Why sola Scriptura?

What is the origin of the Sola Scriptura doctrine of the Protestants?

Who firstly and most famously argued this doctrine, and what was the main rationale for it?

What is the main answer Catholics can give to this doctrine?

Thank you?

The main rationale, from a Lutheran perspective, seems to have been the contradictions the Reformers saw in councils and popes, particularly following the Great Schism.

The Lutheran Reformers were strong proponents of the practice (not a doctrine), though what is often passed off as SS today in some protestant groups bears little resemblance.

Jon

I understand Sola Scrirptura to be the belief that if a teaching is not in the Bible, it has no foundation. What, briefly, is the strongest argument against Sola Scriptura?

  1. Sola Scriptura holds that the Bible is the sole rule of faith for the believer.
  2. Sola Scriptura is not taught in the Bible.
  3. Therefore, Sola Scriptura is self-refuting.

The Bible says the pillar and bulwark is the Church so I don’t get the logic about Sola Scriptura or the Calvinist belief of predestination because the Bible says God wishes no one to perish and the most bizarre that John 6 is symbolic not literal.

What the Lutheran Formula of Concord says:

  1. We believe, teach, and confess that the sole rule and standard according to which all dogmas together with [all] teachers should be estimated and judged are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament alone, as it is written Ps. 119:105: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And St. Paul: Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed, Gal. 1:8.

Jon

SS in no way contradicts the statement that the Church is the pillar and bulwark. As far as Calvinist beliefs, I’ll let them respond.

Jon

**Jon

  1. We believe, teach, and confess that the sole rule and standard according to which all dogmas together with [all] teachers should be estimated and judged are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament alone, as it is written Ps. 119:105: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. And St. Paul: Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed, Gal. 1:8. **

Well, the quote from Paul was written before the gospels were written, so clearly the quote does not refer to the New Testament writings but rather to the gospel that was being preached by the Church in the various churches. During the Council at Jerusalem (described in the Gospel of Luke), the apostles did not decide the matter of circumcision by referring to the Old Testament. They decided it by their own authority as a council of the Church.

It can’t be scripture alone outside of the Church that chose the books that went into the Bible, the fact Christians are running around with two different Bibles looks like a man made problem, God doesn’t create confusion like this.

sola scriptura doesn’t make sense because the bible canon did not exist until it was put together in the 300s. Then it was painstakingly HANDWRITTEN and HAND-COPIED by Catholic Monks for Hundreds of Years BEFORE the Printing Press was invented. The teachings were passed down by the apostles and their successors for years.

Do you think Peter pulled out a pocket sized copy of the New Testament on the First Pentecost to teach the people?

What contradictions? I’ve seen none. Remember, apparent contradictions may not be contradictions at all.

That’s a hard question to answer. Much harder than sola fide, which was Luther’s invention.

For one thing, the phrase “sola scriptura” was not used by the Reformers, but was a later coinage. However, the doctrine was certainly taught by the Reformers. According to Luther, at least, it was also taught by late medieval scholastics–at least, Luther claimed that his doctrine of Scripture was simply what he had learned at Erfurt from Jodocus Trutvetter.

Part of the problem is that sola scriptura can be defined in several ways. If it’s defined as the “material sufficiency of Scripture” (that all binding doctrine may be found in Scripture) which is the most minimal definition, then it goes back at least to the fourth century. But that’s an inadequate definition, since Catholics may accept material sufficiency.

“Formal sufficiency” is a more common way to define sola scriptura: that the believer, through a due use of the ordinary means, may arrive at certainty regarding all necessary doctrine. However, this is still ambiguous. What role does tradition play among the “ordinary means?” What percentage of believers, with precisely what kinds and degrees of “ordinary means” and what sorts of interior dispositions, need to arrive at true doctrine from Scripture for this teaching to be true? To my mind it’s hopelessly fuzzy.

I think the key point that distinguishes sola scriptura from acceptable Catholic views on Scripture is not anything that is affirmed about Scripture, but rather what is denied about the Church.

So I think the sources of sola scriptura are at least fourfold:

  1. Patristic teaching on material sufficiency of Scripture (no, the Fathers are not consistent on this point, but the passages are there, and they are given more weight by the overall Scripture-centered tone of patristic theology)

  2. Medieval scholastic understanding of the Bible as the ultimate “auctoritas,” the authoritative textbook, for theology. (This makes nonsense of the all-too-common claim of contemporary Catholic apologists that books can’t be authorities. Aquinas would have found this very puzzling.)

  3. The Renaissance humanist desire to return to the “fontes,” the original sources, in any given discipline, and the accompanying suspicion of medieval traditions of interpretation.

  4. The increasing suspicion among late medieval radical reformers (most notably Wycliffe and Hus) that the institutional Church was no longer morally, spiritually, and theologically trustworthy.

All of this came together for Luther at Leipzig in 1519, but other Reformers seem to have come to the same conclusions for their own reasons.

My personal opinion is that Protestants had no choice but to hold the Bible as their highest authority because they were left with no other authority.

Contarini
**
4. The increasing suspicion among late medieval radical reformers (most notably Wycliffe and Hus) that the institutional Church was no longer morally, spiritually, and theologically trustworthy.**

But Wycliffe and Hus were “morally, spiritually, and theologically trustworthy?” :confused:
**
Steve

My personal opinion is that Protestants had no choice but to hold the Bible as their highest authority because they were left with no other authority. **

Now there’s a great point! It’s either that or every man is a pope! :thumbsup:

Actually, I feel like there was instances of sola-fide in the early Church among heretical sects and that it was condemned as heresy early on. I’d have to go looking again to see if I could find it.

Obviously they thought they were. And they had many admirable qualities. The Reformers admired them, and it became common in later years for Protestants to claim them as “forerunners,” although Luther was admirably clear and honest in his evaluation, pointing out that they had been mostly concerned with moral reform, while he was concerned with doctrine.

Edwin

Satan used scripture as his sole rule when he dared Christ to jump from the parapet of the temple. Written words as a “sole rule” cannot exist, as the scriptures are not self-interpreting. If they are self-interpreting, then Jesus should have leapt from the temple parapet. Each denomination stands as evidence that the scriptures do not self-interpret: notice that each and every “bible alone” group has a committee of humans to interpret and decipher the scriptures and then form acceptable doctrines based on their opinions. Why? They simply replaced Catholic authority with their own, and in the process, have only demonstrated theological entropy in action.

Entropy can be loosely described as a dissolving (or scattering) of the original. John teaches us that every spirit that dissolves Christ is the antichrist. We know that the Apostles were scattered by the evil of the Shepherd being struck. Opposing this worldly entropy is the Unifier - the Holy Spirit - the source of Christian unity.

Bible as sole rule allows the individual ego to re-fashion Christ and the faith into whatever that person or group wants. We are drowning in the denominational evidence of this. Look at the Jesus Seminar’s purely human Christ; Deepak Chopra’s mirror-image Christ; The Zealot - there is an endless variety of Gumby-style malleable Saviors being preached, manufactured and sold for profit - all based on the desires of the human ego.

I agree with this opinion too, but how do they account for the creation of the Bible and then switching the Old Testament books during the Reformation, 1500 years later. I mean Maccabees, Tobit and all of Book of Daniel are really important! How do they explain the fact the Jewish cannon they are using was closed after the death of Jesus and after the fall of The Temple? No one calling themselves a Christian for 1500 years used this cannon and then Martin Luther changes it???. This is the Word of God we are talking about you just cannot remove it!!!

The reformers sought out, accepted and adopted the canon of the Pharisees, according to the introduction of the (Protestant) Revised Standard Version. If we look in Matthew 23, we see our Lord condemn the Pharisees seven-fold, a complete and total condemnation. That should give one pause to ponder.

:thumbsup:

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