I think that we also need the Church Fathers, Tradition and the Magesterium. My friend thinks that all we need is the bible. So to what extent does scripture interpret scripture or does it?
I listen to Michael Voris and I thought that in one of his talks, and I can’t remember which one, he said that scripture does not interpret scripture. I hope that I am not miss-speaking here but I thought that is what he said.
I also enjoy the great wisdom of many of the fathers, fathers whom I class as the traditon.
I would agree with your friend, in that all needed for ones salvation is clearly expressed in scripture, plain for all to see (John 20:31).
On Scripture interpreting Scripture: It’s essentially a part of the hermeneutic principle that is Sola Scriptura. It’s effectively saying that we should look at scripture as a whole, in context and interpret passages in light of other ones, which may be more clear on a given topic.
Kind regards, thought I’d chime in with the first comment, speaking as one who uses said approach.
Blessings Linc! I am sorry,but I believe you are simply isolating that verse in order to state it is sufficient for salvation? If that verse is sufficient for our salvation,then why did John borther to write twenty-one chapters? More important,salvation is more than just believing. Even James says: Even the demons** believe**-and tremble! (James 2:19). Are they saved too since all needed is belief?
You’re quite right; John did write 21 chapters, I simply quote said verse as in it John seems to indicate that by hearing the gospel presented in his letter, people may come to understand Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believe, and thus be saved. Just as he says in his first letter; “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13). If we were to take the interpretation you give above as being entirely concrete, then we would have here a contradiction between John and James… I have always understood James to be referring to a sort of “dead orthodoxy” (to quote NT Wright there); a faith which proves itself dead, as it produces none of the fruits that follow the free imputation of the righteousness of Christ. In contrast to the living faith of trust in Jesus Christ I see as presented by John. Especially as he describes it in 1 John, a letter which clearly shows the need, and inevitable sanctification process of true believers. My musings…
But to refer all this and keep it on topic, I suppose I’m practicing the principle now. I suppose our discussion of this verse is a great case study!
It’s difficult to say without context, but Voris was probably making the point that Sola Scriptura is logically unsustainable.
Scripture does have plenty to say about other Scripture passages, though. Just look at 1st Peter where Peter explicitly draws the connection between the story of Noah and Baptism. St. Stephen’s discourse in Acts and the Letter to the Hebrews are also full of explications of the Old Testament. In a sense, these are examples of “Scripture interpreting Scripture.” But of course this does not mean that Scripture is exclusively self-interpreting.
How were people saved before the cannon of scripture was compiled? If you go with Sola Scriptura they didn’t have the bible as we know it.
The oral preaching of the Apostles lead people to faith, for faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17). There is nothing there that is any issue for employing the principle of sola scriptura, this oral apostolic preaching is commited in writing for us in the sacred scriptures.
First, my friend, thank you for your kind remarks on another thread. I am blessed by our conversations, and your perspective.
I absolutely agree with your statement that Christ expects more than a simple belief. We’re told that even the demons have that. Faith must be an active thing, to paraphrase Luther, trusting in His grace that what we do by faith is pleasing to Him, despite our sin.
The faith we must have, if it is a saving faith, is a faith that works through love. We must love our fellow man, as this is what he calls us to do. How long can saving faith remain if we persist in not doing what He asks us to do?
One searches and consults all of scripture to reach a conclusion, it’s exegesis. One verse will confirm something found in another.
Romans 3:28: “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”
Galatians 2:16 “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
Both clearly support one another, justification by faith, not works. And so on and so forth.
Scripture does not intpret itself apart from the authority of the Church.
May Jehovah’s Witnesses and Evangelicals will use the idea that scripture intepretes scripture to push some wild ideas, including the idea that scripture in-and-of itself is its own authority. They will turn to the Old Testament and point something out and then turn to the New Testament and point out something which seems to agree and say, “See, scripture inerprets itself” as a way to teach us that we don’t need an final authority, or that there is not authority other than scripture itself.
it is a very dangerous idea unless the authority of the Church is there as a guard rail.