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21 refutations of ‘Sola Scriptura’ January 9, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Tradition.

My gravy train of great TAN booklets continues – I just found 2 more this weekend at the parish library – one on Venerable Francesco of Fatima and one with numerous excerpts of sermons of St. John Vianney.  Both are Catholic gold.  Previously, I had picked up a book by Joel Peters entitled Scripture Alone? 21 Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura.  Sola Scriptura, of course, is the protestant doctrine instituted by Luther but particularly prevalent in the United States among self-styled “evangelicals” that states that all doctrine necessary for the Christian life is contained in the Bible, and was particularly a rejection of Sacred Tradition, or the “traditions of men” as the protestants say.  Unfortunately for them, Christ instituted a Church based on two pillars, Scripture and Tradition, as all the early fathers attest, and Sola Scriptura leads to a deformed theology with numerous problem areas.  Today, I’ll post the first 11 refutations, tomorrow (God Willing!) the final 10. 

  1. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not taught anywhere in the Bible – while protestants try to point to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, they are committing a classic error in starting with a premise (the Bible alone is sufficient for faith) and then reading into a narrow quote from Scripture their preferred interpretation.  I won’t go into more detail, but their interpretation is false, as shown by Peters but even more definitively by John Salza in his book Biblical Basis For the Catholic Faith.
  2. The Bible Indicates that in Addition to the Written Word, We are to Accept Oral Tradition – St. Paul makes this reference several times in his letters, referring to the Faith that had been handed on to the faithful in Corinth, or Galatia, etc, by his word, and not by written Scripture (as some Scripture had not even been written at that point).  If you read Jurgen’s Faith of the Early Church Fathers, especially Volume 1, you will see that all the early Church Fathers from the 1st century on repeatedly stressed adherence to the Authority of the Church, even in its nascent stage. 
  3. The Bible Calls the Church and Not the Bible the “Pillar and Ground of Truth” – 1 Timothy 3:15 plainly state that one must adhere to the Church, and not simply private interpretation of Sacred Scripture, in order to be faithful to Christ.  This is supported by numerous statements made by Christ Himself in the Gospels.  Of course, Matthew 16:16-20 is the ultimate example of this. 
  4. Christ Tells Us to Submit to the Authority of the Church – As stated above, Christ Himself defined the Church as the ultimate Authority for interpreting Scripture and establishing the Doctrine of the Faith.  Again, the early Church Fathers are in agreement on this.  See Matt 18: 15-18 and again Matt 16:16-20.  Note that Scripture must be read in context – whenever presented with an isolated quote from Sacred Scripture, be sure to read several verses before and after that verse for context, if not more.  As St. Peter said, there are portions of Scripture whose interpretation can be confusing at times, again stressing the need for an Authority to correctly interpret it. (2 Pet 3:16)
  5. Scripture itself tells us that it is insufficient of itself as a teacher, but rather needs and interpreter – See Acts 8:26-40 and 2 Peter 1:20.  In the latter, St. Peter notes that Scripture should not be interpreted privately, but instead needs the guidance of the Church.  
  6. The First Christians did not have a complete Bible – The last books of the Bible were not written until around AD 100.  When Paul was referring to Scripture in his letters, he was referring to what we call the Old Testament, since the New Testament had not been written and there was much confusion as to it’s content, which leads to………
  7. The Church produced the Bible and not vice-versa – There are many books ostensibly written by Apostles or other early Church figures, which at one time were considered helpful and seen in the same light with which we view, for instance, St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, but which wound up being rejected as not being divinely inspired (such as the Epistle of Barnabas, which in the early Church was quite influential).  It was the Catholic Church that codified Sacred Scripture, determined which books were authoritative and inspired, and promulgated the authorized version of the Bible.  Protestant scripture is based on this, although Luther dropped several Old Testament books because they were not supportive of his “doctrine” of Justification through Grace alone.  He wanted to drop more, but was persuaded not to by cooler heads, for fear that his elimationist practice would fatally undermine the faith of his new converts.
  8. The Idea of the Scripture’s Authority Existing Apart form the Authority of the Church is Utterly Foreign to the Early Church – as I said, read Jurgen’s Faith of the Early Church Fathers, especially Volume 1, but also Volumes 2 and 3. 
  9. Heresiarchs and Heretical Movements Based their Doctrines on Scripture Interpreted Apart from Tradition and the Magisterium – This is a killer, to me.  “Private” revelations derived from Scripture helped power many of the early heresies, from Arianism to Pelagianism and well beyond.  Private revelation has always been a source of division in the Church – witness the rapid splintering of the different protestant groups from their outset, and the thousands of “denominations” today, each believing slightly differently (or VERY differently – like “evangelical” and mainline churches finding support for homosexuality and homosexual simulation of marriage in Scripture) from the other.
  10. The Canon of the Bible was not settled until the 4th Century  – and it was settled by the Catholic Church.  A bit repetitive, but this is a critical point – the earliest Church did not rely on Scripture alone, as there wasn’t any codified Scripture to rely on.  The Church – the Catholic (universal) Church – grew organically from the first Christian communities, it was not some Constantinian construct of a “Babylonian mystery religion.” 
  11. An Extra-Biblical Authority Identified the Canon of the Scripture –  the very definition of what constituted Sacred Scripture was made by an Authority outside Scripture, the Church.  That Authority relied on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition to determine what was Authoritative and Divinely Inspired, and what was not. 


1. Old School Gamer Dad - January 9, 2012

That book is one of my favorites!

2. 21 refutations of Sola Scriptura, part 2 « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 10, 2012

[…] I posted the first 11 refutations of Sola Scriptura yesterday.  Below I post the remaining 10, all taken from Joel Peter’s book Scripture Alone? 21 Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura.   Much more can be found in John Salza’s The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Faith.  […]

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