Sola Scriptura

Sola Scriptura is true only in the sense that it is only the Bible that has God as its primary author, but is in error with the concept of the Bible being the sole authority and source of God’s truth. The books and the letters contained in the New Testament are some of the documents in the Church’s deposit of faith—commonly known as the Tradition. Due to circumstances, a canon was defined to distinguish among the writings what are inspired—that is those that has God’s authorship—and what are not. It does not mean that those “uninspired” rest do not hold God’s truth. There are millions of books today that explain God’s will and teaching, yet they don’t have God as their author. It is the same with the Church Tradition. These texts, although not part of the Bible, came from the apostles and passed down to their disciples, whom the Church called the Apostolic Fathers. These fathers in turn have their own followers, whom we call now as the Early Church Fathers. The church preserved this Tradition (handed teachings) from the beginning (cf. 1 Co 11:1) until today. Just as the Lord has promised, not in the 21-century history of the Church did it become unfaithful in keeping God’s revelation intact. The impossibility of that event to occur does not depend on human effort but rather on the continuous fulfillment of Christ’s word that not even the corruption of Satan may destroy the purity of the deposit of Faith (Mt 16:18).

Another error of the Protestant’s “Bible alone” is the idea that the issue of Scriptural interpretation is a matter to be left between the Bible and the reader. There is only one truth, so if thousands of groups claimed to hold thousands of different “one truth”, then it is certain that those who hold on to their own individual understanding do not actually hold the truth. God’s revelation is not a matter of private interpretation as the Scripture itself says (2 P 1:20); neither is it accurate that “Scripture interprets Scripture”. It is true that a part of the Scripture is being supported by another part, but it is also true that wrong interpretation of one part will be aggravated by the other part that supports it.

The Scripture (the New Testament documents and the canon of both testaments) was drawn from the Church and it is the Church alone who has the authority and protection to teach it free from error. Just as Paul proclaims, the Church is the one that upholds the truth and keeps it safe (1 Tm 3:15).

6 Comments

  1. alexa said,

    What were the circumstances or measuring rod which the Catholic Church used to declare that certain writings are inspired and some are not? What assurance does the Church give that it did not err from its decision?

  2. Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco said,

    [Note from the editor: This impostor is not the real Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco, who is a Catholic.]

    Now we know that the Bible is God word. That Jesus taught God word so did the Apostles. The phrase sola scriptura is from the Latin: sola having the idea of “alone,” “ground,” “base,” and the word scriptura meaning “writings”—referring to the Scriptures. Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    John 1:14 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace

    2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
    Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
    Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
    2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

    So you see that Christ is Sola scriptura He is God word in the flesh and is the only AUTHORITY.

    Matt 15:9…in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Col 2:22 … after the commandments and doctrines of men.”

    • vanillae said,

      The Church (not the Bible) is the pillar and foundation of the truth according to the Bible.

  3. Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco said,

    [Note from the editor: This impostor is not the real Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco, who is a Catholic.]

    Jesus Christ taught the five Sola… If a person does not agree with the Jesus Christ teaching..then that person really need to pray ask God to show you the truth. Sola means everything comes from God not man,

    Sola fide which means “faith alone” is important because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics or key points that separate the true biblical Gospel from false gospels. At stake is the very Gospel itself and it is therefore a matter of eternal life or death. Getting the Gospel right is of such importance that the Apostle Paul would write in Galatians 1:9, “As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” Paul was addressing the same question that sola fide addresses—on what basis is man declared by God to be justified? Is it by faith alone or by faith combined with works? Paul makes it clear in Galatians and Romans that man is “justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law” (Galatians 2:16), and the rest of the Bible concurs.

    The five solas are five

    1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
    2. Sola fide: “faith alone”
    3. Sola gratia: “grace alone”
    4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
    5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

    Meaning that Sola scriptura:

    In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul states “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” This is the only use in the Bible of the Greek word theopneustos, which means ‘God-breathed, inspired by God, due to the inspiration of God,’ but other scriptural passages support the basic premise of the source of Scripture being inspired by God.

    The power of the breath of God in divine inspiration pervades Scripture. God breathed “the breath of life” into Adam (Genesis 2:7) and Jesus “breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). In 2 Peter 1:21 we are told that “prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Here we see the truths of Scripture described as coming directly from God, not from the will of the writers He used to record them.

    Meaning of Sola fide: “faith alone:

    Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Perhaps no other component of the Christian life is more important than faith. We cannot purchase it, sell it or give it to our friends. So what is faith and what role does faith play in the Christian life? The dictionary defines faith as “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.” It also defines faith as “belief in and devotion to God.” The Bible has much more to say about faith and how important it is. In fact, it is so important that, without faith, we have no place with God, and it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is belief in the one, true God without actually seeing Him.

    Where does faith come from? Faith is not something we conjure up on our own, nor is it something we are born with, nor is faith a result of diligence in study or pursuit of the spiritual. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that faith is a gift from God, not because we deserve it, have earned it, or are worthy to have it. It is not from ourselves; it is from God. It is not obtained by our power or our free will. It is simply given to us by God, along with His grace and mercy, according to His holy plan and purpose, and because of that, He gets all the glory.

    Why have faith? God designed a way to distinguish between those who belong to Him and those who don’t, and it is called faith. Very simply, we need faith to please God. God tells us that it pleases Him that we believe in Him even though we cannot see Him. A key part of Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” This is not to say that we have faith in God just to get something from Him. However, God loves to bless those who are obedient and faithful. We see a perfect example of this in Luke 7:50. Jesus is engaged in dialog with a sinful woman when He gives us a glimpse of why faith is so rewarding. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” The woman believed in Jesus Christ by faith, and He rewarded her for it. Finally, faith is what sustains us to the end, knowing that by faith we will be in heaven with God for all eternity. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9)

    Meaning of Sola gratia: “grace alone”

    God shows both mercy and grace, but they are not the same. Mercy withholds a punishment we deserve; grace gives a blessing we don’t deserve. Consider this illustration: you were stopped in your old clunker for going 60 mph in a school zone. The ticket is high, and you can’t pay it. You appear before the judge with nothing to say for yourself. He hears your case and then, to your surprise, he cancels your fine. That is mercy. But the judge doesn’t stop there. He walks you outside and hands you the keys to a new car. That is grace.

    In mercy, God chose to cancel our sin debt by sacrificing His perfect Son in our place (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But He goes even further than mercy and extends grace to His enemies (Romans 5:10). He offers us forgiveness (Hebrews 8:12; Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation (Colossians 1:19-20), abundant life (John 10:10), eternal treasure (Luke 12:33), His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and a place in heaven with Him some day (John 3:16-18) when we accept His offer and place our faith in His sacrifice.

    Meaning of Solo Christo: “Christ alone”

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(John 3:16)

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.(John 14:6)

    Jesus is called a High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14). The word “priest” carries a couple of primary meanings. First, it means one who mediates in religious services. It also means one who is holy or set apart to perform those services.

    Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One who can pay our sin penalty (Romans 6:23). No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences. No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14) – the only way an infinite debt could be paid. Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

    The blood of Christ is the basis of the New Covenant. On the night before He went to the cross, Jesus offered the cup of wine to His disciples and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). The pouring of the wine in the cup symbolized the blood of Christ which would be poured out for all who would ever believe in Him. When He shed His blood on the cross, He did away with the Old Covenant requirement for the continual sacrifices of animals. Their blood was not sufficient to cover the sins of the people, except on a temporary basis, because sin against a holy and infinite God requires a holy and infinite sacrifice. “But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3). While the blood of bulls and goats were a “reminder” of sin, “the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19) paid in full the debt of sin we owe to God, and we need no further sacrifices for sin. Jesus said, “It is finished” as He was dying, and He meant just that—the entire work of redemption was completed forever, “having obtained eternal redemption” for us (Hebrews 9:12).

    Not only does the blood of Christ redeem believers from sin and eternal punishment, but “His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14 ). This means that not only are we now free from having to offer sacrifices which are “useless” to obtain salvation, but we are free from having to rely on worthless and unproductive works of the flesh to please God. Because the blood of Christ has redeemed us, we are now new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and by His blood we are freed from sin to serve the living God, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him forever.

    Meaning of Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

    The work of salvation is an act that God performs alone; man has no active part in the process (contrary to other theologies that suggest otherwise). In a previous article, we looked at Ephesians 2:8-9 in reference to Christians being saved by grace alone. In that passage, we see that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works “so that no one may boast.” In salvation, all boasting is silenced! No one can claim any credit when it comes to salvation because even the faith we exercise to make salvation a reality is graciously granted to us by God.

    Perhaps at this point it might prove beneficial to explain what God’s glory is. Simply put, God’s glory is what eminates from his being. It is the totality of all his attributes made manifest. In Exodus 33:18, Moses asks God to show him his glory. God responds by giving him a glimpse of his glory (for no one can see God’s glory in its fullness and live):

    The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:5-7)

    The manifestation of God’s glory is equivalent to God proclaiming his name. In the brief glimpse Moses gets of God’s glory, he learns of the infinite graciousness and mercy of God as well as the infinite justice and holiness of God. God is glorified in showing grace and love and mercy to the righteous, and he is glorified in showing judgment and wrath and justice to the wicked.

    The glory of God is also something that is manifest all throughout creation. David proclaims in the psalms that “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). The Apostle Paul echoes this thought when he writes, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). The universe, being the work of God’s hands, shows forth his glory in a multitude of ways.

    God’s glory is made even more evident in the creation of mankind who was created in his image (Genesis 1:26-27). Man is God’s crowning creation and alone among God’s creatures is said to be in his image. So much could be said of what it means to be created in God’s image; suffice it to say that it involves such things as our ability to reason, feel emotions, make rational choices, communicate intelligibly, relate interpersonally, and think abstractly. The ulitimate display of God’s glory and his “exact imprint” is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3) who fully manifests the glory of God in mankind.

    We could go on talking about God’s glory for quite some time, but for our purposes here, the glory of God is manifest in the salvation of his elect. If God’s glory is manifest through the display of his attributes, then we get a good picture of this in the salvation of the elect and the damnation of the wicked. The salvation of the elect demonstrates God’s love, grace and mercy; whereas the damnation of the wicked demonstrates the holiness, wrath and justice of God (Romans 9:22-23).

    • vanillae said,

      They’re not even alone. They are five.

      (“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”)

      To say that “only Scriptures” are God-breathed is a different thing. All men are creatures but it doesn’t mean that “men alone” are creatures.

      Too much explanation for a Book that “doesn’t need to be interpreted”. Ironic is I didn’t see the phrase “faith alone” in the passages quoted. Same with the rest.

  4. Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco said,

    [Note from the editor: This impostor is not the real Reinner Joseph Melegrito Velasco, who is a Catholic.]

    Jesus Christ taught the five Sola… If a person does not agree with the Jesus Christ teaching..then that person really need to pray ask God to show you the truth. Sola means everything comes from God not man,

    Sola fide which means “faith alone” is important because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics or key points that separate the true biblical Gospel from false gospels. At stake is the very Gospel itself and it is therefore a matter of eternal life or death. Getting the Gospel right is of such importance that the Apostle Paul would write in Galatians 1:9, “As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” Paul was addressing the same question that sola fide addresses—on what basis is man declared by God to be justified? Is it by faith alone or by faith combined with works? Paul makes it clear in Galatians and Romans that man is “justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law” (Galatians 2:16), and the rest of the Bible concurs.

    The five solas are five

    1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
    2. Sola fide: “faith alone”
    3. Sola gratia: “grace alone”
    4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
    5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

    For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior in authority to the Bible. This resulted in many practices that were in fact contradictory to the Bible. Some examples are prayer to saints and/or Mary, the immaculate conception, transubstantiation, infant baptism, indulgences, and papal authority. Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation, was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings. The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther’s reply was, “Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!”

    The primary Catholic argument against sola scriptura is that the Bible does not explicitly teach sola scriptura. Catholics argue that the Bible nowhere states that it is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice. While this is true, they fail to recognize a crucially important issue. We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible. We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition.

    The Word of God is the only authority for the Christian faith. Traditions are valid only when they are based on Scripture and are in full agreement with Scripture. Traditions that contradict the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith. Sola scriptura is the only way to avoid subjectivity and keep personal opinion from taking priority over the teachings of the Bible. The essence of sola scriptura is basing your spiritual life on the Bible alone and rejecting any tradition or teaching that is not in full agreement with the Bible. Second Timothy 2:15 declares, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

    Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word. They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. The problem with the Roman Catholic Church, and many other churches, is that they base traditions on traditions which are based on traditions which are based on traditions, often with the initial tradition not being in full harmony with the Scriptures. That is why Christians must always go back to sola scriptura, the authoritative Word of God, as the only solid basis for faith and practice.

    On a practical matter, a frequent objection to the concept of sola scriptura is the fact that the canon of the Bible was not officially agreed upon for at least 250 years after the church was founded. Further, the Scriptures were not available to the masses for over 1500 years after the church was founded. How, then, were early Christians to use sola scriptura, when they did not even have the full Scriptures? And how were Christians who lived before the invention of the printing press supposed to base their faith and practice on Scripture alone if there was no way for them to have a complete copy of the Scriptures? This issue is further compounded by the very high rates of illiteracy throughout history. How does the concept of sola scriptura handle these issues?

    The problem with this argument is that it essentially says that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word. Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did. The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority. While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it. Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it. Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions and passing them on from generation to generation, the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures (2 Timothy 4:2).

    Again, traditions are not the problem. Unbiblical traditions are the problem. The availability of the Scriptures throughout the centuries is not the determining factor. The Scriptures themselves are the determining factor. We now have the Scriptures readily available to us. Through the careful study of God’s Word, it is clear that many church traditions which have developed over the centuries are in fact contradictory to the Word of God. This is where sola scriptura applies. Traditions that are based on, and in agreement with, God’s Word can be maintained. Traditions that are not based on, and/or disagree with, God’s Word must be rejected. Sola scriptura points us back to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Sola scriptura ultimately points us back to the God who always speaks the truth, never contradicts Himself, and always proves Himself to be dependable.

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