Skip to comments.Why We Need the 'Solas'
Posted on 05/04/2011 10:56:18 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Martin Luther is not merely a key figure in the unfolding of events in the Protestant Reformation; he also played a major role in moulding its ideas. 'Perhaps more than any other person, Luther shaped the presuppositions that define Protestantism.' (Stephen J. Nichols) These presuppositions are known to scholars in their Latin form as the five Reformation 'solas': 'sola Scriptura' = 'Scripture alone'; 'sola fide' = 'faith alone'; 'sola gratia' = 'grace alone'; 'solus Christus' = 'Christ alone'; and 'soli Deo gloria' = 'to the glory of God alone.' That they each find their place at the root of Luther's thinking is sufficient testimony to the seminal role he played in their fuller development by later Protestant theologians. In this short study we will consider why Luther thought we need these 'solas.'
We begin where Luther begins, with 'sola Scriptura,' the formal principle of all Reformed teaching. We need 'sola Scriptura' because in this dark world of spiritual blindness, 'the only reason we can see at all is that the light of God's Word shines brightly (2 Pet. 1.19).' Without that light 'we would not know or understand anything.' (Works, 6.148) Luther hammered this truth as firmly into his hearers' minds as he hammered the Ninety-five Theses onto Wittenberg Castle Church door. At every opportunity, he calls us away from the spurious claims of Rome, reason, mysticism and the sects, back to the written Word of God. 'We must learn to depend on the visible Word of our invisible and incredible God' (5.183), for 'faith . . . does not judge . . . by what it sees or feels but by what it hears. It depends on the Word alone.' (Sermons, 1905.1.23)
Indeed, the only reason we know that God is present with us is 'through his Word.' To trust in it is to trust in him. So, he resolves: 'God's Word alone will be my rod and staff.' (12.169) 'I will live by what it says.' (22.6)
Luther's heroic stand at Worms can be explained in no other way. In danger of his life from the Roman Catholic emperor Charles V as he recalled John Hus at the Council of Constance; opposed by the papal nuncio Aleander, ready to thunder Rome's anathemas against him; barely supported by Germany's petty princes, hesitant and uncertain of the outcome; Luther refused to be intimidated. When called on to recant, even when no heresy had been proved against him, he replied: 'I am bound to the Scriptures . . . my conscience is captive to the Word of God.' The Bible alone was his sheet anchor during this Satanic storm, as it was throughout his entire life. Thus Luther teaches us that we need the Bible alone because all other testimony is liable to err, and it alone is inerrant.
Luther hammers home our absolute need of faith as vigorously as he does our total dependence on Scripture. Let us not imagine, however, that with him 'sola fide' was nothing more than belief in God and assent to the articles of the Christian creed. No, it is especially the personal appropriation of Christ and God's gracious promises in him, as given to us in Scripture.
1. Appropriating Christ
Forceful convictions mingle with child-like tenderness in Luther's teaching on appropriating Christ. 'Of what benefit would it be to me,' he cries, 'if Christ had been born a thousand times . . . if I were never to hear that he was born for me?' (Sermons, 1905. I. 149) By contrast he gently affirms: 'My sweet Redeemer is sufficient for me. I shall praise him all my life.' (Letters, 1908. XXIV)
But whether forceful or gentle, Luther is always pointing us - both preachers and hearers - to Christ alone. In preaching, 'Christ should be placed directly before our eyes so that we see and hear nothing apart from him.' In hearing, 'faith is an unswerving gaze that looks on Christ alone.' (26.356)
What could the snake-bitten Jews do to heal themselves? he asks vehemently. Nothing! Moses commanded them to look at 'the bronze snake, which points to Christ (John 3.14) . . . with an unswerving gaze. Those who did so were healed.' Those who did not, but 'looked at their wounds instead . . . died.' So too, we must not pore over our own sins, but 'do nothing but look to him.' In him we see our sins dealt with by his death, and our victory over sin, death and the devil secured by his resurrection. 'This is true faith in Christ and the right way to believe.' (26.356)
2. Appropriating God's Promises
Since 'all God's promises are based on Christ,' to appropriate them is to appropriate him. There is no basic difference between Abraham's faith and ours. The only difference is that 'Abraham believed in the promised Christ who was still to come. We believe in the Christ who has already come. We are all saved' through 'this same faith.' (3.26)
'The Holy Spirit' holds God's promises 'before us so that' we 'may find refuge and comfort' in them when we sense God's anger against us, or when we are assailed by 'serious doubts . . . such as: "What if God does not want me to be saved?" . . . When our consciences are troubled in this way we must continue to believe the promise of salvation - a promise we can trust in and depend on ... We must hang onto God's promise, because if Satan can prevent us believing it, then we have nowhere else to turn. We must hold tightly to the promise and be ready for the times when God will test us.' (4.93) From Joel 2.15, he adds: 'It is wonderful to see the way the Holy Spirit works. He highlights the threat in order to show us the goodness and mercy of God.'
When God-fearing people hear the Word, they apply these promises to themselves in the right way. 'Disheartened and crushed by God's anger and threat of punishment,' knowing 'they deserve divine judgment,' and recognizing 'the seriousness of sin and its condemnation . . . when they hear these promises they turn to God's mercy,' and he calms their consciences. This is the way God works in his people. After terrifying them 'with threats, he comforts them with his promises.' (18.97) And it is the faith he has given them that appropriates these promises for their deliverance.
This kind of faith, and no other, Luther claims, is sufficient for our salvation. Therefore 'we should conclude with Paul [in Galatians 2.16] that we are justified by faith alone . . . faith that takes hold of Christ the Saviour and keeps him in our hearts.' (26.136)
As if to strike one last hammer blow on behalf of faith alone, Luther concludes that without it we cannot understand the Lord's dealings with us at all. But faith 'will comfort me' even 'when I leave this earth . . . My body will be buried in the ground and eaten by worms . .. When I look at death I do not see God's plan for me. Yet God has promised that I will come back to life. Christ said: "Because I live, you will live also" (John 14.19). But how will I live? I will live in eternal life, in a body that is brighter and more beautiful than the sun. I cannot see or feel any of this yet. But I believe it, and I can tolerate the short delay.' (6.401)
We need 'sola fide,' then, because faith is the only thing that lays hold of Christ in the promises of the Word for our salvation.
Luther has as much to say in defence of 'grace alone' as he has about 'faith alone.' Indeed, he sees it operating in every part of the believer's life. As with other 16th century Reformers, he divides scriptural teaching on it into two parts. The first is God's objective grace, or free, unmerited mercy towards us. The second is his subjective grace infused and working in us.
1. Objective Grace
Objective grace opens the door to our justification. 'People are not justified and do not receive life and salvation because of anything they have done. Rather . . . because of God's grace through Christ. There is no other way.' Those who are tired of hearing this great truth because they learned it when young barely understand how important it is. 'If it continues to be taught as truth, the Christian church will remain united and pure,' for it 'alone makes and sustains Christianity.' It is so essential that 'we will always remain its students, and it will always be our teacher.' Those who really understand it 'hunger and thirst for it. They yearn for it more and more. They never get tired of hearing about it.' (14.36)
Grace is so necessary to our justification that 'wanting to be justified by our own works through the Law is ... throwing away God's grace . . . This is a serious error.' From Galatians 2.21, he infers that to reject salvation by grace alone also makes 'Christ's death . . . pointless, which is the highest blasphemy against God.' (27.240) It is only 'because of God's mercy and grace' that sinners are accepted by him and receive from him a righteousness not their own. (12.328)
This constitutes the glory of the gospel. 'It does not tell us to do good works to become virtuous, but announces God's grace to us, freely given and without our merit.' (30.3)
2. Subjective Grace
Grace becomes subjective when it is infused into sinners' hearts by God's Holy Spirit in their new birth. This is the grace that actually unites them to Christ and makes them new creatures. 'We cannot feel the new birth . . . we cannot see it . . . we cannot . . . understand it.' Yet it is real, and 'we must . . . believe it. What is born of the Spirit is spiritual.' Because it is so, its primary benefit is eternal life. (22.290) Just as after Adam sinned he could do nothing to restore to himself the life he had forfeited, so we too can do nothing towards our restoration to God. (30.263) God himself must restore us. This makes subjective grace absolutely necessary.
Once God's grace has been infused into us, Luther continues, it does marvellous things. For a start, it enables us progressively to keep God's Law, which we could never do before. He who 'brought God's grace and truth' to us (John 1.17) really enables us to keep the commandments. Being 'enlightened by the Holy Spirit, renewed by the Word of God, and having faith in Christ,' we who believe now have 'a new spirit that makes God's Word and God's laws a pleasure to obey.' Moreover, as we proceed through life, it is the same grace that enables us to 'find joy in trusting God above everything else.' (22.143)
It is grace alone too that deals with the darker side of the believer's life. When cast down by sin, fear and doubt, he finds grace at hand to uplift him. Even when, like the psalmist in Psalm 42, 'you see only the Law, sin, terror, sadness, despair, death, hell and the devil . . . grace is present when your heart is restored by the promise of God's free mercy . . . Are not grace, forgiveness of sins, righteousness, comfort, joy, peace, life, heaven, Christ and God also present?' Therefore, say to yourself: 'stop being troubled, my soul . . . Trust God.' 'Whoever truly understands this [i.e. by experience] can be called a theologian.' Grace is thus so necessary that we must be 'diligent students' in its school 'as long as we remain in these sinful bodies.' (26.341)
Finally, when this sin-troubled life is over, it is grace alone that gives believers the victory over death. We do not win it. Rather, it is given us 'out of God's grace.' Christ secured it for us, and we share in his victory over it. (28.212)
From foundation stone to topmost stone, then, the house of salvation is built entirely of grace. Luther states why we need both grace and faith in one sentence: 'If grace or faith is not preached, then no one will be saved, for faith alone justifies and saves.' (27.48)
'Christ alone' is the next 'sola' that Luther dings into our dull ears. How greatly we need it is evident from the knowledge God gives us of our legalistic, self-righteous hearts. From a wealth of available sources, we select a small sample to illustrate his firm conviction of its necessity.
In a letter defending his attack on papal indulgences, he writes: 'I teach that man must trust solely in Christ Jesus.' (Letters, 1908, London. XXI)
While expounding John 3.16, he says: 'God gave his Son to the lost so that they might be saved. Then what should you do? Nothing! Don't go on pilgrimages. Don't do this or that good work. Instead, simply believe in Christ alone.' (22.374)
A leading aspect of the Holy Spirit's testimony within the believer is that'Christians can depend on nothing except Christ, their Lord and God.' (24.119)
From the expression: 'of his fullness have all we received' (Col. 2.10) Luther deduces that we need no-one else but Christ. Whether our faith is strong or weak, we 'have the same Christ' and 'are all made perfect through faith in him . . . Whoever accepts him has everything.' (23.28)
In such varied ways as these, Luther proclaims a thousand times the sole saving efficacy of Christ. Having done on our behalf all that God requires, he alone can be our Saviour. 'There is no other . . . but Christ alone' (24.48) This is reason enough to hold onto the principle of 'solus Christus.'
By his constant insistence on believing, it may be suspected that Luther places man's salvation above God's glory. But it is not so. Luther teaches that God is glorified more in man's salvation than in his damnation. This is why God himself - by his prophets, his Son and his apostles - repeatedly beseeches them to come to him.
So, concludes Luther: 'Glory belongs to no-one but God alone.' (Sermons, 1905. I.156)
Chief among Luther's thoughts on how to honour God is that we should hold his Name or character in the greatest reverence. When his Name is 'holy in us . . . God becomes everything, and we become nothing.' (42.27) Everything that threatens to usurp this unique honour is anathema to him.
Inevitably, Luther ascribes equal glory to each Person of the Godhead. All the Father's glory belongs to the Son, who is 'one God together with the Father. Likewise the Holy Spirit has the same divine nature and majesty.' (22.6) When by grace we give God his due, we glorify all three Persons of the Godhead.
The same honour must be given to all God's attributes or perfections. Singling out his goodness and mercy for special treatment, Luther is most practical in showing us how to honour God because of them. When, for example, we read that the Lord is good (Psa. 118.1) we should not 'skim over' this truth 'quickly or irreverently,' but should 'remember that these are vibrant, relevant and meaningful words that emphasize the goodness of God.' Pausing to ponder them should lead us to realize his inclination to do us good 'from the bottom of his heart.' He punishes people only because of their 'wickedness and stubborn refusal to change.' His 'daily and continual goodness' should draw from our grateful hearts the praise and thanks he deserves. (14.47)
Luther makes a special point of encouraging us to 'reflect back on the years of our lives.' Even when we are bewildered by what has happened to us, we should be able to see 'God's wonderful power, wisdom and goodness' guiding us. 'Only when we look back do we fully realize how often God was with us when we neither saw his hand nor felt his presence.' But as Peter says: 'He cares for you.' (1 Pet. 5.7) Luther is so insistent on this practice that he says: 'Even were there no books or sermons to tell us about God, simply looking back on our own lives would prove that he tenderly carries us in his arms. When we look back on how God has led and brought us through so much evil, adversity and danger, we can clearly see the ever-present goodness of God.' (42.130)
As for his mercy, it is the balm of every sin-burdened and guilt-ridden heart. When we by faith hide beneath his mercy seat, we find ourselves 'covered with a vaulted ceiling called mercy.' So, resolves Luther, setting us an example: 'My heart and conscience will crawl under it and be safe.' (51.278)
True to character, Luther extracts from the angels' song at the birth of Christ (Luke 2.13-14) two delightful lessons for us. 'First of all, by joyfully singing about the honour of God, they show how full of light and fire they are.' Furthermore, 'they don't take credit for anything. They enthusiastically give glory to God, the One to whom it belongs. If you wonder what a humble, pure, obedient and happy heart in God is like, then think of the angels praising God. This is their priority as they live in God's presence.' Secondly, they show us how much they love us, because 'they celebrate our salvation as if it were their own.' So we should 'regard them as highly as we would our best friends.' 'We might not know what they are made of,' he concludes with childlike simplicity, 'but we know what their highest desire is.' So we should imitate them in praising and honouring him. (52.29)
Even from the few select references we have offered, it may be clearly seen that the five Reformation Solas' - Scripture, faith, grace, Christ and God's glory - are internally united and therefore inseparable. This is because the mind of God as revealed in Scripture is one. When the Holy Spirit combines them in our experience, we too cannot think of one without referring to the rest. This is the aim of all true theology - to think God's thoughts after him, and so be conformed to his mind. May he accomplish this in us, that we might live by them, and be able to teach others also.
The Apostles didn’t believe in Sola Scriptura.
(All of the above meant in a spiritual sense! Just the heartfelt reaction of an old Jarhead.)
And you know that how??
I think this would qualify as a caucus thread.
Which is why they quoted all kinds of sources besides the Old Testament..../NOT!
(I believe the apostle Paul was the only apostle to cite a few PAGAN sources...and he did that merely as an intro in finding commonality as part of his all things to all men approach...not as quoting anything remotely authoritative like the OT)
They were eye-witnesses.
Oh. I clicked the thread thinking it was about the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
So we can keep bashing Catholics....who preserved the Bible until the advent of the printing press, which made it convenient for Protestants to edit.
Actually it is the RC that added to the scriptures.. Protestants just kept it as it was..
As a general rule Protestants don’t feel the need to hide behind the Caucus rule.
and where DID Luther get this from ?
faith alone ? where is that in Scripture prior to MrLuther rewriting it ?
did he also delete
1Thessalonians 5:20—do not despise prophecy ?
I appreciate you pointing out that we are not as rude as some Protestants on this forum. I simply pointed out my belief that it qualified for a caucus as a courtesty.
Ms. lastchance, that is correct. Those afraid to have their beliefs challenged may hide behind the Caucus tag.
But the beliefs are not challenged in any sort of coherent manner. Instead the vilest of lies and calumny are posted and we have to rise a defense against the doctrinal equivalent of “have yo u stopped beating your wife?”.
But I don’t want this thread to get pulled away from your discussion of the Solas, so I will disengange now.
Rationalizing it only confirms the pathology.
So the underlying foundation of Protestantism comes not from Scripture, not from Tradition passed down from the Apostles, but from Luther's "Works." That is quite a damning admission.
Who do you suppose carried them around for 1500 years before you guys got ahold of them?
Luther threw out the books he didn’t like, we didn’t “add” anything! “actually”
Faith is no good if it is alone:
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. (James 2:19)Luther edited St. James' Epistle out of the Luther bible. Luther's arrogant disregard for Scripture is no better than that of Thomas Jefferson, who followed in the footsteps of Luther to create his own truncated bible.
Christ Jesus teaches:
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." (John 14:21)
Luther discounts the power of grace to overcome sinfulness in the heart of the penitent.
There was no "closed" Catholic canon until AFTER the reformation ... At that time Rome added books that had previously not been in the canon for their own purposes..
“The Apostles didnt believe in Sola Scriptura.”
I get it! Because the New Testament hadn’t been written yet.
God himself established His Church through His only Son. Luther disregarded the glory of God by opposing the Church founded by Christ and His Apostles with a "new improved" man-made religion.
I hate to think where we’d be without the Jarheads.
The New Testament was finalized for Catholics and Eastern Orthodox in the Forth Century by St. Athanasios. Luther deleted the Epistle of James from the "Protestant canon" but Protestants quietly put it back a couple centuries later.
Where is “sola scripture” written in the Bible?
And I don’t mean with the words that Luther added to the Bible!!!!
Ha! It would take a powerful lot of arguing to convince me of that.
Nope.. there was no OFFICIAL canon until Trent..
Luther did not remove james from the canon .... Even up to the late 4th century, the book of James had not even been quoted in the west. Luther was not the only one that questioned it as inspired. but he never remove it
.Rome added to the OT at Trent..something they had NO AUTHORITY to do..
The OT belongs to the jews ... not Rome
The books Rome added
1) are not Christocentric and they do not claim for themselves what Rome claims for them
2) They were accepted as inspired by the jewish people to whom God entrusted them and with whom they originated
3) The jews reject them as part of their canon
4) They contain teachings that are inconsistent with the rest of the Bible and often contradict themselves
5)Not one of them is in the Hebrew language, which is the language of the OT
6)They were not placed with the sacred books, during the first four centuries of the church
BTW Athanasios rejecter the North African provincial councils which added the books FOR LOCAL use..
The books Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used. Here are references from the Septuagint that appear in the Gospels. There are many more that appear in the Acts and the Epistles. I would say if those books were good enough for Jesus to reference, they are good enough for me.
Matt. 2:16 - Herod’s decree of slaying innocent children was prophesied in Wis. 11:7 - slaying the holy innocents.
Matt. 6:19-20 - Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 - lay up your treasure.
Matt.. 7:12 - Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 - what you hate, do not do to others.
Matt. 7:16,20 - Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 - the fruit discloses the cultivation.
Matt. 9:36 - the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 - sheep without a shepherd.
Matt. 11:25 - Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 - Lord of heaven and earth.
Matt. 12:42 - Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.
Matt. 16:18 - Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.
Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 - Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.
Matt. 24:15 - the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.
Matt. 24:16 - let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.
Matt. 27:43 - if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.
Mark 4:5,16-17 - Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.
Mark 9:48 - description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.
Luke 1:42 - Elizabeth’s declaration of Mary’s blessedness above all women follows Uzziah’s declaration in Judith 13:18.
Luke 1:52 - Mary’s magnificat addressing the mighty falling from their thrones and replaced by lowly follows Sirach 10:14.
Luke 2:29 - Simeon’s declaration that he is ready to die after seeing the Child Jesus follows Tobit 11:9.
Luke 13:29 - the Lord’s description of men coming from east and west to rejoice in God follows Baruch 4:37.
Luke 21:24 - Jesus’ usage of “fall by the edge of the sword” follows Sirach 28:18.
Luke 24:4 and Acts 1:10 - Luke’s description of the two men in dazzling apparel reminds us of 2 Macc. 3:26.
John 1:3 - all things were made through Him, the Word, follows Wisdom 9:1.
John 3:13 - who has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven references Baruch 3:29.
John 4:48; Acts 5:12; 15:12; 2 Cor. 12:12 - Jesus’, Luke’s and Paul’s usage of “signs and wonders” follows Wisdom 8:8.
John 5:18 - Jesus claiming that God is His Father follows Wisdom 2:16.
John 6:35-59 - Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse is foreshadowed in Sirach 24:21.
John 10:22 - the identification of the feast of the dedication is taken from 1 Macc. 4:59.
John 10:36 Jesus accepts the inspiration of Maccabees as He analogizes the Hanukkah consecration to His own consecration to the Father in 1 Macc. 4:36.
John 15:6 - branches that don’t bear fruit and are cut down follows Wis. 4:5 where branches are broken off.
Please tell me what words Luther to the bible?
Go on line and look at the books that are found in the Hebrew Canon ... PSSSSS not one of the deuterocanonicals will be found.. those books were added to the OT canon by Trent.. they had no right to do this as the Jews are the oracles of God for the OT .. they were never given to the Roman church..they remain Gods revelation to the jews ..
Not ONE of them are a DIRECT quote nor were any of them introduced with Thus says the Lord ... or were ever introduced as scripture
BTW when you paste and copy you are to cite your source..
Think about it; this article preaches scripture alone, faith alone, and grace alone...All at once.
If you have faith alone alongside scripture alone, then guess what? Neither one is alone.
If you subscribe to multiple solas at once, then none of them remain sola.
Catholic myth ..Luther NEVER removed a book from the NT.. HOWEVER Rome added books to the OT that were never a part of the jewish Canon ...Protestants have the same canon as the Hebrew Bible.. The OT belongs to the jews and was placed in their care not Rome..Rome had no divine authority to add to the OT..those scriptures were given to the Jews by God.. they are divine revelation TO THEM and written by OT prophets.. IN HEBREW the language of the OT
Now for Sola scriptura
Lets define it first
" What then is sola scriptura? " The doctrine of sola scriptura, simply stated, is that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the "rule of faith" for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. "
Jesus believed in Sola scriptura, Never did Jesus refer to oral tradition to prove or defend truth.He always referred back to scriptures
The only time Jesus spoke to oral tradition it was to object to it,
Mark 7 : 7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Jesus used scripture more that a 100 times in His teachings, but never oral tradition..
Matthew 4:1-11. Three times Jesus was tempted by the Devil and each time Jesus replied exactly the same three dangerous words that defeated the Devil: "IT IS WRITTEN"
26He said unto him,B> What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Acts 17: 11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (the correct definition of sola scriptura)
2 Timothy 3:from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
1 Corth.4: 6And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
2 Corinthians 1:13For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end"
1 Corth 14:37If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. The Church Fathers believed in Sola Scriptura:
"They[heretics] gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures...We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith" - Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1 - Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1 Sola Scriptura ! "I beg of you, my dear brother, to live among these books [scripture], to meditate upon them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else." - Jerome (Letter 53:10)
Sola Scriptura !
"There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source. For just as a man, if he wishes to be skilled in the wisdom of this world, will find himself unable to get at it in any other way than by mastering the dogmas of philosophers, so all of us who wish to practice piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scripture declare, at these let us look; and whatsoever things they teach, these let us learn; and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as He wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify Him; and as He wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them."
- Hippolytus, Against Noetus, ch 9
Sola Scriptura !
"For how can we adopt those things which we do not find in the holy Scriptures?"
- Ambrose (On the Duties of the Clergy, 1:23:102)
Sola Scriptura !
"We use Scripture to answer heresy and preceive that it is power and truth."
- Basil the Great
Sola Scriptura !
Let the inspired Scriptures then be our umpire, and the vote of truth will be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words.
- Gregory of Nyssa (d.ca, 395) On the Holy Trinity, NPNF, p. 327
We are not content simply because this is the tradition of the Fathers. What is important is that the Fathers followed the meaning of the Scripture."
- Basil the Great (ca.329379) On the Holy Spirit, 7.16
Sola Scriptura !
Neither dare one agree with catholic bishops if by chance they err in anything, but the result that their opinion is against the canonical Scriptures of God.
- Augustine (354430) De unitate ecclesiae, 10
Sola Scriptura !
For our faith rests on the revelation made to the Prophets and Apostles who wrote the canonical books.
- Thomas Aquinas (12251274) Summa Theologiae, Question 1, Art. 8
"For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life,--to wit, hope and love, of which I have spoken in the previous book. After this, when we have made ourselves to a certain extent familiar with the language of Scripture, we may proceed to open up and investigate the obscure passages, and in doing so draw examples from the plainer expressions to throw light upon the more obscure, and use the evidence of passages about which there is no doubt to remove all hesitation in regard to the doubtful passages."
- Augustine (On Christian Doctrine, 2:9)
Sola Scriptura !
Only the scriptures contain the teaching of the apostles and they speak to us through , and that voice is louder and more perfect than any man made tradition !
By the way, I know what sola scriptura is.
Forgive me if I'm intruding here.
Is it a general understanding that the original Septuagint was in the form of a hand-copied bound book (or collection of books) rather than simply a name for the accepted canon (which was a actually a collection of individual scrolls)?
Is it believed that this Greek version was read publicly in a religious ceremony, or was it used mostly for less-formal study?
Any such reputable objective historical tome, notwithstanding some self serving protestant revisionist source, would debunk your theory. Note the operative word is “Objective” a term that perhaps need further explanation.
So did the church Fathers.. they trusted the scriptures to be an arbitrator of truth
Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you, they are your life, - Deu 32:46, 47The people do not need any additional institution to interpret the Word. The priests, prophets, and scribes of Israel certainly function to help the people ministerially. The prophets, who were indeed inspired, came very much in the spirit of Micah who said, He has shown you, O man, what is good, Micah 6:8. The function of the prophets and priests was not to add to or even clarify the law; rather, they applied it to the people who were sinfully indifferent.
If this principle of the sufficiency and clarity of the Word is true in the Old Testament, we do not have to assume it is all the more true in the New Testament - which gloriously fulfills what the Old Testament promises - given the example found in II Tim 3 & 4. There Paul writes to his younger brother in the faith, Timothy who was instructed in the faith by his mother and grandmother also learned all about Pauls teaching (3:10).
Nevertheless, Paul reminds Timothy that the Scriptures are able to make him wise unto salvation in Christ Jesus (3:15). He teaches that the Scriptures are useful for teaching, reproof (rebuking), correcting, and training in righteousness (3:16). Because the Scriptures have this character, they thoroughly equip the man of God for every good work (3:17). So Paul tells Timothy that he must preach this Word, even though the time is coming when people will not want to hear it, but rather will want teachers to suit their fancy, who will instruct them in myths rather than the truth of the Word (4:1-4).
Catholic apologists respond by repeatedly asserting II Tim 3 does not teach sufficiency. Sometimes they will refer to Jam 1:4, Mat 19:21, or Col 1:28 and 4:12 as parallel texts, claiming that the word complete in II Tim 3:17 does not mean sufficient. But such passages are not parallel; II Tim 3:17 uses exartizo, which has to do with being fitted for a task, while the other passages use the Greek word teleios, which has reference to maturity or having reached a desired end.
In contrast to this assertation, the force and clarity of Pauls teaching is striking. In spite of the rich oral teaching Timothy had, he is to preach the Scriptures because they gave him all that he needed for wisdom and preparation to instruct the people of God in faith and all good works. It is Scripture that makes Timothy wise for salvation, and equips him with everything he needs for doing every good work required of the preacher of God. The sufficiency and clarity of the Word are taught in this one section of Scripture over and over again. John Chrysostom paraphrased the meaning of Pauls words to Timothy this way: You have Scripture for a master instead of me; from there you can learn whatever you would know.1
Repeated assertations by Rome's apologists do not prove a point; that is only a propaganda technique; an answer in a responsible, thorough way, is demanded of them.
The great church father, Augustine, in his treatise to prepare leaders of the church in an understanding of the Bible, wrote:
Among those things which are said openly in Scripture are to be found all those teachings which involve faith, the mores of living, and that hope and charity which we have discussed.2At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus faced the focused temptation of the devil in the wilderness. And how did He face that temptation? Did he not appeal to the oral tradition of Israel, the authority of the rabbis or Sanhedrin, or to even His own divinity or the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Our Savior, in the face of temptation, turned again and again and again to the Scriptures. It is written, He said.
He implied that even the evil one knew what he said was true. When the devil quoted the Scripture, Jesus did not turn to some other authority. Rather Jesus said, It is also written. [emphasis mine] When the evil one or his representatives misuse the Bible, or imply that it is unclear, Jesus teaches us that we must look more deeply into the written Word, not away from it.
While making much of tradition, they will never really define tradition or tell you what its content is. Historically, they have not agreed among themselves about the nature and content of tradition. For example, one has said that tradition does not add anything to Scripture. But almost all Roman apologists, for over three hundred years after the Council of Trent, argued that tradition does add to the Scriptures. Some Roman apologists believe that all binding tradition was taught by the apostles, while others believe that tradition evolves and develops through the centuries of the church so that there are traditions necessary for salvation that were never known to the apostles.
This tradition which comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. . . . For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fulness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.3Carefull analysis of the foregoing statments allows one to discern that the real authority for Rome is neither Scripture nor tradition, but the church as final arbiter of all things spiritual for Man. What is the Scripture, and what does it teach? Only the church can tell you. What is tradition, and what does it teach? Only the church can tell you.
It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, sacred Scriptures and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with Gods most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.4
The Scriptures are not authentic, except by the authority of the church. - John Eck5"I am tradition"6 was the declaration made by Pope Pius IX at the time of the First Vatican Council in 1870; sola ecclesia is the unimpeachable doctrine of Rome. The Reformers saw that the words of Jesus to the Pharisees applied equally to their day: You nullify the Word of God for the sake of your tradition (Mat 15:6).
That notwithstanding it can be shown that tradition contradicted tradition. For example, the tradition of the Roman church teaches that the pope is the head of the church, a bishop over all bishops. But Gregory the Great, pope and saint at the end of the ancient church period, said that such a teaching came from the spirit of Antichrist:
I confidently affirm that whosoever calls himself sacerdos universalis, or desires to be so called by others is in his pride a forerunner of Antichrist.7The evident tension in tradition about the value of reading the Bible can be seen in The Index of Forbidden Books of Pope Pius IV in 1559:
Since experience teaches that, if the reading of the Holy Bible in the vernacular is permitted generally without discrimination, more damage than advantage will result because of the boldness of men, the judgment of the bishops and inquisitors is to serve as guide in this regard. Bishops and inquisitors may, in accord with the counsel of the local priest and confessor, allow Catholic translations of the Bible to be read by those of whom they realize that such reading will not lead to the detriment but to the increase of faith and piety. The permission is to be given in writing. Whoever reads or has such a translation in his possession without this permission cannot be absolved from his sins until he has turned in these Bibles.8In marked contrast
Easy access to sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful. . . Since the word of God should be available at all times, the Church with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. - II Vatican Council9Does tradition believe that the Bible is dangerous or helpful? Scripture teaches that it is the revelation of God, and is therefore true in all that it teaches. Moreover, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (I Cor 14:33). We know where that comes from. That notwithstanding, and nevertheless, nowhere does Scripture say that the church is true in all it says. Rather, although the church as a whole will be preserved in the faith, wolves will arise in the church (Act 20:29, 30), and even the man of lawlessness will sit at the heart of the church teaching lies (II Ths 2:4).
At one point in his debate with the Pelagians, a bishop of Rome sided with Augustine, and Augustine declared, Rome has spoken, the matter is settled. Later, however, another pope opposed Augustine on this subject, and Augustine responded by saying, Christ has spoken, the matter is settled. Augustine did not bow to the authority of the bishop of Rome, but turned to the word of Christ to evaluate the teaching of Rome.
The Bible tells us that the Word of God is the light that enables us to walk in the ways of God.
I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Thy statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey Thy precepts. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path. The unfolding of Thy words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. - Psa 119:99, 100, 105, 130Roman apologists object to an appeal to Psalm 119 on the grounds that it speaks of the Word of God, not of the Bible, and therefore could include in its praise tradition as well as Scripture. But their argument is irrelevant because it proof-text to the clarity, not the sufficiency of Scripture! The Psalmist clearly states that the light of the Word shines so brightly and clearly that if one meditates upon it, and obey it, they are wiser than any teacher or elder. The simple can understand it. The Word is like a strong flashlight in a dark forest. It enables me to walk on the path without tripping.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. - Mat 11:25Adam Clarke's Commentary: The scribes and Pharisees, vainly puffed up by their fleshly minds, and having their foolish hearts darkened, refusing to submit to the righteousness of God (God's method of saving man by Christ) and going about to establish their own righteousness, (their own method of saving themselves,) they rejected God's counsel, and God sent the peace and salvation of the Gospel to others, called here babes, (his disciples,) simple-hearted persons, who submitted to be instructed and saved in God's own way. Let it be observed, that our Lord does not thank the Father that he had hidden these things from the wise and prudent, but that, seeing they were hidden from them, he had revealed them to the others.
Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God...And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. - Rom 2:17,19-20Adam Clarke's Commentary: Ye believe the Gentiles to be babes and fools when compared with yourselves; that ye alone possess the only true knowledge; that ye are the only favourites of Heaven; and that all nations must look up to you as possessing the only form of knowledge, the grand scheme and draught of all true science, of every thing that is worthy to be learned: the system of eternal truth, derived from the law. If, therefore, ye act not as becomes those who have such eminent advantages, it must be to your endless disgrace and infamy.
How is the the dogma proclaimed by contemporary Rome any different than the attitude held by the Jews of Paul's day? Contrast Rome's dogma with Paul's exhortation to Timothy, "from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Consider the account of Paul preached in Berea in the synagogue and many Jews responded to his preaching with eagerness (Act 17:10-12). We are told that after they listened to Paul each day they examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true. Did Paul respond by declaring the Scriptures to be unclear, and that only he as an apostle or the rabbis or the Sanhedrin were of sufficient caliber to interpret Scriptures for them? Did Paul say that they should not expect to find the truth in the Scriptures because they were incomplete and needed to be supplemented by tradition? Or did he say that they were insulting his apostolic authority, and that they should simply submit to him as the infallible interpreter of the Bible? Or did Paul say that they should defer to Peter - as the purported first pope - as the only one capable of interpretion of Scripture with authentic veracity? None of that was proclaimed. Instead the practice of the Bereans was praised; they Bereans were called noble because they evaluated everything on the basis of the written Word of God.
...that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. - I Cor 4:6b===============
1) Cited in William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture (Cambridge,: University Press, 1849) P. 637
2) Augustine, On Christian Doctrine trans. by D.W. Roberston, Jr. (New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1958) 11:9.
3) The Documents of Vatican II, ed. waiter M. Abbott (New York: Herden and Herden, 1966) p. 116. Dei Verbum, 8.
4) Ibid., p. 118.
5) John Eck, Enchiridion of Commonplaces, trans. by Ford Lewis Battles, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979) P. 13.
6) Jesef Rupert Geiselmann, The Meaning of Tradition (Montreal: Palm Publishers, 1966)p. 16, note on pp. 113,114.
7) Cited in Cambridge Medieval History, section written by W. H. Hutton, edited by H. M. Gwatkin and J. P. Whitney,(New York: The MacMillan Co., 1967) 11:247.
8) James Townley, Illustrations of Biblical Literature, Vol. 2 (London: printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1821) p. 481
9) Documents of Vatican II, PP. 125,126.
It would be wise to check your history friend . There was no unified Roman canon until trent.. various provincial councils declared a canon for their area . Each province had different canons ...
Any such reputable objective historical tome, notwithstanding some self serving protestant revisionist source, would debunk your theory. Note the operative word is Objective a term that perhaps need further explanation.
LOL ... Catholics do little or no research and they want to call protestants "self serving
As an example let me cite . Clement, of Alexandria, names all the books of the New Testament except Philemon, James, 2 Peter and 3 John.
Hilary (bishop of Poictiers, rejected the apocrypha (Prologue to the Psalms, Sec. 15)
There3 are more variances if you are interested..
Josephus considered everything written after the time of Artaxerxes to be non-canonical, because prophetic messages had ceased. It is highly probable, since Josephus was a historian, that this was not his own idea, but reflected an earlier Jewish tradition (see Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), 1988, pp. 32-34). The most interesting evidence concerning the Hebrew canon comes from tractate Sanhedrin: The rabbis taught: Since the death of the last prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Holy Spirit has left Israel (Rodkinson VII/VIII:24). Thus, Jewish oral tradition held that Malachi was the last inspired book of the Old Testament.
Around A.D. 90, a group of Jewish rabbis gathered at Jamnia in western Judea to discuss the established canon. Testing for books that defile the hands (i.e., were prophetically inspired), they debated including certain apocryphal books and removing some disputed books. However, the conclusion was that only the books that comprised the Hebrew Bible were the inspired, canonical books (Bruce, pp. 34-36; McDowell and Wilson, 1993, p. 37). These books which were stamped with the "seal of approval" had been in wide use for centuries before, and in fact had been translated into Greek 200 years before these councils met. They in no sense "created" the Old Testament. And they completed their work two centuries before Constantine.
The fact behind the councils being convened was for the very purpose of dealing with the issue of flawed and false doctrines that were being promulgated at that time. This was becoming especially rampant with the emergence of Gnosticism and moreover, especially critical after the desctruction of the second temple. All the councils established was what the people had already been using for generations. They didn't affirm, but confirmed the canon of Hebrew Scripture.
It is clear from the evidence that the Jewish people accepted the thirty-nine Old Testament books as their canonno more, no less. The New Testament refers to an established division. Josephus said that Malachi, as the last inspired author, completed the canon of Hebrew Scripture. The rabbis at Jamnia, who had access to apocryphal writings, did not include them in the canon of Scripture. Moreover, the ancient oral tradition of the Jews held that the thirty-nine books in our Old Testament are the only Scriptures.
"There are a vast number of false and spurious writings that deserve mention at this point; not because anyone would seriously contend for their authority, but because they do represent the religious lore of the Hebrews in the inter-testamental period. The New Testament writers make use of a number of these books Of course, it should be remembered that the New Testament also quotes from the heathen poets Aratus (Acts 17:28); Menander (1 Cor.15:33); and Epimenides (Titus 1:12). Truth is truth no matter where it is found, whether uttered by a heathen poet, a pagan prophet (Num 24:17), or even a dumb animal (22:28). Nevertheless, it should be noted that no such formula as it is written or the Scriptures say is connected with these citations. It should also be noted that neither the New Testament writers nor the Fathers have considered these writings canonical" - (Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix (1986), A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody),p. 262, emp. added)."Nowhere does the biblical text state that Jude and Paul equated pseudepigraphal writings with those of Scripture, so any reference to them in the biblical account was merely inspired use of an uninspired source. The first, and most obvious, explanation for the exclusion of any book from canon is that they contain false information about their respective authors. If a book lies about its origin, then its contents most likely contain falsehoods. If a book requires a false attribution in order to be canonical, then it must have characteristics that make its inspiration and canonicity suspect.
The early Christians quickly developed four criteria for accepting a book as Scripture. First, it must have been written by an apostle or based on his eyewitness testimony. Second, the book must possess merit and authority in its use. For instance, The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ tells of a man who is changed into a mule by a bewitching spell but converted back to manhood when the infant Christ is put on his back for a ride (7:5-27). In the same book, the boy Jesus causes clay birds and animals to come to life (ch. 15), stretches a throne his father had made too small (ch. 16), and takes the lives of boys who oppose him (19.19-24). It was easy to dismiss such fiction.
Third, a book must come to be accepted by the entire church, not just a single congregation or area. And lastly, a book must be approved by the decision of the larger church, not just a few advocates.
Here is how this process unfolded. In the first century, a number of books were soon produced in response to the ministry of Jesus. As an example, Peter told his readers, "[Paul] writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). Thus Peter considered Paul's writings to be "Scripture."
F. F. Bruce was one of the world's foremost authorities on the creation of the Bible canon. "One thing must be emphatically stated. The New Testament books did not become authoritative for the Church because they were formally included in a canonical list; on the contrary, the Church included them in her canon because she already regarded them as divinely inspired, recognizing their innate worth and generally apostolic authority, direct or indirect. . . . what these councils did was not to impose something new upon the Christian communities but to codify what was already the general practice of those communities."
In order to qualify as inspired, a text must pass all the tests for inspiration:
Furthermore, divine providential preservation of The Word is explicitely promised in scripture:
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." - Psa 12:6-7
"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever." - Isa 59:21
"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." - Deu 29:29
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Mat 24:35
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." - Mat 5:18
Scholars taking a naturalistic approach to Bible preservation, support a critical text approach. To be consistent, they are forced to deny and/or misrepresent a literal interpretation of many of God's promises of Bible preservation.. Having rejected God's supernatural preservation of His Holy Scriptures, they are open to believe the scholarship claims of textual errors in the Bible. Having replaced God's promises of divine preservation with the theories of 19th century naturalistic scholarship their future hope is to correct and restore what they now believe to be a corrupted Bible. Such a Biblical philosophy of preservation is totally inconsistent with the eternal salvation of God's saints. For if God cannot, or did not keep His Holy Scriptures intact as He promised, what assurance do we have that we can trust His promises to keep our souls for all eternity? A generation without faith in God's promises to keep His holy Scriptures on earth will surely reproduce a new generation without faith in God's promises to keep their own souls in Heaven.
And just what authority do you cite, when you state that these works “were never part of the Jewish Canon”?
Tobit, Baruch, Judith , Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, together with 7 chapters of the Book of Esther and 66 verses of the 3rd chapter of Daniel and the 13th & 14th chapters of Daniel, were deliberately cut out of the Bible.
There is no basis for the claim they were not part of Jewish Canon.
Luther made no such reference when he discarded these works. In fact he cited personal taste as he pronounced “throw it overboard”, in reference to 2 Maccabees, daring to proclaim “it is holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.”
ALL of the works listed above formed a part of the Hebrew Bible over 100 years before Christ!
Here’s the link - http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html
Though Jesus didn’t quote those scriptures, He did reference them. Is your argument that the books must be quoted from before they can be acceptable? Jesus didn’t quote from every book in the Protestant Old Testament either.
Septuagint. The word for the day.