Why do we still need holy books

Holy Scriptures -


Today we usually capture our vacation memories, family experiences and encounters in moving pictures. Films are a popular medium for capturing what we have experienced and what impressed us. We want it not only to live on in our memories, but also to remain visible and tangible for others, friends, families and descendants.

At the time of Jesus, what was important to people was first handed down orally and finally recorded in writing. Writings emerged in which special personal, profound and formative religious experiences were to be passed down in writing to the following generations.

Religions with written traditions, such as Judaism and Christianity, are also called book religions. For Christianity, the holy scriptures are the books that record and pass on the self-communication of God in a story of revelation. As in many other religions, this "Holy Scripture" has a constitutive meaning and is fundamental for the life of believers. Here the coming of God and salvation for all people become concrete (Rev 1: 3).

Christianity - a book religion

A book and the texts it contains can only be constitutive for a religion if this revelation reaches a human race with a written culture. The origin and deepening of faith do not only come from listening and preaching, but also from reading. Books, writings and the associated reading culture is essential for the continued existence of a religion that is part ofone God believes indispensable.

There are four moments in the essence of Christian revelation.

The revelation of God is

  • historical (in space and time) and therefore requires further transmission over generations.
  • aWord happenings (worthaft) and has the word, the writing, as the constituent element.
  • amore socially communicative Process. It is not addressed to the private inwardness of man, but to the church as a community of believers and recipient of this message
  • "Eschatological", that is, it is final and irrevocable and can no longer be overtaken or replaced by a new revelation.

The canon of the Holy Scriptures is divided into the Old and New Testaments:

Canon is the collection of all those books on Holy Scripture that are recognized as a norm of faith because the revelation of God is handed down in them

Old Testament (AT)

The Old or First Testament is the Holy Scriptures of Judaism and the greater part of the Holy Scriptures of Christianity. The oldest texts go back to the 2nd millennium BC and are written in the Hebrew language. The position of the texts of the Hebrew Bible in a so-called canon was essentially completed around 100 AD. As for Jesus and the people of his time, the OT is a binding basis and Holy Scripture for Christians as well. The OT as a quantity of salvation history encompasses the salvation history of God with the people of Israel.

New Testament (NT)

The New Testament refers to the prophetic announcement of a "new covenant" in the OT (Jer 31; Isa 55 ud 61; Ez 16). The basic idea of ​​the New Testament is the reconciliation of people with God through Christ. Covenant "formulated God's relationship between God and the people of Israel. What is new is that even if Jesus was a Jew, he also opens this covenant with God to "Gentiles", that is, non-Jews. In relation to the person of Jesus Christ, those who join this covenant of God and thus enter into a new covenant are called Christians Gentiles can be included in this covenant, or at least receive its salvific effects.

The New Testament is the Christian part of the Bible. Most of the 27 scriptures of the NT were written between 80 and 100 AD and were incorporated into the canon over the course of the first four centuries AD. Originally the NT was written in Greek. A Latin translation followed.

The writings of the Old and New Testaments have an identity-forming character for the Christian denomination and have God as their author.

Inspiration - God's Charismatic Influence on Scripture

The Church proclaims that the Bible is due solely to human authorship. What is special and at the same time what is mysterious about this book is the charismatic influence of God on these writings. The Church has introduced the term "inspiration" for this. The Second Vatican Council differentiates between God, as the "author" of the sacred scriptures, and humans as the "real author". Through inspiration it is ensured that the sacred scriptures are inerrancy Representing the Word of God without ceasing the human writers to be the literary authors of their works.

Truth without error?

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) emphasized that the books of the Holy Scriptures "teach safely, faithfully and without error the truth that God wanted to have recorded in the scriptures for our salvation" (DV 11) also introduces blurring that can arise from "given, environmentally-related forms of thought, language and narration that prevailed at the time of the author". The council also emphasizes that it is the task of theology to “work towards a deeper understanding and interpretation of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures.” It should be examined what the intent of a statement and its limits are. This does not exclude the possibility that passages of the Bibles that do not contain any statements relevant to salvation history can certainly contain human errors and mistakes.

In spite of all authenticity and all connection to the historical event, the focus is on arriving and making the word effective for the listener. This coming into effect takes place independently of the preacher and mediator, through the power of the word.

Scripture thus becomes effective through faith and openness of heart. Faith and openness of the heart are not only an attitude of the listener, but also always a gift through the grace of God.

Seen in this way, preaching is qualitatively more than just hearing the sentences of the written text.

Author (s): Ulrich Janson