The Holy Scripture

We also believe that the Holy Scripture is the divinely inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the story in which God reveals His love for man throughout the history of mankind.

The Old Testament tells of the history of that revelation from Creation through the Age of the Prophets. It contains 39 books which are divided into five sections: the books of History, book of the Law, the books of poetry and Wisdom, and the books of prophesy).

The New Testament records the birth and life of Jesus Christ, sets forth the writings and works of His Apostles, and documents the history of the early Church. The New Testament books contain 27 main books, which were written from about 50 to 95 A.D.

The Coptic Orthodox Church prefers the Septuagint (LXX) for the Old Testament and a literal translation of the Greek Textus Receptus, such as the New King James Version, for the New Testament.

The earliest writings of all the New Testament books as we know them today is found in the 33rd Canon of a local council held at the city of Carthage in 318 AD. and in the Paschal Letter of St. Athanasius of Alexandria in 367 AD. A local council, probably held in Rome at 382, set forth a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments.

The Scriptures are at the very heart of Orthodox worship and devotion. Its verses are declared in each of its sacraments, memorized and inscribed on the hearts of its people.

Additional Information

The Canonization of Scripture

On the Use of the Septuagint in the New Testament

The Deuterocanonical Books