While Lutherans recognize that there are differences in the way the Bible is studied and interpreted, there is no debate that it is the authoritative witness to the church's life and mission. It is the source and norm for the faith we practice and proclaim. As Martin Luther once said, "The Bible is the manger (the cradle) in which the Christ is laid."
The Bible is the God-breathed, written expression of God's own heart and hands continually at work all throughout the course of history. It does not just "contain" God's Word -- instead, the Bible IS God's Word. Although the Scriptures were written by men, they are neither of men nor from men, but from God. The words of Scripture are the inspired and inerrant Word of God.
Written and transcribed by many authors over a period of many centuries, the Holy Bible bears testimony to the mighty acts of God in the lives of people and nations.
In the Old Testament, we find the vivid accounts of God's own faithfulness and covenantal relationship offered to Israel, the first people of God, as revealed through the central figures of Moses and the prophets .
In the New Testament, we encounter the first-hand witness of God's new promise, reaching out to redeem all people and all of creation, through the saving acts of Jesus the Christ. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, is what we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine (I Thessalonians 2:13 and II Timothy 3:16 and Galatians 1:11-12).
As we study, interpret, and use the Bible, it is always important to understand the context in which we find a particular verse or passage of God's Word, and always balance one portion of Scripture by other Scripture. Let Scripture define Scripture. And no matter what section of the Bible we study, we read and interpret it through the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We encourage one another in developing a regular habit of reading of the Bible. Click here to discover how you can "Read Through the Bible in One Year."