Glossary

Terms beginning with T

Testament (New)

1)     The Christian collection of sacred writings which have become recognised as being necessary for understanding the Christian faith. Originally these documents were not regarded as scripture. The first Christians only recognised the Old Testament as their scriptures. By the second century when the break with Judaism was complete these books were considered as ‘canonical’ in the same way as the Hebrew scripture. The New Testament is written in Greek by a number of authors, the most prolific being Luke and Paul. Jesus himself wrote nothing but he is the inspiration for everything that is written in the New Testament, which is a testimony to the centrality of faith in Christ as Lord.

Testament (Old)

1)     The Hebrew scriptures, commonly known as the Old Testament is that collection of books written in Hebrew which the Christian Church shares with the Synagogue. Traditionally it is divided into three parts, the first five books known as the ‘Law’, the Prophets which include most of the historical books and the ‘Writings’ which are books of a later date. Like the New Testament these writings are regarded as sacred and are often described as the ‘Word of God’ communicated through the words of inspired men and women.

The Church

1)     The Church is an organisation made up of those who have become members by baptism.

The Trinity

1)     is the Christian understanding of God revealed in three persons, those of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is acknowledged as making himself known in his son Jesus Christ and communicating with his people in and through his Holy Spirit.

Theology

1)     The study of theology is literally a study of the words of God. Theology is an attempt to engage with religious claims. In the Christian tradition it is centred on the study of revealed theology in scripture, natural theology which is concerned with the study of the world and ethical and philosophical theology which concentrates on the use of reason. Other branches of theology include pastoral, practical, dogmatic and historical. Essentially theologians are seekers after truth informed by faith who want to interpret that faith to other enquirers.

Transepts

1)     These form the arms of the cross in a cross shaped church or cathedral. They are two projections found in the north and the south of an east west orientated building.

Trinity Sunday

1)     This is the feast that marks the conclusion of the liturgical telling of the story of the life of Christ. This story telling through the use of the calendar has stretched from Christmas to Pentecost. In England the feast became popular because of its associations with Archbishop Thomas Becket who was consecrated bishop on that day. Until thirty years ago most ordinations in the Church of England took place on that day which affirms the unity of God as revealed in the forms of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. According to the English usage Sundays are reckoned after Trinity and not after Pentecost as is elsewhere the custom.

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Amendments

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Credits

The original core of this glossary was commissioned from Canon Phillip McFadyen of St George's Colegate, in Norwich.