Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is enough!Tradition is only valid, when it mirrors scripture, not adds to it or changes it!
Anti-Sola Scriptura: Those who believe the Bible is not enough!
The Apostolic Fathers saw scripture the final mode of revelation that succeeded oral revelation
- "For we have, as the source of teaching, the Lord, both by the prophets, the Gospel, and the blessed apostles, "in divers manners and at sundry times," [Heb 1:1] leading from the beginning of knowledge to the end. He, then, who of himself believes the Scripture and voice of the Lord, which by the Lord acts to the benefiting of men, is rightly [regarded] faithful." ... "For those are slothful who, having it in their power to provide themselves with proper proofs for the divine Scriptures from the Scriptures themselves, select only what contributes to their own pleasures. And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teachings , in order to establish the heresy"(Clement of Alexandria, book 7, ch 16, Scripture the Criterion by Which Truth and Heresy are Distinguished)
Clement shows the sequence of revelation starting with Jesus, moving through the prophets, then finally ending its journey in the written gospels. Notice that at the end of the process, the Christian, "of himself" (using his own powers of interpretation) believes the scriptures. Notice that Clement calls "slothful" those who do not put the work into interpreting the Bible for themselves! These false teachers just carelessly grab anything they can find to support their doctrines without doing a proper and though study. Again this sounds real "Catholic" or "Orthodox" because they are lazy and want the priest to simply tell them what the Bible says, rather than doing the work and studying the scriptures for themselves!
- "From this, therefore, do we draw up our rule. Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed; for "no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Nor does the Son seem to have revealed Him to any other than the apostles, whom He sent forth to preach-that, of course, which He revealed to them. Now, what that was which they preached-in other words, what it was which Christ revealed to them-can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles rounded in person, by declaring the gospel to them directly themselves, both viva voce [living voice], as the phrase is, and subsequently by their epistles. If, then, these things are so, it is in the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches-those moulds and original sources of the faith must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the (said) churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savours of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God. It remains, then, that we demonstrate whether this doctrine of ours, of which we have now given the rule, has its origin in the tradition of the apostles, and whether all other doctrines do not ipso facto proceed from falsehood. We hold communion with the apostolic churches because our doctrine is in no respect different from theirs. This is our witness of truth." (Tertullian, The prescription against the heretics, Ch 21)
Tertullian clearly states that their doctrine and practice is identical to what the apostles taught orally and with scripture. Tertullian uses the expression "viva voce" (living voice) which is merely a reference to inspired oral revelation. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have changed the original meaning of "viva voce" from the words spoken by inspired apostles, to whatever the current practice and dogma of the church is today. Here is proof: "But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine. How can we know what antiquity was except through the Church? ... I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. ... The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour." (Henry Edward Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation, 1865, p 227-228) To anyone with an ounce of insight, this statement is not only opposite to what Tertullian means it is utter heresy because it ignores history (Fathers) and scripture. Anyone who has talked to a Roman Catholic or Orthodox preacher, knows this is indeed exactly how they think!
by Steve Rudd
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