God On The Net

Christian Jargon
and Terminology

Every field, including Christianity, has its jargon.  There are two types of jargon:

  1. Words or phrases unique to that field, e.g., a legal writ
  2. Common words or phrases that have a special meaning in that field, e.g., in criminal law a "not guilty" verdict means "the government failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt."

"Unique words" do not present a special problem because the reader realizes he doesn't understand the word.

However, "special meaning" words can present a major problem because the reader thinks he understands the word but in fact he doesn't.  The study of the Principles of Textual Interpretation is called hermeneutics and included the study of specialized jargon.

Here are some words and phrases that have unique meanings in a Christian context.  The secular definition is shown below in black and the Christian definition in navy blue.  Secular definitions are based on the American Heritage Dictionary.  The Christian definitions are not excerpts from the Bible.

1. To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid.
2. To declare free of blame; absolve.
3. Law. a. To demonstrate sufficient legal reason for (an action taken).
To free a human being of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin. Used only of God.

1. To put up with; tolerate.
2. To wait patiently for.
3. To be in store for; await.
4. To withstand.
To live with, to dwell among

1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
2. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension.
3. A reason for dread or apprehension.
4. To be afraid or frightened of.
5. To be uneasy or apprehensive about.
6. To consider probable; expect.
"Fear of the Lord" means to hold God in extreme respect, reverence and awe.  It does not mean to regard God with mortal dread and absolute terror.

1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.
3.a. Sexual passion. b. Sexual intercourse. c. A love affair.
4. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
5. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.
6. An expression of one's affection.
7.a. A strong predilection or enthusiasm. b. The object of such an enthusiasm.
8. Love. Mythology. Eros or Cupid.
9. Often Love. Theology. Charity.
10. Love. Christian Science. God.

1. To have a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward (a person).
2. To have a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward (a person).
3. To have an intense emotional attachment to.
4.a. To embrace or caress. b. To have sexual intercourse with.
5. To like or desire enthusiastically.
6. Theology. To have charity for.
7. To thrive on; need. --intr. To experience deep affection or intense desire for another. --idioms. for love. Out of compassion; with no thought for a reward. for love or money. Under any circumstances. Usually used in negative sentences. for the love of. For the sake of; in consideration for. no love lost. No affection; animosity.


(c) 1998 by Rick Reinckens

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