I know there have been soooooooo many posts about sola scriptura but hear me out.
I have just started reading the Bible a couple months ago. And the more I read it, the more I don’t understand sola scriptura. There are so many places where things are worded ambiguously, or where things are contradicted, or where figurative language was used or worse, where figurative language might have been used or heck maybe it was literal. I just do not understand how it is possible to be so confident in your interpretation of such a confusing book.
I know that there are Protestants who have dedicated their lives to studying the Bible. And that’s pretty impressive. The problem is, I just don’t think a lifetime is enough to understand the Bible. I don’t really believe that a thousand lifetimes would be enough to be sure that you had gotten the Bible exactly right. And I think that proof of that is the number of Protestant denominations out there: Nobody can agree on how to interpret the Bible, because the Bible can be legitimately interpreted in countless ways.
Just as a crazy example: There is one part in the Bible in Acts that says “And everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”. Then there is another part of the Bible that says ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”. So which one do you believe??? There are major Christian denominations that say both: Saved by faith alone, or only saved by faith in addition to works.
It reminds me of how in English class, teachers would ALWAYS say “There are no wrong answers”. Because you are interpreting someone else’s mind, and that is literally impossible to get accurately on your own. Words can seem clear, but you still need context of thought. No matter what you say, there is just always another way to interpret it.
For instance, if it was said in the Bible “Apples are good.” You could say “Eating apples is a virtue” or “Eating apples is part of what makes you a good person” or “No, that was just an opinion, not an order” or “He said apples are good because apples are a part of life, so what he is really saying is that life is good” or “You have to interpret this literally. It says apples are good. Therefore, apples are good, and everyone should eat them because you must always do things that are good” or “You have to interpret this literally. It says apples are good and thus you must believe that apples are good. But it doesn’t say anything else so you don’t need to do anything else”. And at the end of the day, no one can agree, and you end up with endless different denominations who can’t figure out what “Apples are good” means because they do not have the context of thought.
That is why Jesus established the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is guided by the Holy Spirit at all times, and that is how we obtain context of thought. The Catholic Church is the only church that can possibly interpret the writing accurately, because the Catholic Church is the only church that has the context of thought: in that, it is directed by the writer Himself, not the third-party readers.
So, how is Sola Scriptura possible? How do you get the right answers? How is it that you know exactly what Jesus meant when he said or did or inspired the writings of certain things? I literally do not understand it at all.
But maybe I will be surprised. I have read threads on the “history argument” against Protestants and I was impressed, so you know, how do you know your faith is true? Why do you believe what you believe?