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macroevolution (MAC·ro EV·o·LU·tion). Evolutionary change in relatively large and complex changes over many generations and on taxonomic groups higher than the species level, deals with long-term evolutionary change. Macroevolution deals with changes of sufficient magnitude to bring about new taxonomic groups, e.g., new phyla, genera, families.

MADA.jpg (14050 bytes)Madaba Map. Preserved in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of St. George at Madaba, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Madaba Map is a sixth century mosaic map of Palestine. The mosaic contains the earliest surviving representation of Jerusalem and it provides important details as to its 6th century landmarks including some 43 identifiable buildings (Ran 1987:18). This 54 by 93 cm map layout of Jerusalem and its buildings, presumably designed as a symbolic representation or index map of the city, is largely schematic. The Church of the Apostles appears as an extension of the Hagia Sion basilica. The Madaba Map is an important key in developing scholarly knowledge about the physical layout of Jerusalem after CE 70.

malnutrition (MAL·nu·TRI·tion. Improper, inadequate, or imbalanced nutrition. Malnutrition is the result of the improper balance of nutrients or from either from too much or too little nutrition.

material culture (ma·TE·ri·EL CUL·ture). Technology, artifacts, and other tangible products of human activity.

matrix (MA·trix). The mass of material or physical substance (clay, gravel, mud, sand, or water) that surrounds and encloses material remains in the archaeological record.

majuscule (ma·JUS·kul). A large letter, as a capital letter or uncial, or an upper case letter.

Mesopotamia (MES·o·po·TA·mi·a). The region defined by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers extending from the mountains of Asia Minor on the north to the Persian Gulf on the south. This region is known in the Hebrew Scriptures as Paddanaram, “land of Aram,” (Genesis 25:20 NASB at the marginal note) and also Aram–naharaim, “Aram of the two rivers,” (Genesis 24:10; Deuteronomy 23:4; Judges 3:8-10, NASB at the marginal note). Arabs refer to this region as Al-Jazira.

Messiah (MES·si·ah). The anticipated deliverer of the people of Israel foretold by the Hebrew prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures.

messianic movement (MES·si·AN·ic MOVE·ment). A movement offering revitalization or salvation through following the spiritual or activist leadership of a prophetic individual or messiah; often against vested authority.

metaphor (MET·a·phor). Any comparison not to be taken literally. The normal use of a metaphor is to communicate a new insight. It is an explanatory device often used when more literal language fails.

Metonic cycle (Me·TON·ic CY·cle) A 19-year cycle after which the new moon occurs on the same day of the year as at the beginning of the cycle.

microevolution (MIC·ro EV·o·LU·tion). Short-term evolutionary change focusing on changes in allele frequencies in a population over successive generations, consists of the study of evolution in terms of the phenomena bringing about genetic variation in populations including mutation, natural selection, gene flow, and genetic drift. Microevolution involves short-term evolutionary change and the phenomena which bring it about.

Midrash (MID·rash). The Talmudic exposition of biblical verses. The Talmud includes two types of midrash, Halakhic, which contains expositions of the Halakhic contents of the Torah, and Aggadic, containing homiletic explanations of the underlying significance of biblical text.

midden (MIID·den). A deposit of occupation debris, rubbish, or other by-products of human activity.

Millenarianism (MIL·len·AR·ian·ism). The belief that following cataclysmic changes God's Kingdom will be established on earth for 1,000 years usually with the resurrected Jesus Christ as King.

Millennialism (mil·LEN·ni·AL·ism). The teaching that following the second coming of Jesus of Nazareth he will establish the Kingdom of God and rule on earth from Jerusalem for a 1,000 year period.

Millennium (mil·LEN·ni·um). In early Christian thought the 1,000 year period, immediately following the second coming of Jesus of Nazareth, when he will establish the Kingdom of God and will rule on Earth from Jerusalem.

minim (MIN·im). Heretics as used in early rabbinic Judaism.

minuscule (MIN·us·cule). A small or lower case letter, also a small cursive script developed about the 9th century from the uncial and used in ancient and medieval manuscripts.

miqveh (MIQ·veh). A miqveh, plural mikvaot, was a ritual bath. In Herodian times observant Jews used ritual baths to conform to the laws of ritual immersion. According to the halakah, the Jewish religious law, a person had to immerse in a ritual bath in order to achieve purification from uncleanness. The numerous ritual baths found in the houses of the Upper City of Jerusalem attest to the strict observance of the laws of ritual purity by Jews of the Second Temple period. The halakah require that the ritual bath should hold no less than 40 seah (about 750 liters) of spring water, or rain water, drawn directly into the bath.

Mishna (mish·NA) also Mishnah. To repeat, (later) to learn, teach; the first part of the Talmud, containing traditional oral interpretations of scriptural ordinances (halakah), that is, the oral Law compiled by the rabbis about CE 200. Mishna scholars are known as Tannaim.

Mishnaic Hebrew (mish·NA·ic HE·brew). The common language of the indigenous population of Roman Judea in the first century CE. More Information.

misrepresentation (mis·REP·re·sen·TA·tion). Creating in the mind of someone a mistaken belief or impression concerning an important fact or set of facts concerning something. Misrepresentation can result from a deliberate lie, an honest mistake, or negligence on the part of the misrepresenter. Misrepresentation induces conduct people would not otherwise have done or entered into if they had known the full truth. In American Christianity, unfortunately, misrepresentation often occurs to generate a stream of tithes and offerings to maintain the lifestyle of misrepresenters who knowingly misrepresent the Gospel with the intent to deceive in order to acquire money. Such behavior is culpable.

mixed farming (mixed FARM·ing). A form of intensive agriculture consisting of domesticated animal and crop production as food sources where the maintenance of soil fertility results from the use of animal manure as fertilizer. Mixed farming in the Levant included such common animals as sheep, goats, and swine, and crops of barley and wheat.

molad, pl. moladoth. The time for the new moon came to be known in Hebrew as the molad.

monotheism (MON·o·the·ism). The doctrine or belief that there is only one God. The monotheism of Christians was not confronted until well after the apostolic age. The question arose in Gentile Christianity when its leaders sought to explain how they could believe in "one" God and in the divinity of the Father and the Son. The adoption of the Nicene Creed by the Council of Constantinople in CE 381 put the matter to rest for Byzantine Christianity—one divine essence existed in three hypotases, known as the Trinity, reflecting their exegesis of the wording of Hebrews 1:3.

month (month). A "month" normally refers to a "synodic month" consisting of the period of time from one new moon to the next equivalent to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.7+ seconds.

monogamy (mo·NOG·a·my). The practice of only having only one mate at a time, that is, exclusive cohabitation between two individuals. More traditionally a marriage where one spouse is of each sex and they maintain an exclusive sexual bond. There can be same sex or opposite sex monogamous relationships.

moral economy (MOR·al e·CON·o·my). Peasantry developed norms that emphasize community cooperation in production, distribution, consumption, and exchange of goods, resources, and services in their communities for their mutual good.

moral (MOR·al). Conduct or principles generally accepted as right conduct or its principles. From a sociocultural perspective moral conduct arises quite simply out of what a group believes irrespective of why they believe it. Belief does not establish a fact, an absolute value, or truth. Quite commonly moral conduct in one sociocultural system is a taboo in another. The same situation relates to ethics as such rules always arise out of a unique sociocultural system. In the western world, due to its preoccupation with pagan Greek philosophy and a pervasive Roman Christian influence, the concepts of moral and of ethics have the myths of dualism and natural law as their underlying bases.

mores (MO·res). Stronger norms than folkways, generally accepted by members of a group without question, embodying the fundamental moral views of a group. Mores are of such central importance to a group that violators usually receive severe punishment for their infraction.

morphology (mor·PHOL·o·gy). In biology, the form and structure of an organism as a whole.

Mosaic Code (MO·sa·ik code). The Law of Moses.

Mosaic Covenant (MO·sa·ik COV·e·nant). The ancient agreement between the people of Israel and Yahweh, of which Moses was the mediator, giving rise to the Law of Moses.

Mount Sion or Mt. Sion (mount SI·on). The Western Hill of Jerusalem now called Mt. Zion. For clarity in this Web site we use the spelling Sion for this hill to distinguish it from the ancient Mt. Zion of King David's time. This hill is the site of an ancient building, presumably a Roman-period synagogue, now considered the traditional location of David's Tomb (the pseudo-tomb not the actual tomb) marked by a small and that of the Room of the Last Supper (the pseudo-Upper Room not the actual one). While a single building houses the two memorials each has a separate entrance. The Tyropoeon Valley separates the Eastern and Western Hills.

Mount Zion or Mt. Zion (mount ZI·on). The original City of David and the Mt. Zion captured by David were on the Eastern Hill of Jerusalem now known as the City of David. Today the Western Hill is known as Mt. Zion. For clarity in the Web site we use the spelling Sion for the Western Hill to distinguish it from the ancient Eastern Hill known as Mt. Zion in King David's time.

mud bricks (MUD·bricks) or mudbricks. Mud bricks consist of sun-dried bricks which are frequently excavated in Mesopotamia. At Hazor there are some mudbrick walls which, to all but experienced observers, are difficult to differentiate in the excavation process from plain soil.

mutation (mu·TA·tion). A change in the gene (allele) at the chemical level. Random changes, caused by environmental agents, or simply mistakes in the replication of DNA.

myth (MYTH). Assumed knowledge about the universe, the natural and supernatural worlds, and humankind's place in therein.

Page last edited: 02/18/07 10:01 PM

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