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Glossary of religious and spiritual terms

Words & phrases starting with the letter "J"

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bulletJahannam: A Muslim term for Hell -- the eternal dwelling place after death for evil persons.

bulletJanna: A Muslim term for Paradise, which is similar to the Christian concept of Heaven.

bulletJainism: This is the oldest ascetic religious tradition. It was founded in the sixth century BCE by Mahavira (599-527 BCE). Its 4 million followers are located mainly in India. They believe in karma, in reincarnation, and in avoiding violence. Janists limit earthly attachments. 

bulletJEDP: See documentary hypothesis.

bulletJehovah: A name for the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, transliterated from YHWH.

bulletJehovah's Witnesses: Originally a American Fundamentalist Christian denomination organized by Charles Taze Russell during the 1870s, it has since spread worldwide. Members are expected to volunteer significant amounts of time to proselytize in their communities by going door-to-door. Their practice of pacifism resulted in clashes with the American and Canadian government during World War II. This resulted in many court decisions that made major contributions to the definition of religious freedom in the two countries. Their German members were heavily persecuted during the Nazi Holocaust; thousands were exterminated.

bulletJerusalem: The "holy city" in Israel. The Temple of David and Temple of Solomon was located there; Yeshua was crucified there. Muhammed was taken up to Paradise from there.

bulletJesus: The name, in English, of the founder of Christianity. As a newborn, Jesus was given the name Yehoshua, which means "God Salvation." In 1st century Palestine, he was probably known as Yeshua of Nazareth. Yeshua is translated as Iesous in Greek, Iesus in Latin, and Jesus in English. Most Christians consider Jesus to be the second person of the Trinity, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

bulletJesus Only Movement: The belief that Jesus sequentially took three forms. First, he was God; then he was the Son; finally, he became the Holy Spirit. They reject the concept of the Trinity as believed by almost all other Christians. Synonym for "Oneness theology."

bullet Jewbu: (a.k.a. JewBu, Jewish Buddhist, Jubu or Buju): A person who was raised Jewish and converted to Buddhism later in life, or who was raised in both Judaism and Buddhism.

bullet Jewish Christians: One part of the early Christian movement who opposed Paul's teachings. They were led by James the Just, who led the Christian Church at Jerusalem. He was referred to as a brother of Yeshua. However, this has been interpreted as cousin of Yeshua by those Christian denominations who believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. They regarded themselves to be a reform group within Judaism. They followed Jewish laws concerning circumcision and diet, regarded Jesus as a prophet who was not divine, rejected the virgin birth, and tried to follow his teachings. Most were killed in 70 CE during the seige of Jerusalem by the Roman Army. The rest were scattered.

bulletJewish Star: (a.k.a. Star of David, Magen David, Shield of David: A six-pointed symmetrical star symbol of Judaism.

bulletJews, Completed: A term used by conservative Christians to refer to Jews who have embraced Messianic Judaism -- a blend of Jewish tradition and ceremonies with Fundamentalist Christian theological beliefs about Jesus Christ, salvation, Heaven, Hell, etc. Considered a derogatory term by most Jews who hold to the historical Jewish faith.

bullet Jihad: A striving for perfection, frequently used within Islam. Usually, the term refers to an internal struggle that an individual has with their personal imperfections. The term is also used to refer to a defensive war. Some radical Fundamentalist Muslims and the Western media often interpret the term as a synonym for an aggressive "holy war."

bulletJinn (plural Jinni): A Muslim term which, according to the Qur'an, refers to a species of invisible, intelligent beings created by God who are different from humans. They, along with humans, will be judged in the future and attain either heaven or hell, depending upon their good and bad deeds on earth. Among some Muslims, some Jinni are viewed as evil supernatural beings who can take either human or animal form, and can possess humans.

bulletJnana: A Sanskrit term used in Buddhism to refer to higher knowledge and wisdom.

bullet Jubu: See Jewbu.

bullet Judaizers: A term used in the Christian Scriptures to refer to various Jewish Christian groups during the first and second century CE.

bullet Judaism: A world religion that is often regarded as the earliest monotheistic religion. Its name comes from the patriarch Judah. The Christian religion was founded by Jews -- mainly by Yeshua of Nazareth (aka Jesus Christ) and Paul of Tarsus. Judaism currently has 20 million followers, and is the original Abrahamic religions. The Roman army drove Jews out of Palestine and scattered them throughout the known world. Only in 1948 CE was a Jewish state recreated in Israel.

bullet Judaism, Messianic: A conservative Christian religion which blends Jewish tradition, culture, and ceremonies with Fundamentalist Christian theological beliefs. They are rejected as actual Jews by most Jewish traditions.

bulletJudges: In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) these were political and religious leaders selected for their leadership abilities, to lead the ancient Hebrews in the era before they were ruled by kings.

bulletJustification: A Christian term that refers to the forgiveness and total elimination of a believer's sin on the grounds of Jesus' righteousness and shed blood at his crucifixion. An individual is "justified" when "they are brought into right standing and into a right relationship with" God. To most Protestants, this is a direct action initiated by God on the individual. Many also believe that, once a person is justified, they are saved forever. To Roman Catholics, it is a byproduct of the sacraments; one loses justification by committing a mortal sin; one is able to regain it through the sacraments.

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Copyright © 1996 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written on: 1996-MAR-11

Last update: 2013-NOV-22
Author: B.A. Robinson
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