Religious Studies

Christianity: revelation

Christian scripture

Scripture is perhaps the most important type of revelation for Christians. This section deals with the Bible and the way Christians think about it. For Christians, the Bible is different from any other book because it contains God's words. Christians approach the Bible in different ways, and sometimes they may disagree.

  • The Bible is a very old document written by humans. It contains some good teachings about God but it needs to be reinterpreted for today. Some Christians say that this is putting human beings above God.
  • The Bible is literally the direct Word of God. The writers were more like secretaries, faithfully writing down what God told them. Everything in the Bible is true, and most things should be taken word for word. There are no errors in the Bible. When two passages of the Bible appear to contradict one another or they cannot be understood, these Christians say that this is because humans are simply not intelligent enough to understand what it says.
  • The Bible is the Word of God revealed to humans. It was written down by them, and their own personalities and writing styles were included. The writers interpreted the Word that came to them; they were not just secretaries. Over many centuries the Bible was copied, so you would expect there to be some mistakes in it. The Bible has also been translated from its original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) and it is now not always possible to know what it originally meant.
  • Some people look at the Bible as simply a very interesting piece of literature and try to work out how it was written and put together.

'Truth' in the Bible

  • Christians would say that the Bible has moral and spiritual truth.
  • Some stories in the Bible obviously have aesthetic truth - they are true to how people live and behave.
  • It is hard to show that there is a great deal of historic truth in the Bible because archaeology has not yet shown that much of it can be proved.

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