Bringing the Text to Life

A Vocabulary Event Matthew 23:1-12

A Vocabulary Event

A brief primer in the lexicon of the disciple

At a Glance

Editors of online dictionaries often see a spike in word searches after a big news event, as people seek to understand the descriptions of what just happened. Before the cataclysmic event of his crucifixion, Jesus defines some words for his disciples.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's epistle text, see "Fat Tire Fathers," October 30, 2005, at

For those of a certain age, the word "dictionary" conjures up images of a massive book kept on a low shelf at home or in the school library. When struggling through English lit or trying to impress a teacher with a paper, that weighty volume was the go-to place for learning how words like "paroxysm" (a sudden attack or fit) and "vexation" (the state of being worried or annoyed) are used in a sentence.

You looked up these words because it's much more sophisticated to say that your friend has "periodic paroxysms of vexation" than to say "He gets annoyed...

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