Intro Bibliography Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5  
  Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Appendix Glossary  


Anabaptist: Small groups of protestant reformers forming a most important grass roots movement within Germany and Switzerland during the Reformation in 16th and 17th Century Europe.

Antinomianism: Literally “against the law”. A charge often levelled at believers whose justification before God is based on grace rather than compliance with religious laws. In fact, Jesus taught that a real change of heart is the only way that holiness can begin to be achieved.

Apocalypse: The vision of John on the island of Patmos, set down in the book of Revelation.

Ashlar: Precisely cut stone walling with very fine joints, laid in courses.

Canon: The authorised collection of books.

Catacombs: Rock-cut tunnels in Rome, Syracuse and elsewhere, used for the burial of Christians in the early centuries, usually with secret entrances; used as places of refuge in times of persecution.

Church Growth Methods: A set of principles based on sociological theories by means of which churches are supposed to grow organically. Fashionable with church leaders and largely ineffective.

Form Critical Analysis: An analytical study of individual stories and their composition.

Didache: A document thought to have been produced by the Apostles as a result of the conference with Paul identified in Acts 15. Reproduced in the Appendix to this book.

Diaspora: A collective name for the widespread Jewish communities usually living in ghettos in large cities throughout the world.

Dispensationalism:The idea that God only performed miracles in Bible times. See Chapter 2.

Exegesis: An explanation of a Biblical text. (Eisegesisthe error of reading something into a text which is not there.)

Gnostics: Groups of religious cults scattered throughout the ancient world with strange pagan ideas sometimes associated with witchcraft.

Hasidic: A form of Judaism which grew up in the Inter-Testamental period based on strict observance of Mosaic Law. Much of this Jesus showed to be erroneous in its interpretations.
Jesus taught that these observances did not lead to a change of heart pleasing to God.

Justification: A legal term denoting acceptance by God. It implies a change of heart by the believer which will, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, lead to sanctification – the ability to lead a holy life.

Liberal Theology: A set of ideas based on unbelief in the sense that the historical truths of Scripture are neither historic nor true, but rather invention and myth intended to teach spiritual truths.

Logical Positivism:The idea that any supernatural event not seen in the world today cannot ever have taken place.

Maccabean: Denotes the Inter-Testamental period under a Jewish regime which successfully rid Israel of Greek political domination.

Mediated Revelation: The means by which God's message comes to us in the Scriptures through human agency.

Mishnah: The codified traditional Law set down in writing in the 2nd Century consisting of the accumulated teachings of the great Rabbis.

New Age: Modern religious ideas consisting of a mixture of occult practice, Eastern religious ideas, and the worship of nature. Each devotee chooses his own brand of belief to suit him/herself.

Nominalism: Church membership being no more than a social gathering of people who have not yet found personal faith in Jesus, baptism and confirmation being regarded simply as rites of passage.

Oral Tradition: The mass of word of mouth testimony/reports which flowed from the tumultuous day to day ministry experiences of Jesus and his disciples: a small part is preserved in the Gospels.

Passover: The major annual ceremony of Judaism by means of which the nation worldwide celebrates the events surrounding the deliverance from bondage in Egypt in the book of Exodus.

Pentateuch: The collection of the first five books of the Bible allegedly compiled by Moses.

Pharisaic Judaism: A sect within Judaism within which many different opinions existed. There were 6,000 of these activists who might be described as Jewish fundamentalists.

Proclamation Evangelism: The public presentation of God's message by means of which Jesus and the Apostles sought to impact the lives of the mainstream populations of countries starting in Jerusalem, and ultimately reaching the whole world.

Prosperity Cults: Religious groups who claim that membership of their group and adherence to their teachings will bring material benefits – riches, health, etc. Poor results are usually blamed on the lack of faith of the individual or some unconfessed sin.

Rabbinical Absolution: A formal legal declaration by a Rabbi that a particular individual is free from guilt for a particular sin; usually verbal, repeated twice.

Sanhedrin: The supreme Jewish authority “Parliament” consisting of 120 of the leading figures in the land. Individuals had to be married, and above a certain age. It is thought that Paul might have been a member at some stage but this is no more than a guess.

Subordinationist: A belief that somehow Jesus is Son of God but not God the Son. This rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity distinguishes cults from the mainstream Christian Church.

Talmud: Body of Jewish law and legend comprising the Mishnah and various commentaries.

Tyrian: “From Tyre”, referring principally to the coinage minted there which was of greater intrinsic value than Roman coinage.

Zealots: A group who believed in assassination as a legitimate political tool; their views were often supported by those within Pharisaism led by Shammai, one of the foremost Rabbis of the period.