Presentation on theme: "First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail. John 21:25 speaks to the fact that."— Presentation transcript:
First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail. John 21:25 speaks to the fact that there are many things that Jesus said and did that are not recorded in John, or in fact in any book in the world because the whole books of the world could not contain it. But the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church. To start off, let’s look at what Sola Scriptura is not: What is Sola Scriptura?
Secondly, it is not a denial of the Church's authority to teach God's truth. I Timothy 3:15 describes the Church as "the pillar and foundation of the truth." The truth is in Jesus Christ and in His Word. The Church teaches truth and calls men to Christ and, in so doing, functions as the pillar and foundation thereof. The Church does not add revelation or rule over Scripture. The Church being the bride of Christ, listens to the Word of Christ, which is found in God-breathed Scripture.
Thirdly, it is not a denial that God's Word has been spoken. Apostolic preaching was authoritative in and of itself. Yet, the Apostles proved their message from Scripture, as we see in Acts 17:2, and 18:28, and John commended those in Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be Apostles, Revelation 2:2. The Apostles were not afraid to demonstrate the consistency between their teaching and the Old Testament. And, finally, sola scriptura is not a denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and enlightening the Church.
The doctrine of sola scriptura, simply stated, is that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the "rule of faith" for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Now what is Sola Scriptura?
Their authority comes from their nature as God- breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, Church or council. The Scriptures are self- consistent, self-interpreting, and self- authenticating. The Christian Church looks at the Scriptures as the only and sufficient rule of faith and the Church is always subject to the Word, and is constantly reformed thereby. Catholic Author John O'Brien said: "Great as is our reverence for the Bible, reason and experience compel us to say that it alone is not a competent nor a safe guide as to what we are to believe."
According to Roman Catholicism, Sacred Tradition and the Bible together provide the foundation of spiritual truth. From this combination the Catholic church has produced many doctrines which it says are true and biblical but which Protestants reject: veneration of Mary, penance, indulgence, purgatory, prayer to saints, et. al. While Sacred Tradition and the Bible provide the foundation, the Catholic Church is the one who get’s to interpret both While Protestants hold to Sola Scriptura, a Catholic is forced to the position of Sola Ecclesia
Two Ultimate Authorities, Two Positions, the Roman Church (Sola Ecclesia) or The Bible (Sola Scriptura) Catholics don’t like the idea of Sola Ecclesia, but when the Church defines The Bible, and Tradition, it proves the point “The doctrine of the Church should be proven, not announced; therefore show that the Scriptures teach these things.” -Theodoret Does the Bible support Sola Scriptura, or Sola Ecclesia?
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,equipped for every good work.” The primary verse for Sola Scriptura This verse is what tells us that the scriptures are inspired (God breathed) and they are the only example of anything that is inspired that we have It also tells us that scripture makes the Godly man completely equipped for every good work
If scripture is sufficient, and can alone teach us every good work, why then do we need an infallible church? According to the Catholic Church, the Bible is not sufficient for Christians to live a righteous life, you need tradition and the teaching of the Roman Catholic church to do that Christians do not believe there is no need for the church! We know the church plays a vital role in a Christian’s life… but the Church does not define doctrine (like Marian Dogma’s) and then bind those doctrines upon Christians
Augustine said: “What more shall I teach you than what we read in the apostle? For Holy Scripture fixes the rule for our doctrine, lest we dare to be wiser than we ought. Therefore I should not teach you anything else except to expound to you the words of the Teacher” (De bono viduitatis, 2) Early Church beliefs on Sola Scriptura? This does not mean that Church Fathers ignored tradition and the ruling of the Church, it just means they held scripture as the highest of authorities
Basil of Caesarea ran into some of the same problems long ago in replying to his opponents who appealed to their customs and traditions as relevant and authoritative. He said, "If custom is to be taken in proof of what is right, then it is certainly competent for me to put forward on my side the custom which obtains here. If they reject this we are clearly not bound to follow them. Therefore, let God-inspired Scripture decide between us, and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the Word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth."
Cyril of Jerusalem: “In regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not the least part may be handed on without the Holy Scriptures. Do not be led astray by winning words and clever arguments. Even to me, who tell you these things, do not give ready belief, unless you receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of the things which I announce. The salvation in which we believe is not proved from clever reasoning, but from the Holy Scriptures.” (Catechetical Lectures 4:17)
Those who hold to Sola Scriptura are free to consider past councils, traditions, commentaries, and the opinions of others. But, the final authority is the Scripture alone because the Scripture alone is what is inspired by God and not past church councils, tradition, commentaries, and opinions. Scripture is above them all.
The method of the New Testament authors (and Jesus as well) when dealing with spiritual truth was to appeal to the Scriptures as the final rule of authority. Take the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4 as an example. The Devil tempted Jesus, yet Jesus used the authority of scripture, not tradition, nor even His own divine power, as the source of authority and refutation. To Jesus, the Scriptures were enough and sufficient. In discussing the issue of the Bible alone being sufficient, several points should be made:
The New Testament writers constantly appealed to the scriptures as their base of authority in declaring what was and was not true biblical teaching: Matt. 21:42; John 2:22; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2:2; 2 Peter 1:17-19, etc. Of course, Acts 17:11 says, "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so." We can see that the method used by Jesus and the apostles for determining spiritual truth was to appeal to scripture, not tradition.
It is not required of Scripture to have a statement to the effect, "The Bible alone is to be used for all spiritual truth," in order for sola scriptura to be true. Many doctrines in the Bible are not clearly stated, yet they are believed and taught by the church. For example, there is no statement in the Bible that says there is a Trinity, or that Jesus has two natures (God and man), or that the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. Yet, each of the statements is considered true doctrine within Christianity, being derived from biblical references. What verse says Sola Scriptura?
Objection: The Bible comes from Roman Catholic Sacred Tradition. The problem is twofold. First, tradition is generally anything the Christian church passed down and doesn't require inspiration of any sort. But Roman Catholicism claims such generic tradition under its umbrella of Sacred Tradition. This is the fallacy of equivocation. In other words, the meaning of the word "tradition" is changed between the first and second reference. There is no proof that the RCC sacred tradition is inspired.
But there is evidence that it is flawed, particularly when we compare what it has revealed (purgatory, Mary-worship, penance, indulgences, etc.) with Scripture and such doctrines are not only absent from Scripture, but contradict Scripture. Second, it assumes that the Roman Catholic church produced the Bible. The RCC did not produce the Bible. God produced the Bible and the Christian Church recognized the word of God (John 10:27) and endorsed what God had already authored.
To say that the Roman Catholic Church gave us the Bible is to imply that the Roman Catholic Church has the right to tell you what it means. This is problematic because how then do we check what the Roman Catholic Church says? Jesus holds people to the Old Testament He did that without a Catholic Church (Or anything like it) to declare what books were and were not “Scripture”. How did the OT Church know what books were scripture without an infallible church?
Sola Scriptura produces many denominations? But isn’t it also telling that since the Reformation just 480 years ago — a reformation claiming sola scriptura as its formal principle — there are now over 26,000 denominations that have derived from that principle? The 1982 World Christian Encyclopedia projected in that year that there would be 22,190 denominations by The present net increase,it noted, is 270 denominations each year (five new ones a week). If we extend that projection to our time, we have well over 26,000 denominations by now.
“According to Scripture, the Church—not the Bible alone—is the final court of appeal for the people of God in matters of faith and discipline. But isn’t it also telling that since the Reformation of just ca. 480 years ago—a reformation claiming sola scriptura as its formal principle—there are now over 33,000 denominations that have derived from it? (Staples) World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions in the modern world Second Edition, David B. Barrett, George T. Kurian, Todd M. Johnson Oxford University Press, 200 What do Roman Catholics say?
First, how does the Roman Catholic apologist go about demonstrating that sola scriptura is the source of these divisions, specifically? For example, when we see division in the ranks of Rome, and see strong disagreements on key issues, does it follow that the Roman magisterium is to blame for the differences of viewpoint? Second, and related thereto, is the painfully obvious observation that only a small percentage of “Protestant” churches today self-consciously even seek to profess, let alone confess and practice, sola scriptura. In fact, a large number of non-Catholic churches embrace all sorts of concepts that violate sola scriptura, so how can the principle be blamed for the actions of those who do not even believe in it?
The Second Error: It’s Just a Lie Whenever you find a convert to another religion citing a source, here’s a word of advice. Read the source yourself. GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY had 26,350 33,820 denominations/paradenominations with 1,391,020 3,445,000 congregations/churches composed of 1,130 1,888 million affiliated Christians dichotomized into the 2 global categories below
Do either of these groups arise from the Reformation? Of course not! Instead, continuing on page 16, the over-arching group “Protestant” is listed as having 8,973 denominations in 2000, the denominational number includes Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants!In fact, amazingly, this source lists 242 Roman Catholic denominations! If these ever-so-careful researchers had bothered to read on to page 16, they would have discovered:
After the Protestant groups you have “Independent” groups, followed by “Marginal Christian” groups. But all of these are added into the 33,820 number! Please realize, this includes “Gnostics” (!), Mormons (122 denominations worth!) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (228 denominations) But this isn’t the entire picture. As you begin to work through the list of “Protestant” denominations, you discover that they include non-Trinitarian groups such as the Oneness denomination
Ironically, on the page after that cited (p. 11), we find a chart relating to martyrs during the history of Christendom. It claims 11,000,000 martyrs have died as Roman Catholics since AD It likewise lists 3,170,000 Protestant martyrs, and 838,000 “Catholics prior to AD 1000.” But, in the next section it lists who was responsible for killing these martyrs. Secular governments and atheists score big, with 55,597,000 and 31,519,000 respectively. The Muslims are high-performers on the martyr-production scale as well with 9,101,000 to their credit. Animists come in fourth with 7,469,000, and guess who is #5 on the martyr-producing hit parade? Yes, Roman Catholicism, with 4,951,000!
We don’t just have a book, we have an authority who can walk into the room and say “Thus Saith The Lord” 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. We don’t just have a book either… The Mormon’s and Jehovah Witnesses also have an ultimate authority Catholics made a fallible decision when they decided to follow the Catholic Church
The Church has continued to teach these things as if they were scriptural, and in 1545, at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church declared that traditions were to be considered equal in authority with the Bible What about tradition? What scriptural support do they have? 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “ So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
There is one body of truth in view here, given by word or by letter (referring to Paul’s letter and preaching to the Church of Thessalonica) We do not reject at one point God’s word was given orally Here though, Paul is talking about the gospel (that is the tradition) he did that in person and by letter Paul uses the words stand firm in other areas in his writings to talk about standing firm in the gospel What else does the Bible say about tradition?
“Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,… Tradition in Mark 7:1-13
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Memory Verse 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” The Bible does not speak highly of traditions like the Roman Catholic Church promotes There are traditions that are Biblical, but that does not mean all traditions are inspired and equal with scripture