Selected Words from the Writings of Otis Q. Sellers



The Word of God provides many paths of pertinent study for the interested believer. One of those paths is responsibly learning and using the proper definitions of many words, terms or phrases used throughout God’s Word.

The true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ needs to have a pattern of sound words to understand Scripture. As it says in 2 Timothy 1: 13, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” This glossary is designed to provide an index of words used in Scripture that have given translators difficulty, or words that have changed in their meaning with continual usage. The glossary form is also used to provide the reader quick alphabetical access to the words and references to SEED & BREAD articles for more in-depth explanations.

The symbol SB followed by a number represents the issue number of one of the studies in SEED & BREAD, written by Otis Q. Sellers (OQS), former Bible teacher and student.

One important point to note is that English is a living language and that its words are subject to changing meanings. However, words in ancient Hebrew and Greek are fixed in the past. Our job is to understand them. Since much of the Bible, especially in prophecy and in parables, is written in figurative language, both literal and figurative meanings are considered, stressing the contexts in which the words appear. Refer to SB099 Positive Biblical Theology.

By way of background, Sellers accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in 1920, when he was 19 years old. He went to Moody Bible Institute and became pastor of various Baptist churches in the 1920s. Being an ardent student of the Bible, he came into scriptural disagreement with the practices of “baptism” and “the Lord’s Supper.”

He came to the belief that continued study of the Scriptures required developing a strong basis in progressive revelation. The effort throughout the remainder of his life was designed to reveal the truth of God.

Sellers was meticulous in his methods and wrote a magazine entitled, The Word of Truth, of which 16 volumes and two additional issues were completed. At the age of 67, he decided to record his latest truth on Biblical subjects in the terse format of the four-page SEED & BREAD articles. Before his death, he completed 196 of the articles, publishing the first 100 in a single volume, and after his death, the additional 96 were published in a second volume. Included in this Glossary is also an INDEX to using those volumes.


ACTS DISPENSATION — The Acts period was a unique period of about 33 years following Christ’s death and resurrection, which was actually the blade and ear stage of the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:2630). This period was marked by many marvelous features, such as the visible gifts of the Spirit including the ability to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse the lepers, and to speak in tongues. See SB006 The Biblical Gift Of Tongues, SB007 The Acts Dispensation, SB009 Truth Concerning Acts, SB019 The Charismatic Dispensation, SB044 Israel In The Acts Period, SB052 Tongues Are Languages, SB067 A Foretaste Of The Kingdom, SB177 Rightly Dividing Romans, SB178 Rightly Interpreting Romans, SB191 Examination Of Acts 3:19.

ANGEL/MESSENGERAngels consist of three special classes of created beings with superhuman and supernatural powers. Wherever you see the word angel think of them as messengers. The Bible describes them to be in appearance like men; however they do not seem to be subject to death. Paul describes angels in Hebrews 1:14 as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation.” See SB050 The Powers That Be.

ANTICHRIST — The Greek prefix anti has the real meaning of “in place of’ or “instead of” Even today there are antichrists, in which people step in and take the place of Christ. Anybody setting up themselves as an intermediary between God and man takes from the honor and respect due our Messiah. Also activities, religious events and other things are substituted by men for real study of and belief in Jesus Christ. See SB161 The Antichrist.

APOSTLE — This word (Greek-apostolos) has a verb form, meaning to send. The word refers to one commissioned with authority, such as an ambassador from a foreign country. The disciples, for example, became apostles when commissioned (sent with power) to do His will. See SB005 What Does Apostello Mean, SB010 From Cana To Calvary, SB013 The Divine Commissions, SB116 I Will Build Me, SB131 Truth From Matthew 10:1-10, SB148 How Then Shall They Hear, SB149 Apostolic Expectation.

APPEARING — The word appearing means to blaze forth (Gk.epiphaneia, from the Greek word phaino meaning to shine forth, with the accelerative prefix epi). See SB037 What Does “Epiphaneia” Mean?, SB101 God Must Intervene, SB194 The Kingdom Is Coming.

APPOSITION — This is a grammatical tool in which a second noun is set beside another noun so that it explains and defines the first. See SB122 The Kai Explicative Principle.


BAPTISM — This word means identification resulting in a merger. The word is not a translation, but a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo, which comes to us from the old dyer’s art. It identifies the believer with Jesus Christ, in His death and His resurrection. For further material, see SB134 Concerning Baptism, SB135 What Does Baptizo Mean?, SB136 Baptism Means Identification, SB137 The Baptism Of John, SB138 Identification With The Holy Spirit, SB139 Identification With Jesus Christ, SB143 Baptism In Matthew, SB144 Baptism In Mark And Luke, SB145 Baptism In John And Acts, SB146 Baptism In The Epistles.


BODY — The word body (Gk.-soma) refers to organized substance. The key to its meaning is found in Colossians 2:17, where body is contrasted with the word “shadow.” See SB119 Body, A Word Study, SB147 Members Of His Body.

BORN AGAINBorn again (Gk.-genao anothen) refers to divine generation and literally means ̶