Question for SS believers:


How do you “use” sola scriptura? Is it that everything you believe has to be specifically contained in scripture, or nothing you believe can be negated by scripture?


Here is a good description of what is meant by Sola Scriptura.


Neither. As the article linked to above says says, “The Protestant position, and my position, is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand.”


The reason most protestants have 11 AM service rather than sunrise, was historically to accomadate the farmers who got up earily to milk the cows and do their chores that needed to be done like feed and clean animals, their pins, etc., Backing Biblical times, unless they lived in a cave, they did not have AC, so they would get the most important things done early in the morning when it was not too hot.

Mark 1:35
Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place ] Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 16:2
Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb

Luke 21:38
and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Luke 24:1
The Resurrection ] On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

John 20:1
The Empty Tomb ] Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

Acts 5:21
And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Acts 28:23
And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Revelation 2:28
And I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 22:16
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.


:confused: what does this have to do with the OP’s question?


so is it better to sit through Mass half asleep or wait until later when one is more cognizant?


Technically, as long as you’re receiving the Eucharist, it wouldn’t make any difference in grace received. You might emotionally get more out of it later, but it wouldn’t change the sacrament, or your participation in it, or the grace received from it.


My point was not what IS sola scriptura, but how is it practiced? Everyone seems to not only make their own interpretations, but they also argue from it differently. To Mary being sinless, it’s “show me where that is in the Bible”, to the Trinity, it’s “the Bible implies it, but it doesn’t specifically say it”, etc. Am I making sense here?


I don’t think those attitudes are contradictory. Someone can say, “Show me where the Trinity is in the Bible? Oh, it’s implied here, here, and here. Thanks!”

Sola Scriptura does not mean that everything must be stated explicitly in the Bible. It does not mean that everything that may be believed must be in there. It does mean that nothing that we believe can be contradicted by Scripture, and it does mean that there is nothing we must believe for salvation that is not in Scripture. For example, an honest Protestant (i.e. one not imbued with anti-Catholic dogmatism) might say, “The assumption of Mary might be true. It is not explicitly or implicitly contradicted by Scripture. After all, Elijah himself was assumed into Heaven! But it is not taught in Scripture, and evidence for it is inconclusive. There is no reason to say that one must believe in the assumption for salvation.”


Well said,
Luther said about Mary’s assumption something along the lines of, she’s in heaven, we don’t know how she got there. Lutherans also use the term adiaphora - things indifferent - for things that are not articles of faith, and not specifically prohibited by scripture.
This applies to most marion beliefs. So too, to much of church tradition. There is nothing wrong with traditions of men as they are needed for regular order in the church and can add to meditation and attitude toward faith, so long as they don’t contradict scripture.



But what about when arguing the theory of sola scriptura itself?


This is exactly the way I view it. There are many things that could be true but do not have to be believed for salvation. For example, and perhaps a fivilous one but I think it makes my point. Someone could say Jesus had brown eyes. This may well be true but Scripture says nothing of it. Therefore whether it is true or not it would not be a necessary belief.


It may be that I am predisposed to do so, but I feel that it is at least implicitly expressed in the Bible. I had never heard of scripture alone until just a few years ago. Yet after reading the Bible I was convinced that it could be our sole authority. At that time I had not even heard of Sacred Tradition either and didn’t know there was a disagreement about authority. I didn’t start to look into such things until I married a Catholic and wanted to find out more about her church. It turns out that she was diaffected with the Catholic Church and she has since joined mine. She has only recently been reading the Bible for the first time and she has concluded that if it isn’t in the Bible it is not required. I could cite passages that influenced me most but I am not at home where I have E-sword on my computer. I can explain in more detail later.


The only times I sense the need to argue the theory is when it is misconstrued, ie, a Catholic says the Bible doesn’t mention sola scriptura, so, therefore how can you believe it, or noncatholics who claim to be sola scripturists state you can’t believe anything that isn’t in the Bible, or human traditions or specific holiday celebrations like Christmas and Easter should be avoided altogether (because they’re not specifically stated in the Bible).
Make sense?


:confused: Not in LCMS theology. From the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod website:

Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and therefore, too, the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged.

I guess it may depend on which Lutherans one talks to, but many of them rail against such “traditions of men”. :shrug: Or maybe that’s the fallback position; if something doesn’t fit with their interpretation of Scripture, it’s a “tradition of men” and condemned.


I am LCMS. and I don’t see the conflict here. Also from the LCMS website:

Q. I’ve heard that Martin Luther believed in Mary’s immaculate conception, in her perpetual virginity and in praying to her. Is this how Lutherans still view Mary today?

A. Like Luther himself, Lutherans hold Mary in high esteem for the chosen role she played in God’s plan of salvation. Lutherans have never objected to denoting Mary as the “Mother of God” (theotokos, “God-bearer”), since she was the mother of Jesus and Jesus was and is indeed God. Since the Son of God was and is sinless, it is evident that some miraculous “exception” was made in the conception of Jesus through Mary that prevented original sin from tainting the Christ-child. This accounts for Luther’s comments about Mary being “entirely without sin” (as far as the conception was concerned). Lutherans today are not bound to Luther’s personal views regarding how this was accomplished; in any event, it is clear from Luther’s other and later writings on Mary that he did not hold to the view that Mary was personally devoid of all sin (which would mean that she would have had no need of forgiveness or salvation). Luther also held to the semper virgo (the perpetual virginity) of Mary. This, again, is a personal view to which Lutherans today are not bound. Scripture is not clear on this matter, and Lutherans do not regard it as a theological issue.

One’s mariology (we are not talking about mariolatry, which I don’t personally believe Catholics have ) is not a matter of doctrine to Lutherans. Therefore, as the statement says, is a matter of personal belief. Since it is not doctrine, and not prohibited by scripture, it appears to me to be adiaphora.



Here, Newbie2, is where you might find Lutherans “rail against” human traditions, and is to the point of sola scritpura.

Augsburg Confession

Article XV: Of Ecclesiastical Usages.

1] **Of Usages in the Church they teach that those ought to be observed which may be observed without sin, and which are profitable unto tranquillity and good order in the Church, as particular holy days, festivals, and the like. **

2] Nevertheless, concerning such things men are admonished that consciences are not to be burdened, as though such observance was necessary to salvation.

3] They are admonished also that human traditions instituted to propitiate God, to merit grace, and to make satisfaction for sins, are opposed to the Gospel and the doctrine of faith. Wherefore vows and traditions concerning meats and 4] days, etc., instituted to merit grace and to make satisfaction for sins, are useless and contrary to the Gospel.



If one looks at the “oneness Pentecostal” thread, they can see “Sola Scriptura” at work. These Oneness Pentecostals are arguing from the bible against the Trinity.
They believe that scripture is clear enough to reject the Trinity.
They are using the bible alone as there source of authority.

I keep hearing the argument that Protestants hold to the essentials, while discussing the non-essentials. And the essentials are written clear enough for the average believer who studies and prays for the Holy Spirit can come to the truth

Is not the Trinity and the form of baptism essential?

I have heard that there is a book by Protestants on Sola Scriptura which show the Church Fathers as believing in Sola Scriptura.

I have two questions:
*]Are there any Church Fathers who quote 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in their support for Sola Scriptura?

*]Are the Protestants who hold to the Trinity using scripture alone or are they using scripture filtered through the lens of the Council of Nicea, that is filtered trough the lens of Church Tradition. (These “oneness” Pentecostals sure think they are.)


The church fathers can also be pretexted for the propulgation of one’s personal private beliefs, just as scripture can be and has been used by individuals for the past 500 years to do the same.

In other words, a mere man can start a religion based upon his private interpretation of scripture and the church fathers. This has been done thousands of times since the 16th century, beginning with luther.


Where does the Bible say it states all that is necessary for belief? It doesn’t, does it? So doesn’t that shoot a hole in your theory?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit