Glossary of Christian & Religious Terms
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J (Book of J)
Unknown source.


Son of Isaac, father of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 25-50).

Jacob's Ladder

The ladder from earth to heaven that Jacob saw in a dream (Genesis 28:12).


One of three Christians of the New Testament: James son of Zebedee was one of the original twelve apostles of Jesus, later known as Saint James the Greater (July 25); James son of Alphaeus was another of the original twelve apostles, later known as Saint James the Less (May 1); James the brother of Jesus, although not one of the apostles, was a disciple and leader in the church at Jerusalem and is considered by many to have written the letter in the New Testament which bears his name.


The doctrines of Cornelis Jansen (1585-1638), a Dutch Roman Catholic theologian who believed in predestination, denied free will, and held that man, though depraved in nature, is unable to resist God's grace.


Latin Juris Canonici Doctor, Doctor of Canon Law.


Pronounced spelling of JHVH (also Jahveh, Jahve, Jahweh, and Jahwe), another variation of the Tetragrammaton - the four consonants for the Hebrew name for God (YHWH, or Yahweh), transliterated instead as JHVH or JHWH (although J is absent from the Hebrew language). Jehovah is ascribed to the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew, popularly used during the Middle Ages by Latin Bible translators and throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in non-Catholic Bibles, such as the King James Version. The vowels used in its pronunciation come from the vowels in the Hebrew Adonai, meaning "Lord." Jehovah represents the ineffable name of God uttered by God himself in Exodus 3:14 as "I AM."

Jehovah's Witnesses

A proselytizing Christian sect founded in the late 19th century by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) and corporately known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The name Jehovah's Witnesses was adopted in 1931 and is based on Isaiah 43:10, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." Jehovah's Members are taught how to teach and preach from the Witness's own translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. They are lead locally by unpaid spiritual elders, all under the oversight of international zone, circuit, and district servants from branch offices, with headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The Watchtower Society boasts over one million publications distributed worldwide every day, including Awake! and The Watchtower - Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom. Witnesses do not consider Jesus to be the incarnation of God, rather, he was Jehovah God's first created being who died on a stake as a ransom for all obedient humans by his perfect life and was raised not physically, but spiritually as an example for those who remain faithful to spreading God's word.


Eusebius Hieronymos Sophronius (c. A.D. 340-420), a monk and early Christian scholar who wrote the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible. A saint whose observed day is September 30.


A member of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order for men founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1534. The name basically means a follower of Jesus (Modern Latin Jesuita).


Hebrew Yeshu'a, a variant of Joshua ("help of Jehovah").


Hebrew Yehudi, a member of the tribe or kingdom of Judah; someone descended from the ancient Hebrews; a person whose religion is Judaism.

Jewish Calendar

Historical Jewish calendar established in 3761 B.C. and based on the cycles of the moon (lunar), with 354 days in a year. A full day is from sunset to sunset. The start of the calendar begins in late September or early October, the months of which are: 1. Tishri (30 days); 2. Heshvan (29-30 days); 3. Kislev (29-30 days); 4. Tebet (29 days); 5. Shebat (30 days); 6. Adar (29-30 days); 7. Nisan (30 days); 8. Iyar (29 days); 9. Sivan (30 days); 10. Tammuz (29 days); 11. Ab (30 days); 12. Elul (29 days). About once every three years (seven times in each nineteen years) an extra month, Veadar or Adar Sheni (29 days), falls between Adar and Nisan.

Joan of Arc

Jeanne d' Arc (1412-31), French heroine who defeated the English at Orléans in 1429, later burned at the stake for witchcraft. Also known as the Maid of Orléans.


Job's Comforter is a person who aggravates one's misery while attempting or pretending to comfort (Job 16:1-5).

John the Baptist

Forerunner and baptizer of Jesus who was killed by Herod (Matthew 3).


Josephus Flavius (A.D. 37-101), a Jewish court historian for Emperor Vespasian who, in A.D. 93 in Rome, published an account of the history of the Jews. This included a brief account of Jesus, describing him as a wise man and doer of wonders, and who was condemned to the cross by Pilate. Josephus also wrote of John the Baptist and his death by Herod and the death of James, the brother of Jesus.


Hebrew yodh, the smallest bit, Latin and Greek iota, "i" -- the smallest letter or a very small thing. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matthew 5:18 NIV). The KJV renders this verse as "one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." A tittle is a small mark, such as the dot over an i.


The fourth son of Jacob and the tribe which descended from him; the southern kingdom of the Hebrews consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, from which Israel broke in the tenth century B.C. (1 Kings 12:1-24, 2 Chronicles 10). The Israelites rebelled against the harsh rule of Rehoboam, successor to Solomon, splitting the Jewish country into two kingdoms - Judah and Israel. King Rehoboam remained in Jerusalem, retaining the lineage of David, while Jeroboam son of Nebat became king of the ten tribes of Israel to the north.


A collection of books, papers, objects, data, etc. having to do with Jews or Judaism. Many of the newer Old Testament translations were based on the Biblia Hebraica, or Hebrew Bible composed by Rudolph Kittel in 1906 and revised in 1912, which itself was based on one of the most reliable Hebrew translations known as the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text by Rabbi Abraham Ben Chayyim in 1524. There have been further revisions and releases of the Biblia Hebraica under various names, including the popular 1966 Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia by German rationalists.


The Jewish, monotheistic religion based on the laws and teachings of the Talmud; the observance of Jewish laws, traditions, customs, and ceremonies.


Judas Iscariot (man of Kerioth), one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the one who betrayed him (Matthew 26:14, 48); Judas son of James (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3, Luke 6:13-16, John 14:22), of whom some consider the author of Jude (a variant of Judas) in the New Testament, and the brother of Jesus and James; Judas Maccabaeus (Aramaic, "the hammer"), led a Jewish revolt against the Syrians between 175-164 B.C. and ruled Palestine until 37 B.C. (recorded in the Old Testament Apocryphal books of I and II Maccabees).


Ancient region of southern Palestine under Persian, Greek, and Roman rule between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, corresponding roughly to the biblical Judah.


A book of the Bible recounting the rule of the tribes of Israel by individual judges beginning in 1375 B.C., and believed to have been written between the twelfth and eleventh centuries B.C. Although the author is unknown, some identify it as the work of Samuel, Israel's last judge. It is primarily about Israel's disobedience against the Lord during the following several hundred years after the conquest of Canaan, between the death of Joshua and the birth of Samuel (a period of over 325 years), during which time Israel was without central leadership and "everyone did as he saw fit" (Judges 17:6). God punishes Israel's rebellion with foreign invaders, then sends judges (saviors) to save them when they repent. There were thirteen judges in all, including Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson, and Samuel. The oldest extant Hebrew document of any size is the Song of Deborah in the fifth chapter, dated from the twelfth century B.C.


Justice from God, particularly a misfortune considered a punishment from God.

Judgment Day

The time of God's final judgment of all people; end of the world; doomsday.


Hebrew Yehudhith (feminine of Judah, Yehudhah), a book of the Apocrypha and the Douay Bible about a woman who saved her people by killing Herlofernes.

Justification by Faith

The act by which a sinner is freed through faith from the penalty of sin and is accepted by God as righteous.


Latin Justinus (c. A.D. 100-165), Christian apologist and martyr from Samaria, often known as Justin Martyr, observed April 14.

        I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying tp pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galations 1:6-9)

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  Reference Sources: Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition, published by Prentice Hall Press, ©1986 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Collier's Encyclopedia, ©1968 Crowell-Collier Educational Corporation; Larson's New Book of Cults, ©1982 and 1989 by Bob Larson, printed by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Jewish Virtual Library (