Glossary – X-Z


A name used for God in the Old Testament. It was revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:14). The meaning is disputed and is usually translated into English as “I am who I am”. It is a form of the Hebrew verb ‘to be’ and may mean “he who causes to be”. In later times Jews considered the name too sacred to pronounce and substituted other words such as Adonai (my Lord) for it.


The four-lettered Hebrew name of God (the Tetragrammaton). The original pronunciation is thought to have been ‘Yahweh’ (see entry).

Yahwist Tradition

The second creation story (Genesis 2), which was written during the time of King David and his successor Solomon (ca 1010–930 BC), is from the Yahwist tradition – the earliest of the four sources which make up the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. In this tradition, God who is called Yahweh, walks and talks with his creation.


A Jewish group in New Testament times who played a prominent part in the revolt against Roman rule. They favoured violent means and in today’s terms could be described as ‘terrorists’, or guerrillas, or freedom fighters. One of Jesus’ disciples Simon, is referred to as a Zealot (Luke 6:15). Find out more about Zealots at the time of Jesus.