Let me begin by defining what the doctrine of *sola scriptura *does not say.
First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge.
Secondly, it is not a denial of the Church’s authority to teach God’s truth.
Thirdly, it is not a denial that God’s Word has been spoken.
And, finally, *sola scriptura *is not a denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and enlightening the Church.
What then is sola scriptura?
The doctrine of sola scriptura, simply stated, is that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the “rule of faith” for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition:
The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, Church or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self-authenticating. The Christian Church looks at the Scriptures as the only and sufficient rule of faith and the Church is always subject to the Word, and is constantly reformed thereby.
*Sola scriptura *is both a positive and a negative statement.
Positively, the doctrine teaches that the Bible is sufficient to function as the sole, infallible rule of faith for the Church. Negatively, it denies the existence of any other rule of faith as being necessary for the man of God.
Non-Catholics, is this an accurate definition of sola scriptura or not?
Thanks in advance.