Sola Scripturist Catholic

Of course, and absolutely, the Bible is the sole possession of the Church that is God breathed, and therefore ontologically superior to either tradition or the magisterium.

Not only that, but both tradition and the magisterium are subject to and normed by sacred scripture. Absolutely.

It’s just that the conformity of tradition and the magisterium to scripture alone occurs at the hands of the Holy Spirit within the Church, not at the hands of the reformers who have refused to heed the command of Christ and “hear the Church.”

Checks out?


I mean. There are other infallible truths. So I suppose for me it depends on exactly what you mean by this. If you mean the magisterium isn’t able to contradict scripture I see your point. Otherwise I’m suspicious.

Scripture is meaningless in a vacuum. We need the history and tradition of the church to rightly interpret.


What I mean exactly is this- Only scripture is divinely inspired. Sacred tradition is not, but is derived from that which is divinely inspired. Likewise, the magisterium is not God-breathed, it does not function under the positive inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But it IS protected by the Holy Spirit and exists to serve the divinely inspired scriptures and sacred tradition.

Hm. Your proposition certainly has me thinking. Thanks for that!

Well from a historical perspective this isn’t even quite so. Just in terms of when the Canon was set tradition came first. Heck the council of Jerusalem is in the Bible. (Although I recognize it wasn’t an ecumenical council but a regional council.)

I’d have to dive into Trent this statement makes me uncomfortable though. It seems to me like the documents which come out of councils are infallible in a similar enough way this might not be true.

I think that l need to point out that the canon of scripture is solely dependent upon the magisterium. Nowhere in the Bible is there a list of the books of scripture. While each book was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, it was only under the magisterial authority of the Church that those books were collected into the cohesive whole that it is today. Christ founded the Church and it’s magisterial authority through the primacy of Peter. He did not compile the Bible. It was only later that the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament scriptures through the Church that Christ had already founded.

We never actually see Christ teaching from Scripture in the Bible. He explains what it means,
but he never exercises it with any authority. He teaches from His own authority, and from that authority He granted authority to the magisterium.


Fr. Chad Fr Ripperger has a very informative talk on this topic -


WHOAH; shipmate

the “bible” is not superior to the magesterium;

are you a protestant?" ; when Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left behind a Church, not a technical manual

what are you talking about…?


so, essentially you are saying; you are going to read & interpret the Bible; do what “you” or “Pastor Bobby Ray” says (the parts you agree with ) and ignore what the magesterium instructs

\classic protestanism


No, it doesn’t. Some of our Sacred Tradition was orally passed directly from Jesus himself to the Apostles and never written. Therefore, the entire premise is flawed. Scripture does not have superiority over Tradition, nor is Scripture the sole possession of the Church directly given by divine authority. Furthermore, the office of the magisterium also fits the same category because Christ himself instituted it as such - Scripture even describes it in that way, that the Church (magisterium) and not Scripture has the ultimate authority. The three are entirely equal.


Remember, God inspired the prophets to speak His messages, and only a fraction of those inspired words are preserved in the Bible. Many Jews and Christians, even today, find themselves speaking words given to them by God, without those occasional words needing to become Scripture. In fact, Jesus promised that He would give us words to say in times of persecution, so obviously many sayings can be directly God-breathed without being Scripture.


Not so well. Tradition can actually “norm” Scripture, as Scripture can be vague or ambiguous on some beliefs. Scripture, in fact, can be looked upon as part of Church Tradition, having been written by her members as it were. Either way, the Church, via the magisterium guided by the Holy Spirit, is the final authority.


You believe it

This view assumes a completely top-down authority declaring what was canon, when in all actuality it was the nature of the scriptures themselves that caused them to be used in widespread manner, authoritatively at the grass-roots level long before any supposed authoritative declaration was made.

Writings like the Shepherd of Hermas were used authoritatively and they aren’t in the canon. Neither are the Acts of Barnabas. Your point?

Can’t it be both? @CRM_Brother

Writings circulated amongst the believers. The “cream” as it were, rose to the top, recognized organically as truly resonating with the faith. At a point it was necessary to confirm what the faithful knew to be true. Then the canon was declared.

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To expand on this: It was also a pretty contentious issue. The canon was not “self-evident” but required plenty of consideration over an approximately 300 year period after the last book was written, provided we use the Council of Carthage in 397 as the standard for when it was established. It took the Church to establish a standard canon.

Of course, Protestants themselves put the difficulty back on display. Not only did they require us to re-declare (again) the canon from Carthage, they couldn’t even agree on a canon themselves for some time. Despite their love of St. Augustine, they rejected his version of the canon. Luther made changes to both the Old and New Testament, and most Protestants today don’t accept his canon. Calvin, if I remember correctly, still wanted to keep a Deuterocanonical book (I think Baruch) to stay consistent with his use of St. Jerome to establish his canon.* Obviously, Protestants ended up rejecting that as well.

*Edit: It is somewhat debatable how far his respect for Baruch went. Calvin, in general, had some degree of respect for the Deuterocanonical books, certainly more than your average modern-day Protestant. He did not, however, include Baruch in his list of of books to reject as of equal importance to other books, and his citations from Baruch seem to indicate that he saw it as Scriptural.


I did not say technical manual. The scripture alone is the sole possession of the Church that is literally God-breathed and God-speaking. All other authorities are either derivatives/interpretations (tradition) or serve to protect scripture (the magisterium). Therefore, I say it is entirely possible for a faithful Catholic to affirm all five Solas of the Reformation in their proper context-

Sola Scriptura- Amen! the hands of the Spirit in the life of the Church.

Sola Fide!- Amen! Only let it be a living faith evidenced by works.

Sola Gratia!- By grace alone are we justified entirely and monergistically. God always had the position of initiating, we only have the position of response, and even our response is in his hands. Read the council of Orange.

Solis Christus- In Christ alone do we find our salvation.

Soli Dei Gloria- And all to the glory of God alone.

To sum up from the scriptures-

“Salvation is from the LORD.”

The problem with Sola Scriptura presenting Scripture as superior to Magisterium, is that they aren’t really something to be equally compared. They have independent qualities, and equally rely on one another.

Sacred Tradition by definition IS Divine Revelation, but that was not written down. There is not much Sacred Tradition that is NOT found, at least in some manner, in the Written Word. One exception would be that the Saints can and do intercede for the faithful, while an example that is not explicitly found in Scripture is the legitimacy or validity of Infant Baptism.

Magisterium is a Teaching authority, which can officially Teach and affirm matters of Divine Truth. The Canon of Scripture is an example that involves all three aspects of Divine Revelation.


Where does it say in Scripture that everything Jesus said and did had to be written in Scripture.

Where does it say in Scripture what the Table of Contents for the Bible is. There is no Table of Contents. It is the Catholic Church that determined what books are in the Bible. The Catholic Church didn’t add any but other churches did remove some books.


To be fair, I don’t think Sola Scriptura requires this belief.

This is a significant issue. It doesn’t matter what any particular ecclesial community calls their canon, but the fact that they call a particular selection of books Scripture, and any other writing not Scripture. This, by nature, assumes an authority equal to Scripture.

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