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Christian Dictionary - Definitions of Christian Terms

This Christian dictionary provides definitions for a number of commonly used Christian terms.

Agape
Agape is a Greek term for one of the four types of love in the Bible. Jesus Christ showed this type of love and commands his followers to do likewise. Learn the meaning of agape.

Age of Accountability
Learn about the age of accountability and how how it figures prominently into Christian doctrine.

Annihilationism
Annihilationism is a belief that is gaining ground among evangelical Christians. The two sides having the debate interpret biblical passages differently. Learn what's behind the controversy over annihilationism.

Apocrypha
The term apocrypha denotes a set of books not considered authoritative, or divinely inspired, in Judaism or in Protestant Christian churches, and therefore, not accepted into the canon of Scripture.

Apostle
An apostle was a specially chosen follower of Jesus Christ. Learn what it meant to be an apostle, and the important assignment he gave them.

Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant was an Old Testament object of mystery and power. Discover the Ark's startling connection to Jesus Christ.

Arminianism
Arminianism is the theology developed by Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) in response to Calvinism. It includes the belief that humans can exercise free will, and in so doing, have the ability to reject God's gift of salvation and lose their salvation. Take a closer look at this summary of the basic doctrines of Arminianism.

Asceticism
Asceticism is a discipline involving the denial of fleshly desires and comforts for the purpose of drawing near to God.

Backslide
Definition of the word "backslide."

Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Definition of the term "Baptism in the Holy Spirit."

Bethlehem
Located along an ancient caravan route, Bethlehem has been a melting pot of peoples and cultures since its beginning. This early Canaanite settlement was first observed in Genesis 35, as the burial site of Jacob's wife, Rachel. You can still visit her tomb today. But Bethlehem's most notable treasure, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, is on...

Bible
Discover the meaning and origin of the bestselling book of all time.

Blasphemy
Definition of the word "blasphemy."

Book of Life
The Book of Life is the most important list ever kept, a record of everyone who will spend eternity in heaven. Only one group of people will make the roll in the Book of Life.

Calvinism
Calvinism is based on the theological beliefs and teaching of John Calvin (1509-1564), a leader in the Reformation. His theology places a high value on Scripture.

Census
There are several censuses found in the Bible. One notable census played a role in the birth of Jesus our Savior. In the Old Testament, the book of Numbers gets its name from the two military numberings of the people of Israel. Learn the biblical meaning of census and see where each one took place in the Bible.

Centurion
A centurion was a key officer in the armies of ancient Rome. Hardened by years of battle, these men knew how to kill quickly and efficiently. Learn the role a centurion played in the death of Jesus Christ.

Christian
Definition of the word "Christian."

Church
What is the church? Is the church a building? Is the church a place where believers gather to worship? Or is the church the peoplethe believers...

Commentary
Definition of the word "commentary."

Crucifixion
Crucifixion was an ancient method of execution in which the victim's hands and feet were bound and nailed to a cross. It was one of the most painful and disgraceful methods of capitol punishment.

Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism threatens Christian missionaries and evangelism. Discover how cultural relativism has led to shaky ethics and declining morals.

Deacon
A deacon is a servant who ministers to the physical needs of the members of the body of Christ. Learn how the office of deacon developed in the New Testament as a response to rapid growth in the early church.

Deism
Deism is a belief that God created the world but does not get involved in it. Thomas Jefferson was a famous deist. Learn how deism has turned many people into atheists and agnostics.

Denomination
Definition of the word "denomination."

Doctrine
Definition of the word "doctrine."

Elder
Biblical meaning of the word "elder."

Eros
Eros is a Greek term for a type of love. While this word does not appear in Scripture, eros is one of the four types of love in the Bible.

Eschatology
Eschatology is the branch of Christian theology that deals with the biblical study of end times prophecy and the events of the last days.

Faith
Definition of the word "faith."

Forgiveness
As believers, "What is forgiveness?" is a question we must answer on Gods terms. Learn the biblical definition of forgiveness.

Frankincense
When the Three Kings brought frankincense, gold, and myrrh to Jesus Christ at Bethlehem, each gift bore a special significance. Among them, frankincense predicted the special role the ascended Jesus would play in heaven, on behalf of humanity.

Gap Theory
The gap theory suggests that a time gap of millions to billions of years occurred between the first and second verses of the Bible. It was first introduced when Christians sought to resolve discrepancies between the Bible record and newly emerging scientific theories.

Gnosticism
Gnosticism is an ancient heresy that divided the church in the second and third centuries. The lost books of the Bible are gnostic texts that were excluded because they contradict Christian doctrine or are falsely attributed to apostles who died long before they were written. Learn what Gnosticism is and why Christianity calls it a heresy.

Grace
Definition of the word "grace."

Great Commission
What is the "Great Commission?"

Hallelujah
It's quite common to hear Christians today expressing praise and worship with exclamations of "Hallelujah!" But the word was actually used quite sparingly in Scripture. Meaning "Praise ye the Lord," hallelujah can be found only in a handful of Psalms and in the book of Revelation. Discover the origins of hallelujah.

Heresy
Heresy was a controversial matter for much of the church's history. Recently a popular author was accused of heresy when his book suggested universalism, the doctrine that everyone will be saved. Learn the definition of heresy and why the church has spent so much effort trying to stamp it out.

Immanuel
The Hebrew word Immanuel means "God with us." Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy Spirit made that Old Testament promise come true.

Judgment Seat of Christ
Should Christians fear the Judgment Seat of Christ? The Bible makes it clear that our salvation as believers is secure, but at the Judgment Seat, Jesus Christ will decide our rewards for our service to God during our life on earth.


Justification
Justification is a key concept in the doctrine of salvation. Learn why Jesus Christ's perfect sacrifice provides justification for believers before God the Father.

Lexicon
Definition of the word "lexicon."

Liturgy
Definition of the word "liturgy."

Manna
Manna kept the Israelites alive in the desert for 40 years. Learn how this bread from heaven foreshadowed Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.

Monasticism
Monasticism began in the middle of the third century when Christians started living apart from the world to pray and seek God. Learn all about monastic life and why many Christians oppose the practice.

Myrrh
Myrrh, a spice used in ancient times, showed up three times in the life of Jesus Christ. It was last used to anoint Jesus' dead body. Learn the facts about myrrh, a mysterious spice from the Bible.

Nativity
The nativity scene is an honored tradition in Christmas celebrations. When you see the nativity this year, remember why Christians mark the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Pantheism
Pantheism is a belief that dates back thousands of years. It holds that God is everything in the universe, including nature and people. Learn why Christianity refutes pantheism.


Parable
Using the parable, Jesus Christ taught timeless truths about right living and the kingdom of heaven. Discover the biblical definition of a parable and why Jesus turned to parables after he had been rejected by the people as their king.

Paschal Full Moon
The date of Easter is determined from historical tables, and has no correspondence to lunar events. According to the Ecclesiastical Full Moon tables, the Paschal (Passover) Full Moon is the first Ecclesiastical Full Moon date after March 20.

Pentateuch
The Pentateuch refers to the first five books of the Bible (Genesis - Deuteronomy). These books form the theological foundation of the Scriptures.

Pentecostal
Definition of the word "pentecostal."

Persecution
Organized persecution of Christians continues today in communist and Muslim countries. Discover why governments will not leave Christians alone.

Philia
Philia is one of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Learn what philia means and how it affects your life as a Christian.

Postmodernism
Postmodernism says there is no such thing as absolute truth. Christianity disagrees, maintaining that the God of the Bible is the source of all truth. Learn why the postmodernism belief that all religions are equally valid is in direct opposition to the basic doctrines of Christianity.

Protestantism
Learn the meaning and history of Protestantism, one of the largest branches of Christianity today. Also discover the basic beliefs of Protestant churches and why many brave and controversial figures felt compelled to radically change the face of Christianity.

Rapture
Continuing in our study of "end times" biblical events, "What is the Rapture?" takes a brief look at the mysterious doctrine that foretells the disappearance of Christian believers from the face of the earth.

Redemption
Redemption is an important concept in Christianity. This act always means going from one thing to another. Learn how redemption takes a believer from the bondage of sin to new life in Jesus Christ.

Salvation
What is God's plan of salvation?

Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was a unique ruling body in Israel in the time of Jesus Christ. Learn what the Sanhedrin was, what powers it had, and why it...

Sin
What is sin? For such a small word, a lot is packed into the meaning of sin. The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law. It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God, as well as independence from God.

Son of God
The term Son of God for Jesus Christ has special relevance in today's culture. Learn why Jesus never compromises on the truth of who he is.

Sovereignty
Sovereignty is a running theme throughout the Bible, the truth that God has the authority to do whatever he pleases. God is always in control, yet he gives humanity free will. Learn why atheists and unbelievers find the sovereignty of God doctrine a major stumbling block.

Speaking in Tongues
Definition of the term "Speaking in Tongues."

Storge
Storge is a Greek word describing one of the four types of love in the Bible. Learn the meaning of storge.

Talent
The biblical talent was a unit of measurement for weighing precious metals, particularly gold and silver. A talent in the Bible was also a form of currency or coin. It represented a large sum of money.

Tithe
To tithe to your church is to follow a tradition thousands of years old. The tithe goes back farther than Abraham, the first of God's chosen...

Transubstantiation
Definition of the word "transubstantiation."

Tribulation
Recent world events, especially in the Middle East have many Christians studying the Bible for an understanding of end times events. This look at "What is the Tribulation?" is just the beginning of our study of the Bible and what it says about the end of this age.

Trinity
Definition of the term "Trinity."

Universalism
Universalism is a centuries-old belief that all people will be saved by God because of his unconditional love. However, this idea largely ignores the consequences of unrepented sin. Learn why universalism has become popular again and why this doctrine is fatally flawed.

Urim and Thummim
Using the Urim and Thummim, an Israelite high priest could prophesy the will of God. Discover how these supernatural objects may have worked.

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