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Introduction to the Bible Vocabulary

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Torah
Law
Pentateuch
"five books"; refers to the first five books in the Old Testament
Bible
Books
Hebrew Scriptures
Old Testament
Christian Testament
New Testament
Christian Scriptures
The entire Bible
genre
a type of writing
motif
characteristics of setting, theme, plot, characters, symbolism, etc that repeat throughout a genre
oral tradition
transmission of a peoples' history, culture, religion, laws, etc. by word of mouth from one generation to the next
oral culture
culture in which the spoken word is the trusted source of knowledge
biblical inspiration
God's guidance of the biblical writers in their efforts to understand God's presence and action and communicate that to his people
revelation
when inspired searching culminates in the unfolding of one of God's mysteries
fundamentalist
method that interprets the Bible word for word, interprets each story as true in all senses: historically, scientifically, spiritually, etc.
contextualist
method that interprets the Bible with a focus on the deeper truth that God intends to reveal, puts each passage in its literary, historical, and theological context to aid understanding
epistle
letter
gospel
good news
BCE
Before the Common Era
CE
Common Era
canon
list of inspired writings
catholic
universal
Pauline
Letters written by or attributed to Paul