Dialogika Resources

A Jewish-Christian Glossary


This Jewish-Christian Glossary project set out to recognise and address the fact that words are often used with assumed knowledge, different intentions, associations and interpretations depending on the person, their faith and a number of personal and general factors. This can happen within faith traditions and between them. Our project aimed to address how these factors can trigger vastly different reactions from people as well as be a cause for miscommunication and offence. These different relationships to key theological words and terms have a particular impact on Jewish-Christian relations as Christianity has inherited and appropriated so many words and terms that may be familiar to Jewish people but not understood in the same way. Indeed, non-theological words, such as justice, can also communicate different associations and histories for Jews and Christians that are worth exploring and illuminating. Refusing to acknowledge the different relationships and understandings of such terms heightens the risk of assumed knowledge and ultimately aids miscommunication. As a reference tool we hope that this glossary might be used and reflected on before members of either faith declare statements, produce reports, sermons and any written or spoken material that uses the terms we’ve covered. For those we haven’t covered, we hope this tool helps us to become curious about how our words and ideas may be received in different and unpredictable ways.