24 votes
Accepted

Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the ...
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  • 7,736
23 votes
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What does "see" in "the Holy See" mean?

"See" comes from the Latin word sedes, which means "seat" or "chair". "Holy See" is Sedes Apostolica (lit. "Apostolic Chair") in Latin. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives this etymology for ...
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  • 32.9k
20 votes

What does "see" in "the Holy See" mean?

What does “see” in “The Holy See” mean? Each bishop and archbishop has the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of an episcopal see. The Roman Pontiff (Pope) has complete jurisdiction of the Holy See, also ...
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  • 53.5k
19 votes

Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ,...
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18 votes
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What is the difference between "Catechism" and "Canon Law" in Catholicism?

Yes, the Catechism and Canon Law are two separate things The Catechism is a teaching tool for the bishops and various catechists to instruct the faithful. (Why do we receive the Eucharist? What ...
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13 votes
Accepted

What does 'ages of ages' mean, specifically?

The phrase comes from the Bible. It’s a fairly wooden translation of the Greek idiom εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Many English translations instead use “forever and ever” or something along those lines,...
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  • 4,242
12 votes
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What basis is there for defining sin as "rebellion"?

I would like to add to the answers already posted a few observations about the theological lexical register of the Biblical writers that may bear on the OP's question. Is there any lexical support ...
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  • 4,242
12 votes
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How do various traditions define the term "sufficient grace"?

If you do research on Calvinism, Jansenism, Pelagianism, etc., you might find the term "sufficient grace" bandied about. The trouble is, depending on who's using it, it's defined differently, which ...
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12 votes

What is the difference between "Catechism" and "Canon Law" in Catholicism?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a book, promulgated in 1992 by Pope St. John Paul II, which seeks to explain the doctrine (that is, the body of teachings) that the Catholic Church holds. It ...
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  • 2,785
11 votes
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What is a Sabbath day's walk?

The exact value of a "Sabbath day's walk" is 2,000 cubits, which works out to about 5/8 of a mile, or one kilometer. Commentator Craig S. Keener explains the logic and biblical basis: The figures ...
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11 votes
Accepted

On nominal Christianity

"Nominal Christian" means being a Christian in name only. It's not really in dispute that there are nominal Christians. There are many people around the world who would mark "Christian&...
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  • 18k
10 votes

What do Chinese Catholics call their priests?

Catholic priests are called 神父 "Shenfu" (Mandarin) or "Sunfu" (Cantonese), literally "God- father". For reference please go to http://zh-yue.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%A5%9E%E7%88%B6; then click on ...
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  • 199
10 votes
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What is the background of the words "notitia," "fiducia," and "assensus" and how do they relate to the biblical notion of "faith"?

Origin - Loci Communes Theologici, 1521 A.D. The words notitia, assensus, and fiducia applied to faith originates with the Reformers of the 16th Century. Martin Luther argued that saving faith or ...
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  • 8,765
10 votes

What basis is there for defining sin as "rebellion"?

Sinning is described in the Bible as willfully transgressing God's law, and as turning away from him, the rightful ruler, to become his enemy and serve a different master. This seems to fit right into ...
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10 votes
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Has the term "born again" always been synonymous with baptism with the Christians of the Early Church?

Some Clarification You question specifically asks if there were any in the Early Church (~2nd to 4th century) who separated "born again" with baptism. Meanwhile, the site you quote claims that this ...
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9 votes

When the Bible talks about wine does it mean alcoholic wine?

Hebrew and Greek Words Translated as 'Wine' When the Bible referes to "wine" it does not necessarily refer to the same thing every time, there are at least 18 different words that have all been ...
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9 votes

What is the difference between a Christian and a Messianic Jew?

The term Messianic Jew refers to Christians who identify as Jewish, as compared to those who identify as Russian, English, Thai etc. Most of them are of Jewish descent, though there are some who are ...
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  • 18k
9 votes
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What is the origin of the word "Nativity" as a title for Christ's Advent?

In Catholic culture it comes from the Latin. "Festum Nativitatis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi" (the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ) and the shorter form, "Dies Natalis Domini" (the ...
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9 votes
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Is God's sovereignty a term associated with Reformed theology?

While the idea of God's sovereignty is closely associated with Reformed theology, other traditions also deal with it. Here are a few examples from prominent authors from various traditions. Lutheran: ...
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9 votes
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Why were ousia and hypostasis synonymous in the Nicene Creed?

This response has been extracted from a longer article of mine on the subject (linked at the end) , hence the discontinuous numbering of its sections. 1. Ousía in Greek philosophical discourse ...
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  • 1,514
9 votes
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When Christians say "the Lord" in everyday speech, do they mean Jesus or the Father?

For most Christians "The Lord" or "Lord" will usually mean either God the Father or Jesus. Sometimes they may mean the Holy Spirit or just "God", meaning (for ...
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  • 29.7k
9 votes
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Is there a term for a theological principle that if a New Testament text is unclear about something, that point is not important for salvation?

It's a corollary of the Protestant doctrine of the clarity or perspicuity of scripture, that the essentials of faith are explained in the scriptures so clearly that anyone can understand them. As the ...
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  • 18k
8 votes

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

Matthew, Mark and Luke are very similar: they record many of the same miracle stories, parables, and sermons. John by contrast has fewer miracles (most of which are unique), no parables at all, and is ...
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  • 18k
8 votes

What does TULIP stand for?

The tulip acronym stands for the following: Total depravity, the idea that man can do only evil without God. Unconditional election, the idea that the saved are chosen by God without any ...
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  • 12.8k
8 votes
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What do Evangelical Protestants mean by "receive Jesus"?

For Evangelicals, "receiving Jesus" can be considered to be functionally equivalent to one or more of the following: Regeneration Being born again Receiving the (indwelling) Holy Spirit Being ...
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  • 12.4k
8 votes
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What is the "Magnificat"?

The Magnificat (also known as the Canticle of Mary) is the section of scripture found in Luke 1:46-55, in which Mary the mother of Jesus praises the Lord. The term "Magnificat" comes from the Latin ...
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8 votes
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When the early church was formalising the canon, what did they understand by the word 'Inspired'?

Further Clarification The original person who asked the question asked for additional clarification on these two questions: 1) Are inspired works closed as canon is? 2) Are there potentially other ...
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  • 234
8 votes
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Are Roman Catholic priests ever addressed as pastor?

Typically, in the United States, the priest to whom the parish is entrusted is referred to as "the pastor". The Latin word is "parochus", which the Code of Canon Law translates as &...
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  • 18.3k
8 votes

What specific thing in the Bible separates the Old Testament from the New Testament?

There's a little bit of history to the titles Old Testament and New Testament that needs to be explained. We begin with the Greek word διαθήκη (diatheke) which has two major distinct sub-senses and ...
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