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Central Role of Scripture

Biblical Interpretation

Episcopalians agree that the Bible contains all things necessary to salvation.

Episcopalians believe that God inspired the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We believe the Bible contains all things necessary to salvation — it reveals to us the great truths God wants us to know, and there are no secrets outside of the Bible that we need to learn for salvation. We believe that Scripture always requires interpretation. God has given us a mind, and wants us to use it, as we work to interpret, understand, and apply the stories in the Bible to our lives in the 21st century.

Scripture, Tradition and Reason

One of the defining ideas of the Episcopal Church is “the middle way” (or, in Latin, a via media) between extremes. The Scriptures are paramount. Episcopalians use reason and tradition to interpret them and they are read in the historical contexts in which they were written.

Creative Tension

We affirm the importance of interpreting the Scripture and the method by which the Church does so. It is our purpose to advise caution, care, and consistency in the exercise of sound judgment, and to defer or resist the temptation to act as if these matters must have final solutions to be imposed universally rather than interim provisions to be applied locally, as we continue to “see as through a glass darkly,” (I Corinthians 13:12).

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