Akedah: From Genesis 22, the story where God tells Abraham to offer Isaac, his son, as a sacrifice.

b.: Abbreviation for ben, meaning son of.

CE and BCE: Common Era and Before the Common Era, corresponds to AD and BC.

Gemara: The Talmud.


Haggadah: The book used during the Passover Seder, to tell the story of Passover and the Exodus.

Halacha: Jewish law.

Jacob: The brother of Yeshua, whom English translations refer to as James. He was named, of course, after the patriarch.

Mezuzah: A parchment scroll containing verses from the Torah (Deut. 6:4-9, 11:13-21), placed in a metal or wood housing, attached to the exterior doorposts of a Jewish home.

Mishna: The Jewish oral law, as it was written down at the end of the 2nd century CE.

Naming the Scriptures

New Covenant Scriptures: See Naming the Scriptures.

Oral Law: Tradition of instruction handed down and used with the Torah.

Pharisees: Jewish group that existed at the time of Yeshua's ministry. Their beliefs included immortality of the soul, resurrection, and a coming Messiah. They strictly observed of the rules of Scripture.

Pogrom: Unprovoked attack on a Jewish community.

Qumran: Place of discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is in the desert northwest of the Dead Sea.

R.: Abbreviation for Rabbi.

Sadducees: Jewish group that existed at the time of Yeshua’s ministry, and until the Temple was destroyed in 70CE. Their beliefs differed from that of the Pharisees.

Sanhedrin: Seventy-one Rabbis who comprised the highest court of Israel. It could only be convened when the Temple was in use.

Sephardim: Jews who are descendants of those who lived in Spain and Portugal before the expulsion in 1492.

Shavuot: The 6th of Sivan, celebrating the giving of the Torah.

Sukkot: Beginning on the 15th of Tishri, celebrated for 7 days, remembering that the Jews lived in the wilderness following the Exodus.

Tallit: A fringed, square garment, a prayer shawl, worn by men during morning prayers.

Talmud: The Mishna and the Gemara, written in the fifth and sixth centuries, it contains the Jewish religious law.

Tanakh: The Jewish Bible. An acronym made up of Torah (Pentateuch), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim(Writings).

Targum: Designates Aramaic translations of the Scriptures.

Tefillim: Also called phylacteries. A pair of small black boxes containing biblical verses, worn by men a weekday prayers. "And you shall bind them as a sign on your arm and an emblem between your eyes".

Teshuvah: Repentance.

Yeshua: The Hebrew name of Jesus. Yeshua is short for Yehoshua, i.e. Joshua. The name Jesus is from the Greek.

Yetzer: Inclination, either to do good (yetzer ha tov), or to do evil (yetzer ha ra).

Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement, the 10th of Tishri, a day of fasting and repentance.

Zugoth: The early pairs of teachers, mentioned in the Talmud, starting in the early Maccabean period.