Book of Common Prayer Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break...
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- The Bible (among Christian-leaning factions only)
- 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
- 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.
- The Bible (several books omitted)
- The works of Emanuel Swedenborg (not considered equal to the Bible)
- The Divine Principle
- The Bible as illuminated by more recent revelation
Liturgical Book A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services. Roman Rite Main article: Liturgical books of the Roman Rite In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the primary liturgical books are the Roman Missal, which contains...
Books of the Vulgate These are the books of the Vulgate along with the names and numbers given them in the Douay–Rheims Bible and King James Bible. There are 76 books in the Clementine edition of the Latin Vulgate, 46 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament, and 3...
Catholic Theology of Scripture The theology of Scripture in the Roman Catholic church has evolved much since the Second Vatican Council of Catholic Bishops (“Vatican II”, 1962-1965). This article explains the theology (or understanding) of Scripture that has come to dominate in the Catholic Church today. It focuses on the...
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation (often called the Revelation to John, Apocalypse of John, the Revelation from Jesus Christ from its opening words, the Apocalypse, The Revelation, or simply Revelation) is the final book of the New Testament, and consequently is also the final book of the Christian Bible. Its title is derived from the first word of the Koine...
Allegorical Interpretations of Genesis Allegorical interpretations of Genesis are readings of the biblical Book of Genesis that treat elements of the narrative as symbols or types, rather than viewing them literally as recording historical events. Either way, Judaism and most sects of Christianity treat Genesis as canonical scripture, and believers generally regard it as having spiritual significance....
Biblical Literalist Chronology Biblical literalist chronology is the attempt to correlate the theological dates used in the Bible with the real chronology of actual events. The Bible measures time from the date of Creation (years are measured as anno mundi, or AM, meaning Year of the World), but there is no agreement on when this...
Great Commandment The Great Commandment (or Greatest Commandment) is a name used in the New Testament to describe the first of two commandments cited by Jesus in Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34, and Luke 10:27a. In Mark, when asked “which is the great commandment in the law?”, the Greek New Testament reports that Jesus answered, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord Our...
Development of The Christian Biblical Canon The Christian biblical canons are the books particular Christian denominations regard as divinely inspired and which constitute a The Bible. For mainstream Pauline Christianity (growing from proto-orthodox Christianity in pre-Nicene times) which books constituted the Christian biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament...
Pentateuch Pentateuch, in Greek pentateuchos, is the name of the first five books of the Old Testament. Name Though it is not certain whether the word originally was an adjective, qualifying the omitted noun biblos, or a substantive, its literal meaning “five cases” appears to refer to the sheaths or boxes in which...
Theodicy and The Bible Theodicy, in its most common form, is the attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil. Theodicy attempts to resolve the evidential problem of evil by reconciling the traditional divine characteristics of omnibenevolence and omnipotence, in either their absolute or relative form, with the occurrence of evil...
Biblical Cosmology Biblical cosmology is the biblical writers’ conception of the cosmos as an organised, structured entity, including its origin, order, meaning and destiny. The Bible was formed over many centuries, involving many authors, and reflects shifting patterns of religious belief; consequently, its cosmology is not always consistent. Nor do the biblical texts necessarily represent the beliefs of all Jews or Christians at the time...
Bible Verses and Quotes: Christian Advice This category lists gems of advice found in the Bible. Reflect on these passages and quotations in your quest for purpose in life. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then...
Bible Verses and Quotes: Christian Wisdom This category lists gems of wisdom found in the Bible. Reflect on these passages and quotations in your quest for greater spiritual knowledge. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and...
Bible Verses and Quotes: Divine Justice The Bible talks a lot about God‘s justice and how the righteous triumph over the wicked. This category is filled with selected passages that shed light on this important issue. “He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster...
Bible Verses and Quotes: Inspiration We all could use a few uplifting words in these trying times. This category features quotations that lift up the spirit and warm the soul. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the...
Bible Verses and Quotes: Key Passages This category serves as a reference for some of the Bible‘s most important passages. Many will know these by heart, but those new to the faith will find this page useful. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same...
Luther’s Canon Luther’s canon or Luther Bible is the biblical canon attributed to Martin Luther, which has influenced Protestants since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. While the Lutheran Confessions 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...
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...
Biblical Inerrancy Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible “is without error or fault in all its teaching”; or, at least, that “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact”. Some equate inerrancy with biblical infallibility; others do not. The belief is of particular significance within parts of evangelicalism, where it is...