What is the Christian holy book called?

The sacred text in Christianity is the Bible.

Description of the Holy Bible
The Holy Bible is a collection of 66 little books written by some 40 different people, over a period of 1600 years (2 Peter 1:21) (2 Samuel 23:2) telling the history of mankind, his fall into sin, God's promise of a 'rescuer' , God's dealings with humanity over the centuries, the arrival of that 'rescuer', fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies and mankind's one hope for the future. It is a collection of historical books, poetry, prophecy, and letters. Essentially it is the same as the Jewish Scriptures, with the addition of the New Testament - which relates the story of Jesus and the growth of the church in the years after Jesus' death and resurrection.

The Holy Scriptures that are accepted by Christianity are the 66 books that comprise the Bible. The original scriptures that were penned in Hebrew run from Genesis to Malachi. Then the part of the scriptures that were originally penned in Greek run from Matthew to Revelation.
These individual books are not in chronological order. But the Bible canon as it is, was accepted in the early years right after John wrote his books.

Style of Writing and Relevance to Founding Christianity
The sacred writing of the Catholic Church are contained in the Bible, but unlike other sacred writings, they (well, the New Testament) was written more as preaching, it is not an encyclopedia of Christianity. The Church is based on the Bishops under the successor of St. Peter (read St. Matthew 16:17-19).

Weight of Scripture in Christian Sects
Catholics hold that Scripture forms a part of the Church doctrine, but it holds in conjunction with the Catechism and other Papal Bulls and Creeds. Protestants typically reject any source of decrees or laws outside of the Bible in what is known as Sola Scriptura. Orthodox Christianity affirms the fact that the Bible is the sole rule for all matters of faith. Thus any other influential writings are seen as lesser than and subject to the scrutiny of the Holy Bible.

Importance of the New Testament
The Bible as a whole is of great importance to the Christian believer. The New Testament, in particular.

The books of the Old Testament are also considered scriptural as these tell of the revelation of God throughout history, before the coming of Christ. They also they point to the coming of Christ through prophesy. It tells us of who God is, what God did, what He expected from His people "the Israelites", how he wants to be worshiped and tons of wisdom for each of us as individuals. It is a biography of His people, the things they did wrong and what they did right. The Old Testament is full of the law of God and how the people could not live by His holy law.

The New Testament is the biography of Jesus. It tells us of his birth and his death, burial and resurrection. There is direction in Acts on how to be saved and the epistles tell us how to stay saved. Revelation tells us what to expect when we die from this earth.

For today the New Testament is the place for all new believers to start learning. But once you get your feet wet you need to study more and delve into the wonderful knowledge of the Old Testament so you can be well rounded in the knowledge of God.

Canons of the Bible
Depending upon the version of Christianity you are referring to, there are multiple different versions of the Bible. The basic text is comprised of the Old and New Testaments that are further broken up into collections of books. There are different canons, however. The canon are the books that are in the Bible being that the Bible is really just a larger book containing many smaller books. In the list below, if a book has no parentheticals, this means that it is a part of all Christian Canons. If it does have letters inside the parentheticals, it means that this is a book used by the following traditions:

  • P - Protestant (it is worth noting that because Protestants keep to a reduced canon, there is no "P" below)
  • C - Catholic
  • O - Orthodox
  • S - Syrian Orthodox
  • E - Ethiopian Orthodox


It is worth noting that a book will carry an asterisk if the text has additions in some sects but not others. After this a dash will provide additional content information. Additionally most of the books of the Old Testament that are part of the Catholic or Orthodox Canons but are not part of the Protestant Canons are called the Apocrypha.

The Christian Bible contains the following books:

OLD TESTAMENT
Pentateuch / Five Books of Moses / Books of the Law
  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy


Historical Books
  1. Joshua
  2. Judges
  3. Ruth
  4. 1 Samuel
  5. 2 Samuel
  6. 1 Kings
  7. 2 Kings
  8. 1 Chronicles
  9. 2 Chronicles
  10. 1 Esdras (COE)
  11. Ezra - Esdras 2 Additions (COSE)
  12. Nehemiah - Esdras 2 Additions (COSE)
  13. Tobit / Tobias (COSE)
  14. Judith (COSE)
  15. Esther - Additions (COSE)
  16. 1 Maccabees (COS)
  17. 2 Maccabees (COS)
  18. 3 Maccabees (O)
  19. 4 Maccabees (O)
  20. 1 Meqabyan (E) -- Note that while "Meqabyan" is usually called "Maccabees" by Ethiopian Orthodox, the text of the Meqabyan is entirely different from Maccabees.
  21. 2 Meqabyan (E)
  22. 3 Meqabyan (E)


Wisdom Books
  1. Job
  2. Psalms 1-150
  3. Psalm 151 (OS)
  4. Psalms 152-155 (S)
  5. Prayer of Manasseh (O, in E this is part of 2 Chronicles)
  6. Proverbs
  7. Ecclesiates
  8. Song of Songs
  9. Wisdom of Solomon (COS)
  10. Sirach (COSE)


Prophets
  1. Isaiah
  2. Jeremiah
  3. Lamentations (in COSE this is part of Jeremiah)
  4. Baruch (COS, in E this is part of Jeremiah)
  5. 4 Baruch (S, in E this is part of Jeremiah)
  6. Letter of Jeremiah (OS, in C this is part of Baruch, in E this is part of Jeremiah)
  7. Ezekiel
  8. Daniel - Additions such as "Bel and the Dragon" (COSE)


Minor Prophets
  1. Hosea
  2. Joel
  3. Amos
  4. Obadiah
  5. Jonah
  6. Micah
  7. Nahum
  8. Habakkuk
  9. Zephaniah
  10. Haggai
  11. Zechariah
  12. Malachi
  13. Josippon (E)


NEW TESTAMENT
Gospels
  1. Matthew
  2. Mark
  3. Luke
  4. John


Apostolic History
  1. Acts of the Apostles


Pauline Epistles
  1. Romans
  2. 1 Corinthians
  3. 2 Corinthians
  4. Galatians
  5. Ephesians
  6. Philippians
  7. Colossians
  8. 1 Thessalonians
  9. 2 Thessalonians
  10. 1 Timothy
  11. 2 Timothy
  12. Titus
  13. Philemon


General Epistles
  1. Hebrews
  2. James
  3. 1 Peter
  4. 2 Peter
  5. 1 John
  6. 2 John
  7. 3 John
  8. Jude


Apocalypse
  1. Revelation


Ethiopian Canon
  1. Ser`atä Seyon (E)
  2. Te'ezaz (E)
  3. Gessew (E)
  4. Abtelis (E)
  5. I Covenant (E)
  6. II Covenant (E)
  7. Ethiopic Clement (E)
  8. Ethiopic Didascalia (E)


Additional Holy Materials
Outside of this, there are a few things that people regard as holy that are specific to parts of the church as a whole. The Catechism of the Catholic church is a book that answers all of the questions of where the church stands on certain issues--this includes anything from speeding to abortion and the death penalty. It is the very essence of the doctrine of the church. Other churches contain similar books like the Lutheran and Episcopalian church. The United Methodist has one called the Discipline. Though these may not be always regarded as holy (some consider them--especially the Catholic church), they are a place that condenses the doctrines of the church to a single book. Some church include a Book of Common Prayer. This is used in Episcopalian, Catholic, Anglican, and others. It is a book that aids in devotion and prayer in one's private meditation as well as cooperate worship.

The Latter Day Saints movement (LDS or Mormons) include the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These four texts are referred to as the Standard Works. The Book of Mormon is believed to be written in about the same time as the Bible but in the Americas, after Jesus was crucified. The other books were written by Mormon prophets.

The Catholics consider writings by the Popes on doctrine as sacred and infallible and have a very high regard for the Catechism of the Church.

The Christian Scientists consider Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy as scripture.

In addition to these, some Christian groups accept other books as scriptural. These include other documents such as the Didache, a first century 'handbook' on Christian living, which is held as scriptural by some eastern churches.

Additionally there are many sayings of the Church Fathers, which are extrabiblical, but critical in the development of Christianity. Please see the Related Question below for more on that.

Commentary on the idea of "Christian Holy Books"
The question should be rephrased as "What do followers of Christ call their holy book?" The answer is commonly thought of as the Holy Bible. The common misunderstanding of Christianity is that it is a set of rules or beliefs that need to be followed like other religions. Christianity is about the person of Christ. Everything is centered about Christ. It is either one has Christ and Christ owns him or not at all.

Jesus never claimed to be anyone else than God Himself. He made it so clear that the Jews of his day who understood his claim wanted to stone him to death. Jesus proved his Deity through his miracles, his teachings and his resurrection from the dead. His teachings, his miracles and his resurrection were public knowledge during his time. When the New Testament was written, most if not all of the eye witnesses were still alive and could have refuted the writings of Paul, Peter and the Gospel writers. Even the enemies of Jesus acknowledged the miracles but did not accept Jesus as their long awaited Messiah. Hence, the religious leaders of that time missed their opportunity to place their faith on Jesus who fulfilled every prophesy that were written about him in the Old Testament. For someone to fulfill more than a hundred prophecies to the letter like Jesus did is like looking for a penny in a two-feet deep of dollar coins covering the whole state of Texas!

So you see, even Jesus hated religion. Christianity is about a personal relationship with Jesus, whom Christians believe is alive today!

Islamic faith perspective
Per Islam teachings and per Qur'an holy book, Muslims believe in the Bible (called in Arabic Injil or إنجيل) or Gospel that was revealed by God to Jesus (peace be upon him). Muslims; per Islam teachings; don't believe in the holiness of any other human written sections of the Christian New Testament. Muslims believe also in the Torah as the God revelation book to prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and believe in the Psalms as God revelations to prophet Abraham (peace be upon him).
Qur'an says (meaning English translation):
"And We (Allah or God and same God worshiped in Judaism and Christianity) sent, following in their (Jews) footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel (or the Bible), in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient." (5:46-47).
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