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Hagia Sophia

A domed church in Istanbul that is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture that was designed under Justinian I by Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus and completed in six years (AD 532-37). The marbled piers that support the dome are obscured by brilliant light that shines through windows in the walls above the galleries, giving the illusion that the canopy is floating in the air, and expressing the idea that heaven and earth could meet at a certain well-defined point.
Entry link: Hagia Sophia


A chant of praise derived from Psalms 113-118 and used in the celebration of Jewish holidays such as Passover, Shabuoth, Sukkoth, Hanukkah, and Rosh Hodesh. The priests chanted these praises in the Temple while the Passover lamb was being slain, which is sometimes called the "Egyptian Hallel." The praise songs were also sung by the Levite priests in chanted verse by verse, and the worshippers would repeat the verses or sing Hallelujahs in response.

“This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24) is a hallel of Christian tradition in celebration and praise, especially during the beginning of Holy Week on Palm Sunday, as the Faithful remember Jesus Christ's Messianic entrance into Jerusalem as our King.
Entry link: Hallel


The study of the doctrine of sin
Entry link: Hamartiology

Hapax Legomenon

Words that only appear once in the Bible, without any certain meaning or translation
Entry link: Hapax Legomenon


A ancient Roman religious official who examined the entrails of sacrificial animals to pronounce and interpret omens.

Entry link: Haruspex


The holy language of the Jews is the earliest recorded Semitic language that all other semitic formed languages (Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Ethiopic, Phoenician, Maltese, Tigre, Tigrinya and others) are based. The Torah is written in Biblical Hebrew and it was one of the languages spoken at the time of Jesus Christ. A modern form of Hebrew is currently spoken by Israelites, and has been used in prayer and study throughout Jewish communities for over two thousand years.
Entry link: Hebrew


The history of salvation

Entry link: Heilsgeschichte


Person who spoke Greek and conducted life in a Greek way, but were without Greek ancestry
Entry link: Hellenist


The art and science of Biblical interpretation.  Modern approaches include:

Textual Criticism - Attempts to evaluate text as close as possible to the original texts of the manuscript copies of the Bible books.

Historical Criticism - Analyzes written works with the measure of time and place, the place of composition and where it was written.

Source Criticism - Tries to determine other sources used by the author to write the biblical document.

Form Criticism - Identifies the original setting and attempts to isolate and identify the type of source of the information.

Redaction Criticism - Determines the premise (reason) that the author writes.

Literary Criticism - Interested in the text as a unit, approaches include examining the narrative through plots, themes, characters and nuances of text, rhetorical approaches with an examination of arguments within the text, or other specialty criticisms based upon specific interests like feminism, third-world, non-American, or structure variances.


Entry link: Hermeneutics


A Jewish sect and political party, who embraced the worldly life and social customs of Roman occupation in Israel, supported the Herodian rulers in their government. Orthodox Jews thought them to be compromisers because they recognized the rights of Rome and cooperated with Roman authorities, a stance shared with the Sadducees.

Entry link: Herodians


A state of nothingness that Monks of the 13th and 14th centuries attempted to achieve through breathing techniques and repetitive prayers to achieve a state of self-hypnosis. This practice was intended to clear the mind of the monk in order for him to see God by emptying their mind of thoughts, into which God might move. The practice was based on Jesus Christ’s instructions in the Gospel of Matthew 6:6 to “enter into thy closet” to pray.

Entry link: Hesychasm

Historical Criticism

Hermaneutical interpretation of Bible texts through the analysis of written works with the measure of time and place, the place of composition, and the place where it was written from. (See Hermeneutics)

Entry link: Historical Criticism


A great devastation and destruction, especially by fire, regrettably witnessed in our lifetime when European Jews were systematically exterminated in mass within the Nazi concentration camps prior to and during World War II. May we never forget.

Entry link: Holocaust

Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit is the fully divine Spirit of the LORD GOD, sent to comfort believers when Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve the LORD God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Entry link: Holy Ghost


Belief that the Son is like the Father.1

Also see Homoousians, Homoiousians, and Anomoeans.

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 201.

Entry link: Homoeans


Belief that the Son is of similar substance to the Father.1

Also see Homoousians, Homoeans, and Anomoeans.

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 201.

Entry link: Homoiousians


Belief that the Son is the same substance with the Father.1

Also see Homoiousians, Homoeans, and Anomoeans.

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 201.

Entry link: Homoousians


A philosophy or attitude that centers upon human being’s achievements and interests of natural life as being more important than a spiritual life directed by the LORD God. Humanists place mankind at the center of the universe, bestowing supreme value to the human being and their potential to solve all problems of life.
Entry link: Humanism

Hypostatic Union

The view that the Holy Spirit simultaneously brought into being a human nature and substantially united it to the person of the Son so that the Son actually came to exist as man, with both natures of both God and human combined into one. Cyril of Alexandria (AD 376-444) formulated this description to defend the one nature of Christ. It is this idea that is represented by the Catholic Church as Mary being the "Mother of God" in their belief.

Cyril's opponent in belief was Nestorius, who taught that Christ had two natures. Later on, Eutyches took Cyril's teaching to extremes and not only denied the dual nature of Christ, but argued also that the single nature of Jesus was purely divine. Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople condemned Eutyches, and Leo, bishop of Rome got into the fray with a famous letter known as the Tome. Leo taught that even after the incarnation, Christ retains two natures, but he remains a single person that is identical with the second Person of the Trinity. Thus, Christ had two natures while he remained a single person, a middle way approach that rejected the extremes of both ends.

The Creed of Chalcedon, a supposed elucidation of the Creed of Nicaea, agreed with Cyril that Christ was one person, identical with the pre-existent Son, but it also agreed with Leo that after the incarnation he possessed two distinct natures, one human and one divine.

The Nicene Creed expresses the belief of most Christians today (Hill, 97-99).


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


A proposed unverified law (See Theory)
Entry link: Hypothesis

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