The Bible is the world’s most read book and Christianity’s most important book. It consists of a collection of 66 texts that have been written by various authors in different genres over the course of several centuries. The texts are based on people’s belief in and experience of God. Christians believe in the God of the Bible who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Christian Bible has two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Christians share the oldest part of the Bible, the Old Testament, with the Jews. The New Testament tells the story of Jesus and his first followers and is specific for Christians. The reason why Christians call the oldest part of the Bible, which was originally Jewish, the "Old Testament", is that we believe that something completely new happened when Jesus was born: God invites all human beings into a personal relationship with Him through Jesus, a relationship that is based on forgiveness and unconditional love.
The Bible has been translated into Danish from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. The Evangelical Lutheran Church uses the authorised Bible which is published by the Danish Bible Society. Another translation into Danish is the Bible in everyday Danish published by the publishing house Scandinavia.
During an ordinary Sunday service there are three Bible readings: one from the Old Testament, one from one of the Gospels in the New Testament and a second reading from the New Testament, often from one of the letters written by the apostles to the first Christian churches. At Pentecost, some parishes have readings in several other languages than Danish. The readings for each Sunday of the church year can be found in Danish in the Danish Hymnbook (pages 979-1313). When a pastor prepares his sermon for a specific Sunday he takes his point of departure in the same Gospel text as his colleagues that same Sunday. This does not mean, of course, that all sermons on a particular Sunday are identical.