The Bereans and the protestant "Sola Scriptura"


Today I found in a youtube video a comment of a protestant condemning Tim Staples’ arguments about Tradition in his debate with Steve Gregg.

He said the next:

“Wow… the Roman Catholic apologist is way into the Roman Catholic Authority trip and not the SCRIPTURE as AUTHORITY… BOOOOOO!!! The scriptures to tell us to be as the Bereans…. IE read the scriptures for yourself to see if anyone who comes to you teaching a doctrine checks out with THE SCRIPTURE. Not to throw your mind to the wind to be tossed to and fro in the Catholic christo-pagan priestcraft ‘Magisterium’. BOOOOOO!!!”

My reply has been the next:

*"Acts 17 (the ‘Bereans episode’) is the perfect example to demonstrate why protestantism is deceptive and why the “Bible Alone” is a false, no divine but human precept invented in 16th Century to led ashtray many people. Reading carefully Acts 17 we’ll be able to see, easily, that the Bereans were the catholics of that age and the jews of Thessalonika their counterpart protestants.

The protestants are always accustomed to deceitfully use Acts 17 mentioning verses 10-11 but avoiding the key verses 1-5.

If we read these five first verses (Acts 17: 1-5) we know that the Jews of Thessaloniki rejected ORAL PREACHING of the Church of Christ BASING ON SCRIPTURE, as today the Protestants reject the oral preaching (Tradition) of the Church of Christ for 2000 years. And both of them (Thessaloniki jews and protestants) make their allegations invoking the same issue: the Scriptures. Acts 17:2 says: “and for three sabbath days he reasoned with them out of the scriptures”. That verse is crucial, because it leaves not a doubt: not a day but no less than three Saturdays discussed Paul and the Thessalonians USING THE SCRIPTURES as a basis. But at the end the Thessaloniki jews rejected the ORAL PREACHING of St. Paul. Therefore the thessalonians jews (and not the Bereans) are with certitude the perfect example of “Bible Alone” followers, rejecting the preaching of the Gospels because they don’t recognize the oral preaching of none (neither St Paul) but only what is written on the scriptures. The Thessalonian Jews, without a doubt, should blurt to St. Paul: No friend, what you preach and tell us is anti-biblical, your preaching is not in Scripture, it is a tradition of those called Christians. We ONLY believe wHAT THE HOLY SCRIPTURE SAYS. We don’t believe in your preaching, neither in your christian and human traditions. Whom does this approach remind us of? Exactly: the Protestants of “Sola Scriptura”, “Sola Scriptura” and "Sola Scripture. Curious irony that the Bible itself has reserved for the Protestants when they use the Bereans episode as an argument…

In contrast, the Bereans accepted Paul’s word (ORAL PREACHING) precisely because they were better natural. They didn’t refuse to budge to the oral preaching of St. Paul. The Bereans, on the contrary of Thessalonian jews, don’t arguing that ONLY WHAT THE SACRED WRITINGS ESTABLISHES IS INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY but with open-mindedness they heard oral preaching of St. Paul and ended up accepting the apostolic preaching because it was according to the Scriptures. You can see the similarities: Catholic=bereans (Oral apostolic preaching is valid according to the Scriptures) Protestant=thessalonian jews (only Scriptures is valid, rejecting oral apostolic preaching according to the Scriptures).

The behaviour of the Bereans, therefore, is contrary to the “Sola Scriptura” precept, it has nothing to do with Sola Scripture. “Bible Alone” states that only is infallible authority WHAT IS WRITTEN in Scriptures, and is not infallible (neither valid) any preaching of someone, whoever, even with apostolic authority (St Paul, the apostles or the Catholic Church) because even it it is according to Scriptures it is not recorded in the Scriptures. Big mistake. It’s not the first time that some Protestants ensures that if they’d be able to hear of St. Paul, Peter or another apostle own mouths doctrinal exhortations not recorded in the Bible they don’t consider them infallible. Until that point protestants deny the apostolic authority. But they should know that Christ delegated his authority to the apostles not to a collection of books that did not even exist. So Protestantism is antiapostolic, wrong and contrary to the will of Jesus. Terrible.

Catholics (like the Bereans of St Paul’s age) consider infallible, under the authority that Christ gives to His Only and Apostolic Church, not only all Scripture canonized by the only True Church (73 books) but also all the UNWRITTEN WORDS OF ST PAUL, THE APOSTLES AND THE ONLY CHURCH FOUNDED BY CHRIST, that have been collected and deposited in the Magisterium of the Church through apostolic transmission. Therefore, not only are infallible authority the writings of St. Paul, the apostles and the Church, but the Tradition that the Church preserves of their apostolic and unwritten preaching. Protestants like the Thessalonian jews (who rejected the Gospels) only accept Scripture and reject all the unwritten apostolic preaching, preaching like St Paul addresed to the Bereans, that without being recorded in Scriptures (only according to, but not written) WAS ACCEPTED AS INFALLIBLE by the Bereans."*

I’d like to ask you if you find any serious defect in my way of reasoning. And mostly I’d like to know why protestants are so stubborn to use the berean argument to defend their “Sola Scriptura”. Because for me is bizarre and incomprehensible and I’m incapable to understand. For me this episode is one of the several refutations of “Bible Alone” we can find in the Bible.


Berean Rejection of Sola Scriptura
From Steve Ray’s article:

If one group could be tagged as believers in sola scriptura, who would it be, the Thessalonians or the Bereans? The Thessalonians, obviously. They, like the Bereans, examined the Scriptures with Paul in the synagogue, yet they rejected his teaching. They rejected the new teaching, deciding after three weeks of deliberation that Paul’s word contradicted the Torah. Their decision was not completely unjustified from their scriptural perspective. How could the Messiah of God be cursed by hanging on a tree like a common criminal, publicly displayed as one who bore the judgment of God? What kind of king and Messiah would that be? This seemed irreconcilable to them (see Simon J. Kistemaker, Acts [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1990], 614).

When some of the Greeks and prominent citizens did accept Jesus as Messiah, the Jews became jealous—and rightfully so, from their perspective, since the new believers separated themselves from the synagogue and began meeting elsewhere, at Jason’s house. The Jews naturally considered themselves the authoritative interpreters of the Torah. Who were the Gentiles to interpret Scripture and decide important theological issues or accept additional revelation? They were the “dogs,” not the chosen custodians of the oracles of God (see William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Westminster Press, 1976], 128).

We can see, then, that if anyone could be classified as adherents to sola scriptura it was the Thessalonian Jews. They reasoned from the Scriptures alone and concluded that Paul’s new teaching was “unbiblical.”

The Bereans, on the other hand, were not adherents of sola scriptura, for they were willing to accept Paul’s new oral teaching as the word of God (as Paul claimed his oral teaching was; see 1 Thess. 2:13). The Bereans, before accepting the oral word of God from Paul, a tradition as even Paul himself refers to it (see 2 Thess. 2:15), examined the Scriptures to see if these things were so. They were noble-minded precisely because they “received the word with all eagerness.” Were the Bereans commended primarily for searching the Scriptures? No. Their open-minded willingness to listen was the primary reason they are referred to as noble-minded—not that they searched the Scriptures. A perusal of grammars and commentaries makes it clear that they were “noble-minded” not for studying Scripture, but for treating Paul more civilly than did the Thessalonians—with an open mind and generous courtesy (see I. Howard Marshall, “The Acts of the Apostles” in the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1981], 5:280).

The Bereans searched the Torah no less than the Thessalonians, yet they were eager to accept words of God from the mouth of Paul, in addition to what they already held to be Scripture, that is, the Law and the Prophets. Even if one claims that Paul preached the gospel and not a “tradition,” it is clear that the Bereans were accepting new revelation that was not contained in their Scriptures. These Berean Jews accepted oral teaching, the tradition of the apostles, as equal to Scripture, in addition to, and as an “extension” of, the Torah. This is further illustrated by the Christian community’s reception of Paul’s epistles as divinely inspired Scripture (see 2 Peter 3:16; here Peter seems to acknowledges Paul’s writings as equal to the “other Scriptures,” which can be presumed to refer to the Old Testament).


Those who followed the doctrine of sola scriptura, the Thessalonians, rejected Paul’s oral preaching and the long awaited Messiah. Those who accepted oral teaching AND scripture, the Bereans, accepted the Gospel and the Messiah.

Additionally, although both groups searched the scriptures, they came to contradictory conclusions about the Messiah. Clearly, scripture alone is insufficient to ensure proper interpretation.


Thanks, Randy.

I see Tim Staples is quite better and accurate than me in the use of english language :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve corrected a little the comment in the youtube channel but I cannot to edit here the same because I did many editions. Perhaps later.


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