Glossary – J

Jesus’ Passion

From the Latin word passio meaning ‘suffering’, the term Passion refers to the suffering and death of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels.

Jews / Jewish (N.62-64, 702-16)

The English word Jew, and its adjective Jewish, is derived ultimately from a Greek word referring to the Hebrew patriarch Judah and the tribe descended from him. It is used:

  • Of a member or descendant of the Semitic peoples referred to in the Old Testament as the Children of Israel or Israelites.
  • Of a follower of the religion of that people – Judaism.

Jesus and his apostles and many others of the first Christians were Jews.

John the Baptist

John the Baptist or the “baptiser” was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth and a relative of Jesus. He lived the life of a wandering preacher or prophet warning of the coming of the Messiah and calling people to undergo a baptism of repentance. He saw his role in life as that predicted by the prophet Isaiah to “prepare a way for the Lord”. When he baptised Jesus in the River Jordan, John recognised him as the Messiah. King Herod had John imprisoned and beheaded.

Judaea / Judea

Southern part of Palestine in Greek and Roman times. The word is derived from Judah. The name Judaea was given to a Province of the Roman Empire.


The name Judah has three main applications in the Old Testament:

  • The son of Jacob and Leah and the brother of Joseph.
  • One of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
  • The southern Kingdom created after the death of Solomon. His sons split the Kingdom, with the Northern part keeping the name of Israel.

The religion of the Jewish people as it developed after the return from Exile in Babylon. Find out what Jews today believe.