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

Talk to your kids about porn! 2 hours ago
Showing the Courage to battle homosexual impulses 17 hours ago
In other words, to be a Christian means this: 19 hours ago
Wanted: a balanced Catholic perspective on immigration 24 hours ago
Renewal with God before Us: Christ Determines All July 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21