Sola Scriptura


#1

Hello Everyone!

This thread is an offshoot of the Anti-C thread. It is meant for a discussion of Sola Scriptura, as CatholicDude invited me to start another thread to discuss it with him. I will wait to see the responses posted, as I do not know exactly where CatholicDude is going to go with his argumentation.

God Bless,
Martin Luther


#2

Here’s a question I always have had. Say I write in a notebook a bunch of nice, consistent, moral stories and at the end I write “This is the inspired Word of God.” Now, simply from the text you cannot verify that it is or is not authentic. Isn’t this the same with the Bible? Don’t we have to go to an outside source to verify its authenticity? Or am I misunderstanding sola scripture? Thanks.


#3

[quote=Martin Luther]Hello Everyone!

This thread is an offshoot of the Anti-C thread. It is meant for a discussion of Sola Scriptura, as CatholicDude invited me to start another thread to discuss it with him. I will wait to see the responses posted, as I do not know exactly where CatholicDude is going to go with his argumentation.

God Bless,
Martin Luther
[/quote]

I cant quite remember what we were going to ask, so Ill start off with a few questions:

1)How do you know what books are “supposed” to be in the Bible
2)How do you define SS?
3)Under what Authority do you teach/interpret the Bible?
4)Why are there so many divisions if many Prots go by SS?
5)How did people know what to believe before there was a Bible (as we know the Bible today)?


#4

Being Jewish, I have always had a problem with the concept of Sola Scriptura, and I have always thought that there is a very good religio-historical argument against it.

Now I think we can all agree that Judaism is the foundation upon which Christianity of all types is built. After all the Christian bible contains both an Old (Jewish) Testament and a New (Christian) Testament. And Jesus and the Apostles and (especially) St Paul were all brought up as Jews and had a firm grasp of Jewish Tradition.

That said Judaism has always had written law, the Torah, i.e. the first five books of the Old Testament. And it has an oral law, Mishnah, that expounds on and explains Torah. By way of an example there is a verse in Leviticus (unfortunately I don’t have a Bible handy so I can’t give an exact verse cite) that says “Thou shalt not scald a kid * in its mother’s milk.” This is Torah. Mishnah expands on that verse to provide a great deal of the basics of the kashruth food laws, namely things like not cooking meat in milk, not eating dairy foods and meat at the same meal, keeping separate dishes and utensils for cooking and eating meat or dairy, etc.

So to recap, at the time of Jesus and the early Church there was a written law and and an oral law. And this is key, the oral law was not written down until around the 3rd or 4th century AD, where it became the basis for later Talmudic commentary.

Therefore since Jesus and the Apostles and St Paul were all Jews coming out of a Jewish tradition, it logically follows that the early Church would follow Jewish tradition and have it’s own written law (the Gospels and the Epistles) as well as it’s own oral law (Tradition).

Thank you,
arthur*


#5

aisb,

Thanks, that was a great intro. There is an Orthodox Jew in these forums named StillSmallVoice, you should meet up. I was talking to him about the same exact issues as what you said. One key thing I learned is that the Oral Torah and Written Torah are inseparable.


#6

I’m familiar with StillSmallVoice and enjoy reading his posts, though I’m not orthodix either.

And yes I probably wasn’t clear, Written and Oral law were given at the same time, though like I said Oral law wasn’t written down until the 3rd or 4th centuries.


#7

There are about 36,000 (or is it 360,000?) types of Protestant Churches, all with their own teaching and beliefs of the Bible. Sola Scripture just does not cut it, I grew up on Sola Scripture and as I got older and learned more about Christianity I began to see that everyone had their own interpritation. It lead me to confusion.

Having grown up in that faith, I know Protestants mean well, however I feel like I have only received half of the teachings I need to learn. I feel unfullfilled and that is partly what led me to Catholocism.


#8

[quote=Shinobu]There are about 36,000 (or is it 360,000?) types of Protestant Churches, all with their own teaching and beliefs of the Bible. Sola Scripture just does not cut it, I grew up on Sola Scripture and as I got older and learned more about Christianity I began to see that everyone had their own interpritation. It lead me to confusion.

Having grown up in that faith, I know Protestants mean well, however I feel like I have only received half of the teachings I need to learn. I feel unfullfilled and that is partly what led me to Catholocism.
[/quote]

There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Prots think Catholics worship Mary and Catholics think there are 36,000 beliefs.
Now even within the RC Church there are people who go to mass every week and yet are mis-educated and think things like the Immaculate Conception is about the birth of Jesus and confuse it with the Virgin Birth…

So what exactly are those 36,000 or 360,000 different teachings. Could someone please list the differences?

.


#9

[quote=ruzz]There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Prots think Catholics worship Mary and Catholics think there are 36,000 beliefs.
Now even within the RC Church there are people who go to mass every week and yet are mis-educated and think things like the Immaculate Conception is about the birth of Jesus and confuse it with the Virgin Birth…

So what exactly are those 36,000 or 360,000 different teachings. Could someone please list the differences?

.
[/quote]

The fact that there is more than one shows the need for an authority to say which interpretation is true. Some examples of discrepancies are rapture vs. no rapture, baptism vs. no baptism, hell vs. no hell, and OSAS vs. not OSAS.

As for that number, it probably includes all the independent non-denoms.


#10

[quote=Catholic Dude]I cant quite remember what we were going to ask, so Ill start off with a few questions:

1)How do you know what books are “supposed” to be in the Bible
[/quote]

This is a great question. We know there were many many other writings that either were destroyed or were lost that never made it into the bible. The church decided what was authentic and I guess what was relevant to be included as scripture. I’m sure Paul’s grocery list wasn’t revelant and wasn’t considered scripture. But who knows what else was lost.

3)Under what Authority do you teach/interpret the Bible?

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. How did the Jews keep their religion straight for thousands of years without a single authority?

4)Why are there so many divisions if many Prots go by SS?

What are they divided over? Are the divisions simple ones like is speaking in tongues still alive today or serious ones like how does one achieve salvation? If they don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the savior who died on the cross for our sins, then I’d say that’s a major division.

5)How did people know what to believe before there was a Bible (as we know the Bible today)?

Another good question. Before the bible was made available in written form to the public, there was massive confusion. Oral teachings had to be constantly corrected. Good thing for the Catholic church to be a single place to keep people from really getting off track. We owe the Church a great deal of gratitude for keeping whacko sects from flourishing like the Gnostics.

.


#11

[quote=Genesis315]The fact that there is more than one shows the need for an authority to say which interpretation is true. Some examples of discrepancies are rapture vs. no rapture, baptism vs. no baptism, hell vs. no hell, and OSAS vs. not OSAS.

As for that number, it probably includes all the independent non-denoms.
[/quote]

The rapture is what it is no matter what we think.

However, SALVATION is probably the ONLY thing we humans really need to worry about while we walk around on this planet.

If they teach salvation is NOT through Jesus Christ, I’d be concerned about their doctrine. The rest is not nearly as important.

If they have 36,000 ideas about salvation, then there is some major division.

.


#12

[quote=ruzz]This is a great question. We know there were many many other writings that either were destroyed or were lost that never made it into the bible. The church decided what was authentic and I guess what was relevant to be included as scripture. I’m sure Paul’s grocery list wasn’t revelant and wasn’t considered scripture. But who knows what else was lost.

Another good question. Before the bible was made available in written form to the public, there was massive confusion. Oral teachings had to be constantly corrected. Good thing for the Catholic church to be a single place to keep people from really getting off track. We owe the Church a great deal of gratitude for keeping whacko sects from flourishing like the Gnostics.

.
[/quote]

Ruzz, you may be closet-Catholic :slight_smile: Anyway, you know how some people say Tradtion and Scripture contradict? Why would the Church, when deciding on the canon, choose books that contradicted what she was already teaching? This just seems to be a common sense issue that says that the Church’s interpretation is correct and there is no contradiction.


#13

[quote=ruzz]The rapture is what it is no matter what we think.

However, SALVATION is probably the ONLY thing we humans really need to worry about while we walk around on this planet.

If they teach salvation is NOT through Jesus Christ, I’d be concerned about their doctrine. The rest is not nearly as important.

If they have 36,000 ideas about salvation, then there is some major division.

.
[/quote]

What about three ideas, like OSAS and that it’s possible to lose one’s salvation or calvinism. Someone might think they are saved forever after their sinner’s prayer and then commit some mortal sin and think they are still saved. Likewise, a calvinist thinks it’s all predetermined anyway so it doesn’t matter what he does. Likewise, what if baptism is necessary and a group refuses it? These seem important to me.


#14

[quote=Genesis315]What about three ideas, like OSAS and that it’s possible to lose one’s salvation or calvinism. Someone might think they are saved forever after their sinner’s prayer and then commit some mortal sin and think they are still saved. Likewise, a calvinist thinks it’s all predetermined anyway so it doesn’t matter what he does. Likewise, what if baptism is necessary and a group refuses it? These seem important to me.
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t know what OSAS means.

Can you explain?


#15

[quote=ruzz]I’m sorry, I don’t know what OSAS means.

Can you explain?
[/quote]

Sorry, haha, I remember when I was the one confused by all the acronyms on these pages:o . Once saved always saved. So once you “accept Jesus as your personal savior” you can never lose your salvation, no matter what you do.

The theory is that since you didn’t merit your salvation you cannot dis-merit it, so to speak…


#16

OSAS=Eternal security or “Once Saved, Always Saved”


#17

[quote=aisb23]Being Jewish, I have always had a problem with the concept of Sola Scriptura, and I have always thought that there is a very good religio-historical argument against it.

Now I think we can all agree that Judaism is the foundation upon which Christianity of all types is built. After all the Christian bible contains both an Old (Jewish) Testament and a New (Christian) Testament. And Jesus and the Apostles and (especially) St Paul were all brought up as Jews and had a firm grasp of Jewish Tradition.

That said Judaism has always had written law, the Torah, i.e. the first five books of the Old Testament. And it has an oral law, Mishnah, that expounds on and explains Torah. By way of an example there is a verse in Leviticus (unfortunately I don’t have a Bible handy so I can’t give an exact verse cite) that says “Thou shalt not scald a kid * in its mother’s milk.” This is Torah*. Mishnah expands on that verse to provide a great deal of the basics of the kashruth food laws, namely things like not cooking meat in milk, not eating dairy foods and meat at the same meal, keeping separate dishes and utensils for cooking and eating meat or dairy, etc.

So to recap, at the time of Jesus and the early Church there was a written law and and an oral law. And this is key, the oral law was not written down until around the 3rd or 4th century AD, where it became the basis for later Talmudic commentary.

Therefore since Jesus and the Apostles and St Paul were all Jews coming out of a Jewish tradition, it logically follows that the early Church would follow Jewish tradition and have it’s own written law (the Gospels and the Epistles) as well as it’s own oral law (Tradition).

Thank you,
arthur

Shalom Aleichem.

Welcome. This is somewhat off topic, but I have always wanted to ask how the Jewish tradition views the Maccabees, Sirach and the other deuterocanonical books. Are they viewed as holy books, lesser holy books, or not sacred at all?

Be well.
[/quote]


#18

[quote=Genesis315]Ruzz, you may be closet-Catholic :slight_smile: Anyway, you know how some people say Tradtion and Scripture contradict? Why would the Church, when deciding on the canon, choose books that contradicted what she was already teaching? This just seems to be a common sense issue that says that the Church’s interpretation is correct and there is no contradiction.
[/quote]

Well, if the books that were chosen for canon (our bible) could only be interpreted one single way, we would have no division today would we? The church probably viewed them the same as they do today. I’ll tell you, I’ve seen debates on both sides of the same scripture and both sides make legitimate points when viewed from that side. In my opinion, the overall message in all the books of the canonized bible is vastly more important than the debated issues of a few verses. I’m sure the early church leaders saw that too and didn’t get hung up on some ambiguity. After all, they would be interpreting and teaching it all.

There was no printing press in the first 1500 years of Christianity. Any books canonized were only available through a heirarchy of the Church. It was a different world from today where we have such easy access to information. We forget that the powers that be held tight control over scripture and its interpretation. The orginal Greek texts were not readily available. Therefore, interpretation and oral teaching was much more important then reading the Greek text back then.

All in all, I’d say they did a fine job in preserving the scriptures. However, part of me always wonders what else was written that either got destroyed or was excluded for what may have seemed like legitimate reasons at the time. Who knows? There may have been some books excluded because it contradicted the current teachings. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was deliberate, but it could have directly contradicted with current practices and therefore ruled not authentic or a forgery.

I wish we had more scripture. It might shed more light on things. Maybe brings sects back together.

.


#19

[quote=Ignatius]Shalom Aleichem.

Welcome. This is somewhat off topic, but I have always wanted to ask how the Jewish tradition views the Maccabees, Sirach and the other deuterocanonical books. Are they viewed as holy books, lesser holy books, or not sacred at all?

Be well.
[/quote]

Well it’s not really an area I consider myself expert on. I know they were part of the Septuagint and considered canon at the time of Jesus, but later (again around 3rd or 4th century) the Masoretic text which doesn’t include them became the accepted Jewish canon. As to the hows and whys of that decision, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer.

Obviously 1st Maccabees in particular has to have some accepted religious component as we have a holiday (Hannukah) built around the events in it. But I really don’t feel competent to answer the subject at length.


#20

ruzz,

First of all, I’ve never seen a non-Catholic make the Catholic argument about the printing press and the need for a teaching authority before. Are you sure you don’t want to come home;) ?

It’s true that both sides make rational interpretations, that’s where the problem lies. If it was an open and shut case there would be no disagreement. For example, I think John 6 supports the Real Presence much more than symbolism, but I can see how it’s not totally absurd for a smart person to also interpret it as symbolic. So who is right? (this is a big deal). How do we know?

Sure it would be nice to have more books in the Bible, but God gave us enough because He knew Jesus founded a living teaching authority to keep things clear, or so us Catholics believe. The Bible even has stories of people needing help reading Scripture.

We believe the right interpretation has been passed down from the beginning though the Church.


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