THE SOLA SCRIPTURA PRINCIPLE
DOES THE BIBLE TEACH IT?


Sola Scriptura can be defined as the Protestant principle that scripture alone is a sufficient teacher to gain salvation, and it, scripture, is the one ruler or standard by which any doctrine of the church should be judged. If a doctrine cannot be found within the covers of the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, then it can be safely rejected, your salvation does not depend on it. Some Catholic apologists will claim that this Sola Scriptura doctrine did not surface until the reformation of the 16th century and Martin Luther. Note the following:

This Mediator [Jesus Christ], having spoken what He judged sufficient first by the prophets, then by His own lips, and afterwards by the apostles, has besides produced the Scripture which is called canonical, which has paramount authority, and to which we yield assent in all matters of which we ought not to be ignorant, and yet cannot know of ourselves.

So just who authored this affirmation of the principle of the sufficiency and paramount authority of the scriptures known as Sola Scriptura? Was is Martin Luther? Perhaps another Johnny-come-lately disgruntled 16th century reformer? No, the author is from the 5th century, 1100 years prior to the Reformation! The author is none other than St. Augustine, quoted from his City of God, book XI, Chapter 3, online at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library server, at Wheaton College.

Here is the same passage with a slightly different translation:

This mediator [Jesus Christ], first through the Prophets, then by his own lips, afterwards through the Apostles, revealed whatever he considered necessary. He also inspired Scripture, which is regarded as canonical and of supreme authority and to which we give credence concerning all those truths we ought to know and yet, of ourselves, are unable to learn.

So scripture, according to St. Augustine, is the supreme authority and reveals all truths we should know. That sounds about as good as any Protestant definition of Sola Scriptura. This version bears the Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, and Imprimi Potest of the Catholic Church and is found in City of God published in 1958 by Image Books, Doubleday, Copyright 1958 by Fathers of the Church, Inc., edited by Vernon J. Bourke, ISBN 0-385-02910-1, page 207.

For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life ...

Source: St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, book II, Chap. 9, online at the University of Pennsylvania.

Could Augustine be more clear about the sufficiency of Scripture in matters of Christian faith? Here are more quotes of Augustine on the authority of scripture (emphasis is mine):

Chapter1, #3 ... I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error.

Chapter 3, #24 ... as I have said already, it is to the canonical Scriptures alone that I am bound to yield such implicit subjection as to follow their teaching, without admitting the slightest suspicion that in them any mistake or any statement intended to mislead could find a place.

Source: Letter 82 From Augustine to Jerome.


2. Whereas, therefore, in every question, which relates to life and conduct, not only teaching, but exhortation also is necessary; in order that by teaching we may know what is to be done, and by exhortation may be incited not to think it irksome to do what we already know is to be done; what more can I teach you, than what we read in the Apostle? For holy Scripture setteth a rule to our teaching, that we dare not "be wise more than it behoveth to be wise;" but be wise, as himself saith, "unto soberness, according as unto each God hath allotted the measure of faith." (Rom 12:3) Be it not therefore for me to teach you any other thing, save to expound to you the words of the Teacher, and to treat of them as the Lord shall have given to me.

Source: St. Augustine, De Bono Viduitatis (On the Good of Widowhood), online at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library server, at Wheaton College.

Here is another remarkable testimony from an early church father (emphasis is mine):

1. Introduction:--The purpose of the book a vindication of Christian doctrine, and especially of the Cross, against the scoffing objection of Gentiles. The effects of this doctrine its main vindication.

1. The knowledge of our religion and of the truth of things is independently manifest rather than in need of human teachers, for almost day by day it asserts itself by facts, and manifests itself brighter than the sun by the doctrine of Christ. 2. Still, as you nevertheless desire to hear about it, Macarius, come let us as we may be able set forth a few points of the faith of Christ: able though you are to find it out from the divine oracles, but yet generously desiring to hear from others as well. 3. For although the sacred and inspired Scriptures are sufficient to declare the truth,—while there are other works of our blessed teachers compiled for this purpose, if he meet with which a man will gain some knowledge of the interpretation of the Scriptures, and be able to learn what he wishes to know,—still, as we have not at present in our hands the compositions of our teachers, we must communicate in writing to you what we learned from them,—the faith, namely, of Christ the Saviour; lest any should hold cheap the doctrine taught among us, or think faith. in Christ unreasonable.

Source: Contra Gentes (Against the Heathen.), by St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria; and Doctor of the Church; about 318 A.D.

Here, another church father declares that the plan of salvation as taught in scripture to be the ground and pillar of our faith:

1. We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge," as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.

2. These have all declared to us that there is one God, Creator of heaven and earth, announced by the law and the prophets; and one Christ the Son of God. If any one do not agree to these truths, he despises the companions of the Lord; nay more, he despises Christ Himself the Lord; yea, he despises the Father also, and stands self-condemned, resisting and opposing his own salvation, as is the case with all heretics.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies (Book III, Chapter 1)

So the Protestant, and even St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, and St. Iranaeus, on occasion, proclaim the Bible to be the sole supreme ruler of faith, sufficient to declare the truth, the pillar and ground of truth with perfect knowledge.

The Catholic responds that the Catholic Church not only has the authority to preserve, define and interpret scripture, but in addition, has the authority to define and declare what it calls Tradition, which it claims is also the Word of God, and has the same validity as scripture:

Q. Has tradition any connection with the rule of faith?
A. Yes; because it is a part of God's revealed word, properly called the unwritten word as the scripture is called the written word.

Q. What is Tradition? [pg. 87]
A. The doctrines which the Apostles taught by word of mouth, and which have descended through every successive generation even to our times.

Q. Are we obliged to believe what tradition teaches, equally with what is taught by Scripture?
A. Yes; we are obliged to believe the one as firmly as the other; because, what the Apostles preached is as true as what they wrote: it was the same holy Spirit who spoke by their mouths and by their pen.

Source:  A Doctrinal Catechism, by Rev. Stephen Keenan, Imprimatur by John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, Copyright 1876 by T. W. Strong, pages 86, 87.

It is interesting to note that the Roman Catholic church does define and declare Tradition as a prerequisite to a saving faith. Examples of this type of Catholic Tradition would be:

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Mary's preservation from sin, declared in the Apostolic Constitution Defining the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, by Pope Pius IX, INEFFABILIS DEUS, December 8, 1854:

Under the subtitle The Definition-

... "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is the doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."

"Hence, if anyone shall dare-which God forbid!-to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that; furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart."

 

The Assumption of Mary

Mary's assumption into heaven, declared in the Apostolic Constitution of Pius XII, Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950, paragraph 44:

... by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

paragraph 45- Hence, if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic faith.

As should be obvious, this distinction between Catholics and Protestants is no small matter, since Catholics claim that salvation depends on your belief in dogma that cannot be found in scripture, the only ruler of faith the Protestants know. What hope then does the Protestant have?

The Catholic will quote the following verse to "prove" their point. I am going to use several different Bibles for comparison, for those who might contest the validity of the King James.

From the New American Bible for Catholics:

2 Th 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

2 The 2:15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the truth that we taught you in our letters and during the time we were with you.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

2 Th 2:14 Therefore, bretheren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

From the 1611 King James:

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

From the 1602 Geneva New Testament:

2 Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and keep the instructions which ye have been taught, either by word, or by our epistle.

From the 1534 Tyndale New Testament:

2 Th 2:15 Therefore brethren stand fast and keep the ordinances which ye have learned: whether it were by our preaching, or by epistle.

And there are these similar statements by Paul:

1 Cor 11:1-2 (KJV)

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

2 Tim 2:1-2 (KJV)

1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The Catholic appeals to these passages to show that the apostles taught doctrine orally, without benefit of the written New Testament to back them up, so therefore, by their thinking, it is really no different when they teach Catholic Tradition that lacks any scriptural authority (See this page for 2 Th 2:15). But the early pre-New Testament church DID have a written authority to refer to and adhere to, as the following shows:


FIRST CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

Acts 17:10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas to Beroea during the night. Upon arrival they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:11 These Jews were more fair-minded that those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all willingness and examined the scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

Acts 17:10 That night the Christians hurried Paul and Silas to Beroea, and, as usual, they went to the synagogue to preach.
Acts 17:11 But the people of Beroea were more open minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas' statements to see if they were really so.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Acts 17:10 But the bretheren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea. when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the scriptures, whether these things were so.

From the King James:

Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
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.

Please note that the word noble derives from the Greek word eugenes, which Strong's defines as follows-

2104. eugenes, yoog-en'-ace; from G2095 and G1096; well born, i.e. (lit.) high in rank, or (fig.) generous:--more noble, nobleman.

This is significant because it clearly is commending the Bereans over and above the Thessalonicans, because while they listened to Paul and Silas with an open mind, they still checked what they were told for accuracy by comparing it with the existing Old Testament scriptures. They did not just accept what they were told by anyone. They used scripture as their only ruler for truth. The principle of Sola Scriptura is very firmly and clearly established in this text.

Catholics however, object that the New Testament did not exist in it's complete written form at the time of this incident, so by their reasoning, it is excluded from this appeal to scriptural authority. Just how, may I ask, does that change the principle established here? Scripture was consulted by the Bereans as the final arbiter of the truth, and this is the exact and precise definition of Sola Scriptura. Had Paul and Silas orally related Traditions (in the Catholic sense of the word) that were not in harmony with, or could not be found in the Old Testament, then the Bereans would have rightly rejected them!

The principle of Sola Scriptura is very clearly taught here and the Catholic should face the fact. Their only recourse is to counter that this situation has somehow changed at some point with the New Testament church and that Catholic Tradition must now also be considered in addition to the written word. Please note that this proof of a change would have to occur after the events in Berea, so this would automatically remove the four Gospels from consideration since they precede Paul's ministry in Berea. In any case, the point is the Bereans were following precisely the principle of Sola Scriptura and they were commended for it. That in itself shows Sola Scriptura is indeed taught and applied in the Bible, despite Catholic claims to the contrary.

It is also worth noting, that when Paul preached in Thessalonica and Berea, he reasoned with the people out of the scriptures. From the King James:

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Paul used the written word of God to prove that Jesus was indeed the prophesied Messiah the Jews were waiting for:

1 Cor 2:1-2 (KJV)

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2
 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Rom 15:19 (KJV) Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Acts 20:27 (KJV) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Paul in the New Testament never does teach or preach the Assumption of Mary, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mary Mediatrix of all grace, Advocate and Coredemptrix, and neither does he teach Papal Infallibility or Purgatory. Scripture demonstrates he taught and preached exactly what he claimed to teach, that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all the Messiah's requirements as set out in written scripture. Scripture was the guide by which anyone could judge for themselves if Jesus of Nazareth met the prophetic requirements completely.

So where do we see Paul teaching or preaching the sayings and Traditions of the Scribes, Pharisees, or Sadducees? Where does Paul, or any Apostle for that matter, cite the oral law, the Tradition of the elders, the Rabbis, as authoritative, as worthy as scripture for transmitting the Word of God? No where. Jesus, in fact, strongly condemned these oral Traditions (Mat. 15:2-9, Mark 7:3-13, Col. 2:8).

Because of the success Paul and Silas were having in converting Jew and Gentile alike to Christianity (vs. 4,12), unbelieving Jews caused an uproar that drove them out of both Thessalonica and Berea (vs. 5-10, 13-14). The unbelieving Jews apparently viewed these conversions as a threat to Judaism as they knew it. But without scripture to use for validating the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Messiah, Paul would not have been able to prove anything.

There is a rather striking parallel here that bears mentioning: that being the similarity of Paul's scripture-based ministry in Thessalonica and Berea, and the Sola Scriptura advocates or Protestant reformers. They also dared to preach directly from the scriptures, an act which has historically stirred the wrath of the Catholic Church, and has generally resulted in persecution down through the centuries, just like Paul stirred the wrath of the Jews in Thessalonica.

So can this principle of scriptural authority be found anywhere else in the bible? Indeed it can.


SECOND CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

2 Tim 3:15 And that from infancy you have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

2 Tim 3:15 You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God's salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

2 Tim 3:15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

From the King James:

2 Tim 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

So according to Paul's second letter to Timothy, scripture is sufficient to make you wise unto salvation. This directly contradicts Catholic claims that Scripture is insufficient, and dogma defined in Tradition is also essential to salvation.

A Roman Catholic Cardinal Denies Bible Sufficiency To Salvation:

   We must, therefore, conclude that the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith because they cannot, at any time, be within the reach of every inquirer; because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.

Source: The Faith Of Our Fathers, (The Church and the Bible), by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 111th printing, copyright 1980 by TAN books and Publishers, Inc., ISBN: 0-89555-158-6, page 73.

If Paul is to be believed in 2 Tim 3:15, what need is there then for the unbiblical doctrines and teachings of Catholic Tradition? Who shall we believe, the Apostle Paul, or Cardinal Gibbons?


THIRD CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, "Inquire of mediums and fortune-tellers (who chirp and mutter); should not a people inquire of their gods, apply to the dead on behalf of the living!"-
Isa 8:20 then this document will furnish its instruction. That kind of thing they will surely say.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

Isa 8:19 So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting witches and mediums? Don't listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?
Isa 8:20 "Check these witches' words against the Word of God!" he says if their messages are different than mine, it is because I have not sent them; for they have no light or truth in them.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Isa 8:19 And when they shall say to you: Seek of pythons, and of diviners, who mutter in their enchantments; should not the people seek of their God, for the living of the dead?
Isa 8:20 To the law rather, and to the testimony. And if they speak not according to this word, they shall not have the morning light.

From the King James:

Isa 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
Isa 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.

The words for law and testimony here mean the Word of God. The word law is torah, and testimony is te'uwdah. Torah may mean either the Decalogue or the Pentateuch, and same can be true of te'uwdah. Isaiah uses both words together previously in chapter 8-

From the King James:

Isa 8:16 Bind up the testimony (te'uwday), seal the law (torah) among my disciples.

From the New American Bible for Catholics:

Isa 8:16 The record is to be folded and the sealed instruction kept among my disciples.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

Isa 8:16 Write down all these things I am going to do, says the Lord, and seal it up for the future. Entrust it to some godly man to pass on down to godly men of future generations.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Isa 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

Clearly Isa 8:16 is speaking of the revealed Word of God written down and contained in the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, which includes the tablets of testimony, the Ten Commandments, but there is also a wider application evident from a number of references to the "law" and the "prophets" (2 Ki 17:13, Neh 9:26, Lam 2:9, Zeph 3:4, Zech 7:12, Matt 5:17, Matt 7:12, Matt 11:13, Matt 22:40, Luke 16:16, John 1:45, Acts 13:15, Acts 24:14, Acts 28:23, Rom 3:21), meaning Scripture as a whole. There is another phrase with identical meaning in the New Testament - "Moses and the prophets", found in Luke 16:29,31, Luke 24:27,44, John 1:45, Acts 26:22, and Acts 28:23.

Note this verse in Revelation that describes those whom Satan is angered with:

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:17 is speaking about the "law and the testimony", and Revelation 19 further defines "testimony" for us:

Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Testimony is equated with prophecy, therefore Revelation 12:17 is actually talking about "the law and the prophets", the entire span of  Scripture, which the people of God tenaciously adhere to in the end times, to the great anger of Satan.

So now return to Isaiah 8:20-

To the law [Moses] and to the testimony [prophets]: if they speak not according to this word [scripture], it is because there is no light in them.

This then is saying that anyone who does not speak according to the entire written Word of God, the Scriptures, "the law and the prophets", or "Moses and the prophets", if they are not in harmony with it, then there is no light in them. It again proclaims the authority of scripture and only scripture, to discern truth and light.


FOURTH CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book.
John 20:31 But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

John 20:30, 31 Jesus' disciples saw him do many other miracles besides the ones told about in this book, but these are recorded so that you will believe that he is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing in him you will have life.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

John 21:30 Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
John 21:31 But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

From the King James:

John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
John 20:31 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.

There is a similar passage in John that is a favorite of Catholics to quote in support of Tradition-

From the New American Bible for Catholics:

John 21:25 There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

John 21:25 And I suppose that if all the other events in Jesus' life were written, the whole world could hardly contain the books!

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

John 21:25 But there are also may other thing which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.

From the King James:

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.

John said in 20:30 that a sufficient number of the signs or miracles performed by Jesus ARE included in scripture to validate that He was indeed the Messiah, so that you will have a saving faith. Again, scripture includes whatever is necessary to bring you to a saving faith. Nothing that is necessary for salvation is left out. John 21:25 in no way changes that, nor can it be cited for proof of unwritten articles of faith (Tradition) required for salvation. It says essentially that not every deed or action of Jesus is recorded, (Just as John had stated earlier) but he again does not even hint at unrecorded doctrines.


FIFTH CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

Prov 30:5 Every word of God is tested; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Prov 30:6 Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver.

From the Catholic Living Bible:

Prov 30:5 Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for protection.
Prov 30:6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Prov 30:5 Every word of God is fire tried: he is a buckler to them that hope in him.
Prov 30:6 Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved, and found a liar:

From the King James:

Prov 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Prov 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

There is a clear warning here to those who would try and amend the word of God through additions. Isn't this exactly what the ex-cathedra Roman Catholic doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary are?

So by what standard do you know what the word of God is? What authority should be consulted to assure yourself that you are not adding to His word? Just exactly what is the word of God?


SIXTH CITATION


From the New American Bible for Catholics:

John 10:35 If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, scripture cannot be set aside,

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

John 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the scriptures cannot be broken;

From the King James:

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

In this verse Jesus is quoting Psalm 82:6. (In context, the word for "gods" actually means judges.) Here the word of God and scripture are linked as one and the same.


SEVENTH CITATION


From the King James:

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

From the New American Bible for Catholics:

Mat 7:24 Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock.
Mat 7:25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

From the 1602 Geneva New Testament:

Mat 7:24 Whosoever then heareth of me these words, and doeth the same, I will liken him to a wise man, which hath builded his house on a rock.
Mat 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was grounded upon a rock.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Mat 7:24 Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock.
Mat 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.

So, where can we turn to study and hear the words of Jesus, that we might do them and build our house on His solid rock foundation? Surely this truth is indeed found in scripture, the word of God.


EIGHTH CITATION


From the King James:

2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

2 Tim 2:15 Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Clearly Paul is saying here to study the scriptures, which he defines as the word of truth. But then, what Catholic would deny that scripture is the word of God? None of course... but they would reply that the written word is not the sole word of God. Catholic Tradition they would say, as declared by the church, has equal authority, as shown by the new Vatican Catechism-

... two distinct modes of transmission

#81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit." And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching.

#82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."

But just where does scripture make this declaration?


NINTH CITATION


From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures, for you think in them to have life everlasting; and the same are they that give testimony of me.
John 5:40 And you will not come to me that you may have life.

John 5:46 For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also; for he wrote of me.
John 5:47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?

From the King James:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
John 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Here Jesus tells the Jews to study and search the scriptures, because they know that the way to eternal life can indeed be found there. That way to eternal life is revealed in scripture as Jesus Christ, the Messiah that the Jews had longed for. But the Jews did not even believe what Moses had written, and as a result repeatedly fell into apostasy. Jesus makes the point that if the Jews will not believe and obey what Moses had written in scripture, then how could they possibly believe the words spoken directly to them by the Christ that the scriptures reveal? Had the Jews properly understood and believed the scriptures, they would have recognized Jesus for who He was, the very Son of God.

So this passage teaches that the written word of God is sufficient to reveal the way to eternal life, which is none other than Jesus Christ. It is as true today as it was the day it was written.


TENTH CITATION


From the King James:

Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is able to establish you, according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret from eternity,
Rom 16:26 (Which now is made manifest by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the precept of the eternal God, for the obedience of faith,) known among all nations;

What is to be made known among all nations? The gospel, the mystery of God.
How is it revealed (made manifest)? By the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God.


ELEVENTH CITATION


Apollos also, like Paul, taught the Gospel from the scriptures, not from Tradition:

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Acts 18:24 Now a certain Jew, named Apollo, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, one mighty in the scriptures.
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, spoke, and taught diligently the things that are of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 This man therefore began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom when Priscilla and Aquila had heard, they took him to them, and expounded to him the way of the Lord more diligently.
Acts 18:27 And whereas he was desirous to go to Achaia, the brethren exhorting, wrote to the disciples to receive him. Who, when he was come, helped them much who had believed.
Acts 18:28 For with much vigour he convinced the Jews openly, shewing by the scriptures, that Jesus is the Christ.

From the King James:

Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
Acts 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.


TWELFTH CITATION


From the King James:

1 Cor 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

1 Cor 4:6 But these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollo, for your sakes; that in us you may learn, that one be not puffed up against the other for another, above that which is written.

From the 1602 Geneva Bible's New Testament:

1 Cor 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied unto mine own self and Apollos, for your sakes, that ye might learn by us, that no man presume above that which is written, that one swell not against another for any mans cause.

From the 1534 Tyndale New Testament:

1 Cor 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have described in mine own person and Apollos, for your sakes, that ye might learn by us, that no man count of himself beyond that which is above written: that one swell not against another for any mans cause.

From the Amplified Bible:

1 Cor 4:6 Now I have applied all this [about parties and factions] to myself and Apollos for your sakes, bretheren, so that from what I have said of us [as illustrations] you may learn [to think of men in accordance with Scripture and] not to go beyond that which is written; that none of you may be puffed up and inflated with pride and boast in favor of one [minister and teacher] against another.

Paul in the opening chapters of 1 Corinthians is speaking against the factions that had developed in the Corinthian church. These factions were formed around various teachers, like Paul himself, Apollos and Peter (1 Cor 1:12, 3:4). Each faction exalted itself in pride because of who their favorite teacher was. Paul using himself as an example asks - "was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor 1:13). Paul is making the point here that it is the message of "Jesus Christ, and him crucified" that matters (1 Cor 2:2), but not who it was that brought you that message. Paul himself taught the basics, or "milk" of the Gospel (1 Cor 3:2), while Apollos built on what Paul had taught, at a higher level of understanding (1 Cor 3:6). In both cases though, it was God who gave understanding (1 Cor 3:7), not Paul or Apollos. So Paul says (1 Cor 3:21-22) "let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas (Peter) ... ." The point he is making is that scripture does not teach one to be a disciple of Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, but rather a disciple of Jesus Christ, whom all the prophets and apostles preached about.

So when Paul says "not to go beyond that which is written," he makes quite clear that the written scriptures are the limiting factor. This is Sola Scriptura in verity. Paul is teaching unity in the truths of the Gospel message as found in scripture, which teaches Jesus Christ as the Saviour and foundation (1 Cor 3:11), but he is criticizing divisive factions in the church based on individual disciples. The warning is not to build teachings, doctrines, or dogma that go beyond the teaching of scriptures and exalt anyone other than Christ. The church that exalts one disciple over another, and so divides the body of Christ, is described by Paul as being carnal rather than spiritual (1 Cor 3:4). Does this not then describe a church that calls Peter the preeminent apostle, and presumes to trace itself all the way back to Peter via the Tradition of apostolic succession? This is precisely what Paul is warning against.


THIRTEENTH CITATION


From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to witness this day, that I am clear from the blood of all men;
Acts 20:27 For I have not spared to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20:29 I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, keeping in memory, that for three years I ceased not, with tears to admonish every one of you night and day.

From the King James:

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 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.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.


FOURTEENTH CITATION


From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel which you have not received; you might well bear with him.

From the King James:

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

So here, up to this point, are no less than fourteen different passages found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that collectively establish the principle of Sola Scriptura, the authority of scripture alone to discern truth and instruct one in a saving faith in Jesus Christ. What then of Catholic Tradition? What of the dogmas of the apostolic succession, the immaculate conception of Mary, her assumption into heaven, her role as mediatrix of God's grace and the many other such unbiblical Catholic Traditions? What bearing do they really have on salvation?


FIFTEENTH CITATION


From the 1899 revised Douay Rheims:

Gal 1:6 I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.
Gal 1:7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.

From the King James:

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 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.
Gal 1:9 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.

The gospel message as preached by Paul, and as recorded faithfully in the scriptures, is pure and remains sufficient to salvation. No doctrine or Tradition needs to be added to what Paul taught the early Christians. In fact, Paul condemns anyone who would teach a gospel other that what he had presented, which was the whole counsel of God..

Conclusion

Clearly Sola Scriptura stands as biblically taught truth. The decrees and pronouncements called "Tradition" by the Roman Catholic Church, which cannot be found in scripture, are therefore rightly defined as that "other gospel" that Paul spoke of.

So let those who teach that other gospel take solemn note of Paul's warning.

Sola Scriptura Tradition

The above old woodcut illustrates the differences in teaching.
The Protestants on the left, are deep in Bible study during the sermon.
Catholics on the right, with their rosary beads and no Bibles, are reciting their "Hail Marys".


Paul's Gospel In Catholic Tradition?
Sola Scriptura and Bible Availability
Does Sola Scriptura Fail Because There Are Thousands of Protestant Denominations?
Sola Ecclesia Romanus
Did the Bereans reject Sola Scriptura? by James White.



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