Are you having second thoughts on Sola Scriptura?

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Note, that there is a difference between solo scriptura and sola scriptura… but since we don’t like to really examine history for fear of revising our own selves, we’ll just leave it at that.

Michael Barber calls attention to a post in which the author notes some of the immediate problems with solo/sola scriptura, namely the index of books.

When you open up your Bible to the first few pages and you come to the table of contents, has it ever occurred to you that that list is not itself a part of Scripture? That list, otherwise known as the canon, cannot be found within any book of the Bible.

That’s an issue, isn’t it? That when we open the Scriptures, we find an index for the books included there in… who created that index? (I mean the original. If you want a real bible, go with Cambridge and let them print you index on nice India paper). Our Christian Old Testament canon differs from the Jewish canon(s). Further, our New Testament canon wasn’t really fully settled until some time after those books were written and had come to be used by a wide portion of the Church. For example – Athanasius, in a Festal Letter written in the middle of the Fourth Century, denotes the Church Canon, but leaves room for those other books; however, if you read his epistle on the Incarnation, you will find that he frequently quotes from the Book of Wisdom. Augustine does the same. And yet, for those of us who consider Scripture Alone (although, actually, primary, because there is no such thing as Scripture Alone) we have to answer the fact that Tradition shaped the Canon. We can look at note that the Spirit was working through that, but that is the answer that ‘the Catholics’ give about the Councils and Creeds and later developed doctrine.

Anyway, read the post.

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11 Replies to “Are you having second thoughts on Sola Scriptura?”

  1. I had a student who wrote a paper in my class last year that talked about “sola sculptura” – Sculpture alone! I had a good laugh at that one.

  2. I note you’ve linked my post on Sola Scriptura or Solo Scriptura in related articles. I’d be interested in and welcome any comments you might have on that article. Iron sharpens Iron.

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