How can "sola scriptura" be possible?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Emily25069, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. Emily25069

    Emily25069
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    Its something I've believed in for the past 13 years.

    But Im at a point now where Im revisiting everything that I believe, and I just dont see how its possible, especially considering that for the first few hundred years, the bible wasnt all put together.

    They didnt have all the "scriptura" to be "sola" about.

    And it seems to me to be obvious that "sola scriptura" is problematic. How many protestant denominations do we have now? All claiming Sola Scriptura with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Either the Holy Spirit is confusing us, or maybe we are wrong about Sola Scriptura.
     
  2. Darron Steele

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    Hi Emily:

    My reasons for "Sola Scriptura" are mainly these three:
    1) the text of the Bible came from God -- 2 Timothy 3:16 -- but the same cannot be said for opinions of people;

    2) 2 Timothy 3:16-7 says that Scripture is given to us "so that the| person who serves God| may be complete, | entirely instructed for all good work.”* Scripture gives us everything we need to know to do as God wants;

    3) 1 Corinthians 4:6 told them “learn to observe the precept | `Do not go beyond what is written’” (TCNT|TNIV). Seems like good advice to me, given

    4) there are two major groups that tell us to adopt their "Tradition" in addition to Scripture. They do not agree with each other over details of their "Tradition" but both insist that theirs are authentic. There is no reason to accept either, as there is no evidence that these are anything other than opinions of people.

    Many people claim that the Bible did not exist until the 300's, when authorities of the proto-Orthodox/proto-Catholic decided a list of New Testament books that they accepted. Scripture existed before then; the text of all books in the Bible was written by the end of the first century.

    Sola Scriptura is not the problem regarding varying Sola Scriptura denominations. The fact is, Christians are human, and are going to make errors understanding Scripture. The Bible was not promised to fulfill every religious curiosity mortals would come up with, but only what God decided we need to know. The Holy Spirit was not promised to fulfill every religious curiosity mortals would come up with. Every Christian will make mistakes in Scripture inference, but that does not make the Bible inadequate.

    If you have decided that you wish to become Orthodox or Catholic, and think that is how you should serve the Lord, I am not going to censure you over that decision or try to discourage you. However, if alongside that, you are hoping to convince Bible-centered Christians that Scripture is inadequate, I am not going to agree with you over that.

    ___
    *NBV|ICB|ASV|RVR 1909 “enteramente instruído para toda buena obra” translated.
     
    #2 Darron Steele, Jul 26, 2008
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  3. DHK

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    Even if Israel only had the law of Moses, they were commanded to believe in sola scriptura. In other words, what Scripture they had, that was their final authority. Moses wasn't their final authority but God, and consequently what God had penned for them in His revelation written in a book--the Book of the Law.

    Years later we read from Isaiah:
    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    If what was spoken was not "sola scriptura" it was because there was no light in them. They were considered to be unsaved, false prophets. The Bible has always been the final authority in the OT and in the NT.

    When we come to NT times, but before the NT was written we have this example:

    Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    --This is the strongest example of sola scriptura yet. Paul commends the Bereans for not accepting his word at face value, but rather going back to the Scripture and stuyding it on a daily basis checking to see if the things that he was saying were true or not. That is our obligation. Paul insists that it is the Word of God that is our final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine (sola scriptura). He commends the Bereans for their diligence in this matter. It is qute possibe that the Bereans may have had only the OT Scriptures at that time. But look what they were doing! They were verifying a NT message with the OT Scriptures. That is diligence.

    Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    --Philip, in speaking to the Ethiopian Eunuch, never used any other sources but the Scriptures. In fact the only Scriptures that he had available to him was the Book of Isaiah. And that book became his sole source of authority. From that book he preached unto him Jesus.

    As time went on churches had access to more and more of the NT Scriptures and they knew through the apostles which books were inspired and which were not. Take for example:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
    --Peter knew of Paul's epistles. Peter knew which of Paul's epistles were inspired, that is, were considered Scripture.

    Here also is Peter's testimony:
    2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
    --Peter says that there are two groups of people that you need to listen to, and both of these groups are just as important as each other. One is the holy prophets, and the words that they spoke before time, in other words all the OT Scripture. The other group are the words of the Apostles, that is all the NT Scripture. We have a reference here to the OT and the NT. Be mindful of these words that are written in these books.

    We know that we have the correct books in the canon of Scripture today not because of any Catholic council, as they would like to brainwash us and have us to believe. It just ain't so.
    As Peter testified, he already knew which of Paul's epistles were Scripture.
    The Scripture was inscripturated as soon as it was written. The apostles knew what was Scripture and what was not. They were the ones that taught the early believers which books were authentic and inspired, and which ones were not. The entire completed Bible was finished by the end of the first century when John wrote the Book of Revelation in 98 A.D., the last book to be written. He already knew, by that time, which other books were inspired and which were not. The apostles taught the early church.
    No one had any need of waiting around for Catholic Councils. Don't be brainwashed by the RCC.

    If we don't have sola scriptura, then we don't have the Bible as an authority. What are we left with then? We are left with the makings of a cult. We are left with someone else's authority. You name the cult, and I will tell you what authority they have. It won't be the Bible alone. True Biblical Christianity will have the Bible alone as their final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.
     
  4. ktn4eg

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    Forgive my ignorance on this matter (I've never studied theology), but would someone be kind enough to explain briefly what is meant by "sola scriptura"?

    I've seen this expression in a couple of BB threads, but I'm not really sure what exactly it means.

    Thanks in advance for any clarification you can give me about this.
     
  5. Alive in Christ

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    Emily,

    Because in Gods scriptures of wisdom and instruction to us, He has clearly made know to us that we are all to turn to the scriptures as our truth source and truth standard that everything else must be tested against.

    Because it is Gods idea, it MUST be possible, and any other option MUST be wrong and inferier.



    :godisgood:
     
  6. Alive in Christ

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    KTN4eg,

    The scriptures tell us, not just in this passage but multitudes of others as well....

    The scriptures are our source for pure truth instruction from God. For doctrine and general living. They are our primary source of Spiritual "food" from our Father, and the best way to *hear* the voice of our Father God speaking to us. (although there are many other ways as well)

    All of us, individually, are to become aquainted with the scriptures, to feed on the scriptures, to learn from to the scriptures, etc etc etc.

    Everything that comes down the pike regarding God and Spirituality (teachers, denominations, movements, practices, etc) is to be tested against the "truth standard"...the scriptures. As the passage of scriptures I posted demonstrates, that is how we deterimine truth from error,as we see in the books of Acts...

    What they were testing against the scriptures was the teachings of the Apostle Paul. Even the Apostle Paul was not to be heeded unhesitatingly simply because he was an apostle. He had to pass the test of the scriptures.

    Hope this helps.


    :godisgood:
     
  7. Darron Steele

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    Let me try to keep this simple:

    Sola Scriptura is from Latin "Scripture Alone." It means that Scripture is our sole highest authority in matters of faith.

    The ramifications and shades of meaning are subject to great discussion, but I think the above covers it in the most basic sense.
     
  8. ktn4eg

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    Alive in Christ and Darron Steele --

    Thanks for your help in explaining this to me.

    I kind of figured that sola scriptura had something to do with the Word of God being our only accurate standard of measurement for things spiritual, etc., but both of you have helped me to understand more clearly the basis of this position.

    (If there are others willing to share their input on this matter, please feel free to add your views on this topic. [Prov. 11:14])
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    You seem to be asking two different questions here.

    Being "put together," or canonized as it is called, is not a prerequisite for sola scriptura. Even today, one need not have the whole Bible to have the authority of God in its parts. Consider your own experience. When you read the Bible, you do not read it all at once, and yet you accept (I presume) the authority of it in its parts. Preaching in church is the same way. We don't preach it all at once, but rather preach parts of it because we recognize that sola scriptura does not depend on the totality of it but on its parts.

    I think here you are confusing Scripture with a bound volume. They had Scripture. But it wasn't available to everyone, just like today.

    I think you have presented a false dichotomy. It is possible that people are not "testing the spirits to see if they are from God" (1 John 4:1ff.). Therefore, they claim to be following the Spirit but in reality are following after their own minds. The existence of protestant and Catholic churches (and remember Catholicism does not agree with itself historically nor presently) simply show that people believe different things. It does not testify at all to anything about the Spirit.

    So I would urge you to carefully think through these and entertain the possibility that you are misreading some of history and some of the present.
     
  10. Agnus_Dei

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    Hi Emily, It’s my conclusion that the notion of sola scriptura, at least for the Lutherans, has changed over time...to the more “reformed” notion of only that which is in Scripture not the intention of the Lutheran confessions that which is not in conflict with Scripture.

    I have issues with these protestant “reformed” churches of today anyway. They make no sense to me; it’s like after 2,000 years nobody’s yet to figure it out, so we need constant reforming. Baloney, it makes a mockery out of Christ’s promise to the Church.

    Hang in there Emily…keep asking the questions, reading Scripture and praying and be patient and God will lead you to the truth. He led me…took 4 years though…

    In XC
    -
     
  11. Andre

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    As I believe others have pointed out, another possibility is that many simply bring their own pre-conceptions to the scriptures. You obviously will see this if you examine some of these threads. A scriptural text clearly says one thing and yet people mangle and deform it beyond all recognition. As if this were not otherwise obvious, we need to let the writers tell us what they want to say, and not impose our own systems on them.

    Plus we have the issue of powerful motivations to have the scriptures say something other than what they actually say. Thus we get, for example, people advocating unbridled capitalism, refusing to accept the kingdom value of ensuring that all are cared for, with the financial obligations this entails.

    And another point: Despite a natural and perhaps well-motivated desire to see the Scriptures as presenting an "easy to understand" message, I think that the opposite is clearly the case. The task of understanding the riches of the Bible is an inherently challenging one, even for people who are approaching the task with entirely good motivations.
     
    #11 Andre, Jul 26, 2008
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  12. jdlongmire

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    Hi :)

    I think this is a very good statement of faith as it defines and applies the Sola Scriptura principle:

    from here


    In terms of practical application, Sola Scriptura becomes our pinnacle source of authority - that is - it is the engine that drives our worldview, or it is the lens through which we filter all input from the world.

    Everybody has their source/s or authority.

    For the RCC, it is the Pope and his minions.

    For the Reformed, it is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (Sola Scriptura).

    For the Atheist, it is the Scientific Method and themselves.

    How one understands and applies the principle of Sola Scriptura determines their true alignmnent with the will of God.

    Who is your pinnacle of authority?
     
    #12 jdlongmire, Jul 26, 2008
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  13. jdlongmire

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    The call of Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda! Does not mean what you think it means.

    It is too bad that the RCC does not recognize the pinnacle of reformation is Sola Scriptura - without it, any attempts to reform will be in vain, which is also the failure of the PCUSA.
     
    #13 jdlongmire, Jul 26, 2008
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  14. Agnus_Dei

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    Whose said anything about the RCC? I could care less what the RCC recognizes or not. IMO, the RCC were the first Protestant Church anyway.

    In XC
    -
     
    #14 Agnus_Dei, Jul 26, 2008
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  15. DHK

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    Sola Scriptura is a hated doctrine among the Orthodox Church as well.
    They also have "other" authorities besides the Bible alone.
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Where is your Scriptural authority or Scriptural evidence for making such a statement? If we step back a day before anything existed in writing, what Scriptura are you sola about? Are we to believe that all had the Scriptures even those prior to the ten commandments or the writings of Moses?

    Emily, you are on the right track to examine this false notion. It is a mere Calvinisitic sophism.
     
  17. DHK

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    I am not a Calvinist. Check your derogatory remarks at the door.

    Sola Scriptura is indeed a Biblical doctrine. The Bible existed far before Calvin.
    The exact phrase "Thus saith the Lord" is mentioned 430 times in the Bible, and that is not including all of its variations. When the Lord says something, gives his word that needs to be obeyed, then it is sola scriptura. It is an appeal to Scriptura alone. One doesn't need to have all of Scripture for sola scriptura for sola scriptura to be practiced. Apparently you have not read Hank's posts. It seems like you have not read my previous posts very carefully either, where I have already explained this.

    Even in the Garden of Eden, with as much revelation as Adam and Eve had, they had to make a choice to obey or disobey that revelation. It was an appeal to sola scriptura. They chose disobedience based on the revelation they had.
    Sola scriptura is taught all throughout the Bible.

    Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
     
  18. BRIANH

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    What is your basis for this statement? It is not that I disagree; but what patristic support do you have for this statement?
    Who is the very first person to list all 66 books as we know them?
     
  19. DHK

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    I gave Scripture as my basis. The ECF were one of the most confused lot that I have come across, many of them believing in various heresies. I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole (or any other length).
    As the topic is sola scriptura, this is a good reason why. I believe the Bible is my final authority in all matters of faith and practice, not the ECF. Why would I put their authority over the Bible?
     
  20. BRIANH

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    You did not give scripture that indicates that all sixty six books were canonized by the Apostles; just some of the books. I mention the ECF because of the statement that it was given to the early church.
     
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