Sola scriptura argument

One sola scriptura website claims this passage is an irrefutable proof for sola scriptura:

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other." 1 Corinthians 4:6

Please explain what that passage means if it doesn’t prove sola scriptura. (don’t give me all kinds of against sola scriptura arguments, I know enough of them and am not for sola scriptura, I just want to know what that passage really means)
thanks
Emil

First, St. Paul could not have been referring to the NT, or else the Canon would have been closed with that very statement he made. After his Epistles to the Church of Corinth, most of the NT documents had yet to be written. Did Luke, Peter, Jude and John "exceed what was (already) written?

Second, “to exceed what is written” is a pathetic translation.
The original Greek (and the Latin) reads rather “…learn not to think above what has been written…” That is, “You folks need to learn not to think that you yourselves and your own opinions are above Sacred Scripture.” And further, “You Gentile converts, don’t think that just because the Old Law’s rules don’t apply to you, means that you are somehow ‘above’ it, and that you are better than the Jewish converts.” Such an interpretation is borne out by the immediate context: "that you be not puffed up one over the other…"

[quote=fineca]One sola scriptura website claims this passage is an irrefutable proof for sola scriptura:

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other." 1 Corinthians 4:6

Please explain what that passage means if it doesn’t prove sola scriptura. (don’t give me all kinds of against sola scriptura arguments, I know enough of them and am not for sola scriptura, I just want to know what that passage really means)
thanks
Emil
[/quote]

First of all as TJ said above, if Paul meant what he said then why did he write a SECOND letter to that Church?

St John Chrysostom explains here:

…This, if you mark it, is the reason why he says here, “These things have I transferred in a figure unto myself for your sakes, that in us ye may learn not to be wise above what is written,” signifying that if he had applied his argument in their persons, they would not have learnt all that they needed to learn, nor would have admitted the correction, being vexed at what was said. But as it was, revering Paul, they bore the rebuke well.

[2.] But what is the meaning of, “not to be wise above what is written?” It is written, (St. Matthew chapter 7, verse 3) “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” and “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” For if we are one and are mutually bound together, it behooveth us not to rise up against one another. For “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” saith he. And (St. Matthew chapter 20, verse 26 and Matthew chapter 20, verse 27; St. Mark chapter 10, verse 43; not verbatim.) “He that will be first of all, let him be the servant of all.” These are the things which “are written.”

“That no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” Again, having dismissed the teachers, he rebukes the disciples. For it was they who caused the former to be elated.


6Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

14I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

Paul is using sarcasim in this chapter and I don’t see how they get bible alone especially when paul is talking about oral teachings to them too in verse 7.

:confused:

See the Navarre Bible commentary on I Cor.4:6 -

“‘Not to go beyond what is written’: this is open to various interpretations. It may be a proverb with which the Corinthians were familiar, meaning that one should stay on safe ground (in this case, Paul’s guidelines for the infant Church at Corinth). ‘What is written’ could also refer to all scripture or just to the quotations which Paul has used (cf. 1:19, 31; 3:19). In any event he makes it clear to the Corinthians that it is they themselves who, due to their immaturity and pride, have caused the dissensions in their community through exalting one preacher at the expense of others…” (67)

These are all great replies, I would only add that until he can take all the teachings of the Bible in context, vs. pulling out one phrase as a justification, he’s taking interpretation into his own hands. He has to reconcile a bunch of other parts of the Bible to be on firm truth in that thought. The written word is easy to misconstrue when one phrase is taken out of context – I guess that’s why there are 22,000 denominations of Protestant religions all believing a different interpretation of the Bible.

Hi Walt, have you ever heard something like, “In Major Theology Unity, In areas of disagreement, Love” ??? I am not saying anyone here is being unloving. But, we protestants would point out that on majors like who and what Jesus Christ did we are in agreement. Just between us the denominational distinictives are based more on various protestant traditions than they are based on scripture.

For example, The many of the modern pentecostal teachings rose out of a 1910 bible camp meeting. The rapture theory can somewhat be traced back to a young lady who had a vision ( see, Dave MacPherson The Rapture Plot for proof ). Most if not all the Sevent Day Adventist teachings are based on Ellen Whites’ visions. Baptist teachings??? It depends on thier edition of history.

Daniel, I defend to the death your right to make whatever religious choice you want, and to enjoy it! I was just stating my opinion. Further, I do think the differences you cite would be considered pretty significant biblical interpretation issues by a lot of people, but no matter - viva la difference.

I keep wondering why it isn’t more obvious that the lack of an authoritative source for Bible interpretation is the root cause of the many denominations - as you pointed out, many people can decide that “I have a different interpretation of scripture, and I think (whatever Christian religion I am currently in) is no longer the truth” - so I leave and set up my own Church.

You know, I was thinking about this, and I thought that we seldom discuss one of the most disastrous misinterpretations of Scripture that has ever happened, due to people deciding on their own authority what the Bible meant - that was the early Jews! They read the OT, and concluded the Messiah was a ruler to come back, take over, destroy their enemies, and give Israel its freedom once again. You can read the OT and think that - in reality we know that it foretells Jesus Christ as Messiah, as a different kind of ruler with a different agenda, namely eternal salvation. They never saw it because they chose to believe their own interpretation, and the Messiah was amongst them even telling them what the Scripture said! Can you imagine Jesus being amongst us, telling us what the Bible says, and we refuse to believe Him? Ouch!!

[quote=fineca]One sola scriptura website claims this passage is an irrefutable proof for sola scriptura:

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other." 1 Corinthians 4:6

Please explain what that passage means if it doesn’t prove sola scriptura. (don’t give me all kinds of against sola scriptura arguments, I know enough of them and am not for sola scriptura, I just want to know what that passage really means)
thanks
Emil
[/quote]

The literal translation is ‘*that you learn in us the not beyond what are written that no one be inflated concerning the one against the other.’ *

Robert A. Sungenis, in his book Not By Scripture Alone devotes pgs. 138 to 162 to this verse.

If this verse is supposed to prove sola scriptura, what are we to make of Paul’s reference to tradition(s) in 1 Cor 11:2 and 2 Thes 2:15 and 3:6? Or Christ’s words to his apostles in Jn 14:26 regarding the Holy Spirit “teaching you all things” and bringing “to your remembrance all that I have said to you”? Also, as has been previously pointed out, Paul would have been limiting his readers to either the OT or this particular letter or both since the NT was still a long way off.

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