Scripture as Apostolic Authority

The Holy Bible contains The Old and New Testament and is the basis of Christian dogma and practice.  Before the 5th century, various communities around the globe read the scrolls of either Testament at their services.  It was put together as a book in the late 5th century.

The Old Testament provides the story about God’s plan of salvation from the beginning and His Covenant with His people.  In addition to historical narratives, there are writings concerning Judaic moral code, the stories and sayings of the Prophets, poetry, and wise sayings to live a holy life.  Throughout its history, the people of Israel expected a Messiah from the House of David to unite the people of Israel after the Kingdom split in 1 Kings 11.

The New Testament tells story of how Jesus Christ fulfilled His role as the Messiah, completing the plan of salvation established by God since the beginning (Genesis 3:15), as witnessed by the writings of His Apostles and Disciples.  These writings are known as the Gospels, considered a new genre of literature during that time period.  The men who wrote the Gospels are: St. Matthew, an Apostle; St. Mark, a disciple of St. Peter; St. Luke, a disciple of St. Paul; and St. John, an Apostle.

The latter half of the New Testament are Epistles, meaning “letters”.  St. Paul is the major contributor of the New Testament, with 14 Epistles.  There are also Epistles written by St. Peter, St. John, and St. Jude.   These letters contain information on contemporary issues in the Apostolic era and the solutions to the issues.

The Scriptures provide a snapshot of what the Apostles taught and did. For us, the Scriptures tell the most critical information about Christianity, the very basics of belief and practice in order to be a disciple of Christ.  However, when the Scriptures are silent about particular practices or beliefs, we look to the Ancient Christians, whose faith was received from the same Apostles.   This is what we call Holy Tradition.