To understand the centrality of the Bible in The Episcopal Church you need only to attend a worship service. Whether its Morning Prayer, Sunday Eucharist, a wedding, or a burial service; each will feature the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, read aloud again and again. The words of Scripture are woven into the language of the Book of Common Prayer. When people say Episcopalians are “people of the book,” the book they’re referring to isn’t the Book of Common Prayer, but the Bible.
Episcopalians take the Bible seriously. We believe it is the revealed word of God, written by humans under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We believe the Bible contains “all things necessary for salvation.” Meaning there is no secret or hidden knowledge needed to live in loving relationship with God and others; everything we need to know is there. And it’s not always easy to understand!
The Bible took form over centuries, beginning as stories shared aloud and eventually written down and codified. It includes traditions and ways of thinking which are often unfamiliar to our 21st century ears. Thus, we believe God has given us a mind, and expects us to use it. We are invited into conversation with the Bible in community, with the Holy Spirit as our guide. Together we listen, question, and explore the ancient stories. We wonder together, paying attention to God’s invitation to re-discover the truths and challenges present in those ancient stories and then apply them in our world today.