The Bible is a compilation of various writings which came into being over a period of well over 1000 years. Each one of these 80 texts (in the German translation following Dr Martin Luther) has its own history and came about in a different way. Researchers have developed all kinds of theories about the individual authors and how the texts came to be written. Biblical research also gives rise to interesting reflections which make it easier to understand the various texts in the sense in which they were originally intended. The important thing is that we should understand what God means to convey to us today through the written word.
Our firm conviction is that the Bible is a book given to us by God, in other words that it is of divine origin. It is a collection of divine promises and commandments, as well as including reports of God’s actions in history.
The Holy Spirit guided human beings in writing down divine thoughts. Every one of these authors wrote in his own style and was influenced by his times and environment. God was on the watch to ensure that his will would be reflected clear and undistorted in the written word, and would remain accessible to future readers.
The Holy Scriptures, as we know them today, are divided into two major parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Whereas the Old Testament contains the story of God’s covenant with the people of Israel, the New Testament focuses on the new covenant which God concludes with a people of all tongues and nations through his Son Jesus Christ. By contrast with the first people of the covenant, the origin of this people lies not in a common physical descent but in rebirth from water and the Spirit.
The Bible is not a history book which records all the acts of God and/or acts of Jesus Christ in their entirety and without omissions. However, everything essential and all that is important for the salvation of humanity remains contained in it for all time. This ensures that the faithful have a firm foundation on which to rest their faith.
In its divine services and in its own publications, since the year 2000 the New Apostolic Church has been using the Luther Bible in the 1984 edition.
Translator’s note: biblical quotations in the present document have been taken from the King James Bible (the Authorized Version).