Skip to comments.Aquinas: Our faith rests on canonical Scriptures...not other doctors
Posted on 03/19/2008 2:58:36 PM PDT by kiriath_jearim
From First Part, Question 1, Article 8:
"Hence sacred doctrine makes use also of the authority of philosophers in those questions in which they were able to know the truth by natural reason, as Paul quotes a saying of Aratus: "As some also of your own poets said: For we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28)."
"Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors."
"Hence Augustine says (Epis. ad Hieron. xix, 1): 'Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true, merely on account of their having so thought and written, whatever may have been their holiness and learning.'"
I only posted this portion of the Summa because it shows, IMHO, how far away Rome has come from the statements of two of the pillars of the Latin Church, namely Aquinas and Augustine. Today, from what I understand, the Vatican states that spiritual authority for faith and practice rests upon the EQUAL authority of Scripture and apostolic tradition. From what I read of this Summa passage and its Augustinian textual support, the Protestant reformers were correct in the declaration “SOLA SCRIPTURA”.
As an ex-Catholic and current Protestant, I was pleasantly surprised by the Thomist passage, since I’ve been promising myself to get through the Summa Theologica at some point in my life.
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