The name means "father of a multitude." He was the first Hebrew patriarch and became the father of the Israelites. God made an important covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3), promising to bless him with a land and a people according to Abraham's response to God's call.
"Exalted father." The name of Abraham before he became Abraham.
A Greek word designating a secretary, especially one who takes dictation.
A Greek word meaning a "revelation," "disclosure," or "manifestation." The word is found in Revelation 1:1 and became the title of the book. Also, the word is used of other writings possessing apocalyptic characteristics.
Written probably not later than the second century A.D., this apocalypse contains several visions including a vision of those in torment in the afterlife. It is among those apocryphal writings attributed to New Testament characters such as Simon Peter, Paul, Thomas, and Stephen.
A belief system or way of thought that perceived the struggle of humanity at present or to come as being caught in the struggle by cosmic powers of good and evil. Apocalyptic literature reflects this thought and dramatizes the struggle by using images, visions, numbers, and other expressions to convey a message or messages.
A term arising from apocryphal, meaning "hidden" or "outside." About fifteen apocryphal books of Jewish literature are included in the Old Testaments of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican churches. The Roman Catholic Church designates these writings as "deuterocanical," literally a "second canon," so to them the books may not have the same priority of importance as the other books of the Old Testament. These books were written between about 200 B.C. and about A.D. 100.
A term referring to one of the conditions applied by early church leaders to judging a book's fitness for the New Testament canon. A writing possessed apostolicity if an apostle wrote it, or substantially influenced its content, or if it followed apostolic doctrine.
A pivotal figure in formulating views about the doctrines of Christ and other church doctrines. Athanasius (about 296-373) became bishop of Alexandria. His Easter letter of 367 listed a canon of the New Testament, a list corresponding to the canon in our English translations today.
A word used in this text to mean that the Bible is the writing of supreme authority among all the words and writings of this world because it is the truth about God and about humanity. Consequently, the Bible is the authoritative guide for faith and living.
A period of time (605-537 B.C.) when Babylonia dominated the nations of the Near East, including Israel. The period begins with Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and ends with the ascendancy of Persia as the dominant power. A portion of this period is known also as the exilic period, because in 587 B.C. the Babylonians forced many of the Israelites away from their homeland to live in the lands of Babylonia.
The word comes from the Greek word for "reed." The reed was a plant that grew in the Nile. Reeds were used as measuring sticks. Later canon came to mean a standard of measurement. Then canon developed to mean an official standard by which other things are measured. In reference to the Old and New Testament books, the collections of books are known as the standard books which form the Old and New Testament; thus they are the Old and New Testament canons.
A more recent variation in historical-critical methodology of studying the Scripture, this approach emphasizes that the canon in its final form, the canon as it now is, should be the focus of biblical exegesis or interpretation; the significant aspect of the Old or New Testament texts in interpretation is the canon as it now is, not the historical process by which the text came into being.
A term referring to group identity and characteristics as compared or contrasted with individual identity and characteristics. Israel and the church are group personalities. For example, the church as the "body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) is the corporate personality of Christ.
An agreement or contract between two parties in which each pledges to do something for the other. The biblical covenants stress God's commitment and promise to His people and the commitment and responsibility of the people to God.
A term referring to the study and evaluation of the historical and literary backgrounds of the Old and New Testament writings. Hence, Old Testament criticism and New Testament criticism refer to historical-critical methodology in studying the documents of the Bible. Historical methodology includes such disciplines as textual, source, form, redaction, and canonical criticism.
The name for the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts discovered in 1947 in caves near the northwest end of the Dead Sea. The collection includes fragments or complete manuscripts of almost every Old Testament book. The scrolls also include noncanonical Jewish writings describing the life, beliefs, and practices of a community of Essene-like Israelites. Many scholars believe that a community, the Qumran, lived near the caves. This community collected and preserved the Old Testament manuscripts and produced its own noncanonical works.
The name of Tatian's harmony of the Gospels. The name means an "interweaving," thus a weaving of the Four Gospels into a single account.
A term referring to an extended teaching of Jesus about a certain subject or subjects. Matthew 5-7 is a discourse of Jesus.
Written by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260-c. 340), this work is the main source for the history of Christianity from the end of the apostolic age to about A.D. 330. Eusebius quoted many earlier Christian writers on various subjects that are important for New Testament studies.
An incorrect approach to interpretation in which interpreters read the text as if their own context and views were those of the author and original readers of the scriptural text. The word implies reading into the text ideas which are not there.
A philosophy named after the founder, Epicurus (342-270 B.C.). He believed that the senses should be trusted in determining reality. He taught that pleasure or happiness was the purpose and goal of life.
A writing in Greek, dating from around the end of the first century A.D. or the beginning of the second. It belongs to the pseudepigrapha, and treats the relationship of the Old Testament to Jews and Christians and gives instruction to recent converts about living in the way of light as opposed to the way of darkness.