Build Your Biblical Vocabulary

Have you ever listened to a sermon or Bible study and the speaker used a word that just flew over your head? I have! Sometimes big “church” words can be intimidating. It’s easy to just nod your head and act like it makes perfect sense, but some of these words pop up repeatedly around the church in messages, studies, or even songs. I think it’s important to understand their meanings. If you don’t, you risk not fully grasping what the scripture or lesson is teaching.

I have a confession. I love words. I know it sounds nerdy, but I’m an English teacher’s dream when it comes to definitions, pronunciation, and context. I get frustrated when I read or hear words, and I don’t understand their meanings. This is especially true when it comes to the Bible and theological (study of religion) terms.

It’s easy to look up definitions quickly now that we all carry smart phones or tablets with us wherever we go. However, I’ve compiled a short list of commonly used theological words with basic definitions and sentences. You may want to study more to find deeper meaning.

5 Theological Terms to Know

1. Atonement - compensation or payment for sin

When Jesus died on the cross, he made atonement for our sins.

2. Inerrant - incapable of being wrong

The Bible is the inerrant Word of God.

3. Reconciliation - the restoration of relationship; repair of a broken relationship 

We are reconciled with God through the death of His Son, Jesus.

4. Redemption - saved from sin, error, or evil; to buy out as if purchasing a slave’s freedom

Because of Christ’s redemption, we are free from the bondage of sin. 

5. Sovereign - possessing supreme or ultimate power

Our sovereign God has authority over all things, and nothing is impossible for Him.

For deeper understanding, don’t be afraid to ask a pastor or leader to explain confusing words or concepts. God wants us to study and learn more about Him and His Word. The more we know, the stronger our faith grows.