Here’s an updated, newly designed edition of a popular Bible reference for students of all agesespecially teens who seek to learn more about the Bible and its times. With more than 750,000 copies sold over the past 15 years,The Student Bible Dictionaryhas helped countless readers better understand scripture. Defining and explaining hundreds of Bible words, names, places, and concepts, this book has been expanded and updated with additional information from newer Bible translations. Scores of color charts, maps, photographs, and illustrations help clarify the text and add visual appealand the imagery and design are brand-new! From Aaron to Zipporah,The Student Bible DictionaryExpanded and Updated Editionis a whole library of accessible, useful information.
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About the Author
JOHNNIE GODWIN majored in Greek and religion at Baylor University and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Johnnie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has spent many years in publishing, pastoring, and consulting. Now he counts writing among his retirement activities.
PHYLIIS GODWIN earned a diploma of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
KAREN DOCKREY is a writer and a youth minister who holds a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She lives with her husband and two children near Nashville, Tennessee.
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The Student Bible Dictionary
By Johnnie Godwin, Phyllis Godwin, Karen Dockrey
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Johnnie Godwin, Phyllis Godwin, and Karen Dockrey
All rights reserved.
AARON (AIR un). Older brother and early spokesman for Moses (Exodus 4:14–16). Became Israel's first high priest. The Aaronic priesthood (priests of the tribe of Levi) was named for him. (Exodus 28:1; 29; Leviticus 8; Numbers 18).
* Early spokesman for Moses who helped him in battle (Exodus 17:9–12). But also made an idol (Exodus 32) and criticized Moses for his choice of a wife (Numbers 12:1–2). Parents were Amram and Jochebed; sister was Miriam (Numbers 26:59). Aaron lived until age 123 and died without entering the promised land because of his lack of faith in God (Numbers 20:12).
AARON'S ROD. Walking stick used by Aaron to carry out God's commands. The rod was used in several miracles while persuading Pharaoh to let the Jewish slaves go: It became a serpent that swallowed the serpents from the rods of the Egyptian magicians (Exodus 7:8–13). It was used to bring about the first three plagues (Exodus 7:19–21; 8:5–7; 8:16–19).
Later in Aaron's life the rod sprouted, budded, and blossomed to signal Aaron as God's choice for the head of a priesthood (Numbers 17:1–11). It was displayed before (and later in) the Ark of the Covenant as a warning to those who rebelled against the Lord (Hebrews 9:4; Numbers 17:10).
AB. Fifth Hebrew month. Matches part of our July and August (Numbers 33:38). See CALENDAR CHART on pages 265–266.
ABASE. To humble oneself or be humbled, to get the right view of oneself by choice or by force (Daniel 4:37; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Philippians 4:12).
ABATE. Decrease or withdraw (Genesis 8:8; Leviticus 27:18).
ABBA. "Father" in Aramaic, much like our word daddy. All three New Testament references are to God (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). Shows that God is a loving, approachable Father.
ABEDNEGO (uh BED nih go). New name given to Azariah, friend of Daniel (Daniel 1:6). Abednego survived the fiery furnace along with Shadrach and Meshach (Daniel 3:16–29).
ABEL (AY bel). Second son of Adam and Eve. A shepherd who pleased God with his worship. After his brother Cain's sacrifice did not please God, Cain murdered Abel (Genesis 4:2–8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12).
ABHOR. Hate, repel, reject. Shrink from in horror (Deuteronomy 7:26; Romans 12:9).
ABIATHAR (uh BIGH uh thar). A high priest during David's time. Followed his father, Ahimelech, but was later thrown out of the priestly office by Solomon because Abiathar favored Adonijah over Solomon (see 1 Samuel 22:20–22; 23:6, 9; 1 Kings 1:24–25; 2:26–27).
ABIDE. Remain, live, continue, persist (1 Samuel 1:22; John 15:4; Philippians 1:25). Forbear (Jeremiah 10:10).
ABIGAIL (AB ih gayl). Beautiful, wise, and poised wife of David, who married him after her first husband, Nabal, died (1 Samuel 25). Another Abigail was a sister of David who married Jether and became the mother of Amasa (1 Chronicles 2:16–17).
ABIHU (uh BIGH hyoo). The second son of Aaron and a priest (Exodus 6:23; 28:1). Went with Moses, Aaron, and others toward Mount Sinai to worship God (Exodus 24:1, 9). Later he died a fiery death with his brother Nadab after they had displeased God (Leviticus 10:1–2; Numbers 3:4).
ABIMILECH (uh BIM eh lek). A son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) who became king after killing his brothers (except Jotham who escaped). Abimelech ruled Israel for three years until he attacked Thebez where his skull was crushed by a stone in battle (Judges 8:29–9:57). Also a line of kings (Genesis 20–21; 26:1).
ABLUTIONS. Ceremonial washings (baptisms) for the expression of religious purity (Hebrews 6:2; 9:10 NRSV).
ABNER (AB nur). Saul's cousin and commander of Saul's army. Later served under Saul's son Ishbosheth and favored David. David's commander, Joab, was suspicious of Abner and murdered him (1 Samuel 14:50–2 Samuel 3:30).
ABODE. Home, room, place to stay (Numbers 9:17; John 14:23).
ABOLISH. Put to an end (2 Timothy 1:10), remove (Hebrews 10:9).
ABOMINABLE, ABOMINATION. A horrible, foul thing to God or man. Describes something hateful, loathsome, putrid, sickening, awful, disgusting, evil (Matthew 24:15; Genesis 43:32). Abominations are connected with idolatry (Revelation 17:4–5; 21:27), disrespect for God (Ezekiel 7:3–4), ceremonial uncleanness (Leviticus 7:21), and sexual sins (Revelation 17:4–5).
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. An indescribably evil, horrible, detestable thing to occur in the last days (see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). Scholars differ on whether the term refers to a person or persons called the Antichrist (literally means "against Christ"; see 1 John 2:18–22) or a profane symbol, event, or act.
* The evil represented by this abomination always wants to make a desert of one's spiritual life. To keep this from happening, recognize the danger of evil and run or resist in the power of God (Matthew 24:15–16; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
ABOUND. Overflow, increase, grow, have abundance (Proverbs 28:20; 1 Thessalonians 3:12).
ABRAHAM (AY bruh ham), ABRAM (AY bram). The first Hebrew (Genesis 14:13). God promised the childless Abraham that He would make him the father of a great nation. God was faithful to His promise (Genesis 12:1–2) and gave the almost one-hundred-year-old Abraham and his ninety-year-old wife a baby named Isaac (Genesis 17:1–8). But during the many years between the promise and the baby of promise, Abraham and Sarah got tired of waiting on God. So Abraham fathered Ishmael by the handmaid Hagar and gave birth to another nation. Despite Abraham's weakness, God's promise unfolded like a drama. Read Genesis 11:26–25:11 for the full story of Abraham and his faith in God.
The name Abraham (father of a multitude) is the longer form of Abram (exalted father) (Genesis 17:1–8). He lived in Ur, Haran, Egypt, and Canaan. He died at age 175 and was buried in a cave at Hebron (Genesis 25:7–10).
* Abraham's experience teaches us that God's calling is worth responding to, and His promises are worth working toward and patiently waiting.
ABRAHAM'S BOSOM. Term used for closeness, affection, place of honor, blessedness (Luke 16:22–23).
ABSALOM (AB suh luhm). Third son of David (2 Samuel 3:2–5). Absalom means "father in peace," but his name did not fit his personality. He arranged his half brother Amnon's murder (2 Samuel 13), and he rebelled against his father, King David, to make himself king (2 Samuel 15). Absalom was murdered against his father's wishes and much to his father's sadness (2 Samuel 18:6–17, 3l–33).
ABSTAIN. Avoid or keep away from. Examples of acts to abstain from include idols, sex outside marriage, and evil in general (Acts 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
ABUNDANCE. A multitude, plenty, fullness, more than enough (Deuteronomy 28:47; Romans 5:17). The true abundant life is not made up of money or possessions but of such riches as commitment to God, love, joy, peace, and friendship (John 10:10; Luke 12:15).
ABUSE. Mistreat, misuse, damage physically or emotionally (1 Chronicles 10:4; Proverbs 22:10; Hebrews 10:33; 1 Corinthians 9:18).
* Could it be that what we say to or about each other is the most frequent abuse that occurs? How might we abuse blessings by misusing them?
ABYSS. Literally, the deep or bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1–2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1). Place of torment for demons (Luke 8:31), place of the dead (Romans 10:7).
ACACIA (uh KAY shuh). Large tree whose hard wood was excellent for making furniture. Used to make the ark of the covenant and other wooden objects for the tabernacle (Deuteronomy 10:3; Exodus 25–27; 30; 37–38). Same as shittim wood from the shittah tree (KJV).
ACCEPTABLE. Pleasing, receivable, welcome, adequate (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 61:2; Ephesians 5:8–11; Hebrews 11:4).
ACCESS. Ability to come into the presence. Qualified to approach. Most often used of the Christian's access to God. Accepting Jesus Christ who died for us is the sole requirement for access to God. Jesus' death has removed all barriers between God and people. Jesus enables believers to draw near to God with confidence (Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18, 3:12).
* Ponder people you feel comfortable approaching and people you do not. What makes the difference? What about God makes it easy/hard to approach Him?
ACHAIA (uh KAY yuh). A Roman province in the southern portion of Greece. Corinth was its capital (2 Corinthians 1:1; Acts 19:21; Romans 15:26).
ACHAN (AY kuhn), ACHOR. Israelite who stole items dedicated to God from the city of Jericho after its destruction. He hid what he stole and his sin threatened the security of the entire Israelite community. The Israelites put him to death after his sin was discovered (Joshua 7:1–26).
ACCOMPLISH. Fulfill, complete, succeed in doing, express (Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 44:25; Ezra 20:8; Luke 2:22; John 19:28).
ACCORD. Like-mindedness, harmony, unity, singleness of purpose, agreement. Can be with good or evil (Acts 2:46, 7:57; 15:25).
ACCOUNT. Reckon, calculate, consider. Let your mind dwell on. Give reasons for, accept responsibility for (Matthew 12:36; Luke 16:2; Romans 14:12). When something is accounted, it is credited to or recognized as belonging to someone (Galatians 3:6; Luke 22:24). Also, an account is a detailed record, count, or credit (Deuteronomy 2:11; Psalm 144:3).
* God knows all about every person and holds us accountable. How should this affect your thoughts and actions?
ACCURSED. Under a curse, set aside for condemnation or destruction (Romans 9:3; Galatians 1:8–9; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Joshua 6:17).
ACCUSE. Charge, credit with undesirable action (Proverbs 30:10; Acts 25:11; Luke 11:54). Accusation can be true or false (John 8:6; Luke 3:14). Satan is sometimes called the accuser (Revelation 12:10).
ACKNOWLEDGE. Admit, recognize, give attention to, agree with, accept, respond to. Opposite of ignore. When a person acknowledges transgressions or wrongs, that confession opens the door to repentance and change. To acknowledge God is to agree with Him in attitude and respond to Him in action (Jeremiah 24:5; Deuteronomy 21:17; Psalm 51:3; 1 Corinthians 14:37).
* Can you identify one wrong in your life? How would acknowledging it free you from its burden?
ACTS, BOOK OF. New Testament Bible book written by Luke and a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Some scholars refer to this book as "The Acts of the Holy Spirit." Acts traces the birth and growth of the Christian church. Acts shows how the early church carried out Jesus Christ's command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18–20). Peter, a disciple, and Paul, a powerful convert to Christianity, serve as significant leaders in the growth of the Christian church. Acts tells about the unique coming of the Holy Spirit upon Christians and His work in the growth of the church. The first half of Acts focuses on the Jerusalem church, and the last half tells about Paul's and others' efforts to spread Christianity to surrounding areas such as Samaria, Damascus, Antioch, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Europe, and Rome. The book of Acts ends with an unhindered sharing of the gospel (Acts 28:31). Acts is the first book of church history and colorfully depicts both the joys and growing pains of the first-century church.
* Acts' teachings for today include examples of (1) how to present the Gospel (Acts 2:14–21), (2) demonstrations of refusal to let physical, economic, or social barriers prevent us from sharing the message of Christ (Acts 10–11), and (3) encouragement to keep on obeying God even in the worst of persecution (Acts 5:27–32).
AD.Anno domini means "in the year of our Lord." Popularly, "after death"—the time since Jesus Christ's death. In recent years, many scholars have begun using the initials CE for "Common Era." See BC.
ADAM (AD duhm). First man. God created Adam in His image, as well as Eve (Genesis 1:27; 5:2). Adam (and Eve) chose to mar God's image by disobeying Him. This sin plunged the human race into sin (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12–21). Jesus Christ, the second Adam, came to deliver us from sin and transform us into His perfect image (1 Corinthians 15:45, 49; Romans 8:29). See EVE.
* Self-image improves as one moves toward the God-image of creation. What kind of an image do you have of yourself? See Romans 12:3. We are accountable for our own sin, not for Adam's.
ADAR (AD ahr). Twelfth Hebrew month. Corresponds to our mid-February to mid-March (Esth. 3:7). See CALENDAR CHART on pages 265–266.
ADDER. Snake (Genesis 49:17; Proverbs 23:32). See SERPENT.
ADHERE. Attach. Stick. Be loyal (2 Kings 17:34).
ADJURE. Plead, beg, command. Appeal in the most persuasive manner, cause to take an oath. Its goal is to make sure the information given is correct (1 Kings 22:16; Matthew 26:63; Mark 5:7; Acts 19:13).
ADMONISH. Recommend, suggest, show, encourage to do right. Warn, advise, counsel. Correct or praise to motivate obedience to God. Those who admonish are usually more mature believers. Those who admonish are always to be motivated and guided by Jesus Christ (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:15).
* Who or what has admonished you to obey God? With what words might you admonish a fellow believer?
ADONIJAH (ad oh NIGH juh). Name meaning "My Lord is Yahweh." 1. Fourth son of David who tried without success to take over his throne. When Solomon inherited the throne after his father David's death, he had Adonijah killed (2 Samuel 3:4; 1 Kings 1:5–2:25). 2. A Levite whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach about God in the cities of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:8–9). 3. One of Nehemiah's chiefs who sealed the covenant (Nehemiah 10:16; Ezra 2:13).
ADOPT. 1. Choose to become a parent of a child you did not bear. Legally make a child of other parents your child (Esther 2:15). Every person who trusts God becomes a child of God by adoption and inherits His resources. (Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). 2. Choose an action or item as your own (Job 15:5; Psalm 106:36).
* How does God's adoption of you demonstrate His love for you?
* ADULTERY. Voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with someone besides his mate (Hebrews 13:4). Spiritual adultery is when believers turn their love from God to someone or something else (Jeremiah 3:9; Ezekiel 23:37). Both sexual and spiritual adultery are forbidden in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3, 14).
Jesus explained that looking lustfully at someone is an act of adultery (Matthew 5:27–30).
Adultery also is the generic term for many sexual sins including incest (sex with close relatives) and fornication (sex outside marriage).
* Adultery continues as one of the more enticing sins. Many feel that saving sex for marriage is out of date, obsolete. But the Bible explains that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Why? It misunderstands and distorts God's design for marriage and sexual happiness. God designed sex to be best when it is an expression of unique love between husband and wife in marriage.
ADVENT. Translates a Latin word for "coming." Usually refers to Christ's coming to earth as a baby, but now more broadly to the season of preparation to celebrate Christmas. Jesus' coming to earth began the Christ story as we know it, including His birthday, life and ministry, ascent, and promised second coming—or "second advent" (see Philippians 2:5–11).
ADVERSARY. 1. Enemy. One who is against a person or thing. May be a personal enemy, a national enemy, or a spiritual enemy (Numbers 22:22; Matthew 5:25; Esther 7:6; 1 Samuel 1:6; 1 Kings 5:4; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Timothy 5:14). 2. Satan. A literal translation of the Hebrew "Satan" (1 Peter 5:8). See SATAN.
* God is His people's adversary against their adversaries (Exodus 23:22; Luke 18:3).
ADVERSITY. Trouble. Hard times. (2 Samuel 4:9; Proverbs 17:17; Proverbs 24:10).
* Name a way God has or could help you through adversity.
ADVOCATE. One called alongside to help (1 John 2:1 KJV). Helper, comforter, intercessor—one who takes our side, speaks on our behalf, pleads our case. In the New Testament both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are our advocates (1 John 2:1; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). In the Gospel of John, comforter translates the same Greek word that advocate translates in 1 John 2:1.
* How does it feel to have someone on your side? What thoughts and feelings do you have about knowing Jesus is on your side?
AFFECTION. Feeling, passion, or thought. The King James Version setting determines whether it is good or bad (Romans 12:10; Romans 1:26). Colossians 3:2 focuses on thought.
AFFLICTION. Our English word means a state or cause of pain, distress, grief, or misery. Generally, these definitions can serve for the Bible use of affliction also. But the Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek shades of meaning are worth noting: 1. The Old Testament Hebrew usually means oppressed or humbled—a sense of helplessness or defenselessness. If the affliction comes from God, it is a punishment for sin that comes to bless people by leading them to turn back to God (2 Kings 15:5; Psalm 119:71). However, Isaiah also used the word to refer to the forthcoming affliction of Christ for our sins (Isaiah 53:4, 7). 2. The New Testament Greek literally means pressure but also carries the thought of oppression or tribulation. The idea is most often that the distress comes upon a person from someone else because he follows Christ and not because of personal sin (Colossians 1:24).
Excerpted from The Student Bible Dictionary by Johnnie Godwin, Phyllis Godwin, Karen Dockrey. Copyright © 2014 Johnnie Godwin, Phyllis Godwin, and Karen Dockrey. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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Table of Contents
Timelines for the Biblical History of the World,
E: Ear–Ezra, Book of,
I: I Am–Israelite,
R: Raamses–Ruth, Book of,
Key to Pronunciation,
About the Authors,