Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rome's Rejection of Sola Scriptura

First we should define what we mean by Sola Scriptura. In essence we mean that in the Bible God has graciously given His Church a sure and certain guide, a final Arbiter, a perfect vehicle of revelation that is without fault and without error. In all matters that bind the consciences of believers, in all matters that settle theological disputes, in all matters that guide us in what we are to believe and do, God has given us His revelation in the written Word of God. Scripture and Scripture only is the sure and sufficient guide and rule for all matters of doctrine and practice. As the Reformers used to say, “Quod non est biblicum, non est theologicum.” What is not Biblical is not theological.

The Reformers recognized that God’s word was not always written. There was a time when it was oral. But the principle of Sola Scriptura affirms that those days are over. God has consummated the revelation by which He wishes His Church to live and definitively committed it to writing. Sola Scriptura does not deny that in matters of custom, the practice of God’s people for centuries may have weight with us, but rather it affirms that those traditions must be judged by Scripture and Scripture is never judged by those traditions. The most important feature of Sola Scriptura is that we believe that everything that is necessary for salvation will be found in the Bible. If it is not Biblical, it is not part of Christian belief. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” I ask: what else is there outside of doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness and preparation for holy living? Is this not the entirety of Christian doctrine and practice? The word rendered “perfect” is the Greek word ἄρτιος, which means complete. If no other relevant passage of Scripture existed, this would be sufficient to put the final nail in the coffin of the Romish imposture concerning Scripture and tradition.

Ever since Rome began crafting her elaborate system of apostasy, she has feared the Bible; that is why she attacked Sola Scriptura at the very outset of the Reformation. In fact, even as far back as 1229 at the Council of Valencia, Rome placed the Bible on the Index of Forbidden Books in response to minuscule attempts to get the Vulgate in the languages of the people. This was before the printing press! Why does Rome fear the Bible? Because there is not one single distinctive Roman Catholic dogma that is founded on Scripture! Every single one, from Mariolatry, to the vile blasphemy of the Mass, to the veneration of images, to the doctrine of Purgatory, to works of supererogation, to auricular confession to a priest - all of them stem from a nonexistent unwritten "Sacred Tradition."

This “Tradition” is a supposed body of oral truth passed on by the Apostles to their successors, the Bishops of the Roman church, but especially to the Bishop of Rome, which has been kept pure by them throughout the ages. In the words of Vatican II: “In order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, handing over their own teaching role to them.” Let me interject here that this in direct contradiction to the Bible! Hebrews 4:12 says that Scripture is “quick and powerful.” It does not need an oral tradition entrusted to bishops to be effectual and alive. Are we to believe that the Bishops of Rome have kept the Gospel wholly pure when we know for a fact that many of them were heretics, atheists, profligates and murderers?

Vatican II continues, “This Sacred Tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments, are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from Whom She has received everything until She is brought finally to see Him as He is face to face. Therefore, the Apostles, handing on what they themselves had received, warn the faithful to hold fast the tradition which they had learned either by word of mouth or by letters (2 Thess. 2:15). This Tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit to the successors of the Apostles. Sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s Word. And consequently, it is not from the Scripture alone draws Her certainty about everything which has been revealed.”

Hence we see the utter hypocrisy and imposture of Rome when she claims to believe the Bible and that it is the word of God, for clearly she places her own “Tradition” above Scripture as its judge and interpreter. Therefore, Tradition outweighs Scripture as the source of Romish dogma. Indeed Rome’s Tradition is outranked by the Pope, since he alone decides what this Tradition contains. Every new papal bull (an accurate term if ever there was one!) asserts that what the Pope is now teaching is in accordance with this Tradition. No one could ever verify this since he claims to be the sole possessor of it. Talk about a ‘fixed fight.” When Protestants claim that the difference between us and the Roman Catholics is that we believe in Scripture alone and Catholics believe in Scripture plus tradition, they are missing the point. The fact is that Rome places herself above both Scripture and her "Tradition."

The favorite argument of Romish apologists against the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is their assertion that the Bible doesn't teach it. This is the most brazen piece of two-faced nonsensical hogwash imaginable. I think I am being kind in stating it that nicely. The unspoken assumption is that if you can prove Sola Scriptura from the Bible then Rome will accept it. But once they say that they have ceded the argument. It is nothing but a diabolical, hypocritical, convoluted piece of sophistry. If Papists would be willing to accept the truth of Sola Scriptura upon the explicit teaching of the Bible, then why won't they submit their other whoredoms to the bar of Scripture? If Rome could produce Scripture for her abominations, do you think she would ever make the crass appeal to some mysterious, unwritten tradition? If the Romish apologists are willing to believe that Scriptural proof is sufficient when it comes to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, why are they not willing to hold the same position in regard to the doctrines of the Mass, Purgatory, Indulgences or Merit?

Here are Rome’s biblical “proofs” that the Bible does not claim to be sufficient. And let me just interject here that again this is horrendously blatant hypocrisy. Rome pretends to make an appeal to Scripture, and to believe that this is sufficient! Indeed she is actually trying to make Scripture testify against itself. Here are her “proofs”:

• John 21:25 – “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

Based on this Rome asks: How could the Bible be sufficient if there is so many things not written down? No Protestant in his right mind would deny that Jesus did things that are not in the Bible, nor that the Apostles knew things that are not in the Bible. What we are affirming however, is that all that the Lord has made necessary for salvation is recorded in Scripture. This passage does not give the slightest ghost of a loophole for Rome’s position. If the Magisterium of Rome is all they say it is, and if Tradition is all they say it is, why would there be a need for any authoritative written revelation from God? No Romish apologist has ever tackled that question.

Never mind the fact that oral tradition always gets corrupted. The farther one gets from the source, the worse it gets. But when an oral tradition is all one has, this tradition can get corrupted even at the very source itself. When Israel was in the wilderness, they apostatized to golden calf worship within 40 days during Moses’ absence. If Israel, with only an oral revelation, and on the heels of a miraculous deliverance from Egypt, could degenerate so quickly - would we not have to be deranged to believe that Rome has kept Tradition pure for nearly 2000 years? This is sheer idiocy! That is why God selected what was necessary for salvation and committed it to writing.

• 1 Corinthians 11:2, 34 “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you… And the rest will I set in order when I come.”

From this passage, Rome asserts that there are ordinances which are not written in Scripture. But I would ask: By what stretch of the imagination can they infer that from these verse? Who is to say that the ordinances to which Paul is referring are not the very ones he is addressing in this epistle?

• 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

Protestants would believe any Apostolic teaching. If Paul came into a church and said, “This is a truth from God,” we would believe it. But the question is: How do we know an Apostolic teaching? It is easy to identify it as such if it is written. But if someone comes along 1800 years after Paul has died and says, “This is an Apostolic tradition,” how am I to know that this is in fact true? The only way to know and verify it is to judge it by Scripture. Period!

• 2 Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

This, Rome says, is supposed to undermine Sola Scriptura. I defy anyone to defend a position, even in a small claims court, on such flimsy evidence, and see how far he gets!

• John 20:31, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:”

Here again, Rome appeals to unwritten tradition. Certainly, at the beginning of the Apostolic era Gospel truth was largely in an oral format. The Apostles preached before they wrote. But the evidence indicates that the Apostles set about writing their Gospels and Epistles at a very early stage. But more to the point is John’s statement in the very next verse. John says, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Here we have a definitive Apostolic clarification that, whatever Jesus may have done or said that is not recorded in Scripture, what is recorded is sufficient for faith and practice. Let Rome put that in her pipe and smoke it!

As I said earlier, if Rome’s apologists could establish the doctrines of Purgatory, merit, supererogation, a sacrificing priesthood and the rights and privileges of the papacy, they would not be expending so much energy on tradition. They know that if the appeal was made to Scripture alone, the whole ship of their carefully crafted system of religion would be sunk.


  1. John Calvin was never accepted by the Catholic Church in any sense, except as another sinner needing redemption.

    His leading people into heresy and away from the Body of Christ has been one of the major heartaches for all good Catholic saints who have worked so hard through the centuries to repair the damage he has done to innumerable souls in cutting them off from Divine Grace through severance from the Church.

    One saint in particular, St. Francis de Sales spent his life as a missionary, and subsequently as bishop of Geneva trying to reconvert (with great success) those who had been led astray.

    The Jesuits were founded, as a religious order, specifically to help combat the heresy of Protestantism.

  2. The fact that Rome has never accepted Calvin is an encouragement to me and all true Protestants. Rome is an apostate church and will continue to be so. The Jesuits were founded with the purpose of combatting the Reformation, and the continue their evil work to this day.

  3. Is Half of The Story Sufficient For Salvation?

    How many sides are there to a story? If you say two, then you are wrong. If you had one side and I had one side that would make two sides. However, there is a third side, the side of truth.

    Rule # 1... One half of truth does not a truth make. Neither does one half of a story make the full story.

    No intelligent person can hear one side of a story and decide which side has the truth.

    Both sides have to be heard, then analysed, and then a decision has to be made as to which side (if either) has a valid story, and after that, the right side(s), or truth side, can be determined.

    This thinking holds true for discerning what Holy Scripture tells us.

    Throughout the Bible there are double standards, yet the fundamentalist thinking shows only one standard, or one side of the story, or only one half of the truth.

    Their thinking is in violation of rule # 1. With only one half of truth, you do not have truth. Anything less than the whole truth is error.

    In the following example, side 'A' is the first side, side 'B' is the second, and side 'C' is the right, or truth side.

    Sola Scriptura... Only the Bible.

    Fundamentalist thinking is that the Bible is sufficient and nothing else is needed for salvation. First of all, in order to believe in the 'Bible Only' philosophy, you have to show that Scripture says it. Is that not true? The doctrine of 'Sola Scriptura' is not to be found in Scripture.

    A. Tradition is condemned in many places in Scripture, such as Job 22:15, Mt 15:6, Mk 7:3-13, Gal 1:14, Col 2:8, 1Tim 1:4, Tit 1:14, and 1Pet 1:18. Look at these verses and grasp their meaning. They all address 'vain' human traditions and are rightly condemned. This is one half of the truth.

    B. Tradition is supported in more places in Scripture than it is condemned. Study Isa 59:21, Lk 1:2, 2:19,51, Lk 10:16, 2Thes 2:14-15 - "Stand firm and hold the traditions you have learned..", 2Tim 1:13,2:2, 1Pet 1:25, 1Jn 1:1,2:24, 2Jn 1:12, Rev 12:17,19:10.

    These are different traditions than mentioned in 'A'. These are the Traditions of GOD, or 'Apostolic' Tradition. Again, this is only half of the truth.

    C. The truth is, yes, we do condemn the vain tradition of men, as shown in 'A', and we must keep the Tradition of GOD, as shown in 'B'.

    Thus we have half the truth in 'A', and the other half in 'B', and combined we have the full truth. The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura adds A and B together and puts the total in A, rejecting all of tradition. A+B=C.

  4. The article more than sufficiently addresses your arguments. Roman Catholic apologists love to use the “the Bible doesn’t teach Sola Scriptura” gimmick. As I said in my post, I think this is nonsense. The unspoken assumption is that Rome would accept Sola Scriptura if it could be proven from the Bible. But once you say that, you have ceded the argument. If Rome would accept Sola Scriptura upon explicit teaching from the Bible, then why would she submit the rest of her doctrines to the bar of Scripture? If there was even the slightest shred of Biblical support for the doctrines of Purgatory, the Mass, supererogation, etc., Rome would never have to make her ridiculous appeal to some mysterious, unverifiable, unwritten tradition. If the Romish apologists are willing to believe that Scriptural proof is sufficient when it comes to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, why are they not willing to hold the same position in regard to the doctrines of the Mass, Purgatory, Indulgences or Merit?


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