001

Table of Contents
 
Praise
Title Page
Copyright Page
Introduction
 
Chapter 01 - BIBLICABULARY (A GLOSSARY OF THE GOOD BOOK)
 
ALTAR
AMEN
ANGEL
APOSTLE
ARK OF THE COVENANT
ATONEMENT
BLOOD
BRIDE/BRIDEGROOM
CANAAN
CHRIST
CIRCUMCISION
COVENANT
CROSS, THE
DEMON
DEVIL
DISCIPLE
EPISTLE
ETERNAL LIFE
EXILE
EXODUS
FAITH
FLESH
FORNICATION
GOSPEL
GRACE
HIGH PRIEST
HOLY SPIRIT
ISRAEL
JEWS
LAW, THE
LORD’S PRAYER, THE
MEDIATOR
MESSIAH
NEW TESTAMENT
OFFERING
OLD TESTAMENT
PARABLE
PENTATEUCH
PHARISEES
PROMISED LAND
PROPHET
RABBI
SABBATH
SACRIFICE
SALVATION
SIN
TABERNACLE/TEMPLE
TRINITY
 
Chapter 02 - CAST OF CHARACTERS (A TO J)
 
AARON
ABEDNEGO
ABEL
ABIMELECH
ABISHAG
ABRAHAM
ADAM
AHAB
ANDREW
BALAAM
BAPTIST, JOHN THE
BARABBAS
BATHSHEBA
CAIN
CALEB
DANIEL
DAVID
DEBORAH
DORCAS
EHUD
ELIJAH
ELISHA
ESAU
ESTHER
EVE
EZEKIEL
FORTUNATUS
GABRIEL
GIDEON
GOD
GOLIATH
HAM
HEROD THE GREAT
HOSEA
ISAAC
ISAIAH
ISHMAEL
ISRAEL
JABEZ
JACOB
JEHOVAH
JEREMIAH
JESUS
JEZEBEL
JOB
JOHN
JONAH
JOSEPH (OF THE OLD TESTAMENT)
JOSEPH (OF NAZARETH)
JOSHUA
JUDAS ISCARIOT
 
Chapter 03 - CAST OF CHARACTERS (K TO Z)
 
KORAH
LAZARUS
LOT
MARY MAGDALENE
MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS
MESHACH
METHUSELAH
MIRIAM
MOSES
NEBUCHADNEZZAR
NEPHILIM
NOAH
OG
ONESIMUS
PAUL
PETER
PONTIUS PILATE
POTIPHAR’S WIFE
RAHAB
REBEKAH
SAMSON
SAMUEL
SATAN
SAUL
SHADRACH
SIMON THE MAGICIAN
SOLOMON
TIMOTHY
URIAH
UZZAH
WISE MEN, THE
YAHWEH
ZACCHAEUS
 
Chapter 04 - WHAT HAPPENS, PART I (THE OLD TESTAMENT AT BREAKNECK SPEED)
 
GENESIS
EXODUS
LEVITICUS
NUMBERS
DEUTERONOMY
JOSHUA
JUDGES
RUTH
1 & 2 SAMUEL
1 & 2 KINGS
1 & 2 CHRONICLES
EZRA
NEHEMIAH
ESTHER
JOB
PSALMS
PROVERBS
ECCLESIASTES
SONG OF SOLOMON
ISAIAH
JEREMIAH
LAMENTATIONS
EZEKIEL
DANIEL
HOSEA
JOEL
AMOS
OBADIAH
JONAH
MICAH
NAHUM
HABAKKUK
ZEPHANIAH
HAGGAI
ZECHARIAH
MALACHI
 
Chapter 05 - WHAT HAPPENS, PART 2 (THE NEW TESTAMENT AT BREAKNECK SPEED)
 
MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, JOHN
ACTS
ROMANS
1 & 2 CORINTHIANS
GALATIANS
EPHESIANS
PHILIPPIANS
COLOSSIANS
1 & 2 THESSALONIANS
1 & 2 TIMOTHY
TITUS
PHILEMON
HEBREWS
JAMES
1 & 2 PETER
1, 2, & 3 JOHN
JUDE
REVELATION
 
Chapter 06 - THE BRIEF HISTORY OF HOLY WRIT (A TIMELINE)
 
900-ISH BC
400 BC
300-200 BC
AD 90
AD 100-ISH
AD 150
AD 367
AD 382
AD 397
AD 600
AD 800
1205
1380
1411
1456
1516
1525-1526
1534
1535
1536
1539
1546
1560
1568
1524-1590
1582
1605
1611
 
Chapter 07 - VERSIONS AND PERVERSIONS (A SELECTIVE SURVEY OF TRANSLATIONS)
 
THREE TRANSLATING PHILOSOPHIES YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST
THE KING JAMES VERSION/AUTHORIZED VERSION (KJV/AV1611)
THE REVISED STANDARD VERSION (RSV)
THE JERUSALEM BIBLE (JB)
THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE (NAB)
THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (NASB)
THE LIVING BIBLE (TLB)
THE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV)
THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE (NJB)
THE NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION (NRSV)
THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
THE ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION (ESV)
THE MESSAGE (MSG)
TODAY’S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (TNIV)
A FEW OTHER, LESS-POPULAR VERSIONS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER
 
Chapter 08 - LIST YE BE SMITTEN (BIBLICAL FLOTSAM AND JETSAM)
 
FIVE HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT SOUND ABSOLUTELY AWFUL, AS DESCRIBED IN THE KING JAMES
THE FOUR BEST MOMENTS FOR DONKEYS
NINE MISCELLANEOUS THINGS YOU MUST NOT DO, ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES
ONE STATEMENT BY PAUL THAT, WHEN TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, MAKES HIM SOUND ...
TWO MIGHTY MEN THAT SPELLCHECK LIKES
THREE BIBLICAL EXCUSES ONE MIGHT STILL APPROPRIATE IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS
SEVEN NON-CANONICAL BOOKS MENTIONED BY NAME IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
SIX BIBLICAL MAGICIANS, WITCHES, SORCERORS, AND/OR FORTUNETELLERS
TWELVE BIBLICAL NAMES THAT ARE STILL POPULAR TODAY
FOUR ACTIVITIES OF MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
ONE PHRASE FROM THE KING JAMES VERSION, USED GENERICALLY TO DESCRIBE MALES, ...
NINE BOOKS THAT CATHOLICS ACCEPT AS BIBLICAL, BUT PROTESTANTS DON’T
TEN COMMON ENGLISH PHRASES WITH BIBLICAL ORIGINS
 
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
THE AUTHOR

“Informative, thoughtful, humorous in all the right places; and best of all, it’s smartly written!”
CHRIS YAMBAR, Bart Simpson Comics, Mr. Beat creator
 
 
“I usually don’t laugh out loud when I read the Bible—or even stuff about the Bible—but Jason Boyett had me laughing all the way through this book. Laughs aside, the Pocket Guide is well researched and documented, instructive and insightful.”
DEAN NELSON, co-author of The Power of Serving Others and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego
 
 
“Jason Boyett dips the King James into a cultural vat of theological salsa. One bite and you know this ain’t your grandpa’s Bible.”
—TERRY ESAU, author of Surprise Me
 
 
“Most books don’t move me to read Leviticus. Weirdly, this one does.”
—MATTHEW PAUL TURNER, speaker and author of The Christian Culture Survival Guide and Mind Games: Advice, Stories, and Truth for Thinking Free
 
 
“Jason’s first Pocket Guide left me shaking my head with a grin and a healthy appetite for more.This new book exceeded my expectations. Reading it is like staying up late with that old friend from seminary. He just won’t shut up, and you’re not about to ask him to, ’cause you’re loving every second of it.”
—ANDREW OSENGA, singer/songwriter with Caedmon’s Call
 
 
“A true sign of brilliance is the ability to explain the complex and convoluted simply. Jason Boyett has done that in Pocket Guide to the Bible. His clever and conversational style makes it an enjoyable as well as intruging read.”
—RUSSELL RATHBUN, author of Post-Rapture Radio

001

002

INTRODUCTION
In the beginning was the Word. At least, that’s what some people call it. Others know it as the Good Book, the Holy Scriptures, or the Law and the Prophets. But to most of us? It’s the Bible.
The thing came together a couple millennia ago and covers a few thousand years of human history. Readers of the Bible occasionally dispute its authorship. Some people think the book was written by God himself, whispering in the ears of a few dozen holy scribes way back in the Middle East. Others think those who wrote it were decent guys, perhaps more attuned to God than most, who got the Creator’s point across despite subjecting the text to their own personal whims and limitations and primitive perspectives. And some people think the authors were all just a bunch of delusional wack-jobs out to justify their own misguided beliefs.
Something like 168,000 new Bibles are sold, given away, or otherwise distributed every day.
But don’t let the controversy keep you from enjoying the Bible, because there’s good stuff in there. Just about everyone can find something of benefit.
Steadfast believers love the Bible, even though right in the middle of it—in Psalms, which a lot of people cite as among their favorite books of the Bible—the authors repeatedly call into question God’s faithfulness. And his presence. Even his existence.1 Nonbelievers and skeptics enjoy the Bible too because this collection of ancient documents packs a variety of literary styles, influential language, and beloved stories about human nature—beneficial material, whether or not they think any of it’s true.
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Uptight moralists adore the Bible despite its explicit references to sex and immorality. Cautious mommies and daddies read this book to their kids, even though parts of it detail some of the most horrific violence in human history. Politicians and judges swear on it, even though they occasionally object to it being displayed in public.
It’s a book that has inspired, at various times, the decisions of great leaders of mankind and the obsessions of serial killers. Abolitionists used it to justify their actions. So did slaveholders. It drove Martin Luther King Jr. to push for civil rights while fueling the lynch mobs who opposed him. It has convinced presidents to go to war. It has convinced presidents to embrace peace.
The Bible has motivated its readers to tend the sick, feed the poor, shelter the homeless, educate the uneducated, and fight for the oppressed. It also motivated the Crusades. And the Inquisition. And apartheid.
It gives us joyful holidays like Christmas and Easter. It gives us doomsday prophets and end-of-the-world predictions.
It’s stuffed with passages commanding believers to love one another and live in Spirit-led unity.These passages are read by Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Southern Baptists, National Baptists, ELCA Lutherans, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, African Methodist Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Charismatics, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, Nazarenes, Quakers, Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Churches of God in Christ, Bible churches, and a steaming stew of nondenominational congregations.
Jews dig the Bible. At least the first part, which they call the Torah and which Christians call the Old Testament. But Jewish readers aren’t so interested in the New Testament, on account of all the Jesus stuff.
Christians dig it, too.They’re all about the New Testament, but tend to forget about most of the Old Testament, except for the first few chapters of Genesis and a handful of childhood Sunday school stories.
Yes, the Bible is an interesting book.Which is why nine out of ten American households own at least one copy, according to a 2005 update from the Barna Research Group. It’s why six out of ten Americans confess to reading the Bible every once in a while, according to a 2000 Gallup poll.Yet most of us Bible readers don’t know Ezra from Esther or Zephaniah from Zechariah. Few of us can list all four Gospels or recite half of the Ten Commandments. A majority of us can’t even identify who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.2
That’s why you need this book—a handy, easy-to-read, occasionally amusing guide to the Bible and its characters, events, translations, and history. Why? Because the Bible is the all-time best-selling book, one that most people own but apparently don’t read, that lots of people read but apparently don’t understand, and that people allegedly understand but in a way that makes them jerks.
Let’s see what the Pocket Guide can do about that.
The Gideons International distributes more than one million free Bibles every week. Which means people are stealing them from hotel rooms, and the Gideons are cool with that.

003
01
BIBLICABULARY (A GLOSSARY OF THE GOOD BOOK)
Sure, a lot of Christians act as if a person can just crack the Bible open and suddenly discover “God’s plan” for his or her life. But let’s be honest, right here at the start: the Bible is not that easy. It’s a difficult book. It’s stacked with unfamiliar terms, exotic concepts, and complex systems of thought that germinate in the Old Testament and ooze into the New Testament and—hey, what’s the difference between the two testaments anyway? And while we’re at it, how can you distinguish an epistle from an apostle? The exile from the exodus? A Pharisee from a Sadducee?
How, indeed. Like any collection of sacred documents written in ancient languages over the span of several centuries, the Good Book has a lingo all its own.
For any longtime reader of the Bible—or, perhaps, any longtime churchgoer—Bibletalk is second nature. Every other Sunday sermon gives a shoutout to concepts like sin and salvation. Hymns and prayers call attention to faith, grace, and the cross.Then there are all those sweaty TV types weeping and yelling about the Holy Spirit and asking for your money.
The indoctrinated don’t bat an eye at this stuff, but the rest of us? Might as well be listening to ancient Hebrew.To minimize the mystification, the Pocket Guide kicks off here with the Biblicabulary, a handy glossary for the scriptural noob. Here are the words you need to know in order to fully enjoy the coming merriment. Strap on your phylacteries, kids, and let’s get started.3

ALTAR

Any commemorative structure—could be as rustic as a pile of rocks or as official as a raised platform made of wood and bronze—where sacrifices or prayers are offered to a deity. Old Testament guys like Noah and Abraham erect altars as memorials for major events or encounters with God. Later, the altar becomes a central part of Jewish worship as the place where priests fire up handpicked animals as sacrificial offerings to God. In the Tabernacle, folks see the altar as no less than the connecting point between God and mankind and a symbol of God’s presence.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Your basic modern-day religious altar—the table, inside a church, from which communion is served. It’s usually located below the pulpit. Plop a bloody sheep down on one of these, and, best-case scenario, you’ll be asked to leave.Worst case? You’ll be accused of Satanism.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it” (Gen. 8:20).

AMEN

A Hebrew exclamation meaning something along the lines of “I agree” or “so be it.” In the Bible, it usually indicates one’s acceptance of a covenant or is tacked on to the end of a psalm. In modern usage, it’s what people say to let God (and any human listeners) know they’re finished praying.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE OR THREE: Dear God, if you let me pass this test, I promise I will never make fun of televangelists again. Not even the ones on TBN. In Jesus’ name, amen.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “‘Cursed is the man who sleeps with his mother-in-law.’Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” (Deut. 27:23).4

ANGEL

A heavenly being in service to God and occasionally interacting with mankind. Angels rescue Lot from Sodom, send out Jesus’ birth announcements, bust Peter out of jail, and spend a lot of time worshiping God in heaven.5
In late 2008, a Google search for “Bible” generated 169,000,000 results. “Holy Bible” got 5,010,000 results. “Pocket Guide to the Bible” earned an astonishing 67,100 results.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: David Boreanaz, Michael Landon, Della Reese, that old guy wearing long underwear in It’s a Wonderful Life, or major league ballplayers from Anaheim. Seeing how most angels in the Bible scare the bejudas out of people, they probably aren’t the rosy-cheeked, harp-tickling, feather-winged babies we make them out to be.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp” (2 Kings 19:35).

APOSTLE

One of the twelve men chosen by Jesus to follow him around, who learn from him as he teaches about the kingdom of God. After Jesus’ death, the apostles become the leaders of the early Church. Especially once Paul, who receives a dazzling visit from Jesus on the road to Damascus, starts advertising himself as an apostle.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Aeropostale, a mall-based retailer of casual apparel for teenagers. One sells hoodies.The other wears robes and sandals. It’s not hard.
Don’t confuse it with Epistle, either.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14).

ARK OF THE COVENANT

A sacred, gold-covered box made of acacia wood. It houses the stone tablets on which God chiseled the Ten Commandments, plus a jar of manna and Aaron’s miraculous walking stick. It’s kept in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and later gets moved to Solomon’s Temple.Why? Because it’s a reminder to the Israelites of God’s presence.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Ark of the Testimony, Ark of the Agreement, Ark of the Lord
NOT ALSO KNOWN AS: The Ark of Noah, which holds a bunch of animals rather than stone tablets and is made of gopher wood instead of acacia wood. Also, it’s a boat.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE: Archeologically inclined Nazis will want to avoid opening the Ark of the Covenant, as it will melt their faces off.6
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight” (1 Sam. 6:13).

ATONEMENT

The process of removing or forgiving sins, usually through the shedding of blood from an animal sacrificed in substitution for humans. After the sacrificial death of Christ, the word refers to the restored relationship between God and man.
It works this way: God is holy. People sin.The holiness/sinfulness divide is a significant one. But then Jesus dies as a big-league atoning sacrifice in place of humanity, and God offers forgiveness to those who have faith in him.The stuff sin screws up? It gets unscrewed.This is pretty much the central idea of Christianity.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the man’s sin, and he will be forgiven” (Lev. 4:26).

BLOOD

You know what blood is, so quit acting all uninformed. Biblically speaking, blood becomes one of the most important symbolic concepts of the Jewish and Christian faiths. Blood smeared on the doorframe protects the Israelites during the Passover. Priests sprinkle the blood of a sacrificial animal on the altar, and the people of God (in the Old Testament, at least) are prohibited from eating blood.The blood of an animal—because it represents life—is the necessary ingredient in the process of atonement.Which leads to the New Testament, in which people gain atonement for their sins through the innocent blood shed by Christ on the cross.7
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE OR TWO: At the Last Supper, Jesus tells the disciples that the wine represents his blood. But good Southern Baptists know that, though he says “wine,” he really means “grape juice.”
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exod. 12:13).

BRIDE/BRIDEGROOM

A metaphor throughout the Bible in which the relationship between God and his people is compared to the bond between a husband and wife, a bridegroom and his bride. In the Old Testament, Hosea lives out the illustration with the prostitute Gomer, his unfaithful skeeze-bride and an all-too-willing object lesson. But the idea doesn’t really come of age until Paul spins it in the New Testament.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: All the explicit sexual imagery in Song of Solomon. For years, prim and proper believers figured the spicy book had to be some sort of deeply symbolic bride/ bridegroom code. But now, most scholars just think it’s erotic poetry.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

CANAAN

See Promised Land.

CHRIST

The official title for Jesus, and not, as some believe, Jesus’ last name. Christ is the New Testament (Greek) equivalent of the Old Testament (Hebrew) term Messiah. It specifically refers to Jesus’ role in restoring the broken relationship between God and man.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Jesus. Jesus is the name Mary and Joseph give the child at his circumcision, because when an angel appears to you with a pre-selected baby name, you follow that lead. Jesus is the name. Christ is his title.They’re not interchangeable.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ’” (Mark 8:29).

CIRCUMCISION

Let’s say you’re a boy, born to a nice Jewish family around three thousand years ago.You’re stumbling around in the hot, dusty desert.Your mom and dad are cranky because the only thing to eat is manna, and they’ve been lost for forty years.You’re just getting used to this outside-the-womb thing—the pooping, sleeping, and whatnot—until you hit the eighth day of your life, and some old bearded dude with a craggy flint knife starts poking around your tallywacker. And—hey! Ow! There is SO not supposed to be blood down there! But despite the unbearable drama, you’re not too upset about the sudden violent loss of your foreskin. For one thing, it’s only a useless flap of flesh, right? And for another thing, this physical disfigurement sets you apart from your archrivals, the Assyrians and Amalekites and Philistines.When one of them gets an eyeful of your scarred-up penis, they’ll see evidence of God’s covenant with you and your people! Or something like that.
At least ten different abbeys, churches, and/or cities throughout history have laid claim to possessing the Holy Prepuce. That’s right: the divine foreskin of Jesus.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE: Back in biblical times, only those males who had experienced circumcision could participate in public worship, which begs the question: who enforced this rule, and how?
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you” (Gen. 17:11).

COVENANT

Biblically, the agreement between God and humanity to restore their sin-tainted relationship. God promises to bless and protect Israel as long as they follow a detailed assortment of holiness codes and regulations. And it’s a long, serious list. Good thing the sacrificial death of Jesus in the New Testament sets aside the old, rules-based agreement, promising salvation by faith in Christ.
Another blessed foreskin factoid: In the fourteenth century, Saint Catherine of Siena had a famous vision in which Jesus placed his amputated foreskin on her finger as a wedding ring.
By the way, ancient covenants usually get formalized by an elaborately gross ritual.The covenanters slice an animal lengthwise and set the two slices opposite each other, separated by a narrow gap.8 To enact the covenant, the two parties walk between the bloody, steaming slabs of meat. Symbolically, this reminds them that, should they break the covenant, they’ll be cut in half. Lengthwise.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: A coven, which is a gathering of witches.Witches aren’t usually too concerned with God’s rules and regulations, although the Pocket Guide knows a Goth or two who would really get into the walking-between-two-slices-of-an-animal ritual.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob” (Exod. 2:24).

CROSS, THE

An ancient construction of perpendicular wooden beams for the purpose of criminal torture and execution, which becomes meaningful to believers after Jesus dies on one. Having been flogged to a bloody pulp prior to the crucifixion, victims have their forearms nailed to the horizontal beam.Their feet are then nailed to the vertical beam, allowing enough support to keep the body from collapsing, which ensures several days of suffering before death arrives via suffocation. Crucifixion: not pretty.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE: Kanye’s diamond-encrusted platinum cross necklace, while undoubtedly blingy, is about as classy as a rhinestone-studded electric chair swinging from a gold chain.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

DEMON

An evil spirit and minion of Satan. Demons occasionally take up residence in people and influence them in, um, generally negative ways. For instance, backward downstairs spiderwalking. (Though this example, perhaps, owes more to 1970s horror films than the biblical narrative.) Anyway, while Jewish religious leaders keep trying to exorcise demons with largely ineffective herbal remedies, Jesus just tells the vile creatures to come out. And they obey. In fact, later in the New Testament, the disciples only have to mention Jesus’ name, and demons scamper away, whimpering and farting brimstone with each fiery step.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE OR TWO: Your mom’s neck tattoo of that fire-breathing demon is wicked awesome. Though, as a Christian, of course, I disapprove.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment” (Matt. 17:18).

DEVIL

See Satan. At least, look up the entry for “Satan” in chapter 3. You probably don’t want to, you, know, actually see him.

DISCIPLE

A follower of Jesus Christ. Also see Apostle.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

EPISTLE

One of the letters in the New Testament. The Pauline Epistles are the ones ascribed to the apostle Paul and include Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.The rest of the letters are called General Epistles and have various authors.With a few exceptions, epistles are meant to be read aloud—for instance, to the members of the church at Philippi.9
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Apostle.Which is a person. Apostles can write epistles, but not the other way around.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators” (1 Cor. 5:9, KJV).10

ETERNAL LIFE

The unending, joyful existence promised to followers of Jesus, based on the belief that physical death isn’t the end of the concert. Thanks to the salvation offered through Jesus’ death and resurrection, there’s still an encore—an everlasting future in heaven. Which, hopefully, will be fully stocked with amusing diversions. Because eternity? Is a loooooong time.
“The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.”
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE: While eternal life in the Great Beyond is something to look forward to, perhaps bringing a watch along isn’t the best idea.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

EXILE

The seventy-year period around the sixth century BC when the Jewish people are forced to live in Babylon after King Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem, steals its Temple treasures, and deports its residents.They don’t return until the God-friendly king Cyrus overthrows Babylon and sends the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild a place of worship. Also known as the Babylonian captivity, the exile and return serve as the backdrop for the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Exodus
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “Jehozadak was deported when the Lord sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar” (1 Chron. 6:15).

EXODUS

God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, which they fall into after their forefather Jacob immigrates there during a famine. Having promised them the fertile land of Canaan, God sends a former Egyptian and mush-mouthed shepherd named Moses to deliver them. A few plagues later, they’re off and running. Forty years later, they finally enter the Promised Land. It’s a long story.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: The Babylonian Exile
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: Read all about the exodus in the book of, well, Exodus. And also Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

FAITH

From a human standpoint, a belief in and reliance on God. It’s the intellectual and/or emotional acceptance that God exists, apart from any measurable scientific evidence. According to the Bible, it is only through faith in Christ, and his atonement for the sins of humanity on the cross, that believers are made righteous. And, according to James 2:14, the best evidence of true faith is a life punctuated by good works. So get crackin’.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: George Michael’s chart-topping 1987 debut album and hit single of the same name. Because, sure, he talks about how important it is to have “faith-uhfaith-uh faithUH,” but then there’s also that part about how nice it would be to “touch your body.” And we’re guessing that’s probably not a bride-of-Christ metaphor.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) .

FLESH

The natural naughtiness of humanity, and one of Paul’s favorite metaphors. Most references to the flesh are negative, implying the standard disconnect between human nature and godly influence. Often mentioned in contrast with the spirit.
PLEASE USE IT IN A SENTENCE: When Angelina Jolie showed up with her newly adopted AIDS orphan, my spirit empathized with her concern for the hurting children of the world, but my flesh kept staring at her bazongas.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: “For it is we who ... glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).

FORNICATION