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Males descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. According to the Pentateuch, only male descendents of Aaron were entitled to the status of kehunah, i.e., members of the Jewish ritual priesthood.

Acts of the Apostles

Sometimes called the fifth Gospel. Thought to have been composed by Luke, a physician and friend of Paul (Saul of Tarsus).


Anno Domini, "year of our Lord"; indicates that a time division falls within the Christian era; same as CE.


Literature, and associated beliefs, revealing the future, particularly the "End of Days" as revealed in visions, dreams and interpretations; often revealed by angels. See also eschatology.


Books by authors written between 150 BCE and 100 CE, included in the Septuagint and Vulgate, but excluded from Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament. For Catholics the word has a much broader meaning to include all extra biblical books not included in the canon during the Constantine reformation of the Christian texts.


A northwest Semitic language known since before the tenth century BCE until the rise of Islam; still used today in some places in the Near East; official language of the Persian empire; used extensively in southwest Asia and by the Jews after the Babylonian exile; the cursive script replaced the ancient paleo-Hebrew script for secular writing as well as for holy scriptures. One of the languages most widely used by the Jews at the time the scrolls were written or transcribed or translated.


A text written by its original author in his own hand, as opposed to a copy, or transcription made later by someone else.


Babylonian captivity

The period of the destruction of the First Temple and exile of the Judaeans to Babylonia between 597 BCE (the fall of King Jehoiachin) and 538 BCE.


When referring to an orthography, a revival of an outdated style. Instances of barogue orthography must be carefully distinguished from authentic old style othography, especially if one is trying to data manuscripts paleographically.


Before Christ; indicates that a time division that falls before the Christian era; same as BCE.

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