50 terms

Key Biblical Terms

The Bible
Also called Sacred Scripture or the Scriptures; It is a collection of sacred books accepted by the Church as the divinely inspired. It is the account of God's self-communication about Himself and His plan of salvation for the human race, especially through Jesus Christ, the summit of revelation.

The Bible is the written Word of God, composed by human authors who were guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Generally written for everyone. Some texts were written for specific audience in a particular cultural, historical, and spiritual setting but always contains universal truth.

To correctly understand the bible and it message, aside from prayer, sacred tradition, and the community (magisterium) it is critical to know the purpose of the author and book, the audience for which a particular book was written for, and the cultural, historical, and religious settings of the time.

The Catholic Canon contains 73 books in the Old Testament, 46 books and 27 books in the New Testament.
Biblion; Biblia
Biblion is a Greek word meaning "small books" or "a library of books." Biblia in Latin means "The Book."
Old Testament
The first major division in the Christian Bible, containing forty-six books, which record the history of salvation from creation through covenant with Israel, in preparation for the appearance of Christ as Savior of the world. It contains the Torah (Pentatuch), the Sacred Writings (Historical Books and Wisdom Books), and the Prophets.
New Testament
The second major division of the Christian Bible, containing 27 books which record the life and teachings of Jesus and of the early church. It contains the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles, and the Book of Revelation.
Symbol - LXX. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. It is called this because supposedly it was translated in 70 days by 70 elders. This version is so important because it made God's words available in the language of the "civilized world" at that time. This is also the version often quoted in the New Testament and officially accepted by the early Christian church.
Biblical Canon
From the Greek word "kanon" meaning reed, measuring stick, or norm. Biblical canon is the official list of inspired books in the Bible.
Greek term for "second canon" or also called the Apocrypha. It refers the those books in the Old Testament that were not found in the final Hebrew canon but included in the early Christian canon (LXX). During the Reformation, Protestants decided to follow the Jewsih canon.
Natural Revelation
God revealing Himself and His plans through reason and creation.
Divine Revelation
God revealing Himself and His plans directly through word, people, actions, and events.
Salvation History
The account of God's saving activity and intervention in human history.
In Hebrew "berith." The solemn promise or law of love between God and human beings. The bible is about the covenant (love) of God for all people through a number of signs and finally and fully through Jesus.
Biblical Inspiration
Means "to breath into." It is the Holy Spirit "breathing into" the human authors on scriptures so that they are can record faithfully, and without error, divine revelation.
Sacred Tradition
The living transmission of the depository of faith (the sum total of teachings, reflection, experience, traditions, saints, thinkers) faithfully preserved, handed down, and interpreted by the Church's Magisterium.
The living and dynamic teaching authority (office) of the Church concerning issues of faith and morals consisting of the pope and the college of bishops acting and speaking as one.
Analogy of Faith
The unity of all doctrines or truth with the whole of revelation. There can be no conflict or contradiction.
Greek verb hermeneuein, which means "to interpret," and the noun hermemeia, "interpretation." The study of principles of interpretation (e.g. in the Bible)
Critical interpretation of a text especially a biblical text; from the Greek ex- + egeisthai "to lead or draw out meaning."
Reading or putting meaning into a text that is not there.
Literary Genre
Type of writing that has a particular style or content
Biblical Criticism
The study of biblical texts using specified methods in an effort to make sound judgments about these texts and their meanings. Some examples are: textual, source, form, redaction, canonical, rhetorical, narrative, criticisms.
Biblical Inerrancy
The doctrine that states that scriptures are free from error regarding the truth God wishes to reveal for the sake of our salvation.
Is a literalist approach to reading and interpreting the Bible. It means taking words literally without regard for their historical, cultural, linguistic, or religious context (contextualist approach).
Literal Sense
Method of scriptural interpretation based on the meaning of words in it's literary and historical context.
Spiritual Sense
Method of scriptural interpretation that sees not only the words of the text but its spiritual sense. The spiritual sense flow out of the literal (sense) meaning of the words.
Moral Sense
Looks at the underlying moral or ethical sense of a biblical passage.
Allegorical Sense
Looks at how people, events, or things in the Bible point to Christ (Christological significance).
Analogical Sense
Looks at the eternal or heavenly significance of a biblical passage.
The interpretation of Old Testament events as types that foreshadow or point to events in the New Testament.
The study of the cause or origin of why things are the way they are. Also the study of the cause of why locations are named what they are named.
Oral Tradition
A biblical tradition where the spoken, unwritten, memorized accounts, stories, poems, prayers, teachings, that are faithfully passed on from generation to generation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Written Tradition
The written form of the message of salvation that has been passed down in oral tradition, drawn from numerous sources and authors over time, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Canonical Tradition
Canon is derived from a Greek word, kanon, meaning a measuring-rod. Canonical tradition is the process of carefully gathering and selecting the list of inspired books under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and community discernment. The officially accepted books are deemed by the whole community as divinely inspired.
Book of the Law (Pentateuch or Torah)
The first 5 books of the bible, also known as Torah or Law. It recounts the giving of the LAW (Covenant) and the blessings and curses of following or not following the it.
Historical Books
A collection of books that recount the story of judges and kings and the establishment and destruction of the nation of Israel in the light of the Law (Covenant)
Wisdom Books
A collection of books from the Old Testament, on wise sayings on how to live the law (covenant).
Prophetic Books
A collection of books from the Old Testament, named after the prophets who were chosen by God to communicate God's message of repentance, hope, redemption, and justice to the Chosen People.

A collection of books on the the prophets and their call and challenge to the people of Israel to live and be faithful to the Law (Covenant)
The Decalogue - The Ten Words, Ten Sayings, The Ten Commandments. God gave these to the chosen people in Mount Sinai so they could live together in a community and in a covenant relationship with God. Have literal and spiritual senses.
1250 B.C.E. - Conquest of Canaan
The date of the conquest of the land of Canaan by the Israelites began at this time and ushered in the period of the judges.
1020 B.C.E. - Israel Monarchy
The date of the beginning of the Israelite monarchy.
922 B.C.E. - Split of the Kingdom of Israel
The date of the split of the Israelite monarchy. The kingdom split into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).
722 B.C.E. - First Exile
The date the Assyrians defeated the Northern Kingdom of Israel and exiled the Israelites.
586 B.C.E. - Second Exile
The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and the inhabitants of Judah to Babylon.
539 B.C.E. - Return to Jerusalem
The date of the Persian conquest under Cyrus of Great. The Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.
The Gospels
From the Greek word "evangelion" meaning good news. The Gospels are about the good news of Jesus Christ - His teachings, his life, death, and resurrection. The four Gospels are Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.
Acts of the Apostles
A book in the New Testament that tell the story of the Church (early followers of Jesus) trying to live the message of the Gospels in the world.
Also known as letters. A collection of letters in the New Testament written to individuals and communities but with a universal message to all Christians. These letters contain practical wisdom on the life and issues of the early churches (community).
Book of Revelation
The last book in the New Testament that call to the Christian community to be faith and to trust Jesus in
the midst of persecution
and suffering. It is filled with symbolic /apocalyptic language and imagery.
Paschal Mystery
The work of salvation accomplished by Jesus mainly through this passion, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Latin: to become flesh - the mystery of Jesus becoming both divine and human. It is the dogma stating that Jesus is both true God and true man (not part God and part man or half and half).
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