Parish of Belmont, Anglican Church Newcastle, NSW Australia


39 Articles

Article 6

Article 6 tells us that all thing necessary for salvation is contained in scripture and what cannot be attested to by scripture cannot be required of anybody to believed as an article of faith. Further it lists the 39 Books of the Old Testament, and then the books referred to as the Deutero Canonical Texts (sometimes called the Apocrypha) as being good for reading and morals though not to be used to establish doctrine, and the confirms that we receive the 27 books of the New Testament.

Article 7

Article 7 tells us that the Old Testament is not to be read in opposition to the New, and that laws in the Old Testament as touching rites and ceremonies no longer are required of Christian people, however those commandment which are deemed Moral clearly do apply.

 Article 19

In article 19 we read "The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same."

Article 20

In the next article we read "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation."

The Anglican Approach to Scripture

There are many views about Scripture, and the Anglicans hold a wide variety of them. There are a number of things we hold as the Anglican perspective on Scripture.

Sola Scriptura

The classic position of the Reformers - often called Sola Scriptura is indeed quite close to the Anglican Position where on the Foundation of Scripture and informed by the Tradition including the Creeds, The Ecumenical Councils, and the writings of the Fathers, we may deduce what we believe. The real difference in the Anglican position is the strength that we would provide to Reason, to the informed conscience, in terms of what we accept. 

Solo Scriptura

The more modern position of many new churches - often called Solo Scriptura, and often confused with Sola Scriptura, is based on the notion me and Bible and we will get it all right. There are a number of issues with this approach, including the absence of history, and the absence of learning from the witness of those who have done before us. 


The teaching of the Catholic Church, probably somewhat changed since Vatican II saw the Church as the arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture. In a sense this is reflected we we speak of the Church being 'keeper of holy Writ' however that is maintained in check be the requirement of her role as 'witness of Holy Writ'.


Some Anglicans will argue that the Bible is Infallible, and some Anglicans will argue that it is Inerrant, but in truth the position of the Church and it's historic documents it is Authoritative. Our understanding of the Creeds and the Tradition is understood in light of Scripture and it is to Scripture that we must return to be on solid ground, mindful of Creeds, Councils and Tradition.