Does Scripture alone equip us sufficiently?

I am a Catholic and one of my best friends is a nondenomenational Christian. He showed me a passage in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 where St. Paul says that “scripture will make a man wise and equipped for every good work.” He argues that if the scriptures make a man equipped for every good, then why look anywhere else for revelations, such as tradition. I have a hard time reconciling this passage with my Catholic beliefs. Certainly Paul wasn’t ingnorant on this matter was he? I though the Bible was infallible, so Paul couldn’t be confused, could he?


Dear Bry,

The Scripture that St. Paul writes about is the Old Testament because the New Tetament didn’t exist yet. So does your friend really want to say that the Old Testament is sufficient and nothing else is needed? I don’t think so.

St. Paul is saying that Scripture is inspired and useful. He is not saying that God only speaks to us through Scripture as your friend wants him to say. It is always, always necessary to know the context of whatever Scriputre passage one is considering.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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