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In the early 20th century, a less critical reading of the Bible developed in the United States, leading to a "fundamentalist" reading of Scripture.Christian fundamentalists read the Bible as the "inerrant, infallible" Word of God, as do the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches, but interpret it in a literalist fashion without using the historical critical method.The universal priesthood of believers implies the right and duty of the Christian laity not only to read the Bible in the vernacular, but also to take part in the government and all the public affairs of the Church.It is opposed to the hierarchical system which puts the essence and authority of the Church in an exclusive priesthood, and makes ordained priests the necessary mediators between God and the people.The necessity and inerrancy were well-established ideas, garnering little criticism, though they later came under debate from outside during the Enlightenment.The most contentious idea at the time though was the notion that anyone could simply pick up the Bible and learn enough to gain salvation.Unitarianism continues to have a presence mainly in Transylvania, England and the United States, as well as elsewhere.are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the reformers' basic differences in theological beliefs in opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church of the day. This idea contains the four main doctrines on the Bible: that its teaching is needed for salvation (necessity); that all the doctrine necessary for salvation comes from the Bible alone (sufficiency); that everything taught in the Bible is correct (inerrancy); and that, by the Holy Spirit overcoming sin, believers may read and understand truth from the Bible itself, though understanding is difficult, so the means used to guide individual believers to the true teaching is often mutual discussion within the church (clarity).

The English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, and then was brought to the United States.

"Biblical Christianity" focused on a deep study of the Bible is characteristic of most Protestants as opposed to "Church Christianity," focused on performing rituals and good works, represented by Catholic and Orthodox traditions.

However Quakers and Pentecostalists, emphasize the Holy Spirit and personal closeness to God.

It was ultimately somewhat taken up by Lutherans, even though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed (French: Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran, Calvinist, and United Protestant (Lutheran & Reformed) traditions in Europe, and those with strong ties to them (e.g. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany.

The belief that believers are justified, or pardoned for sin, solely on condition of faith in Christ rather than a combination of faith and good works.

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