Why believe the Bible?


#1

This post is mainly a request for a reply from Sola Scriptura non-Catholic Christians, but all views would be appreciated. I know it comes down to epistemology in the end but I think it is better placed in the non-catholic forum.

Basically Sola Scriptura(as I understand it), using the Bible to support belief in the Bible, does not make sense to me and I would appreciate any help/information to understand the protestant point of view on this one. This question has come to mind again and again over the last few weeks/months as I have spoken to non-Catholics, but basically I can't see a good reason to believe in the Bible apart from the Authority of the Catholic Church.

All I seem to get is a circular agrument along the lines of I believe in the Bible, because I believe in God and I believe in God because I believe in the Bible. The place of Grace(which all Christians accept) also seems to fall into this circle. How do you recognise Grace or the Holy Spirit, and so cooperate with them, apart from the Bible? How do you recognise the Bible(without an external witness) without Grace and The Holy Spirit? How can we even agree on a canon of Scripture by Scripture alone?

Cheers in advance for any replies


#2

=Theophorus;10109192]This post is mainly a request for a reply from Sola Scriptura non-Catholic Christians, but all views would be appreciated. I know it comes down to epistemology in the end but I think it is better placed in the non-catholic forum.

Basically Sola Scriptura(as I understand it), using the Bible to support belief in the Bible, does not make sense to me and I would appreciate any help/information to understand the protestant point of view on this one.

I don't understand the statement that sola scriptura is "using the Bible to support belief in the Bible". Perhaps you could explain.

This question has come to mind again and again over the last few weeks/months as I have spoken to non-Catholics, but basically I can't see a good reason to believe in the Bible apart from the Authority of the Catholic Church.

Well, Lutherans don't see scripture "apart from the Church". In fact, sola scriptura is not intended to see scripture apart from the Church. SS is a practice of the Church, from the Lutheran perspective. It's the pracice of the Church using scripture as the final norm by which the Church holds accountable teachers, teachings, doctrine and dogma.

All I seem to get is a circular agrument along the lines of I believe in the Bible, because I believe in God and I believe in God because I believe in the Bible

I don't "believe in the Bible", in the sense that I believe in God. That would be idolatry.

I believe that scripture is the word of God.

The place of Grace(which all Christians accept) also seems to fall into this circle. How do you recognise Grace or the Holy Spirit, and so cooperate with them, apart from the Bible?

How do you? Scripture tells is that faith comes by hearing. It is also true that the sacraments are means of grace.

How do you recognise the Bible(without an external witness) without Grace and The Holy Spirit?

Why would you assume there is no external witness? Would you say that the ancient creeds are an external witness? Lutherans do. And the early 7 councils? That's precisely how the Lutheran confessions speak of them and the ECF's - witnesses.

How can we even agree on a canon of Scripture by Scripture alone?

Obviously, so far, we haven't. But then again, since Orthodoxy have different canons...
But then it isn't the intent of SS to determine a canon.

Jon


#3

[quote="Theophorus, post:1, topic:307689"]
This post is mainly a request for a reply from Sola Scriptura non-Catholic Christians, but all views would be appreciated. I know it comes down to epistemology in the end but I think it is better placed in the non-catholic forum.

Basically Sola Scriptura(as I understand it), using the Bible to support belief in the Bible, does not make sense to me and I would appreciate any help/information to understand the protestant point of view on this one. This question has come to mind again and again over the last few weeks/months as I have spoken to non-Catholics, but basically I can't see a good reason to believe in the Bible apart from the Authority of the Catholic Church.

All I seem to get is a circular agrument along the lines of I believe in the Bible, because I believe in God and I believe in God because I believe in the Bible. The place of Grace(which all Christians accept) also seems to fall into this circle. How do you recognise Grace or the Holy Spirit, and so cooperate with them, apart from the Bible? How do you recognise the Bible(without an external witness) without Grace and The Holy Spirit? How can we even agree on a canon of Scripture by Scripture alone?

Cheers in advance for any replies

[/quote]

Sola Scriptura is the doctrine that Gods word alone is ruler of faith and doctrine, this does not mean that you can make up your own dogmas. Doctrines are eternal truths which were written down in early creeds and confessions and are taught as doctrine through the interpretations of scripture by those people who wrote them. It DOES not mean, as propagated by finnyists that anyone who owns a bible, that ruler of faith, is the measurer or faith.


#4

[quote="PaulinePresbytr, post:3, topic:307689"]
Sola Scriptura is the doctrine that Gods word alone is ruler of faith and doctrine, this does not mean that you can make up your own dogmas. Doctrines are eternal truths which were written down in early creeds and confessions and are taught as doctrine through the interpretations of scripture by those people who wrote them. It DOES not mean, as propagated by finnyists that anyone who owns a bible, that ruler of faith, is the measurer or faith.

[/quote]

Okay...how can the Bible make a rule of faith and doctrine are Scriptural?

How can it act infallibly and make an infallible judgement?

Don't you need someone else to interpret and make the determination of what is truly what came from the Apostles? Who does that?


#5

=Theophorus;10109192]This post is mainly a request for a reply from Sola Scriptura non-Catholic Christians, but all views would be appreciated. I know it comes down to epistemology in the end but I think it is better placed in the non-catholic forum.

Basically Sola Scriptura(as I understand it), using the Bible to support belief in the Bible, does not make sense to me and I would appreciate any help/information to understand the protestant point of view on this one. This question has come to mind again and again over the last few weeks/months as I have spoken to non-Catholics, but basically I can't see a good reason to believe in the Bible apart from the Authority of the Catholic Church.

All I seem to get is a circular agrument along the lines of I believe in the Bible, because I believe in God and I believe in God because I believe in the Bible. The place of Grace(which all Christians accept) also seems to fall into this circle. How do you recognise Grace or the Holy Spirit, and so cooperate with them, apart from the Bible? How do you recognise the Bible(without an external witness) without Grace and The Holy Spirit? How can we even agree on a canon of Scripture by Scripture alone?

Cheers in advance for any replies

I suspect the reason for this lies in the fact of a singular truth being the only possibility.

I cannot fathom how One God can have more than only One set of Faith beliefs?:shrug:

If One actually understood what the bible itotal says and teaches; such a person could not and would not [IMO] hold to Sola Scrpitura. And that really is the crux of the matter.


#6

There is no single “Protestant” view, hence the confusion. Thousands of denoms have their own peculiar view of what SS is, some hold similar views, others are similar for the most part but disagree on other points and still others hold wildly divergent views.

Be prepared to be confused as you may get several different definitions of what SS is depending on the posters denom.

I have heard several different interpretations of what ‘Sola Scriptura’ is.


#7

[quote="LEMAITRE, post:6, topic:307689"]

There is no single "Protestant" view, hence the confusion. Thousands of denoms have their own peculiar view of what SS is, some hold similar views, others are similar for the most part but disagree on other points and still others hold wildly divergent views.

Be prepared to be confused as you may get several different definitions of what SS is depending on the posters denom.

I have heard several different interpretations of what 'Sola Scriptura' is.

[/quote]

So, now you're confused? :p I'm confused about who is confused. :whacky:
Just kdding. :D

I'm not confused at all about it. And since Luther and the Lutheran reformers get the blame/credit for it, it seems our view is and ought to be the default.

Jon


#8

[quote="JonNC, post:7, topic:307689"]
So, now you're confused? :p I'm confused about who is confused. :whacky:
Just kdding. :D

I'm not confused at all about it. And since Luther and the Lutheran reformers get the blame/credit for it, it seems our view is and ought to be the default.

Jon

[/quote]

For the most part I find my Lutheran friends stance or definition of SS to be the most "rational" and '"logical", my liberal Baptist friend agrees mostly with the Lutheran definition but my conservative Baptist friend believes in the the 'literal and narrow' definition of SS.

As for my other Prot. friends held other viewpoints. Hence the conflicting definitions had my head spinning. :doh2::whacky:

Having said that I was not receiving their official 'church' stance, it was coming from laypeople [LIST]
[/LIST][size=][FONT="Arial Narrow"] so it could be tainted depending on their knowledge base. [/FONT][/size]


#9

=LEMAITRE;10110942]
For the most part I find my Lutheran friends stance or definition of SS to be the most "rational" and '"logical", my liberal Baptist friend agrees mostly with the Lutheran definition but my conservative Baptist friend believes in the the 'literal and narrow' definition of SS.
They probably say only scripture in the sense that no creed or other writing can be considered, or sol**o **scriptura.

[quote]As for my other Prot. friends held other viewpoints. Hence the conflicting definitions had my head spinning. :doh2::whacky:

Having said that I was not receiving their official 'church' stance, it was coming from laypeople [LIST]
[/LIST][FONT="Arial Narrow"]

so it could be tainted depending on their knowledge base. [/FONT]
[/quote]

Some confuse (there's that word again :D) it with individual interpretation, which any Lutheran with his Small Catechism wouldn't consider, when talking about doctrine.

Jon


#10

[quote="pablope, post:4, topic:307689"]
Okay...how can the Bible make a rule of faith and doctrine are Scriptural?

How can it act infallibly and make an infallible judgement?

Don't you need someone else to interpret and make the determination of what is truly what came from the Apostles? Who does that?

[/quote]

The apostles, they gave us doctrines, we believe them. The bible is the ruler, the apostles were the measurers (because they wrote the scriptures and so it's impossible for them to misinterpret it)


#11

[quote="PaulinePresbytr, post:10, topic:307689"]
The apostles, they gave us doctrines, we believe them.

Well, not all apostles wrote anything....so how about those who did not write anything?

The bible is the ruler, the apostles were the measurers (because they wrote the scriptures and so it's impossible for them to misinterpret it)

Sorry, got me confused here....what do you mean by "the Bible is the ruler"?

A ruler of what?

And the apostles who wrote something....were they writing to supplant what they had handed down orally?

And since the Apostles are long dead....how is one to know who posseses the correct apostolic interpetation?

[/quote]


#12

[quote="PaulinePresbytr, post:10, topic:307689"]
The apostles, they gave us doctrines, we believe them. The bible is the ruler, the apostles were the measurers (because they wrote the scriptures and so it's impossible for them to misinterpret it)

[/quote]

Does this mean that the apostles were infallible?


#13

[quote="JonNC, post:2, topic:307689"]
I don't "believe in the Bible", in the sense that I believe in God. That would be idolatry.

I believe that scripture is the word of God.
Jon

[/quote]

Good point, and one that has a tendancy to confuse fundamentalists.
One of the hallmarks of fundamentalist churches is they call themselves "Bible Believing" churches. What that implies is they believe the Bible to be inspired and without error. But the areas they choose to 'believe' about the Bible are problematic and open for debate. They tend to insert thier own philosophy into that 'belief'.
Beleiving the Bible is the Word of God however is different because God's Word transends the Bible.


#14

God’s truth certainly does transcend the Bible, I would postulate it transcends Tradition, regardless of communion. Certainly we agree that the scriptures are inspired and the word of God.
The problem some groups run into, ISTM, is that they want to completely disregard what Christians have written and taught for almost 2,000 years. Surely we all bring our own philosophy to the table, but as Martin Chemnitz commented;
We also gratefully and reverently use the labors of the fathers who by their commentaries have profitably clarified many passages of the Scripture. And we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church in the true and sound understanding of the Scripture.

Jon


#15

Why believe the Bible? Because the Church which Christ started and to which he gave the authority to bind and loose, and which Christ promised would be led by the Holy Spirit, determined that it is the word of God. That is the only way any of us know that it is the word of God.


#16

God’s Word PRECEEDS the Bible as well. He still speaks to us today.
It makes me wonder if fundamentalists are limiting God in what He is capable of beyond the Bible.


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