But I wonder if it could be made into a deductive argument… 3:15-16; 1 Tim. 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. 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! Tradition is an inevitable reality for all Christians. Every human opinion and ecclesiastical voice must yield to whatever the Bible teaches. Roman Catholics admit that the New Testament is the only infallible record of apostolic teaching we have from the first century. Christians confronted with such arguments should keep the following points in mind: Christians have never been without the Scriptures as their rule of faith. As soon as the apostles died, however, it became imperative for the written record of their infallible teaching to be available. Dear fellow Catholics and separated brethren: I need your help. Second, the traditions (teachings) of the apostles that were revelations were written down and are inspired and infallible. Sola Scriptura: Tradition and Scripture Are Not Inseparable. You can buy that book here to read all 100. Confronting the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, by Fr. St. Paul declares that the God-breathed writings are sufficient. So this Catholic argument against Protestantism is self-condemning. The Catholic case against sola scripture may be summarized by saying that sola scripture is unhistorical, unbiblical and unworkable. (This one is mostly about what some Protestants call Solo Scriptura, or the AnaBaptist / modern American Evangelical view of it). Kreeft’s claim that the rejection of the Roman Catholic view on infallible tradition leads to the scandal of denominationalism does not follow for many reasons. Sola scriptura: A Blueprint for Anarchy. Further, Jesus and the apostles constantly appealed to the Bible as the final court of appeal. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. 2:15). 3:15-17; Rom. 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. Now on to the 10 arguments against Sola scriptura: When Paul spoke of receiving and delivering such traditions, he gave no indication that they were fallible or that he questioned any of them because they came through oral transmission rather than the written word. This powerful new book contains just that — Biblical arguments. 3:16-17, emphasis added) supports the doctrine of sola Scriptura. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 10 Arguments against Sola Scriptura! 15:4; 1 Cor. These two “solas” are known, respectively, as the formal and material causes of the Reformation. Notice carefully what he said: “I have much to write to you, but I do not wish to write with pen and ink. 8:1) and to “inscribe it in a record; that it may be in future days an eternal witness” (30:8). 9:1). As stated above, and contrary to a rather wide misunderstanding by Catholics, perspicuity does not mean that everything in the Bible is absolutely clear but that the main message is clear. Because it is plainly written that Jesus is the Word made flesh that dwelt among us according to John 1:14. We are going to use the definition given by Wikipedia. The fact that apostles sometimes referred to “traditions” they gave orally as authoritative in no way diminishes the Protestant argument for sola Scriptura. Many Christian teachings are a necessary logical deduction of what is clearly taught in the Bible (e.g., the Trinity). Scripture itself states that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs an interpreter. As we will see, each of the Roman Catholic arguments against the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura fails, and they are unable to provide any substantial basis for the Catholic dogma of an infallible oral tradition. The Social Dilemma and What it Means for Christians, The Historical Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Among the Founders of the World’s Major Religions, Do I Drink Virtuously? 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. Sola Scriptura: The Bible Does Not State a Preference for Oral Tradition. 24:25-26) along with Moses’ (cf. 11:2) and “stand fast in them” (2 Thess. Thus, he appears to take for granted that which many Protestants have the hardest time grasping and accepting. Of course, Jesus (Matt. 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. A Look at Virtue Signaling. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. “Not in the Bible” does NOT mean “anti-biblical”. Two points must be made concerning whether the Bible teaches sola Scriptura. That’s why we have published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. 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. 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. 31:26). To help see this I will. 4:4, 7, 10) over 90 times, stressing the importance of the written word of God. John Whiteford. Instead, I hope to see you soon when we can talk face to face” (3 John 13). Furthermore, “Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and made statutes and ordinances for them… which he recorded in the book of the law of God” (Josh. "Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants." Rather, it provides an unreliable oral tradition as opposed to an infallible written one. The … The two foundational Protestant doctrines are those of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone). This is because they were living authorities set up by Christ (Matt. Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible. Josh. I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. This powerful new book contains just that Biblical arguments. 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. But that is not what oral tradition gives. Romans 16:17: Take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. Typical Arguments that Catholics & Orthodox use to trash Sola Scriptura are refuted. Third, Kreeft’s argument wrongly assumes that there was apostolic succession (see Part Four, next issue). Thank you for your help. The believers were asked to “maintain” them (1 Cor. 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. 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. It is also self-defeating, for if sola scriptura were true, it would have to be explicitly spelled out in Scripture itself. Sola Scriptura: The Principle of Causality Is Not Violated. Anti-Sola Scriptura Arguments Refuted: "David A. Barrett's book, World Christian … 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. First, the essential Bible of the early first century Christians was the Old Testament, as the New Testament itself declares (cf. "Sola Scriptura not taught in the Bible itself and is unscriptural." This preached gospel stood forever as truth before it was ever encapsulated in the Bible. In the Bible, good (apostolic) Tradition is contrasted with bad traditions of men – The bottom (biblical) line is not “tradition versus no tradition,” but rather, “true apostolic tradition versus false traditions of men.” The Bible often expressly distinguishes between the 2. A Compelling Argument AGAINST Sola Scriptura? In Scripture, the infallible nature of Pauline tradition is taken for granted. It simply means that it is not explicitly contained within the letter of the Bible, though it might well be in harmony with it. Before we make arguments refuting Sola Scriptura, it would be best to define it as many people have defined it in different ways. 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by Dave Armstrong. I’m not looking for refutations or responses…just the arguments themselves. 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. 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. Third, an allegiance to sola Scriptura for Luther meant that he firmly stood on the supreme authority of Scripture. Kreeft’s argument that the first generation of Christians did not have the New Testament, only the church to teach them, overlooks several basic facts. 1st. The Bible makes it clear that God, from the very beginning, desired that His normative revelations be written down and preserved for succeeding generations. 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. Mark 8:33). 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. The Catholic use of 3 John to prove the superiority of oral tradition is a classic example of taking a text out of context. Protestants, who believe in sola Scriptura, accept genuine tradition; they simply do not believe it is infallible. Nov 19. What is more, Jesus made it clear that the Bible was in a class of its own, exalted above all tradition. Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. “only Scripture” or “Scripture alone”) has been the cause of great scandal since the sixteenth century. 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. And this is precisely what these texts say. 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. 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. Why? 9:2). Only when one chooses to compare things like the mode and candidate for baptism, church government, views on the Eucharist, and other less essential doctrines are there greater differences among orthodox Protestants. “Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord” (Exod. 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. Indeed, John closed the last words of the Bible with the same exhortation, declaring: “I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life…” (Rev. (Sola scriptura is one of them.) So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God. Fact is they MUST fight this notion of Sola Scriptura simply because it is their enemy! This flies in the face of the Catholic claim that the Bible is formally insufficient without the aid of tradition. Jon Braun. 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. 18:18; Acts 2:42; Eph. Finally, to borrow a phrase from St. Paul, the Bible constantly warns us “not to go beyond what is written” (1 Cor. Who would not prefer a face-to-face talk with a living apostle over a letter from him? 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. We can go in more depth of what Sola scriptura means, who and how it was developed, but this is a good starting point. That 1 Tim 3:15 quote is a great Catholic “counter-quote” to 2 Tim 3:16-17, which Protestants usually use to make the Sola Scriptura argument. 3:16-17; cf. It was a main rallying cry of the original Protestant Reformers and remains so … Yet it is not. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”. He answered them, “And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”. And it was — in the apostolic writings known as the New Testament. Matt. In fact, God determined the canon by inspiring these books and no others. Luther stated, "The pulpit is the throne for the word of God." originally posted 06-06-96 on James White's Sola Scriptura mailing list. This being the case, Kreeft’s argument that the cause must be equal to its effect (or greater) fails. It even has a fancy Latin name "sola scriptura." For prophets were not infallible in everything they said, but only when giving God’s revelation to which they were not to add or from which they were not to subtract a word. The prolific Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has a new book out 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura which was published by Catholic Answers. That is, all doctrines essential for salvation and living according to the will of God are sufficiently clear. The apostles were living authorities, but not everything they said was infallible. 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. Or am I trying to please men? It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. This does not necessarily mean that everything the apostles ever taught is in the New Testament, any more than everything Jesus said is there (cf. 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. 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. 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. 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. As for all the claims the Catholic church makes regarding their argument that "Sola Scriptura… Authoritative interpretation of the Law was required in ancient Israel. All church traditions, creeds, and teachings must be in unity with the teachings of scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God. 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. In fact, Dave Armstrong and Catholic Answers Press gives 90 more arguments in the book, “100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura“. Daniel had a collection of “the books” of Moses and the prophets right down to his contemporary Jeremiah (Dan. 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. 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. 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. Throughout the book of Acts we see Peter and Paul exercising apostolic authority and preaching—not merely handing out Bibles or mouthing (Old Testament) Scripture. 22:18-19). Because it is dangerous. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Matt. 5:18; cf. This revelation was often first communicated orally before it was finally committed to writing (e.g., 2 Thess. 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. I just can’t believe it anymore.’ I could not get her past that one issue. There may be relatively more of these, but the restrictions are not different in kind from Protestant restrictions on dogma, hermeneutics, and exegesis. 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. Likewise, it is possible that sola Scriptura could be a necessary logical deduction from what is taught in Scripture. That’s why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. Sola Scriptura: All Apostolic “Traditions” Are in the Bible. It's time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists' favorite question. 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. The ancient Jews had the Mosaic Law and the Davidic Covenant: a clear, identifiable tradition that didn’t change when corruption occurred, as it did cyclically. I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered 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? They comprise the New Testament. The full PDF may be viewed by following the link below the excerpt. Sola Scriptura could hardly be stated more emphatically. Second, as orthodox Catholics know well, the scandal of liberalism is as great inside the Catholic church as it is outside of it. Kreeft’s argument that sola Scriptura violates the principle of causality is invalid for one fundamental reason: it is based on a false assumption. 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. “The constant refrain was, ‘sola scriptura is not biblical, nor is it historical. 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. 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. Orthodox Protestants’ differences are largely over secondary issues, not primary (fundamental) doctrines. Even his illustration of the horse (Scripture) and the rider (tradition) would suggest that Scripture and apostolic tradition are separable. I’m working on a project to collect and catalog all of the arguments used to support sola scriptura. John 10:35). We all know from experience that this is not so. 4:6).11 This kind of exhortation is found throughout Scripture. 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. Indeed, since Catholic scholars make a comparison between the Old Testament high priesthood and the Roman Catholic papacy, this would seem to be a very good analogy. Sola scriptura simply cannot be God’s plan for Christian theology. 4:2). 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. The church merely discovered which books God had determined (inspired) to be in the canon. Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? 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. The Classical Reformation - Part 1: Sola Scriptura, by Fr. 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. 1:7). 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. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. Apostolic Tradition is in harmony with Scripture. This it does in a number of ways. But oral teachings of the apostles were not called “inspired” or “unbreakable” or the equivalent, unless they were recorded as Scripture. Paul assumed that his passed-down tradition was binding and therefore infallible. Finally, Kreeft’s argument wrongly assumes that the Bible was produced by the Roman Catholic church. 30:5-6). You can add text widgets here to put whatever you'd like. 5:22, 28, 31; 28:18) and the apostles (1 Cor. It is true that the New Testament speaks of following the “traditions” (=teachings) of the apostles, whether oral or written. For even many early fathers testified to the fact that all apostolic teaching was put in the New Testament. 22:29). 10:25). Article ID: DC170-3 | By: Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie. Would preserve what he inspired even the prophet himself was not to add to the arguments for sola scriptura God him... Dwelt among us according to the fact that all denominationalism is scandalous see Four. 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