Some God-breathed things are sufficient?

Hello everyone,

I need some feedback. I’ll like to know where in Scripture does it implicitly or explicitly say that, “Some God-breathed things are sufficient for salvation” or “Some God-breathed things are sufficient as the sole rule of faith”??:confused:

When you answer, define what you believe what a “God-breathed thing” is and where your definition is supported in scripture.

Thanks for the feedback:thumbsup:

Romulus << I’ll like to know where in Scripture does it implicitly or explicitly say that, “Some God-breathed things are sufficient for salvation” or “Some God-breathed things are sufficient as the sole rule of faith”?? >>

All right I’ll bite. The word God-breathed itself only appears in 2 Tim 3:16f and it says Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (NASB, KJV) or useful (NAB, NIV) for doctrine, teaching, instruction, etc. It doesn’t say “sufficient for salvation” or “sufficient as sole rule of faith.” It also doesn’t say “SOME.” It says ALL Scripture (whatever that is referring to, probably the OT only, verse 15) is God-breathed, and profitable.

One verse Protestants turn to is John 20:30-31 – although Jesus did many things that are not written, “But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.” (NAB)

So the written Word (the Gospel of John at least) may be sufficient to know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by that belief have eternal life (cf. John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13; etc). Of course a 4-page non-inspired gospel tract can be sufficient for that purpose. So it doesn’t necessarily take something God-breathed for sufficient knowledge of Christ and salvation. All it takes is someone accurately presenting the message. Of course Catholics do not believe “faith alone” saves unless accompanied with the other virtues Scripture talks about (1 Cor 13:2,13; Gal 5:6; James 2:24; etc).

Phil P

Now what does it mean to “believe”??

That’s not the topic you asked about …:wink:

true…but in most cases around here…in order to understand the topics at hand…it leads to other related topics.

Interesting Phil, I agree… Anyone else have feedback… Any Protestant feedback?


I need more data/feedback…is the following statement true or false according to scriptures and/or traditions.

“Some God-breathed things are sufficient as the sole rule of faith” - True or False



Roman 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to bring someone to salvation

so your response is that it is a true statement?? thanks for the feedback allis


Materially sufficient, Phil. Not formally sufficient.

And of course, the disciples themselves were “God-breathed” (cf. John 20:22).


What is the difference between materially and formally??

Ok so the disciples themselves were “God-breathed”…so

“Some God-breathed things are sufficient as the sole rule of faith” - True or False


“Some disciples are sufficient as the sole rule of faith” - True or False

Not true, is it?

The apostles were breathed upon…not God breathed.


Yeah I tend to agree Semper, i doesn’t seem that since they received the spirit i.e. god-breathed upon…doesn’t necessarily make them “inspired by God”…words they may speak are inspired by God…but not directly themselves.:shrug: scriptural all we know is that scripture and the words spoken by the prophets are inspired by God.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, but I still haven’t received any True or False responses to the statement(s) above:p

It is true if you consider all of revelation a singular unit. I also must agree somewhat with Randy…God breathed into the apostles so that His breath would be their breath:

John 20:21 As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.

Luke 10:16 He who listens to you listens to Me; he who rejects you rejects Me

It is very significant that He breathed on them. Breath means life. The last time God breathed into someone was Adam:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Marco, could you elaborate?


MANY Protestants, including James White, have difficulty understanding the Catholic distinction between the material and the formal sufficiency of Scripture. For Scripture to be materially sufficient, it would have to contain or imply all that is needed for salvation. For it to be formally sufficient, it would not only have to contain all of this data, but it would have to be so clear that it does not need any outside information to interpret it.

Protestants call the idea that Scripture is clear the perspicuity of Scripture. Their doctrine of sola scriptura combines the perspicuity of Scripture with the claim that Scripture contains all the theological data we need.

It is important to make these distinctions because, while a Catholic cannot assert the formal sufficiency (perspicuity) of Scripture, he can assert its material sufficiency, as has been done by such well-known Catholic theologians as John Henry Newman, Walter Kaspar, George Tarvard, Henri de Lubac, Matthias Scheeben, Michael Schmaus, and Joseph Ratzinger.

French theologian Yves Congar states, “[W]e can admit sola scriptura in the sense of a material sufficiency of canonical Scripture. This means that Scripture contains, in one way or another, all truths necessary for salvation. This position can claim the support of many Fathers and early theologians. It has been, and still is, held by many modern theologians.” . . . [At Trent] it was widely . . . admitted that all the truths necessary to salvation are at least outlined in Scripture. . . . [W]e find fully verified the formula of men like Newman and Kuhn: Totum in Scriptura, totum in Traditione, All is in Scripture, all is in Tradition.' ..Written’ and `unwritten’ indicate not so much two material domains as two modes or states of knowledge" (*Tradition and Traditions *[New York: Macmillian, 1967], 410-414).

This is important for a discussion of sola scriptura because many Protestants attempt to prove their doctrine by asserting the material sufficiency of Scripture. That is a move which does no good because a Catholic can agree with material sufficiency. In order to prove sola scriptura a Protestant must prove the different and much stronger claim that Scripture is so clear that no outside information or authority is needed in order to interpret it.

Interesting, thanks Randy…would you happen to have some T or F feedback for the statements I posted above? Feel free to substitute either formally sufficient or materially sufficient.


If you consider Scripture and Tradition and the Magisterium’s teaching from those sources as one body of revelation, then that can be considered the “sole” rule of faith. Truth is Jesus Christ Himself. He is not reducible to the Bible “alone”, for example. :o

I think Marco was suggesting this as well - Would God-breathed (“inspired”) things include such things a Catholic teaching which are also guided by the Holy Spirit?

Also I’m not sure what you mean by “sufficient for sole rule of faith”? As Catholics we believe Church teaching also is part of our “rule of faith” not solely scripture. So I think as Catholics we say no it’s all part of the rule of faith.

Some of these teachings were not made (and indeed all of the scripture was not written) before or at the time of the beginning of the church, yet we still believe those early Christians may have been saved. So I guess for them only part of our rule of faith existed but that was sufficient for their salvation. Now however since it has been spelled out authoritatively I don’t think we can reject it and be saved. What if a person is simply ignorant of part of Church teaching? Well then it can get complicated. We would then consider if they take actions in violation of that doctrine and then consider if they are invincibly ignorant etc.

Are some God Breathed things sufficient for “salvation?” I would have to say yes. I think very few people have read the entire bible and all the doctrines of the church. As to how much we need I don’t think the Church has declared who would be damned due to insufficient understanding of God breathed things.

Sorry if I’m adding more confusion than clarity.

Only the dogmas? No?

If I recall correctly, to protestants the scriptures are the only God-breathed thing…and they get this commonly from 2nd Timothy and among other scriptures in the NT. If a pastor/priest/anyone reads scripture out loud…the audible words are God-breathed things. But if someone only hears the word, “his only”…they are God-breathed things (words)…but it makes no sense…it is incomplete…the words don’t say anything. So it depends, a new question is how much of the God-breathed things are materially and/or formally sufficient?

Any fellow protestant bros/sis here would like to show that

“Some God-breathed things are materially and/or formally sufficient for salvation” is TRUE using scripture.


“Some God-breathed things are materially and/or formally sufficient for the sole rule of faith” is TRUE using scripture.

I agree.

I agree, the “rule of faith” was different for early Christians…the early Church was an infant…and it continues to grow as time progresses and the Spirit (Advocate) continues to supernaturally guide it and reveal to it new “God-breathed things” when it believes the time is appropriate. An outsider of the faith would look at this as “they make it up as they go”…while insiders of the faith would look at this as “the spirit reveals it when the time is appropriate”.

invincibly ignorant…it is a possibility…or maybe ignorant for reasons only known to themselves and God. I personally believe someone could also possibly be ignorant by willingly rejecting deductive reasoning on scriptures/traditions/etc…but then again, they are cases where we can’t use deductive reasoning…such as understanding a mystery in the faith…i.e. the trinity.

So you say it is TRUE…you come to this conclusion because of the free gift of Grace, which gives forth your Faith, hence allows you to discern…

But to an outsider who doesn’t share your faith, you come to this TRUE conclusion by discerning (deductive reasoning) scripture and/or tradition and/or the authority of the Church?

Sorry if I’m making this more confusing:p

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