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Ah the irony…

I always think of what to say about 2 hours too late...

I was briefly discussing sola Scriptura ("Scripture alone") with a mate and mentioned (among other verses) 1 Corinthians 4: "Do not go beyond what is written."

He said "Apparently that was a common saying of the Pharisees in their day."

My response at the time was "I didn't know that."  Which had the one saving grace of being true.

Two hours later, with brilliant (retrospective) timing, I delivered my wry riposte into the echoing chambers of my mind: "Wait... How do we know that?"

Because, if you accept such an interpretive context, you either say:

'Don't go beyond what is written' is best understood by going beyond what is written.

Or - if you're really committed to the cause - you'll say:

"Ha! Even extra-biblical sources support sola Scriptura!"

I really like the latter.  It's a defence of irrefutable illogicality and impregnable stupidity.

Just my style.





0 thoughts on “Ah the irony…

  1. Michael Gormley

    The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, first proclaimed by Martin Luther, created the 'everyone for himself' syndrome for Bible interpretation.

    Each individual would claim, 'the Holy Spirit told me'.

    This thinking flies into the face of what the Bible actually teaches, that individual interpretation of Scripture cannot be done. See Acts 8:27-39, and 2Peter 1:20, and 2Peter 3:16-18.

    Belief in Sola Scriptura is the primary reason for the fact that there are over 28,000 splinters in Protestantism.

    There can be only one truth, and yet each splinter claims, 'the Holy Spirit told me'.

    Each claims the truth, yet each has differences with the others.

    Truth is one; therefore all Churches should be united in the one truth.

    Are we led to believe there over 28,000 Holy Spirits, each telling a protestant sect something different, or maybe one Holy Spirit giving a different truth to each?

    The doctrine of Sola Scripture is clearly a false doctrine invented by mere men, and has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.

    Anyone who believes in the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, and rejects tradition, is taking away from the Word of GOD.

    They are therefore in violation of all of the Bible verses which admonish, "Do not add to, or take away from, the Word of GOD." Deuteronomy 4:2, 11:32, 13:1, Psalms 12:7, 33:4, Psalms 50:16-17, Proverbs 5:7, 30:5-6, Jeremiah 23:36, Galatians 1:8, 1Peter 1:24-25, 2Peter 3:15-16, Revelation 22:18-20.

  2. John B

    "individual interpretation of Scripture cannot be done"

    Michael, if, as you say, this is so, It would be really helpful to know what scriptures the Roman Catholic Church has infallibly interpreted. I know that the Church has recently infallibly found the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary in Scripture, but beyond these two salvific doctrines, the Church itself doesn't seem to agree on the content of its infallible teaching. Even in the best case, after 2,000 years they've scarcely scratched the surface in their magisterial task of interpretation. There seems to be a need for an infallible interpretation of the infallible interpreter. ("Ah the irony ...")

    "All Scripture is breathed out by God ..." In hearing the call of our Lord Jesus Christ, his church rejects all claims to autonomy, whether by individuals, rulers, councils, or institutions; "receiv[ing] the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily".

    (2 Peter 1:21) For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

  3. Bobby Grow


    You're not arguing against sola scriptura, but solo scriptura. You need to go and re-read what Luther and other Prot. thought of "tradition" relative to scripture --- i.e. they didn't reject it.

    I think you're argument is a bit triumphalist though, since Roman Catholicism is clearly not monolith either (you have just as many "traditions" within Catholicism as Prot. have denominations).

  4. Anonymous

    But weren't the Bereans praised for "examining the scriptures to see if what Paul said was true"? (Acts 17:11)

    If the Bereans needed to check the teaching of Paul - Paul! - against the scriptures for themselves, do we not need to do the same?

    And as for the Ethiopian eunuch (in Acts 8) - surely Philip couldn't have been an essential aid to Biblical interpretation as Philip was taken away and the eunuch "did not see him again" (Acts 8:39).

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