Glossary of Terms in Christianity and the Christian Bible
Updated 16 May 2019

Under Construction

Contents: Terms | Types of Christians | Christian Calendar These are Christian terms as well as Jewish terms in the old testament of the Christian Bible.
See also Religious Glossary of Terms

I've been collecting terms for years and haven't attempted to define all of them yet. This is a start.

Absolution

Advent - The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.

Apostle

  1. The 12 disciples chosen by Jesus also called apostles.
  2. Someone sent out. Other, later followers, were also referred to as apostles; Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Silas.
    See Other apostles mentioned in the New Testament
See:What Is An Apostle? | BibleStudyTools.com
1 Corinthians 15:9

Apopstolic:

1. Member of the Apostolic church of America.
2. One who lives for God, in the form of Jesus. Similar to Pentecostal.
3. Relating to the teachings of the Apostles. Ash Wednesday The beginning of Lent, 40 days before Easter.

Ash Wednesday The beginning of Lent, 40 days before Easter.

Atonement - the act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing (especially appeasing a deity).
Judaism - Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, is a High Holy Day of fasting intended to cleanse the people of their sin and restore the right relationship with God.

Catacism

Catholic - Upper case Catholic refers to the Roman Catholic church. The largest of the Christian denominations with 1.3 billion members. The only main Christian until the Easter Orthodox split of in 1054> The big split occurred during the Protestant Reformation in 1517

catholic: All-embracing. Universal

Christmas: The Christian holiday celebrating Jesus's birth in Bethlehem; celebrated by Catholics and Protestants on December 25 and by Orthodox Christians on January 7 each year. <>>P>Covenant

Disciples - Generally the 12 who traveled with Jesus.
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas; and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Jude); Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
(Luke had Judas son of James who was Thaddaeus)
Matthias (replaced Judas Iscariot)
Sometimes referred to as Apostles. (Mat 10: named the 12 disciples; Luke 6:12-16 chose 12 of the diciples to be apostles ) (Luke had Judas son of James who was Thaddeus)
There are also other people referenced as disciples of Jesus.
Ananias (Acts 9:10-22); Timothy (Acts 16:1); Tabitha (Acts 9:36); A rich man, Joseph from Arimathea (Matthew 27:57, John 19:38)
There were disciples of other people:
Isaiah's disciples (Isaiah 8:16), John's disciples (Matthew 9:14),

Double predestination - God predestines some, but not all, to eternal salvation, so he predestines others to eternal punishment derived from the Book of Revelation. Many theologians argue that it is not Biblical in nature.
I've only heard it use by people trying to impress others of their knowledge of Christian terms.
See "Double" Predestination by R.C. Sproul

Easter: The most sacred day in the Christian calendar; Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus, a sign of victory over sin and death.
Easter Date
In Western Christianity, using the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between 22 March and 25 April inclusive, within about seven days after the astronomical full moon. In the 20th century, some individuals and institutions have propounded a fixed date for Easter.
See Easter Date at Wikipedia

Easter is preceded by Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days (not counting Sundays).
the Easter Season begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday.
The liturgical season from Easter to the Sunday of All Saints (the Sunday after Pentecost) is known as the Pentecostarion (the "50 days"). See Holy Week

Traditions:
Churches are often decorated with flowers. A significant theme for Easter is rebirth, which flowers can emulate and symbolize. Traditional Easter flowers include Easter Lilies, which are believed to have grown in the Garden of Gethsemane, the site of Jesus’s arrest. Other Easter flowers include pussy willows, daffodils, narcissuses, and red tulips, which symbolize Jesus’s shed blood.
Easter traditions include Easter eggs, and related games such as egg rolling and egg decorating, are not religious. There are ancient Babylonian beliefs relating to eggs, that some think was the origin.

Origins:
The earliest recorded observance of an Easter celebration comes from the 2nd century, though the commemoration of Jesus’ Resurrection probably occurred earlier.

Many say the date was based on renewal that comes in Spring.
Spring also means the coming back to life of plants and trees that have been dormant for winter, as well as the birth of new life in the animal world. Given the symbolism of new life and rebirth, it was only natural to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at this time of the year.
Others say is associated with the Jewish Passover.
At The Origin Of Easter | All About Jesus Christ they say,
"The origin of Easter is actually based on an ancient pagan celebration.

Ecclesiology In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of the Christian Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its polity, its discipline, its destiny, and its leadership.

Ecumenical

Epiphany (see calendar)

Evangelical

  1. A theological position, one recognizing not only the need for such a personal experience with God but also the unique religious authority of Scripture and an obligation to share one's faith with others. Billy Graham is the paradigmatic evangelical.
  2. A cross-denominational movement with beliefs in the authority (literal interpretation) of the Bible, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement, the centrality of the conversion or the "born again" experience. Includes denominations such as Seventh-day Adventists, Churches of Christ, Presbyterian Church of America, Pentecostals and others.
    Most evangelicals believe in a more literal interpretation of the Bible.
  3. Evangelicalism may sometimes be perceived as the middle ground between the theological liberalism of the mainline denominations and the cultural separatism of fundamentalist Christianity.
Its meaning has shifted throughout Christianity's long history and changes depending on who you ask.
See Evangelical Christians
See also Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, Born-again,

Evangelist

  1. A person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith, especially by public preaching.
    Often associated with those who lead large meetings like those of Billy Graham.
  2. Preachers of tent revivals for, healing crusades, and church rallies e.g. Oral Roberts, radio, e.g. Dwight L. Moody and television e.g. Jerry Falwell.
  3. The authors of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  4. A person holding a specific leadership office in the Latter Day Saint and Anglican Churches.

Evangelize

  1. To tell people about (a particular branch of) Christianity, especially in order to convert them; to preach the gospel to.
  2. To preach any ideology to those who have not yet been converted to it.
  3. To be enthusiastic about something, and to attempt to share that enthusiasm with others; to promote.

Fundamentalists -T hough they share many of the evangelicals' beliefs, also fiercely insist on the "verbal inerrancy" of the Bible, and this has led them into noisy conflicts over creation and evolution. William Jennings Bryan, who defended a literal reading of Genesis at the famous Scopes "monkey trial" in 1925, was a classic fundamentalist.

Gnosticism - The doctrine of salvation by knowledge.
etymology: (gnosis "knowledge", gnostikos, "good at knowing")

Gospel:

  1. From the Old English for 'good news,' this refers to the good news concerning Jesus Christ.
  2. It can also refer to any one of the four canonical gospels (first 4 books of the new testament), Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which have descriptions of the life of Christ.

Holy Communion: The Christian sacrament commemorating the sacrifice of Christ in which the faithful eat bread (symbolizing the body of Christ) and drink wine (symbolizing the blood of Christ); the ritual is based on Jesus's final Passover meal with the disciples.

Holy Week: The week before Easter
See Holy Week below. See Easter.

Question: The Bible (Matthew 12:40 ) says Jesus rose on the third day, but there are only 2 days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry | CARM.org explains it as follows.
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3  
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu..
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day

Passover/Crucifixion

 

Sabbath

He rose

Jesus of Nazareth - Jesus Christ: (c. 6-4 B.C.E.-c. 34 C.E.). Founder of Christianity whose followers believe him to be the Messiah or the Christ and the son of God. The four Gospels of the New Testament tell the stories of key events of his life, including his birth as a Jew to the Virgin Mary; his baptism; his teachings and miraculous deeds; and finally, his arrest, Crucifixion, and Resurrection.

Lent: The period of fasting or abstinence observed in the 40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays, beginning with Ash Wednesday.
See Holy Week

Liturgy: A general term used to designate the whole procedure of ritual actions and prayers used in religious services, in particular in the context of the Jewish and Christian traditions.

Mecca: The most sacred city in Islam; located in Saudi Arabia, Mecca is the site of the Ka'bah and the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad.

mosque: The Islamic place of worship during the five daily prayers and, especially, the Friday noon prayer.

Pentecost
A category in evangelical churches.
  1. Christian: The festival (Pentecost) celebrating the descent or gift of the Holy Spirit as narrated in Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2, occurring fifty days after the resurrection of Christ.
  2. Jewish: The holiday remembering the giving of the Law to Moses fifty days after the Passover.
Includes denominations such as Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ,

Pentecostalism
A stricter form of evangelicalism. Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. It is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism.

Predestination: The divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.

Protestantism - The second largest form of Christianity behind Catholicism. It was started out of the Reformation, with collectively 40% of all Christians worldwide and 46% in the US, as opposed to the Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian Church worldwide.
There are dozens of main protestant denominations and within these there are many sub-divisions. For example the Handbook of Denominations in the United States lists 31 Baptist groups or conventions. These are constantly changing. See The Presbyterian Family Tree.

The largest in the US (2010-2014) are:
Southern Baptist Convention 17M
The United Methodist Church 8M
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 6M
The Church of God in Christ 5.5M
National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc 5M
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 4.6M
National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. 3.5M
Lutheran-Missouri Synod 3.5M
Assemblies of God 2.9M
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)* 1.5M
Episcopal/Anglican 1.3M
Note: There different denominations within families. eg.
Baptist: Southern Baptist Convention (Evangelical) 17M and American Baptist 5M
Lutheran: Evangelical Lutheran 4.6M and Lutheran-Missouri Synod 3.5M
Presbyterian: U.S.A 1.5M* and Presbyterian Church in America (Evangelical) 1.3M
* From 2002 to 2015 the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has declined from 2.5M to 1.5M ; This is in part from the general decline in mainline Protestantism and in part from conservative churches which have moved to startup evangelical Presbyterian denominations.
Most mainline churches have declined. From 1972 to 2010 the number of people who say they are protestants has declined from 62% to 51%, Catholics have stayed about the same and people saying they have no religion has increased from 7% to 18%.
See Christian Denominations here
and Protestantism in the United States - Wikipedia

Reformation (more fully the Protestant Reformation, or the European Reformation)
A movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular, which led to the establishment of Protestantism. See The Reformation page here.

Sabbath: The weekly day of rest and worship observed by Jews and Christians. This sacred time commemorating God's day of rest after creation begins at sundown on Friday for Jews; Christians moved the Sabbath to Sunday, the day of Jesus's Resurrection.

Satan: The biblical name for the devil; the same figure in Islam is known by the Arabic name Shaytan

Torah: The Jewish designation for the first five books of the Bible, also called the Law or the Pentateuch. The Torah can also stand for the entire tradition of learning gleaned from the Bible as a whole.

transubstantiation: The doctrine that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ when the priest blesses these elements during Holy Communion Catholic Church.

Trinity: The Christian understanding of the one true God who is manifest in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Links:
Other Religious Terms
Glossary at wiley.com
Glossary of Christianity - Wikipedia
Christian terminology - Wikipedia


To be added:

ProofTexting or proof-texting - The practice of using isolated quotations from a document to establish a proposition. Using discrete quotations is generally seen as decontextualized.

"God of the Gaps"

Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Epiphany Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles, The Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January. The visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus.
(Koine Greek: \0x1F10pie\0x03C6\0x03AC\0x03BD\0x03B5e\0x03B1, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance" Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) , and thus

Sanhedrin - Ruling council

Sadducees - Wealthy and powerful, chief priests and high priest. Held a majority of the Sanhedrin Liberal Only the written word came from God

Pharisees - gave oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God Enforce the law http://www.gotquestions.org/Sadducees-Pharisees.html

Eucharist - Communion

Transubstantiation - The Roman Catholic doctrine that, in the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament is changed into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus

* "Born-again" is the broadest category. It includes the 39 percent of the American population who claim they have had a personal experience of Christ. Their political ideas span the spectrum, and Jimmy Carter is not the only born-again political liberal.

Pentecostals, by far the fastest-growing wing of Christianity today, share most evangelical beliefs, but for them all theology is secondary. What is most important is an immediate encounter with the Holy Spirit in a style of worship that is exuberant and even ecstatic. Aimee Semple McPherson was the first Pentecostal preacher to achieve celebrity status in America.

"Charismatics" (the word's root means "gift of grace") are people who practice a Pentecostal form of worship but remain in their own Catholic or Protestant churches.

Absolution
Advent
Affirmation
Atonement
Catacism
Christian reconstructionist
Covenant
Ecumenical
Epiphany
Evagelical
Faith
Grace
Hope
justification
laturgical
Love
Mercy
Piety
Proverb
Redemption
Rightousness
salvation
Santification
Secular
Transsubstantion

Types of Christians
* "Born-again" is the broadest category. It includes the 39 percent of the American population who claim they have had a personal experience of Christ. Their political ideas span the spectrum, and Jimmy Carter is not the only born-again political liberal.

* "Evangelical" describes a theological position, one recognizing not only the need for such a personal experience with God but also the unique religious authority of Scripture and an obligation to share one's faith with others. Billy Graham is the paradigmatic evangelical.

* "Fundamentalists," though they share many of the evangelicals' beliefs, also fiercely insist on the "verbal inerrancy" of the Bible, and this has led them into noisy conflicts over creation and evolution. William Jennings Bryan, who defended a literal reading of Genesis at the famous Scopes "monkey trial" in 1925, was a classic fundamentalist.

* Pentecostals, by far the fastest-growing wing of Christianity today, share most evangelical beliefs, but for them all theology is secondary. What is most important is an immediate encounter with the Holy Spirit in a style of worship that is exuberant and even ecstatic. Aimee Semple McPherson was the first Pentecostal preacher to achieve celebrity status in America.

* "Charismatics" (the word's root means "gift of grace") are people who practice a Pentecostal form of worship but remain in their own Catholic or Protestant churches.

* Orthodox - Conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church.

* Eastern Orthodox church - Second largest, behind the Catholic, with 250 million members. It has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern Europe, and the Near East, including Slav and Greek peoples.

* Christian reconstructionist - fundamentalist Reformed theonomic movement. An important influence on the Christian Right in the United States.


Christian Calendar Christian time periods
January
Twelfth Night Jan 6 - A festival in some branches of Christianity
 marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas.
 Epiphany - (Koine Greek: , epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance"
 Close of christmastide - Jan 6 (Feast of Epiphany)- to the beginning of Lent
 Greek for "manifestation," "show," "revealed."
 Focus on God manifesting as Jesus
  
Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the
 Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles,
  The Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January.
  - 
February or March 
  Lent - 40 days before Easter
   (based on the 40 days of temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness) 
March or April
 Easter - Sunday following the 14th day of the lunar month 
   Can occur from March 22 to April 25
  Holy week - Week before Christmas - From Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday

  Palm Sunday (when Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey)

  Maunday Thursday - Commerates the Last Supper - Jesus passover meal with the Disciples 
     Comes from Washing of the Feet (Maundy) 

  Good Friday - Crucifixion
      Tenebrae service is to recreate the emotional aspects
 of the passion story (crucifixion). Candles are extinguished one by one until
 the Sanctuary is in total darkness. This increasing darkness symbolizes the
 approaching darkness of Jesus' death.

  Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil
  (when Jesus was buried after his passion and crucifixion on Good Friday).

  Easter Sunday - Celebrate the resurrection
April
  Easter Season - 50 days following Easter
May

June Pentecost - 50th Day after Easter Celebrates the occasion of the Holy Spirit first descending upon Christ’s disciples. November Advent - Latin for "coming" - Sunday that falls nearest Nov. 30 Four Sundays before Christmas December 25 Christmas Christmas season lasts the 12 days from Dec. 25 to the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6.

Links:
Glossary of terms across religions