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. Moses certainly gave definitive interpretation of doctrine, as did the priesthood in Israel. This powerful new book contains just that — Biblical arguments. It was a main rallying cry of the original Protestant Reformers and remains so … Every human opinion and ecclesiastical voice must yield to whatever the Bible teaches. I just can’t believe it anymore.’ I could not get her past that one issue. Of course, none of these are a prohibition on future revelations. Were Paul not assuming that, he would have been commanding his followers to adhere to a mistaken doctrine. “The constant refrain was, ‘sola scriptura is not biblical, nor is it historical. 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. I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. 2:15). Sola Scriptura might be thought of as the methodological doctrine of the Reformation, for Protestantism is said to be founded on Scripture Alone (as opposed to religious tradition), and its primary doctrinal teaching is Sola Fide– that salvation is by faith alone (apart from works). The Catholic Church, too, has parameters of orthodoxy beyond which a Catholic may not go. 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! Nor can one argue successfully that unbelievers are unable to see spiritual unity. Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. We all know from experience that this is not so. The Catholic use of 3 John to prove the superiority of oral tradition is a classic example of taking a text out of context. 10:6). Thus, all Christian groups, not just the Catholic Church, employ tradition to shape and curb the way their followers interpret Scripture. For even they admit that no new revelation is being given today, as it was in apostolic times. If a Calvinist, for example, were to start interpreting certain Scripture passages about falling away from grace and from the faith as suggesting something other than perseverance of the saints or eternal security, he would be suspect in the eyes of his Calvinist comrades. It is true that the New Testament speaks of following the “traditions” (=teachings) of the apostles, whether oral or written. 31:26). The Authority of Scripture, by Reader Christopher Orr. The fact is that they do not have an infallible record from the first century on which to base such a decision. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? I just couldn’t resist reposting this article by Father John Whiteford, who happens to be an Eastern Orthodox priest. Posted by Jim. This revelation was often first communicated orally before it was finally committed to writing (e.g., 2 Thess. 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. 3:15-17; Rom. So, however authoritative the apostles were by their office, only their inscripturated words are inspired and infallible (2 Tim. Second, early New Testament believers did not need further revelation through the apostles in written form for one very simple reason: they still had the living apostles to teach them. 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. It matters not that Catholics believe that the teaching Magisterium later claims to pronounce some extrabiblical tradition as infallibly true. Paperback, 9781933919591, 1933919590 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. This it does in a number of ways. Peter exercises apostolic authority in Acts Chapter 2: The Bible explicitly teaches about a true and unchangeable apostolic 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. 15:4; 1 Cor. As for all the claims the Catholic church makes regarding their argument that "Sola Scriptura… The … 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. Sola Scriptura (Latin ablative, “by Scripture alone”) is the Protestant Christian doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. That a tradition is extra-biblical does not mean that it is non-biblical or unbiblical or contrary to the Bible. 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. And it was — in the apostolic writings known as the New Testament. (This one is mostly about what some Protestants call Solo Scriptura, or the AnaBaptist / modern American Evangelical view of it). Confronting the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, by Fr. 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. 3:16-17; cf. It was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the Reformers, who taught that authentication of Scripture is governed by the discernible excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to the heart of each man. Fact is they MUST fight this notion of Sola Scriptura simply because it is their enemy! He rebuked the Pharisees for not accepting sola Scriptura and negating the final authority of the Word of God by their religious traditions, saying, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?…You have nullified the word of God, for the sake of your tradition” (Matt. (The Scriptures Alone) Part 2. It’s the support of friends like you that enables CRI to to post new articles on subjects of interest and continue our weekly podcast. I’m not looking for refutations or responses…just the arguments themselves. Sola Scriptura could hardly be stated more emphatically. We do not pretend that the private judgment of Protestants is infallible, but only that when exercised in a humble, believing spirit, it always leads to a competent knowledge of essential truth. 24:4), and his book was preserved in the Ark (Deut. We can go in more depth of what Sola scriptura means, who and how it was developed, but this is a good starting point. But oral teachings of the apostles were not called “inspired” or “unbreakable” or the equivalent, unless they were recorded as Scripture. Hence, their enemy is Christ! 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. 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. What they read from “the book” did not interpret itself. To claim that the apostles did not write down all God’s revelation to them is to claim that they were not obedient to their prophetic commission not to subtract a word from what God revealed to them. For even many early fathers testified to the fact that all apostolic teaching was put in the New Testament. You can buy that book here to read all 100. 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. This being the case, Kreeft’s argument that the cause must be equal to its effect (or greater) fails. But that is not what oral tradition gives. Sola Scriptura: Tradition and Scripture Are Not Inseparable. John is not comparing oral and written tradition about the past but a written, as opposed to a personal, communication in the present. Typical Arguments that Catholics & Orthodox use to trash Sola Scriptura are refuted. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Matt. 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. That’s why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. 4:2). Notice carefully what he said: “I have much to write to you, but I do not wish to write with pen and ink. 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. Sola scriptura: A Blueprint for Anarchy. 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. Christians confronted with such arguments should keep the following points in mind: Christians have never been without the Scriptures as their rule of faith. Sola Scriptura: First Century Christians Had Scripture and Living Apostles. 13:3; Mark 4:2, 33; 6:34; Luke 11:53; 24:15–16, 25–27; John 16:12; 20:30; 21:25; Acts 1:2–3). The Classical Reformation - Part 1: Sola Scriptura, by Fr. This is because they were living authorities set up by Christ (Matt. There are many more that we didn’t point out. Josh. You can add text widgets here to put whatever you'd like. Sola Scriptura contends the latter is preferable. The Bible makes it clear that God, from the very beginning, desired that His normative revelations be written down and preserved for succeeding generations. Tradition, like the Bible or the Word of God, is presented as immutable in Scripture: delivered “once for all” to the saints. How is the argument for the necessity of a visible judge, derived from the diversities ofsects and doctrines among Protestants, to be answered? And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 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. 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. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. In fact, God determined the canon by inspiring these books and no others. 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. If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. Moses was told, “You shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it” (Deut. Sola Scriptura: The Principle of Causality Is Not Violated. It's time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists' favorite question. 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. Orthodox Protestants’ differences are largely over secondary issues, not primary (fundamental) doctrines. When they died, however, there was no longer a living apostolic authority since only those who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ could have apostolic authority (Acts 1:22; 1 Cor. Because it is dangerous. The Reformation principle of sola scriptura (lit. 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by Dave Armstrong. 4:4, 7, 10) over 90 times, stressing the importance of the written word of God. 8:1) and to “inscribe it in a record; that it may be in future days an eternal witness” (30:8). A Look at Virtue Signaling. Jesus and New Testament writers used the phrase “It is written” (cf. It is the fallacy of “argument from silence”—asserting a conclusion based on lack of evidence to the contrary. The rule of faith of the Roman Catholic Church, therefore, is rightly Scripture and Tradition together. There is not a shred of evidence that any of the revelation God gave them to express was not inscripturated by them in the only books — the inspired books of the New Testament — that they left for the church. 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. Jon Braun. Sola Scriptura, the formal principle of the Protestant Reformation, is essential to genuine Christianity, for it declares that the Bible is the inspired word of God, the churchâ€™s only rule of faith and practice. In other words, the only reason Jesus and the apostles could appeal to an authority outside the Bible was that God was still giving normative (i.e., standard-setting) revelation for the faith and morals of believers. Who would not prefer a face-to-face talk with a living apostle over a letter from him? We are going to use the definition given by Wikipedia. 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). April 23, 2015 Scott Eric Alt Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! But it is utterly presumptuous to assert that what fallible human beings pronounce is clearer than what the infallible Word of God declares. First, the essential Bible of the early first century Christians was the Old Testament, as the New Testament itself declares (cf. In Scripture, the infallible nature of Pauline tradition is taken for granted. Indeed, it is not plausible that He would have allowed succeeding generations to struggle and even fight over precisely where this alleged extrabiblical revelation is to be found. 3:15-17). Yet it is not. Why Is Sola Scriptura Unreasonable?Protestants believe the Bible is the only source for determining Christian truth. Second, as orthodox Catholics know well, the scandal of liberalism is as great inside the Catholic church as it is outside of it. And this is precisely what these texts say. Why? If you are a Protestant like me, then you may have never even heard of the Orthodox church, I know I had not. Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? As soon as the apostles died, however, it became imperative for the written record of their infallible teaching to be available. What is more, Jesus made it clear that the Bible was in a class of its own, exalted above all tradition. One, the fact that Scripture, without tradition, is said to be “God-breathed” (theopnuestos) and thus by it believers are “competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. It should be noted that all Christian groups have … Click here for the lowest price! 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. Many Christian teachings are a necessary logical deduction of what is clearly taught in the Bible (e.g., the Trinity). "Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants." Sola Scriptura: Rejection of Tradition Does Not Necessitate Scandal. Sola scriptura simply cannot be God’s plan for Christian theology. “You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!… thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on.”. As convincing as these arguments may seem to a devout Catholic, they are devoid of substance. Covenants and Sacred Tradition are perpetually binding. 9:2). Likewise, it is possible that sola Scriptura could be a necessary logical deduction from what is taught in Scripture. 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. That's why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons … If you put these instructions before the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have followed. While the scriptures' meaning is mediated through many kinds of subordinate authority, such as the ordinary teaching offices of a denominated church, the ecumenical creeds, the councils of the catholic church, … The Catholic case against sola scripture may be summarized by saying that sola scripture is unhistorical, unbiblical and unworkable. That is, all doctrines essential for salvation and living according to the will of God are sufficiently clear. Third, an allegiance to sola Scriptura for Luther meant that he firmly stood on the supreme authority of Scripture. 11:2) and “stand fast in them” (2 Thess. 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. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. Even his illustration of the horse (Scripture) and the rider (tradition) would suggest that Scripture and apostolic tradition are separable. The church merely discovered which books God had determined (inspired) to be in the canon. 3:15-16; 1 Tim. An Outline of the Catholic Case Against Sola Scriptura. The word of God, he believed, is the highest arbitrator in the church. It is absurd to presume that because a particular oral or Church tradition is not explicitly taught in the Bible it is false, and that the apostles intended for all Christian teaching after their deaths to be located in the written word of the Bible alone. St. Paul declares that the God-breathed writings are sufficient. 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. 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