Glossary of Terms



Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

Scripture (from the Lat., ‘writing’), a document or collection of documents containing material that is highly esteemed in the religious community accepting the document(s). Such documents do not stand by themselves but are preserved and interpreted within ongoing religious communities that also have living traditions about worship, belief, and behavior. In late antiquity, Jews and Christians were not alone in esteeming written records of their religion. Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Egyptians all preserved and valued written documents such as hymns, oracles, myths, and revelations. In Judaism and Christianity, the term ‘Scripture’ eventually came to be restricted to those writings listed in an approved canon. It is not always clear whether references in the nt speak of ‘Scripture’ in the technical sense or simply of ‘writings’ (see, e.g., Matt. 21:42; John 2:22; 19:24; Acts 8:32; Rom. 1:2; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Gal. 4:30; 2 Tim. 3:16; James 2:23; 1 Pet. 2:6; 2 Pet. 3:16).

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Topical index of terms
Edited for by Robert Nguyen Cramer
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