Press Release   Episode Summaries  
The Directors   Critical Reviews  
Bios of Featured Scholars  
Timeline   Glossary  
Images   Press Contact  
Purchase from Facets  


Glossary


APOCRYPHA:
From the Greek apokryphos, meaning withheld from the gaze, hidden or secret. The term refers to religious writings not recognized by the canons of the Old and New Testaments. There are apocryphal gospels and apocryphal acts that oppose canonic texts.

BAPTISTS:
Disciples of John the Baptist.

CANON:
Quasi-concretized in the eleventh century, the Canon is the list of officially acknowledged Christian Scriptures. The Canon of the New Testament consists of 27 books that were assemble during the fourth century A.D.

CHRIST
From the Greek Christos; a translation of the Hebraic word massiah. The Messiah is he who has been anointed with the sacred oil.

CHRISTIANS:
A term probably introduced by the Romans during A.D. 40s to designate certain groups of Jesus' disciples outside of Judea.

CHURCH:
From the Greed ekklesia. It is an assembly that at its source did not carry any religious connotations.

CHURCH FATHERS:
Christian writers of the Greek or Latin languages at the end of the first to fourth centuries who explicated Christian doctrine. Their collected work is referred to as patristic writings.

DEUTERONOMY:
From the Hebrew phrase for the second law. It is the last book of the Pentateuch, which is to say of Hebraic law, the Torah. It is a religious code.

DIASPORA:
The scattering of Jews that live outside of Palestine.

DOCETISM:
From the Greek dokeo, meaning to seem. The Doceti believed that Jesus was but a spiritual being and had been crucified in appearance only.

EBIONITES:
A Judeo-Christian group that remained faithful to the law of Moses while recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.

EPISTLES:
Letters to Christian communities, such as Paul's Epistles.

ESCHATOLOGY:
That which deals with the End of Time.

ESSENES:
An ascetic Jewish sect.

EXEGESIS:
From the Greek exegeomai, meaning explanation. It indicates research into the meaning of the text. Exegetes are those who dedicate themselves to this work. Use of this word is almost entirely limited to the study of the Old and New Testaments.

GENTILES:
Non-Jews.

GNOSTICISM:
From the Greek gnosis. A philosophical and religious doctrine born before our Christian era that suggested the possibility of a superior and esoteric knowledge of the mysteries of God, man, and the world through revelation. Gnostics constitute a powerful current of thinking and include certain branches of primitive Christianity that refuted the reality of the incarnation of Jesus.

GOD-FEARING:
Pagans drawn by the Jewish religion; the men were not circumcised.

GOSPEL:
A translation of the Greek euaggelion, meaning good news. Beginning in the eleventh century, it refers to the literary genre that tells the story of the "good news," which is the life and death of Jesus.

HEBREWS:
Christian Jews with a Semitic language and culture.

HELLENISTS:
Christian Jews with a Greek language and culture.

KERYGMA:
From the Greek. The proclamation of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

LOGION:
Words attributed to Jesus. The plural is logia.

LAW:
See Torah.

MISHNA:
From the Jewish word for repetition. It designates the most ancient part of the Talmud, which was put into writing in the eleventh century.

NATION:
The nations designate the non-Jewish peoples in the New Testament.

PAGANO-CHRISTIAN:
Christians of Pagan origin.

PAROUSIA:
The second coming of Jesus as Christ resurrected.

PHARISEES:
A Jewish sect. Etymologically, it means the separate ones. Contemporary Judaism is the inheritor of the work of Pharisee rabbis.

PROFESSION OF FAITH:
A summary of the Christian faith. The Credo, for example.

Q:
In German, the abbreviation for Quelle, referring to the source. The archaic source of words attributed to Jesus.

SADDUCEES:
A Jewish sect linked to the Temple and the high priests.

SANHEDRIN:
Jewish assembly of 71 members. Until the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, it functioned as the supreme authority in religious and political matters. The seat of the Sanhedrin was in Jerusalem.

SCRIPTURES:
From a Christian standpoint, the texts of the Hebraic Bible. In the New Testament, the Scriptures are "that which is written" and constitute the fundamental point of reference.

SEPTUAGINT:
Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Third-Second centuries B.C.) that legend attributes to 69 or 70 Jews from Alexandria.

SHABBAT, or SABBAT:
Weekly rest from Friday night to Saturday night that the law imposes on Jews so they may consecrate themselves to God.

SYNOPTICS:
From the Greek synoptikos. It refers to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke that, due to their similarities, allow for a parallel study of texts treating the same theme. Their comparison allows for the idea of "a single gaze." They differ from the fourth Gospel, the Gospel according to John, whose narrative is composed very differently.

TALMUD:
The totality of Jewish oral law put into writing by rabbis. The Talmud of Jerusalem (fourth century A.D.) is distinct from the Talmud of Babylon (fifth century A.D.), which is more complete.

TORAH:
The written codification of Jewish law, attributed to Moses and transmitted by the Pentateuch.

TRADITION:
The history of a text starting with early materials up to its known literary form today.

ZEALOTS:
A radical Jewish sect that rebelled against the Romans.