Where Does Scripture State That It Is the *Sole* Rule of Faith?


#21

A. Who DECIDED that the Bible would become the sole and infallible rule of faith, and when???

B. If it was the Apostles who decided this just after they finished writing the last word of the last written book of the New Testament, why didn’t they ADD a teeny tiny little phrase to that last book that said “Here you go, Christians–the sole and infallible rule of faith for all time–it’s all yours.” Even if it wasn’t part of the inspired text, this presumed apostolic decision was at least as newsworthy as the Council of Jerusalem, and that got written about. …

The reason why no one would ever add a little verse that says the Bible is the sole rule of faith is because the Bible is not really the sole rule of faith. I believe that God continues to speak to people even to this day, through things such as prophecy. Scripture is a rule of faith because it was inspired by God, and anything else that comes from God is a rule of faith too.

However, the Bible is the only PRACTICAL rule of faith. It is the only practical rule of faith because it is the only thing we know comes from God. How do you know that Church Tradition is in fact accurate? The Bible has thousands of early copies to verify that what we read is what was originally written. How do you know that Church Tradition has indeed been preserved? How do you know that the Traditions you are taught today are the same thing that were taught by the apostles. The very simple fact of the matter is that you can’t. The entire basis of oral tradition is that it is oral - there is no written record, and therefore no way to verify how accurate it is. I will listen to God’s Word no matter where it comes from, just so long as I know it comes from God. Church Tradition is completely lacking in any way to verify this. You wouldn’t believe me if I claimed to speak for God, not unless I proved it. So why do you believe Tradition, when it has no way to prove it?

C. Why does the written “sole and infallible rule of faith” keep telling believers to believe apostolic preaching in both written AND oral form?? Confusing at best if the work is designed to guide Christians for the rest of time…

Contrary to popular opinion, no where in the Bible did the Apostles ever claim that Tradition would be infallibly protected (really, it isn’t claimed, and I invite anyone to try to prove otherwise). The Apostles told people to believe what they taught and what they wrote because God was speaking through the Apostles - the things they taught and the things they wrote came straight from God. The problem, as I have been saying, is that in order to continue to believe those things, we must know what was written/said. In the case of their writings, we KNOW that what we read is what they said. In the case of oral traditions, we only have the assurances of Tradition that the Traditions they teach are what the apostles taught. There is no way to verify it, making it very untrustworthy. With all the people who claim to speak for God but don’t (mormons, JWs, islam, krishan, etc…) it is foolish to believe anyone who claims to speak for God unless they can demonstrate it beyond a reasonable doubt. Guilty until proven innocent is the only way to deal with people who claim to speak for God.

D. In order for Scripture to have become the sole and infallible rule of faith at some point in time, it would have required an external infallible source of authority to designate it as such. Where is the historical or Scriptural evidence that this external authority has ceased to exist in the Church today and has been replaced by the Bible?

Again, scripture isn’t the sole and infallible rule of faith, it is simply the only practical one. Time made it so, because oral tradition becomes untrustworthy after about 1 generation, leaving only written testimony.

E. Given the fact that the Canon of Scripture was not firmly decided by the Church until about 200 years after the presumed death of the last Apostle, how did that external infallible authority survive for all those years after the Apostles were already gone???

This is in my opinion a re-writing of history by many Catholic apologists. It was commonly known well before any church councils which books were and were not authoritative. The church councils simply put their stamp of approval on a largely existing canon to stop people from adding more. I would recommend you read this:

amazon.com/Evidence-That-Demands-Verdict-McDowell/dp/185078552X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-3144321-9528025?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184675942&sr=8-2


#22

No, that has nothing to do with oral tradition. First, when Jesus spoke of the church, He was speaking of the body of believers in Jesus Christ, He was not speaking of the Roman Catholic Institution. Nowhere in the Bible does the term “Church” ever refer to an institution. Regardless, He is certainly not claiming that “Oral Tradition” will never be lost. No where in the Bible is there any claims or guarentees that an infallible Tradition will be passed on and maintained through all generations. There is not even a guarentee that scripture will be maintained through all generations. Fortunately for us though, we have very early copies of scritpure, and can verify for ourselves that what we read to day is really what the apostles wrote down.


#23

Hi Soc -

You’re proposal is perfectly reasonable in the abstract, but impossibly vague in reality. I know you didnt mean to say that the leaders of today must quote Christ verbatim from the NT, but once we go beyond that we are into the area of “interpreting” what Christ means by what he “says” in the NT. Once we are there, do you think we are still listening to Christ? In the abstract the answer remains, at best, “maybe”. In reality, however, as those voices begin to contradict each other then we know that some of those voices, at least, are no longer speaking for Christ. How do we recognize who is speaking for Christ and who is not? Sola Scriptura simply does not adequately address this issue, which is at its very foundation.


#24

You make a good point: Is Paul advocating that the OT alone is sufficient for knowledge of salvation? That is the context within which he addresses Timothy. But there is wiggle room for the SS adherent. It can be argued, technically, that the statement “all scripture is inspired by God” is not only a comment on existing scripture, but all scripture that will ever be. For example, if I say
all US coins are minted by the Federal Govt, that does not limit the comment to existing coins only, but to all past and future ones as well.
IMHO such an interpretation rips the comment out of the context within which it was made (ie, to Timothy who knew the OT only) and attempts to force it into the context of the preconceived notion (Sola Scriptura) of the presenter. Eisegesis.


#25

Here is proof that sola scriptura is a tradition of men.

Sola scriptura cannot be practiced.

Sola scriptura (“Bible only”) cannot be practiced.

There are many reasons why.

  1. There is no firm definition of sola scriptura, that all sola scripturists hold on to. How can you practice something that is not clearly defined?

What is sola scriptura?
Some say "Bible Alone"
Some say "Bible is #1 but other authorities may be used"
Some say "Bible ONLY! Anything outside of the Bible is tradition of men!"
Some say “Bible, tradition and magisterium, but Bible is the only infallible authority” (this is known as prima scriptura and not sola scriptura.

The relativism of sola scriptura prevents such a firm definition to take hold.

This is mainly because: THERE IS NO FIRM DEFINITION OF SOLA SCRIPTURA THAT EXISTS IN THE SCRIPTURES! :slight_smile:

  1. You’ll see that Sola scripturists will interpret scripture to come up with a doctrine. This interpretation and doctrine are found nowhere on the pages of scripture. This is known as an extra-scriptural TRADITION. If they were really practicing sola scriptura, they wouldn’t need to deal with extra-scriptural traditions. My favorite example: “Communion is symbolic only” Oh really? Where is this in the Bible? I don’t see the words “Symbolic” or “metaphor” when Christ said the words Maybe my Bible is a bad version because it doesn’t have those words

  2. You’ll also see that Sola scripturists will make judgments like “That’s not biblical” or they’ll cite their favorite pastor whose interpretation they accept. My personal favorite is when they accept the Jews (and Martin Luther) throwing out the 7 Deuterocanonicals from the Bible. That’s them accepting a MAGISTERIUM’s authority.

Hmm…Scripture…Tradition…Magisterium. That sounds like the Catholic Model instead of sola scriptura

Thus, sola scriptura cannot be practiced.


#26

Well how would we know it to be true then?

If it did, what it would really be saying is that nothing else is a rule of faith, but there is no reason to specify that because the general rule is that you don’t accept something as a rule of faith until it proves it comes from God.

Where did we get this rule? You claim it is the rule by which the “rule of faith” is to be judged, but where did you get it? Did God reveal it to you personally or what?

It is the job of every source of God’s Word to demonstrate that it is truly speaking for God. For example, Jesus and most of the prophets used miracles as a witness to verify they spoke for God. The Bible we know is God’s Word because it was written by the Apostles, who were speaking for God.

It is simply amazing to see how close you are to recognizing the need for Tradition yet fail to recognize it at the same time! For example, if I asked you after each of the sentences you stated above, “How, exactly, do you know this to be true?” What would your answers be? It might go something like this:
Philthy: How do you know Jesus performed miracles?
Cmancone: Simple - I read it in God’s Word, the Bible.
Philthy: Well, how do you know what you call the Bible is God’s Word, all of God’s Word and nothing but God’s Word?
Cmancone: Simple! It was written by the Apostles who were speaking for God!
Philthy: Awesome! How, exactly do you know it was written by the Apostles and how do we know that they “speak for God”? Please note, BTW, that only 2 of the Gospels were written by Apostles - Matt and John. Mark and Luke were not Apostles.
Cmancone: I know this because it is in God’s Word, the Bible.
Philthy: Ummm, havent we circled back to the original answer you gave without demonstrating how the original answer, the Bible, is known as the Word of God?
Cmancone: Not at all!
Philthy::confused: Uhh, it seems to me that without realizing it, you accept the Bible because of the Tradition of the Church. Reliable witnesses who were the contemporaries and successors of the Apostles carried forth their writings and teachings. Mark and Luke’s Gospels are good examples of this. Such writings require a definitive authority, ordained by God, to validate them. At least that seems the most reasonable sequence of events to me.

Which basically means that you, personally, are responsible for judging who is speaking for God? That seems pretty arbitrary to me since you never actually witnessed a single thing from any of the people who you believe wrote the bible. You dont have a clue as to what did or did not happen during their lifetimes except by relying on a source (the Bible) before you have determined it to be authentic. Give it a little thought, I think you will see that you accept the Bible by faith: faith in what it says and faith that those that handed it to you were trustworthy. That is not SS, that is tradition.


#27

[INDENT]

You are making a purely arbitrary assumption about the meaning of “institution”. Certainly when it was said “if he will not listen to them take it to the church” that represented something. Whether or not you choose to included that something as an instiution is purely arbitrary.

You seem to be grasping at straws to arrive at a preconceived conclusion. The date of a writing in no way validates the authenticity of the writing. There were lots of “early” writings which were thought to be Scripture but were determined by the divine authority of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, not to be. You and I have nothing but tradition to rely upon. The truth of the revelations of Tradition is supported by such things as early manuscripts, etc, but early, unoriginal mansuscripts require external validation.

[/INDENT]


#28

#29

continued…

Contrary to popular opinion, no where in the Bible did the Apostles ever claim that Tradition would be infallibly protected (really, it isn’t claimed, and I invite anyone to try to prove otherwise). The Apostles told people to believe what they taught and what they wrote because God was speaking through the Apostles - the things they taught and the things they wrote came straight from God.

I didn’t ask about infallible tradition–I asked, rather, why Scripture tells us to hold fast to the Apostolic traditions received either by word or letter?? A confusing thing for Scripture to say if we the Church centuries later are not supposed to imitate it, but rather only hold fast to what’s written.

If we “hold fast” to what’s written, and what’s written tells us to hold fast to things spoken as well, what should we do???

The problem, as I have been saying, is that in order to continue to believe those things, we must know what was written/said. In the case of their writings, we KNOW that what we read is what they said.

Not any more so than with Oral Tradition.

In the case of oral traditions, we only have the assurances of Tradition that the Traditions they teach are what the apostles taught. There is no way to verify it, making it very untrustworthy.

No more or less “untrustworthy” than the thousands of manuscripts and the ensuing human error that has crept into the “Word of God” over 2000 years of writing

Again, scripture isn’t the sole and infallible rule of faith, it is simply the only practical one. Time made it so, because oral tradition becomes untrustworthy after about 1 generation, leaving only written testimony.

I suspect you are not well-versed in the art of oral tradition–or its inherent stability. Perhaps because it’s practically a lost art in “civilized” countries. In human society historically, sacred oral tradition has proven extremely stable and consistent.

Besides, Scripture itself states how “hard to understand” is the written Word of God: [Peter speaking of Paul’s letters] “There are certain passages in them hard to understand. The ignorant and the unstable distort them (just as they do the rest of Scripture) to their own ruin.” (2 Pt. 3:16)

This is in my opinion a re-writing of history by many Catholic apologists. It was commonly known well before any church councils which books were and were not authoritative. The church councils simply put their stamp of approval on a largely existing canon to stop people from adding more./QUOTE]

Your reply is not responsive to the issue–history shows that there was NOT a definitively accepted Christian Canon until a Church Council said what the Canon was. To say there was a “commonly known” Canon is true, but does not give a rational basis for accepting what was “commonly known” as authoritative. So, perhaps the question for you is whether the external authority required to “anoint” the Canon comes directly from the Apostles personally, or from the Church. Could you answer that?

DJim


#30

#31

Bingo! :thumbsup:


#32

Certainly not Eisegesis. :tsktsk:

It’s an obvious comment on the nature of Scripture.

Do you really think Paul meant to close the Canon by limiting inspiration to the OT and thats all we need?

Did the Church err in placing Paul’s epistles among those writings it considered inspired?

Did Peter err when he did the same?


#33

#34

Yeah, try telling that to the Jews that all they needed was the OT. haha


#35

Then why do Sola Scripturists leave no stone unturned (except those stones which contradict their position) to debunk or refute everything else?


#36

:thumbsup: :rotfl:


#37

You’re right, kaycee. Can you tell us what books are in the pre-Church OT? And in what order? Is that Scripture sufficient for Salvation?

:smiley:


#38

Absolutely, I would certainly hold fast to whatever I heard them say, as well as whatever they wrote.

Although they have not spoke to anyone orally in quite a while. Luckily I have what they wrote, which is also God Breathed.

[quote]The problem, as I have been saying, is that in order to continue to believe those things, we must know what was written/said. In the case of their writings, we KNOW that what we read is what they said.

Not any more so than with Oral Tradition.
[/quote]

Really, I would certainly be interested in hearing a few things the Apostle said not written in scripture we need to know about.

No more or less “untrustworthy” than the thousands of manuscripts and the ensuing human error that has crept into the “Word of God” over 2000 years of writing

I suspect you are not well-versed in the art of oral tradition–or its inherent stability. Perhaps because it’s practically a lost art in “civilized” countries. In human society historically, sacred oral tradition has proven extremely stable and consistent.

I suspect your not well versed with the ECF’s and “apostolic tradition” that is false or no longer practised.

Besides, Scripture itself states how “hard to understand” is the written Word of God: [Peter speaking of Paul’s letters] “There are certain passages in them hard to understand. The ignorant and the unstable distort them (just as they do the rest of Scripture) to their own ruin.” (2 Pt. 3:16)

Certain passages are hard to understand. The Majority of passages are not. Your comment is inaccurate.

This is in my opinion a re-writing of history by many Catholic apologists. It was commonly known well before any church councils which books were and were not authoritative. The church councils simply put their stamp of approval on a largely existing canon to stop people from adding more.

Your reply is not responsive to the issue–history shows that there was NOT a definitively accepted Christian Canon until a Church Council said what the Canon was. To say there was a “commonly known” Canon is true, but does not give a rational basis for accepting what was “commonly known” as authoritative. So, perhaps the question for you is whether the external authority required to “anoint” the Canon comes directly from the Apostles personally, or from the Church. Could you answer that?

DJim

The majority of books were already accepted by the churches in practice, shortly after the ink dried. The contents of scripture did not change when the councils rubber stamped them.

The books that were late in being accepted hardly added any new theology that was missing.

Augustine on the Canon.
Augustine, after the council held in Hippo had discussed the canon, wrote the following.

“In the matter of canonical Scriptures he should follow the authority of the greater number of catholic Churches, among which are those which have deserved to have apostolic seats and receive epistles. He will observe this rule concerning canonical Scriptures, that he will prefer those accepted by all catholic Churches to those which some do not accept; among those which are not accepted by all, he should prefer those which are accepted by the largest number of important Churches to those held by a few minor Churches of less authority. If he discovers that some are maintained by the larger number of Churches, others by the Churches of weightiest authority, although this condition is not likely, he should hold them to be of equal value.”

Notice no mention of the council or the pope.


#39

[quote=DJim]If we “hold fast” to what’s written, and what’s written tells us to hold fast to things spoken as well, what should we do???
[/quote]

Whoops! :eek:


#40

It fits perfectly, God always said he would only save a remnant. And only a remnant of Jews believed in the Messiah.
:thumbsup:


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