NW is Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

BDB is Brown-Drivers-Briggs Hebrew Definitions

SN is the "Strong's Concordance Number" (many reference works use it.)

BARD, n. [Welsh bardh or barz; Irish, bard; French barde; a poet; Irish bardas, a satire or lampoon; Welsh bardhas, philosophy; bardgan, a song.]

    1. A poet and a singer among the ancient Celts; one whose occupation was to compose and sing verses, in honor of the heroic achievements of princes and brave men. The bards used an instrument of music like a lyre or guitar, and not only praised the brave but reproached the cowardly.

    2. In modern usage, a poet. NW


Our own definition: A spiritually oriented community resource person who provides history, healing, and music. In ancient times Bards were highly trained and usually part of a heirarchy. Most were well acquainted with at least one healing art. Bards have been known in ancient Greece, Turkey, all Celtic nations, and most Slavic societies. Until about 500 AD they were present throughout Europe in almost every settlement.


Several nations which share a common origin and distinctive characteristics. At one time Celts completely dominated Central Europe, beginning about 1500 BC until 500 BC. After that they began a long, slow decline. Ancient Celtic nations which became extinct included Gaul, Galatia, Hallstatt, and LaTene. Celtic nations which survived into historical times are: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and Cornwall.


In ancient Celtic society, the rank above Bards. They combined the occupations we now recognize as priest, lawyer, and doctor. Bards would often aspire to become Druids.


A West African Bard, usually performing on Kora, which is a type of harp made from a large gourd. They tend to perform the same functions as most Celtic Bards. This tradition is still living in Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and several other countries.

HARP Kinnor (SN 3658) Lyre, Harp (from an unused root meaning to twang) BDB

JUDGE Shaphat (SN 8199) 1) to judge, govern, vindicate, punish 1a) (Qal)

1a1) to act as law-giver or judge or governor (of God, man)

1a1a) to rule, govern, judge

1a2) to decide controversy (of God, man)

1a3) to execute judgment

1a3a) discriminating (of man)

1a3b) vindicating

1a3c) condemning and punishing

1a3d) at theophanic advent for final judgment

1b) (Niphal)

1b1) to enter into controversy, plead, have controversy together

1b2) to be judged

1c) (Poel) judge, opponent-at-law (participle)



Fundamental pitch of a musical composition which usually determines the starting and ending notes, main chord structure, and what scale is used.


Priestly tribe of the Hebrew people. No land was assigned to this tribe. Instead, they were to get their life support from tithes, sacrificial offerings, and gifts.


Musical instrument invented in ancient Greece. Usually it had 7 to 10 strings within an apparently simple framework. Mostly it was used to generate pitches for singing.


A rank in ancient Celtic society somewhat above and separated from Druids. These were especially respected people. (The Merlin Ambrosius was a teacher and advisor to King Arthur. In his younger years he had learned the practice of engineering, which he later combined with philosophy and the Bardic arts.)

MINSTREL Nagan (SN 5059)

1) to play or strike strings, play a stringed instrument

1a) (Qal)

1a1) player (participle)

1b) (Piel)

1b1) to play

1b1a) player, minstrel (participle)

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by BDB/Strong's Number: a primitive root

Same Word by TWOT Number: 1292.1

Total KJV Occurrences: 15

play, 4

1 Sam 16:16-17 (2), Ps 33:3, Ezek 33:32

played, 4

1 Sam 16:23, 1 Sam 18:10, 1 Sam 19:9, 2 Kin 3:15

minstrel, 2

2 Kin 3:15 (2)

melody, 1

Isa 23:15-16 (2)

player, 1

1 Sam 16:16


MINSTREL, n. [French menetrier, for menestrier; Spanish, ministril, a minstrel, and a tipstaff, or petty officer of justice;... ]

A singer and musical performer on instruments. Minstrels were formerly poets as well as musicians, and held in high regard by our rude ancestors. Their attendance was sought and their performances lavishly rewarded by princes... NW


Our definition: A descendant of the Bardic tradition who performs songs about the everyday life of people. Modern Country-Western music is a direct growth from this tradition. Most minstrels were not highly educated and did not practice any healing art.


A musical scale. The term is usually applied to the five scales within the Pythagorean System that are not used as often as the Major and Minor scales.








A song in the Scriptures.


A Greek philosopher who lived around 650 BC. He regarded music, mathematics, and medicine as a single art. One of his major achievements was the development of the musical scale system used throughout Europe and eventually extended worldwide in the past 150 years. He started the mostimportant school for Bards near Palermo on the island of Sicily, which continued for nearly 900 years. Instruction at the school was based on the religion of Pythagoras which is now extinct. This religion required of its adherents a strict moral code and vegetarianism, and included the idea of reincarnation among its doctrines.


The most widely used musical scale system in the world today. It includes 7 possible scales within each musical key. These scales, also known as modes, are consistent on all instruments designed to be used in this system. With the fall of the Roman Empire, this system was almost lost. It was revived for church use by Pope Gregory in the 500s.


A fundamental musical scale which is the basic unit of India's musical system. There are approximately 80,000 known ragas, each with a particular purpose and usage. Many Ragas have different notes depending on whether the melody is going up or down at the time.



Series of musical notes in a pattern which is the framework for a song or longer composition.




Hebrew name for what many call the "Old Testament" of Scriptures.  This includes Torah, the first five books in which basic laws are laid down, books of many Prophets, and Ketuvim which means other writings such as Job, Proverbs, etc.


First five books of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Literally means "The Law". Also known as Pentateuch in Greek.


A descendant of the Bardic tradition, emerging during the Middle Ages in Europe. Typically their material would be based on ancient poems and legends. They often provided counseling functions but did not usually practice healing arts.

Back to Biblical Bards Home Page