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Books - Glossary Public DomainGlossary of Christian & Theologically Terms

This glossary is a list of some Christian & Theological terms in progress. As I research more terms they will be added. – I am sure a lot of these terms might be unknown to many of us but my hope is that this will not only be a help to me but those who view it.

Abrahamic Covenant – This covenant is found in the book of Genesis 12 through 22. God made many promises to Abraham
1. He promises Abraham that he would be the father of many nations
2. He also promised him a promised land = the land of Israel
3. In addition He promised also that Abraham’s name would be great
4. That he would have lots of descendents
5. God also promises Abraham that the world would be blessed through his personal physical lineage.
6. One important part of God’s covenant with Abraham was made with him and his seed. But it is with his spiritual seed not his physical seed.

Absolution – To set free – to forgive sin. The Bible teaches that only God can forgive sin. When a sinner is repentant and confesses his sins to God that God will forgive him of his sins. In the Catholic Church they believe this comes to anyone by the priest forgiving them of confessed sins during the sacrament of penance..

Adam’s One Trespass – Disobedience to God by eating of the fruit of the tree which was forbidden him to eat.

Adamic Covenant – Is the covenant many call the covenant of works. God made this covenant between Him and Adam it promised Adam life if he obeyed God and death if he did not. Adam broke the law by disobeying what God said, but Jesus Christ is sometimes called The Second Adam – He satisfied the whole law and therefore by His obedience He was able to resolve the separation between mankind and God by being our propitiation (atonement)

Adoption – The act of God where He adopts (makes) the believers His children. This is separate from His work of calling, regenerating and justifying them. (John 1:12)

Adoptionism – This is the false teaching that Christ was just a human man and because He was obedient God adopted Him to be His son and therefore became God. This teaching arose in the early church of which its teaching was considered heresy.

Agnostics – One (a Gnostic) who believes in the teaching of Agnosticism

Agnosticism – The false teaching (Gnosticism) that says that they do not know that there is an unseen world like Heaven nor do they know if there is a God or not. They claimed to have secret knowledge which only is given to spiritual people and not the general groups of people. Their teachings are taken from several philosophies and religions some believe there is a supreme being but is not the God of the Bible. Some say Christ died as a man and deny the incarnation. But others say Christ did not have a human body so did not suffer, and this group were called Docetists. Others taught that there was never an incarnation as all tangible matter is evil. Now others say that all matter is evil so they are to handle it as little as possible while others taught that matter is evil and only the spiritual mattered and it didn’t matter what they did with their bodies.

Aisle – In a church there is a long space 5 to 6 feet separating the seating going from one end where the pulpit is to the end of the room.

Akron plan – Is characterized by a rotunda or amphitheater arrangement of seating in a church or auditorium. It is named for a Methodist building in Ohio town built in 1870s. This area will have a double tier of rooms in a gallery setting opening onto the auditorium with sliding doors. This design will use the rooms as Sunday School rooms but all will have access to a general auditorium or amphitheater area. The best reason for this design is that more people can hear and be close to the pulpit.

Alexandria – A city named after Alexander the Great and was founded in about 333 BC. It is a city with a seaport in Egypt. Only 12 miles from the Nile River. This city is briefly mentioned in the New Testament but never in the Old Testament. The Septuagint version of the Bible was written in Alexandria.

Alexandrian School – In Alexandria Egypt in the late second century there was established a school of theology.

A-millennialism – Is the teaching that the millennium is not a literal thousand years as do the Pre-millennialism which teach that the millennium is a thousand actual years and that it will be here on this earth, that Jesus will set up His kingdom of peace. Amillennialist do believe that judgment and eternal life follows immediately at the second coming of Christ, they do not believe that the world will get better and better as do the Postmillennialist before the return of Jesus Christ. Amillennialist see the world as waxing worse and worse until the coming of the Lord Himself.

Anabaptist – is taken from a Greek word meaning – Again = to re-baptize or baptize again. By immersion believers who had been baptized as infants were re-baptized as adults. This sect arose in Germany and in other European countries after or during the Reformation of 1520 – 1580. They taught that infants should not be baptized; they refused to believe in predestination and did not believe that Christ was born of a mortal flesh through Mary. They also believed that Christ had a celestial flesh. In addition they had very poor reputations in the beginning, as they held many errors and had many controversial moral practices. But in the mid-sixteenth century an Anabaptist leader, Menno Simons led them into more approved evangelical beliefs and practices. Today they are known as American Mennonites as they hold the same theological teaching ad did Simons.

Angels – Are created being and are called the messengers of God. They are also super-human. Some we know the names of such as Michael and Gabriel.

Angelology – Angelology – This term comes from two Greek words, that is to say, aggelos, which means “messenger,” or “angel” the other word is logos, which means “word.” In Christian theology, it refers to the study of angels. The study of angelology includes – origin of – nature of – existence of – classifications of and service of. It is very clear that angels do not procreate and are not considered a race but a host. Most of the Scriptures refer to angels in the masculine form, although there is one possible exception to that in one or two Scriptures, which refer to them in the feminine gender. Some theologians say they are sexless, but may assume a human type body. They are usually invisible to the human eye although they may manifest themselves when they wish. God created angel before the creation of the world and made them higher than humankind. God created them holy, yet some fell into sin and He cast them out of His heavenly kingdom. They are also innumerable and are highly intelligent beings, have emotions, and have individual personalities. They are spiritual beings, never die, have great power and sent as messengers to humans, ministered to Christ and are obedient to Him. It also includes the study of Satan and demons, although some theologians will put Satan and the demons in a different study by themselves, called demonology.
Gen. 3:24, Ex. 25:17- 20, Job 1:6, Ps. 8:5; Zech.5:9, Job 38:6,7, Ps. 8:4,5, Isa. 6:2-7, Ezek. 1:1-18,Daniel 12:1, Matt. 2:13, 4:11, 13:39, 18:10; 26:53, 28:2,6, Mark 12:25, 22:30, Luke 1: 19, 26-33, 2:13, 16:2, 20:36, 15:10, Acts 1, 12; 7, 8:26, 12:23, 27:23-24, 2 Cor. I Cor. 4:9, 11:14-15, I Tim 5:21, Heb. 1: 14, 2:7-9, 12:22, I Pet. 1:12, II Pet. 2:11, Jude 6, 9, Rev. 5:11; 7; 11, 8:9 and 16,

Anger – Wrath – God possesses anger and Christ displayed anger and yet do not sin in their anger, although Christians are warned not to sin in anger.

Angle – means hook – it is an mediaeval English word.

Animism – This is a teaching that teaches that really has three parts to it.
They believe that spirits live in natural objects such as tree, rivers and stones, and that they are to be worshiped. In addition they believe that if the object is destroyed the spirits will continue to live.
That physical objects posses a life or a spirit of their own.
That these spirits manifest themselves sporadically through objects, people or in places
Also this belief exists in some primitive religions which do not believe in one true God.

Anoint – To pour oil upon one appointing one to a special office such as king or priest. Or to pour oil on someone for a healing.

Anointed One – Is Christ Jesus

Antediluvian – Is the period before the great flood of Noah’s day. Antediluvian is a Latin compound word ante means “before” and diluvium means “a flood”

Anthropology – Comes from two Greek words anthropos which means “man” and logos which means “word” The Bible is not the study of man but there is a lot in the Bible about mankind. Anthropology is the study of the nature of man before and after the fall of Adam, as well as before and after regeneration.
The Webster Dictionary says:
1. The science of human beings; especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture
2. Theology dealing with the origin, nature, and destiny of human beings

Antichrist – Anti has two meanings:
1. Against Christ – opposed to.
2. Taking the place of Christ – instead of.

Antichrists will in some cases say they are Christ. Christ warns against them, and says there will be many deceivers. They are the enemy of Christ and one is called “The man of lawlessness whose working will be according to the working of Satan.

Antinomianism – Is the belief that they don’t have to – nor have the need to keep the commandments of God. They feel that because they are justified by faith that there is no need to keep the law or the standards of God. Antinomianism is derived from the Greek words anti which means “over against” and nomos which means “law.” In reality it means anit-law. These people disregard the laws of God’s Word. There are two sects of Antinomians
1. There are those who professed to be Christians but they hold that the laws of God are not important or relevant in our day. This group of people substitute God’s laws and His Word with the leading of the Spirit.
2. Are those who flagrantly disregard God’s laws.

Antithesis – Comes form two Greek words one anti which means “over against and tithenai which means “to set.” It is a figure of speech where two irreconcilable opposites or contrasting ideas which cause tension. It is two ideas against a position, like Heaven and Hell they are opposite of one another.
Apologetics – This word comes from the Greek word (απολογία), which means in defense of a position against an attack. It is used in Christianity as a defense of the Christian faith. The apostle Paul, along with Justin and Tertullian defended the faith against philosophies of their times.

Apocrypha – Are biblical writings of disputed authenticity. Protestants believe they are not inspired of God, but are mere writings of man. These books are included in the Vulgate and Septuagint versions of the Bible, but are not in the Christian Protestant Bible or the Hebrew canon, and are historical writings, dating from early centuries.

Apostasy – Is derived from a Greek word and means to depart, fall away or separating oneself from something. In Christianity it means one has deserted the beliefs of Christian teaching and its doctrines and has departed from the faith and has forsaken them.

Apostles – The Lord Jesus Christ appointed 12 men of who He called Apostles. These men were sent forth to share the gospel.

Arminius, Jacob Herman (In Latin Hermann it is pronounced Arminius) Arminius lived from 1560 to 1609 and was a Dutch theologian who had a strict Reformed teaching, but doubted some of John Calvin teachings especially on the teaching of the sovereign grace of God in salvation. His followers are called Arminians or Remonstrance. He was considered a heretic.

Arminianism – Is the belief that Jesus Christ died for all people and made salvation possible for everyone. They believe that it is the person’s choice or will to be saved or not saved. They believe that God elected people to be His because He saw forward in time those who would choose Him so He chose them. This teaching was propagated by a man named Jacob Hermann (Arminius). After a great discussion by the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619 the views of Arminius and his followers were condemned as heresy.

His followers set forth five articles as they are called which state.
1. God elects His children on the His foreseen knowledge of their faith in Him.
2. That Jesus Christ died for all mankind yet only believers will be saved.
3. They believe that man is depraved and needs Gods divine grace is necessary to have faith or any good deed.
4. Yet they believe that mankind can resist this grace of God
5. Some believe they can loose their salvation while other believed once saved always save.
There are 24 tenets which are commonly held by Arminians and yet each group of Arminians might hold some of them with varying degrees of their views.
In the Reformed church of 1616 Arminius led a revolt. He denied the Biblical doctrines of God’s Sovereignty and Total Depravity, and was in his day in great controversy with the Protestant Churches.

Assent – is to agree to and understand something (Scriptures) – The act of the mind in admitting or agreeing to, the truth of a propositions (application, suggestion or proposal) is to admit as true; to agree, yield or concede, or rather to express an agreement of the mind to what is alleged, or proposed. Example: So then, faith is assent to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as understanding the Scriptures, for Genesis to Revelation to be the Words of God and His teaching for our lives, which brings God’s elect to salvation in Him. So then, faith is the ability given to us by God to agree with and to understand the Scriptures. That is why the Scriptures tell us that “Faith is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9) Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romansn10:17)

Atheism – The belief that there is not a God – that He does not exist nor every did.

Atheist – The person who believe in Atheism

Atonement – Is the work of Christ upon the cross which satisfied the wrath of God as Christ kept all the law and obtained salvation for all of the elect of God. Christ work was to die for the elect as a substitutionary sacrifice satisfying the justice of God.

Attributes of God – All attributes are characteristics. God has communicable and incommunicable attributes and some are His and His alone. The communicable attributes are the ones He has permitted mankind to have in some extent, while incommunicable attributes humans do not have.

Baptistery – A place where the sacrament of baptism is administered. It is usually an area where either a metal tub for emersion or a baptismal where a baby, child or an adult is sprinkled with water. It is an area set apart in the construction of the sanctuary. In some churches there is a domed area of the church where baptisms are held.

Basilica – The Roman halls of justice were called Basilicas but this term gradually became known for Christian Churches as well. Most of the older Catholic Churches were built in the floor plan of a Basilica which was usually long with a high nave

Catholic Church – refers to the believing church world wide made up of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savour (see Christian) – The Catholic Church is different from that of the Roman Catholic Church (see Roman Catholic Church)

Chapel – An area in the church usually a small room which was used for private prayers of the believers. Some times it was used as an additional area for small gatherings or even an area in a parish.

Christian – A follower of Christ, a person who believes in, relies on, and clings to the teaching of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only substitutionary sacrifice for their sins. As well as believing who He was and is, as well as believing what He did and what He taught. They have faced the fact that they are a sinner dead in trespasses and sins, and that they can do nothing to rectify their disobedience with God, and that their heart is desperately wicked. They believe that God and God alone and His divine remedy can rescue them from their lost estate,. Knowing that the only remedy is the cross of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His innocent blood is the only adequate payment for their wrong doing. He embraces Christ’s work on the cross – seeks forgiveness as well as repents and tries to live according to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Covenant – An agreement of minds between two parties. In Christian theology there are many covenants.
• One between God and Adam which is known as the “The Covenant of Works” A promise of God to man, that if man was perfect in obedience it would entitle him to happiness. This do ye and you shall live; or if you do as you wish and disobey you die.
• “The Covent of Redemption” is the mutual agreement between the Father and the Son, respecting the redemption of sinners by Christ.
• “The Covenant of Grace” is that by which God engages to bestow salvation on man, upon the condition that man shall believe in Christ and yield obedience to the terms of the gospel.
• There are other covenants God made with mankind and here are a few of them. Like the Covenant between Him and Noah called the “Covenant of Preservation” or the covenant between God and Abraham called “The Covenant of Promise” as well as the covenant between God and Moses called “The Covenant of the Law” another one was between King David and God called “The Covenant of the Kingdom”

Hermeneutics – The science of biblical interpretation

Homily – A religious discourse – an informal exposition of Scripture – a moral lecture

Infralapsarianism – Infralapsarianism puts God’s decrees in the following order: (1) God decreed the creation of mankind; (2) God decreed mankind would be allowed to fall into sin through its own self-determination, (3) God decreed to save some of the fallen, and (4) God decreed to provide Jesus Christ as the Redeemer. Infralapsarianism focuses on God allowing the fall and providing salvation.

Monotheism – Is the belief in one, and only one, God

Nave – The nave includes the middle aisle of a church as well as including the seating on either side. This are is intended for the laity rather than the clergy. In the Reformed and Protestant churches it is shorter than that in the Catholic and Episcopal churches.

Pelagius – Is a man who was a British monk and was a popular preacher in Rome in 401-9 AD. He was condemned as a heretic at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. Pelagius believed and taught that mankind was born without original sin and without any bias towards evil. He believed that the nature of man was good and that God gave mankind the power to live an upright life. He also taught that God demanded nothing impossible of mankind and that everyone could live free form sin if he so chose. Not only that but he taught that mankind could choose to do good, or they could choose to do evil. Pelagius denied that God’s grace was necessary for salvation. Where as Augustine taught that the Scriptures taught that God by His grace must save a person which in turn made them holy.
Pelagius believed that mankind had the power to follow Christ and His examples if they so choose. He also denied the need of internal grace to keep God’s commandments.
It has been written that Pelagius knew nothing about redemption.

This is quite a statement: “By his free will man is emancipated from God.” This statement of Julian is the key to Pelagianism, which is rationalized moralism. Man created with free will has no longer to do with God but with himself alone. God only re-enters at the last judgment. Taken form A. Harnack, History of Dogma; R.S. Moxon, the Doctrine of Sin”

Pelagianism – is the teaching of Pelagius

Perseverance of the Saints – Is the Christian teaching God before the foundation of the world predestined, elected, chose His people unto salvation, giving them faith to believe, and that He and He alone by His power will keep them to the end and will deliver them to His heavenly kingdom and will glorify them. That His elected children will never nor can ever be lost. This work is accomplished only by a Soverein God.

Pharisees – One of three or four religious Jewish sects which lived in the days of Jesus. They believed in the resurrection, in spirits, and in angels.

Predestination – Is the Christian teaching that God planned beforehand everything that would come to pass. Although He is not the author of sin, nor are his people merely machines or robots. Predestination is to mark off, foreordain, and set a hedge around to protect a certain group of people for God’s own, conforming them to His image.

Oculus – Is a small circular window also known as a roundel, usually found high in the gable end of a church.

Resurrection – Is the event at which life and personalities are finally restored to a body. When a Christian says: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord, He suffered, He was crucified, dead and buried.… The third day He rose again from the dead; ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from which He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” He is confessing the absolute uniqueness and the super-naturalness of the person of Jesus Christ and the particular hope, which he has brought to mankind.

Righteousness – Is purity of heart, and rectitude of life; the being and doing right. The righteousness of God is divine holiness and the righteousness of the law is that obedience with which the law requires. The righteousness of faith is the justification, which is received by faith in Christ. (Romans 3;10, 21 – 28; 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

Roman Catholic Church – Refers to a church that began in Rome and has spread through out the whole world. They do not hold the same doctrines as do Christians, although they would say they are Christians, other denominations would highly and strongly disagree.

Rome – Is one of the most famous cities in the world and is located in Italy. The foundation of Rome dates back to 753 B.C. The name came from its founder Romulus. It is located upon marshy ground by the river Tiber and sits on top of seven hills. The rulers of Rome wanted to conquer the whole world and did rule over a great deal of it. It is written that many of its rulers were the worst of humankind.

Secularism – An age without God or religion

Sadducees – One of three or four religious Jewish sects which lived in the days of Jesus.
They controlled the priesthood for about 200 years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. They denied the resurrection and of angels. And were not sure there was an afterlife. They were strongly rebuked by John the Baptist and they opposed the persecuted the apostles. Saint – A saint is a member of the family of God. “You are either a Saint or you aint” as the saying goes. A saint is a person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour, and His perfect work on the cross to save His own from their sins and the wrath of God placing them in right standing with God. They are the predestined children of God unto salvation.

Salvation – It is a Greek word that denotes safety or deliverance. To a Christian it means that the person who God saves is secure in Christ, that their sins are forgiven, and that they are delivered from the wrath of God and His judgments against sin. It also means to make sound, to heal, save, preserve and to save from death – to keep alive.

Sanctification – Means to set apart. Christians are set apart unto God, made inwardly whole and are set apart for a holy use. The Holy Spirit of God is the sanctifier; He sanctifies His people and His church. It is Christ indwelling the believer.

Satan – Is a Hebrew word meaning adversary, he once was and angel who rebelled against God and lead a great group of angels to follow him as he wanted to be God. These angels are referred to as fallen angels. Fallen angels are called demons. He and his warriors where condemned and thrown out of heaven. He is mans worst enemy and yet most of mankind doesn’t know it and they follow his evil ways willingly. Satan or his followers do not have a heart for God but in reality hate Him. Satan has no power other that what God gives to him. He is not allowed to do anything more than God dictates or allows. Satan caused the fall of the human race. God has predicted his judgment as well as the judgment of all the fallen (demonic) angels

Second Coming – Is the Christian teaching that Jesus will come again in glory with His angles and with all the saints who have died, to receive His own unto Himself and will take them to His heavenly kingdom. That no man knows the day or the hour in which this will happen except God the Father Himself.

Sin – Is any transgression against God’s laws, it is seen as a single act of transgressing or as the state in which all humankind fell into. The consequences of sin are physical death and spiritual death, which is total separation for a Holy God. The seat of sin reigns from the heart of humanity, because all he says and does comes from his heart. There is one sin, which is unpardonable, and that sin seems to be the denial of the power of God, which is embodied in Jesus Christ and is against the Holy Spirit. The word sin refers to following Satan and is a breach of trust between humankind and God. The following words help to describe sin: confusion, deceit, disobedience, error, evil, guilt, homosexual, iniquity, lesbian, liar, a lying spirit, murder, negligence, perversion, pervert, rebellion, thief, transgression, trespass, trouble, vanity, wickedness, wrongness,

God says in the Bible that He will punish those whom He has not forgiven, for all sin must and will be punished. God, Himself will see that this is done, but temporarily the responsibility is now laid upon the powers that be, like police and judges, they are to see that wrongdoers are punished, rich and poor a like, will be punished for their sins. In the church the pastor and elders are in charge of sanctioning those in sin or error in the body of Christ.

God will condemn those who are not in Christ Jesus. To be atoned for or forgiven from this punishment comes only by the atoning death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. To reject Him is rejecting God Himself. Christ suffered the penalty for the sins of His elect, whom He chose to be His from before the foundation of the world.

Sola Dei Gloria – For the Glory of God Alone

Sola Fide – Justification by Faith Alone

Sola Gratia – Salvation by Grace Alone

Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone

Solus Christo – By Christ’s Work Alone are We Saved

Sovereignty of God – Supreme in power, possessing supreme dominion, ruler of the universe, superior to all others, chief, efficacious; He is the highest authority.

Sublapsarianism – The Sublapsarian believes and teach that God decreed the fall before He decreed to elect His people.
Sublapsarianism is very similar to infralapsarianism, putting God’s decrees in the following order: (1) God decreed to create human beings, (2) God decreed to permit the fall, (3) God decreed to provide salvation sufficient to all, (4) God decreed to choose some to receive this salvation. The only difference between infralapsarianism and Sublapsarianism is whether God decreed to provide salvation through Jesus Christ and then decreed to choose some to be saved, or vice-versa.

Supralapsarianism – The Supralapsarian believes and teaches that God decreed to elect some to be His people and to reprobated the rest, and after doing this He then decreed the world into existence and decreed and permitted the fall.
Supralapsarianism puts God’s decrees in the following order: (1) God decreed the election of some and the eternal condemnation of others, (2) God decreed to create those elected and eternally condemned, (3) God decreed to permit the fall, and (4) God decreed to provide salvation for the elect through Jesus Christ. Supralapsarianism focuses on God ordaining the fall, creating certain people for the sole purpose of being condemned, and then providing salvation for only those whom He had elected. This is a Sovereign God.

Research gathered from:
1. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language,
2. Baker’s Dictionary of Theology
3. A Dictionary of Theological Terms by M.E. Manton
4. The New Combined Bible Dictionary and Concordance by Charles F. Pfeiffer