What are the Holy Scriptures?

The Holy Scriptures are found in the Bible. The Old Testament books are the Jewish Scriptures. The New Testament books are the Scriptures that explain how Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Both testaments form a unified story about the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration of humanity and all of God’s creation. This story is a true revelation from God Himself and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain, inerrant, and infallible way that we can know the true God, His standard for righteous living, and His plan of salvation. General revelation from nature shows God’s goodness, wisdom, and power, so there is no reason why people should say that there is no Creator. Still, this natural general revelation is insufficient to provide knowledge of God and His will that is necessary for salvation. Therefore, God revealed Himself at different times and in various ways to declare His will to His Church. Afterward, He had people write down His specially revealed truth to preserve and propagate it. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are necessary now that God no longer reveals Himself in His former ways.

The Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament are the following Hebrew books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Holy Scriptures of the New Testament are the following Greek books: Matthew; Mark; Luke; John; Acts; Romans; 1 & 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; l & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon; Hebrews; James; 1 & 2 Peter; 1, 2 & 3 John; Jude; and Revelation.

The books commonly called “The Apocrypha” were not divinely inspired and are not considered Scripture. Therefore, they have no authority in the Church and have no use other than as ordinary human writings.

The Holy Scriptures’ authority comes from God Himself, for He is their author. The Scriptures’ authority does not come from any person or the Church. Therefore, the Church receives the Scriptures because they are the very words of God. The Church’s testimony may persuade people to regard the Scriptures highly. However, the full persuasion of its truth comes from God the Holy Spirit, who bears witness to it.

The Holy Scriptures are complete, and nothing more should be added to them. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit may illuminate people’s understanding of the Scriptures and how to wisely apply them today.

Some things in the Scriptures are not immediately plain and clear to everyone. However, all that is necessary to know and believe for salvation is clear and plain so that anyone may clearly understand it through ordinary means.

The human authors penned the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. God the Holy Spirit inspired the books in these languages. However, God’s people have a right to read and understand the Scriptures, so they should be faithfully and accurately translated into other languages.

The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. If a portion of Scripture is not immediately clear, readers should consult other portions that address the same doctrine to form a clearer picture of the Scriptures’ teachings.

The Scriptures are the supreme judge for all religious controversies. Opinions and the decrees of councils should be accepted or rejected based on a faithful interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

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