Christian Scripture

The Bible is the book of Christian scripture and comprises the Old Testament, which is shared with Judaism, and the New Testament, which is unique to Christianity. The New Testament contains the late first century Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—the principal written sources about the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth; Acts, an account of the ministries of Jesus’ apostles; epistles attributed to the Apostle Paul and other leaders of early Christianity; and an apocalyptic prophecy in the Book of Revelation. In addition to scripture, papal encyclicals and other papal pronouncements are also important in Roman Catholicism; this was one of the principal complaints of leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose various successor denominations hold the Bible alone as the only source of sacred authority. While not scriptural, the writings of important Christian thinkers and saints such as Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas can also be sources of spiritual direction.