Sola Scriptura Isn't Scriptural, Historical or Workable

Why I’m A Catholic
By Kenneth Hensley

In this series of articles, Kenneth Hensley, a former Protestant minister who earned his Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, examines the flaws in the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura which led to his conversion to the Catholic Church.

The Foundational Error of Sola Scriptura
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-the-foundational-error-of-sola-scriptura

Sola Scriptura Isn’t Scriptural

Part I
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-scriptural-part-i

Part II
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-scriptural-part-ii

Part III
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-scriptural-part-iii

Part IV
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-scriptural-part-iv

Part V
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-scriptural-part-v

Sola Scriptura Isn’t Historical

Part I
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-historical-part-i

Part II
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-historical-part-ii

Part III
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-historical-part-iii

Part IV
catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-historical-part-iv

Sola Scriptura Isn’t Workable

Part I
kennethhensley.com/blog/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-workable-part-i

Part II
kennethhensley.com/blog/why-im-catholic-sola-scriptura-isnt-workable-part-ii

WoW

This is great stuff, Randy. I’ve come to expect nothing less from you. :thumbsup:

Thanks, God Bless, Memaw

:tiphat:

What? No takers from the opposing viewpoint? Understandable, since to accept that SS is a man-made doctrine means that one would then need to be Catholic to be true to Christ and to one’s own well-formed conscience.

A chief argument that can be used, and Mr. Hensley points this out, is the fruits of SS: division.

The theology of Sola Scriptura has an interesting context. Many of the bible only followers (BOF) try to convey a message that the Catechism of the CC is another set of scriptures, which we all know is not true. But that is not necessarily the “beef” that the BOF has with the CC. Think about Satan’s fall. He wanted to be like God because he thought he could be better. I have had many conversations with the BOF, excluding hate anti-catholic hate cults. The BOF believe that their style of worship is better and cherry-pick verses out of scripture that allows for interpretative arguing such as Mary’s role in the incarnation, state of salvation, confessing to priests, etc. In other words, BOF want what the CC has had for centuries, power.

Sure its historical.

Dating back to the Protestants.

:clapping:

To me it seems the bible is irrelevant to the Catholic faith in as much as the catechism of the Catholic Church is the rule of faith not the bible. According to you the bible didn’t exist until 400 years after Jesus. So there were no NT scriptures to play a role in the foundation of the church. How could there be. Though I believe there certainly was NT scriptures at that time.

As a former cradle Catholic we were never encouraged to read or study the bible “that was a Protestant thing” it was always the catechism as the rule of faith. Sure there were bible verses smattered around here and there but never the central focus of the faith in a doctrinal matter. You just focused on the CCC.

The real problem I see is when Catholics read the bible and have questions on church teaching and scripture. They inquire with their priest and are dismissed and referred back to the CCC with no real answer.

Incidentally the ECF’s are used to support church teaching and are authoritative as much as they agree with church doctrine. Is that not cherry picking in its purest form?

Personally I don’t see it as a power issue at all. It is the liberty to live out your faith in Christ as Paul laid out in Galatians 5.

Yes we certainly have differing opinions based on what we value as the real authority for truth and faith for the life of the believer.

Hi Jerico. I’m guessing your post was somewhat in response to mine. The Catechism is much like the application of scripture and you should notice that the entire Catechism has numerous quotes with references placed in them. I take it you are convinced that the Catechism is somewhat separate from the bible which goes back to my original observation for Protestant theology.

The bible is not a textbook where there is an “iron fist” rule of how you are supposed to live your life. That is how pride creeps in because it is so easy for us to read the Bible looking for a finger snap key to what we are supposed to do. Then, when someone challenges it, the boxing gloves come on. Think about the two trees in Genesis. Human logic asks why is one called the tree of knowledge of good and evil and another called the tree of life? It would be so simple to just create two trees, one good and one evil. But it is interesting to notice how good and evil is overshadowed by God with KNOWLEDGE. When we think we “know” something we gather a sense of power which always welcome evil. God wanted sole unity with Him and, as it appears to me, is the reason for the tree of life being a separate tree. Father John Corapi gave a series of talks on the Rosary and brought this to my attention.

IMHO, every single problem in this world, ranging from a simple disagreement between a husband and wife to a genocidal tyrant, is centered on these two trees.

Hi chuck you just prompted a thought how was there a even a catechism within the first 400 years without a bible to apply it to? And yes to me it is separate because it in of itself is not an infallible document.

As to scripture being a rule for life I would put forth the Torah. The literal meaning of Torah is “instruction”. So yes God is giving us His instruction for living and life. He goes on to say in Deut. 30:11-20 To keep His covenant which is written down and choose life. Also in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 is a warning from Israel’s history of how not to live and in and verse 11 says “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” Notice God has written it specifically for our benefit and instruction. To me it is clear the purpose of scripture is instructional for all facets of life and living because It reveals His nature, His love and purpose for us.

It seems to me that in the beginning the Apostles taught orally just as Jesus did and a few wrote what we call the Gospels. St. Paul preached and taught the Gospels but his Epistles are based on the Gospels and is in a sense a catechism and instruction on how to be Christ like with ethic’s and morals. his is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church is instructions based on the Gospels that Christ taught and the Apostles also taught and preached. The Catechism is also based on the OT as well. If the Catechism is fallible then so to the Gospels would be fallible is how i see it and that I do not believe since what the Catechis teaches and instructs is just what CHrist taught and the Apostles also teach and has taught handing down through the ages that same teachings Christ taught the Apostles and the Apostles in turn passed on to the Catholic Church

Of course that is what scripture is for. Whoever discouraged you from reading scripture as a Catholic by calling it a “Protestant thing” was severely in error. However, there are limits to personal interpretation. The apostles taught and selected people to carry on their mission for a reason, and obedience to these leader’s legitimate authority was expected. There was also no expectation that scripture would be the only rule of faith.

The Catechism is not superior to the Bible. It is a summary of the tenets of the faith, of authoritative takeaway from Scripture, of the tradition of the Church, and Christian life. That makes it a very important teaching tool. But is not superior to the Bible.

And, while it is a good thing for everyone to read and study the Bible, and never something to be discouraged among those who are able, it is not entirely necessary for a person to take up personal reading in order to live a good, Christian life. Much of the population was illiterate for most of Christian history, after all, and could not do so. I would never wish to undermine their faith and their Christian lives.

And of course there was Christian scripture by the end of the first century, but it was the authority of the Church to determine what was appropriate for liturgy and what wasn’t when disagreements of the text arose. It was not Jesus or the Apostles who made that decision while they walked the Earth.

jericho777;14432143

To me it seems the bible is irrelevant to the Catholic faith in as much as the catechism of the Catholic Church is the rule of faith not the bible. According to you the bible didn’t exist until 400 years after Jesus. So there were no NT scriptures to play a role in the foundation of the church. How could there be. Though I believe there certainly was NT scriptures at that time.

The Catholic Church views itself as the guardian of apostolic teaching (Tradition) and the authorized interpreter of the bible. It is such because Jesus is the head of the Church. The catechism is the crystallization of these teachings and interpretations, put into a single source for the convenience of the people. The ultimate source of the teachings in the catechism is, of course, apostolic preaching and scripture interpretation.

The Church always had scripture, from the time it was written. What is meant when it is said that the bible didn’t exist until 400 years after Jesus is that it wasn’t until the late late 300’s that a generally accepted list of which writings were inspired and which weren’t (ie a canon) came to be. Some writings were considered scripture that eventually were left out, and some were included in the canon that some considered not to be inspired. It was Church councils that decided the matter.

As a former cradle Catholic we were never encouraged to read or study the bible “that was a Protestant thing” it was always the catechism as the rule of faith. Sure there were bible verses smattered around here and there but never the central focus of the faith in a doctrinal matter. You just focused on the CCC.

This is a contemporary failing of the catechesis and also of RCIA. The scriptural basis of the catechism and doctrines is neglected. I see this as a situation based in history; way back, when nobody could read and nobody had copies of scripture anyway, it was the job of the Church to read scripture, not the people’s job. The job of the Church was to teach its understandings to the people. In any event, the people did have knowledge of scripture even if they couldn’t read, because they had the scriptures read to them in church, as a group together, and then the scripture reading explained in the sermon.

The real problem I see is when Catholics read the bible and have questions on church teaching and scripture. They inquire with their priest and are dismissed and referred back to the CCC with no real answer.

That is too bad. A lazy ignorant priest perhaps, or inertia of the Church. Inertia in that way back, when there were no printed bibles in every motel room, when the people didn’t have bibles to read on their own and come up with questions, the priests didn’t have to know how to back up doctrines from scripture. Today’s priests haven’t kept up with the times. It’s too bad, because now there are cheap bibles everywhere and we in the U.S. live in an ambient Protestant culture, where the bible is assumed to be the source of doctrine for the individual.

Incidentally the ECF’s are used to support church teaching and are authoritative as much as they agree with church doctrine. Is that not cherry picking in its purest form?

You think so? The point of quoting the ECF’s is to show that a teaching existed back then. Of course to do that you have to cherry pick.

Personally I don’t see it as a power issue at all. It is the liberty to live out your faith in Christ as Paul laid out in Galatians 5.

A cynic might say it is the desire to guide one’s own steps
.

Yes we certainly have differing opinions based on what we value as the real authority for truth and faith for the life of the believer.

Yes, I think these differing opinions are the crux of the matter. They are the real difference in mindset of the Protestant and Catholic. Authority.

The Protestant starts with scripture and derives church. The Catholic starts with church and derives scripture.

This is an important distinction. I don’t think many Catholics understand this, but it’s vital that they should. Because, for Catholics the Church exists first, is the first authority, and faith is put first into the Church, and it is only since the Church teaches that certain writings are inspired, that Catholics therefore believe the scriptures. That is what is meant by derive scripture.

The Protestant starts with scripture, puts his faith in scripture, and from reading scripture derives doctrine and assembles like minded people together and they form a church. Church is therefore secondary to scripture, that is, comes after.

For a Catholic, Jesus established His Church, then the apostles and evangelists preached and established congregations. Hence, the Church and congregations existed first, prior to the writing of Christian scriptures. The existence of Church did not depend upon reading and interpreting scripture, but upon the preaching and activity of the apostles. The gospel of the Church also did not depend upon the scriptures, because the Christian scriptures were not written yet.

However, members of the Church did write, and they wrote to and for members of the Church. This means Christian scripture was written to those who were already Christians. Here is a key point then: to properly understand scripture, one has to be a Christian to begin with! This is what Peter meant when he said, “There are things in the writings of Paul that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable wrest to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the scriptures.”

The “ignorant” are those ignorant of the Christian gospel as preached by the apostles and evangelists.

That is the situation as I see it.

I say sola scriptura cannot be practiced.

They take the Bible. That’s scripture.

Then they read it and interpret it to mean something. That’s their tradition.

Then they declare that interpretation is correct and binding on themselves - magisterium.

Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium - that’s the Catholic way, not sola scriptura.

I totally agree with the premise that sola scriptura is not biblical in any instance, and this is coming from a Protestant.

This, in my opinion, is where there might be some misunderstanding between Protestants and Catholics. The mainline Protestant Churches do not teach sola scriptura. Now, I know many Catholics would disagree with me here and possibly the non-mainline Protestants believe in sola scriptura, but the confession I belong to, does not.

I belong to the Lutheran Confession of faith. We use the scripture as our source and norm for faith and everyday life, but we do not believe in Sola Scriptura. We are constantly referring back to the great writers, mothers, fathers and doctors of the Church. We study the works of Augustine, The little flower, Martin Luther and others who have witnessed the faith and taught the faith in their writings based on sacred scripture and the Apostles and early saints.

One common source with two distinct modes of transmission (scripture and the Apostles) is common, at least in the main Lutheran confessions of the faith. Now, some Protestants believe in a dual source, one from scripture and another from the Apostles, but this is indeed un-biblical. The Apostles cannot, would not, and did not preach anything other than what was taught to them by Our Lord. The Apostles taught the true word, because they lived with , spoke with and worshipped the true word, that is Jesus, who came down from Heaven and lived among men.

So, I definitely agree with the Catholics on this forum about Sola Scriptura!

I posted this comment on a different tread in here…
"Sola Scriptura has proven how dangerous it can be with The Church of God with Signs Following and The Church of Lord Jesus with Signs Following that are Pentecostal churches that practice snake handling an based on an interpretation/sola scriptura of the following biblical passage:
Mark 16:18 “They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”

Jamie Coots was a Pentecostal pastor in Kentucky. On Coots died Feb. 15, 2014 from a rattlesnake bite during a service

If the Bible is your only source of authority, then where did the Bible come from? It did not fall from Heaven. The Church put it together. Anyone who trusts the Bible is trusting the Church which put it together. There is no book in the Bible which contains a list of which books belong in the Bible.

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