Temporal vs Templar

The word temporal and Templar are close in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused, though they mean very different things and have different etymologies. We will examine the definitions of temporal and Templar, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Temporal is an adjective that may simply describe something that is related to time. Temporal may also describe something secular or something having to do with worldly things, rather than spiritual or ephemeral things. Temporal may also be used as an anatomical term to mean a part of the body related to the temples of the head. The word temporal is derived from the Latin word temporalis meaning having to do with time. The adverb form is temporally.

Templar is a proper noun that refers to members of the Knights Templar, also known as Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, or the Order of Solomon’s Temple. The Knights Templar was a brotherhood of knights or soldiers that was founded to protect pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem in the Holy Land after it was conquered in the First Crusade. The Knights Templar were so-called because their headquarters was located in the Temple of Solomon in the kingdom of Jerusalem. The Templars took monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and wore the distinctive white mantle emblazoned with a red cross. While the First Crusade was a Christian success, later crusades were less so. The fortunes of the Knights Templar also declined. They were accused of heresy, a charge that is still hotly disputed to this day. Most historians agree that the Templars became victims of their own power. One of the services that the Templars provided was safeguarding pilgrims’ money. A pilgrim could deposit his money with the Templars in Europe, and receive his money when he had traveled safely to Jerusalem. Some consider this an early form of banking in Europe. In any case, the Knights Templar controlled vast amounts of wealth. This was too great a temptation for the cash-strapped King Philip IV, king of France. He forced the pope, Pope Clement V, to order that the Templars be arrested and their assets seized. The Templars were disbanded, many were tortured and burned at the stake, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay. The word Templar is derived from the Old French word templier, meaning of the temple. Note that the word Templar is capitalized, as it is a proper noun.


Trent-Brown showed brain scans that showed children with an active, engaged early childhood with quality learning experience had far more activity in their brain’s temporal lobes then those who didn’t. (The Holland Sentinel)

But he argued the point in a Netherlands court, suggesting temporal existence was as fluid as gender. (The Washington Post)

Instead of preoccupation with the temporal concerns of the day, however, Parkway Place members have decided to invest in the things that truly matter most. (The Houston Chronicle)

If you stand in the middle of the appealing cemetery and look across the sloping ground above the main road, taking a mark from a line of trees inside the university grounds, you can get a perspective of the possible extent of the Knights Templar settlement. (Stoke-on-Trent)

The ancient cave was once used by the Order of the Knights Templar that fought in the Crusades and were made famous by the popular Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code.  (The Daily Mail)


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