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Salvation History

The account of God's saving activity and intervention on behalf of humanity.

sacred Tradition

2. The living transmission of the Catholic faith through the teaching, life, and worship of the church.


3. The teaching that God, by nature, is beyond this world and beyond the comprehension of human beings.


Official teaching authority of the Church.


A solemn agreement or contract of love between God and his people.

Deposit of Faith

The body of saving truths and the core beliefs of Catholicism that are faithfully preserved by the magisterium.


A trait of God which refers to his intimate union with and total presence to his creation in their being.

Divine Revelation

The gift of God's self-revelation by which he makes known the mystery of his divine plan.

Sacred Scripture

The inspired Word of God; the written record of God's revelation.


A person who denies the existence of God.


A central truth of Revelation that Catholics are obliged to believe.


Moral excellence and righteousness; an inclination and habitual preference for the good.


A person who asserts that he or she does not know whether there is a God or not.


A set of beliefs, values and practices that binds believers in a relationship with God and with other believers.


An acknowledgement of an allegiance to God.


The celebration of the manifestation of God in human form; the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles or non-Jews.

Kingdom of God/Heaven

God's rule on earth which was to bring about the forgiveness of sins, the healing of the sick, and the establishment of a time of peace and joyful living for all.


The announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that God wanted her to be the Mother of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Paschal Mystery

The redemptive Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ through which Jesus not only liberated us from sin, but also gave us new life through his Resurrection.


a figure of speech or statement that seems contradictory but actually contains a hidden truth


The rising of Jesus from the dead on the third day after his Death on the cross. Jesus was able to conquer death because he is God.


a truth about God and his saving plan that will always be beyond human understanding


Any thought, word, or act that expresses hatred or contempt for Christ, God, the Church, saints, or holy things.

Presentation in the Temple

Mary and Joseph present Jesus as Jewish law required.


A first-century heresy that taught that Jesus only seemed to be human.


the teaching that God became flesh through the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the child of the Virgin Mary


The birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God and of the Virgin Mary.


The glorious transformation of Jesus that manifested his divine identity for Peter, James, and John.


a word that means "YHWH is Salvation" or "Savior"


"good news" (Middle English); an account of the life of Jesus

Source Criticism

the study by scripture scholars to determine what sources the gospel writers used to compose their works


A heresy from the first Christian centuries that taught that Jesus shared secret information or knowledge with only a few people who were guaranteed salvation

Textual Criticism

Analyzes texts by comparing the text to various early manuscripts of bible texts.


the official public and communal worship of the Church.

Form Criticism

looks to the different literary forms that were used in the Gospels.

Synoptic Gospels

The Gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, which, because of their similarities, can be "seen together" in parallel columns and mutually compared


a form of preaching used in the early church that presumed an audience of unbelievers

Historical Criticism

attempts to discover what the evangelists really wanted to say when they wrote their particular text.

Anno Domini

A Latin phrase meaning "in the year of our Lord" used in the reference to events that took place after the birth of Jesus Christ


means "source".


a word that meant "teaching" that described oral teaching to those who had already accepted Jesus

Redaction Criticism

Studies how each of the Gospel writers edited his materials for his particular audience.

Apocryphal Gospels

a group of writings about the life and teaching of Jesus that do not meet Church criteria for inclusion in the New Testament canon. means "hidden"


a Greek word that means "witness," referring to those who were put to death because of their religious beliefs.


The belief in one, all-powerful God.


A Hebrew word meaning "wind" or "breath" often used in the Old Testament to refer to God's mysterious and powerful life-giving presence.


statement of belief; sometimes a collection of creedal statements.


Describes existing without a beginning and forever.


an attribute of God that he is everywhere, unlimited, and all-powerful.

Blessed Trinity

the central mystery of the Christian faith. It teaches that there are three persons in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Ecumenical Council

A worldwide, official assembly of the bishops under the direction of the pope.

Divine Providence

the sovereignty of God over events in the lives of individuals and throughout history.


A gift from the Holy Spirit that allows a person to speak in prayer languages that were never learned.


means extending endlessly, having no end or limits.

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