Holy Scriptures

Holy Bible is the title used by the Church to refer to a collection of books, letters and prophetic oracles that reveal God, his will and plan to save his people. The English word "Bible" comes from the Greek word
Biblia and the plural of biblios which means "papyrus bark" or "book." The word Biblia received its singular sense, i.e. "the Book," when the various books of the Holy Bible were put together and considered one Holy Scripture. Christian believes that these books were written, edited, compiled and preserved by divine inspiration and guidance. The Bible is frequently referred to as the Word of God. This does not mean that God himself wrote the books of the Bible nor that God dictated the Bible word for word to men who were merely his passive instruments. Some of the prophets and apostles who witnessed and experienced God’s revelation were inspired to record and preserve it for future generations. As one aspect of God’s divine revelation, therefore, he inspired his people to produce Scriptures.

Armenians use various words to refer to the Bible. One of these words is
Աստուածաշունչ Asdvadzashoonch, meaning "breathed by God" which reinforces a theological principle in the Armenian Church that the Bible is a collection of books breathed upon, or inspired by God. Another word is Սուրբ Գիրք Soorp Keerk, "Holy Book." For Armenians, the Bible is "the Holy Book" because it contains revelations about God. It invites the readers to a life of holiness.

As part of the Orthodox branch of the Universal Church of Christ, the Armenian Church believes that the books of the Bible were written, edited, compiled, and preserved by divine inspiration. God is the source and origin of the biblical message. Therefore, another common title for the Bible among the Armenians is "the Word of God." Obviously, this does not mean that every word in the Bible was written or dictated by God. Words, by definition, are human. As such, the biblical text is comprised of human words of several languages, such as Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and it contains all the markings of the authors, as well as the culture and time during which the words were written.

To understand and interpret the Bible correctly it is essential to consider the background of its writers. Equally important is to identify to whom these documents were addressed and what the problems and conditions of that specific community were at the time. Another important factor is to keep the Bible in its context and consider all its interrelated conditions. Misinterpretation of the Bible has and continues to cause divisiveness in the universal church, allowing heretical movements to spread.

The books of the Bible relate to historical, geographical, scientific, cultural, and many other factors, however, its most essential purpose is to make God's revelation eternal and accessible to all generations. Interpretations begin with the process of peeling off the various layers of available data, and revealing the divine messages contained within and their relevance to our daily lives.

The most reliable interpretations of Scripture are to be found in the writings of the Church Fathers (known as Patristics, from the Latin pater meaning 'father'), both Armenian and the Early Church Fathers, such as St. John Chrysostom.