The Authority of the Bible:
We believe in the authority of the Bible, which is comprised of those books that have been recognized by the Christian Church without dispute since the earliest generations of the Church. It is true that there are many other books that floated around in the ancient world purporting to testify about Jesus, but none of these was authored as early or from such reliable sources as the books of the New Testament. We accept the books of the Old Testament as also authoritative because it is very evident that the historical Jesus regarded them as divinely inspired Scripture.
We believe in the inspiration of Bible, and that the meaning of any given text can be demonstrated examining the plain meaning of the words within their surrounding context. The Bible is not primarily a book of principles to be extrapolated and lived by. Rather it is a revelation of God’s person, character, purpose, and plan for humanity. When interpreted faithfully—in accord with its plain meaning and context—it is a reliable guide for our faith and life.
This video from the ecumenical group the White Horse Inn is a great introduction to Bible reading:
If you have never read the Bible at home before, it can be quite daunting because although its ultimate Author is God, God used multiple human scribes to write it over hundreds of years. Imagine catching a time machine back to Renaissance England and picking up the equivalent of a newspaper, which expects you to be up to speed on the basic issues of the day even before you begin reading! To help you read the Bible at home, we have produced the pamphlet Bible Reading for Beginners, which can help you get started without getting confused.
Of course, a good study Bible is especially helpful. We recommend the following:
The Quest Study Bible
“Quest” is short for question, and this Bible is great for people trying to understand the Word of God for the first time.
The Lutheran Study Bible
For the more advanced student of Scripture. While not a resource of the NALC, this study Bible contains study notes that highlight passages relating tot he Holy Trinity, the Lutheran Confessions, distinguishing Law from Gospel as we read the Word of God, and applying the Word to our daily prayer lives.