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Glossary

Search here for specific or technical terms not defined in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.

Glossary Items starting with 'D'

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  • Damascus Road Experience

    Account of the apostle Paul's vision of Jesus that resulted in his Christian mission; often called Paul's conversion.

  • Darius

    The king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire at its peak, from 550-486 B.C.E. His decree to continue the rebuilding of the Temple appears in Ezra 6.

  • Davidic kingdom

    Israel/Judah when ruled by a king from the Davidic lineage, which included the United Monarchy, the Kingdom of Judah, and the future prophesied in texts like Amos 9:11-12.

  • deacon

    An administrative position in Christian churches. In the New Testament, deacons were subordinate to elders and bishops.

  • Dead Sea Scrolls

    A collection of Jewish texts (biblical, apocryphal, and sectarian) from around the time of Christ that were preserved near the Dead Sea and rediscovered in the 20th century.

  • Decalogue

    A more accurate name for the Ten Commandments, literally translated as the ten words (deka = ten, logos = words).

  • Declaration of Independence

    A document written during the American Revolutionary War that stated and justified America's political independence from Great Britain.

  • deconstructivist

    Related to a type of literary criticism attributed to philosopher Jacques Derrida that denies any stable relationship between a term and its definition.

  • deities

    Gods or goddesses; powerful supernatural figures worshipped by humans.

  • demon

    Supernatural, spiritual beings that appear in the traditions of many cultures. In the Hebew Bible, demons are often fallen angels; the New Testament makes mention of demon possession, where a demon inhabits a human body.

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