Theological Dictionary

By Grace Verne Silver 

The following definitions composed by Grace Verne Silver, called collectively "Theological Dictionary," represent a sampling of those available from various issues of the Queen Silver's Magazine. Some of the definitions were also published in various issues of the Truth Seeker.


In various letters to her supporter Ethan Allen Gates, Queen mentions the dictionary:

Sept. 29, 1922. "Did you notice the first section of mother's Theological Dictionary in this week's Truth Seeker?"

December 14, 1922. "I suppose you have noticed mother's Theological Dictionary in the Truth Seeker, as six installments of it have appeared. The Truth Seeker people offer to print it in book form, provided mother pays for publication. They say they can't afford to bring it out otherwise. So mother says its publication may be delayed some time. They are afraid it won't sell well enough to pay. There will be about 500 definitions."

January 15, 1923. "Mother has her Theological Dictionary nearly finished -- but we do not know when we will get it printed. Some of the radicals here are talking about getting it printed, but when they do it is another question. We are also considering the plan of starting a small printing outfit ourselves here at home, and setting up the type on it ourselves, and then having the press work done out."


APPLE: Favorite fruit of god. When Eve ate the only one his tree bore, he became very wrathy. He had been saving it to make hard cider.

ANGEL: A celestial flapper.

ARK, of the Covenant: A wooden box in which god was kept while his sheepherders were wandering in the wilderness; sometimes called: 'God-in-the-Box'.

ASS: Favorite means of locomotion of Jesus. He once rode into Jerusalem sitting on two of them which His disciples has previously stolen for Him.

ATONEMENT: A curious example of god's justice, by which he caused his son to be murdered in order to save the world from satan. Satan got off without a scratch, and the world is not yet saved. It was too big a job for god's son, so the Holy Rollers are now tackling it. John 3:16.

AUTO DA FE: an act of faith, which generally consisted in burning alive at the stake the body of the suspected heretic, amid the festivities of the populace--all to the glory of god and the advancement of his kingdom on earth; a classical example of christian fellowship and brotherly love. Luke 19:27.

BALAAM: A prophet who attended a theological seminary presided over by an ass; the first but by no means the last of its kind. Num. 22:21-35.

BALAAM'S ASS: The first ass that every preached a sermon. However, it is now a very common accomplishment of asses, and attracts but little attention. Num. 22:21-29.

BAPTISM: Sprinkling, sousing or ducking in water, which is sometimes perfumed; a means by which some christians are cleansed without the use of soap. The most effective way is to keep the patient under the water for thirty minutes.

BASS DRUM: The collection basket of the Salvation Army; voice of the lord, calling the faithful to worship.

BEATITUDES: Jesus' advice to the workers to be contented with their lot. Matt. 5:3-11.

BELIEF: A delusion that one knows something about something of which he knows nothing, and about which no one else ever knew anything.

BIBLE: A curious and remarkable collection of short stories, myths, fable and pseudo-history; agrees and disagrees with every doctrine, creed and cult. Also agrees and disagrees with itself on every possible proposition.

BLASPHEMY: Telling the truth about any god and any bible.

BLOOD: Used by christians instead of water. They drink blood, sing blood, bathe in blood. All of the blood comes from Jesus. It is no wonder he is dead, after furnishing blood for all of the christians of the world to use in their ceremonies.

BOTTOMLESS PIT: Jehovah's private junkyard, which he uses as a dumping ground for cast-off souls.

BRIMSTONE: God's automatic meat roasting fuel.

CAIN: The first farmer of history; god preferred the odor of Abel's roast lamb to Cain's burnt turnips, boiled cabbage and fried garlic. This naturally rendered Cain jealous and he killed his brother Abel. He then consulted a marriage correspondence journal, found a thrifty wife in the land of Nod and raised a bumper crop of kids.

CALF: Favorite diet of angels when they visit men. It is etiquette to celebrate by killing a calf when they call. Calves do not like angels' visits.

CHRIST: A being who came to save the world and died without being able to save himself.

CHURCH: A very expensive structure to which good christians go periodically in order to tell each other all the things which they do not know about god. They also tell god all the things they think he does not know about themselves.

CIRCUMCISION: A holy rite; a delicate surgical operation commanded by jehovah to be performed on a patient eight days old, as an evidence of faith and repentance; mild in comparison with that advised by St. Paul (I Cor. 7:7) and Jesus (Matt, 19:12).

COMMANDMENTS: Orders issued by god's chief of police.

COMMENTARY: A book composed by god's amanuensis for the purpose of explaining how and why god does not mean what he says in his revealed word, and elucidating with much erudition and fluency what he might or should have meant; very useful to the devout and of great assistance to the omnipotent one, who seems unable to make his meaning clear.

CONSTANTINE: Emperor of the Roman Empire; step-father of the christian religion; was one of the most sainted characters in church history; compelled his father-in-law to commit suicide; ordered his son Crippus murdered; steamed his wife to death while in her bath; murdered his sister Constantina; condemned his nephew and brother-in-law to death; murdered the Emperors Maxentius and Licinius; fixed legal interest at the rate of twelve percent; established christianity upon a firm basis; inaugurated persecution of dissenters in the name of Jesus; enacted the first Blue Sunday law; repented on his death bed, was forgiven, baptized and went straight to heaven.

CRUSADES: Seven distinct attempts by christendom to recover possession of the sepulcher of Jesus and of the Holy Land from the 'Infidels' (the Jews and Mohammedans). Although god was always with the crusading armies, millions of men, women and children were slaughtered or died of wounds or disease and went to heaven, but the Infidels eventually won out and have retained possession of the tomb ever since.

DAVID: King of the Jews, polygamist and wife-stealer; won the throne by treason to his master Saul; reigned gloriously, slaughtering many people, and taxing the rest heavily; he came to a sad end (I Kings 1:1-4); however, god pronounced him a man after his own heart (Acts 13:22).

EASTER: Springtime festival of christians, during which rabbits lay eggs in order to prove that Jesus rose from the dead. Named from the pagan goddess Eostre.

ELISHA: A substitute for the prophet Elijah; a bald-headed, ill-tempered prophet of god, who requisitioned two big she bears on short notice to eat up forty-two little Jewish children who impolitely called attention to his scanty crop of hair. II Kings 2:24. He was so dry and dusty that when he stretched himself upon the dead body of a child, it sneezed seven times. II Kings 4:35.

EMASCULATE: Operation performed upon the body by the ancient and upon the brain by the modern christians.

EUCHARIST: Body of christ; hard tack metamorphosed by the priests by means of mysterious passes and eaten by the faithful in the pious belief that they are actually masticating their lord and savior.

EVANGELIST: Recruiting agent of god. Sells real estate in the New Jerusalem--ten cents down and a nickel a week throughout all eternity.

EVIL: The work of the devil, whom god made. The devil is good, for "god looked upon all that he had made and said it was good". Therefore evil, being the work of the good devil whom god made, is also good. To do good is to do evil and vice versa, theologically speaking.

EXCOMMUNICATION: A papal edict padlocking the gates of heaven; a sort of theological quarantine against unfaithful catholics. A display of penitence, accompanied by cold cash, usually suffices to placate both the pope and the virgin Mary and god does whatever they order.

EZEKIEL: A famous chef; the lord jehovah himself instructed him how to make cakes. (Ezek.4:12-17)

FALSE PROPHET: An ecclesiastical scab or nonunion priest; however, the resemblance to the genuine is so perfect that the credulous can not detect the difference. Jer. 1:14.

FATTED CALF: The prodigal's reward; symbolic of the treatment which kind-hearted parent should accord to their wayward sons; it is quite unnecessary to reward the dutiful ones.

FIG-TREE: An unfortunate tree in Canaan, cursed by Jesus in a fit of temper because it did not bear figs out of season. It thereupon withered, but some ancient authorities hold that the Gentiles drove copper nails into it. Originally created to make pants for Adam.

FISHERMEN: Applied to those who toil for the lord--because of the suckers they catch and the wild and very improbable stories which they tell. Matt. 4:19. Mark 1:16-17.


FONT: A sanctified bathtub or lavatory.

FUNERAL: A solemn occasion upon which a black-frocked fossil stands over a coffin and expatiates upon the virtues of the deceased, and informs the relatives that he has gone to heaven, whereupon the latter break forth in wails and lamentations.

GOD: The great guess.

GOLDEN RULE: Alleged rule of conduct, stolen by Jesus from Buddha. If you follow its teachings, and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," you will make more enemies than friends. For example, if you are a vegetarian, try inviting a meat eater to dine, then serve him with carrots and spinach.

GRIEF: A natural emotion in which christians illogically bewail the fact that their loved ones are dead and have gone to heaven to dwell with god and the angels.

HATE: A godly emotion; for, according to Jesus (Luke 12:51): "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." (Luke 14:26): "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he can not be my disciple."

HELL: a place where the steam heat is never turned off; god created it so as to have a place to cook an eternal cannibal stew.

HOLY OF HOLIES: Safety deposit box in which the Jewish priests kept god; the bank vault within the temple. The common people were forbidden to go near, or to enter this place, lest by so doing they should discover no god was there.

HOLY WATER: Water which has been blessed by a priest; whereupon hundreds of the faithful dip their fingers in the sacred Finger Bowl and sprinkle it on themselves to frighten away any demons or evil spirits that may be lurking near: it also spreads holy disease germs amongst the people.

HUMILITY: Practiced chiefly by priests, monks and holy men and women of god, who gain great wealth and power by its exercise.

IDOL: The image of a heathen god or goddess, made of iron, brass, wood, or clay, etc.; this term should not be applied to the beautiful statues to be found in christian churches, to which prayers and devotions are offered.

IDOLATRY: The worship of any other god than the one which is fashionable to worship in your community.

INCENSE: A mysterious Oriental powder used to fumigate places of worship.

INFIDEL: Anyone who has too much sense to believe biblical Santa Clauses.

INNOCENTS: Babes of Bethlehem, from two years old and under, whom a kind and loving god permitted king Herod to slaughter, while his own son was hiding out in Egypt. God had sent an angel to warm the complacent Joseph, but he failed to warn the parents of the other babes. Matt. 2:16.


INVOCATION: S.O.S. message sent by a preacher to god, begging him to come down and help conduct the services, and to please make it snappy lest the faithful vanish before the collection is taken.

JEHOSPHAPHAT: Son of king Asa reigned as king of Judah twenty-five years; served god faithfully and was rewarded with riches and honor. Used as an exclamation of surprise or astonishment. II Chron. 17:3-5.

JEREMIAH: The wailing prophet, famous for his hard luck stories, groans, lamentations and evil prophecies.

JESUS: Son of Mary. No one knows who she was. Father was god, who deserted his mother before his birth, leaving her without room rent or medical attention.

JEW'S HARP: Sacred musical instrument, only one allowed to be used in the heavenly choir; St. Peter hands one to each entrant at the heavenly gate.

JONAH: A prophet of god who gained considerable notoriety by being accidentally swallowed by a big fish, supposed to be a whale (Matt. 12:40), which, finding him too dirty to be palatable and too tough to be digested, spewed him out unceremoniously upon the dry land. (This is a whale of a story.)

JUDGMENT DAY: Day set for the trial of god's police court cases. Unfortunately, the time and place of these hearings are not specified in the holy bible. Trial will be by the court, as there are neither juries nor lawyers in heaven. Rev. 20:11-15.

JUSTICE: The vengeance of an all-wise and all peevish god.

KID: Offspring of the goat that was sacrificed upon the altar of Jehovah. The offal was burnt, but the eatable parts were consumed by the priests, who were very fond of kids. Children are now called kid, and are offered by their parents as living sacrifices to the church.

KING: Of heaven, of course. An absolute monarch, who rules without a constitution, congress, or any republican innovations. Purely an imaginary being.

KISS: A religious ceremony first introduced through sex-worship; since the time of Judas it has been used by christians to conceal their hatred while betraying their friends.

KNOWLEDGE: The first thing forbidden by god to man. "Of the Tree of Knowledge thou shalt not eat," said the lord god; and from that time to the present no good religious person has ever wanted to know anything.

LAMB OF GOD: Term of endearment for Jesus; so called, because "he was led like a lamb to the slaughter". In the meantime, we, like sheep, have been "led astray" by satan.

LORD'S SUPPER: A banquet, at which Jesus served his own body, washed down with 'dago red,' to his disciples, to celebrate the last days of his ministry. Matt. 26:26-30.

LOVE: A sentiment which all preachers are supposed to feel for all men, women, girls and boys. Sometimes it leads to a prison sentence.

LOVE (2): A wonderful attribute possessed in its perfection by god alone. It impelled him to boil, fry and bake 99 and 99-100% of the human race.

MAN: A creature like god, made by god, looks like god, and acts almost as badly as god.

MISSIONARY: A fellow full of enthusiasm and religion, who endures mosquitoes and malaria in order that he may christianize the heathen, in return for which he receives an allowance, an extra pair of wings, and a pass to an orchestra seat in heaven. The poor heathen are defenseless.

MONEY; Being the "root of all evil", the church protects her communicants by relieving them of the care of the same. She deeply resents having this burden removed from her sacred shoulders.

MOTHERHOOD: If licensed, sacred; if virgin, holy; if unmarried, immoral, obscene and vicious.

NEIGHBOR: The nearest man or woman whom you must love as you do yourself; and, according to J. Christ, if you believe in him, you must hate yourself. (Luke 14:26)

NOAH: The father of us all; noted in the world's history as a boat builder and a collector of family pets; in comparison with Noah, the great Barnum was the veriest piker. Noah reversed the usual order by getting drunk after he was saved, instead of before. Genesis 9:20,21.

OBSCENITY: Anything risque-- found outside of the bible.

ODOR OF SANCTITY: Better imagined than described, as the holy saints are alleged to have been extremely averse to bathing.

OMNIPOTENCE: Ability of god to do anything; such as, create a rock heavier than he can lift; make a fire so hot he can't put it out, or make ice so cold that it won't melt in the hottest fire, or make a rope with one end. Judges 1:19.

OMNIPOTENT: Another name for God. He proved his omnipotence by being unable to stop the great World War for five years until there was no money left to fight with, and by allowing ten million innocent noncombatants to die of starvation and disease.

OPTIMISM: That state of mind which enables a christian to starve to death in this world for the sake of a mythical reward in a fictitious hereafter.

ORATORY: A private chapel in which to pray, in obedience to the command: "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet; and, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret". Matt. 6:6. We heartily wish that all christians would obey this command.

ORIENT: Birth-place of all religions of the civilized world. Oriental gods are worshiped in America, but living orientals are barred from our shores by the immigration laws.

OUTCASTS: Those who express their honest opinions about religious matters.

PARALYTIC SHOCK: Usually caused by a blood clot on the brain; rarely, in the case of a christian, by an idea penetrating his skull.

PILGRIM FATHERS: A band of Puritans who founded Plymouth colony in order that they might be free to worship god according to the dictates of their consciences, and to obtain the authority to prevent the members of any other sect from enjoying the same right. In pursuance of their divine plan, they whipped, tortured, hanged and burned, or drove away, all who fatuously denied any of the doctrines or dogmas of the Puritan sect.

POPE: Literally, father; in the Greek church, a parish priest; in the Roman church, the Big Boss of them all, who has officiated for centuries as the Turnkey of Heaven, the personal representative of Christ on earth and the treasurer of God's Savings Bank.

PRAYER: Strong language which, when properly used, informs the Almighty how to run the universe. Without all of this advice ascending to Him in a thousand different dialects at the same time, God wouldn't know what to do next.

PRAYER MEETING: A mid-week gathering of old women (some of them in trousers) for the purpose of confessing their sins to an imaginary, invisible deity, and explaining to him at great length, in detail, just what might, could, would, or should be done about it, with suggestions on the side as to the best way of running his kingdom on earth. Luke 18:17.

PRIEST: Press agent for God.

PROPHET: In ancient times, an ignorant, lousy knave who pretended that he had credentials as operator of god's broadcasting station. At one time there were so many prophets that the plain people had great difficulty in feeding them. Hosea 9:7-9.

PSALMS: A canonical book of poems, written by a Hebrew tyrant and rake, a man "after god's own heart", (Acts 13:22) wherein he thanks god for all the tender mercies bestowed upon himself, and calls upon god to curse all of his enemies; a book much read by christians.

QUAKER: A religious sect in which each member serves as preacher in turn, thereby saving heavy expenses; further trouble is prevented by maintaining a habitual silence.

QUEST: The search after truth by a christian. When he fears that he is likely to find it, he quits.

QUESTION: Something which must never be asked a preacher and which no christian can ask his god and remain a christian.

QUICK: Theologically speaking, all human beings who shall be lucky enough to be alive when Gabriel blows his horn. The dead ones will have to get out of their graves the best way they can. Those whose ashes have been scattered to the four winds will find considerable difficulty in pulling themselves together. Acts 10:42.

RACK: An instrument of torture formerly much used by christians to convince heretics of god's gracious compassion and loving kindness. Deut. 13:6-10.

REDEEMER: Nickname for Jesus; he 'redeemed' the world, yet it is still lost in sin.

REPENTANCE: The act of being sorry for getting caught doing wrong.

SABBATH: The day on which god rested after the hard labor of building the universe and was refreshed (Ex. 31:17); it falls on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, depending upon what "true religion" you happen to believe in. The preachers usually rest six days and work (the people) on the seventh.

SAMSON: Strongest man god ever heard of, yet weaker than a woman. Judges 16:17-19.

SATAN: The George Washington of the bible. He never told a lie, while there are only two lies which god could not tell. Heb. 6:18.

SHEEP: an amiable animal. Jesus appropriately compared his followers to sheep; first, because a sheep is a very stupid animal and always follows the sound of the bell; second, because christians are regularly 'sheared' by their shepherds, who take the wool from their backs and pull it down over their eyes.

SISERA: A captain of Jabin's army whom the lord sold into the hand of a woman, Jael, the wife of Heber, who became the first hammer murderess in history. When he fled from the battle in which his army was annihilated, Jael invited him into her tent and fed him. As he slept, she pierced his temples with a nail and workman's hammer, and then cut off his head. This was highly pleasing to the lord. Judges 5:25-31.

SOLOMON: Great-great-grandson of Ruth and Boaz. The wisest man that ever lived;...he married seven hundred blue-blooded wives, and maintained three hundred concubines upon the side. Each of them told him all she knew. (I Kings 11:1-4)

TAMBOURINE: Sacred musical instrument whose sound resembles the clinking of nickels and dimes; used by gypsies, salvation army girls and Spanish dancers.

THEOCRACY: A government of the church, by the church and for the church. Most governments are partial theocracies in the sense that the welfare of the church and the protection of church property are more safeguarded than are the rights of the people.

TORTURE CHAMBER: Famous court of priestly justice; a drastic method of converting millions of heretics to the "true faith."

TOWER OF BABEL: The first sky scraper known to history. As it was built without taking out a celestial permit, in violation of god's building ordinance, he ordered his chief inspector to pull it down. In the excitement of the moment, the people stuttered so much that new languages were born.

UBIQUITOUS: A person or thing that is always in the way; a nuisance; hence, the church and all of her agents.

UNITY: A startling mathematical discovery which proves conclusively that 1 plus 1 plus 1 = 1.

UTOPIAN: A man who believes Jesus was lying when he said: 'The poor ye have with you always.'

VACUUM: The place where a christian's brain ought to be.

VATICAN: A house for popes, whose thousand rooms are filled to overflowing with wealth, all of which belongs to god. Within the sight of it thousands of people live in abject poverty and sanctity.

VERILY: A bye word often used by Jesus and his disciples to impress on their hearers that upon that particular occasion they were telling the truth.

VIRGIN: An unmarried mother. Modern society does not apply this word, but another, less euphemistic one, to such cases.

VIRTUE: Said to be its own reward. It is of no value to a christian, inasmuch as man is not saved by doing good works or by being good, but "by faith alone".

WAFER: A sacred cracker, unsalted, baked by the priest's female housekeeper, blessed by him and partaken of reverently by the kneeling worshipers, washed down by home brew. The big idea is, that the aforesaid cracker has been transformed by a miracle into the body of Christ. Matt. 26:26-30.

WAR: God's chief occupation, according to the Old Testament, and the favorite amusement of his chosen people; a recruiting agency for the angelic host (by conscription).

WILL: Something man surrenders to god at the same time he gives his heart to Jesus and his brains to the holy ghost.

WINDOWS (of Heaven): Trap doors which were opened by the angels at god's command, in order that the waters of heaven might flood the earth and destroy every living thing.

X: An unknown quantity; stands for Jesus; his mark, as in Xmas.

YULE: Saxon name for December; now applied to Christmas.

ZION: God's holy city; located a few miles north of the Chicago stock-yards.

ZOROASTER: A learned Persian who founded one of the 365 only true religions.

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