CANON refers to a standard. A scriptural canon is the list of books acknowledged as
scripture. A list of acknowledged saints can also be referred to as canon. Canon law can
refer to Church regulations and disciplines. This word is significant because in the early
Christian movement there was no “canon” but rather a message of Jesus as the risen lord
(eventually this message changed into reporting Jesus’ cosmically significant life on Earth).
I am not stating there was no scripture at that point but rather no “acknowledgement” of
the scripture as the community focused on preaching the “message”. Almost three centuries
later than the very early movements, when Christianity became an established religion,
church leaders listed the four gospels as “scripture”. These four gospels of Mark, Luke, John
and Matthew were universally accepted by Christendom.
BISHOPS were supervising priests of a district called diocese. In some branches of
Christianity, the bishop has charge of ordaining priests as well as confirming baptisms.
Constantine saw the Church as a way to stabilize his government as Churches throughout
the empire used this form of regional government with the Bishop at the top enforcing
remarkable discipline. This is significant because of the role bishops played in the third
century where four cities emerged (eventually a fifth came along) in prominence, the
bishops of these cities were called patriarchs. The ordination lineage of bishops was referred
to as apostolic succession to legitimize the bishop’s authority (beginning of origin of
Eucharist refers to a central Christian ritual, but is known as different terms among the
Christian divisions. It is a ritual re-enactment of Jesus’ sacrifice of himself, patterned after
his sharing bread and wine as his body and blood at his final Passover meal with his
disciples, as stated by the synoptic gospels. The word in Greek refers to thanksgiving but is
referred to as different things by the Christian divisions. There is a prayer where the
officiating priest or minister repeats the event and invites the congregation to receive
communion (bread and wine). This is significant because the event is a celebration of Jesus’
sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sins, as a saviour (divine or human); this theme of Jesus as
a “saviour” plays an important role in modern Christianity movements (after
Logos means “Word” in the sense of eternal divine intelligence and purpose. In John’s
gospel he states that at the beginning there was logos, which was with and was God, this
signified the importance of God who can create and control the world through is “Word”.
Eventually, John states that logos became flesh, referring to the Jesus Christ. This is where
a great debate began between if Jesus was divine (meaning logos) or human which
continues on today. Jesus is either one person with a divine nature (logos); one person with
a divine nature and human nature or two persons one being divine or the other being
Pentecost refers to the fiftieth day after Easter, commemorated as the occasion when
Jesus’ followers experienced the Holy Spirit and be understood in different languages as
stated in Acts 2. This is significant to Christians because it marks the emergence of the
Church as a missionary movement with a message for all people. Pentecostalism has
emerged as a religion in the United States and Latin countries where speaking
charismatically in tongues is promoted but instead of being intelligible the speech is
“mystifying”. This division emphasizes immediate personal experience rather than textual
or doctrinal tradition.
Crucifix is a cross with an image of the suffering Jesus mounted on it. (Make up
Nicene Creed is an ancient doctrinal formulation longer and more explicit than the
Apostle’s Creed and still in use through regular recitation in the Catholic mass. This form
was ratified in 381 but is very similar to the same topics covered in the Apostle’s Creed
albeit a bit longer. The Nicene Creed’s significance lies with the fact that it is more specific
about the Holy Spirit and is more inclined to mention the spirit along with God and Christ
in a triadic list – essentially this is where the idea of the Trinity arose from, where a
plurality of divine persons is advocated.
‘Apocalyptic’ refers to a genre of Jewish literature that developed in the later prophetic
books and flourished in the Hellenistic era. All of apocalyptic literature is eschatological
meaning it deals with the doctrine of events at the end of the age. The literature was
written in coded symbolic visions which (interpreted) often expected a final battle to end
unrighteousness of the present. The apocalyptic literature is significant in Judaism and is
exemplified by the role the Messiah (anointed one) plays as he will lead and reward the
righteous for their faith in God. It is also exemplified by the Essene sect who believed that
the events of the time were moving toward an apocalyptic battle in which they would be led
by a Righteous Teacher (Messiah) and battle children of darkness.
Exile refers to the deportation of Jewish leadership from Jerusalem to Mesopotamia by the
conquering Babylonians in 586 BCE. The Exile is significant because of the events or
groups that transpired after it. The Exile caused the Diaspora to grow significantly larger –
these groups eventually blended external philosophies and culture into their Jewish
tradition. Solomon’s temple was razed which caused an emphasis to rise on congregational
life rather than temple worship and eventually caused the synagogue to be born. The
Aramaic language gradually replaced Hebrew and gave Hebrew a “ritual” role. This Exile
also led to ideas about messianism and apocalyptic literature.
Pentateuch refers to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, ascribed by tradition to
Moses, but regarded by modern scholarship as the result of several centuries of later
literary activity. The first five books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and
Deuteronomy. It is said that there have been many editors of the text ranging from
monarchy to priestly figures. The books are significant because they outline the events in
Jewish tradition including the most important – the giving of the commandments at Mt.
Sinai and thus the Covenant between the chosen people and God. They also are the basis of
laws and instructions on conduct interpreted by many rabbis to the public for better
understanding and follow through (midrash).
Bar Mitzvah (‘son of commandments’) is the initiation of a thirteen year-old boy into
adult ritual responsibilities in the synagogue service (some celebrate Bat Mitzvah for girls).
This usually occurs on a Saturday during the Sabbath. This marking of the onset of
adulthood is an ancient concept of legal majority – it gives the child ritual and moral
responsibility (being counted in the minyan; recite blessings from the Law and Prophets).
The recitation by the child includes passages from the Torah and community blessings
including some region specific services. The Bar Mitzvah is significant because it is not an
ancient ritual but rather something modern, it became a characteristic of the Jewish
community only after they achieved legal rights and participated in European culture.
Gemarah is the body of Aramaic commentary attaching to the Hebrew text of the Mishnah
– which together with it makes up the Talmud, in both the Jerusalem Talmud and
Babylonian Talmud. The Jerusalem Talmud was likely produced in Galilee rather than
Jerusalem. The gemarah is usually much longer than the passage of mishnah it is written
after. The Gemarah is obviously significant to Judaism because it provides an opinion of
Rabbis on the Mishnah, for greater understanding and interpretation.
Minyan refers to the quorum of ten required for beginning a synagogue service of prayer.
Minyan is significant in two aspects of Judaism, obviously prayer as mentioned and the bar
mitzvah. Prayer is regular feature of rabbinic Judaism as stated by Deuteronomy – for their
daily prayers Jew usually look for a minyan. After bar mitzvah, which is really a modern
ritual of the Jewish community rather than ancient, one is considered to be eligible to be
part of a minyan.
Mishnah is the Hebrew text edited by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi before 200, arranging topically
the contents of the Oral Law inherited from Pharisaism and ascribed to Moses with an
authority paralleling the written Torah. This is obviously significant in Judaism because it
is a divine source of law (Moses) and thus should be followed as the “Oral Law”. It is
organized in six orders or divisions including holy things (ritual) and purifications. The
Mishnah consisted of rabbi interpretations but considered holy because it was ascribed to
Moses – this is essentially how the Pharisees and the rabbinic movement at the time
dominated Jewish culture and tradition.
A scriptural canon is the list of books acknowledged as scripture. A list of acknowledged saints can also be referred to as canon. Canon law can refer to church regulations and disciplines. This word is significant because in the early. Christian movement there was no canon but rather a message of jesus as the risen lord (eventually this message changed into reporting jesus" cosmically significant life on earth). I am not stating there was no scripture at that point but rather no acknowledgement of the scripture as the community focused on preaching the message . Almost three centuries later than the very early movements, when christianity became an established religion, church leaders listed the four gospels as scripture . These four gospels of mark, luke, john and matthew were universally accepted by christendom. Bishops were supervising priests of a district called diocese. Christianity, the bishop has charge of ordaining priests as well as confirming baptisms.