Vocabulary Guide for the New Christian

smiley.jpg[This was emailed to me, without attribution. I can’t find it on the Internet, and so I can’t credit the actual author. However, I did revise it a hair for Church of Christ sensibilities.]

Vocabulary guide for the new Christian:

It has come to our attention that most of evangelical Christendom recognizes a new set of religious laws which supersede the laws given through Moses. In the interest of clarity, we have researched the new Law as currently practiced and have come up with a set of religious equivalents to aid in Bible understanding.

When reading the Bible, you will find references to numerous practices, items, terms, etc. In order to understand the new Law, simply replace the Old Testament terms in your Bible with the Christian equivalents below:

Old Testament / Law of Christians

Sabbath / Sunday

Israelite / Christian

Ephod /Suit and tie

Pork /Beer

Stoning /Gossiping about

Sacrifice an animal without blemish / Wear coat and tie to church

Rend one’s garments /Wrinkle forehead and frown

Tithe / Church contribution

Offering / Building fund contribution

Offer the sacrifice / Go to church

Offer the firstfruits /Go on Wednesday night

Drive the Canaanite from the land /Get that agnostic off the school board

Philistines / Baptists

Feasts / Potlucks

Assembling the nation to seek the Lord / Prayer breakfast

King / Preaching Minister

Priest / Staff Member

Levite / Sunday School teacher

Prophet / Malcontent

Temple / Church building

Tabernacle / Our old church building

Dancing with all your might before the Lord / Singing all four verses

Timbrel and harp / Pitch pipe

Trumpets and horns / Pitch pipe

Strings and flute / Pitch pipe

Cymbals and tambourines /Guitar and bass (youth group when no elders are present)

The firstfruits of all your increase / Whatever’s left after the cable bill and the boat payment

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy / No TV on Sunday before The NFL Today begins

In researching these terms, it has also come to our attention that a number of New Testament phrases may also be foreign to the modern Christian. Here is some help—

New Testament / Modern equivalent

Sold their possessions and gave to anyone who had need / Donated their old clothes and assorted canned goods to the church pantry

Continued his speech until midnight / Spoke for nearly forty-five minutes

Prepared the Passover meal / Set out half-ounce servings of Welch’s grape juice and a matzo

Break bread / tear off teeny tiny piece of bread

Teacher of the Law / Sunday school teacher

Pharisees / Anyone who binds a rule we don’t

Heretic / Anyone who doesn’t bind a rule we do

Apostate / Anyone who disagrees with us

False teacher / Anyone who disagrees with our preacher

Sadducee / see “Liberal”

Liberal / Anyone who disagrees with us or who talks about salvation by faith without immediately referencing James and baptism

Met daily in the temple and from house to house / Sundays, 10:30 am and 6:30 pm, Wednesday at 7 pm

Apostles and prophets / Visiting preacher

If a man takes your cloak, give him your tunic also / Hire security guards to watch the parking lot during church services

May your money perish with you! / Exactly how much money are we talking about?

Be shepherds of the church of God / Keep careful track of attendance and offerings

Studied the scriptures daily / Read a verse a day

Barnabas sold a field and laid the money at the apostles’ feet / Barnabas donated the money for the church’s new Barnabas Family Activity Center

Love feast / Covered dish dinner

Cast out demons / Referred troubled persons to a mental health professional

Give to the poor / Build a family life center

Give to the poor / Build private school for those who can pay tuition

Give to the poor / Offer scholarships at the private school for atheletes

Neither male nor female / Men and women have equal right to be baptized, only men may do the baptizing

Holy Spirit / the New Testament, especially Acts and later

Grace / Get the name, organization, and worship right or go straight to hell

“Whosoever believeth” / Whosover heareth, believeth, repenteth, confesseth, and is baptizethed

Neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek / Separate congregations for each race

Stephen traveled to Samaria and taught the gospel / The deacons complained about the temperature in the auditorium

The saints in Ephesus / The Northside Church of Christ (noninstitutional), the Southside Church of Christ (no Sunday school), the West Side Church of Christ (seeking the old paths), the East Side Church of Christ (African American), the Central Church of Christ (inner city), the Suburbs Family of God, a church of Christ (flaming liberal)

If other language equivalents come to mind, please share with us as we prepare our guide for the new Christian.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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0 Responses to Vocabulary Guide for the New Christian

  1. Nick Gill says:

    SNARKY! Very snarky!

    You should have said:

    Pharisees/ those to the right of us
    Sadducees/ those to the left of us

  2. Jay Guin says:


    Duly modified.

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