Sola Scriptura - a purely unbiblical phenomenon

 

 The Protestant Reformation brought forth the doctrine of Sola Scriptura or Bible alone, the meaning of which is "by scripture alone". The doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning from scripture. But nowhere in the Bible do we see such a rule. This doctrine is purely manmade.

 

In the Bible in Matt 28:19, Eleven apostles were send out into the world by the Lord with the mission to witness unto all nations and they were joined by Mathias, the apostle replacing Judas, and this mission they did well or the Book of Revelation would not mention the 12 as the 12 foundations of the church.

 

Re: 21:14; And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and

 in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

All 12 were the foundations. But we can see that the Bible contains only the works of 5 of them; Mathew, John, Peter, James & Jude.  So the works of 5 of the 12 we have in the Bible, then could it be that the rest of the 12 i.e. Thomas, Bartholomew, Andrew, the other James, the other John, Philip, Simon the Canaanite and Mathias, the one who replaced Judas, did these seven not preach? We see that all of them jointly as well as separately received the commandment to preach. And what of the ones who wrote the gospels and the letters, did they just restrict themselves to just a couple of letters? Paul, the apostle who entered the scene later wrote numerous letters. The others must also have written more than a couple of letters. Then why are they not in the Bible? Also St Paul says ‘James, Cephas, and John, seemed to be pillars, (Ga:2:9). But from them as well we see only a couple of letters. Is that all they preached? Also it is hard to believe that Paul wrote this many epistles while the prominent 12 including the 3 pillars wrote only a couple or none. Moreover, in the letter of Paul to the Colossians, he mentions of his letter to the Laodiceans, but we do not see this letter in the Bible

 

Col: 4:16: And when this epistle is read among you, cause that

  it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye

  likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

 

Revelation shows that like Ephesus, Laodicea was also another church

 

Re:1:11: Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:

 and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the

 seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto

 Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto

 Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 

All the 12 and Paul did preach and did write a lot, but many letters by the apostles have not come to the fore, and also, though they did all preach more, not all of it was written down,  as St. John often mentions in his letters

 

 

2Jo:1:12: Having many things to write unto you, I would not

 write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and

 speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

 

3Jo:1:13: I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and

 pen write unto thee:

 

 

From all this it is plainly understood that the written scripture is not complete. More of the preaching was also done orally. Thus Sola Scriptura has no base because not all of scripture or God’s word is contained in the books we have in the Bible. But we know that the mission of teaching was entrusted not to the apostles as persons individually but to the church, and as Scripture says, the Word continues with the church in the form of the Spirit who continues with the church, the church that is the pillar and ground of truth. Nowhere in Scripture do we see that the books in the Bible contain all of God’s word, but the Scripture says that His church is the Pillar and ground of truth, the church is the manifold of wisdom, it is the fullness of Christ Himself.

 

1)   The church is ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’ (1Tm:3:15).

 

1Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou

 oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which   is the

 church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

 

 

2) The mysteries hidden from the beginning of the world has ‘now’ been revealed to the church ‘the manifold of wisdom’. (Eph:3:9, 10 & Mt 13:11).

 

Eph 3:9, 10 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of

 the mystery,which from the beginning of the world hath

 been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:To

 the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in

 heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold

wisdom of God,

 

M't:13:11: He answered and said unto them, Because it is given

 unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,

 but to them it is not given.

 

3) The church is the ‘fulness of Christ Himself’. (Eph:1:22-23).

 

Eph 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave

 him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his

 body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

 

 

5) Church ministers are the stewards of the mysteries. (1Cor:4:1; Eph 3:4-5).

 

1Cor 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of

 Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God

 

6) Revelation is made to the church, similar to as in the Old Testament ‘the church receiving the oracles’. (Acts 7:38 & Eph 3:4,5)

 

Eph:3:4-5: Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my

 knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was

 not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed

 unto his holy apostles and prophets bythe Spirit;

 

Ac:7:38: This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness

 with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with

 our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

 

 

6) The mission to teach was given to the church. (M't:28:19, 20).

 

Mt 28:19, 20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

 them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the

 Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I

 have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even

 unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

7) The lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 2:6-8).

 

Mal 2:6-8 "True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong

 was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and

 uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of

 a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek

 instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the

 LORD of hosts."

 

 

Church is the sole interpreter

 

If so, then as Malachi clearly states, isn’t the church the interpreter rather than individuals. The mystery that had been hid has now been revealed to the ‘church the manifold wisdom of God’. Which church? The visible or invisible? The visible of course, as it is mentioned in the beginning of the verse ‘to make all men see’ so something visible. The visible preaching church. Then interpretation is to be sought from this manifold of wisdom rather than each person doing his own interpretation as a result of which we see the breakups to Luther’s church, Campbell’s church, Wesley’s church, and thousands of other ‘man made sects.

 

And St. Peter, the chief apostle warns us in advance that;

 

 

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any

 private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time

 by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were

 moved by the Holy Ghost.(2Pet 19-21)

 

Interpretation of scripture is to be done by the ‘holy men of God’ i.e. the church,  moved by the Holy Spirit and not for private interpretation. Because just as false prophets existed at the time of the prophets, false teachers who ‘privily’ or through private interpretation shall bring in damnable heresies. Interpretation is the mission of the church ‘moved by the Holy Spirit’. (2Pet 1:19-21; 2:1-3; 3:16-17). It is to the church that revelation was made, as St Paul says in Eph 3:9-10.

 

2Pe:1:19-21; 2:1, 2; 3:16-17: We have also a more sure word of

 prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a

 light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the

 day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no

 prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but

 holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy

 Ghost. But there were false prophets also among the people,

even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily

 shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that

 bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of

 whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

 

Eph 3:9-10And to make all men see what is the fellowship of

the mystery,which from the beginning of the world hath been

 hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the

 intent that now unto the principalities and powers in

 heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold

wisdom of God,

 

Interpretation of the Bible into the various ways suited to men is strongly condemned in the Bible. The Bible says ‘such are accursed’ (Gal 1:8,9).

 

Now, aren’t Christians to live by the unwritten word as well? The Lord has said ‘by every word’

 

 

M't:4:4: But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not

 live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of

 the mouth of God.

 

What the other apostles taught and has been lost was the teaching ‘of the church’ not of their own personal knowledge. This been transmitted by the church in the form of church traditions and so rightfully said by Paul to hold on to the traditions that ‘they’ i.e. the church has taught by ‘word’ or ‘epistle’ i.e oral as well as written.

 

 

2Th:2:15: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the

 traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or

 our epistle.

 

 

2Th:3:6: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our

 Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every

 brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition

 which he received of us.

 

This ‘tradition of the church’ is different from ‘human tradition or tradition of men’ that was much criticized by Jesus. Church tradition is the word of the Holy Spirit because the Lord said that the Spirit who is with the church forever will take it from Him and give to the church.

 

He also said

Joh:16:12-14: I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye

 cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth,

 is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not

 speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he

 speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify

 me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

 

 

We see this happening in the Acts (Ac:15:28: For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us; Ac:20:7, 28, 29: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood) and the Book of Revelation. what the Spirit saith to the churches’ (see Re:2:7, 2:11, Re:2:17, Re:2:29, Re:3:6, Re:3:13, Re:3:22)

 

Church tradition is but the fulfillment of the Lord speaking ‘forever’ through His the Spirit who is with the church forever, as He foretold in Jn 16:12-14. That, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things’ Joh:14:26, or ‘when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come’ (Joh:16:13)

 

And this is one reason that “Scripture alone’ or ‘Bible alone’ theory of the Pentecostal and Protestant sects is a misconception with no base, because the written Bible is incomplete. While, the church is ‘the manifold of wisdom’, ‘the pillar and foundation of truth’, ‘the fullness of Christ’.

 

I put forward this question to any and every believer be it of any sect. To whom do you turn to for as ‘the pillar and foundation of truth or the manifold of wisdom to which the hidden truth has been revealed’ or for the correct interpretation of the Bible? To your local pastor of course or another teaching authority of the sect. Where did they get their knowhow of the Bible? Not from the true church of course, they are breakaways and in opposition to the ‘the pillar and foundation of truth or the manifold of wisdom to which the hidden truth has been revealed’ and preaching a gospel different from that of the true church and so the St paul call such as ‘accursed’ (Gal 1:8,9). Each sect has a different interpretation.

 

St Pauls warns believers to keep away from the teaching of ‘any man’ or ‘an angel’ other than what ‘they’ i.e. the church taught.

 

 

Ga:1:8, 9: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any

 other gospel unto you than that which we have preached

 unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now

 again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that

 ye have received, let him be accursed.

 

And St Peter also points out the possibility of misinterpretation of Paul’s epistles’ which are ‘hard to understand’ in 2Pet 3:15 to 17, that;

 

 

2Pe:3:15-17: 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; 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. Ye therefore, beloved,

 seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being

led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own

 stedfastness.

 

 

i.e. in ‘all’ of Paul’s epistles there are ‘things hard to understand’, ‘which the unstable wrest’ ‘as they do also the other scriptures’ ‘unto their own destruction’. St Peter continues to say that he is warning the believers before it happens ‘lest ye also be led away with the error’.

 

The Canon of Scriptures (i.e. the set of Books in the Bible) that the Protestants base their belief of Sola Scriptura was ironically decided upon by the council of the Catholic church i.e. by church tradition. They do not believe in church tradition, but have no alternative but to believe in this tradition of the Catholic Church. Nowhere in the bible can we find any mention as to which of these books are divinely inspired and which not. At the time the canon was decided by the council there were even other so-called gospels and epistles in circulation. Like in the councils seen in the Acts of the apostles, as the apostles did not just use their personal judgment on matters, but took council and decided on it, similarly the Council of the Catholic church met and decided as to which books are inspired and which not, under the guidance of the Spirit. This again affirms the Christ’s promise that the Holy Spirit guides the church and that the decisions of the councils are from God, that church traditions are from God. If the scriptures themselves are part of church tradition, then how believe in Sola Scriptura? Also the chapter-wise and verse-wise divisions in the Bible are as well done by men of the church and so church tradition and were not done by the apostles or the ones who wrote the Books.

 

Sola Scriptura is a doctrine new to the world that emerged only in the 16th century after the protestant reformation. Till then everyone had no problem with following church tradition as well. Till then all including Luther, Zwingli, Hus,  Calvin who were themselves devout Catholics, and all Christendom had no problem in following the Catholic church as the pillar and bulwark of truth.

  

Christ Reigns!