glossary below offers definitions of terms common in discussions
of apocalyptic literature. Alert the professor to any other terms
you would like to see in the glossary.
proper names of angelic and demonic beings, see Karel van der
Toorn, Pieter W. van der Horst and Bob Becking, Dictionary
of Deities and Demons in the Bible (DDD), rev. ed. (Grand
Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), in the Reference
Room at Orradre (BS 680 .G57 D53 1995).
the Greek, "without law," a collapse of the social structures
of a given society, or the state of alienation experienced by
individuals and groups under these circumstances. This experience
of disorder or chaos is one of the precipitating catalysts for
apocalyptic literature and movements.
figure or figures mentioned in the Johannine literature who masquerade
as Christ or as Christian believers but who are portrayed as devils
in disguise. Their presence signifies the time of the end before
the return of the Messiah (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7).
for "against the law," a term applied to Paul by his Jewish-Christian
foes because of Paul's opposition to circumcision and rigorous
observance of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) for Gentile converts
modern European racist ideology that first understands Jews as
a race and second understands that race as inferior and degenerative
of cultures in which Jews are assimilated.
for "revelation," a genre of literature common in social crises
or circumstances of persecution, characterized by: 1) a method
whereby a prophecy or event from the past associated with a wise
figure or religious intermediary (story) is applied to the present
day (discourse) to render the meaning of the present chaos clear;
2) mythic features such as a view of God as lord of history, a
view of time divided into two ages (the present evil age and the
future age of God's reign, a view of ethics that is sharply dualistic,
a view of the cosmos which is also binary, envisioning a heavenly
plane and an earthly plane with parallel histories, and an esoteric
language of visions and symbols that communicate meaning; and
3) and a sense of urgency about time that senses an imminent end
of time. Biblical apocalyptic flourished from 200 BCE to 200 CE.
location of the final battle of earth's history as described in
the Book of Revelation. The name appears only once in the Bible,
and then in Greek, but is probably based on the Hebrew for "mountain
of Megiddo" (har Megiddo). Megiddo was a common battleground,
located as it was in a valley along the trade route between Egypt
and Mesopotamia (see Judg 5:19). Most notably, it was the battleground
where Pharaoh Neco's army killed King Josiah in 621 BCE (2 Kgs
23:29-30; 2 Chr 35:22; Zech 12:11).
the Greek for "exercise, practice, training," rigorous physical
practices of abstention (e.g., fasting, vegetarianism, celibacy),
bodily afflictions (hair shirts, chains), or physical withdrawal
from society (cave-dwellers, stylites [people who sit on pillars]),
with the intent of ethical or spiritual purification. Ascetic
behavior represents a range of responses to social, political,
and physical worlds often perceived as oppressive or unfriendly,
or as stumbling blocks to (heroic) personal or communal goals,
lifestyles and commitments. The locus classicus for Christian
asceticism is 1 Cor 7.
Christian ritual understood to cleanse a person from sin and initiate
them into Christian life and community, possibly originating in
Jewish purification rituals.
biblical form found in the prophetic books whereby God calls the
person to convey a message, usually set in the heavenly court
or its earthly equivalent, the temple. The four component parts
of a call narrative are the initial call, the unworthiness of
the prophet, a solemn commissioning, and the characteristic message.
the Greek word for measuring rod, this refers among other meanings
to the rule by which something was judged, and particularly to
the official list of books judged to be authoritative scriptures
by a given community. The Protestant canon of the Old Testament
largely follows the Jewish canon. It is therefore smaller than
the Catholic canon, which includes several of the extra books
found in the early Greek translation of scripture, the Septuagint.
The Eastern Orthodox churches, which still use the actual Greek
version of the Old Testament, recognize all of the Septuagint's
extra books in their canon.
state of abstention from sexual intercourse .
for "grace, gift," understood in the New Testament churches as
one of several possible manifestations of the presence of the
Holy Spirit (e.g., wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, mighty deeds,
prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues;
see 1 Cor 12:1-11).
branch of Christian theology that explores the person, nature,
and function of Christ. High Christology emphasizes the divinity
of Christ; its heretical extreme is Docetism, which argues that
Jesus only appeared human but was in reality completely divine.
Low Christology emphasizes the humanity of Christ; its heretical
extreme is Arianism, which argues that since God cannot be generated,
and Jesus Christ was generated as a human, Jesus cannot be God.
for "study of the universe," any comprehensive system of understanding
and accounting for the universe and its movements.
covenant is an agreement between two parties. Covenants in antiquity
were diplomatic and economic in nature, much as today, and the
literary conventions of these ancient covenants were used to portray
the relationship between God and Israel. There are several covenants
in the Bible: with Noah (Gen 9), with Abraham (Gen 15; 17), with
Moses (Exod 20), with David (2 Sam 7:8-17), and through Jesus
(Matt 26:26-30; 2 Cor 3:4-18).
form of prophetic speech in which God brings suit against God's
people for violations of the covenant they share; as such, it
includes elements reminiscent of the covenant treaty: 1. Summons
of witnesses; 2. Historical prologue; 3. Violation of stipulations
(charges/speeches by plaintiff, defendant, witnesses); 4. Uselessness
of cultic acts of worship, atonement; and 5. Invocation of covenant
the Greek "to judge or decide," a turning point in the course
of anything when the former "order" attributed to the universe
is no longer adequate to explain experience, thus one of the precipitating
catalysts of apocalyptic literature and movements.
group of over 800 manuscripts found between 1947 and the 1960s
in various caves on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The bulk
of the manuscripts were discovered in eleven caves near a (probable)
Essene settlement at Qumran, and include biblical, parabiblical,
apocryphal and sectarian writings as well as some documentary
texts (practice alphabets, deeds, contracts, letters).
or tending to the right, a term that applies to some divinatory
or cryptic texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls which are written
from left to right, rather than in the right-to-left direction
customary in Hebrew.
for "dispersion," most commonly used of Jews living outside the
land of Israel anytime after the Babylonian Exile, but also used
by other groups (e.g., the Palestinians in an ironic reference
to their dispossession by Jews).
for "one who follows," a term used in scripture for students of
literary critical term for structure and purpose of a narrative
or other literary work, which coexists with the story told (events
[actions, plot] + elements [characters, space]). The level of
discourse is the more subtle level at which the author's judgment
and interpretation operate.
belief that Christians will be raptured to heaven during the final
tribulation, and therefore will not enact or take part in the
uttered in a state of divine possession, in which the human being
experiences inspiration or visions or transportation to a supernatural
sphere that transcends the human; from the Greek "to stand apart
from." This type of oracular speech is one of the characteristic
activities of the prophet.
for letter, an exhortation or written sermon intended for public
branch of theology that is concerned with the ultimate or last
things, such as the end of times, judgment, death, heaven, hell
(from the Greek for furthest, uttermost, extreme, end, + logos
for "the end," the end of times which is regarded as immanent
in apocalyptic literature.
Jewish apocalyptic group associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls
that lived from approximately 165BCE–68 CE, when they were eradicated
by the Romans. The Essenes advocated a return to Torah, and some
among their number held property in common and remained celibate.
the Greek "to give thanks," a central Christian ritual recalling
the Passover supper Jesus shared with his disciples the night
before he died; also, the bread and wine understood by Catholics
as consubstantial with Christ's body and blood offered for human
for "one who proclaims the good news" or gospel, understood in
Christian tradition to apply particularly to the authors of the
four canonical gospels.
forced removal of the Judean elite to Babylon in the wake of the
Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 587 BCE, and the period of
approximately 50 years during which these people lived in servitude
in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.
exit or escape of Israel from Egyptian captivity, recounted in
the book of the same name. The book in its final form dates eight
centuries after the events it describes (story date c.1280
BCE; discourse date c.400s BCE) and was compiled from several
sources, all of which factors complicate the historical reliability
of the account.
secondary character or characters whose actions, by strong contrast,
underscore or enhance the distinctive characteristics of another
type of oral or written passage that can be isolated as a discrete
textual unit, with a clear beginning, an identifiable style, and
a standard ending. Often forms are repeated in a text for rhetorical
study of the structure, content and function of literary or oral
units. "Function" includes the Sitz im Leben, or "setting
in life," in which these forms would have originated (for example,
temple ritual, forensic argument).
non-Jew; common Jewish term of reference in antiquity.
the Greek for knowledge, any one of a number of dualistic ideologies
popular particularly in mid- to late-antiquity that espoused a
path of spiritual ascent through the secret, complex structures
of the cosmos and away from the evil material world.
English term for good news (godspell), a translation of
the Greek term for the same; a literary genre represented in the
New Testament by four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and
in the Christian apocrypha by sixteen other books. The canonical
gospels tell the story of the public life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus. They were written between 65–100 CE.
for "tremblers, God fearers," a term used for ultra Orthodox,
nationalist Jews in Israel.
form of Judaism associated with messianic fervor and joyful prayer,
this popular movement originated in eastern Europe in the 18th-19th
centuries in opposition to the dominant academic, rabbinic form
of discourse. It is now linked with Orthodox Judaism.
dynastic family of priests who governed Judah and Israel in the
wake of the Maccabbean Revolt until the Roman conquest (152–63
graecized culture that spread throughout the Mediterranean world
in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great (d.323 BCE)
and remained prominent during the period of Roman hegemony.
the Greek "choice," in religious vocabulary a choice for a teaching
about the faith which the dominant or orthodox church holds to
be contrary to that faith.
the Greek "to interpret or explain," the science and methodology
the Greek "other or different opinion," any position that differs
from accepted teaching (see orthodox).
Christian belief that God became flesh (Latin in + carne)
in Jesus of Nazareth.
temporary period of habitation in a temple in anticipation of
divine revelation or in petition for a particular request.
the Latin "to walk between," an entreaty on behalf of another;
one of the characteristic prophetic activities.
use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning;
an expression marked by such a deliberate contrast between apparent
and intended meaning; incongruity between what might be expected
and what actually occurs.
resident of the contemporary State of Israel, particularly a citizen
of that state (see also Hebrew, Israelite, Jew).
adherent of nascent Judaism during the period of the settlement
and united monarchy (c.1200–922 BCE). A citizen of the
northern kingdom of Israel after it split off from the southern
kingdom of Judah (922 BCE). Thereafter a metaphorical term for
Jews (see also Hebrew, Israeli, Jew).
adherent of the Jewish faith, particularly after the exile of
Judeans to Babylon (see also Hebrew, Israeli, Israelite).
central place of worship and prayer in the biblical period. Solomon
built a huge edifice in Jerusalem in the mid-10th century BCE
with the income from heavy taxes imposed on the people. When the
nation split after his reign, it was partly because of this temple;
northern Jews had their own shrines (Shechem, Bethel, Dan, Gilgal),
and had always opposed centralized worship. The common people
in both north and south also resisted centralized worship: archeologists
have discovered scores of hilltop memorial shrines to ancestors,
small temples to local fertility and astral deities, and remnants
of household shrines. The Jerusalem temple was destroyed by the
Babylonians in 587–586 BCE, rebuilt by during the restoration
(see Ezra and Nehemiah), expanded by Herod the Great in 37–4 BCE,
and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Much of biblical law treats
the laws of worship and cultic sacrifices (thanksgiving, atonement,
for "tradition," specifically the medieval Spanish tradition of
system of Jewish dietary regulations that includes prohibitions
against certain foods such as pork and certain food combinations,
such as meat and dairy (Lev 7:22-27; 11).
Israeli law that stipulates that any Jew anywhere in the world
can come to Israel and immediately become a citizen upon stating
their intent to do so. One of the first laws passed by the Knesset
after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
for "word," a term that came to be applied particularly to Jesus
Christ as the divine Word made flesh.
that is, the interpretation of natural or occult phenomena to
predict the future or to determine the deity's will. Jewish scripture
distinguishes between those forms of divination that were permitted
(urim and tummim, ephod, lot, dreams, prophecy,
some temporary signs such as Gideon's fleece) and those that were
not (reading livers or entrails, magic, mediums, soothsayers/wizards,
necromancy, the movement of oil on water, astrology, idols, movements
of animals, rustling of trees, divining by spring waters or the
waters of rivers; cf. Deut 18:9-14; Num 23:23; 1 Enoch 8:3). One
fundamental principle of mantic wisdom that the Jews did not share
is the belief that even the gods were subject to mantic forces.
for "witness," the standard legal term for observers at the execution
of economic transactions, legal affairs, and everyday events.
The term came to have the specialized meaning of "one who testifies
to the faith" in Jewish and Christian circles during the persecutions
of 200 BCE–200 CE (the period when apocalyptic literature flourished).
for "anointed one," a kingly, prophetic, or priestly figure envisioned
during and after the Babylonian Exile as savior of the Jewish
people who would restore their political/religious autonomy. Applied
by Christians to Jesus ("Christ" is the Greek equivalent of "messiah")
and by Jews throughout history to a handful of leaders (e.g.,
Simon bar Kokhba, 132–135 CE, Shabbatai Zevi, 1626–1676).
the Hebrew "to interpret, to explain," the halakhic or haggadic
traditions transmitted as an explanation or commentary on a biblical
verse. There are separate volumes of midrashim for each of the
Christian belief in the literal thousand-year period of peace
and well-being in the end times associated with the reign of Christ
and the binding of Satan, based on Revelation 20:1-5. Various
Christian groups debate whether Christ's coming will inaugurate
the thousand-year reign (premillennialists) or conclude it (postmillennialists;
the first coming was the one that the New Testament recounts).
Still other Christians do not take the thousand-year reign literally
the Hebrew "to repeat, do again," this refers to the "repetition"
or "second version" of the law, that is, a collection of legal
and procedural interpretations of the law codified by the rabbinic
academy of Yavneh c.200 CE. It includes some haggadic material
topos or element—a type of incident, device, or formula—which
recurs frequently in a work.
traditional mountain where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac
(Gen 22), also considered in Jewish tradition to be the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem.
Christian name for the Christian scriptures, that is, for the
revelation about Jesus Christ. The term "testament" means something
that testifies or witnesses to something; in this case the scriptures
attest to God's relationship with the new Israel, those who believe
in the Christ. The shape and number of books in the New Testament
differ among the major Christian denominations.
for "hidden," books of Christian pious literature that are not
in the Christian canon.
for "false writing," works written by later authors in the name
of earlier biblical figures. This is a subset of the New Testament
apocrypha referring to those titles written in the name of (usually)
one of the New Testament apostles or figures (e.g., Gospel of
Thomas, Protoevangelium of James).
study of the supernatural power of numbers and their influence
over human affairs.
Christian name for the Jewish Bible, that is, for the revelation
that predates Jesus Christ. The term "testament" means something
that testifies or witnesses to something; in this case the scriptures
attest to God's relationship with Israel. The shape and number
of books in the Christian Old Testament differ somewhat from the
Greek for "hidden," works that were included in the Greek version
of Tanak (the Septuagint) but were not included in the Jewish
canon. Because these books were in the Septuagint, they came into
Christian Bibles. Many or all are considered canonical by Catholics
and eastern churches, while they are considered "deuterocanonical"
or simply as pious literature by Protestants.
Greek for "false writing," works written by later authors in the
name of earlier biblical figures.
the Latin orare, to speak or pray, a statement or prophecy
uttered at a cultic shrine through a recognized intermediary (prophet,
priest, shaman), often in the form of an enigmatic statement or
the Greek "straight opinion," the accepted or dominant teaching
parable is a comparison drawn from nature or common experience
in life designed to illustrate some moral or religious truth.
It is a common biblical form in Tanak and in the New Testament.
account of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; probably
the earliest portion of the gospels to be written. Passion narratives
are found in all the canonical gospels (Mark 14:1–16:8; Matt 26:1–28:20;
Luke 22:1–24:53; John 13:1–20:31).
event related in Exodus 12 whereby God delivers the Israelites
from captivity in Egypt by passing over their houses and slaying
the first-born sons of the Egyptians. Also, the annual ritual
recalling this event, and particularly the supper of symbolic
foods during which the story of Exodus is retold.
"five jars/scrolls," this is the Greek term for the first five
books of the Jewish Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
and Deuteronomy), known in Hebrew as the Torah or instruction.
Scholars now believe that the first four of these books were compiled
over centuries from and by four different traditions, the Yahwist,
Elohist, Deuteronomist (responsible for the entire book of Deuteronomy
as well), and the Priestly.
the Greek "cut all around," a discrete passage or story in a literary
for "interpretation" or "commentary," a genre of literature in
which a contemporary interpreter provides commentary on every
verse of a given biblical book, applying the ancient prophecies
to his/her own time.
group of Jews who lived in the late Second Temple period and advocated
a democratization of Jewish ritual law so that the common people
could partake in the sanctification that priests enjoyed. The
Pharisees believed not only in written Torah, but in their own
interpretation of that instruction (oral Torah). Their oral Torah
included the extension of laws for priestly separation to lay
people, as well as a belief in resurrection from the dead.
journey to a sacred site or shrine.
prophet is a religious functionary set aside or specially appointed
by (a) god for a number of religious and political tasks.
applied to a variety of churches that broke with Roman Catholicism
in the sixteenth century over issues such as the authoritative
interpretation of scripture, church authority in general, and
the Greek for "false name," the authorial stance of assuming the
identity of a more famous figure in whose tradition one wishes
to write; a common and accepted practice in antiquity, though
today considered plagiarism.
for the German "Quelle," or source; a hypothetical source for
the Gospels of Matthew and Luke that contained the material they
share word-for-word that is not in one of their other sources,
the Gospel of Mark; it consists mostly of sayings of Jesus (see
synoptic problem, Two Source Hypothesis).
for "my great one, master, my teacher," a qualified teacher of
oral and written Torah.
form of Judaism in which Rabbis or teachers govern the authoritative
interpretation of written and oral Torah, particularly in halakhic
(legal, ethical) matters. After the destruction of the Second
Temple and the consequent obsolescence of the priesthood, rabbinic
Judaism emerged as the dominant (though not the only) form of
Judaism, and continues as such to the present day.
Latin equivalent of the Greek "ecstasy," standing apart from oneself,
the transporting of a person from one place to another, especially
to heaven, hence a technical term for the resurrection of the
just at the end of times, based on Revelation 20:4-6.
activity of collecting, arranging, editing and modifying sources
to adapt their message to new circumstances and the redactor's
study of the theological perspective of a biblical text evident
in its collection, arrangement, editing and modification of sources.
period of return from Babylonian Exile and reconstruction of Judean
society (539–c.450 BCE), reflected in the Bible in the
work of the Chronicler (1–2 Chr; Ezra–Nehemiah).
member of the priestly family descended from Zadok, one of two
high priestly families under King David; the chief priestly family
in the Jerusalem Temple from the time of Solomon to the destruction
of the Second Temple in 70 CE, and one of the chief ruling parties
in Jerusalem from the time of the Hasmonean dynasty (146 BCE–70
CE). The ancient Jewish historian Josephus describes them as religious
conservatives who rejected any teachings outside of the Torah,
such as resurrection from the dead, life after death, and the
existence of angels.
a group of people who lived in the former northern kingdom of
Israel, centered around the ancient capital of Samaria, who after
the Assyrian destruction and exile (721 BCE) had remained and
intermarried with the non-Israelite peoples transported to the
region by Assyria. Religio-politically, a conservative Jewish
group that maintained the ancient paleo-Hebrew script for their
sacred writings (as opposed to the square script introduced by
foreign powers during Assyrian and Babylonian hegemony), and,
more importantly, who recognized only the Torah as legitimate
scripture (as opposed to Judean Jews, who had expanded scripture
to include the prophets and the writings). The Samaritans have
maintained their own temple and cult of Jewish festivals on Mount
Gerizim near Shechem from the late fourth century bce to the present
"a writing"; a written tradition vested with authority by a community
because it is understood to be sacred, holy, God-given.
referred to by its Greek equivalent, parousia (being alongside,
presence), the belief present in every strand of New Testament
tradition that Christ will return in the future to establish fully
the messianic reign.
during the period from the Restoration to the destruction of the
second temple by the Romans, c.539 BCE –
Syrian Hellenistic dynasty that controlled Palestine from approximately
200 BCE until the Hasmonean or Maccabbean Revolt of 175–152 BCE.
The dynasty's attempts to enforce Hellenization at the cost of
Jewish law and tradition was the catalyst both for the Revolt
and for the composition of the Book of Daniel, and seems to have
played a role in the genesis of the Dead Sea Scroll community.
the Latin for seventy (septem  + -ginta [decimal
suffix]),BCE. This was the premier version used by early Greek-speaking
Christians, and so became the basis of the Christian canon. The
name "seventy" derives from a tradition that Ptolemy II (285–247
BCE) commissioned 70 or 72 elders to prepare the translation,
a task they accomplished in a miraculous 72 days.
legendary figure, an ecstatic woman who uttered (mostly gloomy)
prophecies. Already an ancient figure by 500 BCE, she soon multiplied
into at least ten manifestations: Persian, Libyan, Delphic, Cimmerian
(in Italy), Erythrean, Samina, Cumean, Hellespontic (near Troy),
Phrygian, and Tiburtine. Sometimes a Hebrew Sibyl is added as
from one of the Sibyls, written in Greek hexameter. The surviving
manuscripts preserve eight books of oracles (an additional six
overlap these somewhat). Jewish oracles from second century BCE
Egypt are preserved in Book 3 (97–161; 162–95; 196–294; 545–656;
and 657–808), while later Jewish oracles from the Jordan Valley
in the first century ce and from Egypt in the tumultuous period
of the second century ce are preserved in Books 11 and 5 respectively.
Books 6 and 7 are Christian compositions, while other books show
signs of Christian emendation. Because Christians viewed the Sibyls
as prophets of the second coming, portraits of the sibyls make
their way into medieval Christian apocalyptic (Joachim of Fiore),
and from thence into Renaissance literature and art (Dante, Michelangelo).
identification and study of the different sources that lie behind
a text. Two famous source-critical hypotheses are the Documentary
Hypothesis (Torah) and the Two Source Hypothesis (Gospels).
literary critical term for the story told — that is, the events
(actions, plot) and elements (characters, space) of a story. The
story level is distinguished from the level of discourse, which
is the structure of the story and the author's purpose in telling
the Greek "to bring or gather together" and thus "community,"
the organized Jewish communities of the Hellenistic world and
their places of worship.
the Greek "with one eye," the three gospels that tell the story
of Jesus in largely the same way, sometimes with passages that
are identical word-for-word. These three gospels are Matthew,
Mark and Luke.
observation that, while the three synoptic gospels share much
material word-for-word, they are also significantly different.
The most accepted theories to account for this problem are 1)
the primacy of Mark; and 2) the Two Source Hypothesis (see "Q"
[Quelle], Two Source Hypothesis).
the Hebrew "to learn, study," the compilation of Mishnah, Gemara,
and further rabbinic discussion of halakhah and haggadah. There
are two Talmuds, one compiled in Palestine during the 300s CE
(the Palestinian or Jerusalem Talmud, in Hebrew Talmud Yerushalmi),
and a more comprehensive work compiled in the Babylonian academies
in from 400–600 CE (the Babylonian Talmud, in Hebrew Talmud Bavli).
for "the study of Torah," this refers to the instruction, discussion
and debate over the interpretation of Torah that occurs in Jewish
and rabbinic schools.
Jewish name for their scriptures; an acrostic in which each of
the consonants represents one of the three major divisions of
the Jewish Bible: "T" for Torah or instruction, law (including
the biblical books from Genesis to Deuteronomy), "N" for Nevi'im
or prophets (Joshua–Malachi), and "K" for Kethuvim or writings
(Psalms–2 Chronicles). The shape and number of books in the Jewish
Bible differ somewhat from Christian canons.
early leader and perhaps founder of the sectarian community that
collected the Dead Sea Scrolls; probably a Zadokite priest who
split with the illegitimate line of high priests in the Jerusalem
Temple in the mid-second century bce over issues of legal interpretation
and the purity of the priestly line (see 4QMMT). The split was
aggravated by persecution of the Teacher and his followers by
the Jerusalem Temple establishment, a persecution mentioned in
the Pesher of Habakkuk (see Wicked Priest).
artificial platform enlarged by King Herod (37–4 BCE) to accommodate
a refurbished Second Temple. The natural elevation with valleys
on its eastern, southern, and western sides was enlarged by extending
retaining walls on these sides and filling them with earth to
create a level platform 30 football fields in area.
of "testimonies" or scripture passages drawn from Tanak by early
Christians that were seen as pointing or attesting to the coming
of Jesus Christ. These testimonies were drawn largely from the
prophetic books, but also from the law and writings (see Luke
24:25-27, 32, 44-48).
for "four letters," the divine name in Hebrew, yhwh. The
four Hebrew consonants for the divine name are not pronounced
by Jews when they occur in the biblical text. Instead, circumlocutions
like "Lord" or "the Name" are used.
concept or teaching which a work is designed to emphasize and
make persuasive to the reader.
the Greek "justice of God" or "justifying God," the problem of
and attempt to explain the existence of evil and suffering alongside
the assertion of a just and loving God.
the Greek "words about God," the science or study of God.
Hebrew word for instruction, this term designates in its narrowest
sense the first five books of the Jewish Bible (Genesis to Deuteronomy),
and in its broadest sense authoritative teaching of whatever source.
Rabbinic tradition distinguishes between God's revealed instruction
disclosed preeminently in scripture (the written Torah) and the
subsequent interpretive tradition of that revelation (oral Torah,
some of which has been compiled in written sources like the Mishnah,
the Gemara, the Talmud, etc.).
beliefs, customs, stories, laws, religious practices, and other
cultural phenomena that are considered valuable and are therefore
handed on from generation to generation. The Jewish and Christian
Bibles are a collation of traditions; once written, they themselves
become an artifact that must be interpreted, and so new traditions
Godhead in Christian belief, one God revealed in three persons,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
theory that the authors of Matthew and Luke used two shared sources
for their gospels, the Gospel of Mark and "Q," (sayings of Jesus),
in addition to their own unique material. The theory is one way
of accounting for the synoptic problem (see "Q" [Quelle]; synoptic
typical form of prophetic speech, an autobiographical report of
the prophet's experience of divine revelation in the form of something
seen. The characteristic elements of the vision report are the
introductory report, the description of the scene envisioned,
and a question/answer between the prophet and one of the envisioned
(usually heavenly) beings.
western retaining wall of Temple Mount in Jerusalem, built by
Herod the Great (37–4 BCE). Because it was for centuries one of
the few remaining visible vestiges of the Jewish Temple, it was
and is a revered center for Jewish pilgrimage.
high priestly enemy of the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned
in the Pesher of Habakkuk (see Teacher of Righteousness).
Jew committed to rebellion and guerrilla warfare or terrorist
activity against the Romans, c.63 BCE–70 CE.
name for Jerusalem, used most often in poetic literature like
modern movement of Jewish national self-determination, founded
by European Jews in the last decades of the nineteenth century
in response to the rise of nationalism in Europe and the persistence
of anti-Semitism even after the Enlightenment and the consequent
legal emancipation of Jews. With the Holocaust and the U.N. creation
of the State of Israel in 1947–1948, the Zionist vision became
advocate of Zionism. Also, a derogatory term synonymous with "Israeli"
used by some Arabs; it implies the wrongful presence of Israel
in Arab land.