The Rhineland Church uses the Bible translation made by Martin Luther.
The Bible and the Creeds
The word of God, written down by humans
The Bible is the central foundation
for the faith and life of Protestants in the Evangelical Church in the
Rhineland (EKiR). It tells the history
of God’s dealings with his people. It is
the Word of God, even though it was written down and passed on by human beings
in the context of their own historical circumstances.
The Bible is not just one book, but is strictly
speaking a collection of different books.
In total it comprises 66 pieces of writing: 39 in the Old Testament and
27 in the New Testament. In addition there are another 11 apocryphal books, the
so-called later writings of the Old Testament. In the Luther Bible these are
not included in the core content of the Old Testament.
The 39 books of the Old Testament were mostly composed
in Hebrew, with a few in Aramaic.
Written by different authors, they reveal distinct literary styles and
language. The writings can be generally
divided into books of history, teachings and prophecy, among other things, and
they tell the story of creation, as well as the history of the people of Israel
and their faith. These texts constitute
the Bible of Jesus and the first Christians and are essential for an
understanding of Christianity.
The 27 writings of the New Testament were mostly
composed in Greek. The New Testament begins with the Gospels which give an
account of the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth. There then follows the Acts of the Apostles,
which gives an account of the beginnings of the Church. Following various different instructive letters,
the New Testament finishes with the Revelation of St John.
The Bible in inclusive language
The Bible in inclusive language.
In the Rhineland Church we use the Bible translation
made by Martin Luther. An alternative special translation which is available
for ministers in the Rhineland to draw on, is the so-called “Bible in a just
language” (Bibel in gerechter Sprache). This appeared in October 2006. More than 50 biblical scholars worked for a
full five years to make a completely new translation of the scriptures,
including the Apocrypha, in so-called “just” - i.e. fair and inclusive - language.
process three perspectives were the central focus: gender justice, justice with
regard to Christian-Jewish dialogue and social justice. Thus women should also be explicitly
mentioned wherever it is obvious that they are equally meant. It is possible to do this in the German
language, where many words have both masculine and feminine forms, and so in
the “Bible in inclusive language” there can be found places where both forms
are used for specific words relating to people where previously only the
masculine was used.
The creeds are important
texts for the church
In addition to the Bible, the creeds are important texts for the church.
They connect us in faith and tradition with our Christian forebears and with
our ecumenical brothers and sisters around the world.
There are old creeds from the early years of
Christianity, such as the Apostles‘ Creed, which are recited almost every
Sunday in services of worship. There are also texts from recent times such as
the Barmen Declaration of 1934.
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