Basic Christian Doctrines of Scripture
Now, there have been a lot of debates about the Christian Bible and its place in Christendom. One thing we cannot take away from the entire Christian denominations is the fact that all of them see the Bible as the sacred document which should direct the actions of man on earth. They all believe that it is the highest reference and authority for all Christian religious doctrines, beliefs, and practices. However, there are some areas in the Bible where denominations differ. These include the level of inspiration involved in writing the Bible and the amount of authority the words of the Bible hold or should exert in the life of a Christian. Because of this, different Christian denominations treat the Bible differently.
The Two Divides
For the conservative Christian churches, the scripture is seen as a direct word of God in the literal sense. Because of this, it is seen as an absolute authority in everything it says and directs the faithful to do. They believe that though it was written by human beings, it was the Holy Spirit that inspired the writing in its entirety. Those under this belief also go with the opinion that the scripture alone should be the criteria to determine every human practice and doctrine.
When you move to the liberal Christian angle, you will discover that they view the scripture as a simple book like any other book. For them, as much as it should be an advisory book to direct the lives of Christians, it was written without inspiration and so has limited perspectives and situations. To this effect, it may not be relevant in many situations different from what was prevalent when it was written. This set sees the scripture as a very important guide to Christian life but not an authoritative one.
Below is a list of some of the major Christian denominations and how they see the Christian Bible according to some of their doctrinal statements. Here, they state the role they expect the Bible to play in the lives of Christians.
The Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church simply states in its teachings that God in the bid to bring down his goodness to humans speaks to them in human words. It states that when God uses his words to address men, it comes down in form of human language. For them, the realities that are found in the sacred scriptures are accepted as inspired by the Holy Spirit. The books of the old and new testaments of the Bible according to the Catechism are sacred and canonical. For it, all the parts, whole and entire, which came under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are the words of God.
The Lutheran Church
This is another denomination that also accepts the Bible and its writings as God’s direct words. For them, there is a difference between the Bible and any other book found in the world. For the Lutheran church, the fact that the scripture was written by men whose only source of inspiration was the Holy Ghost makes the written words the word of God. They even took it a step further to clarify that they are not taking the position that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit as a position inspired by theological deductions. For them, the proof of the fact that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit is found in the scripture itself. For this, they cite John 10:35, 2 Tim. 3:16, 1 Cor. 2:13, Rom. 3:2.
The Greek Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church holds the Bible in high regard. Because of this, whenever they come together for any form of worship, they read one portion of the Bible for reflections. It should also be noted that the Orthodox Church regards itself as that church which is saddled with the responsibility of guarding and interpreting the Bible. To this effect, they believe that the old and new testaments of the Bible are revelations from God.
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The Presbyterian Church
For the Presbyterian Church and the other churches that belong to the reformed tradition, they see the Bible as a means. It is a means through which Christians understand the presence of God in the world, right from the beginning of time and to the current age. To them, when the scriptures are studied by Christians, it helps them to understand God’s love, eternal goodness, and faithfulness.
The Methodist Church
For this sect, the entire means of salvation is found in the Holy Scriptures. For them, anything that is not written in the Bible, not implied, and cannot be proven by the writings in the scriptures, is not part of the Christian faith. Therefore, such is not among the conditions and requirements necessary for salvation, look more in this article. For them, the authority of the old and new testaments which were revealed in the Holy Scriptures has never been in doubt.
Assemblies of God
They are strong in their belief in the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures in Christendom. For the Assemblies of God, both old and new testaments came to man through verbal inspiration by God. So, it is a rule of conduct and faith with absolute authority, which is completely infallible.
The Episcopal Church
Their core belief is that for you to call yourself a true Christian, you must develop a concrete understanding of God and build a strong relationship with him through the word of God expressed in the Bible. For them, with our natural intelligence and experience, we have to look at the words of the Bible and the transmitted Christian tradition. With these, we can arrive at a valuable understanding of the Bible as it concerns our lives on earth today.
The Southern Baptist Church
The Southern Baptist Church believes that the scripture contains the word of God written by men under God’s inspiration and revelation. They believe that it is divine instruction in its perfection. It was written by God, meant for the salvation of mankind and contains undiluted and authoritative truth. They believe that all the words of the scripture are factual and reliable.
Christian Today International
This is one of the newer Pentecostal denominations, and they also toed the line of the conservatives. For them, the Bible was originally written under God’s inspiration. So, there cannot be any error in it.
As you can see, different Christian denominations mainly support one belief, and that is that the Bible was inspired by God and should be followed to the letter.