An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

James of Jerusalem Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ

(James the Just). In the gospels according to Matthew and Mark, and in the epistle to the Galatians, James of Jerusalem is referred to as the brother of Jesus. According to 1 Cor 15:7, he witnessed an appearance of Christ after the resurrection. Some scholars argue that he is a cousin or half-brother of Jesus, […]

James the Apostle, Saint

(the Greater). James and John, sons of Zebedee, are mentioned frequently in the gospels. James is usually mentioned first. He is sometimes called “the elder” or “the greater,” to distinguish him from the other apostle James, the son of Alphaeus, who is called James the Less. James was a fisherman by trade. James and John […]

James the Less, Saint

( Very little is known about this apostle. He was the son of Alphaeus. He is called “the Less” to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee, and from James, the brother of Jesus. It is also possible that he was small physically or younger than the other two. James labored diligently in and […]

James, Fleming

(Jan. 11, 1877-Sept. 11, 1959). Seminary dean and OT scholar. He was born in Gambier, Ohio. James received his B.A. in 1895, his M.A. in 1896, and his Ph.D. in 1899, all from the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Philadelphia Divinity School, where his father was professor of homiletics, in 1901. He was […]

Jamestown, Virginia

A royal charter was granted on Apr. 10, 1606, for a settlement in Virginia. On Dec. 20, 1606, three ships, Goodspeed, Discovery, and Susan Constance, sailed from the Thames River. They reached Virginia on Apr. 26, 1607. The ships entered the Chesapeake Bay and disembarked at Jamestown. It was first called James Fort, after James […]

Janette Pierce Award, The

This award was established by the Episcopal Communicators at their Apr. 18-21, 1988 meeting to honor the memory of Janette Gayley Skerrett Pierce (1931-1988), one of the Episcopal Church's outstanding journalists. Pierce joined the staff of The Episcopalian as news editor. She was managing editor at the time of her death. The award is given […]

Japan Mission

Channing Moore Williams, a priest of the Episcopal Mission in China, landed at Nagasaki on July 1, 1859, and the Japan Mission began. On Oct. 3, 1866, Williams was consecrated Missionary Bishop of China with jurisdiction over Japan. The 1874 General Convention constituted Japan a missionary district and named it the Missionary District of Yedo. […]

Jarratt, Devereux

(Jan. 17, 1733-Jan. 29, 1801). Leading American Anglican priest during the Great Awakening. He was born in New Kent County, Virginia. Jarratt was first influenced by the Presbyterians and became a rigid Calvinist. He later entered the Church of England and was ordained deacon on Dec. 25, 1762, and priest on Jan. 1, 1763. He […]

Jarvis, Abraham

(May 5, 1739-May 3, 1813). Bishop and high church Tory. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. Jarvis graduated from Yale College in 1761. For a short time he studied theology with the Rev. Thomas Bradbury Chandler, rector of St. John's Church, Elizabeth Town, New Jersey, where he learned strict high church principles. He went to […]

Jarvis, Samuel Farmar

(Jan. 20, 1786-Mar. 26, 1851). First historiographer of the Episcopal Church. He was the son of Bishop Abraham Jarvis of Connecticut. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Jarvis graduated from Yale College in 1805. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 18, 1810, and priest on Apr. 5, 1811. From 1811 to 1813, he served St. Michael's Church, […]

Jay, William

(June 16, 1789-Oct. 14, 1858). Episcopal lay anti-slavery leader. He was born in New York, the son of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. William Jay graduated from Yale College in 1807 and then studied law. From 1818 until 1843, with one short interruption, he was judge of the […]

Jefferson College, Washington, Mississippi

The first chartered college in Mississippi. The charter was granted on May 13, 1802. It began operation as an academy. It operated as a college, 1816-1821, and then reverted to academy status. Three Episcopal priests served as its president. It is no longer in existence.


A hybrid name for God, resulting from an erroneous combination of other names. In the period after the Exile, the proper name for God, Yahweh, was believed by Jewish people to be too holy to pronounce. The title Adonai, Lord, was spoken instead. In written texts the vowels of Adonai were combined with the consonants […]

Jenney or Jenny, Robert

(1687-Jan. 5, 1762). Commissary for Pennsylvania and missionary. He was born in Ireland. Jenney received his B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, and served as a chaplain in the Royal Navy, 1710-1714. On June 27, 1714, he was licensed by the Bishop of London as lecturer (catechist) and schoolmaster for Christ Church, Philadelphia. He served at […]


(c. 347-Sept. 30, 420). One of the four great Doctors of the Western Church. He was born in Stridon, Italy. His full name was Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus. He studied Hebrew and Greek and became the leading biblical scholar of the early church. In 382 Pope Damasus I commissioned Jerome to translate the scriptures into Latin, […]

Jerusalem Bible, The (1966)

An English version of the Dominican Order's La Bible de Jérusalem. The work was done by the Dominicans of the École Biblique in Jerusalem. It was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek. It is distinguished by the use of the name Yahweh for God rather than “the Lord.”

Jesse Tree

The depiction of the genealogy of Jesus in the form of a tree, springing from Jesse, the father of King David of Israel (see Is 11:1). It typically shows intermediary descendants on the foliage of the tree, which ends with Jesus or with the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. Its purpose is to stress […]

Jesus Christ

The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, the savior and redeemer of humanity, the Word of God who was made flesh and dwelt among us in the world (see Jn 1:1-18). Jesus was the Messiah, the promised king and ancestor of David who was expected from OT times to deliver the people […]

Jesus Prayer, The

” Repetitive prayer, often in the form “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or variations of that form. It is associated with the spirituality of the eastern church. Early ascetics prayed the name “Jesus” and added to it the prayer of the publican, “God be merciful to […]

Jewell, John

(May 24, 1522-Sept. 23, 1571). English reformer, apologist, and Bishop of Salisbury. He was born at Buden in the parish of Berimber, Devonshire, England. Jewell received his B.A. in 1540, and his M.A. in 1545, both from Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was a fellow at Corpus Christi College, 1542-1553, and vicar of Sunningwell, 1551-1553. […]

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.