1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Early Christianity Glossary

An early Christianity Glossary with definitions of terms relevant for the study of early Christianity.

A.D.
Explanation of the dating abbreviation A.D.

Ambrose
Information on St. Ambrose.

Ammianus Marcellinus on Julian the Apostate

Angel
Glossary entry on the term angel.

Antioch
Antioch was in Syria, on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Seleucus I Nicator, a general under Alexander the Great, founded Antioch, and made it the capital of his Seleucid Empire by 300 B.C

Aphthartodocetism
Entry on the Christian heresy Aphthartodocetism.

Apostasy
Definition of apostasy.

Apostle
Definition of apostle and the names of the Christian apostles.

Apostolic See
Information on the apostolic sees in the early Christian world.

Aramaic
Definition of the ancient language Aramaic.

Archangels
The names of the seven archangels vary somewhat.

Arian Controversy
Information on the Arian controversy, the Council of Nicea, and the cleric whose name was given to the controversy.

Armenia
Information on Armenia, the first Christian country.

Athanasius
Profile of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.

Augustine
Profile of St. Augustine.

B.C.
Explanation of the abbreviation B.C.

Basil the Great
St. Basil the Great is one of the three Cappadocian Fathers (with Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus), and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs (with Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom).

Canons
A table showing the canonical scriptures or canons of the Bible according to Marcion, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Muratorian, and others.

Capernaum
Capernaum is the name of a New Testament town.

Cenobite
Glossary entry on the monastic term cenobite.

1st Council of Ephesus
Glossary entry on the 1st council of Ephesus.

Chalcedon
Information on the Council of Chalcedon.

Chalcedonian Creed
The Chalcedonian Creed

Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion whose adherents believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God and their savior.

Chrysostom
Glossary entry on the golden-voiced doctor of the early Church, John Chrysostom.

Clement of Alexandria - Who Was Clement of Alexandria
Clement was an early Christian theologian.

Constantine
Profile of the Roman emperor Constantine.

Dead Sea Scrolls
Basic information on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Deity
A definition of deity.

Didache
An explanation of what the didache is.

Donatism
A profile of Donatism.

Dualism
A glossary entry on dualism.

Easter - Dating
A look at the complicated way the date of Easter is derived.

Ebionites
A glossary entry on the Jewish Christians called Ebionites.

Edict of Milan
Basic information on Constantine's Edict of Milan.

Editio Vulgata

Egeria
Profile of the female Christian writer Egeria.

Epiphany
Epiphany is the end of the Christmas season, 12 days after Christmas.

Epiphany and the Magi
A short entry on Epiphany and the Magi.

Eremite
Glossary entry on the monastic term eremite.

Eschatology
Short explanation of eschatology.

Gnosticism
Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis meaning knowledge. Gnostics believe they have knowledge about God through which they may attain salvation.

Gregory of Nazianzus
Basic information on the Church father Gregory of Nanzianus.

Helena - St. Helena
St. Helena may have influenced Constantine to convert to Christianity.

Henotheism
An explanation of the distinction between monotheism and henotheism.

Irenaeus
Irenaeus was a bishop in Gaul and theologian who helped establish the Christian canon.

Jerome
Jerome is known as the scholar who translated the Bible into the language the people could read, Latin. He is considered the most learned of the Latin Church Fathers.

Jesus
Jesus is the central figure of the Christian religion. Although our dating system refers to time before the birth of Jesus as B.C., for before Christ, it is thought that Jesus was born a few years before our era. He is thought to have died when about 33.

John the Baptist
John the Baptist was a Jewish forerunner of Jesus who baptized believers in the imminent coming of Judgment Day.

Julian the Apostate
An article on the pagan Roman emperor known as Julian the Apostate.

Justinian
A profile of the Illyrian-born Roman law-gving emperor Justinian.

Monk
A short explanation of the term monk.

Monophysite
A glossary entry on the Christian heresy known as the Monophysite heresy.

Nazarenes
The Nazarenes were Jewish adherents of Christianity.

Nestorian Schism
Nestorius and his followers questioned the idea that the Virgin Mary was Theotokos. Instead, she was a Christotokos.

Nicene Creed
A translation of the Nicene Creed.

Origen
A short entry on Origen who is considered the most important theologian in the early Church.

Orosius
An ecclesiastical historian of Ancient Rome.

Pachomius
A short entry on the desert ascetic Pachomius.

Pasch - Noun Form of Pascal
Pasch is the noun form of the word "pascal".

Patriarch

Patrology
A definition of patrology.

Paul of Tarsus - St. Paul
Paul, a Pharisee and tent-maker, was on his way to Damascus to continue his mission of stamping out converts to the new Jewish sect of Christians when he experienced a vision of Jesus, which he describes in Acts 9:1 – 9. From then on he became a missionary, spreading the message of Christianity.

Pelagius
Pelagius was a British monk who was condemned for heresy.

Pentateuch
The books of the Pentateuch.

Persecutions
A list of the Roman emperors most associated with persecution of Christians.

Pharisees
A glossary entry on the Pharisees.

Pontius Pilate
A glossary entry on Pontius Pilate.

Prudentius
A glossary entry on the Christian poet Prudentius.

Sea of Galilee
A lake fed by the River Jordan.

Septuagint
A glossary entry on the third century Biblical translation known as the Septuagint.

Socrates Scholasticus
An ecclesiastical historian of Ancient Rome.

Sozomen
An ecclesiastical historian of Ancient Rome.

Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem may have been a star, a nova, a comet, or a the conjunction of planets that created a bright light in the sky.

Synoptic Gospels
An explanation of why three of the four Gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels.

Tertullian
A glossary entry on the Christian theologian Tertullian.

Theodoret
An ecclesiastical historian of Ancient Rome.

Theotokos - Virgin Mary Mother of God
Theotokos is the Greek for god-bearer and is used in reference to Mary the mother of God.

Vulgate
Glossary entry on the Vulgate.

Vision of Gabriel
The Vision of Gabriel is a section of a limestone tablet on the angel Gabriel that has been described as a dead sea scroll on stone.

Vulgate

Xmas
The X in Xmas comes from the Greek letter Chi which is at the beginning of the word Christ.

Zosimus
An ecclesiastical historian of Ancient Rome.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.