"Time of Enscripturation"


I recently came upon a concept I had not heard of regarding Sola Scriptura. I really don’t know how widely accepted this view is, but I read an article where at least James White advocates it.
Here is a old quote from the aomin webpage:
The main element of Mr. Ray’s [Catholic] misrepresentation of sola scriptura can be seen in just this: the doctrine speaks of a rule of faith that exists. What do I mean by this? One will search high and low for any reference in any standard Protestant confession of faith that says, “There has never been a time when God’s Word was proclaimed and transmitted orally.” You will never find anyone saying, “During times of enscripturation—that is, when new revelation was being given—sola scriptura was operational.” *Protestants do not assert that***sola scriptura is a valid concept during times of revelation. How could it be, since the rule of faith to which it points was at that very time coming into being? One must have an existing rule of faith to say it is “sufficient.” It is a canard to point to times of revelation and say, “See, sola scriptura doesn’t work there!” Of course it doesn’t. Who said it did?
This has apparently been taught for at least 10 years, yet for some reason Catholics around here have not mentioned it much. Based on this paragraph, I make the following two points:

1)There is nothing in Scripture (esp the NT) that says there are times when Sola Scriptura is “operational” and not operational. And there is definitely no date given when enscripturation ended.

2)Passages like 2 Timothy 3:16f CANNOT be teaching Sola Scriptura at all, for when Paul penned those words it was a during a “time of enscripturation.”

This claim is so devastating to Sola Scriptura that I cannot believe that it was even advocated in the first place.


What White is saying is the proper understanding of Sola Scriptura; I’m just glad to see a Catholic Bring it up, I have been saying this ON THIS BOARD for well over a year now.


Where does that idea come from? Who’s to say when it was all complete?


The actual Reformers; not just the Catholic spin on what they taught… but what they actually taught.

The enscripturation has to come from the time of the apostles.


What tells you about this. Surely it goes beyond Scripture as Authority alone.


ok, is that supposed to be a refutation of Sola Scriptura be cause it isn’t.


The idea of Sola Scriptura is not now, ever was or will be in Scripture hence it’s man made. Protestants have Tradition they just deny it. No where does it say use Scripture alone


If that is the proper understanding of SS, then SS is far weaker than I originally thought.


Sola scriptura is nothing more than a fig leaf for disobedience.

Its chief utility is in revealing Protestant tradition to be fraudulent, for there is no uniquely Protestant tradition which is not contradicted within Scripture.

Moreover, it has the great virtue of being self-refuting, since Scripture cannot be defined but through the Church.


I fully agree, but can you really believe your ears at the “times of enscripturation” line of thinking?
I’m surprised this is not being trumpeted in every SS thread around here.

 So the church had no new testament authority until the 4th century????? Either that or true authority was there, just disguised from anyones knowing it in an ambigious mass of literature, all contending for a spot in the canon.  
 I'd much rather accept that the shepards staff was handed directly to Peter, as John indicates at the end of his gospel.


I had never heard that argument made, probably because it only makes the weaknesses of sola scriptura even more transparent.

Indeed, it is hard to square with the rather common Protestant notion that the Holy Spirit guides their reading of Scripture, when it’s not guiding decisions in their lives. How could that be if revelation had ceased with “enscripturation”?

And that’s before we get to the KJVers, who push the timeline out another 15 centuries or so by adding translation into English to “enscripturation”.


LOL I forgot all about the KJV Onlyists. They are so amusing (but also very nerve racking) to deal with, though their position is just as shaky as Sola Scriptura was to begin with. I can’t imagine a worse punishment/torture for Luther and Calvin than to put them in a room with a KJV Onlyist.


Here’s another theological smokescreen to divert attention from the holiness of Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

Yes, I’m talking about the Catholic Church’s slam dunk historical teachings concerning contraception.

Need something to pick apart? Click my signature.


Is funny how proponents of this process miss the most obvious flaw with it. When did the “time of enscripturation” ended? With the death of the last apostle? So if this is the case what assures you that books such as Hebrews whose author is unknown and we do not know when it was written belongs in scripture? There is no list as of which books were enscripturalized so I guess we will have to depend on someone outside of scripture telling you that in fact Hebrews belongs to the period in which SS was not “operative”. Hmmmm Sounds to me we are depending in something other than scripture to tell us what scripture is, could this be Sacred Tradition???

In His love…


protestants have Tradition and the ones who know their faith don’t deny it.
much like all of the other conversation about Sola Scriptura on this board, you guys are building the strawman of SOLO scriptura and tearing that down. do some more research look into what Michael Patton says about it, then lets talk.


No J, I’m not building any strawment. I posted the quote and the source, and I laid out my conclusions. IF I am misrepresenting then go ahead and make a clear case, otherwise you have no business playing the strawman card.


can you tell me what sola scriptura means??? I doubt it because you don’t understand it. Please look into it.


The classical definition (paraphrased from the Westminster Confession of Faith) is that all doctrines binding on Christians much be explicitly laid out in Scripture, or a good case must be presented through implicit evidence.

Is this right or wrong? If I am correct, I want you to answer my original questions.


Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by scripture alone”) is the assertion that the Bible as God’s written word is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter (“Scripture interprets Scripture”), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine.

Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the Reformers and is a formal principle of Protestantism today (see Five solas). By contrast, the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are an important but not exclusive part of the Sacred Tradition from which the Churches derive their doctrines. These bodies also believe that the Church has authority over the Scriptures because it actively selected which books were to be in the biblical canon, whereas Protestants believe the Church passively recognized and received the books that were already widely considered canonical.


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