Skip to comments.Is Sola Scriptura in the Bible?
Posted on 02/10/2015 5:33:20 AM PST by Gamecock
No, and yes. The Bible does not have specific text that suggests that the Bible alone is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. Those who delight to point this out, however, typically Roman Catholics and the eastern Orthodox, typically miss the point. First, their energies more often than not are aimed at the Anabaptist error that we call solo Scriptura. Here the person affirms that all he needs is himself and his Bible. The wisdom of the church in history, the community of believers, are all deemed irrelevant to understanding the things of God. Solo scriptura is reprehensible and ignorant and a-historical.
Sola Scriptura, like the Scriptures themselves, recognizes that God has gifted the church with teachers and pastors. It recognizes that the church has progressed and reached consensus on critical issues in and through the ancient ecumenical creeds. It affirms with vigor that we are all standing on the shoulders of giants. But it also affirms that even these giants have feet of clay. And there is where the Bible does in the end teach sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura is a biblical doctrine not because the Bible says so. That would be a tautology- the kind of argument we find in that collection of lies the Book of Mormon. Instead the Bible is our alone final authority because it alone is the Word of God. It has been attested, authenticated, by God Himself. Miracles serve as the divine imprimatur, the proof that this is a message of God. This is how Nicodemus reasoned when he said, Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him (John 3:2). This is also how Jesus Himself reasoned when He first forgave the sins of the paralytic lowered through the roof. In response to the unspoken charge that He had blasphemed, Jesus told the man, Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house (Matthew 9:1-8).
I would be quite content to add as a second infallible and inerrant authority the ancient creeds of the church under the following conditions. First, those who gathered to formulate these creeds would need to have their message authenticated by miraculous works. Let them raise men from the dead. Second, we must add those creeds to our Bibles. If both sources are equally authoritative, why do we separate them? In like manner, Id be content to add as a second infallible and inerrant authority the statements of the Pope when He speaks ex cathedra. First, however, let him raise men from the dead. Second, let us add his words, assuming he would even tell us what they were, to our canon.
But wait, theres more. I want an authoritative list, in both instances of what these messages are. Ask someone Orthodox to show you exactly where you can read their infallible tradition and you will receive slippery ooze. Ask someone Roman Catholic for a list of infallible papal or consiliar statements, and you will receive the same.
Finally, there is this problem. In both instances, Rome and Orthodoxy, you run headlong into the problem of the infinite regress. That is, those who are less strident in their views on tradition, who deny that tradition carries additional content to the Scripture, instead argue that tradition gives an infallible and inerrant interpretation of Scripture. Okay. Where then can we find an infallible and inerrant interpretation of the interpretation? Assuming we could succeed there, of course, we would need an inerrant interpretation of the interpretation of the interpretation. Ad nauseum.
No, the Bible is Gods Word. It is perspicuous, understandable. It says what it means and means what it says. It is attested by the miraculous power of God. And it is all these things, alone. It alone, all by itself, equips us for every good work. Flee anyone who tells you that more is required to understand, or more is required to obey.
If youd like to learn more, Id encourage you to get and read my friend Keith Mathisons outstanding book The Shape of Sola Scriptura.
If Revelation 22:18-19 don’t say it, they come awfully close.
I think the “book” referred to in those passages is only the Book of Revelation.
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:14
And the above Scripture is explicit with regard to both written and spoken traditions.
have an awfully close to nice day
Once I became a Christian, I have steadfastly believed that the scriptures are the inspired word of Almighty God. I acknowledge that scripture gives great authority to the church in its binding and loosing. However, everything ultimately goes back to scriptural authority, even in the Catholic and Orthodox tradition. For you can catch even them arguing, “Well, Jesus said this.” or “Jesus said that.”
We have no choice but to acknowledge the dependence of any denominational Church and of individual Christians on scripture. This is true of any denomination. The inevitably appeal to scripture.
That came to mind as I was reading the article, but I think that scripture is talking about Revelation. Every book of the bible is separate to me. the letters, the Gospels, the historical book (ACTS) and revelation are all separate books and letters bundled together in one volume.
BTW, I tend to agree with the author. I’m not trying to make the case that we can add books to the collection of books we call “The Bible”.
Yes, but those traditions have to be inline with scripture.
Does this mean we don’t need all the creeds and confessions, all the councils and conventions, to tell us what the Scriptures say? We can abandon these inventions of men which imitate the structure of the Catholic system? We can be baptized into the church Christ built, rather than into a man-made denomination? That’s great news!
Which "we" among the 40K+ denominations is this particular author speaking for?
Perhaps. But it’s my understanding that the Bible is not just a collection of separate “articles” penned by numerous writers and bound together as a collection of sorts. It is an unbroken, harmonious thread of the Word and the Will of God; therefore someone who tampers with the Book of Revelation is also tampering with Amos or Philemon.
Aren’t we cautioned that “he that offendeth in one point of the Law is guilty of all”? John’s warning regarding plagues ties it together for me. The warning is in Revelation, the last book of the NT, while the plagues we’re warned about are described in the OT.
Sounds to me like a one-piece, unbroken thread that we divvy-up at our own peril. Of course, we have the freedom to divide it up any way we please; but we’ll answer for it later. JMHO,of course.
Thanks for the discussion.
The warning is in Revelation, the last book of the NT...
Yes, and your argument here is absolutely necessary for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura to have any credibility.
Revelation was written approximately 96AD. Which book was written after that?
It is stated in the beginning of the bible, the middle of the bible and the end of the bible...Cut and dried...Discussion closed...
It is interesting to note that the same Pope (Pius IX) who developed the concept of papal infallibility also institutionalized the belief that Mary herself was born of an Immaculate Conception, of which there is no mention in the Bible. This was done in the 19th century.
As a Catholic, I think the closer we are to the Bible, the better. There are some Catholic disciplines, such as clerical celibacy which are NOT required in the Bible. To the contrary, priests were married men in the Bible and were encouraged to be married and good family men.
And the above Scripture is explicit with regard to both written and spoken traditions.
If we are to believe you, and your religion, there were oral traditions that we never learned of...It's like you are claiming that Paul said, 'I wrote some stuff that you will need to preserve for the future of the church...I also spoke some 'other' stuff that you can't write down, but you need to remember and pass on for a few thousand years...
If there were oral traditions, they would have to have been written down or they would have been forgotten, changed, or just lost...
I'd say you are pretty confused about that verse...
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