Glossary of Terms

Agony: Etymology: Middle English agonie, from Late Latin agonia,
from Greek agOnia struggle, anguish, from agOn gathering,
contest for a prize, from agein to lead, celebrate -- more at
Date: 14th century
1 a : intense pain of mind or body : ANGUISH, TORTURE b :
the struggle that precedes death
2. A violent struggle or contest (Source: Merriam Webster dictionary)

Ambo: A word of Greek origin, supposed to signify a mountain or elevation; An ambo is an elevated desk or pulpit from which in the early churches and basilicas the Gospel and Epistle were chanted or read, and all kinds of communications were made to the congregation; and sometimes the bishop preached from it. . . Ambones are believed to have taken their origin from the raised platform from which the Jewish rabbis read the Scriptures to the people, and they were first introduced into churches during the fourth century, were in universal use by the ninth, reaching their full development and artistic beauty in the twelfth, and then gradually fell out of use, until in the fourteenth century, when they were largely superseded by pulpits. For more on ambos see The Catholic Encyclopedia Online

Anabaptist: Re-baptizers. Date: 1532: a Protestant sectarian of a radical movement arising in the 16th century and advocating the baptism and church membership of adult believers only, nonresistance, and the separation of church and state (Source: Merriam Webster dictionary)

Androgyny: Etymology: Latin androgynus hermaphrodite, from Greek androgynos, from andr- + gyne woman --
1 : having the characteristics or nature of both male and female
2 a : neither specifically feminine nor masculine <the androgynous pronoun them> b : suitable to or for either sex
<androgynous clothing>
3 : having traditional male and female roles obscured or reversed <an androgynous marriage> (Merriam-Webster) Note: androgyny refers to traditionally understood masculine and feminine roles or qualities (psychology), whereas hermaphrodism refers to male and female genitalia and/or reproductive organs (physiology)

Anglicanism: Etymology: Medieval Latin anglicanus, from anglicus English, from Latin Angli Angles
1 : of or relating to the established episcopal Church of England and churches of similar faith and order in
communion with it
2 : of or relating to England or the English nation (Source: Merriam Webster dictionary)

Animism:  Either  1) the belief that plants and animals have souls or 2) the belief in a supernatural power animating the universe (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Apocalypse: Etymology: Middle English, revelation, Revelation, from Late Latin apocalypsis, from Greek apokalypsis, from apokalyptein to uncover, from apo- + kalyptein to cover -- Date: 13th century
1 a : one of the Jewish and Christian writings of 200 B.C. to A.D. 150 marked by pseudonymity, symbolic imagery, and the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
--Generally, the belief that the world is heading toward a cataclysmic end in which the powers of evil will finally be destroyed

Apostolic See:  Any see (site of a bishop's residence) whose foundation is attributed to one of Jesus's apostles.

Apostolic Succession: Doctrine that the teaching of the church in its entirety comes from Christ and was transmitted by him to the apostles, and by them to the first bishops, and by them to succeeding bishops throughout time.

Atonement: Date: 1513 -- 1 obsolete : RECONCILIATION
2 : the reconciliation of God and man through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3 : reparation for an offense or injury : SATISFACTION
4 Christian Science : the exemplifying of man's oneness with God (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
--On the last definition, note that "atonement" can also be read as "at-one-ment"

Baptism in the Holy Spirit:  The gift of the Holy Spirit.  In Orthodox tradition, these gifts are conferred at baptism.  In the Roman Catholic tradition, spiritual gifts are begun at baptism and completely bestowed upon Confirmation wherein the individual confirms the parents' choice made at baptism.  in some Protestant traditions, baptism in the Holy Spirit is considered a second baptism in which the spiritual gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues, and healing are conferred.  In some of these traditions baptism in the Holy Spirit is required for salvation; in others it follows the salvation granted through baptism and repentance.

Biblical Inerrancy:  As formulated in the tract "The Fundamentals", the doctrine that the Bible is "without error or fault in all its teaching". A major doctrine of fundamentalist Christians.

Catechism: 1 : oral instruction
2 : a manual for catechizing; specifically : a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers
3 a : a set of formal questions put as a test b : something resembling a catechism especially in being a rote response or formulaic statement -- Merriam Webster Dictionary Online

Cessationism:  The view that miraculous gifts of the Spirit such as speaking in tongues and healing pertained only to the apostolic era and ceased with the closing of the New Testament canon.  Contrasted with continuationism, the belief that such spiritual gifts continue to this day.

Charisma, Charismatic: Etymology: Greek charisma favor, gift, from charizesthai to favor, from charis grace; akin to Greek chairein to rejoice -- 1 : an extraordinary power (as of healing) given a Christian by the Holy Spirit for the good of the church 2 a : a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader) b : a special magnetic charm or appeal <the charisma of a popular actor> 3 having, exhibiting, or based on charisma <charismatic sects> <charismatic leader> (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary) From the Encyclopedia Britannica Online: attribute of awesome and almost magical power and capacity ascribed by followers to the person and personality of extraordinarily magnetic leaders. Such leaders may be political and secular as well as religious. The term came into scholarly usage primarily through the works of the German
sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), especially his Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (1921; On Law in Economy and Society, 1954), in which he postulated that charismatic authority was a form of authority distinct from those of tradition and law. The process whereby charismatic authority becomes transformed, or changed, to any of the other
forms is referred to by Weber as the "routinization of charisma."

Although in current usage many popular and attractive leaders are called charismatic, in the original sense of the word only such phenomenal personages as Jesus or Napoleon merit the description charismatic.

Charismatic Christianity:  Christian denominations and movements that stress the work of the Holy Spirit as described in the New Testament, which can include spiritual gifts, healing, and speaking in tongues.

Christ: See Messiah. A term so identified with Jesus that it has become part of his name, from "Jesus, the Christ" (messiah or savior).

Christian: 1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Confirmation: an act or process of confirming : as a (1) : a Christian rite conferring the gift of the Holy Spirit and among Protestants full church membership (2) : a ceremony especially of Reform Judaism confirming youths in their faith b : the ratification of an executive act by a legislative body coming from the sense of the word meaning he action of making firm or sure; strengthening, settling, establishing (of institutions, opinions, etc.).

Creed: Etymology: from Latin credo (first word of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds), from credere to believe, trust, entrust; akin to Old Irish cretid he believes, Sanskrit srad-dadhAti
1 : a brief authoritative formula of religious belief
2 : a set of fundamental beliefs; also : a guiding principle

Devotion:  Generally, religious fervor or piety.  More specifically, an act of prayer or private worship; any religious exercise apart from regular congregational worship.

Dogma: Etymology: Latin dogmat-, dogma, from Greek, from dokein to seem
1 a : something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet b : a code of such tenets
<pedagogical dogma> c : a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Donatism: a rigorous schismatic sect arising in North Africa in the fourth century that required personal sanctity for membership and for the administration of sacraments. Vigorously opposed by Augustine.

Doubt: Etymology: alteration of Middle English douten, from Old French douter to doubt, from Latin dubitare; akin to Latin dubius dubious
1 archaic a : FEAR b : SUSPECT
2 : to be in doubt about <he doubts everyone's word>
3 a : to lack confidence in : DISTRUST <find myself doubting
him even when I know that he is honest -- H. L. Mencken> b
: to consider unlikely <I doubt if I can go>
intransitive senses : to be uncertain (Source: Merriam Webster dictionary) Another view: Doubt: "A state in which the mind is suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to assent to either of them. Opposed to certitude. . . In general, it may be said that doubt, either expressed or implied, is involved in all intellectual research. . . The faith demanded by the Christian Revelation stands on a different footing from the belief claimed by any other religion. Since it rests on divine authority, it implies an obligation to believe. . . It follows that doubt in regard to the Christian religion is equivalent to its total rejection." (Source: New Advent
Catholic Encyclopedia)

Dualism: the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature
1) a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil 2) a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements (as matter and spirit) (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Enlightenment: 1 : the act or means of enlightening : the state of being enlightened
2 capitalized : a philosophic movement of the 18th centur marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and
political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Epiphany: Etymology: Middle English epiphanie, from Middle French, from Late Latin epiphania, from Late Greek, plural, probably alteration of Greek epiphaneia appearance, manifestation, from epiphainein to manifest, from epi- + phainein to show --
1 capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ
2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery b : a revealing scene or moment (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Eschatology: Etymology: Greek eschatos last, farthest
1 : a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind
2 : a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of mankind; specifically : any of various
Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Eucharist: Etymology: Middle English eukarist, from Middle French euchariste, from Late Latin eucharistia, from Greek, Eucharist, gratitude (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Sandra Frankiel, "The Christian sacrament of receiving bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. This term is more often used for the sacrament in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, "Communion" in the Protestant."
In the Catholic and Orthodox tradition, the Eucharist is viewed as both a comnunal feast and a daily re-enactment of Christ's sacrifice upon the cross, whereas some Protestant traditions view Communion as a symbolic commemoration of Christ's last meal with his disciples. Other Christian traditions take a stance somewhere between (for example, Lutheranism). The sacrificial nature of the Eucharist is one of the elements in the Catholic understanding of priesthood: "Priesthood: "Sacrifice and priesthood are by Divine ordinance so inseparable that they are found together under all laws. Since therefore in the New Testament the Catholic Church has received from the Lord's institution the holy visible sacrifice of the Eucharist it must also be admitted that in the Church there is a new, visible and external priesthood into which the older priesthood has been changed." (
Catholic New Advent Encyclopedia)

Faith: Etymology: Middle English feith, from Old French feid, foi, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust --
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Fundamentalism: 1 a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b : the beliefs of this movement c : adherence to such beliefs
2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Gospel: "Good news". The stories of Jesus' life circulated in the early churches. Eventually four came to be accepted as scriptural: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Grace: Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin gratia favor, charm, thanks, from gratus pleasing, grateful; akin to Sanskrit grnAti he praises
1 a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

Heresy: Etymology: Middle English heresie, from Old French, from Late Latin haeresis, from Late Greek hairesis, from Greek, action of taking, choice, sect, from hairein to take
1 a : adherence to a religious opinion contrary to dogma b : denial of a revealed truth by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church c : an opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma
2 a : dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice b : an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards (Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary)

Hermeneutics: Etymology: Greek hermEneutikos, from hermEneuein to interpret, from hermEneus interpreter: the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible) (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Humanism: 1 a : devotion to the humanities : literary culture b : the revival of classical letters, individualistic and critical spirit, and emphasis on secular concerns characteristic of the Renaissance
3 : a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially : a philosophy that usually
rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason

Icon: Etymology: Latin, from Greek eikOn, from eikenai to resemble
1 : a usually pictorial representation : IMAGE
2 [Late Greek eikOn, from Greek] : a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : IDOL
4 : EMBLEM, SYMBOL <the house became an icon of 1860's residential architecture -- Paul Goldberger>
5 a : a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning b : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that suggests the purpose of an available function

Iconoclasm: 1)  the rejection or destruction of religious images as heretical; the doctrine of iconoclasts.  The belief that the veneration of images is prohibited.  A major controversy within the medieval Byzantine Empire, eventually resolved with the full restoration of icons and the rejection of iconoclasm. 2) more generally, the action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices.

Incarnation: the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form; capitalized : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ

Indulgence: 1 : remission of part or all of the temporal and especially purgatorial punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins whose eternal punishment has been remitted and whose guilt has been pardoned (as through the sacrament of reconciliation) -- Merriam Webster Dictionary

A Catholic definition: The word indulgence (Lat. indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Is., lxi, 1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio. . . . An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive. For a more complete discussion, see The Catholic Encyclopedia Online

Infallibility, Papal Doctrine: In the Roman Catholic Church, the doctrine that the Church, through divine assistance, cannot err in dogmatic teachings regarding faith and morals. Note: The circumstances of infallibility are narrowly circumscribed. Not all papal pronouncements or communications are considered infallible.  (Source:   The Catholic Encyclopedia Online.).

Inquisition: Etymology: Middle English inquisicioun, from Middle French inquisition, from Latin inquisition-, inquisitio, from inquirere 1 : the act of inquiring : EXAMINATION
2 : a judicial or official inquiry or examination usually before a jury; also : the finding of the jury
3 a capitalized : a former Roman Catholic tribunal for the discovery and punishment of heresy (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary) Note: The Inquistion was formally instituted in the 1220s to stamp out Cathar heresy in southern France. It was re-established in Spain after 1492 to execute converted but "relapsed" Jews (Marranos) there. The last execution under the Inquistion occurred in Toledo in the eighteenth century.

Justification: From Old French, "to judge", "to make righteous". The action of justifying or showing something to be just, right, or proper; vindication of oneself or another; exculpation. Theologically, the action whereby humans are justified, or freed from the penalty of sin, and accounted or made righteous by God; the fact or condition of being so justified.

Catholic definition: "A biblio-ecclesiastical term; which denotes the transforming of the sinner from the state of unrighteousness to the state of holiness and sonship of God. Considered as an act (actus justificationis), justification is the work of God alone, presupposing, however, on the part of the adult the process of justification and the cooperation of his free will with God's preventing and helping grace (gratia praeveniens et cooperans). Considered as a state or habit (habitus justificationis), it denotes the continued possession of a quality inherent in the soul, which theologians aptly term sanctifying grace. Since the sixteenth century great differences have existed between Protestants and Catholics regarding the true nature of justification. See related article on GRACE." Source: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

A Protestant definition: The summary, then, of the Protestant view is as follows: God declares a sinner to be righteous the moment the sinner, despairing of his own inherent righteousness, clings to the righteousness of Christ as sufficient for presenting him to God as holy and without blame. It is a declaration, and not a process; it occurs at the beginning of the Christian life, not at the end; it is merited by Christ, not in any sense by the believer; it is complete, not partial; it is declared on the basis of Christs righteousness, not the believers, and it is received by faith alone, not by faith and obedience. The believing sinner is changed and will continue to change, but such changes effected by God in the soul are in no way the basis for justification. Source: Alliance of Confessing Individuals. For a longer explanation of the development of this doctrine by Protestant reformers, see the following article in the Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Laity or Lay People: 1 : the people of a religious faith as distinguished from its clergy
2 : the mass of the people as distinguished from those of a particular profession or those specially skilled

Meeting House:  Quaker term for the buildings in which they gather for quiet meditation.

Messiah: Hebrew, "the anointed one". In Christian thought, the messiah is identified with Jesus and defined as a divine savior rather than a human king who inaugurates an earthly reign of peace and justice. The term "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of "messiah".

Mystical Body of the Church/Christ: "The analogy borne by any society of men to an organism is sufficiently manifest. In every society the constituent individuals are united, as are also the members of a body, to effect a common end; while the parts they severally play correspond to the functions of the bodily organs. They form a moral unity. This, of course, is true of the Church, but the Church has also a unity of a higher order; it is not merely a moral but a mystical body. This truth, that the Church is the mystical body of Christ, all its members being guided and directed by Christ the head, is set forth by St. Paul in various passages, more especially in Ephesians 4:4-13 (cf. John 15:5-8). The doctrine may be summarized as follows: The members of the Church are bound together by a supernatural life communicated to them by Christ through the sacraments (ibid., 5). Christ is the centre and source of life to Whom all are united, and Who endows each one with gifts fitting him for his position in the body (ibid., 7-12). These graces, through which each is equipped for his work, form it into an organized whole, whose parts are knit together as though by a system of ligaments and joints (ibid., 16; Col. 2:19). Through them, too, the Church has its growth and increase, growing in extension as it spreads through the world, and intensively as the individual Christian develops in himself the likeness of Christ (ibid., 13-15). In virtue of this union the Church is the fulness or complement (pleroma) of Christ (Eph. 1:23). It forms one whole with Him; and the Apostle even speaks of the Church as "Christ" (1 Cor. 12:12)." (Source: New Catholic Advent Encyclopedia)

Myth: 1) a narrative concerning sacred reality and its relationship to humanity . . . designed to disclose the ultimate truth about human questions. --Lawrence Cunningham, John Kelsay, R. M. Barineau, Heather McVoy, ed., The Sacred Quest

2) The word itself comes from the Greek "mythos" which originally meant "speech" or "discourse" but which later came to mean "fable" or "legend". In this document the word "myth" will be defined as a story of forgotten or vague origin, basically religious or supernatural in nature, which seeks to explain or rationalize one or more aspects of the world or a society. . . Our definition is thus clearly distinguished from the use of the word myth in everyday speech which basically refers to any unreal or imaginary story. A myth is also distinctly different from an allegory or parable which is a story deliberately made up to illustrate some moral point but which has never been assumed to be true by anyone. --Source: Encyclopedia Mythica

3) a complex of stories . . . which, for various reasons, human beings regard as demonstrations of the inner meaning of the universe and of human life. -- Alan Watts, Myth and Ritual in Christianity

4) a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Passion (of Christ): Etymology: suffering (of martyrs): the narratives in the gospels depicting Jesus's trial, sufferings, and death

Pelagianism: the theological doctrine, propounded by Pelagius (4th century British monk), and opposed by Augustine, that denies original sin and affirms the human ability for goodness through the exercise of free will. Condemned by the Catholic Church in 416.

Predestination: 1 : the act of predestinating : the state of being predestinated
2 : the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are
destined for salvation (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary); also 3) The action by which God is held to have immutably determined all (or some particular) events by an eternal decree or purpose; 4)The action of God (held by Christians generally) in foreordaining or appointing from all eternity certain of mankind through grace to salvation and eternal life (Source: Oxford English Dictionary) and see also:
Encyclopedia Britannica: in Christianity, the doctrine that God has eternally chosen those whom he intends to save. In modern usage, predestination is distinct from both determinism and fatalism and is subject to the free decision of the human moral will; but the doctrine also teaches that salvation is due entirely to the eternal decree of God. (see article for fuller explanation of predestination in the history of Christianity)

Priesthood: Generally, the clergy ordained to perform sacraments.

"Sacrifice and priesthood are by Divine ordinance so inseparable that they are found together under all laws. Since therefore in the New Testament the Catholic Church has received from the Lord's institution the holy visible sacrifice of the Eucharist it must also be admitted that in the Church there is a new, visible and external priesthood into which the older priesthood has been changed." But the Sacrifice of the Mass indicates only one side of the priesthood; the other side is revealed in the power of forgiving sin, for the exercise of which the priesthood is just as necessary as it is for the power of consecrating and sacrificing. The three essentials of a sacrament--outward sign, interior grace, and institution by Christ--are found in the priestly ordination. As said above, the official powers of the priest are intimately connected with the sacramental character, indelibly imprinted on his soul. Together with this character is conferred, not only the power of offering up the Sacrifice of the Mass and the (virtual) power of forgiving sins, but also authority to administer extreme unction and, as the regular minister, solemn baptism. Only in virtue of an extraordinary faculty received from the pope is a priest competent to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. (Source: Catholic New Advent Encyclopedia)

Protestantism: Etymology: Middle French, from Latin protestant-, protestans, present participle of protestari
1 capitalized a : any of a group of German princes and cities presenting a defense of freedom of conscience against an edict of the Diet of Spires in 1529 intended to suppress the Lutheran movement b : a member of any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth; broadly : a Christian not of a Catholic or Eastern church
2 : one who makes or enters a protest (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Radical: Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin radicalis, Latin radic-, radix root -- more at ROOT
1 : of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as a (1) : of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2) :
growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves> b : of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root c : of or relating to a mathematical root d : designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue <radical surgery>
2 : of or relating to the origin : FUNDAMENTAL
3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : EXTREME b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c : of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right> (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Redemption: Etymology: from the Latin, to buy back: 1) 1. a. Deliverance from sin and its consequences by the atonement of Jesus Christ. 2) The action of freeing a prisoner, captive, or slave by payment; ransom.3) The action of freeing, delivering, or restoring in some way. (Oxford English Dictionary)

Reformation: From Latin: to form again; reform is defined as either: 1 a : to put or change into an improved form or condition b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses
or 2 : to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action
1 capitalized : a 16th century religious movement marked ultimately by rejection or modification of some Roman
Catholic doctrine and practice and establishment of the Protestant churches (Source:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Resurrection: from Late Latin resurrection-, resurrectio act of rising from the dead, from resurgere to rise from the dead, from Latin, to rise again, from re- + surgere to rise
1 a capitalized : the rising of Christ from the dead b often capitalized : the rising again to life of all the human dead
before the final judgment c : the state of one risen from the dead
3 Christian Science : a spiritualization of thought : material belief that yields to spiritual understanding (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Revelation:1 re·veal; Etymology: Middle English revelen, from Middle French reveler, from Latin revelare to uncover, reveal, from re- + velare to cover, veil, from velum veil
1 : to make known through divine inspiration 2 : to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known <reveal a secret> 3 : to open up to view : DISPLAY <the uncurtained window revealed a cluttered room> - re·veal·able /-'vE-l&-b&l/ adjective - re·veal·er noun synonyms REVEAL, DISCLOSE, DIVULGE, TELL, BETRAY mean to make known what has been or should be concealed. REVEAL may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason <divine will as revealed in sacred writings>. --Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Encyclopedia Britannica: in religion, disclosure of divine or sacred reality or purpose to man. Revelation in this sense is an essential aspect of all religions, although the specific forms it takes in particular traditions vary widely. The forms of revelation can generally be portrayed as lying somewhere along a spectrum between two contrasting types. On the one hand, in religious traditions that posit a high degree of conformity between temporal and transcendent reality, the cosmos itself is viewed as the primary medium through which the transcendent is disclosed. In religions of this general type, revealed reality is usually conceived of as more or less nonpersonal. Revelation in this context may be characterized as "cosmic." On the other hand, in traditions emphasizing the discontinuity between the profane realm and the sacred, revelation occurs as historical event, signifying the transmission of divine will through a human receiver. Such revelation, in which the divine is perceived as a personal entity, is generally termed "prophetic."
A notable example of the first type is the inspired poetry of the ancient Indian Vedas, which portray the natural world as a system of interconnecting powers that ultimately express the single underlying divine power, Brahman. Buddhist enlightenment and many of the forms of "hierophany," or manifestations of the sacred, that characterize the archaic religions described by the religious historian Mircea Eliade also constitute cosmic revelation.
The religion of ancient Israel, by contrast, was founded on revelation of the prophetic type, wherein the prophet bears personal witness to the acts and will of a sovereign deity standing in distinction from the world as its creator and judge. On the basis of this tradition, all of Judaic and subsequent Christian biblical literature is regarded as, to a greater or lesser extent, revealed. Oracular pronouncements and the teachings of Zoroaster and Muhammad are other examples of prophetic revelation.
Such a typology is useful for indicating the degree of diversity to be found among world religions, but it can also lead to misunderstanding if applied as a norm rather than as a heuristic device. Although the Vedas, for example, were cited above as an example of cosmic revelation, the texts also contain elements of prophetic disclosure, namely a discourse that does not merely describe the cosmos but enjoins transformative action within it. Conversely, the Scriptures of the ancient Hebrews include cosmic elements, as evinced most notably in the so-called wisdom literature.

Rule of Faith: Generally, the ultimate standard or authority in Christian belief. The Catholic Church defines that standard as the Church itself, because the Church comprises the Bible and Christian tradition as defined by the papacy, citing Aquinas: "it is certain that the judgement of the universal church cannot possibly err in matters pertaining to the faith, hence we must stand by the decisions which the pope judicially pronounces than by the opinions of men, however learned they may be in Holy Scripture" ( Catholic Encyclopedia Online). Protestants generally hold that the Bible alone is the ultimate standard and that each Christian has the ability to understand the Bible without needing clerical interpretation.

Sacrament: A formal religious rite regarded as sacred for its perfect ability to convey divine blessing; in some traditions (especially Protestant) it is regarded as not effective in itself but as a sign or symbol of spiritual reality (Frankiel, Christianity). According to Catholic tradition, sacraments are Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for human sanctification. In contrast to Protestantism, " the sacraments of the Christian dispensation are not mere signs; they do not merely signify Divine grace, but in virtue of their Divine institution, they cause that grace in the souls of men." (Catholic Encyclopedia Online)

Sacramentalism: belief in or use of sacramental rites, acts, or objects; specifically : belief that the sacraments are inherently efficacious and necessary for salvation (Merriam Webster Dictionary).

Taking the word "sacrament" in its broadest sense, as the sign of something sacred and hidden (the Greek word is "mystery"), we can say that the whole world is a vast sacramental system, in that material things are unto men the signs of things spiritual and sacred, even of the Divinity. "The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands" (Ps. xviii, 2). The invisible things of him [i.e. God], from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity" (Rom., i, 20). (Catholic Encyclopedia Online)

Salvation: Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin salvation-, salvatio, from salvare to save -- more at SAVE
1 a : deliverance from the power and effects of sin b : the agent or means that effects salvation c Christian Science : the realization of the supremacy of infinite Mind over all bringing with it the destruction of the illusion of sin, sickness, and death 2 : liberation from ignorance or illusion 3 a : preservation from destruction or failure b : deliverance from danger or difficulty (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Sanctification:  Generally, the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion (Source: Merrriam Webster dictionary), in other words, a second stage in spiritual life after baptism, often but not always followed by the third stage, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  A hallmark of the Protestant Wesleyan tradition.  Some pentecostal groups have maintained this belief; others stress sanctification and baptism of the Holy Spirit as simultaneous gifts.

Simony: Etymology: Middle English symonie, from Late Latin simonia, from Simon Magus, Samaritan sorcerer in Acts 8:9-24
the buying or selling of a church office or ecclesiastical preferment (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Soul: 1 : the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2 a : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
3 : a person's total self (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Steeple-Houses:  A term used by George Fox and early Quakers to describe churches.  Quakers do not call their buildings churches.  See Meeting House.

Synoptic Gospels: from the Greek, "seen in one view" --the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, so called because they have parallel structure and content. Matthew and Luke are thought to have used Mark plus another source often called Q (from the German Quelle, "source"); each also has some independent content not in the other gospels.

Transubstantiation: The changing of one substance into another, hence: The conversion in the Eucharist of the whole substance of the bread into the body and of the wine into the blood of Christ, only the appearances (and other ‘accidents’) of bread and wine remaining: according to the doctrine of the Roman Church (Oxford English Dictionary)

Treasury of Merits: The Catholic belief that the merits of Christ and of the saints, which form the "Treasury" of the Church, are available to all the faithful

Trinity: Etymology: Middle English trinite, from Old French trinité, from Late Latin trinitat-, trinitas state of being threefold, from Latin trinus threefold
1 : the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead according to Christian dogma

Defined at the Council of Nicaea, 325: "One God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth . . . and in one Lord Jesus Chirst . . . begotten of the Father before all worlds . . . begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father . . . and in the Holy Spirit . . . who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the son together is worshipped and glorified."

Xenoglossia: The ability to speak in a foreign language previously unknown to the speaker

Zion: An ancient name for Jerusalem.