Main Glossary

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Palestine (Canaan)

Biblical land of Israel located in Southwest Asia, bordering the East coast of the Mediterranean, and extending East to the Jordan River. The sacred region to Judaism, Christianity and Islam has been the object of conflict between Jewish and Arab national movements. Originally settled in early prehistoric times by Semitic groups, it was part of the kingdoms of Israel, Judah, and Judea during Biblical times
Entry link: Palestine (Canaan)

Papal Decree of 1075

Pope Gregory VII forcibly declared the rights and dignities of the pope through his Papal Decree of 1075 to prevent the papacy from becoming a pawn of powerful warlords. The decree stated that no one could judge the pope, and that he alone could appoint and depose bishops, kings and emperors, with his rule extending over all earthly rulers. These rulers were decreed to kiss his feet when they approach him, and declared all popes automatically saints. (Hill, 186)


Hill, Jonathan. "Early Christianity: A World Religion." Handbook to the History of Christianity. Zondervan, 2006.
Entry link: Papal Decree of 1075


Delicate parchments made from a reed plant were the most commonly used writing materials in ancient times. Papyrus documents have survived if they were stored in exceptional conditions like dry areas, sealed tombs, buried under hot desert sands or stored in jars within caves like those in the Dead Sea Region.
Entry link: Papyrus


Prepared skins of animals (usually sheep or goats) that was one kind of material used for writings of sacred or other literature, as well as private and commercial letters written with ink.
Entry link: Parchment

Partial Rapturism

A rare belief that only those believers who possess enough spirituality are actively involved in watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be raptured. All other Christians, as well as the rest of the world, are expected to go through the tribulation of the wrath of God, for a purging of wickedness.
Entry link: Partial Rapturism

Paschal Controversy

The fourteenth of Nisan falls on random days of the week according to the Jewish calander; most churches opted to celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ on the Sunday after the full moon of spring.  Those churches which disagreed were called Qyartodeciman,for their pactice of observing the Passion of Christ on the date of the Passover. The controversy between the two dates is known as the Paschal Controversy, which led to the great majority declaring that the Lord's resurrection should be celebrated on Sunday, and the paschal fast should end on that day.1

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

Entry link: Paschal Controversy


The idea of Modalism  which expressed belief that the LORD God as God the Father was able to suffer; this view was in direct contrast of Tertullian and the old catholic fathers who accepted the impassibility of God but acknowledge the capability of Christ suffering in human form.1

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 142-145.

Entry link: Patripassianism

Peace of God Decree

Movement toward this decree began at the council at Le Puy in 975, followed by the councils at Charoux (c 989), Limoges (994 and 1031), Potiers (c 100), and Bourges (1038). The Peace of God Decree was the response of the medieval Roman Catholic Church to the breakdown of public order. The Peace of God Decree forbade, under threat of excommunication, private warfare or violence against churches, clerics, merchants, pilgrims, women, peasants, and cattle. Priests and monks were prohibited from participating in warfare and war could not be conducted in consecrated places such as churches. (See Truce of God)
Entry link: Peace of God Decree


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

Person (Personality)

The identifier of life that is composed of intellect, emotion, will, self-awareness and self-determination.
Entry link: Person (Personality)


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


The Philistines were a tribe allied to the Phoenicians. They were a primitive race which spread over the whole district of Lebanon, the valley of Jordan, Crete and other Mediterranean islands. In the time of Abraham, they inhabited the south-west of Judea and Abimelech of Gerar was their king. They were a powerful tribe and made frequent incursions against the Hebrews, and there was almost always a war going on between them.

They were not subdued until the time of King Hezekiah, however, they continued to occupy their territory and show hatred toward Israel. The Philistines are called Fulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian monuments and the land of the Philistines (Philistia) was termed Palastu and Pilista in Assyrian inscriptions. From Philistia, the name of the land of the Philistines came to eventually be known as “Palestine.”
Entry link: Philistines


Today's Lebanon, north of Israel
Entry link: Phoenicia


The belief that salvation can come from a variety of religious traditions.
Entry link: Pluralism


Those who fight against the Holy Spirit; also called Tropicists or Macedonians.1

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 207.

Entry link: Pneumatomachians


Organized massacre, destruction and violence against people by a mob that is condoned by authorities.
Entry link: Pogrom


Belief in more than one false god. Paganism.
Entry link: Polytheism


The belief that Jesus Christ's second coming will be after the 1,000 years of Christian peace, prosperity and dominance in a "Golden Age" of Christianity on earth. The Rapture is not a prominent focus in this belief. (Contrast Premillennialism, Amillennialism, Pretribulationism)
Entry link: Postmillennialism


The belief that Christians will be on earth during the time of tribulation, and that the rapture will occur with the second return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The wrath of God will be experienced by the Church, Israel, and the world together according to this belief.
Entry link: Posttribulationism

Potsherds (Sherds)

Broken pieces of clay pottery used for the writing of common things, they were the poor man's postcard because of their abundance.
Entry link: Potsherds (Sherds)


Dialogue and communion with the LORD God through a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ which leads to the fulfillment of His Will.
Entry link: Prayer


The belief expressed by Theodore Beza and followers that the LORD God planned the division of the saved and damned of humanity before humanity first sinned
Entry link: Prelapsarianism


The belief that there will be a seven-year period of great tribulation before the 1,000 year of earthly reign of peace by Jesus Christ. This belief maintains that the current age of mankind exists prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth, which is after the Battle of Armageddon (where Jesus Christ and His armies from Heaven defeat the kings, beast, and false prophet). The Millennium is considered the period between the second coming of Christ and the last judgment. Jesus Christ is expected to return to establish a literal kingdom on earth to fulfill prophesy in the Old Testament; the promised rapture is a significant issue in this belief.
(Contrast Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Pretribulationism)
Entry link: Premillennialism


A statement that is offered in support of the claim that is made. That claim is a conclusion from a statement that may be true or false.
Entry link: Premise


A self-evident truth. Attitudes that form an assumption of belief.

Entry link: Presupposition


The belief that Christians will be raptured before the beginning of the seven years of tribulation brought to the world prior to the Battle of Armageddon and the resulting 1,000 year earthly reign by Jesus Christ. The events that follow rapture are thought to be a time when ethnic Israel is brought to the Lord Jesus Christ.This view was introduced to the modern church by John Nelson Darby from is dispensationalism views.(Contrast Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Premillennialism)
Entry link: Pretribulationism


The belief those less technologically dependent cultures are inherently better than more technologically dependent ones
Entry link: Primitivism


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


Exploited class containing the mass of workers who do not own the means of production. Karl Marx believed that conflict between the Bourgeoisie (capitalists) and Proletariat (workers) was the key to social change.
Entry link: Proletariat


Backslidden Jewish businessman
Entry link: Publican

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