Sola Scriptura is indeed Biblical
Sola Scriptura is indeed Biblical While looking over many apologetics, I've seen a big case of people telling me that I am wrong when I believe in the Bible alone teaching. So as usual, let's see if it is or isn't meant to be or are we to believe that traditions (with the big "T" or little "t") matters or not.
The first thing that they say is that the words "the Bible alone" is not found in Scripture and they are right. But things like the Trinity are never by word mentioned, yet we see the Trinity is taught and is very Biblical. So this cannot be used as an argument because there are many reasons to which it clearly teaches that it's very Biblical to use Scriptures as the authoritative item when seeking answers to our problems. Doesn't Jesus, Himself, tell us this when He said that, "...It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God?" (Luke 4:4)
So then they ask "where" or "what verse" do we refer to when we say that the Bible is authoritative? One of the most accepted verses for the Bible-only people to quote, is found in 2 Timothy 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. 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." Notice it says that it can make one wise unto salvation and as a result it'll make one "perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." This is a pretty conclusive verse and doesn't leave room for much doubt, does it? The doubter would respond by suggesting that their verse says "it is profitable" but doesn't say "the only profitable" thing. Though it'll make me thoroughly furnished for all good works, they get hung up on thinking that it'll only be profitable.
So we continue with the next train of thought as they include 3 more arguments such as keeping our verses in context. Verse fourteen mentions, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them." Whatever the people had learnt at this point, since there was no Bible at that time, either had to be handed down by Paul's "oral" teachings, in other words traditionally, not to mention that the only Scriptures available to Paul were the Old Testament scriptures. "Thus the traditions demand equal study" they would tell us. But we should not misunderstand this as it can be easily deceiving. It may be true that there was no actual Bible, but the "oral" teachings were the same as the written down teachings and these were the traditions that Paul handed down. Paul wasn't orally teaching a different "gospel" then what ended up in the written form. The same goes as far as the "traditions" that Paul refers to. These are also found in the Bible so that we can know what are or aren't Biblical. He doesn't say "including traditions" that are accumulated over the future years nor is he referring to traditions that would go against Scriptures. Besides this, the Bible was, to some extent, in written form as letters to the churches. They weren't yet put together in a book form, but they were out there.
The Old Testament that Paul had was either the Hebrew or the Greek Septuagint with the Greek Septuagint having the Deutercanonical Books, however, from my studies I find that these books are NOT inspired. Despite its historical value, it promotes questionable ethics, fanciful legends, and doctrine that contradicts Scripture. They are simply letters of edification and encouragement, written by ordinary Christians, they do not profess apostolic wisdom and authority. The Catholic Church did declare these as authoritative and canonical Scriptures, but not until April 8, 1546 and then to fight against the ongoing Reformation. I'll write more on the Deutercanonical Books in a future article.
The Bible gives us many verses to back the Sola Scriptura belief, besides the already mentioned 2 Timothy verses. Jesus, for instance, many times quotes Scriptures to explain something or to set a standard or policy of the way things ought to be. In fact Jesus even told us how important His Word is when He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." (Mark 13:31) and phrases that mention about that, "Scriptures might be fulfilled." (Matthew 17:12) Elsewhere the Bible tells us that, "...it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" (Romans 1:16) that, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) and that, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2:2) It tells us also that, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105) and Jesus even once told us, "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31,32) The Bible also mentions that we should not to add or subtract from the Bible in the last chapter of Revelation.
So now we come to the interpretation aspect of Scriptures and how we aren't to do it as Peter told us, "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." (2 Peter 1:20) "This is why we have 36000 different religious sects" is what they tell us. That may be true, but is the Catholic faith any different or just another one of the different sects? Therefore the solution is to stick to the Scriptures to compare which one is truthful. This much we do know, that the Scriptures were not thought up by the writers themselves, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) We are each given the responsibility of seeking first the Kingdom of God and to, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15) Paul told us, "... that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written," (1 Corinthians 4:6) and we should, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17)
In closing I ask you this question, "If Scriptures are this efficient, truthful and thorough" what is it that you doubt about Sola Scriptura?" If it is the Church that we are told is to be the authority, we still need to be good Bereans and to check that they are following the Word as well, for no magesterium is above God's ways either. Clearly Christ's Church follows His Word as the authoritative source alone for anything else is by man! For the record, we thus declare that Sola Scriptura is very, very Biblical. How we got the existing Bible as it is today and information on the Deutercanonical Books will be covered in future articles. For now we can rest assured that Jesus gave us the Bible as a book of instructions, so let us trust it as being sufficient and complete as it is meant to be.