When you read the Bible, you’ll probably come across some words you don’t know. Here’s a little word list that might help.
Apostle: Someone sent out as a representative, usually with a message.
Ark: Has two main meanings:
• Ark (1) – a large boat in which Noah, his family and lots of animals survived the great flood.
• Ark (2) – A gold covered chest (box) described in Exodus as containing the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments and some other objects.
Baptise: To publically set-apart someone as belonging to God, through a ceremony which uses water.
Blasphemy: When someone does or says things that show a lack of respect for God.
Burnt offerings/Sacrifices: When someone killed and burnt an animal as an offering to God.
Commandment: A rule given by God to his people so they could learn to live right.
Covenant: An agreement or commitment with God or between people.
Crucify: To kill someone by tying or nailing them to a large piece of wood with an upright and a cross-piece.
Disciples: Followers or students of a particular person.
Exalt: To praise someone highly or to elevate someone to a higher status.
Exile: People forced out of their own country are said to be living in exile. The Jews lived in exile under Babylonian rule.
Gentile: Any person who is not Jewish. In the New Testament, salvation is offered to both Jews and Gentiles.
Holy: Dedicated or set apart for God’s glory.
Holy Spirit:God as spirit who does God’s work in us and in the world.
Kingdom of God: The Kingdom of God is God’s rule, the places or situations where God rules, and the future state of our world where everything in the universe is under God’s rule. Also referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jews avoided using God’s name.
Law of Moses: The first five books of the Old Testament which include instructions on right living for the Israelites, given to Moses by God.
Messiah: Refers to God’s chosen king. The Jews were waiting for God to send the Messiah (king) to come and free them from the Romans.
Parable: A story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson.
Passover: The Jewish Passover celebration is an annual event where Jews celebrate God freeing his people from slavery in Egypt. During Passover, people eat unleavened bread (bread that has nothing in it to make it rise).
Pharisees: One of the religious groups of the Jews. They were a group of normal people (not religious or political leaders) who were very serious about the Laws of Moses. They also believed in life after death, which was in conflict with what the Sadducees believed.
Prophet: Someone who brings a message from God.
Repent: To feel sorry for something bad you’ve done and to change your behaviour.
Resurrection: When someone who has died comes back to life.
Sabbath: The day of the week when Jewish people stopped working
and rested as an act of worshipping and trusting God.
Sadducees: A Jewish group that were the ruling class among the Jews and opposed Jesus during his ministry. The Sadducees were made up of powerful and wealthy people, and they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Samaritan: A person in the time of the New Testament who lived in an area that was once the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Samaritans claimed descent from the mixed marriages which followed the Jews’ return from exile. They worshipped the same God, but their faith had some different traditions. Jews and Samaritans didn’t like each other very much.
Sin: Things we do that separate us from God or which go against our own conscience.
Son of God: A title used for Jesus – both as Messiah (the expected king descended from David) and as being one with his Father (that is, fully God and fully human).
Son of Man: Jesus took this title for himself, which basically just means human. However in the book of Daniel it refers to the coming Messiah.
Synagogue: A building where Jews meet to worship God.
Temple: Located in Jerusalem, the Temple was the centre of Jewish worship, the place where they made their offerings to God. There were two temples, one built by King Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians, and the second was built after the Jews returned from exile and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.