Some think Matthew 4:4 is teaching sola Scriptura


#1

Sometimes some non-Catholics attempt to see Matthew 4:4 as teaching sola Scriptura.

Are there are any non-Catholics here that think this, that would like to posit WHY?

I think discussing that issue might be a good thing.

God bless.

Cathoholic

MATTHEW 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,

‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”


Painting the Eucharist with Precious Blood
#2

Well, I’m not officially Catholic yet, so I can tell you what I was always taught (I don’t believe this anymore!).

The important part here is the phrase “but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. The argument goes that Jesus is affirming the primacy of the scriptures. The Bible being the “word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.


#3

mrsdizzyd84 . . ,

Well, I’m not officially Catholic yet . . .

If this means what I think it means congratulations on moving towards the fullness of Christianity–Catholicism!

I already started praying for you mrsdizzyd84.


#4

When you really dive deep into history and read the Bible in context it becomes harder and harder to remain a Protestant. Sola Scriptura falls apart pretty quickly.


#5

As a former Baptist, I never interpreted that verse to mean sola scriptura.


#6

Christ quotes Scripture to answer the Devil. That does not prove He considers Scripture the only source of truth.

Christ said: “Man does not live by bread alone.” Does that mean He claims that man does not need bread at all?
If not then the fact that we live by every word from the mouth of God can’t mean that we live by Scripture alone, even if He meant only Scripture, which there is no evidence He did.

Every word from the mouth of God: Christ is God and the Scripture says He said and did many things not recorded in Scripture.


#7

You know how it is. Each preacher has his own innovations.

I heard one preach that John 1:1 meant that the Bible (the word) was in heaven with God from the beginning of time.


#8

They Haydock Commentary has this:

Ver. 4. Man liveth not by bread only.
The words were spoken of the manna. (Deuteronomy viii. 3.) The sense in this place is, that man’s life may be supported by any thing, or in any manner, as it pleaseth God. (Witham)
— St. Gregory upon this passage says: if our divine Redeemer, when tempted by the devil, answered in so mild a manner, when he could have buried the wicked tempter in the bottom of hell, ought not man, when he suffers any thing from his fellow man, rather to improve it to his advantage, than to resent it to his own ruin. Man consists of soul and body; his body is supported by bread, his soul by the word of God; hence the saying, “Lex est cibus animę.” (Mat. Polus.)

This reminds me of John 4

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. 8 For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. 9 Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered, and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and who he is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep; from whence then hast thou living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered, and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst for ever: 14 But the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting.


#9

I recently saw this assertion . . . .

. . . And I thought it should be discussed in more detail.

Thank you for all the contributions so far.


#10

When reading Matthew 4:4, I don’t believe that every word that proceeded/proceeds from the mouth of God is in the Bible. Also, I don’t think God stopped talking after the Bible was completed (of course, He speaks to us through Scripture but I mean beyond that).


#11

And then we can read in John’s Gospel that many other things took place that could not fit in all the books in the world, or Paul telling us to not forsake the teachings of the Apostles (which are often not written in scripture).

So, as a Catholic, understanding the Church’s definition of the Deposit of Faith, and how it is much more than just Sacred Scripture, I don’t see this verse, or anything else written in the Bible as contradictory, but only supportive of our dismissal of Luther’s doctrine of Sola Scriptura.


#12

I am a Catholic and accept the church is what she claims.

That being said, if you were to base your religion on something (earthly) other than the church then the Bible would be my next choice and I am glad we share this testament with so many others.


#13

Even completely divorced from its context, clarified by another member, that particular verse does not logically support, much less prove, sola scriptura.


#14

Matt 4:4 by itself does not prove Sola Scriptura. Keep in mind, though, that Jesus (and others) would quote Scripture (“it is written”, “Have you not read what God has said”, etc.) as the final proof of what they were teaching. I do believe Jesus gave us a way to test “traditions” with His example of the Corban rule (see Mark 7). I know the argument - “Sure, those are human traditions, but our Traditions are from God”. But have you ever tested your traditions by this method?

Just a thought, it is written, ‘What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”’ (Rom 3:9-12 NASB). There is an exception to the “all have sinned”, and that is found in 2 Cor 5:21 (He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.), which is speaking of Jesus. The Scriptures make no other exception for being without sin. Yet, the Catholic Church says, "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin (CCC 491). How is this tradition made dogma NOT contrary to the written Word of God? (Just something to ponder, as this is not the topic of the thread.)

In conclusion, Matt 4:4 by itself does not prove Sola Scriptura, but when you examine all of Scripture, it’s nearly impossible to deny Sola Scriptura (this was a major factor in my leaving the Roman Catholic Church). For the record, I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and had received 6 of the 7 sacraments by the time I was 30. God has delivered me out of that religious system, and I am now a reformed Baptist.


#15

Sometimes Jesus quotes a rule laid down in the Scriptures in order to change it. The two passages about divorce in Matthew demonstrate this clearly (Matt 5:32 and 19:9). Jesus is explicitly enacting an amendment to the Law of Moses: “It has been said … but I am telling you …” in the first passage, with its echo in the later passage, “Moses allowed you … but I say …”

Conclusion: When you say “Jesus (and others) would quote Scripture (“it is written”, “Have you not read what God has said”, etc.) as the final proof of what they were teaching,” you are correct that this is sometimes the speaker’s purpose. But not always. In the two passages I’m quoting here, Jesus is saying, in effect, that Moses was wrong to allow husbands to divorce their wives, requiring them only to follow a correct procedure. He is saying that God requires stricter marriage laws than those laid down by Moses. In other words, what Scripture teaches as the Law is wrong because it is not in accordance with God’s will.


#16

I think I’d respond that his interpretation isn’t authoritative. Moreover, I’d go back to Deuteronomy 8:3 (which is what Jesus is quoting here!) and see what the context is! In that chapter, Moses (the Law-giver) is exhorting the Jewish people to follow God’s commandments. We think of them as the “Ten Commandments”, but that’s not what they call them in the Old Testament. Take a look at Exodus 34:28 – there, they’re described as the ten words.

So, if Jesus is referring back to Moses’ exhortation to follow the commandments of the Law – that is, the words – and Jesus says that we live by every word from the mouth of God… then Jesus is making a claim about the covenant, not the Bible. :wink:


#17

Wow. That’s just wrong. This is why I’ve come to love the authority of the Catholic Church.


#18

There are unconfirmed reports that, in the early days of the Protestant Reformation, some preachers had the inside walls of their churches inscribed with their own version of the opening words of John’s Gospel, “In principio erat sermo”―In the beginning was the sermon.


#19

Cachonga . . .

The Scriptures make no other exception for being without sin.

What are you talking about here Cachonga?

Are you alluding to committed sin, original sin, or both?

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Cachonga . . . .

Matt 4:4 by itself does not prove Sola Scriptura, but when you examine all of Scripture, it’s nearly impossible to deny Sola Scriptura . . . .

WHAT do you think “sola Scriptura” IS Cachonga? Define sola Scriptura for me please in the context you are discussing?

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Cachonga . . . .

I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and had received 6 of the 7 sacraments by the time I was 30. God has delivered me out of that religious system, and I am now a reformed Baptist.

I was born and raised Roman Catholic, but I attended Baptist services growing up too, Baptist Sunday school as well. In addition I was heavily involved with Baptist youth group, and attended Baptist Bible camp. I was heavily involved with the Baptist church that John Smyth founded.

God has delivered me out of that Baptist religious system, and I now continue more fully in my fullness of Christianity, the Catholic Church which Jesus founded.


#20

As someone who was raised Protestant I can say that I’ve never interpreted this verse this way. In fact, my interpretation of it paints a completely opposite picture than that of ‘sola scripture’. Notice where Jesus says that “man shall not live by bread alone”. He doesn’t say that we are not to live by bread, it simply says that this is not to be our sole source of nourishment. It seems to indicate that, while Tradition may not necessarily be needed for salvation, it is nevertheless useful to have to help us along in our achieving the fullness of our salvation in him.


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