Main Glossary

Words matter! Know the meanings of the words you speak, write, preach and teach to perfectly accomplish the things the LORD God wills.

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An Egyptian philosopher, theologian, and biblical exegete (c. AD 185-254), Origen was the most influential of all early Christian Greek speaking theologians. He was the architect of most of the substructure of Christian dogma and biblical theology in the late antique period.

Origen believed that the highest goals of philosophy were reconcilable with the mysterious plan of divine wisdom (Logos), and in the sacred scriptures, the gift of revelation and human enlightenment would meet. His approach to Bible interpretation was governed by the belief that scripture was a single reality from the mind of the Divine Logos, and thus had several layers of meaning. For Origen, those who stayed only with the literal meaning of Bible text interpretation were left in the valleys of immature spiritual growth, and unable to ascend to the mountaintop and receive the deeper teachings of Jesus Christ.

His book "On First Principles" was an introductory summary of Christian faith that related Christian worldview and how it embraces cosmology, philosophy and religion. His greatest work, the "Commentary on the Gospel of John", and his most influential writing, the "Commentary on the Song of Songs", were written in Caesarea, after tensions forced his departure from Alexandria in AD 231. In AD 249, he was tortured by the emperor Decius, and died in AD 253, a martyr's death from the injuries of that torture. (Hill, 67)


Hill, Jonathan. "Early Christianity: A World Religion." Handbook to the History of Christianity. Zondervan, 2006.
Entry link: Origen


The first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) which make up the Torah.
Entry link: Pentateuch


A Jewish social-religious sect whose liberal, hypocritical, self righteous members flourished in the first century B.C. Supported by most of the Jewish people at that time, there party was the beginnings for the development of all later forms of Judaism. The popular Pharisee laymen challenged the aristocratic Sadducees sect in allowing varying discussions of the law, applying it to everyday life and giving authority to oral traditions. They believed in personal immortality with the existence of life after death, and emphasized prophetic ideals and the afterlife.
Entry link: Pharisees


"To go before" comes first in study and gives direction to the formation one's presupposition of belief
Entry link: Prolegomena

Redaction Criticism

Hermeneutical interpretation that determines the premise (reason) that the author writes. (See Hermeneutics)

Entry link: Redaction Criticism


A Jewish social-religious sect whose religiously conservative, aristocratic members believed they were descendants of Sadok, the high priest of Solomon. Their interpretation of Scripture was literal, and they strove to maintain the ancient Hebrew teachings concerning the Torah. They rejected the concepts of the hidden mysteries of the LORD God, as well as the concepts of the resurrection of the dead and of an afterlife. They believed that the LORD God meted out reward and punishment on earth, and upon death, life quit existing.

Entry link: Sadducees


Miracle with a message
Entry link: Sign

Source Criticism

Hermeneutic interpretation of Biblical texts that tries to determine other sources used by the author to write the manuscript. (See Hermeneutics)

Entry link: Source Criticism

Summum Bonum

(Latin) The highest or chief good (spoken of in Ecclesiastes)
Entry link: Summum Bonum

Textual Criticism

Hermeneutical interpretation of Biblical texts using the modern approach to evaluate text as close as possible to the original texts of the manuscript copies of the Bible books.  (See Hermeneutics)

Entry link: Textual Criticism

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