ONLY the Bible


My belief is that the Bible (Scriptures) is the “ONLY” book we need to know the truth. We do not need sources other than the Bible to learn God’s truth. I base my belief on what the Bible says in 2Timothy 3:16

2Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

…I have had Catholics contend against my belief stating that although the Bible is “profitable” for doctrine, and instruction in righteousness, that does not mean it is the “ONLY” source of truth. Therefore, the Bible is NOT the only book we need to know the truth. They say that we need the Bible, oral Tradition and “THE” Church. The reason they say that is because they are taught that truth is based on Scripture, Tradition, and the Church.

So my question is this…

Does the Bible contain everything we need to know in regards to…

  1. How to become saved?


  1. How to live according to God’s instruction in order to go to heaven?

Here is what one person said in response to that…

“No, but it tells us a lot about it. It is the combination of the Sacred Scriptures and Oral Tradition (not tradition with a small ‘t’) lead by the Magisterium that gives us the complete truth.”

According to this person it is the combination of the Sacred Scriptures, Oral Tradition, and the Church that gives us the complete truth. The problem with that statement is that 2Timothy 3:16 speaks only about the Scriptures; it doesn’t include Oral Tradition or the Church. Another problem is that 2Timothy 3:16 is only a partial statement; it continues in verse 17…

2Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

…according to this passage of Scripture it is Scripture “ALONE” that makes it possible for the man of God to be perfect. It is the Scripture “ALONE” that thoroughly furnishes the man of God unto all good works. Again, Oral Tradition, or the Church is not included in this profound statement. Yet, according to Cathecism all three is needed in combination, therefore, 2Timothy 3:17 would have to be a lie, as Scripture alone at best couldn’t make the man of God perfect, nor could it “THOROUGHLY” furnish the man of God unto all good works. So is the Scripture telling us the truth or is the Catholic church telling us the truth?

In conclusion my belief remains the same; the “ONLY” book we need to know the truth is the Bible.

In the name of Jesus,



Sola Scriptura doesnt answer the question of INTERPRETATION, after all lets say we both read a passage and come to different interpretations…which one of us is right?


The “ALONE” part seems to be an insertion (and assertion) on your part. It is no where implied by the verse or its surrounding context.

i.e. You are reading an extra biblical “tradition” of yours into the bible verse in order to justify your belief in the “bible only”.

I think you will find many a “reformed theologian” on this web site that would agree that you are overstating your case here.



The scripture to which Paul refers in his letter to Timothy is the old testament (the new testament hadn’t been written yet), so, if you want to live in accordance with the old writings and not even consider anything that Christ had to say, be my guest.

The biggest problem with scripture is the interpretation of it, and for that we need the teaching authority of the Church and Tradition. If the scripture were so clear that we didn’t need any outside guidance, all Christians would be led by the Holy Spirit and united in one church, not fragmented the way we are now.

Fact is, I can find everything needed to live a holy Christian life in less than four pages of the Bible, two in the old testament and two in the new, one reinforcing the other. My Protestant brethren, though, tend to ignore what I consider iron clad instructions for living and attaining salvation, preferring to decide what their theology is going to be, then looking for proof texts in the good book.

My question to you, then, is if we both believe in the Bible, yet our belief systems are so different, and I ask this in all sincerity, who has given you the authority to say that you are right and I am wrong?


Actually, Paul doesn’t even say “Scriptures” - he only says “Scripture,” meaning the one scroll of the Penteteuch - meaning, throw out everything except for Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. So, if we take Paul as meaning “only” the one scroll of Scripture, then we also have to throw out all of the Prophets and the writings of King David, as well. :shrug:


I am not thoroughly dressed until I have shoes on, but I will not ever be thoroughly dressed if I only shop at a shoe store. Thus shopping at the shoe store is profitable in ensuring that I am thoroughly dressed, but it is by no means sufficient.

You folks have tortured poor 2Timothy 3:16-17 beyond all recognition. All it says is that scripture is a necessary component of becoming a “[perfect] man of God…thoroughly furnished unto all good works”. Hey, we Catholics agree!

Yet, according to Cathecism all three is needed in combination, therefore, 2Timothy 3:17 would have to be a lie, as Scripture alone at best couldn’t make the man of God perfect, nor could it “THOROUGHLY” furnish the man of God unto all good works. So is the Scripture telling us the truth or is the Catholic church telling us the truth?

If scripture alone is sufficient to make a perfect man of God as you claim, where does that leave grace and faith and repentance? :eek:


WHERE does it say that Scripture ALONE? Where does it even IMPLY that?
It says, “Profitable”, not totally sufficient.
I would encourage you to read the following:
Matt. 18:15-18:
***“If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. ******If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ ***If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Does Jesus say ANYTHING about Scripture being the judge? The FINAL authority? The LAST court of arbitration?? NO!! He gives THAT authority to HIS CHURCH.
Let me give you one more:
Acts 9:4-5:
**"He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" **
He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."

Did he say, "Why are you persecuting my Church? NO!! He said, “ME”!
Jesus and His Church are ONE.


Along with others who posted here that the OP has inserted the word “only” or “alone” in that Timothy passage, as well as it’s reference to Old Testament Scripture…
If you’re willing to spend $20, this famous debate between Patrick Madrid and James White deals thoroughly with that Timothy passage.

There’s also a link in there of Madrid’s follow-up thoughts you can read for free. This is useful because it expounds on the Greek text in that passage.


Sunday school is profitable for salvation
Reading commentaries can be profitable
reading ECF writings can be profitable

You get the drift…

no one would say that each of these individually is sufficient.

Tim also talks in depth about the importance of teachers. Why? because Paul understood that without teachers to guide us, we will go astray and listen/created teachings that itch our ears.

Tim also says that the bulwark of truth is the Church, not scripture. If it is scripture alone, why is this verse here? Why does the bible say listen tp everything we have learned either by scripture or by word of mouth? Why are we to hold fast to the Traditions?

IN Christ


No to both. For the simple reason that this doesn’t work in any other area of our life. For example, I submit that one will not be a “good” mathematician if you had only the text books.


And certainly not a perfect one!


Let me throw ya a curve ball, maybe broaden your paradigms a bit.

It is not necessary to even have a book to know God’s truth which leads to salvation. We do not need sources other than Tradition to learn God’s truth. God’s written truth is useless unless it is taught and it can be known and taught without the benefit of having it in written form.

Sounds pretty radical, I know, especially coming from a former OSAS, SF, SS, IFBaptecostal, but give it a good long consideration.



We both look at 2 different churches and each conclude that our own church is "the church"
Whose interpretation of the right church is right?


Based on Catholic theology “how is one saved”?
See, I know what the bible says but how bout the church?


well that is easy, the one Jesus started.:slight_smile:



Your argument falls flat on its face: What Scriptures was Paul referring to? It couldn’t be the Bible, because much of the Bible had not been written yet when Paul wrote 2 Timothy. In fact, Paul mentions in verse 15 that these Scriptures has been around since Timothy’s infancy. That means Paul is referring to the OLD TESTAMENT ONLY.

And I ask you, is the Old Testament alone sufficient for knowing how to get to Heaven?



By living as Jesus lived. By following the laws that Jesus gave us and by being obedient servants to our Lord and Savior.


Obviously not. Even if all the information is in there, first we have to (a) have a bible, and
(b) know how to read.

So that would be two more necessary requirements for salvation.

For a person who cannot read, the most perfectly sufficient bible will not save him.
And the bible itself does not teach anyone how to read.

Since most of humanity through most of history has been non-literate, and the “bible” as a unified product rather than a collection of scrolls, has not been available to most people, (costs a lot to copy all those scrolls), then I guess few have been saved.

Why should we entrust our salvation to a product rather than a person?


Water is profitable for maintaining proper health.

Good luck living a long life by consuming nothing but water.


According to YOUR interpretation of scripture, how do YOU think one is saved?

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