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caldarium (cal·DAR·ium). The hot room in a Roman bath. See also frigidarium, tepidarium, and Roman bath.

calibrated C-14 dating (CAL·i·brated c-four·TEEN). Dating through the use of the carbon-14 method by means of instrumentation having undergone extensive refinement primarily through calibration by dendrochronology (tree-ring dating).

calling (calling). The apostles taught that to be a converted Christian one had to receive an invitation in the form of an irrevocable personal calling (Romans 11:29) directly from God the Father (John 6:44, 65).

capital (CAP·i·tal). A capital is the top part of a classical column or pilaster.

carbon 14 (CAR·bon four·TEEN) or C-14 (c-four·TEEN). A heavy radioactive isotope of carbon of mass number 14 used especially in tracer studies and in dating archaeological and geological materials.

cardo or Cardo (CAR-doe). Originally cardo, Latin for axis, was a thoroughfare in a Roman town. The Cardo in present-day Jerusalem, the excavated and partially restored remains of the ancient Cardo Maximums of Aelia Capitolina, is found in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Cardo Maximus (CAR-doe MAX-i-mus). The Cardo Maximus was a Roman town’s main street running north–south.

carinated (CAR·in·AT·ed). In pottery analysis a ridged vessel or a vessel having ridges.

carrying capacity (CAR·ry·ing ca·PAC·i·ty). The upper limit in population that a specific environment can maintain at a given subsistence level.

casemate wall (CASE·mate wall). A double wall with partitions.

CE (ce). An abbreviation for the "common era" or "Christian era." CE replaces the designation AD as some object to AD, anno Domini (in the year of our Lord), on historical, political, and religious grounds. For your information, some folks get quite upset over this issue as they see it as a symbolic rejection of Jesus Christ. For this Web site we chose to use the convention CE so that it would be palatable to all interested in biblical archaeology.

Cenacle. Now the Crusader-constructed Room of the Last Supper, located outside the Old City near the Zion Gate and the Dormition Abby, is known as Cenacle or alternatively as the Coenaculum. Venerated as the traditional Upper Room, where Jesus ate his Last Supper and to which the Apostles returned following Jesus’ Ascension to heaven, the site has been one of the holiest in Christendom. Historically the Cenacle site was the venue of a succession of related buildings—in order the small synagogue, the Church of the Apostles, the Theodosian Octagonal Memorial, the Hagia Sion Basilica, and the Crusader Church of St. Mary of Mt. Sion. Significant remnants of the small synagogue are extant including the niche. See The Cenacle article.

cenotaph (CEN-o-TAPH). From the Greek word kenotáphion meaning "empty tomb," a cenotaph is a memorial or monument in honor of a deceased person who is interred elsewhere.

ceramics (ce·RAM·ics). Articles made of fired clay, e.g., jars, pots, and the like.

chancel (CHAN·cel). The space about the altar of a church building, usually enclosed, for clergy, various officials, and sometimes a choir.

chiliasm (CHIL·i·asm). The doctrine of a 1,000 reign of Jesus Christ on earth. See millennialism.

Christ (christ). From Greek khristos, anointed, reference to the Messiah as foretold by the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Christian Passover (CHRIS·tian PASS·o·ver). The annual memorial instituted by Jesus of Nazareth the evening before his execution, at the end of the thirteenth day and into the evening portion of the fourteenth.

chronology (chro·NOL·o·gy). A collection of dated events ordered sequentially by time. More generally the orderly classification of phenomena through the measuring of time in uniform divisions, e.g., hour, day, month, year; or Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age; and the like. A chronology can exist in either of two forms—relative chronology or absolute chronology. Both have great importance in biblical archaeology.

chronometric dating (CHRO·no·MET·ric DA·ting). Dates of phenomena expressed in years, or in the subdivisions thereof, consist of absolute or chronometric dates, that is, specific dates on a time scale. For scientific convenience dates are often provided in BP, that is, before the present, using 1950 as the base year. An object dated 350 BP would be 400 years old in CE 2000 (1950 + 50). While several chronometric methods find specific use in biblical archaeology, e.g., potassium-argon, thermoluminescence, retentive magnetism, and the like, radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology have particular importance in dating phenomena relating to biblical times.

church (church). The Greek word èkklesía, translated “church” in English language editions of the New Testament, means “assembly,” “congregation,” “group of people,” or the “community” but not a building or assembly hall.

Church of God (church of god). The formal proper noun rendering of ekklesia tou Theou, the Greek equivalent of qehal'el, or qehal ´elohîm, usually translated church of God in the New Testament, referring to a class or assemblage of the people of God who have been "assembled" or "called together."

Church of the Anastasis. The Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis), a rotunda in the form of the royal mausoleum built over the tomb known as the Tomb of the Redeemer, at the order of the Emperor Constantine, is the west end of the Constantinian Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The facade of this circular structure had eight doors over which opened up eight windows elongated skyward. Twelve large columns supported the rotunda alternated by three groups of pillars supporting a balcony over which rose a cupola with an oculus (eye). All around the lower part of the rotunda large decorated windows filtered the light which filled this space. Light entered the interior from the facade, the windows and the oculus illustrating that the Light of the Resurrection defeated the powers of darkness.

Church of the Apostles. A Judeo-Christian synagogue on Mt. Sion taken over ca. by the Byzantines and pictured in the ca. CE 400 Pudentiana mosaic. The Byzantines believed the facility was the mother of all churches, the Church of the Apostles, founded by the apostles themselves. Following its annexation by the Byzantines, the Jerusalem bishop John rededicated the Church of the Apostles and saw to its full absorption into Greco-Roman Christianity. Emperor Theodosius I (emperor 379-395) caused an octagonal memorial church to be built adjacent to the Church of the Apostles. In the Pudentiana mosaic the Church of the Apostles appears to the right of, and adjacent to, the Theodosian Octagonal Memorial. The Byzantines preoccupied with myths and fanciful stories, saw the Church of the Apostles as the authentic location of the Upper Room where Jesus ate his Last Supper and where the apostles gathered and prayed when they returned from the Mount of Olives after witnessing Jesus’ post-resurrection ascent to heaven (Acts 1:1-13). In a bit of irony, what remains of the Church of the Apostles is now part of the structure now venerated as the tomb of King David.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher. In CE 326 the Roman emperor Constantine ordered Jerusalem bishop Macarius to build a basilica, known as the Constantinian Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in Jerusalem upon a site believed to be the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. Workers had uncovered a cave-like tomb, the so-called Sacred Cave, similar to the one described in the Gospels as the place of the interment of Jesus. They discovered the cave while removing debris and rubble on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Venus. The construction of the new facility presumably took ten years, CE 326–335, and its dedication was in 335. An atrium opened from the Cardo Maximus on the east into the Church of the Martyrion. At the west end of the facility was the memorial, known to the Byzantines as the Anastasis, that is, the Church of the Resurrection, consisting of a large rotunda built over the tomb separated from the Church of the Martyrion by a large open court (Finegan 1992:262-264).

circumcise (CIR·cum·cise). In a biblical context circumcision is the ritual removal of the foreskin of a male's penis. Until recent years the general custom in the United States was the surgical removal of the foreskin based upon the general belief that it would promote better hygiene. Today medical science discounts its hygienic value and performs circumcision as elective surgery for cosmetic, religious, or other reasons. See also ritual circumcision.

citadel (CIT·a·del). Anciently a fortified place or fortress for defending a city usually the highest portion of the city. See acropolis.

closed vessels (closed VES·sels). Closed vessels are vessels whose maximum circumference is located at any place but the rim. See open vessels.

coenaculum (coe·NAC·u·lum) or cenaculum (ce·NAC·u·lum). In early Roman times a reference to a dining room or dining hall usually found on a second floor. Later a reference to a second floor.

Coenaculum (coe·NAC·u·lum). See Cenacle.

cognitive dissonance (COG·ni·tive DIS·so·nance). The psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

colony (COL·o·ny). A people or territory separated from but subject to the economic and political control of a ruling power usually a parent country.

column (COL·umn). A free-standing upright support or pillar.

communion (com·MUN·ion). See holy communion.

comparative perspective (com·PAR·a·tive per·SPEC·tive). Anthropological study includes the comparison of various human populations with one another through space and time. This comparative perspective encompasses a wide range of human lifeways and involves every culture and society.

concubine (CON·cu·bine). Among polygamous peoples a secondary wife.

confession (on·FES·sion). An acknowledgement. To confess Jesus of Nazareth is to acknowledge him. In Catholicism confession is acknowledgement of sin to a priest for absolution.

constellation (CON·stel·LA·tion). A cluster or group of fixed stars, or division of the heavens, designated in most cases by the name of an animal or of some mythological personage. More Information.

context (CON·text). In archaeology the position of an archaeological find, e.g., an artifact or feature,  in time and space (the three-dimensional location in reference to a known origin) established by measuring and assessing its associations, matrix, and provenience.

converted (con-VERT-ed) meaning changed or transformed. In the New Testament sense, a supernatural change in human beings brought about by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a person changes the very nature of that individual, through a process of radical transformation of the human heart, and "converts" or changes him or her into a new creation whose life is one emanating God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). If anyone does not have the indwelling of Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, then he or she is not a converted Christian (Romans 8:9). Those indwelled with the spirit of God are not sinners but saints or holy ones (Romans 1:7; 8:27; I Corinthians 1:2) in whom Christ lives (Galatians 2:20) whom God enables and expects to be his holy people all of the time. God's people are to live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4) and to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5). In our world today many Christians have rejected this teaching and have abandoned the biblical sense of the word preferring to use the term born-again.

Corinthian Capitals (co·RIN·thi·an CAP·i·tals). Bell-shaped capitals decorated with a design of acanthus leaves, representing the Corinthian order of classical Greek architecture, normally atop fluted columns or pilasters.

cosmology (cos·MOL·o·gy).  The study or theory concerning the origins and general structure of the physical universe and ideas explaining the origins, purposes, and nature of humankind therein, e.g., a biblical cosmology, an evolutionary cosmology. Cosmological questions include questions such as: what is humankind? why are we here? what is the purpose of human life? is this all there is?

Council of the Elders (COUN·cil of the EL·ders). The Small Council or executive committee of the Sanhedrin.

Council of Nicea (COUN·cil of NI·cea). Called in CE 325 by Constantine in his effort to consolidate his power and influence by making Greco-Roman Christianity the religion of the Roman empire and to eliminate the major controversies in the Greco-Roman Church concerning the question over the deity of Christ and the celebration of Easter. More Information.

Council of Jerusalem (COUN·cil of je·RU·sa·lem). The meeting described in Acts 15 where the apostle Paul met with the apostles Peter, John, and James the Lord's brother.

course (course). In the building trades a continuous and usually horizontal range of brick or stone.

covenant (COV·e·nant). From ancient times, a covenant consisted of a voluntary, binding and solemn promissory agreement such as an accord, contract, compact, pact, or treaty, made by two or more parties with legal capacity, to do or keep from doing a specified thing. An ancient agreement, like a present day one, originated out of an offer, made and accepted, that was voluntarily entered into by parties with the legal capacity to contract. God, according to the apostles, chose through Jesus of Nazareth to offer such an agreement to humankind as the New Covenant thereby creating a new community of faith called the qehal'el or Church of God.

cross-cousin marriage (cross-COUS·in MAR·riage). A system in which a person marries the offspring of parental siblings of the opposite sex; for example, a male marries his mother's brother's daughter as in the case of Jacob marrying Leah and Rachel (Genesis 28:2, 28:18-30).

Crucifixion (CRU·ci·FIX·ion). The execution of Jesus of Nazareth, on Nisan 14 ca. CE 30, by nailing him to a cross.

cult (cult). In anthropology a reference to a particular spiritually-based movement including its rites and ceremonies. In its Christian depreciative sense a religious group or its members considered by those who see themselves as orthodox to be heterodox, that is, to be false. Sociologist Rodney Stark distinguishes sect movements from cult movements. He holds that sect movements "occur by schism within a conventional religious body when persons desiring a more otherworldly version of the faith break away to 'restore' the religion to a higher level of tension with its environment." For Stark cult movements "are not simply new organizations of an old faith; they are new faiths at least new in the society being examined" (Stark 1996:33 see also Crossan 1998:16).

cultural dissonance (CUL·tur·al DIS·so·nance). A sense of discomfort arising from confronting the inconsistency between one’s own belief system and the beliefs one encounters. Significant and prolonged cultural dissonance can lead to cultural shock. Adoption of new beliefs at odds with one’s established belief system can lead to cognitive dissonance.

cultural hegemony (CUL·tur·al he·GEM·o·ny). The control over norms and values exercised over others by the dominant group in a sociocultural system.

cultural shock (CUL·tur·al shock). A sense of confusion and uncertainty, at times accompanied by anxiety, that often affects people exposed, without adequate preparation for the experience, to a culture radically different from their own. Sometimes a severe psychological reaction resulting from their attempt to adjust to the realities of a radically different culture. People often experience this phenomenon in the context of extended international travel or residence.

culture (CUL·ture). Learned and socially transmitted human behavior shared by a particular group of people generation to generation including a way of life that includes beliefs, material products (material culture), norms, and values. Culture is the outcome of human mental phenomena which delimits it to those human behaviors learned, shared, and transmitted over time for many generations. Moreover, there are material, behavioral, and mental components of culture. Everything understood as culture reflects material manifestations, behavioral patterns, and symbolic thought processes. Archaeologists focus their work on the material component, sociologists on the behavioral component, and sociocultural anthropologists on the mental component.

culture process (CUL·ture PROC·ess). How cultural change takes place over time.

Cuneiform (cu·NE·i·form). A writing style in which characters appear as wedges, or slim triangular shaped symbols, used anciently by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and others.

customs (CUS·toms). In Jewish and Judeo-Christian context see halakah.


Page last edited: 05/15/12 12:11 PM


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