Reply To: Hi – Sola Scriptura Questions

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Anonymous
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Patrick:

One of the battle cries of Protestantism when it was founded by various individuals around five hundred years ago was that they wanted to restore the Church to the way it was pristine in the days of the ancient church. Along with this came the non-biblical idea that the Bible itself was the only source we could use for doctrine or moral teachings. The cry of Evangelicals today when they denounce the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church is not the Biblical Church, and does not follow the Bible.

Historically we see something different. Jesus is never quoted in the Bible as telling the Apostles to write anything. He simply commissions them to Preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. He instructs them to baptize. He commands at the Last Supper that they do what He has just done in anmensis of Him. He lays His hands on the Apostles, (the scriptures do not relate that He did this to anyone else, so Sola Sciptura folks have to prove outside the Bible that anyone else was authorized at the time.) He breathed on them and told them they have the right to forgive or retain sins. He tells Peter that He will found His church on him. Nowhere is it documented in the NT that He tells them to write down one word.

As Catholics we do believe that God inspired the Bible, that it is His word, and that the information it gives us is true, and as the 2 Timothy verse tells us is [i:2kjve6k2]useful[/i:2kjve6k2], or in some translations [i:2kjve6k2]profitible[/i:2kjve6k2] for settling doctrinal questions. But it’s a big jump to say that being useful is the same as being the only source. By isolating individual passages of the Bible, while ignoring the rest of the Biblical and extra-biblical teachings we have been given a distorted understanding of what Jesus said and did leads us to Protestantism. Sticking just with the Bible, we are instructed that Jesus is the Keystone and Foundation of the Church. We believe that to be true. The Scriptures also tell us that the Apostles are the foundation of the Church. We believe that to be true too. We also read that Peter was to have the Church founded on him. This is also true. So when we look at the big picture, we can either take the Protestant approch and isolate those texts that we find compelling, while ignoring the rest, or we can as Catholics have done for almost 2000 years, since Jesus founded the Church around 33AD, accept that Jesus who is our foundation gave the Apostles a special mandate and authority, entrusting in them the mission He came into the world for in a special way. St. Paul tells us that we should be subject to the authority of those who were placed above us in the Church. He also writes about how he has laid hands on Timothy and Titus, and that they are by this action the leaders of the Community who’s words they should accept as they do his own.

We also have three very prominent passages that show us not everything Jesus taught can be found in the Bible. St. Paul tells us that we should hold fast to the teachings he has given to the Church be it in letter or by word of mouth, (Scripture or Oral Tradition). We read that after the crowd left Jesus because many could not accept what he told them about the Eucharist, He took the Apostles aside and gave them further instruction on the doctrine. St. John tells us that not everything Jesus said or did was recorded, if they had, not all the books of the world could contain them. .

Protestants mistake their mythical “Biblical Church” for what the early church really was, the Apostolic Church. One Church which was founded by Jesus on the Apostles. Jesus told us that ALL Authority was given to Him by the Father, and then He clearly shares that authority with the Apostles. We see in the NT that before the first words of the NT were written down, as there were even in the earliest days of the Apostolic Church those who disregarded the teaching and authority of the Apostles, that it was the Apostles who met in Jerusalem to determine how the disputes that arose would be settled, not by the aid of the Bible Alone, (remember they taught the fullness of the Faith, before the NT was written down) but by the promise that Jesus gave them that the Holy Spirit would guide them, and the authority that Jesus had given them.

I could go on, but I’m afraid soon I’ll put you to sleep with my long posting.