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Scriptures are writings sacred to a group or body of people, and often are primary elements or resources of belief and doctrine for the adherents of many religions. Many of them are regarded by their followers as "inspired" by spirits or gods, even extraterrestrial beings (aliens).

The term "Scriptures" itself is used only in the New Testament; there is not a single express reference to it in the Old Testament (ESV translation).

For Christians the only inspired scriptures are those writings which together comprise the Bible.

For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However not all possess this knowledge. (1 Corinthians 8:5-7a RSVCE boldface emphasis added)

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 RSVCE boldface emphasis added)

It is proper and licit to refer to the sacred writings of non-Christian religions as being the "scriptures" of those religions. However, it is not proper or licit for Christians to refer to them as "inspired" scriptures, or to quote them as if they were equal to the Bible. The text of 2 Timothy 3:17 ("All scripture is inspired by God") is quoted by some liberalist scholars and New Age theologians as if the word "scripture" also refers to and embraces within its meaning the sacred scriptures of non-Christian religions. This is a complete violation of the integral meaning of the text as written by Saint Paul. Such an application takes it totally out of context (see Proof text and Eisegesis). This is an example of using the Bible itself to mock the unique claims of Christianity by using sophistry, and is a prime example also of the danger of any literalist reading of the words of the Bible apart from two millennia of established Christian tradition of understanding and interpreting the Bible. The liberal theologian who studies non-biblical sacred texts is willing to say,

"All of these writings are sacred scriptures. That means they too were inspired. Even St. Paul himself says they are inspired by God, for he says, ' All scripture is inspired by God', and all of these are scriptures."

This is a liberal abuse of the literal meaning of scripture, especially in the context of Christianity—it is an illustrative example of the logical fallacy of the Loaded question.

The Christian uses the unmodified word "scripture", and the words "scriptures" and "sacred scriptures", to refer to the books of the Bible alone, and does not generally or customarily refer to any of those other non-biblical texts which are revered as sacred by the devotees of other religions as being "scriptures", but might refer to them as "sacred texts".

See Apocrypha.

See also





Adi Granth

Book of Mormon

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Oahspe: A New Bible

The Urantia Book

External links