Foundation of faith: the Bible
Holy Scripture is the foundation for the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church. It is the starting point and foundation for the sermon. Every interpretation of Scripture must be guided by the Holy Spirit and oriented towards Jesus Christ.
Content and structure
The Bible is a collection of books from Old Testament times which came into being over a span of more than 1000 years, as well as books from the New Testament period, which were composed over a span of about 70 years.
Jesus Christ is the centre of Scipture. According to Christian understanding, the principal aim of the Old Testament is to prepare the incarnation and activity of the Son of God. Important, therefore, are the statements of the Old Testament that are in agreement with the gospel, as is witnessed by the New Testament.
The later writings of the Old Testament, also known as Apocrypha, constitute an important bridge to the New Testament. In the New Apostolic Church these later writings are just as binding for faith and doctrine as all other writings of the Old Testament canon.
The author of Holy Scripture is God. Its writers were human beings whom the Holy Spirit inspired to this purpose. God made use of their abilities to commit to writing that which was to be passed down in accordance with His will.
Since Holy Scripture came into being through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it must also be interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the apostolate clearly stresses the importance of the Bible for today’s believers and teaches them how to put the gospel into practice.
Each biblical passage must be read in view of its context. All translations of the Bible result from an interpretation of the original texts, which is why it is necessary to take into account the original text to arrive at a relevant interpretation.
The biblical books reflect the situation at the time they were written. They contain binding statements regarding salvation in Christ. However, there are also statements that do not belong to the actual doctrine and only apply to the conditions at that time.
Preaching is based on Holy Scripture, especially on the New Testament. Like any interpretation, it must be consistent with the central message of the gospel. The sermon stresses the significance of the biblical text for today and makes it applicable for our time. This strengthens people’s faith, reinforces their trust in God, and deepens their knowledge.
It is recommendable for every believer to read from Holy Scripture regularly, as it comforts and edifies, provides orientation and admonition, and serves to promote knowledge.