Ebionites (EB·ion·ites). The Ebionites, an obscure Jewish Christian sect extant from apostolic times to the fifth century, were an early heresy that broke with the Nazarenes, i.e., the Church of God centered at Jerusalem with James as the overseer, ca. CE 49, in the matter of keeping Torah including practicing ritual circumcision and observing the whole Law of Moses. More Information.
ecclesiastical religions (ec·CLE·si·AS·ti·cal re·LIG·ions). Religious traditions that develop in state societies and combine governmental and religious authority. e.g., Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
ecofacts (EC·o·facts). Materials of cultural significance but not the result of human activity, e.g., carbon 14 concentrations, vegetal remains, bones, fossil pollen from plants used for food or other purposes.
eisegesis (EI·se·GE·sis). An active form of misrepresentation, eisegesis is the rendering of the meaning of a word or text by reading into it one's own ideas, bias, and the like, rather than the meaning of the word or text in its initial context.
ekklesia tou Theou (ek·KLE·si·a tou th·E·ou). The Greek equivalent of qehal'el usually translated church of God, but sometimes 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." Translating ekklesia tou Theou as Congregation of God or Assembly of God loses no meaning and in a technical sense is closer to both qehal'el and ekklesia tou Theou. More Information.
epigraphs (EP·i·graphs). In a limited sense an epigraph consists of an inscription on a building, monument, and the like, especially ancient inscriptions. More loosely used to refer to ancient written materials.
epistemology (e·PIS·tre·MOL·o·gy). The study or theory of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of knowledge. The basic epistemological question is "what can we know and how can we know it?" As a branch of philosophy epistemology deals with the question of the origin and general structure of the universe and all factors related thereto, e.g., its characteristics, elements, laws, and parts, to account for the natural order of things.
equinox (equinox). The moment when the direct rays of the sun cross the plane of the equator resulting in day and night being of equal length. The vernal equinox occurs about March 22 and the autumnal equinox about September 22.
eschatological (ES·cha·to·LOG·ical). Relating to eschatology, from the Greek ta eschata, "the last things," and in reference to the end time or the closing of the present age.
eschatology (ES·cha·TOL·o·gy). From the Greek eschatos meaning "final" or "last" and logos meaning "word" in reference to the study of last things, e.g., the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, resurrection, judgment, the Kingdom of God, and especially the end of the world.
Essenes (ES·senes, but pronounce ES·senes). A Jewish extremist monastic group, which flourished from the second century BCE to the second century CE, holding rigid and austere beliefs with Gnostic overtones. For the most part they shunned the company of women and held themselves aloof from Jewish society which they saw as worldly and corrupt. More Information.
ethnocentrism (ETH·no·CEN·trism). The practice of judging another society by the beliefs, norms, and values of ones own society leading to the attitude that ones own society is superior to that of another.
ethos (E·thos). The fundamental temperament or the attitude of a culture and the underlying socially accepted norms that inform the beliefs, customs, or practices of its members.
excavation (EX·ca·VA·tion). In archaeology the process of the systematic removal of matrix, often called a dig, to acquire the data contained within the archaeological record by observation and three-dimensional recording of the provenience and context of the finds therein
excavation director (EX·ca·VA·tion di·REC·tor). The person with overall oversight responsibility for an excavation site.
exegesis (EX·e·GE·sis). Generally the rendering of the meaning of a word or text by explication, critical analysis, or interpretation; especially of the Bible. In a technical sense the process of seeking original meaning of textual data in their social and cultural context.
exegete (EX·e·gete). An exegete is a person skilled in the explication of text or who engages in the practice of the explication of texts.
explanation (EX·pla·NA·tion). In the sense of scientific explanation the explaining of observable phenomena, by the testing of theory in the form of hypotheses against the real world, to clarify existing scientific theory and make scientific understanding of the phenomena more certain.
explication (EX·pli·CA·tion). The formal goal of exegesis is explication, that is, the exposition of a passage to provide the sense of the text in its own time to its author and intended readers. In explication the exegete examines the underlying meaning of the text in its context. The result is a fuller commentary on the text than simply its, literal language meaning (literal black and white meaning).
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