Words Every Christian Should Know

The editors of The American Heritage dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they think every high school graduate should know. They have published the list in 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know.

While I was familiar with most of the words, a few of them tripped me up, including — abstemious, enervate, and moiety.

Is it just me, or are these some pretty obscure words?

The concept behind the book — to provide a benchmark against which parents and students can measure their command of the language — led me to reflect on the Church’s vocabulary. I began compiling a list of words that every Christian should know. I’m not talking about an exhaustive list, but a list that could serve as a benchmark for Christians.

Here is my current list. Check it out and then tell me the words you would eliminate from the list and the words you would add to the list.

  1. Atonement
  2. Baptism
  3. Bishop
  4. Christ
  5. Christian
  6. Church
  7. Communion
  8. Compassion
  9. Confession
  10. Conversion
  11. Courage
  12. Covenant
  13. Creation
  14. Cross
  15. Crucifixion
  16. Deacon/Deaconess
  17. Discernment
  18. Disciple
  19. Doctrine
  20. Elder
  21. Eschatology
  22. Eternal
  23. Eucharist
  24. Exodus
  25. Family
  26. Father
  27. Faith
  28. Fear
  29. Fellowship
  30. Forgiveness
  31. God
  32. Gospel
  33. Grace
  34. Heaven
  35. Hell
  36. Holy
  37. Holy Spirit
  38. Hope
  39. Hospitality
  40. Humility
  41. Husband
  42. Immorality
  43. Immortality
  44. Incarnation
  45. Israel
  46. Jesus
  47. Joy
  48. Justice
  49. Justification
  50. Kingdom
  51. Lord
  52. Lord’s Supper
  53. Love
  54. Lust
  55. Male/Female
  56. Marriage
  57. Meditation
  58. Mercy
  59. Messiah
  60. Ministry
  61. Miracle
  62. Mother
  63. Offering
  64. Parable
  65. Passover
  66. Peace
  67. Pentecost
  68. Prayer
  69. Preaching
  70. Pride
  71. Priest
  72. Prophecy
  73. Prophet
  74. Reconciliation
  75. Repentance
  76. Resurrection
  77. Revelation
  78. Righteousness
  79. Saint
  80. Sacrifice
  81. Salvation
  82. Sanctification
  83. Satan
  84. Savior
  85. Scripture
  86. Sermon
  87. Shepherd
  88. Sin
  89. Soul
  90. Stewardship
  91. Tabernacle
  92. Table
  93. Temple
  94. Theology
  95. Tithe
  96. Trinity
  97. Wisdom
  98. Worship
  99. Wrath
  100. Yahweh

13 thoughts on “Words Every Christian Should Know

  1. Can you fit “patience” in there somewhere? (and I would add Abraham before I would add Moses) I’d probably remove fear. After all, once you know love, fear is cast out anyway! 🙂

  2. I would remove deaconess, even though it’s paired with deacon. I know of no scriptural reference that has been translated “deaconess.” From a biblical standpoint is that even a valid word considering deacons should be men?

    Then there’s Phoebe from Romans 16 who is mentioned as “a servant of the church in Cenchrea.” Is my reaction absurd thinking from a traditional (and perhaps unbiblical) doctrine?

  3. A deacon should indeed be a man. But a deaconess should be a women. 😉

    Phoebe is called a servant. as you have probably seen, the footnote offers “deaconess” as an alternative.

    I don’t think your reaction is absurd. It probably is influenced by tradition. But the tradition influencing you is recent tradition. In earlier tradition in churches of Christ, deaconess were recognized by some influential leaders.

    Where would we be without our female servants? Most churches I know would be paralyzed without them.

  4. Thanks, Cheryl! I feel a bit silly that Redemption is not on my list! I know it was on the first draft but somehow got lost along the way. Thanks for the suggestion!

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