God is both loving and holy. God mercifully redeems fallen creation, while righteously opposing all sin and evil. The Lord Jesus Christ is the fullest revelation of God’s holy love.
The fourteen books of the Apocrypha, historically acknowledged by this church, are pre-Christian Jewish writings that provide background for the New Testament and are included in many editions of the Bible. They may be read as examples of faithful living but “not to establish any doctrine.”
Because Holy Scripture was given by God to the Church, it should always be understood in ways that are faithful to its own plain meaning, to its entire teaching, and to the Church’s historic interpretation. It should be translated, read, taught, and obeyed accordingly.
The Old Testament is to be read in the light of Christ, and the New Testament is to be read in light of God’s revelation to Israel. Thus the two form one Holy Scripture, which reveals the Person of Jesus Christ and his mighty works. As Saint Augustine says, “The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.”
The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twentyseven books of the New Testament together form the whole of Holy Scripture.
Holy Scripture is “God’s Word written” (Articles of Religion, 20), given by the Holy Spirit through prophets and apostles as the revelation of God and his acts in human history, and is therefore the Church’s final authority in all matters of faith and practice.