questions asking for clarification of a theological term

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

12
votes
4answers
5k views

What does “scripture” mean in NT writing?

This is slightly a take-off from: What does it mean that all scripture is God-Breathed? The Bible as we know it today wasn't canonized and compiled into a single volume until much later. In ...
1
vote
3answers
368 views

What is the difference between original sin and original guilt?

This is a question that every convert to Eastern Orthodoxy always asked. The question can be stated differently: Does the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin include Original Guilt? Fr. John Romanides ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

What is “jubilee(s)”?

My Mother in her 90s and in treatment for Alzheimers would frequently go into a state of trance and chant about going to jubilee. Does "jubilee" or "going to jubilee" refer to heaven or eternity in ...
12
votes
4answers
838 views

What does “predestination” mean? [closed]

What is the concept of predestination? Are there different denominations that believe in predestination but have differences in what they believe about it? If so, what are the differences?
0
votes
0answers
14 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “men and brethren” in Acts? [migrated]

In several places in Acts, Peter, James, and Paul (and perhaps others) address groups of people by saying "men and brethren" – perhaps in the same way that we would use "ladies and gentlemen" or ...
3
votes
2answers
437 views

First Occurrence of “Sea of Forgetfulness” in Christian Literature

Apparently "Sea of Forgetfulness" is a well known example of Christian jargon. This is news to me, as I have never heard this phrase before today (perhaps because I am relatively young, and this ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the word 'testament' in the titles OT and NT imply the death of the testator in both covenants?

A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the transfer of his property at death. This property an ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the difference between “catholicism” and “catholic”?

In the Apostle's Creed, the term "catholic" is used in describing the reciter's belief: I believe ... in the holy catholic church This creed is used by a wide variety of denominations, and ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

What does it mean to “Bless the LORD”?

Psalm 103:1-2 (KJV) Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits What does it mean to say "Bless ...
6
votes
7answers
22k views

What is God's definition of forgiveness?

I have wrestled with this topic for years and have come to all sorts of conclusions along the way. Please, I'm searching for what others perceive is God's definition of forgiveness. If we are ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

What do you call the adherents of Covenant Theology (CT) and New Covenant Theology (NCT)?

An adherent of Dispensationalism is called a "dispensationalist" but would the proper term for an adherent of Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology be, respectively, "Covenant Theologian" and ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

In Catholicism, what does “mystical” mean?

In the Loreto Litanies, Mary is referred to as Mystical Rose and the Church teaches as doctrine that the Church is the the Mystical Body of Christ1. In Catholicism, what does mystical mean? 1. Cf. ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the significance of “Zealot” in Acts 1:13?

When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between justification and sanctification?

Christians use the terms justification and sanctification a lot, but it's not always clear where one concept leaves off and the other picks up. What do Protestants generally say is the difference ...
6
votes
3answers
468 views

What is “the spirit of this world.” referred to by John-Paul II

The Wikipedia article on the "Prayer to Saint Michael" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_to_Saint_Michael) says that Pope John-Paul II referred to "the spirit of this world" when recommending the ...
8
votes
2answers
858 views

What is the biblical basis for the concept of being “slain in the spirit” and what exactly is it?

Among charismatic Christians, I have occasionally heard the phrase "to be slain in the spirit." I have not found any biblical reference to this phrase, so what is it to which this is referring and ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

How widespread is panentheism within Protestant schools of thought?

I'm confused about what panentheism is. The Wikipedia article and the few mentions of it here on Stack Exchange both indicate that some Christians identify as panentheists and some don't. I'm guessing ...
14
votes
5answers
120k views

What is the difference between a pastor, a priest, and a minister?

No, this is not the start of a joke about a bunch of people walking into a bar. Rather, I thought it would be helpful to clarify various titles that people give to leadership roles in churches.
2
votes
3answers
141 views

What is a word to describe someone who is not a Protestant?

I've been wondering for a while if there is a word (or concise phrase) that can be used to mean someone who is not Protestant. Something that specifically groups Catholics, and Eastern Rite followers ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

What does the “reformed and recovered Christian fundamentalist” mean?

I've been reading god is not Great by Christopher Hitchens. I'm a Muslim and this book is my most extensive introduction to Christianity so far, as well as other religions including mine, to some ...
9
votes
4answers
899 views

What is the Biblical support for Hell as a singular concept?

One of the common tenets of Christian Universalism (as well as Annihilationism) is the non-existence of Hell as an eternal punishment for non-Christians, that everyone has been granted salvation ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

What were people called who believed in the “Christ” before Jesus was born?

About 2000 years ago Jesus Christ died on a cross. A person who is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings is called Christian. My question is what were people called who followed the Messiah ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

What do Christians mean by “holy”?

What is the meaning of the word holy from a Christian viewpoint? I observed that the term is used for the gods, especially the Holy God (Father) and Holy Ghost; persons, such as the holy apostles, ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is meant by “God is Omnipotent”?

I'm questioning my own understanding of the term "Omnipotence" in response so a comment on one of my answers. In the comment, the poster included a definition of Omnipotence taken from the Wikipeda ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between 'Biblical' and 'Systematic' theology?

Particularly among Protestant traditions, it is common to classify books and classes that cover broad looks at theological issues as either 'Biblical' or 'Systematic'. Sometimes this is even extended ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

What is synthetic theology?

In a comment conversation on another question I suspect (at the chastisement of my interlocutor) I may have misused the term "synthetic theology" (or, perhaps, theological synthesis?). I think I had ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the difference between Systematics and Dogmatics?

In what ways does Systematic Theology differ from Dogmatic theology? If I'm understanding them correctly they seem to be almost identical in that they're dependent upon the particular denominations, ...
5
votes
6answers
72k views

What is the Biblical definition of “prophecy”?

In common parlance, prophecy is often considered to be "predicting the future." For some, it conjures up images of telephone psychics and the like. Others might envision a crystal ball, or a Jamaican ...
23
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are patriarchs, then what are Adam, Abel, Enoch, and Noah?

If I understand correctly, the people in Genesis 12-50 are known as patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc...), but not the people in 1-11 (Adam, Enoch, Noah, etc...) Is there a term that refers ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Who uses the term “God-talk”, and what do they mean?

I've seen many books and articles that use the word God-talk. This seems, often, to be used as a friendlier alternative to theology, which comes from the Greek θεός (theos) for God, and λόγος (logos) ...
12
votes
1answer
23k views

Why do Mormons use the term “elder” for their missionaries?

Most of the Mormon missionaries I've encountered are young men doing a couple year stint. They are typically identified as "elders", but my understanding is that this designation is only temporary ...
2
votes
6answers
13k views

What does the word Glory mean in the Bible? [closed]

Does it mean Might, majesty, light, happiness or power? Or all those things ( in which case, how to tell what context it's being used in?
2
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the Christian definition of “The Messiah”?

Christianity is the religion of people who consider Jesus to be "The Messiah". But what is the Christian definition of "The Messiah"? Since Christian theology is based on the notion of "The ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

Is there a doctrine that God grants revelation in layers?

I've heard my school religion teachers say that God didn't reveal his true intent to humans all at once. The Old Testament doesn't talk about heaven or hell. The Trinity concept is not revealed in ...
5
votes
3answers
167 views

Is 'Non-Catholic Non-Orthodox Modern Western Denomination' an ok definition of Protestant?

One meaning of the term "Protestant" is "a church drawing its roots from the Reformation and the denominations of the Reformers in particular". I have also seen the term extensively used to mean "a ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the difference between “infallible” and “inerrant”?

As with many others I know, I believe in both the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. But what is the difference between these two important terms? If something has no errors (inerrant), then ...
0
votes
2answers
171 views

Can theology still be defined “the science of faith”?

According to Wikipedia, Richard Hooker (March 1554 – 3 November 1600) was an English Anglican priest and an influential theologian. He was one of the most important English theologians of the ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

What is temptation?

Temptation, in the common secular sense, seems to indicate an attraction to something. Temptation The act of tempting The condition of being tempted. Something attractive, tempting or ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

What are Christian theologeans referring to when they talk about “God's glory”?

What is God's "glory" in Christian theology? (If it differs based on which branch of the church is using the term, give me a brief summary of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant views.) Are we ...
5
votes
4answers
293 views

Does Catholicism confound the role of “elder” and “priest”?

I am somewhat interested in joining the Roman Catholic Church, but there are some things that I've had to further investigate, one of which is the role of "elder" and "priest" in the Roman Catholic ...
32
votes
5answers
53k views

Why are Matthew, Mark, and Luke called the synoptic gospels?

The first three gospels are sometimes known as the "synoptic" gospels. What does this term mean, and how does it differentiate them from the gospel of John?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Do Jehovah's Witnesses use different language for theological reasons?

They don't have churches: they have Kingdom Halls (though it's not wrong to refer to a Kingdom Hall as a type of church). They don't have hymns: they have Kingdom Songs (though it's not wrong to ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Heaven/Paradise/Sheol, Hell/Hades/The Lake of Fire

What is the difference between Heaven/Paradise/Sheol How about Hell/Hades/The Lake of Fire? Are they synonyms, are they different places?
-3
votes
3answers
149 views

Where does “amen” come from? [closed]

Watched a video on YouTube. My first mistake. They were talking about the word "amen" coming from a Roman god Amen-Ra, I think. I thought "amen" just meant "to agree". How do people research this ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

What are the reasons for the Catholic Church's term “ecclesial community?”

It is my understanding that the Catholic Church uses the term "Church" for itself and the Orthodox Church, and "ecclesial community" for Protestants. What are the reasons the Church applies the term ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

How did the phrase “getting to know Jesus” come to be ubiquitous among Evangelicals (i.e. Campus Crusade for Christ)?

How did the phrase "getting to know Jesus" come to be ubiquitous among Evangelicals (i.e. Campus Crusade for Christ)? To them, what is it really supposed to mean? Does it refer to the act of ...
8
votes
1answer
497 views

How are prayer and asking the saints to intercede distinguished?

The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches encourage us to ask the dead saints to intercede for us. To quote from Software Monkey's answer to another question: First off, it's useful to understand ...
9
votes
2answers
484 views

What is the difference between 'Hell', 'Sheol', 'Hades' and 'Gehenna'?

In Western imagination, Hell is a place of everlasting torment and suffering for the wicked. Brunlesschi's painting in Florence's Duomo illustrates it well: The word 'Hell' itself, however, doesn't ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

What's the difference between the Gospel and the Bible?

The title almost says it all: What's the difference between the Gospel and the Bible? Does one contain the other or what? What does each one include? Where did each one come from (or who authored ...