nation-states (NA·tion·states). Political communities that have clearly defined territorial borders with centralized authority.
narthex (NAR·thex). In architecture a closed passage or lobby between the main entrance and the nave of a church building.
natural law (NAT·u·ral law). Natural law, trumpeted as the principle or higher body of law derived from nature, right, reason, or religion and as ethically binding in human society, is a discredited non-scientific theory based upon human reason and the sense of morality of its progenitors. No such natural law, or moral conduct, or ethics arise out of scientific inquiry. These are humanistic and religious concepts, e.g., derived from pagan Greek philosophy, the Law of Moses (Hebrew Scriptures), the Law of Christ (New Testament), or Islamic Law (Quran or Koran), and the like.
natural selection (NAT·u·ral se·LEC·tion). Differential success in the reproduction of different phenotypes resulting from the interaction of organisms with their environment. Evolution occurs when natural selection causes change in relative frequencies of alleles in the gene pool.
nave (nave). The principal longitudinal area of a Christian place of worship, generally used only by the congregation, extending from the main entrance or narthex to the chancel, usually flanked by aisles of less height and breadth.
Nazarenes (NAZ·ar·enes). A reference to the Church of God of the first century consisting of the main body of Judeo-Christians living in the province of Roman Judea. Their theology was in the orthodoxy of James and the mother church at Jerusalem. They constituted the apostolic Church as it functioned in the Jewish homeland. They should not be confused with the Ebionites a heretical sect of christianized Jews.
Nazarite (NAZ·a·rite). From nazir meaning to separate or to consecrate. Among the ancient Hebrews a man who voluntarily assumed certain strict religious vows such as abstaining from wine and not cutting the hair, and the like. Samson was a Nazarite.
New Covenant (new COV·e·nant). In Christian theology the New Covenant consists of a unique voluntary agreement between God and the individual Christian containing all the rights, duties, and obligations of each party.
new moon (new moon). The "new moon" is the precise instant when the moon in conjunction with the sun. The event cannot be seen from earth. A conjunction is the condition or state of being in the same celestial longitude. This places the three spheres (earth, moon, and sun) in a single plane but not necessarily in direct alignment. The mean time between a new moon and the next is 29.530588 days.
New Testament (new TES·ta·ment). The expression "new testament" is from novus testamentum a Latinized rendering of the Koine Greek kaine diatheke meaning "new covenant." By inference, the New Testament consists, therefore, of the Scriptures pertaining to the New Covenant.
niche (niche). A recess, usually set in a wall, for display, ornamental, and storage purposes. In ancient synagogues, both Christian and Jewish, a niche provided a place to store important documents such as the Torah.
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