The meaning of some of the theological words used in posts on this site…

Biblical Theology

is the study of the Bible in its own terms. It is about reading the various parts of the Bible [exegetically] to understand what the parts contain in its own contexts, but also how each part helps to understand the Bible as a whole. It is the study of how every text in the Bible relates to every other text in the Bible – a study of the matrix of divine revelation. It is about tracking the lineage of the various themes in Scripture.


happens when reading personal meaning into a text rather than drawing the author’s true meaning out of it (exegesis). Eisogesis is pretty common today, and is the cause of a lot of misunderstanding of the Bible.


Evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, solely through faith in Jesus’s atonement.

Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or “born again” experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity, and in spreading the Christian message.


is the practice of discovering the meaning of a text in its original cultural, historical, literary and theological contexts. It is a key step in the process of Hermeneutics, the actual process of Biblical interpretation. Also see Biblical Theology.


include the process and theory of interpreting Scripture (or any text). Hermeneutics also concerns itself with understanding the unique roles and relationships between the author, the text and the original or subsequent readers. Exegesis is a key first step in the process of interpretation.

Major/Minor Prophets

There are a number of books in the Old Testament named after the prophets who wrote them. You might hear the terms “major prophets” and “minor prophets” when these books are discussed. These distinctions refer to the volume/size of the writings, not the importance/value of the books. Thus, the Major Prophets wrote books with many more chapters than the Minor Prophets.

Major Prophets include Isaiah, Jeremiah (including Lamentations), Ezekiel and Daniel

The Minor Prophets‘ writing we originally present in a single scroll, also known as the Book of the Twelve. They include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.


The first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah in the Hebrew Bible. Also sometimes called “the Law,” although that term has additional connotations (e.g., Moses’ teachings; just Deuteronomy) and is not always synonymous with the Pentateuch or Torah.

(Source: Lexham Bible Dictionary)


The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority. Although the Reformation is usually considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholic Church and the nascent Luther until the 1521 Edict of Worms. The edict condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas.

(Definition from wikipedia)

Second Temple Period

… lasted between 516 BCE and 70 CE, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem was built when the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon. The sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and early Christianity were formed during this period.


is the Greek version of the Old Testament. During the time of Jesus, the Jews often used a Greek version of their Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament) so that it could be understood by more people across the known world. That version of the Old Testament was called the Septuagint. It was translated by a group of seventy scholars about 130 years before Jesus was born. The Latin number for seventy is LXX, and the Septuagint is often abbreviated as LXX, after the number of scholars involved in the translation process.

Sitz im Leben

literally means “life setting”. It refers to all the things that make up a person’s surroundings, cultural context, political atmosphere, physical location, language, religious viewpoints and so on. It is a technical theological term of German origin; an important concept to keep top of mind when you read Scripture exegetically (drawing from the text instead of reading into it) and when you want to become better at hermeneutics (interpreting the Scriptures correctly).

Systematic Theology

is any study that answers the question, “What does the whole Bible teach us today?” about any given topic. It involves collecting and understanding all the relevant passages in the Bible on various topics and then summarising their teachings clearly so that we know what to believe about each topic. – adapted from Wayne Grudem’s definitions in his Systematic Theology.


I’m borrowing from a nice article by John Piper on this topic.

God’s name is almost always translated LORD (all caps) in the English Bible. But the Hebrew would be pronounced something like “Yahweh,” and is built on the word for “I am.”

I like to use the actual name Yahweh sometimes to remind myself that we are dealing with not only a generic concept of God, but the actual Creator of the heavens and the earth. I also think that the Biblical God Yahweh is not the same as other gods like Allah in the Quran (I know that Allah is the Arabic word for God, but my belief is that these two “entities” are not, and can not be, the same). -PG

So every time we hear the word Yahweh, or every time you see LORD in the English Bible, you should think: this is a proper name (like Peter or John) built out of the word for “I am” and reminding us each time that God absolutely is.

There are at least 10 things the name Yahweh, “I AM,” says about God… read further on