Sola Scriptura

A common theme in Southern Baptist Churches today is “Sola Scriptura.” Sola Scriptura is Greek for “Scripture alone.” The idea is that the Bible alone is enough. No other text is needed. Well, that doesn’t always work.

One email I had received from my former pastor was him asking me why I did not consult him or some well-studied theologian when I encountered questions with the New Testament. He believed that someone out there could explain the text, why they were changed, and how the Holy Spirit had permission to do such.

What about Sola Scriptura?

We have this perfect, infallible, inerrant book, yet we are to consult modern-day theologians to explain away problems, and contradictions? Isn’t that what Martin Luther fought against? He believed the common man should be able to read the Scriptures for himself without priests telling him what Scripture said.

That should still be the case today. If this book is error free and perfect, our questions should be able to be answered within the text itself.

I tried to be patient with the pastor. This man played a very important role in our family for years. He was a friend and he meant well. I kept communication open for a while. We emailed about Isaiah 7 and other Old Testament prophecies. But then, he finally admitted he was not an Old Testament scholar and that if I wanted to discuss things with him, I just needed to read the Gospels and focus on the claims of Jesus.

banging head

I was deeply saddened by those words. I sobbed and sobbed. I was deeply saddened because this man was leading my husband and essentially my children further down the path of idolatry.

Edit: In response to a comment below, the path to idolatry would be worshiping someone other than Yahweh, the one true God of Israel.

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4 thoughts on “Sola Scriptura

  1. I was deeply saddened by those words. I sobbed and sobbed. I was deeply saddened because this man was leading my husband and essentially my children down a path to idolatry.

    Not sure what you mean by idolatry here. What point were you at in your journey at this time?

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  2. Sola Scriptura is flawed to begin with seeing as it refutes itself. It is not a teaching that is found in the Bible, plus we know from the Bible that we have much more than the Bible when it comes to Christianity:

    [15] So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. – 2 Thessalonians 2:15

    We have spoken traditions.

    [15] if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. – 1 Timothy 3:15

    We have the church, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

    The Sola Scriptura theory is not very well thought out, and your use of it in this article explains that perfectly. There is only one truth, yet you and your pastor seem to be at odds on an issue. You’re reading the same Bible, and arriving at different views. At least one of you, if not both, will need to be wrong, so sola scriptura fails in application as well as theory.

    You illustrated a very good point about the flaws of sola scriptura here.

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  3. I understand that feeling of unbelief combined with a strong sense of “heresy” when talking about things at odds with what I used to believe. I’m still coming to terms with what I believe, and what others ought to believe to be consistent. I still find myself getting into theological debates on the fundamentalist side, simply because I know the “other side” is wrong, and why.

    It’s a confusing place to be. I’ve been moving out of belief for at least a year, and only recently found myself thinking of myself as an “atheist”; but I had the same sense of despair when I read “if I wanted to discuss things with him, I just needed to read the Gospels and focus on the claims of Jesus”.

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