Background Reading (3): Terms
on the week's assignment, you may have several pages of Background Reading.
This week, you have THREE PAGES of Background reading.
- Parables and the Synoptic Gospels
- The Gospel of Thomas
- Terms and Definitions
Terms and Definitions
There are some references to proper names and places in the readings for this
week that may or may not be familiar to you. Please check over this list and
make sure you are familiar with these terms before you begin the readings.
- Abraham, Isaac, Jacob: Abraham was one of the great Jewish
patriarchs; Isaac was the son of Abraham, and Jacob was the son of Isaac
(the Gospels of Matthew and Luke provide a "family tree" for Jesus
which makes him a direct descendent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)
- Isaiah: Isaiah was Jewish prophet who had lived in Jerusalem
in the 8th century B.C.E.
- John the Baptist: John the Baptist was a Jewish teacher,
a contemporary of Jesus, who was executed by Herod (according to the Gospel
of Luke, John's mother was a close relative of Jesus's mother)
- Mary: the reference to Mary in the Gospel of Thomas is
probably a reference to Mary, one of the disciples of Jesus (there is a non-canonical Gospel
of Mary which has some themes in common with the Gospel of Thomas)
- Moses: Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt into
the "promised land," and he was also the considered to be the author of the
first five books of the Bible, often referred to by the Greek word "Pentateuch"
- Peter: Peter was one of the most prominent among the disciples
- Pilate: Pontius Pilate was the Roman procurator of Judea
from 26 C.E. to 36 C.E.
- Galilee: a region in northern Palestine, the home territory
of Jesus, including the towns of Nazareth and Cana, and the Sea of Galilee
- Jericho: the city of Jericho is located in the West Bank,
about twenty miles northeast of Jerusalem
- Jerusalem: Jerusalem was the sacred city of the Jewish
religion, where the Temple was located, before its destruction by the Romans
in 70 C.E.
- Judea: a region in southern Palestine
- Levites: male members of the tribe of Levi
served as assistants to the priests in the Temple at Jerusalem
- Pharisees: the Pharisees were a Jewish movement which
emphasized synagogue worship, rather than worship centered on the Temple
in Jerusalem; as such, they were the forerunners of rabbinic Judaism which
emerged after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans
- publicans: this is the term used for "tax collectors" in
the Roman empire
- Sabbath: the Jewish holy day, beginning at sunset on Friday
and continuing throughout Saturday, during which no work is to be performed
- Samaritans: Samaritans (from the city of Samaria, in central
Palestine), recognized the Pentateuch and followed
many Jewish practices, but there was a bitter rivalry between the Jews and
the Samaritans; the Samaritan center of worship was Mount Gerizim, not the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem
- Satan: Satan appears in the New Testament as the tempter
of Jesus and a doer of evil; the Hebrew word "Satan" means "adversary," which is translated in
Greek as "diabolos," hence the English word "devil"
MLLL-2003. World Literature: Frametales. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
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Page last updated:
October 9, 2004 12:48 PM