Bible Alone?

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srkbdk

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I just have a few thoughts on some things that I have been using in my talks with our non Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ, and I think this will be a good place to make sure I am correct, and see from all how to improve some of them:
  1. All Christians follow traditions weather or not they want to admit it, as an example you go to church on Sunday why when the Bible says to keep the Sabbath holy and the Sabbath is Saturday? (cause the Church has us go on Sunday to honor the rising of our Lord)
  2. If the Bible is the sole authority then why does it tell us to go to the Church? I.E.: if a brother sins against you go and tell him, if he still does not listen take one or two brothers with you, if then he refuses to listen still take him to the BIBLE? No Matthew 18:15-18 lay out that we are to take him before the Church. So the question is not which Bible but which Church?
  3. If you love the Bible so much and revere it at the Word of God then don’t you think it is important that we do not change the meaning of God’s Word, as the last time I checked God does not change so why do we allow his Word to. As an example look at 1 Cor 11:2 in many non Catholic Bibles they have changed the word Tradition to teachings. Now this does not work with all non Catholic bibles, but it is a start if you just look for points of Scripture that can be used to defend only Catholic teaching you will find more and more they are changing words. The NIV has it changed except when the word Tradition can be used against the Catholic Church like in Mt 15:3.
  4. Lets look at Mt 16:18 Where Christ promises that the Gates of the netherworld shall not prevail, and also Mt 28:20 where Christ promises that he will be with us until the end of the age. My problem here is that if there was need of reformation and the Church had fallen in to disarray, and that we needed to remove 7 whole books and parts of two others to get the Bible right then at some point during the 1100 + years the Bible stood that way Christ must have left us for the Gates of hell to have prevailed and allowed all those people for all those years to be misled, and we all know that God will never break a promise so what is the purpose of the reformation again?
  5. Also and on the same subject why is it you accept the Authority of the Catholic Church when it comes to the cannon of the new Testament? Most do not know that they do.
I look forward to any help or comments you all may have on some of these points. God Bless and Be Safe.
 
Well, one thing is that you have to be careful to differentiate between sola scriptura and what is known as either solo scriptura or sola scriptura extremis. The latter is far more widespread, but it is a flawed variation of the doctrine, and you’ll get hammered in debates if you attack it because the Protestant apologists use (or at least claim to use) actual sola scriptura, which makes your attack a strawman.

Proper sola scriptura is this: All doctrines, practices, and devotions, are to be checked against the Bible, which is the only infallible rule of thumb (in their view).

Improper sola scriptura is this: All doctrines, practices, and devotions must come from the Bible.
 
  1. You said: All Christians follow traditions weather or not they want to admit it, as an example you go to church on Sunday why when the Bible says to keep the Sabbath holy and the Sabbath is Saturday? (cause the Church has us go on Sunday to honor the rising of our Lord)
Actually the Bible never directs Christians or Gentiles to keep the Sabbath Holy. However, most protestant’s (SDA’s and Seventh-Day Baptist excluded) do follow what can for them only be a tradition of going to church on Sunday. By doing this they are in spite of themselves recognizing the authority of the Church.
    • I would agree with that!
    • I would be careful with this argument as even “Catholic” translations have changed. This does not necessarily mean that the word of God has changed, as much as scholarship, or common language, or other factors have necessitated the change in translation. Atleast in many, but not all cases.
  1. I think this point is fairly good, however, I would even simplify it by not even mentioning the changed books of the Bible… ie. If Christ promised that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church, and if God’s word says that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of all truth, then which one of those two Bible assertions failed so that there was need for a reformation? (p.s. I would also note that reformation is not necessarily bad… schism is!)
  2. I like this one too. I.e. How do you know that the book of X (fill in any NT book) should be included in the NT?
Brandon

:yup:
 
  1. I think this point is fairly good, however, I would even simplify it by not even mentioning the changed books of the Bible… ie. If Christ promised that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church, and if God’s word says that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation of all truth, then which one of those two Bible assertions failed so that there was need for a reformation? (p.s. I would also note that reformation is not necessarily bad… schism is!)
Brandon I really like the point you made here you are right Reformation can be good Schism alway bad;)
 
In regards to point 1.

The problem with saying that non-catholics get worshipping on Sundays as a tradition from the Catholic Church is 1 Corithians 16:2 and to a lesser extent Acts 20:7. These two verses speak of christians meeting on the first day of the week to break bread. Many non-christians point to this being the biblical basis to celebrating the Lord’s Day as the new day of worship.

In other words saying that there is no biblical basis whatsoever for Sunday worship is not entirely correct.
 
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bhanifan:
In regards to point 1.

The problem with saying that non-catholics get worshipping on Sundays as a tradition from the Catholic Church is 1 Corithians 16:2 and to a lesser extent Acts 20:7. These two verses speak of christians meeting on the first day of the week to break bread. Many non-christians point to this being the biblical basis to celebrating the Lord’s Day as the new day of worship.

In other words saying that there is no biblical basis whatsoever for Sunday worship is not entirely correct.
Hi,
I have to respectfully disagree, I am going to play the advocate here 😉 1 Corithians 16:2 no where implies that one must, should, or that they did worship or keep the first day of the week as a religious observance. In fact, the verse explicitly states that each of the followers should “lay by himself in store” or “put away” a certain amount of money for the donation. It could easily be argued that this meant that the apostle was teaching just the opposite ie. that the user should be doing this at home and not in a common assembly, since none is mentioned.

As far as Acts 20:7, the only reason this might by used as evidence for a Sunday service is that it mentions the breaking of bread. The verse explains the reason they were gathered… ie. that the Apostle was leaving them the next day, it does not mention any special service other than the breaking of bread. However, Acts 2:42 and 46 make it clear that the Apostles participated in breaking bread “daily”. This verse could easlily show that the breaking of bread was done daily not just at a weekly service. If that is the case, all the verse really says is that on Sunday a group gathered to hear the apostle talk before he left the next day. In addition, it appears that the only reason this was mentioned was because of the young man who’s life was restored, not as a teaching on Sunday observance, or any day for that matter.

Anyway… That would be the beginning of my devils advocate position 😉 Hence, why I still believe that there is no Biblical evidence for a weekly Sunday observance.

Brandon
 
SDA2RC,

Very good. I’ve never heard someone address those verses like that. My wife’s family’s church always points to those verses as their biblical reason for worshiping on Sundays, but as you pointed out it’s more likely that they worship on Sundays because that’s what christians do (because the Catholic Church always has). Then they looked in scripture to see if there was something to back up their belief.

This is a common practice sadly to first come up with a belief and then find anything in scripture that might back that belief up even a little bit. Just shows again the problem with Bible alone faith.
 
Re 1:10
I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Ask any biblical scholar.

John is referring to Sunday.
 
:rolleyes: Ok Ok I see that the Sunday tradition is a problem for people so lets pick a different tradition, I move we try the same logic with weddings or some other tradition.

I know not all other churches require people to be married in the church but for the one’s that do why?

Not just because they think it is right where does the bible say that you should get married in the church.

Or another Tradition that we can talk about is Christmas we all know he was not born on December 25 unless that date is in the bible somewhere and I missed it. Not to mention what can be said for the greatest day of the year Easter who pulls that date from the Bible every year?

I thank all for the help you are refining the arguments for me and that is what I need as they have worked in the past but how much better they will be with the help of you all.:gopray:
 
To evaluate Sola Scriptura, one needs to see if ALL doctrines and beliefs can be found in Scripture.

Thus, I present my “infamous 4 questions”

Using the Bible Alone, please show me:
  1. Where does it say that the number of books in the New Testament is supposed to be 27?
  2. Where does it say the names of the books that belong in the New Testament?
  3. Where does it say the correct version of the books that belong in the New Testament? For example, there was a version of Matthew with 8 chapters worth of text, another with 18, and a third with 28.
  4. Where does it say the correct translation of the books that belong in the New Testament?
Of course, I could also ask 4 more about the Old Testament. 🙂

Then let’s look at Mark Shea’s book, chapter 6:
mark-shea.com/6.html

I would also ask “Where does it say in the Bible which interpretation of scripture is the correct one?” After all, there are thousands of them out there. Each denomination, each protestant has their own interpretation of scripture. They all cannot be right.
Catholic Cadet:
Proper sola scriptura is this: All doctrines, practices, and devotions, are to be checked against the Bible, which is the only infallible rule of thumb (in their view).
Many protestants confuse their interpretation of scripture with the scripture they’re interpreting. They’ll commonly say “Scripture says…” when in reality what they’re saying is “My interpretation of scripture says…”

I would ask “Where does it say in the Bible who is the one that is doing the checking, and why should we listen to their authority, under Sola Scriptura?”
 
Excellent points, BobCatholic!

The debate over “Bible Alone” doctrines all eventually boil down to debate over who has the authority to decide, both what is called Scripture and how Scripture should be interpreted. Authority, IMHO, is THE central sticking point between us and our Christian brethren outside the Catholic Faith.

Whenever I get into a debate with a non-Catholic over this, the questions I always ask are, where did the Bible come from, and why does your Bible have fewer books than mine, if Scripture itself says that nothing can be added or removed? Stick to the historical facts about the various Church Councils, the canon of Scripture, and the Protestant Reformation which removed several books.

Also, remember that your job is only to encourage deeper thought. God alone can change someone’s heart or open someon’s eyes. You may or may not ever see the fruit of your apologetics conversations. Leave it in His hands!
 
I just finished reading a Catholic novel that addresses most of the points raised!

Please check out “How Firm a Foundation” by Marcus Grodi. It’s a novel about a Congregationalist minister who finds his way to Catholicism by questioning the role of “Bible Only”, the manner in which one can find verses to support conficting arguments, the Apostle letters that indicate that oral teachings were much more than the written teachings at the time of the early Church, the impact of tradition and, most impotantly, what Jesus meant when he gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter.

The book’s auhor is a former Congregationalist and then Presberterian minister who converted to Catholisism. The book is enlightening and contains the requisite amount of doctrine and theology that I could even understand. This book was a great insight for me. I am confident it will be of help to you.
 
Is Rev 1:10 really an unassailable proof text for Sunday worship? A sabbatarian group had this response:

*…Revelation 1:10, where John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” Some believe this means John was worshiping on Sunday and had the vision on that day. …
If this were referring to a day of the week, we would have to conclude that John meant the seventh day, since Jesus Christ said He was the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28), not some other day of the week.

However, the context of John’s vision shows that John wasn’t referring to a day of the week at all. Instead, he wrote that the vision transported him into the future time the Bible elsewhere calls the “day of the Lord,” “day of the Lord Jesus Christ” or “day of Christ” (Jeremiah 46:10; Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). *

It still seems to me you can make a strong (but misguided) solo (not sola) scriptura case for Sunday worship being an extra-biblical tradition. The arguement can be enhanced by contrasting the relative silence of the NT on changing the Sabbath day with the explicit revocation of the requirement for circumcision. This arguement would not work for classical Protestant positions (Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed) who place some value on tradition, but may give a pause to a fundementalist that has to have a proof text for every doctrine and practice.

Along the same lines, I believe you cannot clearly demonstrate that polygamy is prohibited without looking at the teachings of the early church fathers as evidenced below:
  1. Justin Martyr (c.160) rebukes the Jews for allowing polygamy:
*“Your imprudent and blind masters even until this time permit each man to have four or five wives. And if anyone sees a beautiful woman and desires to have her, they quote the doings of Jacob.” *
2. Irenaeus (c.180) condemns the Gnostics for, among other things, polygamy:

“*Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives…” *

Again, without authoritative tradition, there is no reason polygamy should not be a non-essential item that bible-believing Christians are free to disagree upon.
 
Great point here…this is a great topic. 👍

I get into these conversations all the time with people of other faiths. They ask me how I could follow a POPE there is no mention of the word POPE in the Bible. I say how could you follow
the Bible…there is no mention of the word BIBLE in the Bible.

I look forward to reading the rest of this discussion.
 
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Randell:
Great point here…this is a great topic. 👍

I get into these conversations all the time with people of other faiths. They ask me how I could follow a POPE there is no mention of the word POPE in the Bible. I say how could you follow
the Bible…there is no mention of the word BIBLE in the Bible.

I look forward to reading the rest of this discussion.
Wow Randell, you just made a point so concise.

I have had arguments with non-Catholics, about “bible alone” and have never known how to succintly say it before.

My dad is an Anglican, and often says to me that the Catholics are crazy as we follow an Italian (even though our current Pope is Polish you know what he means).
And he says that his religion is proper as it is led by the Queen.
You can imagine the arguments I get into with him, especially as I live with him.
Non-Catholics dont seem to ever understand the pattern that started at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came down, 50 days, after Jesus rose from the dead, and allowed the apostles to spread the Word. A natural progression was St Peter to become the new “leader” now that Jesus wasnt on Earth. And so on and so on, the leadership was handed down, to what we now know as Pope John Paul.
This progression of the Apostles started way before the Bible was ever written, so do “Bible Only” people think that those first 100 years and more were non-Christian years?
Love Kellie
 
This is a good question. I actually left the Catholic faith because my belief in “sola scriptura.” Catholic Cadet is right - practices are to be checked against the Bible not that they necessarily all have to come from the Bible.

In reference to December 25 and Easter… Catholics did not set up that tradition per say, the dates were originally from pagan holidays.

Yes, many protestant religions follow the traditions set about by the Catholic Church, even though there was a schism, most denominations still revere the practices set about by the Greek Church Fathers.

“We do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it. In our church, Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals, when the Sacrament is offered." (Article XXIV, the Mass, Apology to the Augsburg Confession, 1531)-Formally accepted Symbolical Book of all Lutheranism.”

In reference to the translations, they are changed because although the original inspired writing are infallible those that translate them are not. Biblical translators, the good ones anyway, apply what is being learned and new archeological evidence to translations in an attempt to make them more precise.
 
Hi,
Your right Sabbatarians do use the discription about the Sabbath being the “Day of the Lord” or the “Lords Holy Day” to refute those who claim that the term “Lord’s Day” means Sunday.

I see three things wrong with this.

a. External evidence is pretty clear although not unanimous that
the term “Lords Day” was used by early Christians to mean Sunday. You can see Early Church Father quotes on the Catholic.com website.

b. Sabbatarians are at a loss to show one other time in the scriptures where the 7th day was not called “Sabbath”. One could just as easily argue that if the Sabbath is no longer called the “Sabbath” then the significance of the day must have changed?

c. If the Lord’s Day is the Sabbath day of the OT, Why did none of the Bible writers teach it’s observance after Pentecost? And why is there no example of them keeping it?

My two cents…

Brandon
 
bwv 1080:
However, the context of John’s vision shows that John wasn’t referring to a day of the week at all. Instead, he wrote that the vision transported him into the future time the Bible elsewhere calls the “day of the Lord,?“day of the Lord Jesus Christ?or “day of Christ?(Jeremiah 46:10; Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10).
I actually agree with this interpretation of John’s vision. I believe it’s a reference to the day of the lord which isn’t that different from the previous ‘days of yahweh’ in old testament history. Scott Hahn’s got some good explanations on exactly what it was.

Anyway, I think it’s important to note that the early Christians took the eucharist on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). This explains our basis for sunday Eucharist.

As for sola scripture, my problem with it is that it allows every believer to essentially be a teacher of the scriptures for themselves. The problem with it is that St. Paul preached against such an idea (1 Tim 1:3,7, 1 Tim 2:12). He also taught that not all are called to such a ministry (1 Cor 12:29, Eph 4:11). Following that thought, St. James also commanded that not many should become teachers since they will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).

So the issue seems to really come down to this: Do we trust one individual with a bible? Or the magisterium?

Realistically, I don’t believe sola scriptura is even applicable so long as the individual attempts to interpret it. The Church at the very least is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15) and so I would trust their judgment over a mere individual.

Interestingly, the word magisterium comes from the word magister, which translates as teacher. So this means the specific teacher-office spoken of in Eph 4:11-13 and 1 Cor 12:28-29 neatly fits the magisterium.

This absolutely convinced me that sola scriptura is a man-made tradition: God himself appointed these specific offices (1 Cor 12:28) and that no all are called to it (1 Cor 12:28, Eph 4:11, James 3:1), in fact some within the church were strictly forbidden to teach (1 Tim 1:3,7; 1 Tim 2:12). We have the teaching body of the church, and while I was a protestant it seemed like a ‘strange coincidence’ that the Church had something called the magisterium which ‘just happened’ to function in exactly that way.

Hope this was useful.

-Jason
 
Ok, so what’s the difference between “sola scriptura”, and “solo scriptura/sola scriptura extremis”? Which is the one Luther came up with? Is that the same one evangelicals and fundies use?
 
Sola Scriptora does not mean that every individual is a teacher and that they can interpret the bible any way they wish. What it does is that it places the scripture as the foundation in which everything is measured, so that not one person can claim that their view is infallible.

The words of Luther are not on par with the scripture. When Luther wrote the book “Jews and Their Lies” in 1543 it called for burning down synagogues and forbidding rabbis to teach under pain of death. Since the Lutherans follow Sola Scriptora they can say that this view is not “canonical” and can be disregarded as it is a product of the current trend at that point in history but is not in agreement with the scripture.
 
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