Socio-Rhetorical Glossary G-L

-G-

Galilee

Jewish Judeans despised Galileans because the Jewish people from this area were of mixed racial stock. Yet, Galileans maintained Jewish practices and traditions.[1] Jesus grew up in Galilee, and His disciples were Galileans.

Gathering

A gathering characteristics a population structure representing the joining of people from various cultures (language, ethnicity, etc.) into a specific location upon which a new classification of people formed. The Book of Acts first chronicles this phenomena with Luke’s description of the gathering of a diverse mix of people in Jerusalem for Pentecost — “Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5 KJV).  Luke details the gathering composition, explaining those present as “Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians” (2:9-11a). From this diverse mixture of Jewish ethnicities, 3,000 joined the Christian movement. [2]

Genealogy
A genealogy is record of family history, also called a family lineage of one ancestor’s descent from another. The Gospel authors of Matthew and Luke trace the family lineage of Jesus Christ. Matthew traces Christ’s lineage back to King David and Abraham through forty-two generations to establish Him as the chosen King of Israel and Redeemer in Whom all nations, Jews and Gentiles would be blessed. Christ was not Joseph’s biological son. Jesus was Joseph’s adopted son. The end of Matthew’s genealogy is worded to uphold the Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Luke, using the ancestry of Jesus’ mother, Mary, traces Christ’s biological lineage back to David through his son Nathan. Luke proceeds further back through Abraham and Shem, the son of Noah, to Adam the first human. Luke’s intent is to identify Christ with the whole human race. His death, burial and resurrection would be for the men and women of all ages beginning with Adam.[3]

Gospel, The

The good news of the person, death, burial and resurrection of Christ for all men. Romans 1:16 calls the Gospel the power of God that gives salvation.[4]

Gospels
The written accounts of the life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, they present four distinct views of Jesus Christ that complement each other and form the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not form a complete biography of His life, but do present a complete testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Matthew presents Jesus as a King.  Mark presents Him as a Servant. Luke presents Him as a man. John presents Him as the Word who was God made flesh. [5]

-H-

Hellenist Jews

Hellenistic Jews were people from the first-century Jewish dispersion who lived in Jewish communities outside of the Holy Land.  C. Peter Wagner notes that the word Hellenistic indicates that these Jews “were molded to some degree by Greek culture, including the Greek language”[6] Since the Romans recognized Judaism as an authorized religion, it protected the Hellenist Jews (Diaspora) communities outside Jerusalem and across the Roman Empire. While they did not take part in civic life, they spoke Greek daily and in the synagogues. As the Jewish Hellenists scattered abroad, they did enter into dialogue with those from other religions. Their actions resulted in them making converts (proselytes) and, thus, gathering  “God-fearers.” (See Gathered above.) Later Christian missionaries evangelized to these “God-fearers.” [7]

Honor

  • According to Bruce Malina, in The New Testament Word: Insights from Cultural Anthropology, honor relates to one’s sense of belonging to and accepted by a family. The result of belonging and acceptance conditions itself on traditional rules of order that organizes families rooted in value codes of honor and shame. Honor “is basically a claim to worth that is socially acknowledged. It surfaces where the three defining features of authority, gender status, and respect come together”[8]  So then, what do the terms authority, gender status and respect entail? Malina defines authority as “the ability to control the behavior of others; gender status refers to the sets of obligations and entitlements (what you ought to do and what others ought to do for you) and respect means the attitude one must have and behavior one must follow relative to those who control one’s existence.” [9]
  • Pitt-Rivers adds that “honor is the value of a person in his own eyes and in the eyes of his society…his own estimation of worth, his claim to pride.”[10]  The bottom line is that honor relates to public standing.
  • Aristotle posited that “The greatest external good we should assume to be the thing which we offer to the gods, and which is most coveted by men of high station, and the prize awarded for the noblest deed; and such a thing is honor, for honor is clearly the greatest of external good. The great-souled man is he who has the right disposition in relation to honors and disgraces.” [11]
  • Xephophon believed that people crave honor. “In this, man differs from other animals–I mean, in this craving for honor. But they in whom is implanted a passion for honor and praise, these are they who differ most from the beasts of the field, these are accounted men and not mere human beings.” [12]

-I-

Incarnation

The act whereby God became man through the conception and birth of a virgin woman named Mary. This act unites deity (God) and humanity (Son) in the person of Jesus Christ according to John 1:1,14. This also explains the phenomenal acts and sayings of Jesus that declare both His deity in addition to His humanity and the relationship between them.[13]

-J to K-

Kings, Period of the

The second period covered by the Gospel author Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. It begins with birth of David, who became the King of Judah and eventually Israel, and ends with the division of the nation into two kingdoms and their subsequent captivities centuries later. David is the transitional figure between the first and second periods. This period covers David’s reign over both Judah and Israel, the establishment of the Davidic covenant, Absalom’s rebellion, Sheba’s revolt, David’s preparation to build the Temple and his appointment of Solomon as king, David’s death, Solomon’s coronation and reign, his departure from God, his death, appointment of Rehoboam as King, division of the kingdom of Israel, Judah the southern kingdom whose capital was in Jerusalem and Israel called the northern kingdom whose capital was in Samaria, ministry of the prophets to the kings of both Israel and Judah, continuation of the Davidic dynasty up to Jechoniah the last King of Israel, Assyrian captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel and Babylonian captivity of the southern kingdom of Judah.[14]

Kinship

  • Kinship was one of the basic institutions of  a ruralized society. Bruce Malina characterizes kinship as the “biological processes of human reproduction and growth in terms of abiding relations, roles, statuses, and the like. Kinship is about naturing and nurturing human beings interpreted as family members (and “neighbors” in nonmobile societies).”[15] He further explains that a person’s kinship group served as an economic unit.
  • “Deities were tribal and/or household ones (God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), as well as ancestors who saw to the well-being, prosperity and fertility of the family  members. There was much concern about inheritance and legitimacy of heirs” [16] Neyrey and Malina say that honor derives “either from kinship and family background or by endowment from an honorable person. [17]

Kinsman-Redeemer

  • The family was responsibility for an individual among kin in ancient Israel customs. Notably, the closest male from the person’s kin was the kinsman-redeemer. As the kinsman-redeemer, his responsibility was to protect, avenge his blood and redeem his kinsman from indebtedness.
  • An example of a kinsman-redeemer is Boaz, “who brought from Naomi all that had belonged to her husband and married her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth. Thus, Naomi was no longer obligated to Ruther and Boaz for her daily provision” [18]

-L-

Linguist Modes of Meaning (From neo-Firthian sociolinguists)

  • Ideational describes what is “being said or described”– “what he has to say” [19]
  • Interpersonal views the “personal qualities of the communicating partners” — “with whom the conversation occurs”[20]
  • Textual relates to the “qualities of language to form units of meaning at a level higher than the sentence” — “how one speaks” [21]

Endnotes:

[1] Williston Walker, et al., A History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985), 20.

[2] Vernon Robbins, The Social World of Luke-Acts (ed. Jerome H. Neyrey; Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991).

[3], [4], [5] Daryl Cox, “Jesus Across the Gospels: G-L Glossary,” All Nations Leadership Institute (Alsip: 2013).

[6] C. Peter Wagner, The Book of Acts: A Commentary (Ventura: Regal Books, 2008), Kindle e- book, location 1186.

[7] Williston Walker, et al., A History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985), 18-19.

[8] Bruce J. Malina, The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 29.

[9] Malina, The New Testament World, 29-30.

[10] Pitt-Rivers, The Social World of the New Testament: Insights and Models (ed. Jerome H. Neyrey; Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991), 88.

[11] Neyrey, “Eth. nic. 4.3.9-12, ” The Social World of  the New Testament, 84.

[12] Neyrey, “Hier.7.3, ” The Social World of  the New Testament, 84.

[13], [14] Cox, “Jesus Across the Gospels.”

[15] & [16] Malina, The New Testament World,  82.

[17] Malina and Neyrey, The Social World of Luke-Acts, 47.

[18] J. I. Packer and Merrill C. Tenney, Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible,  (Nashville: Nelson, 1980), 335.

[19], [20], [21] Malina and Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, 5

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