Debate with non-Catholic over Revelation

I am currently in a debate with a non-Catholic over whether Jesus (or God) told the apostles to write scripture as a means of passing on the faith. He contends that in Rev 1:11 the call for John to write down in scrolls to the seven churches constitutes just that.

I countered that Jesus told the aposles in Matt 28 that the faith should be spread by preaching to all the nations.

I told him and I may be wrong on this that the seven churches were the ones that Ignatius of Antioch wrote letters to. Many of the names were the same and I may have assumed too much. Upon thinking about this, if these are Ignatius Letters then that would be information against the early writing of Revelation maybe ??

I could use some help on this.


It isn’t an either/or proposition. Divine Revelation, the deposit of faith, is passed on in more than one way. Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are both means of transmitting the faith.

I agree but he is using that passage as a support for sola scriptura and not tradition to pass on the faith…

What does he make of Paul telling the Corinthians, “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2), and;

he commands the Thessalonians, "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).

He even goes so far as to order, **“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 Thess. 3:6)

Sure there are passages that support the use of Sacred Scripture but we are also reminded to keep the Sacred Traditions which Jesus gave the Apostles side by side. The two pillars of the Catholic faith.

exactly…tradition is both oral AND written. It’s not oral tradition alone or written tradition alone. Both are to be followed because both are authoritative.

The responses are good to show tradition and not just sola scriptura but I am looking for a response to his assertion of God telling John in Revelation that he should write scripture from the passage of Rev 1:11. This passage shows that he should write scrolls to the seven churches.

He did write down all he saw and sent it to the seven churches. It’s in the book of Revelations.

However that does not translate to “all that is required is Scripture”? He needs to prove that it does because Revelations does not implicitly or explicitly state that sacred scripture is all that is required. It certainly cannot be used as an argument for Sola Scriptura which was foreign to the early church. Sola Scriptura is a false doctrine and a new invention.

Ask him how the early christians practiced their faith for 400 years before the Church compiled the Bible?

I would guess he would say that those writing scripture knew they were doing it and everyone knew it was scripture. He might also say that if John was called to write scripture then the other apostles also knew to do it, although this last one has big holes in it since all apostles didn’t write things in the canon.

I also probably misspoke about the letters to the churches written to by Ignatius of Antioch.

If John being told to write to the seven churches is how we know the faith was to be transmitted primarily by writing, well, weren’t all of the other apostles already dead?

So only John’s writings constitute scripture then since we only have the explicit statement in the Bible given to John to write? Our Bibles should only contain John’s writings in the New Testament, I guess.

Also, if anyone thinks that since John knew he was supposed to write then the other apostles did too…well…they can think that. But the Scripture doesn’t say that so if they think that…it is just their man-made tradition belief.

yeah, you might have misspoke about Ignatius. But who hasn’t misspoke? I’m not sure about that, though. I’d have to look around a bit. And it could be that Ignatius wrote some letters to the same Churches that John did…but maybe not all seven and maybe that is just because they both worked in the same area and there was some overlap. I think Ignatius was a disciple of John.

I think that you have given a lot of food for thought. Your points are very good and appreciated.

God Bless

Sola scriptura, OK so ask him if he can show you in the Bible where Jesus told anyone to write down anything and then go from there. You can’t cherry pick one verse and base a whole doctrine on it. So what if John had a vision from God and He told him to write some scrolls.

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