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Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms

ISBN: 9781441206176
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In this topical dictionary, Dr. Richard Muller defines key Latin and Greek theological terms found in various works of dogmatics and theology.

Muller goes beyond the mere definition, however, by tracing the word’s historical roots and logical connections in such doctrines as the Trinity, incarnation, atonement, the fall, natural theology, authority and revelation, sacraments, and the church and its ministry. Many of the terms are cross-referenced for comparison and further study. The Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms opens up the rich history of thought and the development of doctrine in the church. Students and scholars will benefit greatly from this important resource, and pastors and lay people will discover it to be an interesting, thought-provoking text.

David Puckett in Bibliotheca Sacra says of Dr. Muller’s book, “The need for a dictionary of Latin and Greek theological terms has long been recognized by theological students. This work satisfies that need exceptionally well. It contains clear, precise definitions of most of the technical terms a student is likely to find in studying classical Protestant theology.”

In compiling his list of terms, Muller’s goal was to offer an accurate presentation of the vocabulary of Protestant orthodoxy, and to meet the needs of students as they encounter works currently accessible in which the vocabulary appears. To achieve his goals, he consulted Lutheran and Reformed systems of the seventeenth century, notably, Johann Wilhelm Baier and Francis Turretin, and the systems of two standard exponents of twentieth-century Lutheran and Reformed orthodoxy, Francis Pieper and Louis Berkhof.

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Top Highlights

“In none of these usages does the term persona have the connotation of emotional individuality or unique consciousness that clearly belongs to the term in contemporary usage. It is quite certain that the trinitarian use of persona does not point to three wills, three emotionally unique beings, or, as several eighteenth-century authors influenced by Cartesianism argued, three centers of consciousness; such implication would be tritheistic.” (Page 226)

“a posteriori: from the latter; a description of inductive reasoning that moves from effect to cause” (Page 17)

“What has been lost is the freedom of choice, specifically, the ability freely to choose the good and freely to avoid that which is evil.” (Page 177)

“assumes the beginning of knowledge to be in the most rudimentary apprehension by the intellect” (Page 71)

“actuosa privatio, an actualized or active privation, a” (Page 246)

Praise for the Print Edition

The author has painstakingly provided us with the means to master the technical vocabulary of the protestant heritage. The dictionary is clear, concise and carefully nuanced. It is a trustworthy and precise reference tool that deserves wide acceptance from seminaries and libraries. The book will accomplish its goals for its intended audience with great success. It will also go far to promote a more responsible understanding of Protestant scholasticism among those who are outside the Reformed or Lutheran traditions.

—Bradley L. Nassif, TSF Bulletin

A reference volume which will be useful for every student of dogmatics. At a time when study of Latin and of the 17th century dogmaticians is in danger of becoming a lost art, Muller and Baker are to be commended for making this extremely useful volume available.

—J. F. Brug, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

In addition to its importance for the study of scholasticism, this is useful as a dictionary of classic Protestant theology. . . Certain to become a standard reference tool.

—John R. Muether, Westminster Theological Journal

Product Details

  • Title: Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology
  • Author: Richard A. Muller
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 1985
  • Pages: 340
Richard Muller

Richard A. Muller is the P.J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


17 ratings

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  1. Wallace Scaife

    Wallace Scaife


  2. Peter



    Essential desktop reference.
  3. Vincent Chia

    Vincent Chia


    Second edition is already out in print, which contains 100+ pages more material.
  4. Andres Eduardo Garcia Gonzalez
  5. Jack Timothy Steffey
    Great help.
  6. Randall J. Pederson
  7. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh


    Awsome! The Greek terms in the index are all transliterated which makes it easier for me to find the words I want to study. Just random (or methodical) reading of these terms helps you grow in your knowledge of these important ideas in their original languages. I am just getting started but I love it so far.
  8. Allen Bingham

    Allen Bingham


  9. Martin Williams
  10. Darren Slade

    Darren Slade


    Actually clarifies theological and doctrinal topics better than an English dictionary!