Glossary of Terms

Allegorical Interpretation: The method of interpreting a literary text that gives the text a secondary, more “spiritual” meaning.

Biblical Theology: A correlation of the data of biblical revelation of a particular book, section, or theme of the Bible.

Covenant Amillennialism: A form of Covenant Theology that believes the spiritual kingdom of the church replaces Israel’s Messianic Kingdom and that there will be no Millennial Kingdom.

Covenant (Historic) Premillennialism: A form of Covenant Theology that believes Jesus will return in His glory to establish the church as His Kingdom over Earth.

Covenant Postmillennialism: A form of Covenant Theology that believes the church constitutes Jesus’ physical kingdom on Earth and that He will return to rule at its conclusion.

Covenant Theology: A system of theology built on allegorical interpretation that views human history as God’s redemptive relationship with mankind. It is based on what adherents see as two (or three) major theological covenants that emphasize the continuity between Israel and the church, as the church replaces Israel in God’s program (from Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology).

Dispensation: A distinguishable economy (working relationship) in the outworking of God’s purpose (from Charles Ryrie’s Dispensationalism); a stewardship.

Dispensationalism: A system of theology built on consistent, literal interpretation of Scripture. It views the world as a household administered by God for His own glory through a series of progressive but distinct dispensations, emphasizing the discontinuity of Israel and the church (from Ryrie’s Dispensationalism).

Eschatology: The doctrine of future things. Unfulfilled prophecy falls into this category.

Hermeneutic(s): The art and science of interpreting a literary text; also understood as one’s philosophy (method) of interpretation.

Historiography: The narrative presentation or writing of history based on one’s examination of the events and details from the sources.

Literal Interpretation: The method of interpreting a literary text that regards words and phrases in their normal, usual, customary meaning (unless the text itself forces a figurative understanding).

Metanarrative: Universal guiding principles, systems of thought, grand stories that control and interpret reality; the big story, or big picture.

Millennial Kingdom: The earthly, 1,000-year Messianic Kingdom Christ will set up and rule following seven years of unparalleled tribulation on Earth. To premillennialists, this period constitutes the Kingdom Age.

Premillennialism: The position that Christ will return before the Kingdom Age and set up His Davidic, Messianic Kingdom.

Replacement Theology: Various systems of theology, usually built on the foundation of Covenant Theology, that view the church as replacing Israel in God’s overall plan for world history.

Systematic Theology: A correlation of the data of biblical revelation as a whole in order to exhibit systematically the total picture of God’s self-revelation (from Charles Ryrie’s Basic Theology).

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