Wedding clothes: The host's apparel (righteousness) for entry to the wedding.
Paraclete: a) Someone who supports helps or assists.
b) The work of the Holy Spirit in supporting, helping and assisting.
Paradox: When one statement or situation seems to contradict another.
Paraenesis: Exhortation, counsel or advice of the type you find in New Testament letters, for example in Ephesians 4:1.
Parish: A district overseen by a church.
Parousia: Christ’s second coming.
Passion: Theological reference to Jesus’ suffering before and including the crucifixion.
Passion narrative: Sections of the Gospels which cover Jesus’ last supper, trial and execution.
Passion plays: Plays popularised in medieval Europe which deal with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
Passover: A Jewish festival commemorating their first-born sons being spared while Egypt's sons died because the pharoah refused to free the Jews.
Pastor: A minister who feeds his people with God's Word and tends to their needs, like a shepherd would his flock.
Pastoral: Pertaining to the role a pastor/priest performs in a church.
Pastoral care: The shepherding role performed by leaders in a church.
Pastoral epistles: Paul’s two letters to Timothy and letter to Titus to help them pastor effectively.
Patriarch: The father and overseer of a race. (Applied especially to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)
Patristic: Relating to the leaders and teachers of the church, especially in its early days.
Pauline corpus: Seven New Testament letters which are definitively written by the apostle Paul: I Thessalonians, Philemon, Philippians, Galatians, Romans, II and II Corinthians)
Penal substitution: Theological perspective on Jesus’ crucifixion which states that that Jesus died because of our sin and God’s need to deal with that sin.
Penance: An act of self-abasement or devotion which demonstrates remorse and repentance for sin.
Penitence: Remorse, repentance, and contrition for one's behaviour.
Penitent: Rueful for sin committed and wishing to make amends.
Pentateuch: The first five books of the Bible which is also referred to as “The Law” in the Hebrew canon.
Pentecost: The day the church was born; the day God began to gather a harvest of people who would love Him and carry His Gospel to the world. We are still living in the "day" of Pentecost.
Pentecostal church: Christian denominations which acknowledge and seek to use the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit (for example, prophesy and healing).
Perdition: Hell; a place of eternal misery and loss.
Perfect: refers to the restoring, adjusting, maturing work of God in a believer which ultimately leads to being one with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Perfection: When we become clay in God, the potter's hands, and are fashioned into a completed vessel. (A life-long work completed when we are with Jesus in eternity.)
Perish: To be cut off from God.
Perseverance: Apart from the standard dictionary meanings, perseverance also refers to the Holy Spirit's ongoing work in a believer's life in taking a person from salvation to completion in Christ.
Perverse: To wilfully twist something out of moral shape.
Pew: Church bench seat.
Pharisees: A prominent Jewish sect at the time of Christ who believed in the Old Testament, oral law, angels, spirits, resurrection and immortality.
Phylacteries: Parchment strips of Old Testament texts bound on the forehead or left arm in a small leather case.
Pietism: Seventeenth century movement stressing a personal experience with God and Bible study.
Piety: Reverence for, and devotion to, God.
Pilgrim: a) A Christian who takes a trip, the sole purpose of which is to draw near to God.
b) Christians who wander this earth far from their country (heaven) and people (Christians from all ages who live with God).
Pious: To be God-like in that you show love and kindness to all.
(Place) Hand under a thigh: Cultural practice to signify a serious vow. Placing the hand close to the penis and testes might have indicated the person’s descendants would avenge any breaking of the vow and/or a swearing on your life.
Pneumatarian: Person who believes in the Holy Spirit’s work, including the expression of spiritual gifts; sometimes to the detriment of not giving equal focus to Father and Son.
Polytheism: A belief in and worship of more than one god.
Pontiff: Supreme priest. An alternate designation for the Pope.
(Positional) Sanctification: The born-again experience of accepting Jesus as your saviour from sin. When this happens our position changes to being a citizen in God’s kingdom.
Post-exilic: Occurring after Israel's exile to, and return from, Babylon.
Postdiluvian: Events occurring after the flood in Noah’s time.
Postulant: A candidate for a Christian order.
Power-encounter: A dramatic and personal experience of the Holy Spirit (for example, healing).
Praise: Voiced admiration; extolling that which is at the centre of our lives.
Prayer: Communicating your heart to God and listening to His.
Pre-eminence: To be first in order, or to have no other equal. (An essential understanding of Jesus.)
Preach: To exhort, through sermons, the Gospel of Jesus.
Precentor: Person in charge of the liturgy and worship in large cathedrals. 
Prelate: Holder of higher positions in the church, such as a bishop.
Preordain: To decree an event or occurrence before it happens.
Presbyter: An overseer or leader in a local congregation in the early church.
Preterist: A belief that Revelation’s symbolism relates only to the times it was written in.
Preternatural: That which cannot be explained by natural causes.
(Prevenient) Grace: This understanding of grace states God took the initiative to save sinners. He makes it possible for everyone to respond to Him and be saved.
Priest: Mainly used by the Catholic and Orthodox churches in reference to an ordained minister.
Priest (New Testament): In the New Testament priests tended to the daily offerings and sacrifices in Jerusalem’s temple.
Principalities: Those who are in power and exercise rule, especially a spiritual dominion.
Prize: Living for Jesus is likened to a race with Jesus offering a prize for competing.
Prodigal: Wastefully extravagant; to squander money, resources or whatever one has.
Profane: Disrespectful towards God or something sacred.
(Progressive) Sanctification: The ongoing life-changing work of God’s grace and Holy Spirit-informed decisions in a follower of Jesus.
Promised Land: The territory Israel was to lay claim to after their release from Egypt.
Prophesy: a) Inspired predictions of events to come, such as in Revelation.
b) New Testament prophesy in the church is more about speaking on behalf of God than making predictions.
Prophet: A person who is regularly inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak on behalf of God.
Prophetic: Announcing to people things that could only have been learnt by a direct communication from God.
Propitiation: The act of satisfying the terms for both parties so that enemies can be reunited. Jesus' life and ministry achieved this for God and man.
Proselyte: A convert from one religion to another.
Proselytise: To lead a person from one faith to another.
Prosperity gospel: Erroneous belief that faithfulness to God automatically results in prosperity or a well-to-do-life for the believer.
Protestant: A Christian who is a member of any church which has broken away from the Roman Catholic Church since the 1500s.
Protestant Reformation: An era in church history, beginning in the 1500’s, when attempts to reform the existing Roman Catholic Church were largely rebutted. The result has been breakaway Protestant (protesting) churches.
Providence: God's guidance, care and protection for His people.
Psalm: A prayer put to song to extol God.
Psalms: A song-book in the Old Testament.
Psalter: A popular book in the Middle Ages containing the Psalms, litanies and other devotional texts.
Pulpit: Elevated structure, in some churches, from which the service is conducted.
Pure: A moral guiltlessness and innocence before a righteous God.
Purgatory: Catholic belief that there is a half-way house, before Heaven, for some people whose sin still needs to be dealt with.
Purify: To have our disobedience, and its shame, washed away by Jesus' love and to then choose (again) attitudes which honour him.
Puritan: Person who follows a strict ethical and religious code of behaviour based on an understanding of the Bible.
Puritanical: Having a strict moral or religious outlook.
Quakers: Members of a movement started by George Fox who stress simplicity in worship and lifestyle.
Quicken: Where once there was sin and death, Jesus comes into our lives to quicken us. It's the process of being born again and renewed daily in our inner man.
Quietism: A form of mysticism involving quashing your will, separating yourself from the world and a passive meditation on God.
Rabbi: Jewish word for 'teacher', often used to refer to Jesus.
Rainbow: The sign of God’s promise, given after Noah’s flood, to never destroy the earth with water again.
Raison d'etre: (French) Your reason for living, for being.
Ransom: The price Jesus paid (crucifixion) to satisfy God's holy requirements for dealing with sin.
Rapture: A belief that Christians alive at Jesus' return will move straight from Earth to Heaven.
Reborn: To be spiritually rejuvenated, as if born again.
Recapitulation theory: This theory states the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls in the book of Revelation are three perspectives on the same events.
Recessional: A hymn sung at the end of a church service as the choir and priest/minister leave.
Recessional: A hymn sung at the end of a church service as the choir and priest/minister leave.
Recommitment (service): Ceremony to renew wedding vows.
Reconcile: Our wilful defiance of God put us at odds with Him but Jesus came as the mediator to bring us together as friends.
Reconciliation: To re-establish harmony between individuals or parties which have been fractured and in disarray. To bring order, symmetry and health to a relationship. In a poetic sense, reconciliation is bringing beauty from ashes and this involves apologies, forgiveness and a treasured, newly rediscovered relationship.
Rector: Usually refers to an Anglican or Roman Catholic clergyman who shepherds a church.
Redemption: Jesus' death was God’s ransom price to buy our freedom from the grip of sin in our lives.
Regenerate: To have our lives made new again by God's Word and the Holy Spirit.
Relativism: A theory that every person can find their own truth as there are no absolute values.
Remission: Removal of the 'cancer' of sin through forgiveness. It also carries the idea of forgiveness being able to cancel the 'debt' of sin.
Remorse: Genuine regret for your actions.
Repent: To seek forgiveness for a sin and commit yourself to doing an about face in how you think and act.
Reproof: A conviction for sin or an exposing of that sin or error. Part of God's process for correcting us.
Requiem: A Christian service to honour and pray for someone who has died.
Resurrection: Life beyond death. Jesus rose from his tomb opening the way for all His disciples to follow Him to his Father's house.
Revelation: Having an insight into God's heart and mind.

• (General) Revelation: Spiritual truth derived from logic, conscience and an awareness of the world around us.

     • (Special) Revelation: God, and Biblical truth, revealed directly to a person.
Reverence: A deep respect for God that flows from a strong willingness to be subject to Him.
Revival: When God awakens people to connect (non-Christians) and reconnect (Christians) with Him.
Rich fools: Jesus’ label for those who spend life amassing wealth for themselves.
Righteousness: The quality of being right or just or truthful or faithful according to God's standard of holiness. To be in right standing with God.
Risen: The elevated status given to Jesus and his followers before the eternal throne of God.
Rite: A solemn religious ceremony. For example - baptism.
Ritual: The established format for a ceremony.
Rocky places: People who receive God’s love but have little room for it in their life.
Rood screen: An ornate architectural feature in late medieval churches indicating a priest’s only area (chancel) and the people’s area (nave).
Rosary: A string of beads used by Catholics to help recite a sequence of prayers.
Sabbatarian: Person with strict views on what can be done on Sunday, the focus of which is worship and rest.
Sabbath: The one day in the week (usually Sunday) given to spiritual and physical rejuvenation through rest and worship.
Sabellianism: An unorthodox teaching of the third century declaring Father and Son to be one person.
Sacerdotalism: Relating to the office of a priest system.
Sacrament: A rite, such as baptism or communion, which is symbolic of a spiritual reality.
Sacred: That which is dedicated to God (for example, music, altar or implements used in church).
Sacrifice: Biblically, to give up something as part of your commitment to God.
Sacrilegious: Insulting or harmful to beliefs or things held to be sacred.
Sacristan: Person who looks after a church’s contents.
Sacristy: Room attached to a church for storing sacred objects.
Sacrosanct: Something to be kept sacred and untainted.
Sadducees: A prominent Jewish sect at the time of Christ who believed in the Torah and a literal interpretation of written law. They denied angels, spirits, a resurrection and immortality.
Saint: Someone who believes in Jesus; not just someone of exceptional character or works.
Salvation: To be saved from the greatest danger in this life – a godless life.
Salvific: Has the intent or the power to redeem.
Samaritans: They claimed descendance from Israel’s northern tribes although there was significant intermarriage with the Assyrians. The Jews treated them as tainted both in lineage and beliefs.
Sanctification: God working with us to sort through the business of our lives so that we can fulfill His purposes.
Sanctify: a) To set apart or deem something to be holy.
b) To rid of sin.
Sanctity of life: The belief God is the giver of life and that, therefore, every life is sacred.
Sanctuary: A sacred area around a churches or temple’s altar seen as a place of safety. God is also referred to as a sanctuary, a refuge.
Sanctum: Sacred place.
Sanhedrin: The Jews' supreme council in post-exilic times which was responsible for religious and criminal matters.
Satan: A fallen angelic being who strives against God and man.
(Saving) grace: A good quality which shines in an otherwise flawed or evil person.
Saviour: Jesus, the only person who can rescue us from our fallen state or sin, and its consequences.
Scapegoat: A person who is expediently blamed rather than the guilty person. The word stems from an Old Testament practice of symbolically placing the people's sin on a goat and releasing it into the wilderness. This practice was more about forgiveness, with the removal of guilt from a person's life, than its current meaning.
Schismatic: To set up a rival to the true worship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Scholastics: Christian philosophers in the medieval era.
Scribe: An authorised interpreter of the Jewish law in Jesus’ time. They were paid to produce documents.
Scripture: The writings of God recorded in the Bible.
Second Isaiah: Chapters 40 to 55 of Isaiah are sometimes referred to as 'Second Isaiah' as they were written in Babylon during Israel’s exile.
Sect: A breakaway group from the Christian church with alternative beliefs and practices.
Secular: Relating to this world without consideration of the spiritual or sacred.
Seminary: Educational institution for preparing students to enter ministry or other forms of Christian leadership.
Semitic: Relating to Noah’s son Shem. (Jews and Arabs are Semites.)
Septuagint: A translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek between 280BC – 180BC. It was the Bible of the beginning church used by Jesus and the apostles.
Seraphim: Six-winged angels whose primary task is to cleanse.
Sermon: An address or speech given as part of a church service.
Sermon on the Mount: One of Jesus’ great discourses containing the beatitudes and ethical teaching.
Serpent: The imagery of a snake tricking Eve, in Eden, to disobey God is continued through to Revelation and the serpents' evil influence at the end of time.
Servant of the Lord: Leaders such as Moses and David were seen as God’s servant. Isaiah uses the term to especially refer to the person (Jesus) who would come bringing God’s justice to the nations.
Service: Christians meeting together for worship.
(Seven Deadly) Sins: A Middle Ages view that pride, lust, anger, envy, sloth, gluttony and covetousness are mortal sins leading to damnation.
Shalom: A greeting which means more than ‘peace be with you’. Shalom is a prayer that the person addressed flourishes finding delight in a full life infused with God’s grace and peace.
Shema: Three core texts - Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41 - which constitute the Jewish faith.
Sheol: A Hebrew term for the abode of the dead.
Shittim: A thorny acacia tree found in the Middle East (and a place that appears in the Old Testament)
Shrove Tuesday: Day before Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent; traditionally a day for confessing sin. Also known as Pancake Day (Mardi Gras) due to the celebratory tradition of eating pancakes on this day.
(Sign of) Jonah: a) Jonah spent three days submerged in a large fish just as Jesus was to be three days in a tomb before resurrection.
b) Jonah preached repentance and salvation with great success as did Jesus.
Signs and wonders: Acts performed by Jesus which further verified His claims of who He is.
Simony: To buy or sell a position in the church for money.
Sin: Choosing to live for yourself rather than for God.
Sinner: a) In Jesus' time, sinners were people who refused to follow the interpretation of those who taught Mosaic Law. It also referred to people such as murderers, thieves, adulterers and tax collectors.
b) A person who fails to fulfil all of God's moral law in thought and deed; a category every human being falls into.
Six woes: Jesus confronted the Pharisees in six areas for their lack of spiritual leadership.
1. Neglecting justice.
2. Being self-important.
3. Defiling people with their legalism.
4. Putting legal burdens on people without helping them.
5. Tokenism in honouring Israel’s prophets. They reject who the prophets foretold; Jesus.
6. Setting up barriers to knowing Jesus and entering His kingdom.
Smouldering wicks: Lives lacking hope, love, faith, joy and so on. Jesus says He will reignite, not “snuff out” such people.
Sojourners: Those living temporarily in a place. Applied to this life in contrast to eternity with or without Jesus.
Son of David: One of the Messiah's titles. The Messiah had the heart of David and a king's authority.
Son of God: Jesus is declared to be the Son of God, a reference to His divinity, by a range of people in the New Testament, by Himself and by God the Father.
Son of Man: Jesus' most common title for Himself emphasises his total humanity which is what was required to break the power of sin and death.
Son of the Most High: Jesus, God the Son, who comes from God the Father.
Song(s): Inspired community worship sung for the purpose of edification.
Sorcery: Using power (knowledge) gained from evil spirits.
Soteriology: The study of what God has done through Jesus to save mankind.
Soul: The "real you" within your fallen humanity, including desires, feelings and perceptions (see Spirit).
Southern kingdom: Consisted of two tribes, Benjamin and Judah. It had almost as many wicked kings as the northern kingdom and lasted 350 years.
Spirit: The 'real you', which can only be free from sin when God awakens your spirit with His love and hence changes your desires, feelings and perceptions. (see Soul).
Spiritual: Related to matters dealing with the core of our humanity.
Spiritual gifts: Gifts from the Holy Spirit, freely given to and exercised through Christians, to serve God's gracious purposes.
Spiritualise: To give a spiritual or sacred meaning to.
Spiritualism: A belief that spirits of the dead speak through mediums to the living.
Stations of the Cross: Roman Catholic tradition of 14 incidents leading to Jesus' crucifixion which are often pictured around the church for prayer and meditation.
Stigmata: Marks resembling Christ's crucifixion wounds said to appear on some people.
Stoicism: A belief that everything is controlled by fate and therefore we should live calmly and with resolve. (similar to determinism)
Straight: Direct, right, narrow. The straight path is repentance and walking with Jesus.
Strive: Christians are to exert themselves and be disciplined in the work of the Gospel.
Stumbling block: A snare or obstacle preventing further progress.
Substitution: Christ's vicarious death on behalf of sinful humanity.
Succentor: Precentor’s assistant in a cathedral who helps conduct the liturgy.
Suffer: a) To allow or permit: as in suffer the little children to come to Jesus.
b) Pain and injustice, generally, but more specifically, from an identification with Jesus and His crucifixion.
Suffering Servant: Isaiah’s prophetic description of the Messiah.
Supersessionism: The belief Christianity has improved on and thus superseded Judaism.
Superstitious: Acting on magic, ignorance, fear of the unknown or a false concept.
Suppliant: A person praying or pleading.
Supplication: Asking earnestly and passionately. Often applied to a form of prayer.
Swaddling cloth: Strips of cloth used for wrapping babies in Jesus’ time.
Synagogue: Judaic places of worship which focused on opening up the Scriptures; a focus the church adopted.
Synagogue rulers: In Jesus' time, they were laymen who managed the synagogue building and worship in it.
Synergism: A doctrine stating salvation comes through human effort co-operating with God’s grace.
Synod: An assembly of leading church delegates to make decisions on church affairs.
Synoptic: Used in reference to Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels as they have many incidents in common.
(Synoptic) Gospels: The books of Matthew, Mark and Luke which present the same overview of Jesus’ life.
Tabernacle: Ancient Israel's portable dwelling for God.
Taboo: What tradition, social expectations or other authority deems forbidden.
(Take the) Veil: Traditional phrase for becoming a nun.
(Take up your) Cross: Be willing to pay any price to live life as a disciple of Jesus.
Talmud: An annotated collection of Jewish traditions.
Tanner: Simon the tanner (Acts 10) worked turning hides into leather. This foul-smelling trade meant tanners had to live apart from other villagers yet Peter chose to stay at His house, just like Jesus did with tax collectors, another spurned occupation.
Tares: Noxious weeds impacting the size and quality of the crop (Jesus’ parable of the tares implies there will always be tares among His followers.)
Tarot: A misdirected notion that a pack of tarot cards can tell a person's future.
Tax collectors (aka publicans): Rome's agents. Largely seen as swindlers and traitors.
Teacher (Rabbi): Title given to Jesus which can be translated as "My Great One"; the teacher who has authority.
Temperance: a) abstaining from alcohol
b) A Christian movement which responded to general excessive drinking.
Temperate: A Holy Spirit strengthened and directed self control.
Temple: A general term for a place of worship used by a number of religions.
Temple tax: At the time of Christ it was the equivalent of two days' wages and every male over the age of 20 had to pay.
Temporal: Pertaining to life, here and now.
Tempt: To entice someone to do something they should not do.
Temptation: Being enticed.
Tempter: A name for Satan describing his attempts to lead all astray.
Tenet: A belief or doctrine that is seen to be true.
Teraphim: Household gods of ancient Semitic peoples. It is thought they were connected to property inheritance.
Testament: A covenant which binds two parties. (The Old and New Testaments are binding agreements between God and mankind.)
Testimonium: A standard point made from an Old Testament passage.
Testimony: a) A declaration of truth.
b) A declaration of what God has done in a person's life.
(The) Fall: The first man and woman's stumble from obeying God to guilty disobedience. The mix of obedience and disobedience has been with humanity ever since.
(The) Redeemer: Designation of Jesus as the One whose life bought mankind's freedom from sin with its eternal consequences.
(The) Revelation: The climatic book of the Bible revealing God’s salvation plan completed in a new humanity, new Earth and new Heaven. (There are four schools of thought on reading Revelation: Futurist, Historicist, Idealist and Preterist.)
(The) Unrighteous: Those who proudly take a faithless stance against God and His righteousness, graciously given in Jesus.
(The) Vine: Applied to Jesus, it indicates His followers’ total dependence on Him for sustenance, for life and the capacity to bear fruit.
(The) Year of the Lord’s favour: The Messianic era when salvation is proclaimed through Jesus for all people.
Theism: Belief in a personal God who is creator, sustainer and ruler over His creation.
Theistic evolutionism: The belief God used evolution as a means of creation.
Theodicy: Acknowledging God’s wisdom and justice in allowing the existence of evil.
Theologian: A student of the Bible and its tenets of faith.
Theology: The study of God and Christian teaching.
Theophany: God appearing to a person and manifesting His powers.
Theosophical: Related to theosophy.
Theosophist: Follower of theosophy.
Theosophy: Religious system derived from a claim that all religions can access spiritual reality through mystical experience which gives insight into God.
Thirty silver coins: Judas' payment was equal to four months wages for a labourer.
Thorns: Thorns came from mankind’s fall. Jesus wore a crown of thorns to remove the consequences of that fall.
Thorny ground: People who allow weeds (ungodly thoughts, words and deeds) to grow alongside God’s good seed.
Tithe: One tenth of income given to God as an act of gratitude, submission and recognition of God as the giver of all things.
(To) Look back: To turn your heart away from your God-given course in life.
Torah: The Pentateuch and the whole body of Jewish law, including oral traditions.
Transcendent: To surpass the normal limits. God surpasses every limitation we can think of.
Transept: The two side projections of a cross in the design of early churches.
Transfiguration: Jesus was transformed, becoming dazzling white, before Peter, James and John, when Moses and Elijah appeared to Him. This transfiguration was a precursor to Jesus’ future glory.
Transformation: The fundamental change in the nature and direction of a person’s life, beginning with being born again and culminating in everything being made new on passing through death to be with Christ.
Transgress: To sin.
Transubstantiation: A largely Catholic belief that the wine and bread literally become the blood and flesh of Jesus as you receive communion.
Travail: To painfully labour at, as in childbirth; hence a description of one form of prayer.
Tree of knowledge of good and evil: The second tree mentioned in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve, disobeying God, ate from it they became aware of good and evil.
Tree of life: This tree conferred immortality in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were barred from it because they disobeyed God. In the Book of Revelation, the tree of life is available to anyone who listens to the Holy Spirit.
Tree of life: This tree conferred immortality in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were barred from it because they disobeyed God. In the Book of Revelation, the tree of life is available to anyone who listens to the Holy Spirit.
Trial: A problem, a hard situation you go through, that God is working out His purposes in.
Tribulation: a) A trial involving extreme hardship. God hasn't stopped loving us in these situations.
b) A coming time when Satan is given the opportunity to make a last ditch effort to drag as many people down into hell as possible. Yet, God will still have His way at this time.
Trinity: The three ways God has revealed his personage to humanity; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. (Three-in-one and one-in-three.)
Triptych: An altar piece of three hinged picture panels.
Tritheism: Heretical belief the three persons of the Trinity are three separate gods.
Triumphal Entry: When Jesus was given a hero's welcome on His final return to Jerusalem where He seeks to overcome sin and death for humanity.
Triumphalism: A form of faith which claims we live in total victory now. It fails to recognise the on-going impact of fallen nature.
True Vine: Jesus infuses His disciples with His life so they can bear fruit (see the Titles of Christ).
Truth: That which is solid and binding and thus demonstrates integrity and reality. Jesus is ‘The Truth’.
Typology: Symbols, images and events in the Old Testament which are types prefiguring New Testament times.
Unbelievers: Those who do not acknowledge Jesus as mankind's Saviour.
Unclean: Old Testament law sought to define what was pure and impure. This included dietary guidelines for healthy eating, avoiding sex when women are menstruating and separating out people with obvious diseases like leprosy. Jesus turned this understanding of unclean on its head by stating it is what comes from the heart that can be unclean, not what goes in your mouth.
Unction: To apply oil in a religious ceremony.
Unitarianism: A doctrine which denies the triune nature of God.
Unity: The New Testament definition is: Christians, bound in a common purpose and faith by the Holy Spirit, who make every effort to keep peace and maintain focus.
Universalism: Belief that all faiths are legitimate and able to bring you to God.
Unorthodox: In a Christian context, it is non-conformance to traditions, doctrine or expected behaviour.
Unregenerate: A person not yet born again who is still at enmity with God.
Venerable: Of a person who is revered because of their age, faith or character.
Venerate: Holding great respect for a person or God.
Veneration: Expressing, or feeling, awe for a person or God.
(Venial) sin: Roman Catholic theology stating that some sins are less serious than others.
Verily: Honestly, truly, surely, indeed. It tends to precede a solemn and important statement.
Vesper: A prayer said at night.
Vestal: Pure or chaste.
Viaticum: Communion given to the dying or someone in danger of death.
Vicar: a) A clergyman in the Anglican church.
b) A representative of the pope or a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.
Virgin birth: The belief that Mary, through the Holy Spirit's intervention, became pregnant with Jesus while remaining a virgin.
Vision: A fresh revelation from God received in image and word.
Vow: A promise made with God as your witness.
Waldenses: A group that was a forerunner to the Reformation, they stressed the simplicity of faith and living rejecting Catholic practices such as indulgences, confessing to a priest, transubstantiation and praying for the dead.
Wanton: Unrestrained and immoral sexual behaviour.
Way (The): a) Christ's way for life now and beyond the grave.
b) A term used to describe early Christians.
Widows: Jesus had great compassion for widows because they were commonly left vulnerable and poor.
Wimple: A piece of cloth, worn by some nuns, which frames the face.
Wind (of the Spirit): a) A symbolic representation of God breathing life into a person.
b) God’s expanding surging presence in a person, place or activity.
Winnowing fork: Used figuratively of Jesus' judgement which separates wheat (redeemed) from chaff (unrepentant).
Wisdom: In the Old Testament the "fear of the Lord" was seen as the starting point for wisdom. In the New Testament Jesus is the "power and wisdom of God".
(With bad) grace: To do something unwillingly, miserly.
(With good) grace: To do something happily, gladly.
Witness: One who tells what he has seen or experienced. God's simple calling for everyone who has experienced Jesus in their life.
Word (The): a) The Bible - God's voice for all who will listen.
b) Jesus is the Word because He is the living testimony of who God is.
World: The world system or the values and ethos of a society that shunts God aside so it can pursue its own goals, ambitions and ego.
Worldly: A person who fashions their life around temporal and material things.
Worship: Any thought, word or deed whose focus is to honour God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Worshipper: A person whose focus is to honor God in thought, word and deed.
Wrath of God: God bringing justice to an intolerable situation. Compare with wrath - a strong anger stirred by indignation.
Xmas: The first Greek letter in Khristos is 'x'. Hence 'Khristos mass' = 'Christmas'.
Yahweh: Hebrew for the English name Jehovah. The name means "God is". God is "I am" - the eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent One.
Yoke (Jesus’): To be harnassed to and directed by Christ.
Your Eminence: Roman Catholic title of respect for cardinals.
Yule: The celebration and joy of Christmas.
Yuletide: An archaic term for Christmas festivities.
Zealots: Jewish group who violently opposed Rome.
Zion: Originally a mountain stronghold conquered by David - and where Solomon built Israel’s Temple, it also came to symbolise the Promised Land.


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