Aaronic blessing

"Aaronic"–derived from the name of the first high priest, Aaron

Three-part blessing formulation recorded in Numbers 6: 24-26



From Latin: accidere = "to occur"

The term "accidence" refers to the outward manifestation: e.g. at Holy Communion, the wafer is the outward manifestation of the elements of Communion.



From 1 Peter 3: 21 in the New King James Version of the Bible. In this context, the term refers to an example or foreshadowing of baptism.



One of the four distinguishing features of the church (notae ecclesiae)

On the one hand, apostolicity incorporates apostolic doctrine, and on the other hand, the activity of the Apostles.


canon, canonical (adj.)

From Greek: kanón, Latin canon = "standard", "guideline"

Today this term refers to the binding compilation of the writings of the Old and New Testaments.



A practice in which a medium permits his mind to be controlled by "spirit guides" (often purported to be those of the dead) for the purpose of communicating with them and/or asking them for guidance.



From Latin: concupiscere = "to ardently desire", "to crave", "to seek after"

Technical theological term describing the human inclination to sin



From Latin confessio = "profession"

Creed, church affiliation (originally only in reference to the Christian denominations)



The doctrine that the substances of Christ’s body and blood are joined to the substances of bread and wine during the consecration of Holy Communion.



The status of being the Creator. This term applies to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, since each of the three divine persons share in the creation of all things.



From Latin denominatio = "identification", "designation"

A non-judgemental term used to denote a religious community



Title assigned to a document that came into being in Syria in approximately AD 100, which contains the oldest description of how the Christian church was organised


divine Sonship

The Lord Jesus’ status as the Son of God.

The fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.



Glorification of God

For example, the concluding words of the Lord’s Prayer–"For Yours is the kingdom ..."–are designated as a doxology.


Ecumenical Councils

In general, the seven gatherings of Bishops convened in the period between AD 325 and AD 787 are designated as the "Ecumenical Councils", for example the first Council of Nicaea (AD 325), the first Council of Constantinople (AD 381), and the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451).


Enlightenment, the

Designation for an era (in the eighteenth century) which spread from Europe, in which rational thought was accorded the highest level of priority. Associated with it was a devaluation of the revealed religions in favour of a faith based solely on human reason.


eschatology, eschatological (adj.)

Doctrine of the last things

This refers both to the future of the individual human being (personal eschatology) as well as to the completion of world history


Eucharistic prayer

The prayer of thanksgiving in response to God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice, which is spoken by the officiant after the absolution is pronounced. The term "Eucharist" is derived from the Greek word eucharistein, which means "to give thanks".



The fact that a particular biblical personage or event is also rooted in the reality of acknowledged world history.



From the Greek: "foundation", "entity"

A manifestation of the divine being, today a term designating "person" in the context of the Trinity; the three divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit


Hypostatic Union, doctrine of

The teaching that Jesus Christ is both true God and true Man. This understanding is derived from Holy Scripture and enshrined in the creeds of the early church. This is also known as the teaching of the dual nature of Christ.


inaugural vision

First vision associated with a divine calling, for example Isaiah, when he was called to be a prophet (Isaiah 6: 1-8)



"Words of the Lord"

This technical term denotes compilations in which the words of Jesus Christ are summarised.



Greek: logos = "word"

According to the prologue in the gospel of John–"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1: 1)–the logos is the manifestation of God in His Son Jesus Christ. Christ is thus the logos. In His person He Himself is the eternal Word of God.



Designation for Mary’s song of praise as recorded in Luke 1: 46-55, corresponding to the first few words in the Latin translation of the Bible: "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" ("My soul magnifies the Lord")



The affirmation that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah–He is the Redeemer sent by God.



Derived from the ancient Greek words nekrós (dead body) and manteía ("prophecy", "divination"); this term refers to the practice of conjuring and communicating with the spirits of the dead. This practice is prohibited by God.


office of Peter / Petrine office

This term refers to the special status conferred upon Simon Peter by Jesus Christ, when the latter referred to him as the rock upon which He would build His church. This special status also brings with it the authority of the keys to the kingdom of heaven (i.e. the authority to bind and to loose; cf. Matthew 16: 18-19). In the New Apostolic Church, this office is exercised by the Chief Apostle.


original sin

The doctrine that all human beings are born into a state of remoteness and separation from God, owing to Adam and Eve’s fall into sin (Romans 5: 12-21). Mankind is sinful by nature, and because of this inclination to sin (concupiscence), is necessarily distant from God. This state of remoteness is eliminated through baptism.



From Greek: paráklçtos = "He who has been summoned to help"

This is how the Holy Spirit is described in the gospel of John (John 14: 16, 26; 15: 26). He is the Support, Intercessor, Helper, and Comforter.



The status of being a person. This term is applied both to human beings and to the individual hypostases of the triune God.



The existence of Christ before time, during time, and forever



From Latin propitiâre ("to appease"); the act of appeasing a deity to incur divine favour and/or avoid divine displeasure. In Christian teaching, this was accomplished through Jesus’ sinless sacrifice on the cross, whereby He took the displeasure, wrath, and indignation of God, which resulted from the sinfulness of mankind, upon Himself (Hebrews 2: 14-18).


rapture, the

The moment when Jesus Christ will return and take His bride unto Himself. Both the living bridal congregation and the dead in Christ will be caught up to God at this moment (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17).


real presence

The doctrine that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in Holy Communion (as contrasted with "spiritual presence", i.e. presence in the spirit)


salvation history

The past, present, and future account of God’s activity to save mankind. Also known as the "history of salvation", this term is used in reference to the works of God in human history as opposed to the accounts of secular human history.



Of, for, or pertaining to, salvation.


-salvific activity

-works of salvation; saving actions; used in reference to the works of God upon mankind for their salvation


-salvific effect

-effect for salvation; saving effect (e.g. the salvific effect of the sacraments)


-salvific power

-capacity for salvation; ability or means to save; the power of God for salvation contained in the sacraments, the word, etc.


self-abasement (of Christ)

The abased and humbled state of the Son of God (Philippians 2: 5-11). This term refers to the fact that Christ left the glory of the Godhead and "made Himself of no reputation", thus lowering (or abasing) Himself to the level of "bondservant" (i.e. a slave) for the salvation of mankind. This humbled state already began at His birth (for example, He was born in a manger in a stable), but progressed even further, in that He ultimately allowed Himself to be degraded to the level of a criminal, at which time He was scourged, mocked, spit upon, given a crown of thorns, etc., however He remained humble and obedient to God even to the point of death on the cross.



The manner in which God made Himself (i.e. His nature, essence, and will) known to human beings. Examples of God’s self-revelation include the creation, His intervention in history, and the sending of His Son. God reveals Himself as a triune God, namely as God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit.


transcendence (noun)

That aspect of God’s nature and power which is completely beyond, and independent of, the physical creation


transcendent (adj.)

Above and beyond this world; having an ongoing and uninterrupted existence beyond the physical creation; free from the constraints of the physical creation


According to Catholic doctrine, the transformation of the substances of bread and wine into the true body and the true blood of Jesus Christ during the Lord’s Supper


World Council of Churches (WCC)

Largest worldwide association of Christian churches, established in Amsterdam in 1948 and headquartered in Geneva

Currently there are approximately 340 churches of Orthodox, Anglican, Reformed, and Free Church tradition–but not the Roman Catholic Church–that belong to this organisation.