Appendix B: Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms


Definitions without attribution are from Webster’s New World College Dictionary, fourth ed., Michael Agnes Ed. in Chief, Wiley Pub. (2002). Definitions from attributed sources are in quotation marks. (Definitions in parentheses are my own).


Apocrypha Fourteen books of the Septuagint that are rejected in Judaism and regarded by Protestants as not canonical; eleven of them are fully accepted in the Roman Catholic canon.


Apostle A person sent out on a special mission. See also end note #266 of this commentary.

bosom the human breast … the inside; midst / in the bosom of one’s family … cherished, intimate
Canon A law or body of laws of a church. …The books of the Bible officially accepted by a church or religious body as divinely inspired (and approved for instruction of the faithful).

Canonization (A process followed by religious authorities that results in a book of Scripture being approved for inclusion in the Bible).

Christology The study of the work and person of Jesus Christ and of the literature that relates to him. (High Christology a phrase in theological treatises or dogmas when describing Jesus Christ as God or the Son of God).
Codex Alexandrinas (The oldest complete version of the Septuagint available to scholars for study. It is the standard by which other, less complete versions of the Septuagint are compared).

Cognate related through the same source; derived from a common original form (the declined form of a root word appearing in context according to case, number and gender).

Commentary A series of explanatory notes or annotations often forming a treatise on a text. (Bible commentaries are written by scholars to offer explanations of the meaning of Scriptures).

Cipher /Key to Something regarded as like a key in opening or closing a way, revealing or concealing, etc. Specifically …a thing that explains or solves something else, as a book of answers, the explanations on a map, the code to a system of pronunciation, etc. (The source document from which definitions of key words used in another document may be found.)

Day A period of light between sunrise and sunset, daylight, sunshine; the 24 hour period, mean solar day, that it takes the earth to rotate once on its axis with respect to the sun.

Disciple A pupil or follower of any teacher or school of religion, learning, art, etc.; an early follower of Jesus, esp. one of the Apostles.

Double Entendre A term with two meanings.

Eisegesis (A scholarly process through which a scholar reads meaning into Scripture. Antonym: exegesis.)

Etymology The origin and development of a language. (Specifically, the root form and linguistic or cultural source of a word.)
Exegesis Explanation, critical analysis, or interpretation of a word, literary passage, etc., esp. in the Bible. (A process through which a Biblical scholar draws meaning out of Scripture. Antonym: eisegesis).
Form of God The shape, outline, configurations of a person or animal/(God); the particular mode of existence a thing/(God) has or takes.
Gematria “In order to find the proposed hidden sense of many words or passages in the Scriptures, a kind of numerology called gematria (from Gk geometria) was developed in the Talmudic, Midrashic, and Kabbalistic literatures. The basic idea was to interpret words, or groups of words, by computing the sums of their constituent letters as alphabetic numerals, and relating words to each other if they added up to the same letter sums.” See J. Friberg, “Numbers and Counting,” The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, D.N. Freedman, Ed., Doubleday, New York, (1992).
Gospel (often) The teachings of Jesus and the Apostles; specif., the Christian doctrine of the redemption of man through Jesus as Christ; … anything proclaimed or accepted as the absolute truth: gospel truth.
Greek Torah (The Greek version of The Law, meaning the Pentateuch = Five books of Laws, including the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, as found in the Septuagint.)
Halakha / Halacha any of the laws or ordinances not written down in the Jewish Scriptures, but based on an oral interpretation of them.
Hebrew Bible The Tanach, Hebrew: Tanakh, acronym formed from Torah (Pentateuch), Neviim (Prophets), & Ketuvim (Hagiographa or Holy Writings): the Holy Scriptures of Judaism. (Commonly called The Old Testament.)

Heresy a religious belief opposed to the orthodox doctrines of a church; esp., such a belief specifically denounced by the church.

Interlinear Having the same text in different languages printed in alternate lines. (For example an interlinear Bible may show Greek and English versions of the same verse. This is useful for comparison and translation.)
Holy Place (Jacob marked the place of his dream of the House of God with an anointed stone pillar; Moses built the Tabernacle/Tent of Witness in the wilderness. Solomon built the first temple on the threshing floor believed by King David to be the place marked by Jacob. Nebuchadnezzar’s forces destroyed the first temple in 586 B.C.E. Nehemiah organized “the Jews” to rebuild it. Herod the Great built the second temple. Roman forces destroyed it in 70 C.E. Only a foundation wall remains. For Christians a holy place is wherever Jesus is.)
The Jews (A pejorative term used by foreign authorities to identify their slaves and former slaves from Judea, the priests, Levites and the princes, i.e.: other leaders of Jerusalem, all members of the Council of the Sanhedrin lead by the High Priest.)
The Jews of the Disaspora The dispersion of the Jews after the Babylonian Exile; the Jews thus dispersed; the places where they settled. (Jewish communities established outside of the Nation State of Israel).
Johannine Of or characteristic of the Apostle/Evangelist John or of the books of the New Testament attributed to him.
Johannine sign (A sign found in the Gospel According to John. See also sign)
Johannine parable (an oracle found only in the Gospel According to John. See also oracle)
Levites (Members of the tribe of Levi, especially those who were not descendants of Aaron. It was their to perform the services connected with the temple ritual, such as providing coals for the altar, managing the sacrificial animals before they were sacrificed, cleaning, singing and playing musical instruments when required.
Logos Gk. Philos. Reason, thought of as constituting the controlling principle of the universe and being manifested by speech; Christian Theol. The eternal thought or word of God, made incarnate in Jesus Christ. See John 1.
Magnanimous noble in mind; high-souled; esp., generous in overlooking injury or insult; rising above pettiness or meanness.
Manumission freeing or being freed from slavery, liberation, emancipation.
Metaphor A figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another.
Midrash Judaism: Any of the rabbinical commentaries and explanatory notes on the Scriptures, written between the beginning of the Exile and circa A.D. 1200 – The Midrash, these commentaries and notes collectively. See end notes #143, 147.
Morphology The branch of linguistics that deals with word structure and with functional changes in the forms of words, such as inflection and compounding.
Mosaic Oracle (An oracle found in the Torah, and thus attributed to Moses. See also oracle)

Mosaic Sign (A sign found in the Torah, and thus attributed to Moses. See also sign)

Mosaic System of Worship (The system of worship described in detail in the Torah: The Festivals of Sacrifice, The Tabernacle/ Temple and the Priesthood, designed by God and established by Moses.)
Night Period from sunset to sunrise; the period of actual darkness after sunset and before sunrise; the evening following a specified day.
Oracle Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the place where, or medium by which, deities were consulted; the revelation or response of a medium or priest; any person or agency believed to be in communication with a deity; any person of great knowledge or wisdom; opinion or statements of any such oracle; the Holy of Holies of the ancient Jewish Temple, see 1 Kings 6:16, 19-23. (An oracle can be a person chosen by God or the message from God)
Pericope A passage, usually short, of a written work. (A passage of Scripture that contains a complete thought. Such a passage is not dependent upon its context; it can stand alone.)
Play on Words Fun, joking, to do a thing in play. (Playing games with words as is often the case with oracles, where similar sounding words with different meanings are paired with each other in the same context or pericope).
Priest a person whose function is to make sacrificial offerings and perform other religious rites as an intermediary between deity and worshipers. (The High Priest and the Chief Priests of ancient Israel were descendants of Aaron. All Hebrew priests must be of the tribe of Levi, i.e.: Levites.) See also Levites.
Priesthood (in a general sense: pertaining to the rules, roles and traditions of priests. The Mosaic Priesthood was established by Moses according to the rules, roles and traditional functions defined in the Hebrew Torah).
Procurator an official of ancient Rome who managed the financial affairs of a province or acted as governor of a lesser province.
Sanhedrin The highest court and council of the ancient Jewish nation, having religious and civil function; it was abolished with destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Septuagint … A translation into Greek of the Hebrew Scriptures made several centuries B.C.
Septuagint sign (A sign found in the Septuagint outside of the Greek Torah. See also sign)
Septuagint oracle (An oracle found in the Septuagint outside of the Greek
. See also oracle)
Shekinah the manifestation of the presence of God; divine presence (characterized as a glowing light).
(Sic) Latin adv. meaning thus; so: used within brackets (sic) to show that a quoted passage, esp. one containing some error or something questionable, is precisely reproduced.
Sign Any linguistic unit, as a word, letter, etc. that is the symbol of an idea, function, etc.; …an act or happening regarded as a manifestation of divine will or power, an omen; portent.
Targums Any of several translations or paraphrases of parts of the Jewish Scriptures, written in the vernacular (Aramaic) of Judea.
Trinity the union of three divine persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in one Godhead.
Way A path in life; course or habits of life or conduct. (The Way is the path in life chosen for each person by God, i.e.: the way of life in accordance with God’s will.)
Word A speech sound or series of them, serving to communicate meaning … a brief expression, statement, remark; … a password or signal; a command, order or authorization; … (archaic) a saying; proverb. …the Word (see Logos, Gospel, sense 1). (The means by which God creates everything, the meaning behind the words of God; the nature of Jesus Christ, i.e.: as the One by whom and through whom God speaks to all people before, during and after the Word, Jesus Christ, became flesh.)

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