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Is "Sola Scriptura" ("Bible alone") biblical?

I cannot find the word "alone".

2 Timothy 3:16 - 17

ESV - 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 01 2013 Stringio Vincent Mercado Supporter

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Mini Chris Dibbern
I was uncertain about this, too. In the past, I've tended to believe it, anyway, somewhat dogmatically. After some quick searches, it seems others can't find scripture that explicitly supports sola scriptura, either. 

So, I can only offer my opinion. It should be obvious from a quick glance around the "scriptural landscape" that many other scriptures (the quran, the bhagvad gita, etc) contradict doctrine in the Bible. From this, we can say at least some extra-Biblical scripture is unsafe, and not profitable for teaching. Therefore, we must be careful. We also know that the Bible cannot be understood apart from the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:45, Psalm 119:18, etc), and that the "Spirit leads us into all truth" (John 16:13).

From Job 32:8 and 1 Cor 2:13, we see that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives understanding. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that if there is scripture not in the normal 66 books of the Bible, and we need it (but what else could we need?), the Spirit can lead us to it, and prove its truth to us. This has never happened, in my life. I, personally, would be very skittish turning to other scriptures for truths about God. The other scriptures I've read feel like Greek mythology. For example, many of my well-educated Hindu friends have told me they know it's just stories, just mythology, but they celebrate the Hindu festivals, anyway. It's like atheists who still celebrate Christmas (although, many of these Hindus at least believe in God). 

This reminds me of what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." - John 4:22.

Anyway, it might be helpful to consider another, competing idea called Prima Scriptura which basically says "scripture first," but allows insights from dreams, visions, angelic encounters, etc. I don't think this idea contradicts what is good about sola scriptura, since it should be obvious that, if an "angel" ever says to you, in your dream, "X is good; do X," where X contradicts the spirit of some commandment, that "angel" was not from God. However, what is good in prima scriptura is that it says if you receive a dream or vision that doesn't contradict scripture, you can at least pray to correctly interpret and follow it.

What is bad about Prima Scriptura is people can be lead astray into thinking that personal revelation can supercede scripture, in whole or in part. What is bad about Sola Scriptura is that it can lead to legalism and dogma, denying personal relationship with Christ. Keep what is good from both, turn away from what is bad. It's my belief that what is good from Prima and Sola are the same thing; the differences come from what is bad.

Hope this helps!

October 02 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio David Sutton
The bible don't say faith alone but people teach that we are saved by faith alone. If it says inspired by God and you believe in God then why would you go looking some where to disprove the bible? It's ok to write about God for pleasure reading but not to teach any other doctrine you can come up with. Just look at the Pharisees when they set out to kill Jesus after he raised Lazarus from the dead they were religious but contrary to Gods word and felt threatened by Jesus. Why would you look any where else for salvation when it is written so clearly. If you take out the proper names the average word is five letters. Hear the word Rom.10:17 believe John 3:16,repent Luke 13:3 confession Rom 10:9-10 and baptism rom 6:3-6, John 3:3-5.faithful until death Rev. 2:10 Heb. 2:1-3 Phil.2:12,Gal6:9-10. The bible is all we need.

October 02 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Jason R. Just a guy...
The traditional meaning of "Sola Scriptura" is that the Scripture is sufficient as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters and should not be added to. Not all truth but all spiritual truth. This idea comes from the Westminster Confession of Faith and not directly from the Bible.

“The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” 
— Westminster Confession of Faith

I think the spirit of this idea is well meaning in that scripture is meant to be complete and firm but to make it a hard and fast doctrine is a stretch. 

I think the idea can be self-refuted from the Bible it's self. The whole of scripture is based on revelation given to men directly from God; starting with Moses and through the ages by many other prophets. So, at the very least "Sola Scriptura" can only have been held since the canonization of the Bible.

Even after the death and resurrection of Jesus, God changed things up by directly revealing to Paul a new plan of grace (Gal 1:12, Gal 2:7, Eph 3:3-5, Eph 3:8-10) and even confused the other original apostles (Gal 2:11-14, Acts 15) because it was so different and new.

Now on the flip side, I don't think people should be swayed by every new prophet today that says they have a new revelation from God, but to preclude God from ever doing something new is not right either.

October 02 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

1355970312 Ron Ray
Here's my quick answer. What does the Bible teach?

2Timothy 3:16 states that ALL OF SCRIPTURE is God breathed, and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete and equipped for every good work. 2 Peter 1:21 states that no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke as they were carried along by The Holy Spirit. Now the Bible also states in John 14 that The Holy Spirit whom the Father sends in Jesus name will teach us all things and lead us into all truth. Jesus said that whatever we ask of the Father in His name will be done by God. God also equipped the believers in the body of the church with spiritual gifts like teaching, preaching, administration, hospitality, etc.

The point to be understood here is that God does not provide us with a single avenue to learn and know His will for our life. God provided us with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the inspired written Word and the body of believers. You want to be a Christian who is leading a life pleasing to God? Then use all of God's resources for your life, and you will know blessings in abundance!

October 02 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Karim Hosein
Looking for a single word to support an idea is not necessarily a good thing, even if you are looking for that word in the original Greek. Not finding the word, "alone", does not disprove "sola [alone, only] scriptura [scriptures, inspired writings]".

You referenced 2 Tim 3:16-17 which tells us at least three things:

1) All scripture came from the mouth/Spirit/breath of God. It does not state that everything God has ever said is to be found in scripture [ John 20:30 ] but that all scripture came from God [ John 20:31 ]. (This does not mean "not sola scriptura" yet). God is the author of the Bible (although he did not pen it himself but used men to do so. [ 2 Peter 1:20-21 ].

2) All scripture is useful for teaching (those who do not know), rebuking (those who know better), correcting (those who are mistaken), and training in righteousness (those who want to become better). It can all be used as required.

3) All scripture can thoroughly/fully/competently equip us for every good work. There is no good work which we have been called to do for which we require anything more than scripture.

Together, this means that Scripture contains only the words of God and is sufficient for doing his work. We need nothing more.

This does not mean that using other tools (such as eBible, our ministers, commentaries, et al) is wrong insofar as the help they give us is supported by scripture.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:8-9 that they need to pay attention to more than just scripture but everything good they see and know and what they see in their spiritual leaders in order that "the God of Peace will be with you." He also warns in Galatians 1:6-9 that even spiritual leaders can lead you astray so ensure that their words match the Good News which they (the apostles - Gal 1:1-2) taught us (in the scriptures).

So, in my understanding of scripture, is the scripture alone sufficient? Yes. Is the scripture alone all we should listen to for spiritual growth? No. Is Scripture alone the final word? Yes.

One cannot hang a doctrine on just one scripture but on ALL scriptures and the onus is on us, not our preachers, to search the scriptures and find the truth. [ 1 Corinthians 10:12, Philippians 2:11-13, Hebrews 4:11-13, John 12:47-49].

In addition, we cannot take any scripture out of context so, to sum up, I had referenced a verse in the first chapter of the second letter of Peter. I recommend you read all of 2 Peter 1:1-21 and indeed, the entire Bible....But not in one sitting.

October 02 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Shanna Duck "Let a search be made in the royal archives..." Ezra 5:17 NIV
I've struggled with this, too. Even the most devout Protestant will usually talk about a "call" to ministry or have experienced the inward tugging of God toward salvation or have felt the Holy Spirit descend on a service. I think the difference here, though, is that all of these experiences can be tested against Scripture and line up with the Written Word.

From a practical standpoint, if you study the history of the Church, I think you will see that that it's not denominations/groups who stay close to the Bible and carefully study the Word who tend to veer off, but those who neglect or disparage Bible study or even add another "scripture." It's sometimes amazing to see how even a small deviation from what the Bible teaches, given a few centuries, can lead to doctrine and practice far removed from what the Apostles ever did or taught. Many of these deviations from Scripture may have been well-intentioned and even pious at the beginning, but often over time they became solidified into tradition and moved further and further from the truth. When you see a group that has added "another" sacred writing or that puts untested dreams, "angelic messages," or prophecies ahead of the Word, you can almost be sure that group is or soon will be on the fringes of orthodoxy, if not already heretical. 

As humans, we're almost blind to the spiritual forces at work around us, and unless we are forewarned, we can be led like sheep by our inward impressions, dreams, visions, and mystical experiences..Honestly, these experiences often seem so REAL and so GODLY, which is how Satan draws many people astray into excess and sometimes eventually into complete heresy. The Holy Spirit is who convicts, draws, and regenerates us, but we NEED the written Word as our plumb-line, pure and simple.

October 03 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Alicia Kazansky
Many point to "many interpretations" found among people of what the Scriptures teach. Confusion and division result. The only true way to understand God's meaning in reading His words is by staying still and listen to what God's answer is or example. I follow what Jesus did and said and THOUGHT. Usually the differences come from some man's agenda in accomplishing some human goal..not always applying the fruit of the Spirit but tainted with human weakness and imperfect intention. (Remember the illustration by man that on your right shoulder is an angel but on the left one is a devil? Man must always seek to identify from what source their thoughts or interpretations might come from before believing and acting on. Wise choices count.

November 03 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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