Understanding and Using the Bible
Many contemporary evangelical Christians are taught that the Bible is the supreme source of authority for a Christian. They are not taught too much about how the Bible came to take on its current shape. They are taught that there are no errors in the Bible – some are taught that the Bible is infallible. By understanding the Bible as “the word of God” they attribute great authority to it and are most likely to use phrases like “the Bible says” when discussing faith or morals.
Scripture and Church
Other Christians, especially from Roman Catholic backgrounds, recognise another authority in their spiritual lives - that of the Church. The Catholic church teaches that God has revealed Himself to humanity through both Scripture and through the teaching of the Church. They would recognise that the Church decided which books were authoritative – no doubt under God’s guidance. This works out in practice as looking at how the Church understands now, or has understood in the past, a particular passage or theological idea in the Bible.
Read on to "Conscience and Reason".