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The Holy Bible

The Holy Bible refers to both the Holy Scriptures of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, containing all things necessary to salvation when understood through tradition and reason.

The Old Testament, often known as the "Hebrew Scriptures," 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 Old Testament through the gift of the Law in the Ten Commandments and through the witness of the prophets. The New Testament describes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whose coming was foretold in the Old Testament. 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 Old and New Testament. 

-adapted from The Episcopal Church 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.

Approved Translations of the Bible

The Episcopal Church has authorized the use of the following translations of the Bible:

  • King James or Authorized Version (the historic Bible of The Episcopal Church)
  • English Revision (1881)
  • American Revision (1901)
  • Revised Standard Version (1952)
  • Jerusalem Bible (1966)
  • New English Bible with the Apocrypha (1970)
  • Good News Bible / Today's English Version (1976)
  • New American Bible (1970)
  • Revised Standard Version, an Ecumenical Edition (1973)
  • New International Version (1978)
  • New Jerusalem Bible (1987)
  • Revised English Bible (1989)
  • New Revised Standard Version (1990)
  • Common English Bible (2012)
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