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

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....

List of Major Textual Variants In The New Testament

List of Major Textual Variants In The New Testament This is an (incomplete) list of major textual variants in the New Testament, with a focus on differences between categories of New Testament manuscript. The Textus Receptus (Latin: “received text”) is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which was...

What Does the Bible Say about God?

What Does the Bible Say about God? It is very hard to understand about God as a Protector, “a God that needs to Rest”, or a “God that does not need Rest”. Which one is the real God? {Exodus. 31:17} “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth...

Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of Ancient Texts Historical criticism, also known as the historical-critical method or higher criticism, is a branch of criticism that investigates the origins of ancient texts in order to understand “the world behind the text”.[1] While often discussed in terms of Jewish and Christian writings from ancient times, historical criticism has also...

Gospel Harmony

What Is Gospel Harmony? A gospel harmony is an attempt to compile the canonical gospels of the Christian New Testament into a single account.[1] This may take the form either of a single, merged narrative, or a tabular format with one column for each gospel, technically known as a synopsis, although the word harmony is often used for both.[1] Harmonies...

The History of the Gospel of Barnabas

The History of the Gospel of Barnabas The Gospel of Barnabas is the only known surviving Gospel written by a disciple of Jesus, that is by a man who spent most of his time in the actual company of Jesus during the three years in which he was delivering his...

The Gospel of Barnabas

The Gospel of Barnabas The History of the Gospel of Barnabas Opening- True Gospel of Jesus, called Christ, a new prophet sent by God to the world: according to the description of Barnabas his apostle. Barnabas, apostle of Jesus the Nazarene, called Christ, to all them that dwell upon the...

The Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of Jesus’ sayings discovered in Egypt in 1945. Translated by Thomas O. Lambdin These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. (1) And he said, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these...

Summary of The Books of The Bible

Summary of The Books of The Bible THE OLD TESTAMENT There are 39 books in the Old Testament, generally separated into 4 divisions: The Pentateuch, traditionally designated as the 5 books of Moses. Historical Books, number 12, from Joshua to Esther. Poetical Books, number 4, from Job to Song of...

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