Anti-Sola Scriptura Arguments Refuted:"Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants."
False arguments that Catholics and Orthodox use to trash Sola Scriptura are refuted.
"Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants."
"The truth of the matter is ... that the doctrine of sola Scriptura is not scriptural. In other words, the claim that the Bible is the sole source of authority for Christian life and doctrine is not found in the Bible." (THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, Clark Carlton, 1997, p 117)
"The irony is that the principle by which the Reformers sought to return to the purity of the early Church was itself unknown to the early Church. The idea of sola Scriptura was an invention of the sixteenth century. No Father or council of the early Church ever asserted that the Scriptures, in and of themselves, with-out any reference to the Church, are the all-sufficient rule of faith. The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura was an invention of the Reformation itself. ... This means that from the Day of Pentecost to October 31, 1517-a span of approximately 1488 years-the kind of theology which Protestantism exalts as being "authentic" could not have existed. In other words, the early Church, to which the Reformers theoretically wanted to return, had a theology quite different from that of the Reformers." (THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, Clark Carlton, 1997, p 91)
"The Reformation did not do away with tradition; it merely substituted the traditions of sixteenth-century nominalists and humanists for the tradition of the Apostles and early Church Fathers." (THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, Clark Carlton, 1997, p 109)
Refutation of the false Roman Catholic and Orthodox argument:"Sola Scriptura is an invention of 16th century Protestants."
Sola Scriptura was not invented by 16th century Protestants, but is taught in the Bible and practiced by the Apostolic Fathers.
- Click here: For a list of Bible verses that proof sola Scriptura is taught in the Bible. On this page, is all the proof you need to know that both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches are wrong, because you will see for yourself, that Sola Scriptura is a Bible doctrine.
- The idea that Sola Scriptura was "an invention of the sixteenth century" is proven wrong by the fact that the earliest apostolic Fathers clearly taught Sola Scriptura. The Bible and Apostolic Fathers taught it. Then between 200 AD and 1500 AD, there was a gradual move towards the adoption of human creeds and traditions. By the time Luther came along, the Roman Catholic church had become so tradition bound, that the church barely resembled the one you can read about in the Bible. Luther simply restored the concept found in the Bible that scripture overthrows all traditions. For Catholic and Orthodox defenders to say sola Scriptura was invented in the 16th century, is as historically dishonest as it is wishful thinking.
- We actually agree in part, that Luther and Calvin did replace Catholic traditions with some 16th century traditions. We highlight their approach to scripture, not what they specifically taught. Furthermore, both Luther and Calvin violated the concept of Biblical Sola Scriptura by creating their own set of authoritative man made creeds. They clearly did replace Catholic creeds, with their own set of creeds. This is where both the Catholic church and reformers went wrong. All creeds are as dangerous as they are unnecessary. After all, both Calvin and Luther accepted most of the early ecumenical councils and creeds. This was their big mistake. Luther and Calvin did not restore the church, they merely reformed it.
- But we do applaud, Luther and Calvin for having the guts to stand up and say, "Current traditions are clearly wrong and contradict scripture."
- For example, in 1809 AD, Thomas Campbell believed infant baptism was a Bible doctrine when he said, "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent" (Declaration and Address, to the Christian Association of Washington, PA, 1809) When the reply came back, "Mr. Campbell, if we adopt that as a basis, then there is an end of infant baptism." Campbell agreed that even infant baptism would be thrown out if it was not Biblical. When Campbell made this statement, he had no idea that when he finally studied the scriptures on the validity of infant baptism, he would discover, to his surprise, that it was not a bible doctrine. So Campbell was committed to the principle, but did not know where it would lead him. Likewise Luther and Calvin knew that the Catholic system of oral tradition was wrong and were committed to "sola Scriptura" not knowing at the time that later reformers would correctly define it.
- Luther, Calvin and Campbell all made hermeneutic statements of sola Scriptura, that would later change their view of what is true.
- That's what happens when men throw out traditions and creeds and start to use the Bible only, they begin a journey where they know the vehicle in which they ride, but know not where the vehicle will finally lead them. Luther never dreamed he would leave the Catholic church when he nailed his 95 articles on the door. Campbell never dreamed he would reject infant baptism when he said, "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak"
- Catholics actually changed from their original sola Scriptura to their current oral tradition: "When discrepancies between Catholic doctrine and Scripture became apparent, Catholic apologists stopped insisting that the doctrines of the Church could be deduced from Scripture and revived the theory of some early heretics, refuted by Irenaeus, that the Bible does not contain the whole of God's revelation and that a body of traditional doctrine existed in the Church equally deserving of veneration.  When it was pointed out that things were taught in the Roman Church for which the Bible furnished no adequate justification, Roman advocates insisted that though the Bible contained truth, it did not contain the whole truth, and that the Church was able by them to supplement the deficiencies of Scripture, having in those traditions a secure record of apostolic teaching on many points on which the Bible contained only obscure indications, or gave no information at all. [28-291]" (George Salmon, "The Infallibility of the church, p 28)
- Click here: For a list of Bible verses that proof sola Scriptura is taught in the Bible.
More Anti-Sola Scriptura arguments refuted!
More Pro-Oral Church tradition arguments refuted!
by Steve Rudd
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