An authority which belongs absolutely to God (Ps. 29: 10) and exercised in the OT through prophets, priests, and kings, is delegated to Jesus in the NT. He forgives sins (Mark 2: 5 ff.) and exercises judgement on behalf of the Father (John 5: 22). After the resurrection the universal lordship of Christ is proclaimed (Matt. 28: 18) and his authority is then vested in the apostles (2 Cor. 13: 10).

There are also human authorities recognized in the NT—the State (Rom. 13: 1–6; 1 Pet. 2: 17) when it acts responsibly, and husbands (Eph. 5: 22 f.), but authority is to be exercised in a spirit of service (Matt. 20: 25 ff.).

Christians acknowledge the authority of the Bible, but with recognition of its being compiled by human beings of their own age. A final agreement on the authoritative status of the books of the NT was not reached until CE 397. At the Reformation Protestants rejected the authority of those parts of the OT that were only in the LXX and not in the Hebrew scriptures.