Sola Scriptura

Some unorganised thoughts, jogged loose by Justin at AP, on Sola Scriptura.

Sola Scriptura-by scripture alone. In practice, the plain meaning of scripture is, apparently not that plain. I say this because there are over 30,000 different Protestant denominations.

It seems, for some people, sola scriptura can supplant the Holy Spirit as final authority. Consider that the Holy Spirit is actually God, while the Bible is a created thing. The Bible is infallible, but it is not possible for anything created to contain the entirety of the Creator.  According to John it doesn’t even contain averything that Jesus did,

John21 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Of course, the New Testament is mostly letters to congregations who needed help with a particular issue, sort of like a bishop to a parish. Presumably they had the Old Testament (the only scripture available at the time), why did they need to consult a higher Earthly authority?

 

Some other things.

1 Corinthians:

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

This leads me to believe that it takes a village church to fully understand scripture. Even if you have the gift of wisdom or knowledge it seems that you need the rest of the body to exercise that gift.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.

Acts:

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Another example of the necessity of teachers. Presumably, Philip had the proper gifts or the Spirit would not have sent him to the Ethiopian. So, the question is how do you know a good teacher?

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Matthew: 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Apparently, you judge them by their fruits, but not their gifts.

John 14 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is the same Spirit that bestows the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians.

2 Thessolonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

1Corinthians 11:2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

This would seem to imply that they taught more than they wrote down, which makes sense considering that they visited and didn’t keep journals.

Of course the Bible also says:

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

So, you need to discern the proper teacher so he can teach you the proper traditions so that you will not be shunned as in 2 Thess 3:6.

Currently, I think the Bible serves as evidence of God’s existence and  the Divinity of Christ, as well as to direct the believer to the Holy Spirit who has authority, rather than as a guide book to life. My views are subject to change wothout notice, however.

For further reference, see  Matthew 7:7-8 and 1 Chronicles 16:11.

I don't know what this really has to do with anything, I just wanted to put a pic in here

I don’t know what this really has to do with anything, I just wanted to put a pic in here

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3 thoughts on “Sola Scriptura

  1. The great doctrines of the church (the Trinity, the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit) and even the Bible itself were chosen by people or developed from Scripture by believers. The difference between the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformers was that the Catholics say Scripture and tradition are equal whereas the Reformers (and to varying extents most Protestants) believe Scripture alone is the foundation and basis for the interpretations of our Godly leaders, i.e., the apostles and the early Christians who settled the Canon and the doctrines of the Church.
    In Acts the leaders of the early church spent their time studying the Scripture (the OT) and from this study and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit they produced the New Testament and their proteges continued to develop the doctrines although the basic beliefs were always there – the development took place as the church had to deal with the various heresies, the beliefs were pretty much always there. Thus Paul teaches his young preachers (Timothy and Titus) to instruct their members on how to stay away from false teachers.

    To stop my rambling, I think the history of the early church lives out the teaching of Scripture.

      • I didn’t choose a side in that screed, but I am firmly in the sola scriptura camp when it is correctly understood – the Scripture is the only basis for our beliefs but we also reverence the decisions of the church in formulating our doctrines. sola scriptura incorrectly applied is why we have 30,000 denominations.

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