Sola Scriptura Silence

Hi there everyone.

Anyway, to start off, I’ve been having some problems recently. Back nearly a year ago was when I decided to leave protestantism behind, and go towards Catholicism. (But, at the present time, I am unable to be baptized. :frowning: Yet, that is.) The past few weeks, though, I realized that I hadn’t prayed and asked God if Catholicism is the way. (I feel as if I need that confirmation) Now I find myself afraid to ask for the truth, because Catholicism makes me so glad, and it’s so much… fuller. I don’t want protestantism to be true.

But now for my real question:
One of the obvious flaws Catholics point out in the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (myself included) is that the Bible never says that the Bible alone is our authority.
Then I got thinking: Should the Bible say that? Why?

Let’s take Jesus (ie the gospels) and the Epistles, which never say anything explicit about Sola Scriptura. Scripture being our sole authority as opposed to something else was never a matter of debate among Christians then. Why should they have said anything about it? I mean, the epistles were written to address issues of the time (For instance, Paul’s talk of the Lord’s Supper didn’t say much explicit about how we should to it: It was to address the problem that people were eating their own meals during that time.).

So I’m unsure… The matter of authority was not a problem back then, and Scripture was quoted frequently and spoken of as “God-breathed”, the way one would speak of it if they held it as the sole authority. Is the silence of Sola Scriptura meaningful? Are the protestants right??

So confused…

God Bless.

Ask yourself what was authoritative for the N.T. Church. I believe you can find it in the N.T.
One verse which tells us is:
2 Thess. 2:15- So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
Now, who holds to this verse, Protestants or Catholics?

Thanks for your response, baddog.

But I think what I’m looking more for are details on the Silence of Sola Scriptura, not on what the Bible says about Tradition (a different topic).

God Bless.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1Tim 3:15

The Church is to be our authority, not scripture or tradition directly. Otherwise, you run into the same problem that Sola Scriptura adherents can’t escape, one “authority” with many different interpretations of it.

Maybe this is what you are looking for? That the New Testament wasn’t completed for a couple hundred years until after Christ lived, died, and was resurrected? Christ never instituted Sola Scriptura? That Sola Scripture was instituted by a mere man named Martin Luther who didn’t really intend to make another Christian faith? He died very much a Catholic which is the ironic thing. Also protestant theology is very faulty because it has resulted in 30,000 different denominations which are very different from one another and vastly different from what the early Christians practiced. I hope that helps

Wow! That is a truly amazing coincidence. That’s the 3,957th time today someone has has quoted that number to me, so it Must be accurate. :hmmm:

I don’t think the number is of much importance. The fact that there are more than one is enough evidence :wink:

JJ-

First off, I would say “go ahead and ask.” God honors a sincere prayer - though I think He already has by giving you the joy you feel as you experience the fullness of the Church.

Next, I fear that you cannot find precisely what you are looking for because it seems to me that you’re looking for a witness to silence, which is a contradiction - if the topic were mentioned, there would be no silence.

And, I think the verses people have already offered do not just support tradition but show that it was not “just” the written Word (nor could it have been, obviously, since it didn’t exist and how could the Church have grown and spread for those first 100 years (not even mentioning the two+ further centuries before the canon was set).

But most importantly, look to the Great Commission - “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

No mention there of the Scriptures at all. In fact, it’s all about apostolic authority.

Finally, I would suggest that you not be surprised at the “cold feet” experience. The Prince of Lies would love to convince you that you’re making a mistake. . . .

Agreed. One rebellion is quite enough…or quite too much.

Peace.

[quote=JJ59]But now for my real question:

One of the obvious flaws Catholics point out in the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (myself included) is that the Bible never says that the Bible alone is our authority.

Then I got thinking: Should the Bible say that? Why?
[/quote]

Exactly. Why should it?

[quote=JJ59]Let’s take Jesus (ie the gospels) and the Epistles, which never say anything explicit about Sola Scriptura. Scripture being our sole authority as opposed to something else was never a matter of debate among Christians then. Why should they have said anything about it? I mean, the epistles were written to address issues of the time (For instance, Paul’s talk of the Lord’s Supper didn’t say much explicit about how we should to it: It was to address the problem that people were eating their own meals during that time.).

So I’m unsure… The matter of authority was not a problem back then, and Scripture was quoted frequently and spoken of as “God-breathed”, the way one would speak of it if they held it as the sole authority. Is the silence of Sola Scriptura meaningful? ***Are the protestants right??

So confused…

God Bless.***Yes, the reformers were right. Sola Scriptura, and all of the solas, came about because of the reformers belief that the visible Church, at that time, was corrupt, and those who followed them believed that it remained corrupt. I agree with them.

The reformers were aware that the words sola scriptura weren’t in the Scripture, but also, they were keenly aware that the scriptures were the only true repository of God’s revelation to man, and that they were the means God had ordained to lead sinners into the truth and to guide Christians in their daily lives. Many scripture passages attest to that. Christ Himself, held all of the Jews to the teachings of Moses and the prophets—another name for the OT.

Another argument you’ll hear is, the NT wasn’t canonized until long after the death of Christ, and the apostles. That is true, and the reformers knew that, they were CATHOLICS! They also knew that the writings of the NT were in circulation well before they were assembled as the NT.

Next you’ll hear, the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. But what is a pillar and foundation if not that which holds up the truth found in God’s written revelation.

Furthermore, you’ll hear that the apostles taught oral tradition, and 2 Thess 2:15 is cited as proof of that.

Anyone caring more about truth, than about some overused and faulty apologetic, would take the time to read the entire chapter and beyond.

In so doing, one finds that Paul states, in writing, the oral teachings he already delivered to the Thessalonians.

In v1, the oral teaching concerns the Coming of our Lord, and our gathering to Him, and Paul reminds them that he had told that to them before in person v5. Regarding the holding to traditions in v15, one finds the other oral teaching already delivered in v 6, keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life. That’s a clearly written teaching throughout scripture.

With respect to the RCs oral tradition, the inference is that it somehow differs from that which was written by the apostles. That being the case, the burden of proof is upon the Church to substantiate that claim. But I’ve yet to have any Catholic provide a list of unwritten oral tradition, taught by any apostle. It can’t be done. :hmmm:

(continued)
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(continued from 10)

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Anyway, here’s a link to the Founders Journal, with the section on sola scriptura below.

Sola Scriptura
The Scriptures Alone
It was to the Scriptures that everything must rise or fall. “God rejects, condemns, abominates,” voices Calvin, “all fictitious worship, and employs his Word as a bridle to keep us in unqualified obedience.” Tradition and decretals must come under the scrutiny of the light of God’s Word and be judged thereby. Like the prophet Isaiah says it was “to the Law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20 NKJV).

You cannot read the writings of the Reformers without becoming profoundly aware of their reliance on the infallible Scriptures. Though they were quite conversant with the patristic Fathers and “traditions,” the Word of God permeated their writing and was everything to them. Having lived so long in the darkness of human tradition, they, like the Psalmist, found the Word of God to be their chief delight (see Psalm 119:16). Not only was it their chief delight, it was their sword and shield with which they pierced the hearts of their enemies and defended themselves again the Adversary’s onslaughts. It was their battering ram by which they knocked down the walls of falsehood. It was the foundation upon which they built all their beliefs and the standard by which everything was to be judged. The Holy Bible was their only rule of faith and practice. The Reformers’ primary complaint against the theologians and polemicists, who attacked them, was the Romanists’ neglect of Scripture. In his reply to the papal bull condemning Lutheran doctrine, Luther wrote, ”… this bull condemns me from its own word without any proof from Scripture, whereas I back up all my assertions from the Bible. I ask thee, [BLEEP], dost thou think that with thy naked words thou canst prevail against the armor of Scripture?”

I will never forget attending a missions conference and hearing a noted Reformed Baptist speaker ask this question, “Above all others, what is the one point that all Calvinists wish to get across to men?” While he momentarily paused, I thought to myself, “What could it be? Is it the sovereignty of God? Unconditional election? Particular redemption? The glory of Christ? What? Surely it must be one of these.” Quickly he answered his rhetorical question with this reply, “The one point, above all others, the Calvinist wishes to get across to men is this: the Word of God, all of the Word of God and it alone!” Not part of the Word, or some of the Word of God, or most of the Word, but all of the Word of God. The Scripture, and it alone, is the means God has ordained to lead sinners into the way of life and Christians into the path of blessing.

This is what the Reformers desired above everything else. They longed for everyone, from the Pope to the plowman, from the King to the kitchen scullion, from the magistrate to the maid to submit to the government and rule of all of the Word of God and it alone. Hence, Sola Scriptura!

So you believe that our God is a changing God? One year He opposes artificial contraception, the next moment He doesn’t? One moment He opposes homosexual marriage, the next moment He loves it? Protestant religions change constantly. Anyone, even an atheist, can interpret scripture passages for their own benefit. What makes them any better than the Church you claim has been corrupted? Where is the unity? If the Catholic Church is wrong and the Protestant faiths are wrong (it’s unfair to say they are right), then Christianity is a bogus religion. Not all of them can be right. Only one my friend, only one.

You should not walk “blindly” into Catholicism, do investigate and study and pray beforehand.

But now for my real question:
One of the obvious flaws Catholics point out in the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (myself included) is that the Bible never says that the Bible alone is our authority.
Then I got thinking: Should the Bible say that? Why?

No because the Bible is 73 different books, ranging from history to poetry to theology to one page friendly greetings…all written at different times to different people by different people. It could not summarily say “all these books are your sole authority.”

Also, God never intended an individualized Israelite Nation or Church, there were authorities all along the way. Tradition was the glue allowing for a written tradition anyway, for the Jews were passing on circumcision 450 years before any Scripture was ever written down.

To APPROACH the Bible presuming Sola Scriptura is begging the question. Sola Scriptura states** if it aint in the Scriptures, it aint doctrine**. So asking IF Scripture needs to even say SS is already cut off at the roots.

Let’s take Jesus (ie the gospels) and the Epistles, which never say anything explicit about Sola Scriptura. Scripture being our sole authority as opposed to something else was never a matter of debate among Christians then. Why should they have said anything about it? I mean, the epistles were written to address issues of the time (For instance, Paul’s talk of the Lord’s Supper didn’t say much explicit about how we should to it: It was to address the problem that people were eating their own meals during that time.).

So I’m unsure… The matter of authority was not a problem back then, and Scripture was quoted frequently and spoken of as “God-breathed”, the way one would speak of it if they held it as the sole authority. Is the silence of Sola Scriptura meaningful? Are the protestants right??

The Protestants are wrong not only because their OWN DEFINITION of Sola Scriptura demands the doctrine be taught in Scripture, but what is even worse is they set up a false dilemma in the form of “It’s either Infallible Scripture OR Infallible Church” saying there can only be one “final authority.” But that is a category mistake. If you were a painter, would it be logical to ask if the brush is more important than the paint? They are BOTH necessary and both serve DIFFERENT functions, they are complimentary. They can NEVER be in a power struggle to be ‘better’ than the other, and yet that is the false problem Protestants devise.

Yes, and we have seen the consequences. A divided house each with their own set of traditions.

JJ59 Keep looking. I think it is so important to continue your knowledge of the Catholic teaching. God will take care of the rest. I respect your questions.
I think many of the Catholics on this thread have made good points.
I do think that we sometimes come across as polarized whether there is a Catholic or Protestant view. The main thing is God wants us to follow him. The study of scripture and of our historic Christian teaching is so invaluable.
You may already know that John Calvin, Martin Luther and others actually disagreed on what the meaning of scripture was…Today we have those who consider themselves 5 point or 4 point Calvinists. It is fascinating to see so many different denominations and to consider what they teach and why. I sometimes think it comes across as a Joke when someone states that this is what the bible teaches versus this is what the Catholic Church teaches. If there is no significant agreement on what the bible teaches then how can any protestant Christian make those kind of statements with any certainty.

Many Blessings
Doolin

JJ59,
I actually believe that Scripture itself does refute the idea of Sola Scriptura. Besides some of the earlier quoted verses, look at the beginning and end of the Gospel of John:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” (John 21:25)

As both John 1:1 and the Catholic Catechism state (in article 101), Jesus is “the Word of the eternal Father…” Scripture itself states that it simply cannot contain everything that Jesus, the Word, did or taught.

rocketrob

On the level of pure logic, if you claim that the Bible is the sole inerrant rule of faith for the believer, then by what authority do you make that claim? The Bible itself never makes this claim. And that is the point: if the Bible is the sole authority but you have to accept this fact on the authority of someone or something other than scripture itself, then the idea of sola scriptura is self-refuting because you have the Bible AND this other doctrine (sola scriptura) which must also be accepted. Thus, the Bible is not alone; it is inextricably bound to the extra-biblical doctrine of sola scriptura.

Let’s take Jesus (ie the gospels) and the Epistles, which never say anything explicit about Sola Scriptura. Scripture being our sole authority as opposed to something else was never a matter of debate among Christians then. Why should they have said anything about it? I mean, the epistles were written to address issues of the time (For instance, Paul’s talk of the Lord’s Supper didn’t say much explicit about how we should to it: It was to address the problem that people were eating their own meals during that time.).

Jesus clearly established the Twelve and Peter in particular as the leaders of the early Church. Consequently, it would seem likely that IF Jesus envisioned or willed that the Bible would be the sole authority at some future date, he might have mentioned something to us at some point, don’t you think? However, Jesus did not say, “Go, therefore, and write books…”. He said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples…”.

So I’m unsure… The matter of authority was not a problem back then, and Scripture was quoted frequently and spoken of as “God-breathed”, the way one would speak of it if they held it as the sole authority. Is the silence of Sola Scriptura meaningful? Are the protestants right??

No, the Protestants are not right. Sola scriptura was a necessary consequence of Luther’s theology. He rejected the teaching authority or magisterium of the Catholic Church and the Sacred Tradition, as well. Thus, he was left with the Bible alone.

But here is a question: did any of the Apostles practice sola scriptura during their lifetimes?

No? Then this is not Apostolic, is it?

Hmmm…the Bible points to the Church and to Tradition and NOT to itself.

That seems significant somehow…

If you are told 3,957 times a day that there are 50 states in the US, would you doubt it simply because of the repetition?

Maybe the reason you hear the same number repeated is because it is an accurate count.

But look, here is the documentation:

bringyou.to/apologetics/a106.htm

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