As convincing as these arguments may seem to a devout Catholic, they are devoid of substance. That a tradition is extra-biblical does not mean that it is non-biblical or unbiblical or contrary to the Bible. Second, the Bible does teach implicitly and logically, if not formally and explicitly, that the Bible alone is the only infallible basis for faith and practice. The two foundational Protestant doctrines are those of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone). I just can’t believe it anymore.’ I could not get her past that one issue. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. We all know from experience that this is not so. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Matt. Sola Scriptura could hardly be stated more emphatically. What they read from “the book” did not interpret itself. They kept discovering the Law and their God again and again, and (in their better moments) cooperated with God’s revival of their hearts and behavior. Notice carefully what he said: “I have much to write to you, but I do not wish to write with pen and ink. That's why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. John is not comparing oral and written tradition about the past but a written, as opposed to a personal, communication in the present. 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by Dave Armstrong No belief is more central to Protestantism than sola Scriptura, which says the Bible is the only infallible, authoritative source of Christian faith and practice. Authoritative interpretation of the Law was required in ancient Israel. Train yourself in godliness. Click here for the lowest price! Third, orthodox Protestant “denominations,” though there be many, have not historically differed much more significantly than have the various “orders” of the Roman Catholic church. Sola Scriptura (Latin ablative, sōlā scrīptūrā, meaning "by Scripture alone") is upheld by Lutheran and Reformed theologies and asserts that scripture must govern over church traditions and interpretations which are themselves held to be subject to scripture. Sola Scriptura: First Century Christians Had Scripture and Living Apostles. Because the New Testament is the only inspired (infallible) record of what the apostles taught, it follows that since the death of the apostles the only apostolic authority we have is the inspired record of their teaching in the New Testament. It is the fallacy of “argument from silence”—asserting a conclusion based on lack of evidence to the contrary. 1st. And contrary to some Catholic apologists, limiting this to only the Old Testament will not help the Catholic cause for two reasons: first, the New Testament is also called “Scripture” (2 Pet. You can add text widgets here to put whatever you'd like. The apostolic deposit—the body of theological and moral doctrine received from Jesus, passed on to the apostles, and passed down by them—is not “secondary” material. Rather, it provides an unreliable oral tradition as opposed to an infallible written one. (This one is mostly about what some Protestants call Solo Scriptura, or the AnaBaptist / modern American Evangelical view of it). Likewise, it is possible that sola Scriptura could be a necessary logical deduction from what is taught in Scripture. Kreeft’s argument that sola Scriptura violates the principle of causality is invalid for one fundamental reason: it is based on a false assumption. The Bible has perspicuity apart from any traditions to help us understand it. It should be noted that all Christian groups have … Hence, their enemy is Christ! Sola scriptura simply cannot be God’s plan for Christian theology. What the Catholic must prove, and cannot, is that the God who deemed it so important for the faith and morals of the faithful to inspire the inscripturation of 27 books of apostolic teaching would have left out some important revelation in these books. Third, an allegiance to sola Scriptura for Luther meant that he firmly stood on the supreme authority of Scripture. Not necessarily so, as long as the denominations do not deny the essential doctrines of the Christian church and true spiritual unity with other believers in contrast to mere external organizational uniformity. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 2:15). Luke 10:7); second, it is inconsistent to argue that God-breathed writings in the Old Testament are sufficient, but the inspired writings of the New Testament are not. It is also self-defeating, for if sola scriptura were true, it would have to be explicitly spelled out in Scripture itself. “only Scripture” or “Scripture alone”) has been the cause of great scandal since the sixteenth century. Two Highly Illogical Arguments for Sola Scriptura. Dear fellow Catholics and separated brethren: I need your help. When Catholic apologists claim there is significantly more doctrinal agreement among Catholics than Protestants, they must mean between orthodox Catholics and all Protestants (orthodox and unorthodox) — which, of course, is not a fair comparison. Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible. They comprise the New Testament. Nor can one argue successfully that unbelievers are unable to see spiritual unity. Hang with me. For if there is no normative revelation after the time of the apostles and even the prophets themselves were not to add to the revelations God gave them in the Scriptures, then the Scriptures alone are the only infallible source of divine revelation. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible. Finally, Kreeft’s argument wrongly assumes that the Bible was produced by the Roman Catholic church. The Classical Reformation - Part 1: Sola Scriptura, by Fr. This they often did by the introductory phrase, “It is written,” which is repeated some 90 times in the New Testament. The Catholic Church, too, has parameters of orthodoxy beyond which a Catholic may not go. Typical Arguments that Catholics & Orthodox use to trash Sola Scriptura are refuted. You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men” (cf. Mark 8:33). For Jesus declared: “This is how all [men] will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). St. Paul declares that the God-breathed writings are sufficient. An Outline of the Catholic Case Against Sola Scriptura. Because it is plainly written that Jesus is the Word made flesh that dwelt among us according to John 1:14. He wrongly assumes, unwittingly in contrast to what Vatican II and even Vatican I say about the canon, 13 that the church determined the canon. Isaiah was commanded by the Lord to “take a large cylinder-seal, and inscribe on it in ordinary letters” (Isa. It is only reasonable to infer that God would preserve what He inspired. Kreeft’s claim that Scripture and apostolic tradition are inseparable is unconvincing. Indeed, to assume that oral traditions of the apostles, not written in the Bible, are necessary to interpret what is written in the Bible under inspiration is to argue that the uninspired is more clear than the inspired. However, there is a whole set of practical presuppositions that the doctrine of sola scriptura makes, every one of which provides not just an argument against the doctrine, but a fatal blow to it. Catholics understand the difference between authoritative and infallible, since they make the same distinction with regard to noninfallible statements made by the Pope and infallible ex cathedra (“from the seat” of Peter) ones. It even has a fancy Latin name "sola scriptura." Of course, none of these are a prohibition on future revelations. Fourth, as J. I. Packer noted, “the real deep divisions have been caused not by those who maintained sola Scriptura, but by those, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, who reject it.” Further, “when adherents of sola Scriptura have split from each other the cause has been sin rather than Protestant biblicism….”14 Certainly this is often the case. It begs the question, however, for Roman Catholics to claim that this supports their belief that the church of Rome still has infallible authority outside the Bible today. 4:4, 7, 10). Now there is a certain irony in taking apart Sola Scriptura via the scriptures but you have to stay within a certain framework when dialoging with others. While acknowledging the existence of apostolic tradition, J. D. N. Kelly concluded that “admittedly there is no evidence for beliefs or practices current in the period which were not vouched for in the books later known as the New Testament.” Indeed, many early fathers, including Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Chrysostom, and Augustine, believed that the Bible was the only infallible basis for all Christian doctrine.12 Further, if the New Testament is the only infallible record of apostolic teaching, then every other record from the first century is fallible. The Catholic use of 3 John to prove the superiority of oral tradition is a classic example of taking a text out of context. "Sola Scriptura not taught in the Bible itself and is unscriptural." Speaking of Sola Scriptura, by Kevin Allen and Fr. I just couldn’t resist reposting this article by Father John Whiteford, who happens to be an Eastern Orthodox priest. 2:20). Further, it is unreasonable to insist that words of the apostles that were not written down are more clear than the ones they did write. Sola Scriptura: The Bible Is Clear Apart from Tradition. Sola Scripturais the i… Truth doesn’t have to be in the Bible to be authoritative (see biblical references to teachings and acts not recorded: Matt. The church merely discovered which books God had determined (inspired) to be in the canon. She refused to hear any counter-argument; she refused to apply the same standards to Rome she was applying to the Bible and Protestant churches. Of course, Jesus (Matt. Yet it is not. I… If a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) pastor started asserting that the Eucharist and baptism were purely symbolic, he would be in big trouble, since confessional, orthodox Lutheranism holds to the Real Presence—consubstantiation—and baptismal regeneration. He would not be allowed to interpret the Bible in such a way within his circle of fellow Calvinist believers—sola scriptura or no, perspicuity of Scripture or no, supremacy of conscience and private judgment or no. It simply means that it is not explicitly contained within the letter of the Bible, though it might well be in harmony with it. Further, even if it is granted that tradition is necessary, the Catholic inference that it has to be infallible tradition — indeed, the infallible tradition of the church of Rome — is unfounded. Corruption didn’t wipe out the Law anymore than David’s sin wiped out the Davidic Covenant, or Paul’s or Moses’ or Peter’s sin made them incapable of writing inspired Scripture and being leaders of their people. Sola scriptura does not deny that other authorities govern Christian life and devotion, but sees them all as subordinate to and corrected by the written word of God. Luther stated, "The pulpit is the throne for the word of God." In point of fact, Protestants seem to do about as well as Catholics on unanimity of essential doctrines with only an infallible Bible and no infallible interpreters of it! 5:22, 28, 31; 28:18) and the apostles (1 Cor. 22:18-19). Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? That is, all apostolic tradition (teaching) on faith and practice is in the New Testament. For even they admit that no new revelation is being given today, as it was in apostolic times. 31:26). Thus, there is a limit to how far a Calvinist can go in interpreting Scripture, and that limit is set by Calvinist tradition. This is because they were living authorities set up by Christ (Matt. John 10:35). 18:18; Acts 2:42; Eph. So, however authoritative the apostles were by their office, only their inscripturated words are inspired and infallible (2 Tim. How is the argument for the necessity of a visible judge, derived from the diversities ofsects and doctrines among Protestants, to be answered? But I wonder if it could be made into a deductive argument… DEFINITION of SS given by Greg Krehbiel that I will use: "Scripture is the only infallible rule for faith and practice" -- hence, all "churches" and any "traditions" (today) are fallible. All of this makes it clear that God intended from the very beginning that His revelation be preserved in Scripture, not in extrabiblical tradition. Likewise, “Samuel next explained to the people the law of royalty and wrote it in a book, which he placed in the presence of the Lord” (1 Sam. Matt. "Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants." There may be relatively more of these, but the restrictions are not different in kind from Protestant restrictions on dogma, hermeneutics, and exegesis. Nov 19. Josh. Sola Scriptura: The Principle of Causality Is Not Violated. 3:15-17; Rom. The Catholic case against sola scripture may be summarized by saying that sola scripture is unhistorical, unbiblical and unworkable. It is important to note that Jesus did not limit His statement to mere human traditions but applied it specifically to the traditions of the religious authorities who used their tradition to misinterpret the Scriptures. Protestants, who believe in sola Scriptura, accept genuine tradition; they simply do not believe it is infallible. Nehemiah 8:7–8: Also Jesh’ua, Bani, Sherebi’ah, Jamin, Akkub, Shab’bethai, Hodi’ah, Ma-asei’ah, Keli’ta, Azari’ah, Jo’zabad, Hanan, Pelai’ah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. Thus, he appears to take for granted that which many Protestants have the hardest time grasping and accepting. Because it is dangerous. But a certain kind of Protestant hears “extra-biblical” and immediately equates that with “fallible traditions of men that are obviously contrary to Scripture.” And yet it is this idea that is contrary to Scripture, not the notion of tradition per se. (The Scriptures Alone) Part 2. When, however, we compare the differences with orthodox Catholics and orthodox Protestants or with all Catholics and all Protestants on the more essential doctrines, there is no significant edge for Catholicism. When Jesus rebuked the Jewish leaders it was not because they did not follow the traditions but because they did not “understand the Scriptures” (Matt. This powerful new book contains just that — Biblical arguments. 3:15-16; 1 Tim. In fact, God determined the canon by inspiring these books and no others. Solomon reaffirmed this in Proverbs, saying, “Every word of God is tested….Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver” (Prov. 24:25-26) along with Moses’ (cf. For even many early fathers testified to the fact that all apostolic teaching was put in the New Testament. “Not in the Bible” does NOT mean “anti-biblical”. 15:3, 6). 8:1) and to “inscribe it in a record; that it may be in future days an eternal witness” (30:8). We can go in more depth of what Sola scriptura means, who and how it was developed, but this is a good starting point. We are going to use the definition given by Wikipedia. This powerful new book contains just that Biblical arguments. 15:4; 1 Cor. 22:29). These two “solas” are known, respectively, as the formal and material causes of the Reformation. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. John Whiteford. Who would not prefer a face-to-face talk with a living apostle over a letter from him? A Compelling Argument AGAINST Sola Scriptura? It has to be apostolic and to have always been held implicitly or explicitly by the Church universal: Jude 3: I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. If a Baptist pastor or theologian adopted a belief in infant baptism, he would be told that he doesn’t see the clear evidence of Scripture for an adult, believer’s baptism, and would probably soon be out of a job—and so on. Even his illustration of the horse (Scripture) and the rider (tradition) would suggest that Scripture and apostolic tradition are separable. The Authority of Scripture, by Reader Christopher Orr. Therefore, it is not legitimate to appeal to any oral revelation in New Testament times as proof that nonbiblical infallible authority is in existence today. The rule of faith of the Roman Catholic Church, therefore, is rightly Scripture and Tradition together. As we have said before, so now I say again, If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. 30:5-6). The word of God, he believed, is the highest arbitrator in the church. Christians confronted with such arguments should keep the following points in mind: Christians have never been without the Scriptures as their rule of faith. Summarized by arguments for sola scriptura that sola Scripture is unique, but it is not man ’ s why Answers... 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