Life has questions, Jesus has answers
ב"ה
A helpful dictionary

Dictionary

Apostle

A person who has been sent out on a specific mission to represent someone. The apostle carries the authority of the person who sent him.

It is known in Judaism as a "Shaliach" and in Christianity as the men who founded the first Christian congregations and wrote the Apostolic Scripture.

Apostolic Scripture

The writings of the apostles in the first century. Since they all had first hand experience with the Messiah, they have extra authority and are foundational for Messianic faith.

They are collected in the "New Testament".

Baptism

Immersion of a person in water. Symbolic of being born again, leaving the old life behind and entering into something new.

Besorah

Good news. The Hebrew word for "Gospel". Has a military tone and literally refers to victory in war, as in God's victory over Satan, sin and death.

Communion

See "The Lord's supper".

Disciple

A student. Traditionally sitting at the Rabbi's feet and learning all the teachings of the rabbi by repetition and practice in daily life.

Essenes

A Jewish sect focusing on piety and celibacy. Lived separate from the rest of society, near the Dead Sea. Authors of the Dead Sea scrolls. Active in the days of Jesus, but are not mentioned in Apostolic Scripture.

Gemara

A detailed analysis and commentary of the Mishnah. Often written as discussions between the rabbis. It is very valuable in understanding the context and the practical interpretation of the Torah.

Gentile

A non-jew.

Ger

This is a Hebrew word which literally means "stranger". Often referring to the role of the stranger inside Israel.

Gospel

The good news about the Messiah, as testified by the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The first four books in the Apostolic Scripture are gospels.

Goy

See "Gentile. This is the Hebrew word.

Halacha

Jewish law. A specific interpretation on how to fulfill a commandment. Many discussions in Talmud are about correct halacha. Summaries of halacha can be found in books like Shulchan Aruch.

Kingdom of God

See "Messianic Age".

Kohen

A priest within Judaism. Must be a direct descendent of Aaron.

Kohen Gadol

The High Priest. Had the special privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, once a year, on Yom Kippur.

Machloket

A dispute on halacha.

Mashiach

See "Messiah". This is the Hebrew version of the word.

Mashiach Ben David

See "Messiah son of David".

Mashiach Ben Yosef

See "Messiah son of Joseph".

Messiah

A king or High Priest. It literally means "anointed with oil" and refers to the procedure when someone is crowned to be king or inaugurated as high priest. It almost always refers to God's Messiah, the King of Kings and High Priest in the Heavenly Temple.

Messiah son of David

The ruling Messiah. This is Jesus when He comes the second time.

Messiah son of Joseph

The suffering Messiah who dies for the sin of His people. This is Jesus when he came the first time.

Messianic Age

1000 years of peace on earth, after the return of the Messiah and the first resurrection from the dead. This is a reward for the righteous and the glorious age for Israel. It is also called the kingdom of God.

Midrash

The word has three major meanings:
  1. A way of interpreting the Torah, where new deeper meanings are found in the text, e.g. through numerical values, deviating grammar or parallell verses.
  2. Extra storys about the characters in the Torah that give a more detailed background of their lives and motives.
  3. A chronological commentary of the Torah, based on the 54 Torah sections. It may also contain law interpretation. Among the biggest Midrashic commentaries are: Midrash Rabbah and Tanchuma.

Mishnah

The first written version of the Jewish oral teachings. It contains many technical and practical details on how to practice Judaism.

Compiled by Yehuda HaNasi around year 200.

New Testament

See "Apostolic Scriptures".

The term literally means "New Covenant" and refers to the Messianic Age (Jeremiah 31:31-40). To avoid confusion, we try to use the term "Apostolic Scriptures" to clarify that we are referring to the books and not to the Messianic Age.

Parashah

A section of the Torah. There are 54 sections, which are continuously read in a yearly cycle, one section per week. They are not referred to by number, but by name, e.g. "Toledot". Sometimes two sections are read in a week, depending on if it's a leap year or not.

Pharisees

A religious movement from the Hasmonean period, active in the days of Jesus, opposing the Sadducees. They later became the foundation for Rabbinic Judaism.

There were eight kinds of Pharisees (Sotah 22b, J. Berachot 14b), but only one of those kinds were good. Jesus had both friends and enemies within the Pharisees and pronounced woes over seven of the groups (Matthew 23:13-36).

Rabbi

An honorary title of a person who has learned sufficient amounts of Torah and Jewish law to represent God's Torah officially.

Redeemer

A person who pays the price to set you free from something, or to return something to you that was lost, usually an inheritance. The word is used about slaves, inherited land and the sinful state of mankind among other things.

Replacement theology

Any kind of teaching that replaces or removes Israel's unique promises and roles in the Bible. Typically, it denies Israel the right to live in their land, disqualifies them as the chosen people of God, or rejects their authority of interpreting the Torah.

Rosh HaShanah

The Jewish New Year. Also called the feast of trumpets. It is symbolic of the return of the Messiah.

Sadduccees

A very corrupt sect of the Jews that controlled the priesthood and much of the Sanhedrin in the days of Jesus. They were opponents of the Pharisees, did not believe in life after death and were rightly considered heretics.

They also had Jesus killed.

Salvation

When a person is transferred from death to life, from sin to righteousness and is no longer under God's wrath.

Sanhedrin

A judicial court in Judaism. There are two kinds of Sanhedrin:
  • Lesser Sanhedrin. Has 23 judges. Can be found in every city.
  • Great Sanhedrin. Has 71 judges. Can only be found in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount.
If not specified which Sanhedrin, the Great Sanhedrin is inferred. Only a Sanhedrin could issue a death penalty. Jesus was judged to death by a Sanhedrin, but under incorrect circumstances. The trial was not legally binding.

School of Hillel

A school of thought within the Pharisees, founded by Hillel, who lived just before Jesus. It is more liberal than Shammai. Jesus' teaching was mostly in line with Hillel (except concerning divorce). Modern Judaism is based on Hillel (as opposed to Shammai).

School of Shammai

A school of thought within the Pharisees, founded by Shammai, who lived just before Jesus. Their interpretations of Torah are very strict. They are often mentioned alongside with Hillel, who was softer, when halacha is discussed.

Shaliach

See "Apostle"

Sukkot

This is the big harvest feast in the autumn, seven days long. It is also called "The great feast", because of the great joy during those days, or "The feast of tabernacles" because of the small, temporary shelters that you sit in when you eat and celebrate. It symbolizes the Kingdom of God on earth.

Talmud

A compilation of the Gemara and the Mishna. It is based on topics, with six major divisions. There are two versions of the Talmud, one from Babylon and one from Jerusalem. If no version is specified, the Babylonian is inferred. 

Tanak

A Hebrew abbreviation for three sections of the Bible:
  • Torah
  • Prophets
  • Scriptures
The first Hebrew letter of every section (T, N, K), together with a vowel ("a"), creates the word "Tanak".

Tetragrammaton

God's Name. Consists of four Hebrew letters. It is currently not pronounced, instead circumlocutions are used. However, it will be pronounced again in the Messianic Age.

The Lord's supper

The last meal of Jesus together with His disciples, on the day before Passover, when He declared the New Covenant through His blood. It is still celebrated today in remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Torah

This is the five books of Moses, the first books in the Bible and the foundation of everything that follows.

Tzitzit

Tassels at the corners of certain Jewish clothings. According to a commandment in the Torah.

Yeshua

The Hebrew / Aramaic version of "Jesus".

Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement. An important holiday when we collectively seek forgiveness on a personal and national level.