Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is enough!
Apostolic Fathers used scripture as the primary defense against false doctrine.
Apostolic Fathers: Dates they lived and other information.
Apostolic Fathers: Five kinds of Tradition.
360 AD: Cyril of Jerusalem:
Have thou ever in thy mind this seal, which for the present has been lightly touched in my discourse, by way of summary, but shall be stated, should the Lord permit, to the best of my power with the proof from the Scriptures. For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures. (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 4, 17)
What an incredible statement! Cyril sure sounds like one of us "good 'ol Bible thumping Protestants"! He sure doesn't sound very "Catholic or Orthodox". Although he knew of creeds and canons, was himself a Bishop of authority, he demanded, "proof from the Scriptures" and "demonstration of the Holy Scriptures" for every doctrine! He highlighted the need to obey God's silence in the scriptures by saying: "not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures".
"But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures. For since all cannot read the Scriptures, some being hindered as to the knowledge of them by want of learning, and others by a want of leisure, in order that the soul may not perish from ignorance, we comprise the whole doctrine of the Faith in a few lines. This summary I wish you both to commit to memory when I recite it , and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it out on paper, but engraving it by the memory upon your heart , taking care while you rehearse it that no Catechumen chance to overhear the things which have been delivered to you. I wish you also to keep this as a provision through the whole course of your life, and beside this to receive no other, neither if we ourselves should change and contradict our present teaching, nor if an adverse angel, transformed into an angel of light should wish to lead you astray. For though we or an angel from heaven preach to you any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be to you anathema . So for the present listen while I simply say the Creed, and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect the confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith. And just as the mustard seed in one small grain contains many branches, so also this Faith has embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which ye now receive, and write them an the table of your heart. Guard them with reverence, lest per chance the enemy despoil any who have grown slack; or lest some heretic pervert any of the truths delivered to you. (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 5, 12-13)
Cyril instructs men to memorize the Nicene creed. He states, 25 years after the creed was written, exactly what we say, namely that these creeds do not represent, "extra-Biblical oral tradition of the apostles" but a summary based directly and solely on scripture itself! Cyril says "confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the Faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the Faith". Cyril applies 2 Thess 2:15, "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." to the very process of memorizing this creed. It must be most unsettling for Roman Catholic and Orthodox defenders to learn that Cyril identifies Tradition as "the scripture". The Nicene creed certainly cannot be used by these defenders as proof of "extra-Biblical oral tradition of the apostles", because Cyril comes right out and tells us that the creed originated directly from scripture, clause by clause! Cyril, views the creed as an exact but condensed replica of scripture! All creed makers, view their creeds as a scripture substitute! Memorizing this creed, which is scripture, is how you "hold fast the traditions" (2 Thess 2:15) this is how you "write them an the table of your heart (2 Cor 3:3). So in the end, we do have an oral tradition here that is written on the heart: Nothing other than what we find in scripture. This must be most unsettling for Catholic and Orthodox apologists who search desperately for some "extra-Biblical oral tradition of the apostles".
by Steve Rudd
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