Sola Scriptura


#1

Hi Everyone

I need your help. I’ve been trying to defend why we Catholics do not just rely on the Bible alone but also Sacred Tradition.

I received this response from someone and would be grateful for any help in answering this.

Why does the RCC insist that they know better than God? Relying on the traditions of men rather than God’s own Word is in essence saying you know more or better than God. Men have proved to be corrupt. The church has proved to be corrupt on and off over the years. God’s Word is inerrant. Why would anyone want to rely on fallible traditions of men when they can rely on Holy Scripture breathed from God himself?

Many thanks
Kathy
**

**


#2

[quote=WILKM]Hi Everyone

I need your help. I’ve been trying to defend why we Catholics do not just rely on the Bible alone but also Sacred Tradition.

I received this response from someone and would be grateful for any help in answering this.

Why does the RCC insist that they know better than God? Relying on the traditions of men rather than God’s own Word is in essence saying you know more or better than God. Men have proved to be corrupt. The church has proved to be corrupt on and off over the years. God’s Word is inerrant. Why would anyone want to rely on fallible traditions of men when they can rely on Holy Scripture breathed from God himself?

Many thanks
Kathy

[/quote]

Ask the question “where within the Scriptures are a list of books that are inspired and belong in the Bible?” They can’t find one (table of contents do not count…haha). Coming from a Protestant background, that answer was enough to stop me dead in my tracks. The answer to it is, the Bible itself is a tradition.

DU


#3

I’m by no means an accomplished apologist, in fact only a beginner, but perhaps I would say to agree with him. :wink:

"Relying on the traditions of men rather than God’s own Word is in essence saying you know more or better than God. Men have proved to be corrupt."

This is absolutely right. What your friend isn’t realizing is that Sola Scriptora is a tradition of man (started during the Reformation by Martin Luther) and to rely on one’s own interpetation rather than the Church Christ built on the Apostles seems to me to say we know better than God. And, as the ever-dividing Protestant denominations exemplify, men have proved to be corrupt. The one Catholic Church is so because we rely on the Holy Spirit through the Magesterium to give us the correct interpretations of Scripture.

**
**

The church has proved to be corrupt on and off over the years.

**

Yeah, the Church has gone through some rough times with corruption. But if anything else, this PROVES that this is God’s Church because it’s still standing after attacks from without and corruption from within. “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18)

I hope I answered everything well and correctly, good luck with your friend and God bless!**


#4

Hi Kathy,

There is one simple answer to all this: How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? (No bible quotes allowed to answer this!) Our Sunday School Teacher told us? Our Minister? Our Mom and Dad?

When we reflect on this, it becomes obvious that there is a need for an authority that has received a mandate from God to tell apart the words of men from the word of God. This we call the Church, bearer of God’s revelation transmitted by Christ to the apostles. Some of this tradition has been written down by the apostles or others who reflected their thought. Some of it has been transmitted down through the ages. in other ways.

Verbum


#5

The “Word” that was breathed from God is “Jesus”–not “Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts…” and “the Word” (Jesus) himself “breathed” on the Apostles in the upper room (John 20:22)–imparting the Holy Spirit to them–“inspiring” them. Further, the Bible itself says to “hold fast to traditions” (1 Cor. 11:2 & 2 Thess. 2:15) it says to shun those not acting according to tradition (2 Thess. 3:6) and it further says in 2 Tim 2:2 that what was heard was to be entrusted to faithful men to teach and in Rom. 10:17 it says faith comes from what is heard which comes from Christ.

There are many more verses that contradict Bible alone.

The most clear argument against Sola Scriptura is Scripture itself. How did the early Christians learn the Faith if it was not through oral tradition? And then when the books were gathered together and the Canon decided–who did it?–The faithful protectors of the oral tradition and the deposit of Faith–the Catholic Church.


#6

That lovely God-breathed Holy Scripture came about how?
Did the Holy Spirit leave the 11 and Mary their individual Bibles (minus, of course, those pesky “Catholic” books) on Pentecost?

Just how did Christianity manage from A.D. 33 to A.D. 382?
Just how did Joe and Jane Averagechristian manage from A.D. 382 to A.D. 1455 (Gutenberg Bible, first PRINTED Bible) to A.D. 1611 (you guessed it, KJV) --although those pesky Catholics had THEIR Douay Rheims printed in 1609 and 1610 :smiley: ?

Further consider that even after the early 17th century (yes, 1600s are the 17th century, not the 16th century), the literacy rates for Joe and Jane were low, very low, and the average working person could not afford even a relatively “cheap” written Bible.

I love the Bible. I have read it through more than once; in fact, I read it through in its entirety three times per year. (That’s with those “extra” books, too). I feel as though I put on spiritual “Armor” when I start my day with a section from the Historical books, a psalm, a section from the Wisdom books, a section from the prophets, a section from the gospels, and a section from the letters.

But–God be praised–in ADDITION to the wonders of His inerrant word (yes, I believe it is inerrant)–He has given us, through HIS Church, through the efforts of those wonderful early Christians who did not have the benefit of that full (extra books and all), easily available Bible, who didn’t have the benefits of our education and literacy, but who had though the apostolic succession and the rich deposit of Sacred Tradition and the teachings (guided by the Holy Spirit, who continues to this day to lead us) of the Magesterium the ADDITIONAL graces which taken WITH His Word, through the Church OF His Word, Christ Jesus. . .the FULLNESS of TRUTH.

The Bible AND Sacred Tradition. The written AND the oral teachings spoken of by Paul to Timothy and preserved through the Church of Christ–the Catholic Church. Praise God!


#7

Thank you so much everyone. This forum is wonderful!


#8

[quote=WILKM]Hi Everyone

I need your help. I’ve been trying to defend why we Catholics do not just rely on the Bible alone but also Sacred Tradition.

I received this response from someone and would be grateful for any help in answering this.

Why does the RCC insist that they know better than God? Relying on the traditions of men rather than God’s own Word is in essence saying you know more or better than God. Men have proved to be corrupt. The church has proved to be corrupt on and off over the years. God’s Word is inerrant. Why would anyone want to rely on fallible traditions of men when they can rely on Holy Scripture breathed from God himself?

Many thanks
Kathy

[/quote]

Consider the case of two sincere people, who both love God equally, are equally intelligent, have an equal level of education, and they each take all Scripture into account.

As often happens, these two individuals nevertheless come to two mutually exclusive interpretations on some matter of faith or morality.

Doesn’t this show the invalidity of the tradition of “Sola Scriptura”, or going by your own individual interpretation of the Bible as your sole final authority to arrive at truths of faith and morality?

geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/staplessolascriptura.html
geocities.com/thecatholicconvert/solascriptura21.html


#9

Jesus left us a Church - not a book. There was no bible for the first 300 years after Jesus’ death. How did the people learn the faith? The Apostles, who Jesus “breathed” on and instructed for 3 years and then instructed intensely before He ascended into heaven, spread the faith by teaching - word of mouth! They “laid hands on” (ordained) others to teach also and take their place after they were gone so the faith could be passed on with authority knowing that they would teach the truth of what Jesus had taught them (apostolic succession).

As they went around the known world at the time, they would occasionally write a letter to one of their “churches” to explain further or correct some misunderstanding or to even praise the people for standing fast to what they been taught. There was no bible for the first 300 years! The inerrant word of God was given by word of mouth! The bible IS a tradition of the Church! Do you honestly think that only letters we have in the bible is ALL they wrote? How much more was destroyed. or lost? Do you think that what was in those letters was forgetten about? No, what was in those letters was passed on anyway because they learned it from someone who had been taught by the Aposltes or someone very close or who had been ordained by them or one of their successors.

When the bible came into being, it was the Church and her leaders (the bishops that were ordained by the Apostles and their successors), the Magesterium, that gathered all the writings of the teachers of the faith together and decided, on a set criteria, what was to be considered inspired and what was not. It was that Church that put those writings together in the form of a “book” - la biblia - The Bible. This first happened in 382 at the Synod of Rome. That same collection of writings was again reiterated at the Synod of Hippo and Carthage (in the 390’s, I think). At the Council of Trent in 1215, the council again restated that same set of inspired books of the bible.

The Word of God has long been understood to mean written and word of mouth. Think of the prophets - they didn’t give their words only after having written them down. They are now, but that was hundereds of years later that they were written. Tradition has been around since the beginning of salvation history and for Protestants to discard Tradition is to discard alot of what God meant for us to have. It’s as if the time before Jesus did happen or is of no value. Nothing in the OT is of any use - it was all wiped out after Jesus! Hogwash! I know we humans need proof before we believe, but they get ridiculous about it.

Tradition will not contradict Scripture and Scriptur will not contradict Tradition becasue Scripture is a Tradition of the Church. The bible is a collection of the Catholic Chruch’s traditions written down!


#10

[quote=WILKM]Hi Everyone

I need your help. I’ve been trying to defend why we Catholics do not just rely on the Bible alone but also Sacred Tradition.

I received this response from someone and would be grateful for any help in answering this.

Why does the RCC insist that they know better than God? Relying on the traditions of men rather than God’s own Word is in essence saying you know more or better than God. Men have proved to be corrupt. The church has proved to be corrupt on and off over the years. God’s Word is inerrant. Why would anyone want to rely on fallible traditions of men when they can rely on Holy Scripture breathed from God himself?

Many thanks
Kathy

[/quote]

Because it is an unbiblical ‘doctrine of man’. The Bible says that scripture is useful for teaching, admonishing, etc. It does not say that only scripture (sola scriptura) is necessary. A book needs correct interpretation to be used properly. The problem with the false doctrine of sola scriptura is that it allows people to wildly misinterpret the Sacred Scriptures so that different people reading the same scripture come up with diametrically opposed conclusions. One of the denominations must be wrong, yet they both claim guidance of the Holy Spirit. This leads to divisions, which is why there are so many thousands of protestant denominations. Jesus only founded one Church, gave it the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, said what it bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail in heaven. That Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth which, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, declared infallibly which books are the inerrant word of God and delivered the Holy Scripture undefiled down through the millennia. It is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Protestants did not even exist until the 16th century. They got the New Testament from the Catholic Church and have been misinterpreting it ever since.

Let us pray for them that their eyes may be opened and they be led to the Pillar and Foundation of Truth.

May the peace of Christ be with you.


#11

The sola scriptura position frames every biblical word equally - as coming straight from the Mouth of God; however, does not Paul himself state in his letter to the Corinthians:

I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy (1 Corinthians 7:25)

He has essentially put forth that the opinion in this instance is, in fact, NOT God’s word but rather his own. Now the response to this could be that all scripture is divinely inspired and not necessarily the utterances of God verbatim. Certainly we know this to be true, but why is it then so difficult to accept that, if God inspired fallible men to put to paper His infallible word, why could He not also have inspired fallible men to hand down holy tradition?


#12

Give him a test.

  1. What is the “the pillar and ground of the truth”
    a. the Bible
    b. the Church

1 Timothy 3:15 - But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the **church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth **.

  1. All that Jesus did was
    a. Written in a book (the Bible)
    b. Deposited with His Church?

John 21:25 - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Luke 24: 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight

  1. That we might understand the Scriptures, Jesus
    a. inspired the writing of the Bible, (which of course is self interperting)
    b. left His Church after teaching (orally) His Church (Apostles) all which is written concerning Him

Luke 24:44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures
This last quote seems pretty amazing, I’d love to read the whole explaination, gee I just can’t find it in Scripture, but it must be there, it’s so very important, well that is if “sola Scriptura” is correct.
Pretty clear to me.


#13

Thanks ever so much everyone - you’ve been fantastic. I have great difficulty in expressing myself so this is great. I’m sorting out a response now and will let you know the outcome.

Kathy


#14

I am a protestant. My answer is that if it isn’t in the Bible it doesn’t bind us. All of the Catholics asking how Protestants got the Bible. The answer is through tradition. Catholics and Protestants don’t differ on any of the New Testament books. Protestants reject the Apocrypha and the argument is that the Jews of Jesus’ time wouldn’t have used it and don’t consider it scripture. The Apocrypha and Church teachings have their place and they are evil. However, all of those are secondary and are not on the same level of the Bible. If the Bible doesn’t adress an issue it is either not vital to salvation and isn’t binding on the Church, or should be rejected. The Apocrypha is useful and has its place, but it is not on the level on scripture and none of it is binding upon the whole church. I hold that there is no new revelation, and I think that most people do. I have a problem with things coming about now or 400 years after the fact. If the Holy Spirit reveals to me that I shouldn’t listen to a particular type of music, it doesn’t mean that everyone is bound by my revelation.


#15

[quote=bjcros]I am a protestant. My answer is that if it isn’t in the Bible it doesn’t bind us. All of the Catholics asking how Protestants got the Bible. The answer is through tradition. Catholics and Protestants don’t differ on any of the New Testament books. Protestants reject the Apocrypha and the argument is that the Jews of Jesus’ time wouldn’t have used it and don’t consider it scripture. The Apocrypha and Church teachings have their place and they are evil. However, all of those are secondary and are not on the same level of the Bible. If the Bible doesn’t adress an issue it is either not vital to salvation and isn’t binding on the Church, or should be rejected. The Apocrypha is useful and has its place, but it is not on the level on scripture and none of it is binding upon the whole church. I hold that there is no new revelation, and I think that most people do. I have a problem with things coming about now or 400 years after the fact. If the Holy Spirit reveals to me that I shouldn’t listen to a particular type of music, it doesn’t mean that everyone is bound by my revelation.
[/quote]

Ther are so many errors and misunderstandings in this response. I urge you to go back and read Ignatius’ response #10. And try to refrain yourself from using the words “evil” and “hell-bound” so often. :eek:


#16

[quote=DianJo]Jesus left us a Church - not a book. There was no bible for the first 300 years after Jesus’ death. How did the people learn the faith?
[/quote]

That isn’t true. I think even the Catholic Church holds that the Bible was around since the begining. It is true that the Bible wasn’t canonized but all of the books of the Bible were around long before the council. Most of the books were very widely accepted. One of the criterias to be in the cannon was a tie to an apostle.

[quote=DianJo]Tradition will not contradict Scripture and Scriptur will not contradict Tradition becasue Scripture is a Tradition of the Church. The bible is a collection of the Catholic Chruch’s traditions written down
[/quote]

Tradition rules on matters that aren’t in the Bible. How is it that the Pope can say that a certain list of books shouldn’t be read? When those books weren’t around in the begining, and most likely the ideas of those books weren’t around then aswell. That can’t be tradition.


#17

[quote=Mickey]Ther are so many errors and misunderstandings in this response. I urge you to go back and read Ignatius’ response #10. And try to refrain yourself from using the words “evil” and “hell-bound” so often. :eek:
[/quote]

I didn’t use evil or hell-bound here. What are the misunderstandings?


#18

[quote=bjcros]The Apocrypha and Church teachings have their place and they are evil.
[/quote]

I’m sorry. Hell-bound was another thread. Evil is highlighted above.

Anyway, your basic misunderstanding? Yes, all the different Churches had pieces and segments and parts of Holy Scripture. But there were also numerous false gospels and gnostic writings floating around. It was the Catholic Church who discerned which writings were the inerrant, inspired Word of God and which ones were bunk. The idea of sola scriptura was invented about 1100 years later. It’s really quite evident. :slight_smile:


#19

I was going to say that sometimes it is easier to scale down an attack. Ask what “tradition of men” contradicts the Bible.

As for bjcros

Protestants reject the Apocrypha and the argument is that the Jews of Jesus’ time wouldn’t have used it and don’t consider it scripture.

Then why is it quoted in the NT? Jew’s of Jesus time did use it. Jesus used it.

If the Bible doesn’t adress an issue it is either not vital to salvation and isn’t binding on the Church, or should be rejected.

That contradicts Scripture that tells us to hold fast to traditions whether by word or epistle, 2thes 2:15

I hold that there is no new revelation, and I think that most people do.

As does the Catholic Church.

I have a problem with things coming about now or 400 years after the fact.

Which particular doctrine of the Catholic Church would you be referring to? I too have problems with coming up with beliefs after the fact. 1500 years after the fact is when we first see Scripture alone. Now there are even different levels to that one, Solo Scriptura and now Sola Scriptura.

God Bless,
Maria


#20

[quote=Mickey]I’m sorry. Hell-bound was another thread. Evil is highlighted above.

Anyway, your basic misunderstanding? Yes, all the different Churches had pieces and segments and parts of Holy Scripture. But there were also numerous false gospels and gnostic writings floating around. It was the Catholic Church who discerned which writings were the inerrant, inspired Word of God and which ones were bunk. The idea of sola scriptura was invented about 1100 years later. It’s really quite evident. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

opps that was a typo by the way I meant “they are not evil.” That was once, not really that many times. I know when Sola Scriptura came about. You know your history. Catholics can’t argue against the New Testament scripture that Protestants use because we have the same thing. Why is it that the new revelation of the Pope binds the church, it is new because it wasn’t around to be tradition? I have problems with the Popes power in the first place. If anything I think that the Pope was seen as first among equals as the Eastern Church sees him by the early Christians. Because one of the problems the Eastern Church has with the Catholic is the Pope’s claim to supreme power. Aswell I don’t think that the Pope has the power of Peter, but that is another thread and I am not going to be convinced I am wrong an dI think you are the same way.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.