In many cases, I don’t use the same terminology as a lot of people do to refer to various aspects of Christianity. So many of the standard terms have been twisted and even corrupted by the world, and sometimes people are even biased against the terms without understanding what they actually mean. Some people had bad experiences with poor examples, as well. In any case, to be clear about what I mean, I’ve compiled this list of definitions. I will continue to add to it as more terms appear in what I’ve written.
- God’s people: I use this instead of saying “Christian.” There are many people in the world who consider themselves Christian, but who don’t do anything other than go to church for an hour or two on Sundays, if that. God’s people are those who have accepted the Messiah and also the responsibility of transforming their lives to follow God’s ways.
- Messiah: From the Hebrew “mashiach,” the Messiah is the counterpart to the Greek title of Christ. However, both the Greek title and the Greek form of his given name, Jesus, have been constantly misused and twisted by the world into curses. As a result, I use the Hebrew forms: Messiah for his title, and Yeshua for his given name. After all, he was a Hebrew man anyway.
- Scripture: The word “Bible” just comes from the Greek word used for the papyrus plant and later used to refer to books or scrolls. It doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the texts of any of the major translations. I use “scripture” instead because it actually appears in the KJV in places like 2 Timothy 3:16.
- Torah: This is the Hebrew term for the first five books of Scripture, also called the Pentateuch in Greek. The word itself means much more than this, however. In ancient times, these books were the entirety of Scripture, and so for a long time, the Torah was the same thing as Scripture. Later, the historical, wisdom, and prophetic documents were added, and later yet the gospels and apostolic letters. Torah as a Hebrew word has the general meaning of “law” and can therefore refer both to the first five books specifically and also more generally to all of Scripture, all of God’s inspired words.