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

Glossary Items starting with 'S'

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  • sacrificial

    Relating to the system of ritual slaughter and offering to a deity, often performed on an altar in a temple.

  • saint

    A person deemed holy by a religious tradition, especially in Roman Catholicism.

  • Salome Alexandra

    A Hasmonean queen who ruled for nine years, ending with her death in 67 B.C.E.

  • salvation history

    The study, originally German, of God's redemptive interventions in human history.

  • Sarapis

    A Greek-Egyptian deity that blended characteristics of each culture and was perhaps devised to unify Egypt under Hellenistic rule in the third century B.C.E.

  • sarcophagus, sarcophagi

    (pl. sarcophagi) Coffin made of stone.

  • Sasanian

    The Iranian empire succeeding the Parthians in the third century C.E.

  • sayings collection

    A collection of sayings of Jesus, which many scholars speculate may have circulated in written form, to be later incorporated into narrative gospels.

  • scapegoat

    The goat offered as an expiatory sacrifice on behalf of the people of Israel in order to purify the temple on the day of atonement; see Lev 16.

  • scarab

    An inscribed object in the shape of a beetle, popular in ancient Egypt. Scarabs often contained the owner's signet, in hieroglyphics, on the underside.

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