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According to Scripture (Where is sola scriptura itself taught in the Bible?)
Catholic Answers ^ | Tim Staples

Posted on 06/22/2013 1:01:24 PM PDT by NYer

"If a teaching isn’t explicit in the Bible, then we don’t accept it as doctrine!" That belief, commonly known as sola scriptura, was a central component of all I believed as a Protestant. This bedrock Protestant teaching claims that Scripture alone is the sole rule of faith and morals for Christians. Diving deeper into its meaning to defend my Protestant faith against Catholicism about twenty years ago, I found that there was no uniform understanding of this teaching among Protestant pastors and no book I could read to get a better understanding of it.

What role does tradition play? How explicit does something have to be in Scripture before it can be called doctrine? Does Scripture tell us what is absolutely essential for us to believe as Christians? How can we determine the canon using sola scriptura? All these questions and more pointed to the central question: Where is sola scriptura itself taught in the Bible?

Most Protestants find it in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The fact is that this passage (or any other) does not even hint at Scripture being the sole rule of faith. It says that Scripture is inspired and necessary—a rule of faith—but in no way does it teach that Scripture alone is all one needs to determine the truth about faith and morals in the Church. My attempt to defend this bedrock teaching of Protestantism led me to conclude that sola scriptura is unreasonable, unbiblical, and unworkable.


The Protestant appeal to the sole authority of Scripture to defend sola scriptura is a textbook example of circular reasoning, and it betrays an essential problem with the doctrine itself: It is contrary to reason. One cannot prove the inspiration of Scripture, or any text, from the text itself. The Book of Mormon, the Hindu Vedas, the Qur’an, the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and other books all claim inspiration, but this does not make them inspired.

Closely related to this is the question of the canon. After all, if the Bible is the sole rule of faith, we first have to know which books are included in the Bible. Many books were believed to be inspired and, therefore, canonical in the early Church. How do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The Protestant must use the principle of sola scriptura to answer the question of the canon. It simply cannot be done.

I recall a conversation with a Protestant friend about this. He said, "The Holy Spirit guided the early Christians and helped them gather the canon of Scripture and declare it to be the inspired word of God, as Jesus said in John 16:13." I thought that that answer was more Catholic than Protestant. John 16:13 does tells us that the Spirit will lead the apostles, and by extension, the Church, into truth. But it has nothing to say about sola scriptura or the nature or number of books in the canon.

The Bible does not and cannot answer questions about its own inspiration or about the canon. Historically, the Church used sacred Tradition outside of Scripture as its criterion for the canon. The early Christians, many of whom disagreed on the issue, needed the Church in council to give an authoritative decree to settle the question. Those are the historical facts.

To put my friend’s argument into perspective, imagine a Catholic making a similar claim to demonstrate that Mary is the Mother of God. "We believe the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth and guided the early Christians to declare this truth." Would the Protestant respond with a hearty amen? No. He would be more likely to say, "Show me where it says in the Bible that Mary is the Mother of God!" The same question, of course, applies to Protestants concerning the canon: "Show me where the canon of Scripture is in the Bible!"

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

The issues of the inspiration and canon of Scripture are the Achilles heel of any intellectual defense of sola scriptura. So weak are the biblical attempts at an answer that often the Protestant response just turns the argument against the Catholic. "How do you know Scripture is inspired? Your reasoning is just as circular. You say the Church is infallible because the inspired Scripture says so, then you say that Scripture is inspired and infallible because the Church says so!"

Not only is this not an answer, but it also misrepresents the Catholic position. Catholics do not claim the Church is infallible because Scripture says so. The Church is infallible because Jesus said so. The Church was established and functioning as the infallible spokesperson for the Lord decades before the New Testament was written.

It is true that we know Scripture to be inspired and canonical only because the Church has told us so. That is historical fact. Catholics reason to inspiration of Scripture through demonstrating first its historical reliability and the truth about Christ and the Church. Then we can reasonably rely upon the testimony of the Church to tell us the text is inspired. This is not circular reasoning. The New Testament is the most accurate and verifiable historical document in all of ancient history, but one cannot deduce from this that it is inspired.

The testimony of the New Testament is backed up by hundreds of works by early Christian and non-Christian writers. We have the first-century testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Church Fathers—some of whom were contemporaries of the apostles—and highly reliable non-Christian writers such as Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Josephus, and others, all testifying to the veracity of the Christ-event in various ways. It is on the basis of the historical evidence that we can say it is a historical fact that Jesus lived, died and was reported to be resurrected from the dead by over 500 eyewitnesses (1 Cor. 15:6). Many of these eyewitnesses went to their deaths testifying to the truth of the Resurrection of Christ (Luke 1:1-4; John 21:18-19; 24-25; Acts 1:1-11).

The historical record also tells us that Jesus Christ established a Church—not a book—to be the foundation of the Christian faith (Matt. 16:15-18; 18:15-18; cf. Eph. 2:20; 3:10, 20-21; 4:11-15; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 13:7, 17). Christ said of his Church, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me" (Luke 10:16).

The many books that comprise the Bible never tell us that they are inspired, nor do they answer many other essential questions about their canonicity. Who can or cannot be the human authors of the texts? Who wrote them in the first place? But Scripture does tell us—remarkably clearly—that Jesus established a kingdom on earth, the Church, with a hierarchy and the authority to speak for him (Luke 20:29-32; Matt. 10:40; 28:18-20). If we did not have Scripture, we would still have the Church. But without the Church, there would be no New Testament Scripture. It was members of this kingdom, the Church, who wrote Scripture, preserved its many texts, and eventually canonized it. Scripture alone could not do any of this.

The bottom line is that the truth of the Catholic Church is rooted in history. Jesus Christ is a historical person who gave his authority to his Church to teach, govern, and sanctify in his place. His Church gave us the New Testament with the authority of Christ. Reason rejects sola scriptura as a self-refuting principle.


There are four problems with the defense of sola scriptura using 2 Timothy 3:16. First, it does not speak of the New Testament at all. The two verses preceding 2 Timothy 3:16 say:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

This passage does not refer to the New Testament. In fact, none of the New Testament books had been written when Timothy was a child. Claiming this verse as authentication for a book that had not been written yet goes far beyond what the text claims.

Second, 2 Timothy 3:16 does not claim Scripture to be the sole rule of faith for Christians. As a Protestant, I was guilty of seeing more than one sola in Scripture that simply did not exist. The Bible teaches justification by faith, and we Catholics believe it, but we do not believe in justification by faith alone, as Protestants do. Among other reasons, the Bible says that we are "justified by works and not by faith alone" (Jas. 2:24). There is no sola in 2 Timothy 3:16 either. The passage never claims Scripture to be the sole rule of faith.

James 1:4 illustrates the problem:

And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If we apply the same principle of exegesis to this text that the Protestant does to 2 Timothy 3:16, then we would have to say that all we need is patience (steadfastness) to be perfected. We don’t need faith, hope, charity, the Church, baptism, or anything else.

Of course, any Christian knows this would be absurd. But James’s emphasis on the central importance of patience is even stronger than Paul’s emphasis on Scripture. The key is to see that there is not a sola in either text. Sola patientia would be just as wrong as sola scriptura.

Third, the Bible teaches that oral Tradition is equal to Scripture. It is silent when it comes to sola scriptura, but it is remarkably clear in teaching that oral Tradition is just as much the word of God as Scripture is. In what most scholars believe was the first book written in the New Testament, Paul said:

And we also thank God . . . that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God. (1 Thess. 2:13)

According to Paul, the spoken words of the apostles were the word of God. In fact, when Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians, he urged Christians there to receive the oral and written Traditions as equally authoritative. This would be expected because both are the word of God:

So, then, brethren stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. (2 Thess. 2:15)

Finally, 2 Timothy 3:16 is specifically addressed to members of the hierarchy. It is a pastoral epistle, written to a young bishop Paul had ordained. R. J. Foster points out that the phrase "man of God" refers to ministers, not to the average layperson (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1149). This title was used in the Old Testament to describe those consecrated to the service of God (Deut. 33:1; 1 Sam. 2:27; 1 Kgs. 12:22). Not only does the text not say Scripture sola, but Paul’s exhortation for Timothy to study the word of God is in the context of an exhortation to "preach the word" as a minister of Christ. To use this text to claim that sola scriptura is being taught to the average layperson is—to borrow a phrase from Paul—going far "beyond what is written" (1 Cor. 4:6).


The silence of Scripture on sola scriptura is deafening. But when it comes to the true authority of Scripture and Tradition and to the teaching and governing authority of the Church, the text is clear:

If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. . . . But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you. . . . If he refuses to listen . . . tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matt. 18:15-17)

According to Scripture, the Church is the final court of appeal for the people of God in matters of faith, morals, and discipline. It is telling that since the Reformation of almost 500 years ago—a Reformation claiming sola scriptura as its formal principle—there are now over 33,000 Protestant denominations. In John 10:16, Jesus prophesied there would be "one flock, one shepherd." Reliance on sola scriptura has not been effective in establishing doctrine or authority.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; itisnt; scripture; solascriptura; tradition
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1 posted on 06/22/2013 1:01:24 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Apologetics ping!

2 posted on 06/22/2013 1:02:00 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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Itz a ‘catch 22’ , when you adhere to non-scriptural ‘’sola scriptura’’, you can READ INTO scripture whatever you need, to ‘support’ SS......

3 posted on 06/22/2013 1:06:22 PM PDT by raygunfan
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To: raygunfan

Goes the other way too, when things are chosen by human consensus and committee.

4 posted on 06/22/2013 1:10:22 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: NYer

A group of Christians under the holy spirit would determine the same writings are scripture. Scripture is as self evident as a child knowing its mother.

5 posted on 06/22/2013 1:24:44 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: NYer

“”If a teaching isn’t explicit in the Bible, then we don’t accept it as doctrine!” That belief, commonly known as sola scriptura, was a central component of all I believed as a Protestant”

Well, no wonder he’s not a Protestant then. Since this is nothing more than a straw man and is not what Christians believe. He fell for his own straw man and then became a Catholic, I suppose. The Trinity is not “explicitly” mentioned in the Bible. There is no phrase in there that says “God is a Trinity.” It is a truth logically deduced from the entirety of the scripture, and we would justly refer to anyone who opposes the Trinity as being a heretic.

On the other hand, Roman Catholic doctrine most of the time cannot be logically deduced from the scripture at all. It stands simply upon the figment of an alleged Roman Catholic authority backed up through assertion instead of any actual evidence. Or it is backed up by myths and legends. They simply say, when they cannot defend their religion, that they have the right to make what they say the truth despite a lack of evidence. Outside of Catholics and deluded Protestants like this guy formerly was, who is going to find that line of argument persuasive?

“It says that Scripture is inspired and necessary—a rule of faith—but in no way does it teach that Scripture alone is all one needs to determine the truth about faith and morals in the Church.”

This is no better than the last straw man. Read the entire sentence, “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” If the scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” is there some level beyond “completeness” that only Romish dogma can contain?

But what IS so special about Roman Catholic dogma anyway? If I were to become a Catholic, I would have to give up any sense of security for heaven. I would have to worry about how long I’ll burn in purgatory, even if I don’t go to hell, and I’ll have to add Roman works and penance in order to make up for my sins (because Christ’s work on the cross for me ISN’T complete), and remind my family to pray for me so that the rest of my sins are burned away in purgatory quickly.

So what’s so hot about Romish doctrine that you guys want me to convert so badly?

‘Well, only we have the right to interpret scripture and blah blah blah.”

Ohhh, right.

“It is true that we know Scripture to be inspired and canonical only because the Church has told us so.”

So how come your church believes the apocrypha are inspired scripture even though, historically, it did not?

Pope Gregory, quoting Maccabees:

“Concerning which thing we do nothing irregularly, if we adduce a testimony from the books, which although not canonical are published for the edification of the people. For Eleazar wounding an elephant in battle, slew him, but fell under him whom he had destroyed.” — Morals, book 19, on 39th chap, of Job.

Notice how he mentions that they are put forward not for the “confirmation of the faith,” but for “edification of the faithful.” This same idea is repeated by many authors:

Athanasius on the apocrypha:

“But for the sake of greater exactness I add this also, writing under obligation, as it were. There are other books besides these, indeed not received as canonical but having been appointed by our fathers to be read to those just approaching and wishing to be instructed in the word of godliness: Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, and that which is called the Teaching of the Apostles, and the Shepherd. But the former [standard new and old testament canon], my brethren, are included in the Canon, the latter being merely read.” (Thirty-Ninth Festal Epistle, A.D. 367.)

Rufinus on the Apocrypha:

“They were willing to have all these read in the churches but not brought forward for the confirmation of doctrine.” (Rufinus of Aquileia, Exposition of the Creed)

Cardinal Cajetan calls them not “canonical for the confirmation of the faith,” but “canonical” only in a certain sense for the “edification of the faithful.”

“Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St. Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecciesiasticus, as is plain from the Protogus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.” (Cardinal Cajetan, “Commentary on all the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament,” cited by William Whitaker in “A Disputation on Holy Scripture,” Cambridge: Parker Society (1849), p. 424)

Official prefaces to Latin translations of the scripture making the same distinction:

“At the dawn of the Reformation the great Romanist scholars remained faithful to the judgment of the Canon which Jerome had followed in his translation. And Cardinal Ximenes in the preface to his magnificent Polyglott Biblia Complutensia-the lasting monument of the University which he founded at Complutum or Alcala, and the great glory of the Spanish press-separates the Apocrypha from the Canonical books. The books, he writes, which are without the Canon, which the Church receives rather for the edification of the people than for the establishment of doctrine, are given only in Greek, but with a double translation.” ( B.F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (Cambridge: MacMillan, 1889), pp. 470-471.)

I’ll also add one final point, that is, that the apocrypha usually expose themselves as not being inspired scripture. Judith, for example, says that Nebuchadnezzer is King of the Assyrians, which is wrong, amongst many other historical and geographical errors. Tobit features an “Angel of the Lord” teaching witchcraft. Maccabees apologizes for possibly containing errors, since he wrote it to the best of his ability. So does Sirach.

So why does your church DENY these things, and even what the apocrypha themselves say?

“This passage does not refer to the New Testament. In fact, none of the New Testament books had been written when Timothy was a child. Claiming this verse as authentication for a book that had not been written yet goes far beyond what the text claims.”

The Apostles believed themselves to be writing scripture. Therefore, Timothy would have read that epistle AS scripture. As we can see here from Peter’s assertion:

2Pe 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

6 posted on 06/22/2013 1:27:29 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: NYer
Where is sola scriptura itself taught in the Bible?

WOW! What part of believing God alone before 'anyone else' even before opening up HIS WORD is not part of your belief and who taught you that?

Study the lives of those in it - that BELIEVED God by faith and 'not the voice of another' and start with Abraham and see the results of each. Warning it is not for wimps as it has nothing to do with our own 'natural' understanding of things!

Following GOD ALONE takes faith everyday. Following man doesn't take faith - that's more of giving into fear.

JESUS IS THE WORD. Do you want to be a follower of Jesus alone or 'man'?

7 posted on 06/22/2013 1:38:31 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: Raycpa

A pile of rocks lying on the ground, raised to life as believers, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance would arrive at pretty much the same conclusions as a crowd of serious Christians.

8 posted on 06/22/2013 1:39:21 PM PDT by muawiyah (Get your RED (state) Arm Bands ~)
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To: raygunfan
Itz a ‘catch 22’ , when you adhere to non-scriptural ‘’sola scriptura’’, you can READ INTO scripture whatever you need, to ‘support’ SS......

Not true. Properly investigated Scripture cannot be distorted in ways you describe. When all Scripture is presumed to be Divinely-inspired, it is read in context, and read with the presumption that each word has a literal meaning in it's historical context, then the READ INTO hypothesis simply falls apart under the weight of it's own fallacies.
9 posted on 06/22/2013 1:45:50 PM PDT by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: NYer

The doctrine of sola scriptura came about as a result of the “Catholic Church” teaching and doing things that were against the clear teaching of scripture.

10 posted on 06/22/2013 1:49:56 PM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: NYer

My opinion is that Americans of all Christian belief ought to set aside their differences for now, since the Enemy is assaulting our religious freedoms with a political vengeance not seen since the pogroms against Chinese Christians by Mao in the 1960s. Well, that may be an exaggeration...for now.

But in the interest of discussion, I’ll offer an alternative explanation for anyone who really is asking the question:

Seeing as the doctrine of papal infallibility did not become official Roman Catholic teaching until sometime around 1870, I find it a bit interesting for hard core followers of that branch of the body of Christ sometimes want to dismiss those of us who adhere to Reformation and post-Reformation beliefs.

11 posted on 06/22/2013 1:49:57 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: All

Whether ‘tis nobler to follow the Word of God or to suffer the errors and mistakes of a manmade institution ran by fallible men. Hmmm... I’ll take the Word of God and move on from this strawman of a argument.

12 posted on 06/22/2013 1:50:27 PM PDT by BipolarBob
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To: NYer
Actually, it would be fairer if you took the 2 Timothy passage in context...

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Paul points out that Timothy KNOWS Paul's life experience, faith, etc. He doesn't say Timothy should follow him as an Apostle. Could have. Doesn't. Could have said to follow tradition. Doesn't.
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul presents the solution to avoiding evil men and impostors who deceive is to continue in the Holy Scriptures. He does not say the Church. He says the Holy Scriptures can keep you from being deceived.

He also points out that "the Holy Scriptures can make someone wise for salvation through faith" - not the Church. The Holy Scriptures.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And what does Paul say All Scripture given by inspiration of God is for:
Doctrine - teaching what is true (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)

Reproof - the rebuke of individuals who stray (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)
Correction - the process of steering teaching correctly (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)
Instruction in righteousness - Scripture alone. Not rituals, rote prayers, cultic candles & vestments (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)
The the man of God may be complete - all that is needed (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)
Thoroughly equipped for every good work - (Not the Church. Not tradition. Scripture.)

This all from an Apostle who had the perfect opportunity to tell a church leader under his discipleship all about using both tradition and the church, but tells him Holy Scripture is the source.
13 posted on 06/22/2013 1:57:05 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus)
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To: freedomfiter2

Sola Scriptura is a LIE! The most important page in the bible is NOT scripture - it is the table of contents, which comes to Protestants everywhere thanks to the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

14 posted on 06/22/2013 1:58:16 PM PDT by impimp
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To: NYer

15 posted on 06/22/2013 2:00:04 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: NYer; conservativegramma


Long ago, conservativegranmma posted on this topic and I thought it was excellent in trying to prevent both sides from rehashing historic misunderstandings. I will quote it here and ping her also.

——————conservativegranmma’s original post quoted————————

Sola Scriptura is a principle which basically states that all teachings, dogmas, and beliefs that come from any authority other than the Holy Scriptures are not essential doctrines of the faith that need to be believed in order to be saved. Popes, councils, creeds, past Christian writers (other than those of the Scriptures), traditions, and other authorities are relegated to a secondary status. These things are not negated or thrown away, but rather, they are to be tested by the highest and only infallible rule of faith, the Scriptures.

“To summarize sola scriptura:
1. Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith.
2. No other revelation is needed for the Church.
3. There is no other infallible rule of faith outside of Scripture.
4. Scripture reveals those things necessary for salvation.
5. All traditions are subject to the higher authority of Scripture.”
-James R. White, The Roman Catholic Controversy (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1996), p.62.

“To summarize, sola scriptura is not a
1. claim that the Bible contains all knowledge;
2. claim that the Bible is an exhaustive catalog of all religious knowledge;
3. denial of the Church’s authority to teach God’s truth;
4. denial that God’s Word has, at times, been spoken;
5. rejection of every kind or use of tradition;
6. denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the Church.”
-James R. White, The Roman Catholic Controversy (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1996), p.59.

The basis of sola Scriptura is this:

1. Revelation from God has ceased, and there are no other infallible authorities in existence. Thus, the main basis for sola Scriptura is that it is true by default. Traditions contradict each other and have no way of being verifiably traced back to the Apostles. Councils contradict each other and the Scriptures, and historically, they were never viewed as infallible until the Middle Ages. Popes taught blatant heresy and contradict each other, and like councils, the idea of infallible popes did not arise until the Middle Ages. Thus, the only rule of faith that is called “God-breathed” and can be verifiably traced back to inspired prophets and apostles is Scripture.

2. In every place in Scripture, traditions that claimed Divine origin were always tested by the Scriptures. This is directly related to the issue of the ‘Sacred Tradition’ that is held to in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and other “Christian” groups. These groups view ‘Tradition’ to be handed down orally from the Apostles to the priests. These groups view their ‘Sacred Tradition’ as equal to the Scriptures and the vehicle for interpreting Scripture. Thus, in the view of these groups, ‘Tradition’ can never be judged by Scripture because it is the interpreter of Scripture. However, Jesus saw things differently. A great example of this was when Jesus dealt with the errors of the Pharisees:

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’ “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ ” –Matthew 15:1-9

The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews at that time did not eat unless they carefully washed their hands, thus observing the traditions of their elders; and when they came from the market place, they did not eat unless they cleansed themselves; among 1,001 bazillion other things that had been added to the Old Testament). So the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him,

“Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” –Mark 7:1-13

In these two parallel passages, the Lord Jesus was accused of not following the ‘Traditions of the Elders’. These traditions were believed by the Pharisees to be handed down orally from Moses to the Levitical priests, and they were placed on an equal footing with Scripture. So what was Jesus’ response? Did he view this tradition as authoritative and an explanation of how Scripture is to be interpreted? The answer from the Lord was in the negative! Instead of using tradition (that claimed Divine origin) as a vehicle for interpreting Scripture, He judged whether traditions were valid or not on the basis of Scripture, and He expected men to know what the Scriptures taught. Thus, He not only held the Scriptures to be the highest authority, but he also believed that what was contained in them was clearly taught.

The issue isn’t so much Sola Scriptura as it is AUTHORITY.

16 posted on 06/22/2013 2:08:58 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” - Tacitus)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

Great analysis! It’s amazing how hard they try to discount scripture to facilitate the deception of the RCC isn’t it? Scripture must be put in second place or their entire system collapses.

17 posted on 06/22/2013 2:18:15 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: NYer

On the other hand, there are a number of scriptures warning us to not follow the traditions of men.

18 posted on 06/22/2013 2:19:03 PM PDT by Hootowl
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To: presently no screen name
JESUS IS THE WORD. Do you want to be a follower of Jesus alone or 'man'?

Jesus, of course. People can talk all they want, about different doctrines about a lot of different subjects, but all of it pales in comparison to that ONE DOCTRINE with infinite, eternal implications. And that is, what does a man have to do to go to Heaven forever? There is NOTHING in creation, more important than that one question. God made it so plain, even a 5 year old can understand it.

19 posted on 06/22/2013 2:23:15 PM PDT by Mark17 (My heart is in the Philippines, and soon I will be too.)
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To: impimp
The most important page in the bible is NOT scripture - it is the table of contents,

Wow, aren't you edumucated? making statements like that. If you'd just kept quiet we wouldn't have formed an opinion about you like we did. Eternal life is in the . . . table of contents. Who knew?

20 posted on 06/22/2013 2:26:36 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Jesus gave us His Word, His life and His Spirit. Catholics made a franchise.)
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