An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bible, The

Holy Scriptures of the OT and NT, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, containing all things necessary to salvation.

The OT reveals God’s mighty acts in creation, the deliverance of the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt, and the making of the old covenant with the chosen people. God’s saving will for his people is made known in the OT through the gift of the Law in the Ten Commandments and through the witness of the prophets. The OT is also known as the “Hebrew Scriptures.” The NT describes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whose coming was foretold in the OT. It also tells the story of the creation of the Christian church through the gift of the Holy Spirit and presents the new covenant, based on love, which is the new relationship with God given by Jesus Christ to all who believe in him. (BCP, pp. 850-851).

The additional books of the Apocrypha, written by people of the old covenant, are often included in the Bible. Although selections from the Apocrypha are used in the worship of the Episcopal Church, the Apocryphal books are not generally considered of equal scriptural authority in Anglicanism with the OT and NT.

The translations of the Bible authorized for use in the worship of the Episcopal Church are the King James (Authorized Version), together with the Marginal Readings authorized for use by the General Convention of 1901, the English Revision of 1881, the American Revision of 1901, the Revised Standard Version of 1952, the Jerusalem Bible of 1966, the New English Bible with the Apocrypha of 1970, the 1976 Good News Bible (Today’s English Version), the New American Bible (1970), the Revised Standard Version, an Ecumenical Edition, known as the “R.S.V. Common Bible” (1973), the New International Version (1978), the New Jerusalem Bible (1987), the Revised English Bible (1989), and the New Revised Standard Version Bible (1990). See Apocrypha.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.