Origins of Religious Concepts Definitions J-R

Lord is my Shepherd- Modern definition or use:  Follow the words of G-d without question or discussion.   Origin: Although a simple word, and a common one, the word ‘shepherd’ was often mistaken for its homonyms.  It had the same letters as the words "friend" and "evil".  It brings a new dimension to various prayers when considering that instead of a shepherd, you may think of G-d as your friend.(entries like The Lord is my friend, I shall not want.... -Ps23-1)


Messiah - Modern definition or use:  Jesus, Or Mohammed, or a specific person that is appointed by G-d to save all mankind from evil. 

Origins:  The messiah is literally “the anointed one”  In ancient and biblical times, leaders and kings were anointed by the prophet of the time.  The ceremony of anointing with oil is often used to denote that a person is favored or chosen by G-d.  Many Hebrew prophecies state that there will be a time that a future anointed one will bring about the resurrection of all that have died, and a new type of world.  These beliefs were mostly replaced by the current Christian belief with the future second coming of Jesus and the prophecies of the book of Revelations.  Messiah has come to mean specifically the future savior of mankind.


Occult- Modern definition or use:  Spiritualism and sorcery practiced by witches and demons.  

Origins:  The word occult brings fear to most  people.  They picture ghosts and goblins and scary creatures.  It is actually from a Hebrew word meaning simply "Mystery", "Hidden" or "Unknown".  In the times of the Bible, it was considered a sin to try to prove things were not all a result of G-d's will, but rather a natural occurrence.  Those that trifled with science and explaining things were the practitioners of the Occult.  It is interesting that the meaning of the word has reversed, now describing not the scientific, but the superstitious.


Pagan - Modern definition or use:  1) A hedonistic and non religious person 2) Practitioner of beliefs not in the main stream.

Origins:  Pagan is a term from the Latin word "paganus" meaning country district.  Dwellers in those districts were later termed as Pagans. Missionaries and early monks would go to the larger towns and first convert the masses while skipping the small country farmhouses and rural lands.  Once most of the city areas were converted to the new religion, the monks wanted to bring religion to the godless farmers, or the godless Pagans in their Latin tongue.  Soon Pagan became the new word for unreligious and ungodly.  


ParadiseModern definition or use: The word paradise is often used as a conceptual description for the Garden of Eden.   

Origin:  Eden was the perfect garden that Ye-K-hoveh Elo-K-heem made and placed the Adam, or man, in.  (The name "Adam" is actually the Hebrew word for man.)  The word Paradise comes from "Pardas", which is Hebrew for "grove" or "orchard".  That meaning gives us insight that paradise is not an elusive concept of perfection, rather a simple fertile plot of ground.  The word is often used Kabballic texts as a place man can go spiritually, and expand his/ her consciousness. This second use has also been slightly changed in meaning to provide a concept of 'heaven' for after death beliefs.  Original Hebraic belief does not have the heaven concept after death.


Pray - Modern definition or use:  To ask G-d to grant something or to simply send a message to G-d.

 Origin:   Pray was originally to beseech, implore, ask or humbly request something.  After a time it became a request from an inferior to a superior.  From that point it was only a short leap until the word meant to ask things of G-d, the ultimate superior.


Rabbits Foot - Modern definition or use:  a lucky charm to carry with you

Origins:  The rabbit foot was actually a fertility charm in ancient times.  Its phallic shape and relation to the overly fertile rabbit or hare brought about its popularity.  As times changed, prosperity was not merely how many children you had, but what else you had.  The rabbits foot changed along with the idea of prosperity.  Eventually it brought good fortune, not just fertility to its possessor.


Religion -  Modern definition or use:   A belief in a specific supreme divine being.  An organization that promotes specific worship and specific beliefs.

Origin:   Religion comes from the French "religare" meaning to bind back.  re - meaning back, ligare - meaning to bind.  It described a group of people that bound themselves to each other in some way.  It became a way to describe a stereotype.  People of that type do so and so…  It evolved into describing people of different ethical and philosophical beliefs.  Eventually, it took on the modern meaning and described those bound solely by their deity beliefs.


'Red Sea'- Modern definition or use:  The Red Sea is a sea in North Africa. 

Origin: This famous sea in the Middle East has had much history.  It has however not had as much history as we have been led to believe. In the Hebrew's exodus from the oppressive rule of Pharaoh in Egypt, they crossed the "Sea of Reeds", not the "Red Sea".  The translations never seem to follow the true text.  All translations assume that the "Sea of Reeds" spoken of in Biblical text is the same as the Red Sea of today.  The sea is named for the reddish algae that makes it seem almost red.

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