Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EZRA

A Jewish priest during the reign of the Persian king Artaxerxes (404-358 B.C.). His chief contribution was instituting reforms in the Jewish church and state. In Greek and Latin the name is Esdras. Thanks to the generous policy of the king, Ezra was able to organize a pilgrimage of fifteen hundred families in Babylon to cross the desert to Jerusalem (Ezra 7). He was shocked on arriving to become aware of the great number of Israelites married to foreign women, a practice he described as "treachery" (Ezra 9:2). His denunciation let to the dissolution of many such marriages and considerable unhappiness among the people (Ezra 10). Aiding Ezra in his work was the layman Nehemiah. In fact the biblical report of their ministry carries the joint title "The Book of Ezra and Nehemiah." In the Vulgate, I Esdras is Ezra; II Esdras is Nehemiah. Much of Ezra's accomplishment could be called administrative. He reformed the ecclesiastical ritual, organization of the synagogue improved, and the rise of the rabbinate and eventually the development of the Sanhedrin were tributes to his ability.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO September 1
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8