Word Studies

What Is An Apostle?


The word apostle is one of several words in the Bible that has not been translated from the original biblical language into English. Instead, the word apostle is a transliteration from Greek into English. Transliteration is the process of taking the letters of a word from one language and substituting them with the equivalent letters of a different language. Translation, on the other hand, is the process of choosing a word in the destination language that has the same meaning as the word in the source language. The word apostle came into the English language from the Greek word apostolos (ἀπόστολος). 

ἀπόστολος  →  apostolos  →  apostle 

As you can see, our English word apostle is composed by substituting the Greek letters with the equivalent English letters. The word hasn’t been translated at all, but is really just an approximation of the sound of the Greek word.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies

Why Is “LORD” Often In All Caps In The Bible?

The Tetragrammaton

Have you ever noticed that often the letters in the word “LORD” are all capitalized? Other times the Bible only capitalizes the first letter. However, both “the LORD” and “the Lord” refer to God. Why is there a difference?


Bible translators use all capital letters when translating the four-letter Hebrew name for God. Ancient Hebrew had no written vowels. Of course, they did pronounce the vowels, but the written Hebrew alphabet only had consonants. Because of this, God’s name is spelled YHWH in ancient Hebrew. In English, YHWH is often accompanied with the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’ resulting in Yahweh.

As time passed, the Hebrews forgot how to pronounce God’s name. They considered His name too holy to be spoken out loud. Eventually everyone who knew what vowels belonged in God’s name died. Because their alphabet lacked vowels they lost the knowledge of the correct pronunciation of God’s name.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Basics, Word Studies

Churchy Words: Worship


What is worship? If you asked ten people this question you might get ten different answers. Most people might respond by describing acts such as praying, singing, giving, taking communion, etc. These all could be acts of devotion, but they are not necessarily worship.

I’m afraid that many people think they are worshiping if they are doing these (or similar) actions just by virtue of the fact that they are doing them. Their mentality is that I went to church on Sunday, participated in the service, and therefore I worshipped. The fact is that participating or going through the motions does not necessarily mean that you worshipped.

What worship really is

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies, Worship

Churchy Words: Atonement


Atonement is a word rarely heard outside of a church service or Bible study. The English word atonement is defined as “the act of making amends or reparation for guilt or wrongdoing.” The act of atonement brings about reconciliation between two parties when something happened which damaged their relationship.

In the Bible, atonement is used to translate the Hebrew word kipper (כִפֶּ֣ר). The word appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. Just as in English, the Hebrew word kipper denotes the idea of reconciliation or the making of amends. 

Can you cover me?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Atonement, Word Studies

Churchy Words: Repent

Christians have their own insider language

Nearly every group, profession, guild, etc. has their own insider language which they understand amongst themselves, but sounds like gibberish to outsiders. Likewise, Christians have their own insider language which can sound really strange to new Christians and non-Christians alike. These “churchy words” are increasingly unfamiliar to a society that is no longer biblically literate and is largely secularized. 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Word Studies