Christianity’s Religious Texts: The Bible. Christianity combines the Jewish Old Testament with the New Testament to form the Christian Bible, which followers refer to as the Holy Scriptures. There are many noncanonical texts in the Christian religion as well. Christians believe the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Christianity’s Religious Scriptures

Traditional Christianity

  • The Bible (the Old Testament and the New Testament). The Apostolic churches (Catholicism and Orthodoxy) also include the Deuterocanonicals.
    • For Protestantism, this is the 66-book canon – the Jewish Tanakh of 24 books divided differently (into 39 books) and the universal 27-book New Testament. Some denominations also include the 15 books of the Apocrypha between the Old Testament and the New Testament, for a total of 81 books.
    • For Catholicism, this includes seven deuterocanonical books in the Old Testament for a total of 73 books, called the Canon of Trent (in versions of the Latin Vulgate, 3 Esdras, 4 Esdras, and the Prayer of Manasseh are included in an appendix, but considered non-canonical).
    • For the Eastern Orthodox Church, this includes the anagignoskomena, which consist of the Catholic deuterocanon, plus 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 3 Esdras. 4 Maccabees is considered to be canonical by the Georgian Orthodox Church.[12]
    • The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (and its offspring, the Eritrean Orthodox Church) adds various additional books depending on the specific enumeration of the canon (see Ethiopian Biblical canon), but always includes 4 Esdras, the Book of Jubilees, 1 Enoch, 4 Baruch, and 1, 2, and 3 Meqabyan (no relation to the Books of Maccabees).
    • Some Syriac churches accept the Letter of Baruch as scripture.

Christian Scientists

  • The Bible
  • Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. This textbook, along with the Bible, serves as the permanent “impersonal pastor” of the church.

Gnosticism

  • Nag Hammadi library and other Gnostic texts (not from the Bible)
  • Some books of the Old Testament and New Testament
    • Cerdonianism and Marcionism
  • Only the Gospel of Marcion and selected Pauline epistles accepted

Jehovah’s Witnesses

  • The Bible (The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is their preferred translation.)

Latter Day Saint Movement

  • The Bible
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) uses the LDS edition of the King James Bible for English-speaking members; other versions are used in non-English speaking countries.
    • The Community of Christ (RLDS) uses the Joseph Smith Translation, which it calls the Inspired Version, as well as updated modern translations.
  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Pearl of Great Price is authoritative in the LDS Church, rejected by Community of Christ.
  • The Doctrine and Covenants
    • There are significant differences in content and section numbering between the Doctrine and Covenants used by the Community of Christ (RLDS) and the LDS Church.
  • Other, smaller branches of Latter Day Saints include other scriptures, such as the Book of the Law of the Lord used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) or The Word of the Lord used by Fettingite branches.

Native American Church

(Christian-leaning factions)

  • The Bible (among Christian-leaning factions only)

Rastafari Movement

  • The Bible (Ethiopian Orthodox canon)
  • the Holy Piby
  • the Kebra Nagast
  • The speeches and writings of Haile Selassie I (including his autobiography My Life and Ethiopia’s Progress)
  • Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy

Seventh-day Adventists

  • The Bible
  • The writings of Ellen White are held to an elevated status, though not equal with the Bible, as she is considered to have been an inspired prophetess.

Swedenborgianism

  • The Bible (several books omitted)
  • The works of Emanuel Swedenborg (not considered equal to the Bible)

Unification Church

  • The Divine Principle
  • The Bible as illuminated by more recent revelation

Luther’s Canon

Luther’s Canon Luther’s canon is the biblical canon attributed to Martin Luther, which has influenced Protestants since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. While the Lutheran Confessions[1] specifically did not define a canon, it is widely regarded as the canon of the Lutheran Church. It differs from the 1546 Roman Catholic canon of the Council...

Biblical Archaeology

Biblical Archaeology Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible, be they from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) or from the New Testament, as well as the history and cosmogony of Judaism and...

altar

Biblical Inerrancy

Biblical Inerrancy Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching”;[1] or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact”.[2] Some equate inerrancy with biblical infallibility; others do not.[3][4] The belief is of particular significance within parts of evangelicalism, where it is...

Development of the New Testament canon

Development of the New Testament canon The canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books[1] that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. The books...

Love Jesus Prophet Holy Man Christ Lord Spiritual

New Commandment

New Commandment The New Commandment is a term used in Christianity to describe Jesus’s commandment to “love one another” which, according to the Bible, was given as part of the final instructions to his disciples after the Last Supper had ended,[1] and after Judas Iscariot had departed in John 13:30.[2][3][4] Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me:...

The Bible And Violence

The Bible And Violence The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament contain narratives, poetry, and instruction describing, recording, encouraging, commanding, condemning, rewarding, punishing and regulating violent actions by God, individuals, groups, governments, and nation-states. Among the violent acts included are war, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, murder, rape, and criminal punishment.[1] The...

Criticism Of The Bible

Criticism Of The Bible Criticism of the Bible is an interdisciplinary field of study concerning the factual accuracy of the claims and the moral tenability of the commandments made in the Bible, the holy book of Christianity. Long considered to be the perfect word of God by devout Christians (and...

Ethics In The Bible

Ethics In The Bible Ethics in the Bible refers to the system(s) or theory(ies) produced by the study, interpretation, and evaluation of biblical morals, (including the moral code, standards, principles, behaviors, conscience, values, rules of conduct, or beliefs concerned with good and evil and right and wrong), that are found...

Women In The Bible

Women In The Bible The women in the Bible are rarely mentioned by name, with named women representing only 5.5 to 8 percent of the total of all named characters, male and female. This suggests that women were not usually in the forefront of public life. Those women that are named,...

Tree of Life (Biblical)

Tree of Life (Biblical) The tree of life (עֵץ הַחַיִּים, Etz haChayim)[1] is a term mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Genesis, the tree of life is first described in chapter 2, verse 9 as being “in the midst of the Garden of Eden” with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (עֵץ...

Development of the Old Testament Canon

Development of the Old Testament Canon The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian biblical canon; the second section is the New Testament. The Old Testament includes the books of the Hebrew Bible(Tanakh) or protocanon, and in various Christian denominations also includes deuterocanonical books. Orthodox Christians, Catholics...

Vulgate

What Is Vulgate? The Vulgate is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible that was to become the Catholic Church’s officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century, and is still used fundamentally in the Latin Church to this day. The translation was largely the work of...

Septuagint

What Is Septuagint? The Septuagint (septuāgintā literally “seventy”; often abbreviated as 70 in Roman numerals, i.e., LXX; sometimes called the Greek Old Testament) is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures.[1] It is estimated that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining...

Christian Biblical Canons

Christian Biblical Canons A Christian biblical canon is the set of books that a particular Christian denomination or denominational family regards as being divinely inspired and thus constituting an authorised Christian Bible. Such bibles are always divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Early Church primarily used...

Authorship of Luke–Acts

Authorship of Luke–Acts The authorship of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, collectively known as Luke–Acts, is an important issue for biblical exegetes who are attempting to produce critical scholarship on the origins of the New Testament. Traditionally, the text is believed to have been written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). However,...

Fifty Bibles of Constantine

Fifty Bibles of Constantine The Fifty Bibles of Constantine were Bibles in the original Greek language commissioned in 331 by Constantine I and prepared by Eusebius of Caesarea. They were made for the use of the Bishop of Constantinople in the growing number of churches in that very new city. Eusebius quoted the letter of commission in his Life of Constantine,...

Protestant Bible

Protestant Bible A Protestant Bible is a Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestants. Such Bibles comprise 39 books of the Old Testament (according to the Jewish Hebrew Bible canon, known especially to non-Protestants as the protocanonical books) and 27 books of the New Testament for a total of 66 books. Some Protestants use Bibles which also include 14...

Old Testament

Old Testament The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites[1] believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God.[2] The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament. The books that comprise the...

Language of The New Testament

Language of The New Testament The New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek,[1][2] which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean[3][4][5][6] from the conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600). The Hellenistic Jewish world The New Testament Gospels and Epistles were only part of a Hellenistic Jewish culture in the Roman...

New Testament

New Testament The New Testament (Ancient Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture....

Scroll Up