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Glossary

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

Glossary Items starting with 'O'

  • objectivity

    Free of bias, a philosophical ideal.

  • oblation

    An offering or the act of making an offering, especially in a religious context.

  • Old Aramaic

    An early dialect of Aramaic, a Northwest Semitic language spoken and written until 612 B.C.E.; it was the diplomatic language of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

  • Old City

    The part of Jerusalem currently surrounded by an Ottoman-era wall, in which the Temple Mount is located. The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the oldest continuously occipied cities in the world.

  • old covenant

    The first covenant made by Yahweh with the Israelites. Though this covenant is often described as eternal and unbreakable, the New Testament develops the idea that the old covenant has been superseded by the new covenant in Jesus Christ.

  • Old Hebrew

    The earliest attested stage of the Hebrew language, which largely comes from inscriptional evidence from the early Iron Age.

  • Old Testament

    Also called the Hebrew Bible, those parts of the canon that are common to both Jews and Christians. The designation "Old Testament" places this part of the canon in relation to the New Testament, the part of the Bible canonical only to Christians. Because the term "Old Testament" assumes a distinctly Christian perspective, many scholars prefer to use the more neutral "Hebrew Bible," which derives from the fact that the texts of this part of the canon are written almost entirely in Hebrew.

  • omen

    A sign understood to be foretelling of the future.

  • oneiromancer

    One who interprets dreams, often to predict the future.

  • ontologically

    From metaphysics, an ordered, sometimes hierarchical and yet inter-related definition of existence or being.

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