Reply To: Sola Scriptura

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Sola scriptura (Latin for scripture alone) is one of five important slogans of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Although there is no agreed-upon technical definition among Protestants, it generally meant that Scripture is the only inerrant rule for deciding issues of faith and morals. The key implication of the slogan is that interpretations of how to understand and apply Scripture would not bear the same authority as Scripture itself, and that therefore the individual Christian is subject not to the interpretations of any ecclesiastical authority but only to his own interpretation. The intention of the Reformation was to correct the perceived errors of the Roman Catholic Church by appeal to the uniqueness of the Bible’s authority and to reject Christian tradition as a source of original authority in addition to the Bible. Sola scriptura may be contrasted with Prima scriptura, which holds that the Bible is the primary source of doctrine, but that understanding can be improved by reference to other sources.