Author: Ron Graham
On simplybible.com some unexplained or difficult words are annotated in the articles that use them. This helps those of you whose first language is other than English.
Annotations will usually appear as small notelets like the examples below. These notelets may also appear in the search results when you use our search facility (the slot at the top and bottom of any page). The notelets are also included in the alphabetical indexes (available from the
Examples of annotations.
Note —DENOMINATION: from the Latin denominare which means to name, especially to indicate a separate class within a whole. Church denominations have no basis the New Testament. Christians should not wear names invented by men nor belong to their schisms.
Note —EPHRAIM: the name of a major territory of the northern kingdom of Israel. In some cases “Ephraim” is used as an equivalent to Israel, and stands for all ten mainly northern territories that broke away from Judah and Benjamin. Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Joseph.
Note —ONLY BEGOTTEN: unique, one of a kind. Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God, yet “all who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Isaac was not Abraham’s only son, but the “only begotten” son of promise (Hebrews 11:17).
There is also a series of longer supplementary notes. If a lesson refers to one of these, you will see a link that will take you to the note. Usually a backlink will return you to the lesson you were reading.
Examples of Annotations
APOCALYPSE: —αποκαλυψις (apokalupsis 602) is Greek for revelation and is transliterated “apocalypse”. The word is used, by association, for the second coming of Christ at the end of the world when he will be “revealed from heaven” (2Thessalonians 1:7).
APOSTASY a definite falling away from the true faith, a turning to the teaching and practice of error, trampling God’s Son underfoot (Hebrews 10:26-31). Not a stumbling, from which one repents and recovers with the help of Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). [A036]
BENEDICTION —A benediction is a statement of blessing. A doxology is a statement of praise to God. A salutation is a statement of greeting. [A005]
CALVARY —where Jesus was crucified. “Calvary” appears only once in the Bible (Luke 23:33 KJV). Latin/Roman Calvarius, Greek Kranion, Hebrew Golgotha. All three mean [Place of the] Skull (John 19:17). “Calvary” was not a name used by Bible writers. [A033]
CHILDREN —In scripture, “child” does not always mean biological offspring. The follower of a person’s doctrine and example are called the “children” of that person. For instance, those who imitate Abraham’s faith, are called Abraham’s children (Romans 9:6-8, Galatians 3:7).[A007]
CIRCUMCISE — means to cut around and remove the foreskin of the penis. This was a covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17:9-14) so is practised the Jews.[A057]
CONVERSION —Conversion is the change or turning of one thing (or person) into another. In the bible, this turning is toward a new and better purpose. Being converted is related to repentance (Acts 3:19). [A030]
COVENANT —A covenant in the Bible is a legal will or testament, decreed to man by God directly, or through a mediator. A covenant may include precepts, provisos, punishments, and promises.[A023]
DEMON —A demon (or daemon) is an insanely evil and outcast spirit being, who may seek a parasitical incarnation in a fleshly body. This invasion causes various kinds of mental and physical illness and abnormality in the victim. [A051]
DENOMINATION —from the Latin denominare which means to name, especially to indicate a separate class within a whole. Church denominations have no basis the New Testament. Christians should not wear names invented by men nor belong to their schisms.[A002]
DOXOLOGY —A doxology is a statement of praise to God. A benediction is a statement of blessing. A salutation is a statement of greeting. [A005]
EPHRAIM —the name of a major territory of the northern kingdom of Israel. In some cases “Ephraim” is used as an equivalent to Israel, and stands for all ten mainly northern territories that broke away from Judah and Benjamin. Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Joseph. [A055]
EXCOMMUNICATE —means to cut off from fellowship, to cast out, disinherit. A synonym commonly used is “disfellowship”. An unscriptural perversion of the practice is known as “shunning”. [A034]
GLOSSOLALIA —defined in Chambers’s dictionary as “the phenomena of spontaneously uttering unintelligible sounds believed to form part of an unknown language or languages.” From Greek, glossa tongue, laleein to talk. See XENOGLOSSY [A012]
GREAT COMMISSION —a term traditionally used for Jesus’s command to his apostles to preach the gospel in all the world to all nations, and to baptize those who believe (Matthew 28:18-20). It is contrasted with the earlier so called Limited Commission of Matthew 10. [A010]
GREEK —The term Greek is used in certain New Testament passages, to mean Gentile or non-Jew. The Greek language and culture was still widespread so represented the world in general. [A026]
IMPOTENT —means powerless, weak, ineffectual. In contrast, power from God and the gospel (Romans 1:16) can achieve all godly aims and desires. Against all odds we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Other powers fall short and disappoint. [A020]
INTERCESSOR —An intercessor presents the pleas of the subjects to the high authority on their behalf. A mediator, on the other hand, presents the decrees of a high authority to his subjects on behalf of that authority. These decrees include terms of reconciliation.
ISAIAH —Luke’s description of the document as “the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet” (Luke 3:2-6) shows clearly that the book, including chapter 40, was written by Isaiah, not somebody else. [A043]
ISRAEL —The name “Israel” applies to four entities in the Bible... 1. the patriarch Jacob, 2. the kingdom ruled by David and Solomon, 3. the northern kingdom after the division, 4. the church that Christ established. [A021]
JACOB —the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. “Israel” is another name for Jacob. One of his twelve sons was Judah. After the kingdom divided, the break away was named after him. The remaining part was in the territory of the tribe of Judah. [A025]
LAWYERS —The lawyers mentioned in the gospels were not lawyers dealing with civil legal proceedings, but experts in religious law supposedly based on the law of Moses but in fact consisting mostly of the traditions and inventions of men (Mrk 7:9-13). [A049]
LIPSERVICE: —Lipservice means saying “YES” with your mouth but saying “NO” in your heart and by your actions. It is honouring God with your lips when your heart is far from him.
MAMMON —is a word used in some translations instead of money or wealth. The word mammon is pejorative, and expresses wealth tainted with evil. [A032]
MEDIATOR —one who presents the decrees of a high authority to his subjects on his behalf. An “intercessor”, on the other hand, presents the pleas of the subjects to the high authority on their behalf. [A024]
MESSIAH —The two titles, Messiah and Christ, are synonymous and interchangeable. “Messiah” is the Hebrew for which “Christ” is the Greek equivalent. The basic meaning of these titles is The Anointed One. See Strong: Hebrew 4899 (cf 4886), Greek 5547 (cf 5548).[A009]
METAMORPHOSIS —Metamorphosis is a change of form, especially when a creature undergoes a marvelous transformation into another creature, such as a caterpillar turning into a moth. [A028]
MICROCOSM —any system that exhibits, on a small scale, the elements and parts of the greater system of which it is part. The destruction of Sodom and the salvation of Lot is a small-scale version of the end of the world. [A052]
MNEMONIC —Mnemonic, pronounced “nee-mon-ick,” a manner of arranging things so as to make them easier to absorb and remember. I do this a lot on simplybible.com as you have probably noticed. [A053]
MUSTARD —A small hard seed of certain Brassicas (the “cabbage family”). Some mustard varieties are perennial. In good conditions they can, although a herb, grow into a small tree (Matthew 13:31, Mark 4:30, Luke 13:19). Mustard seed (usually either white Sinapis alba or black Sinapis negra) is ground to make the pungent mustard paste, or cracked in a little hot oil to start a stir fry or curry. [A047]
MYTHICAL —means imaginary, fictitious, invented. Mythology is the inventing and telling of stories that are not true in themselves but supposedly represent truth. A legend is based upon something or someone real, but mixed with make believe. [A019]
ONLY BEGOTTEN —unique, one of a kind. Jesus is the “only begotten” Son of God, yet “all who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Isaac was not Abraham’s only son, but the “only begotten” son of promise (Hebrews 11:17). [A037]
paradigm or pattern —(pronounced “para-dime”) means a true pattern, a model. For instance Abraham is the paradigm or pattern of faith, Christ of righteousness. Again, the church of the first century in its ideal form is the paradigm or pattern for the church today. [A056]
PATRIARCH —the father of a great family, or ancestor of a people such as a dynasty, nation, or race. A mother in the same sense is called a matriarch. An example of a patriarch in the Bible is Abraham.[A016]
PERSONIFICATION —means representing an idea or principle as a person, real or imaginary. One might say that a certain dictator is the personification of evil. In stories or visions fictional beings may personify love, beauty, innocence, lust, greed, death, etc. [A018]
PHARISEE —A member of one of the opinionated and self-glorifying sects among the religious leaders and lawyers in Jerusalem. Pharisees accepted miracles, resurrection, angels, spirits, etc whereas their rivals the Saducees did not. [A045]
PHYLACTERIES —A phylactery is a small box bound to the forehead, and another on the arm, containing passages from the law (Deuteronomy 6:8) [A050]
PRECEDENT —a previous happening that is parallel to one presently being examined. The way matters were handled in the former event (eg the flood in Noah’s time) is a basis for how the new event (eg the end of the present world) will be handled. [A041]
PRETERISM —the doctrine that the second coming of Christ occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem circa AD70 and will not occur in the future. [A006]
REGENERATION —Regeneration means new birth, rebirth, being born again. This must be preceded by a death of sorts. Especially, when being born again in Christ, one must enter into Christ’s death and be buried with him (Romans 6). [A027]
RESURRECTION —Resurrection is rising from the dead. The mortal body dies, but at Christ’s second coming a glorious body, immortal and eternal will rise up in its place. [A029]
SALUTATION —A salutation is a statement of greeting. A doxology is a statement of praise to God. A benediction is a statement of blessing. [A005]
SAUL OF TARSUS —Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of the early church, later became the Paul the Apostle after his conversion in Damascus (Acts 9). [A035]
SEED —The Bible sometimes uses the word “seed” in a special sense. It means offspring or descendant. Jesus Christ was the promised seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16).[A022]
SPIRIT AND SOUL —“spirit and soul” (1Thessalonians 5:23) doesn't mean two different parts, any more than “heart, soul, and mind” suggests three (Mark 12:30). The terms heart, soul, mind, and spirit, are all words for the “inward person” (2Corinthians 4:16). [A044]
SYNONYM —A synonym, pronounced “sin-o-nim” is a word of very similar meaning to another word. When two or more words each have the same meaning, they are said to be “synonymous” with each other and are called “synonyms”. A054
TABERNACLE —The tabernacle was the original ornate tent of meeting for worship under the law of Moses. It was used before the temple was built in Jerusalem. [A031]
TALENT —in English means ability. The meaning of the word in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30 cf Luke 19:12-28) is a measure (around 30kg of gold or silver). So the slaves in the parable were given talents according to their talents. [A046]
TARES —It is uncertain just what plant is referred to. The Greek word is ζιζανια zizania, which is used only once in the Bible (Matthew 13:24-30). Apparently a weed that looks like wheat when young, and becomes evident when the true wheat sets a fruiting head. [A048]
TEMPLE CLEANSED —There were two occasions on which Jesus drove people from the temple. The first is recorded in John 2:13-22, the second in Matthew 21:12-13. [A042]
VICAR —The term vicar means acting as a representative or substitute. In a similar sense, an act is said to be vicarious. Regarding the title, Vicar of Christ, the Holy Spirit is the vicar of Christ on earth, (John 14:15-23). No one else should be called the Vicar of Christ. [A038]
YOKE —A yoke is a bow-shaped crosspiece as part of the harness of beasts of burden. It joins two or more animals together such that they share the burden they are pulling. [A017]
XENOGLOSSY —or “xenoglossia” is defined in Chambers’s dictionary as “the spontaneous use of a language which the speaker has never heard or learned. No scientifically attested case of xenoglossia has ever come to light.” From Greek, xeno strange, glossa tongue. [A011]