How well do you know Christian lingo? Quiz

Eli Youngs

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About This Quiz

Do you know Advent from the Eucharist? How about the Trinity from transubstantiation? Take our quiz to find out just how well you know your Christian lingo!

What elements make up the Trinity?

The early Church hotly debated exactly how Jesus was related to God. For example, some viewed Jesus as a man who had been adopted as God's son, while others viewed Jesus as subordinate to God. These views were eventually deemed heretical, and the Church settled on the view that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit comprised a Trinity: One God in three "persons."

What is an epistle?

An epistle is simply a letter. While Paul's epistles are perhaps the best known and most influential, the term is used in secular contexts as well, such as the literary genre of epistolary novels.

When do you become "Born Again"?

"Born again" was originally a play on words, since it could also mean "born from above." Jesus said that his followers would have to experience this second birth, which is usually associated either with baptism, conversion or feeling a personal connection with him.

Adam, Noah and Abraham were all:

Abraham is considered the father of Israel, so he and his ancestors are collectively called the Patriarchs. Jews still consider themselves descendants of Abraham, while Muslims also consider Abraham the father of all prophets, including Muhammad.

What is the Eucharist?

The term Eucharist comes from the Greek for "thanksgiving." It can refer to the bread used during Mass, or to the bread and wine collectively, or to the ceremony as a whole.

What does the term "papacy" refer to?

The papacy refers to the office of the pope and comes from the Latin word for "father." In the early church, "pope" was simply the title used by bishops, but it was eventually reserved for the bishop of Rome.

What do Christians mean by "Rapture"?

The Rapture is a future event in which the dead will be resurrected, and believers among both the dead and living will ascend into heaven before the world ends. Despite a common misconception, this is never described in the book of Revelation. Instead, it's mentioned in Matthew and 1 Thessalonians.

Who are the laity?

The laity are the average members of a church - that is, everyone except the priests, pastors, etc. This term has also been extended to mean "laypersons" in secular contexts.

What would you call someone who has been canonized?

Canonization is the final step in the Catholic church's process of declaring someone a saint. In order for someone to be canonized, they must have died as a martyr for the faith, or there must be a miracle associated with them.

Who is the Madonna?

Madonna is Latin for "Our Lady" and is often used as a title for Mary in Roman Catholicism. Since Mary is often seen as embodying virtue, the term has also found use in other contexts, such as Freud's infamous "Madonna-Whore Complex."

A church that wants to find common ground with other denominations is:

"Ecumenical" comes from the Greek word for "inhabited," meaning the whole of human civilization. These days, it refers to the trend of churches seeking common ground with other churches, rather than focusing on disagreements and schisms.

What does a Christian mean by "Catechism"?

The Catechism is a set of questions and answers designed to teach the faith. While this was originally a Catholic technique, Martin Luther expanded the concept by creating two Protestant versions: a Small Catechism for children and a Large Catechism for adults. Since then, many other Protestant churches have created their own.

Baptism, communion and marriage are examples of what?

Sacraments are rituals that demonstrate God's grace, although different churches disagree on what the sacraments are. Nearly all churches consider baptism and communion to be sacraments, while others include confession, confirmation, church blessings and anointing the sick.

What distinguishes a Red Letter Bible?

A Red Letter Bible is a popular variant that shows Jesus' words in red. The popularity of this type of Bible has led to spinoffs that highlight specific themes in different colors, as well as the "Red Letter Christian" movement, which seeks to de-emphasize issues Jesus didn't directly address.

What are the Beatitudes?

The Beatitudes are the eight blessings in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus praises the poor, meek and hungry. In the Sermon on the Plain, four of these blessings are replaced with "woes" directed at those who have wealth here on Earth.

What is "witnessing"?

Witnessing is an evangelical term for showing people the influence Christianity has had on your life, similar to being a character witness in a courtroom.

What is the new relationship Jesus established between God and man?

Relationships between God and man are called covenants. The Old Testament describes covenants with Abraham and Moses, but Jesus' sacrifice eventually supersedes them.

Which books of the Bible are called the Synoptics?

Matthew, Mark and Luke are often called the Synoptic Gospels, from a Greek word meaning "same sight." The term is used because these Gospels largely describe the same events from a similar perspective, while John focuses more on philosophy and includes events not mentioned in the other three.

What would you call someone who's not a Gentile?

"Gentile" was a Jewish term for anyone non-Jewish. Even though Jesus fulfilled Jewish prophecies, Paul extensively argued that Gentiles did not need to convert to Judaism in order to follow him.

When is Advent?

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas, which commemorates Jesus' birth. The season itself is meant to serve a dual purpose: honoring Jesus' first coming while preparing for his second.

What is the Great Commission?

After his resurrection, Jesus called on his followers to spread the Gospel around the world. Since this is the Great Commission, the earlier mission to the Jews during Jesus' lifetime is sometimes called the Little Commission instead.

What is the eschaton?

The eschaton is the end of the world, and eschatology is the study of everything the Bible says on the topic. Different denominations have very different interpretations of what the end times will look like and when they'll begin, since the prophecies and writings in question are heavily symbolic.

If you're studying "theodicy," what topic are you interested in?

If God is all loving and all powerful, how can we account for the suffering we experience? This problem, called theodicy, has been around long before Christianity. Christian responses often focus on the role of free will, Satan, and the Fall to explain why the world looks the way it does, or attempt to find a greater purpose in seemingly cruel events.

What do Universalists believe?

Universalism is the belief that everyone, regardless of religion, will eventually be reconciled with God and enter Heaven. Universalists don't necessarily deny that Hell exists, but they do reject the idea of eternal damnation.

Transubstantiation refers to Jesus' body in what context?

The term refers to the bread and wine used during Mass. Some denominations simply treat the bread and wine as symbolic of Jesus' flesh and blood, or even replace wine with grape juice. Catholics, however, believe in transubstantiation: that the bread and wine become Jesus' flesh and blood in an actual, not symbolic, sense.

If someone prays to remove a demon's influence, they probably believe in what?

Spiritual warfare is the idea that demonic forces actively interfere in human affairs and set up obstacles between ourselves and God. This view of the human soul as a battleground between spiritual forces is especially popular in Pentecostalism, but by no means exclusive to it.

If someone is studying apocrypha, what are they reading?

In Catholic Bibles, the Old Testament includes "apocrypha," such as Maccabees, Tobit and Sirach. These books were written by Jews, but are not considered canonical within Judaism, leading many Christians to doubt their authority. In most Protestant Bibles, these books are either moved to an appendix or left out.

What are members of the Reformed Church usually called?

The Reformed Church is the name followers gave themselves when they broke away from Lutheranism. Lutherans in turn gave them the derogatory name Calvinists, which stuck. Despite this name, the movement arguably predates John Calvin, whose writings nonetheless had an enormous influence on its theology.

Who is in charge of a diocese?

In Catholicism, a diocese is overseen by a bishop. In turn, a diocese is divided into parishes, administered by individual priests, and multiple bishops are under an archdiocese.

Who does the term "Immaculate Conception" apply to?

Although the term is often confused with Jesus' virgin birth, it actually refers to the Catholic doctrine that Mary was born free of original sin. This doctrine, which is highly controversial among Protestants, was only officially declared in the mid-1800s by Pope Pius IX.

What does legalism mean?

Legalism is the idea that the way to be saved is by diligently following the law. While few Christians would call themselves legalists, it's a common criticism for Christians to levy on each other (such as Protestants criticizing Catholics).

What does Total Depravity mean?

Total depravity is similar to arguments made by Augustine and Aquinas, but its extreme form is generally associated with Martin Luther and John Calvin. According to this belief, the Fall has so thoroughly damaged us that we are incapable of avoiding sin. Luther argued that people aren't truly Christian if they believe we can choose to be good.

If something was "prelapsarian," it happened before what event?

Prelapsarian refers to the time before the Fall, when humanity and nature were in their original, sinless states. The term is sometimes extended to refer to innocence in general, and is commonly used to discuss the impact of sin.

What does the name "Tetragrammaton" refer to?

The Tetragrammaton is the Hebrew name of God, often rendered YHWH and transliterated as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah." Pronouncing this name is a taboo within Judaism, and Christian Bibles often replace it with the word "Lord" in small capitals.

Which English phrase means the same thing as "sola fide"?

To differentiate his view of Christianity from the Catholic Church, Martin Luther defined tenets called the five "solae." Among these are "sola scriptura", which holds that the Bible is the sole source of religious authority, and "sola fide", which says faith is the sole criteria for salvation.

What does the word "Catholic" actually mean?

"Catholic" means universal. As the Roman Catholic church has split into Orthodox and Protestant denominations, many now use the word "catholic" (uncapitalized) to refer to a broader sense of universality, while "Catholic" refers to Roman Catholicism. Many Protestant groups consider themselves "catholic" in this sense.

What are you doing if you engage in apologetics?

The word "apologetics" comes from the original Greek meaning of "apology," which refers to a legal defense. In modern usage, an apologist is someone who defends the faith through reason and argument.

What do Catholics call sins that don't lead to damnation?

In Catholicism, there are two kinds of sin: mortal and venial. Mortal sins result in separation from God and damnation in Hell if the person who committed them doesn't repent, while venial sins are forgivable even without repentance. In general, if someone sins unwillingly, that sin will be considered venial.

What is the Annuciation?

The Annunciation was Gabriel's announcement that Mary would give birth to Jesus. Catholics celebrate this event near the Vernal Equinox, nine months before Christmas.

Often translated as "the Word", what does John 1:1 call Jesus?

Logos was a Greek term for the logic of an argument, but it is now best known from John's famous opening sentence: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

What is Doxology?

A doxology is a short hymn, especially one used by Catholics. The term is sometimes used simply to describe the most famous doxology: "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," which is recited during Mass.

What is exegesis?

Exegesis is the interpretation of scripture. The proper way to read the Bible has been debated since at least the Reformation, when Martin Luther vehemently argued against Catholics interpretations. Modern debates include whether the Bible should be read as inerrant revelation or primarily as a human book.

Being forgiven by God and absolved of sin is called what?

Justification is the process of God absolving you of sin, allowing access into heaven. Protestants split off from the Catholic Church largely due to disagreement on what was necessary for justification. In particular, the two sides argued over whether good works were necessary to be saved, and to what extent the church could act on God's behalf.

Which term refers to Jesus' second coming?

The Parousia (Greek for "arrival") is Jesus' second coming. The larger term "delay of the Parousia" refers to the mistaken belief that Jesus would return before any of his followers died, and the disappointment when this didn't come to pass. Several epistles address this disappointment.

What term means that your decisions have no impact on whether you enter Heaven?

Unconditional Election is a Calvinist doctrine that says God has already chosen who will be saved. This salvation is "unconditional" in that it doesn't depend on anything in your control, such as whether you join the church or your morality. Calvinists often argue that people who are predestined to enter Heaven will also tend to be faithful and moral people, but they don't believe God saves them because of those traits.

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