God Is in the Details

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This was originally published June 15, 2010 on Facebook as a Note. But I publish it here, to help tell about my faith journey.

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The following list represents the English words that help cause arguments within Spirituality. I say English words because the English Bible is a translation/transliteration of other Languages – those languages being Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. This English list is in no way exhaustive, and perhaps I will add to it as I go along. I have closing thoughts at the bottom of the list. Here is the list:

NOTE: words and phrases may seem redundant, but they are not; there is a theological shift that occurs due to capitalization.

God, god
LORD, Lord, lord
Jesus, Yeshua, Iseous
Son of God, son of god
Son of Man, Son of man, son of man
spirit, Spirit, Holy Spirit

church, Church
churches of Christ, Churches of Christ
church of God
the way
body of Christ, Body of Christ

holy
disciple, Disciple
christian, Christian
devout
god-fearing, God-fearing
proselyte
righteous

Jew
Pharisee
Sadducee
Samaritan
scribe, Scribe, “expert in the law”

tabernacle, Tabernacle
temple, Temple

king, King, sovereign
apostle, Apostle
shepherd, Shepherd
bishop, Bishop
deacon, Deacon
servant, Servant
prophet, Prophet
prophecy, Prophecy
prophesy, Prophesy
evangelist, Evangelist
pastor, Pastor
teacher, Teacher

one
first
unity

all

a
an
the

and
but
yet

immediately
“it came to pass”

everlasting
forever

gospel, Gospel,
good news, Good News
baptism, washing, cleansing
worship
obeisance
music
communion
passover, Passover

heaven, Heaven
hell, Hell, hades, Hades, grave, Grave
messiah, christ, Christ, anointed
transgress, transgressions
repent, repentance
sin, sins

salvation
deliverance
love
mercy
faithful
blessed
sabbath
obey, obedience
forgive, forgiveness

law, written law, oral law, torah
old, new
bible, Bible
scripture, Scripture, scriptures, Scriptures
covenant, Covenant
dispensation, Dispensation
testament, Testament, will, Will

fulfill, fulfilled, fulfillment
commandment, commandments
belief, believe, faith, trust
inspiration

“in the beginning”
“first day of the week”
“Lord’s Day”
“day of the Lord”, “day of the LORD”
“kingdom of heaven”, “Kingdom of heaven”, “Kingdom of Heaven”
“led by the spirit”, “led by the Spirit”
“come now, let us reason together”
paraphrase: “don’t go beyond what is written” (cf. 1 Cor 4.6)
paraphrase: “neither ‘add’ nor ‘subtract'” (cf. Deuteronomy 4.2, 12.32; Revelation 22.18-19)

“What’s the Point?” someone might ask. I, without being rude or condescending, will answer that question. Honest brethren seeking to understand God and His precepts, often find themselves at odds with each other; these crossroads are largely influenced by how each person has been taught to go about identifying and then defining the above terms. This list is not intended to identify and define, or classify and clarify, it is simply compiled to make us aware that just because we read the same words, does not mean that we will have the same interpretation, nor does that mean that we will have the same application.

Interpretation and application depend not just on words and their associated dictionary and literary contextual meanings, but the fullness of exegesis and theological approach. We should keep in mind that exegetical and theological methods are derived by the minds of men – as such not all exegetical methods and not theological methods are equally valid. Which brings us back to “What’s the Point?” Since exegetical and theological methods influence the definition, interpretation, and application of Bible words, phrases and passages, is it any wonder that people seeking to understand God argue?

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