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Ambrose
03-11-2007, 05:34 PM
This is a friendly thread directed toward my Protestant brethren.

I've always found the Protestant teaching of sola scriptura (only scripture) to be a little odd. Correct me if I'm wrong, but most Protestants (fundamentalists in particular, but with exceptions such as Anglicans) believe that the Bible is the sole authority in religious matters and that if it ain't in the Bible, it doesn't matter. Basically, there is no need for "Church authority."

To me, this just doesn't make sense. First and foremost because the very idea is self-denying. Here's why:

The doctrine that the Bible should be the only authority is found nowhere in the Bible.

Right there, the concept disproves itself. How can you say that you derive your doctrine only from the Bible if that very doctrine isn't in the Bible? It's like saying: "There are no absolutes". But right there, you have an absolute.

That in itself seems to prove it invalid. But furthermore, in my Biblical wanderings I've found scripture in which Jesus himself advocates the presence of a Church authority. From the New International Version (for your benefit ;) ):

Mathew 23:2-3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you.

After that, Jesus goes on to advise the people that, while they must do what the Pharisees say, they shouldn't do what the Pharisees do, since we all know that Jesus thought the Pharisees to be hypocrites. Nonetheless, he clearly respected their authority, and showed that here on Earth, men do have authority in religious matters.

Just to clear any misconceptions up, Catholics certainly do not believe that the Bible isn't an authority; we just don't believe that it's the only authority. Why? Because the Bible tells us not to.

Anywho, I'm curious as to how my fellow Christians explain their sola scriptura doctrine.

Jae Onasi
03-11-2007, 09:34 PM
I give scripture greater weight than other doctrines since it's 'inspired by God' (2 Tim 3:16-17). I give any doctrine that is in opposition to the Bible (e.g. buying indulgences for forgiveness though I understand that's not done now) no credence whatsoever.

That doesn't mean I don't respect most Catholic doctrine or leaders--I have a great deal of admiration for John Paul II and Mother Theresa, but I don't give it the same weight unless it also aligns with Bible doctrine.

Achilles
03-12-2007, 12:37 AM
Stay on topic, please. If you know it's tangental, use common sense and take it elsewhere. ~9

Ambrose: Re: your comments on the Pharisees, you might want to check out this book (http://www.amazon.com/Mythmaker-Paul-Invention-Christianity/dp/0062505858). The author presents a case that Jesus, not Paul, was a Pharisee and that Paul made the claim in order to boost his status within his newly formed cult.

Considering that I do not fully believe that there was a historical Jesus, I take the message with a grain of salt, but it raises some interesting questions about Paul nonetheless (Full disclosure: I'm only about half way through the book).