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Religious Jargon

Religious Jargon

Jesus challenges us to make sure our words are clear and genuine. They should reflect all of His love.

Embellishing what we say with religiosity is useless in communicating the good news of Jesus. Being religious isn’t being genuine in God.

Sounding religious doesn’t make us religious.

God’s goal for us is to be clear in what we say. Religious jargon is not God’s way.

And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it.

You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

Matthew 5:33 – The Message Bible

We’ve probably all said “It’s Greek to me”. Language is important and translating words properly is important. Unfortunately some Greek word translations have lost meaning both to disciples of Jesus and those who don’t follow Him yet. Examples are “the Gospel”, sin, Christ, Lord, and more.

Here are some common Greek words, how they have historically been translated and my suggestions, based on the Greek. This is all supported by the major Greek lexicons.

  • Christ — Χριστός Christos — Meaning: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. Translation: The Messiah
  • Church — ἐκκλησία ekklésia — Meaning: an assembly, congregation, church; the Church, the whole body of believers. Properly, people called out from the world and to God. Translation: called out assembly of disciples.
  • Glory — δόξα doxa — Meaning: glory, honor, renown;  an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor, stunning, beauty, brilliance, amazing. Translation: stunning brilliance and beauty.
  • Gospel — εὐαγγέλιον euaggelion — Meaning:  the good news of the coming of the Messiah, sometimes the human transmitter (an apostle). Translation: Good News
  • Lord — κύριος kuriŏs — Meaning: lord, master, owner; the Lord. Translation: Master
  • Repent — μετανοέω mĕtanŏĕō — Meaning: I repent, change my thinking, change the inner man. Translation: radically change my thinking
  • Servant — δοῦλος dŏulŏs — Meaning: someone who belongs to another; a slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Translation: slave
  • Servant — διάκονος diakŏnŏs — Meaning: a waiter, servant; then of any one who performs any service. Translation: servant
  • Sin — ἁμαρτάνω hamartanó — Meaning: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin. Translation: miss God’s goal