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. 10 Arguments against Sola Scriptura! We can go in more depth of what Sola scriptura means, who and how it was developed, but this is a good starting point. So, however authoritative the apostles were by their office, only their inscripturated words are inspired and infallible (2 Tim. You can buy that book here to read all 100. Who would not prefer a face-to-face talk with a living apostle over a letter from him? Have nothing to do with godless and silly myths. Sola Scriptura contends the latter is preferable. Confronting the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura, by Fr. This being the case, Kreeft’s argument that the cause must be equal to its effect (or greater) fails. And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 3:16-17; cf. Hang with me. 4:4, 7, 10). 11:2) and “stand fast in them” (2 Thess. It is true that the New Testament speaks of following the “traditions” (=teachings) of the apostles, whether oral or written. 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? 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. What it does mean is that all apostolic teaching that God deemed necessary for the faith and practice (morals) of the church was preserved (2 Tim. Dear fellow Catholics and separated brethren: I need your help. Third, Kreeft’s argument wrongly assumes that there was apostolic succession (see Part Four, next issue). 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. Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? The Classical Reformation - Part 1: Sola Scriptura, by Fr. This revelation was often first communicated orally before it was finally committed to writing (e.g., 2 Thess. And it was — in the apostolic writings known as the New Testament. 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. This powerful new book contains just that — Biblical arguments. 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. It should be noted that all Christian groups have some traditions, whether or not they acknowledge it. 2:5). Anti-Sola Scriptura Arguments Refuted: "David A. Barrett's book, World Christian … 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. First, the essential Bible of the early first century Christians was the Old Testament, as the New Testament itself declares (cf. The Catholic case against sola scripture may be summarized by saying that sola scripture is unhistorical, unbiblical and unworkable. Scripture itself states that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs an interpreter. 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. 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 church’s only rule of faith and practice. 10:25). A Compelling Argument AGAINST Sola Scriptura? Sola Scriptura: All Apostolic “Traditions” Are in the Bible. An Outline of the Catholic Case Against Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura: The Bible Does Not State a Preference for Oral Tradition. Jesus used this phrase three times when appealing to Scripture as the final authority in His dispute with Satan (Matt. Tradition, like the Bible or the Word of God, is presented as immutable in Scripture: delivered “once for all” 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. Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Paul assumed that his passed-down tradition was binding and therefore infallible. 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. 2 Thessalonians 3:14: If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Even his illustration of the horse (Scripture) and the rider (tradition) would suggest that Scripture and apostolic tradition are separable. Or am I trying to please men? Posted by Jim. 5:18; cf. 15:3, 6). 9:1). That’s why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 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. 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, … This fact negates the value of the alleged infallible teaching Magisterium of the Roman Catholic church. But it is utterly presumptuous to assert that what fallible human beings pronounce is clearer than what the infallible Word of God declares. “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.”. 8:1) and to “inscribe it in a record; that it may be in future days an eternal witness” (30:8). 4:4, 7, 10) over 90 times, stressing the importance of the written word of God. 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. 3:15-16; 1 Tim. To help see this I will. Indeed, even the prophet himself was not to add to the revelation God gave him. 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. (This one is mostly about what some Protestants call Solo Scriptura, or the AnaBaptist / modern American Evangelical view of it). 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. Romans 16:17: Take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. 3:15-17; Rom. Second, the traditions (teachings) of the apostles that were revelations were written down and are inspired and infallible. Typical Arguments that Catholics & Orthodox use to trash Sola Scriptura are refuted. 5:22, 28, 31; 28:18) and the apostles (1 Cor. 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. "Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants." 2 Tim. The Bible contains much information on Scared Tradition – Scripture is unique, but it refers to an authoritative apostolic tradition apart from itself. It was a main rallying cry of the original Protestant Reformers and remains so … 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. 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. A bad hermeneutic (method of interpreting Scripture) is more crucial to deviation from orthodoxy than is the rejection of an infallible tradition in the Roman Catholic church. What is more, Jesus made it clear that the Bible was in a class of its own, exalted above all tradition. 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. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. John 10:35). 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. The … You can add text widgets here to put whatever you'd like. The word of God, he believed, is the highest arbitrator in the church. The Reformation principle of sola scriptura (lit. Paperback, 9781933919591, 1933919590 It matters not that Catholics believe that the teaching Magisterium later claims to pronounce some extrabiblical tradition as infallibly true. There is a direct parallel with the religious traditions of Judaism that grew up around (and obscured, even negated) the Scriptures and the Christian traditions that have grown up around (and obscured, even negated) the Scriptures since the first century. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. As soon as the apostles died, however, it became imperative for the written record of their infallible teaching to be available. For even many early fathers testified to the fact that all apostolic teaching was put in the New Testament. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”. 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 constant refrain was, ‘sola scriptura is not biblical, nor is it historical. The fact that apostles sometimes referred to “traditions” they gave orally as authoritative in no way diminishes the Protestant argument for sola Scriptura. Likewise, it is possible that sola Scriptura could be a necessary logical deduction from what is taught in Scripture. 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. 2:20). 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. We all know from experience that this is not so. The full PDF may be viewed by following the link below the excerpt. 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. “Not in the Bible” does NOT mean “anti-biblical”. "There are 30,000 denominations that use sola Scriptura. Mark 8:33). The believers were asked to “maintain” them (1 Cor. 24:4), and his book was preserved in the Ark (Deut. Scripture is self-authentication, clear to the rational reader, it own interpreter, and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. If you are a Protestant like me, then you may have never even heard of the Orthodox church, I know I had not. Rather, it provides an unreliable oral tradition as opposed to an infallible written one. Moses was told, “You shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it” (Deut. These two “solas” are known, respectively, as the formal and material causes of the Reformation. First, it is not necessary to claim that these oral teachings were inspired or infallible, only that they were authoritative. 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. As convincing as these arguments may seem to a devout Catholic, they are devoid of substance. That is, all apostolic tradition (teaching) on faith and practice is in the New Testament. 22:29). Apostolic Tradition is in harmony with Scripture. A Look at Virtue Signaling. “Moses then wrote down all the words of the Lord” (Exod. So this Catholic argument against Protestantism is self-condemning. Nor can one argue successfully that unbelievers are unable to see spiritual unity. 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. 4:6).11 This kind of exhortation is found throughout Scripture. Sola Scriptura is not even taught in the Bible. Because it is plainly written that Jesus is the Word made flesh that dwelt among us according to John 1:14. This is just an example shown for the theme preview. Authoritative interpretation of the Law was required in ancient Israel. In Scripture, the infallible nature of Pauline tradition is taken for granted. How to Have a Civil Discussion about Abortion, Why Do I Call Myself Good? 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. Second, as orthodox Catholics know well, the scandal of liberalism is as great inside the Catholic church as it is outside of it. The prolific Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has a new book out 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura which was published by Catholic Answers. This flies in the face of the Catholic claim that the Bible is formally insufficient without the aid of tradition. Kreeft’s argument that sola Scriptura violates the principle of causality is invalid for one fundamental reason: it is based on a false assumption. I’m not looking for refutations or responses…just the arguments themselves. I just can’t believe it anymore.’ I could not get her past that one issue. 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. 2:15). 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. 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). 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. Sola Scriptura: Tradition and Scripture Are Not Inseparable. 22:18-19). Instead, I hope to see you soon when we can talk face to face” (3 John 13). Josh. 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. Moses certainly gave definitive interpretation of doctrine, as did the priesthood in Israel. Daniel had a collection of “the books” of Moses and the prophets right down to his contemporary Jeremiah (Dan. 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. It should be noted that all Christian groups have … I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. That’s why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. However, they do not seem to appreciate the significance of this fact as it bears on the Protestant argument for sola Scriptura. 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. Notice carefully what he said: “I have much to write to you, but I do not wish to write with pen and ink. 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. As we will see in the next point, this is not the case. Were Paul not assuming that, he would have been commanding his followers to adhere to a mistaken doctrine. Sola Scriptura: The Bible Is Clear Apart from Tradition. 4:2). 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. 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. It is only reasonable to infer that God would preserve what He inspired. Sola scriptura is a theological doctrine held by some Protestant Christian denominations that the Christian scriptures are the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice. Jesus and New Testament writers used the phrase “It is written” (cf. In fact, God determined the canon by inspiring these books and no others. 30:5-6). 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). That’s why we have published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. Isaiah was commanded by the Lord to “take a large cylinder-seal, and inscribe on it in ordinary letters” (Isa. This is because they were living authorities set up by Christ (Matt. 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by Dave Armstrong. In his sermon in the upper room (Acts 2) and in other recorded sermons, St. Peter gives an authoritative New Covenant interpretation of salvation history, interpreting the Old Testament messianically and “Christianly.” It was binding and equally authoritative and inspired before it became “inscripturated” because it was from an apostle. The rule of faith of the Roman Catholic Church, therefore, is rightly Scripture and Tradition together. 24:25-26) along with Moses’ (cf. Many Christian teachings are a necessary logical deduction of what is clearly taught in the Bible (e.g., the Trinity). 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. Sola scriptura simply cannot be God’s plan for Christian theology. (Sola scriptura is one of them.) The fact is that they do not have an infallible record from the first century on which to base such a decision. I… Article ID: DC170-3 | By: Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie. What is apostolic will always be harmonious with biblical teachings, since the truths Jesus taught the apostles and the truths recorded in Scripture proceed from the same body of God’s revelation. The Bible makes it clear that God, from the very beginning, desired that His normative revelations be written down and preserved for succeeding generations. John 20:30; 21:25). 5:3; 7:12) sometimes referred to their own God-given authority. 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. Two Highly Illogical Arguments for Sola Scriptura. Further, Jesus and the apostles constantly appealed to the Bible as the final court of appeal. Since both Catholics and Protestants agree that there is no new revelation beyond the first century, it would follow that these texts do support the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura. But they do apply to the point of difference between Protestants and Catholics, namely, whether there are any authoritative normative revelations outside those revealed to apostles and prophets and inscripturated in the Bible. 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. 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. John is not comparing oral and written tradition about the past but a written, as opposed to a personal, communication in the present. The Authority of Scripture, by Reader Christopher Orr. What they read from “the book” did not interpret itself. Speaking of Sola Scriptura, by Kevin Allen and Fr. This they often did by the introductory phrase, “It is written,” which is repeated some 90 times in the New Testament. 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. 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. For even they admit that no new revelation is being given today, as it was in apostolic times. 1st. 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. I’m working on a project to collect and catalog all of the arguments used to support sola scriptura. "Sola Scriptura not taught in the Bible itself and is unscriptural." Kreeft’s argument that sola Scriptura violates the principle of causality is invalid for one fundamental reason: it is based on a false assumption. It expands upon what we know from Scripture, and though it is not inspired like the Bible, its truths are every bit as revealed and infallible. The two foundational Protestant doctrines are those of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone). So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. Thus, he appears to take for granted that which many Protestants have the hardest time grasping and accepting. You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men” (cf. That's why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. Sola Scriptura could hardly be stated more emphatically. 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. 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. That is, all doctrines essential for salvation and living according to the will of God are sufficiently clear. 18:18; Acts 2:42; Eph. This preached gospel stood forever as truth before it was ever encapsulated in the Bible. It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.” It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. 31:26). 3:15-17). For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. It is the fallacy of “argument from silence”—asserting a conclusion based on lack of evidence to the contrary. But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! Thank you for your help. 9:2). Truth doesn’t have to be in the Bible to be authoritative (see biblical references to teachings and acts not recorded: Matt. 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. But oral teachings of the apostles were not called “inspired” or “unbreakable” or the equivalent, unless they were recorded as Scripture. 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. There may be relatively more of these, but the restrictions are not different in kind from Protestant restrictions on dogma, hermeneutics, and exegesis. John Whiteford. 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 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. 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. 15:4; 1 Cor. 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. Before we make arguments refuting Sola Scriptura, it would be best to define it as many people have defined it in different ways. But I wonder if it could be made into a deductive argument… The Catholic use of 3 John to prove the superiority of oral tradition is a classic example of taking a text out of context. You can buy that book here to read all 100! Thus, there is a limit to how far a Calvinist can go in interpreting Scripture, and that limit is set by Calvinist tradition. 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. 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. The apostles were living authorities, but not everything they said was infallible. Of course, none of these are a prohibition on future revelations. He answered them, “And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”. Why? A Christian Perspective, Bespoke Religiosity and the Rise of the Nones: a review of Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton. It simply means that it is not explicitly contained within the letter of the Bible, though it might well be in harmony with it. (The Scriptures Alone) Part 2. 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. Matt. 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Sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what I command you subtract! See spiritual unity that a tradition is taken for granted that which many Protestants have the time. God expects of us is to stay true to what we know has... Of it ) may be viewed by following the link below the excerpt why do you the... ( fundamental ) doctrines delivered to the saints Lord to “ maintain ” them ( 1.. Fast in them ” ( Isa they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. ” devout... Of doctrine, as did the priesthood in Israel Scriptura not taught in the Bible contains much information on tradition... The prophets right down to his contemporary Jeremiah ( Dan the Protestant argument for Scriptura... Beyond which a Catholic may not go not receive it from man, nor was I it. Was once for all delivered to the contrary 30,000 denominations that use sola Scriptura an!