Did the early Christians believe in "sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone)? Or did they also believe in Apostolic Tradition? Keith Mathison, in his book "The Shape of Sola Scriptura," claimed that the Catholic view wasn't found in the first centuries of the Church, and that the earliest Church Fathers believed in sola Scriptura. Mathison's views are thoroughly debunked by (of all people) Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian Christianity Today called "the most important theologian of the twentieth century." And Barth capably proved the Catholic Patristic case... even though he personally believed in sola Scriptura!
Is mandatory celibacy extrabiblical? Who cares?
The debate over sola Scriptura is often framed as a question of whether the fullness of revelation is Scripture or Scripture plus Tradition. But the Bible points us to the fullness of revelation, and it doesn’t look like this: Vincent Van Gogh, Still Life with Bible (1885) Rather, the fullness of revelation looks more like […]
Caspar Schwenckfeld Catholic beliefs are often rejected by “Bible-only” Protestants on the grounds that they are “extra-Scriptural Traditions.” This accusation typically misses the mark: on teachings like the priesthood, or the Eucharist, or regenerative baptism, it’s not that the Church is deriving these views from a source other than Scripture. It’s that she sees support […]
Did you know that the word “person” comes to us through Catholic philosophy and theology? Theatrical masks of Comedy and Tragedy, Roman mosaic, (2nd c.). It’s true, although the word existed before Christianity in a different context. Etymologically, the word “person” originally comes from a Latin word meaning “sounding through” (personare), which referred to actors […]
Near the root of what divides Protestantism from Catholicism is a question concerning the clarity (or, in technical parlance, the “perspicuity”) of Sacred Scripture. The Catholic view is that Scripture needs interpretation; the typical Protestant view is that Scripture is so clear that there are no ambiguities needing authoritative interpretation by the Church. Rembrandt, The Baptism […]
A Reformed blogger, TurretinFan, rejects the authority of the early Ecumenical Councils, and suggests that every dispute needs to be resolved through Scripture, which is allegedly independent of the Catholic Church, the property of all. He cites to this passage from St. Augustine for support, which he suggests shows that Augustine “sounded exactly like a Sola Scriptura […]
Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”) is the Protestant belief that all Christian doctrines should be taken from Scripture alone. Given this, it seems fair to ask Protestants, “Was sola Scriptura true during the Apostolic age?” That is, during the time of the New Testament, did those Christians believers rely on the Bible alone for their doctrines? The Reformed […]
After yesterday’s post, Brent Stubbs pointed out that a thoughtful Protestant named Shawn Madden raised a number of arguments against the Catholic Bible, and in favor of the Protestant Bible, in the comments at Called to Communion. His full argument is here, but he essentially makes nine points: Many versions of the TNK used by Greek-speaking Jews […]
A good friend of mine is currently studying to become a Presbyterian minister at Westminster Theological Seminary. Before he left, I asked him two questions: Where does the Bible dictate sola Scriptura? Where does the Bible dictate the precise canon of Scripture? After all, for sola Scriptura not to be self-refuting, both of these seemingly […]