- Defining The Issues:
- The Following Excerpt From Tim Staple's Article Is A Perfect Example Of Roman Catholics Misrepresenting The Doctrine Of Sola Scriptura:
- Explaining The Biblical Doctrine Of Sola Scriptura:
- Presenting The Case For Sola Scriptura From 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
-All Scripture is inspired by God. In other words, the Holy Spirit moved through the apostles and prophets as they recorded His teachings (1 Peter 1:16-21). In fact, the Greek word for "inspired," which is "theopneustos," literally means "God-breathed."
B.) The Purpose Of Scripture:
-The purpose of Scripture is to convict the conscience of sin, confront error, and preach righteousness. Furthermore, notice the surrounding context of this epistle: 1.) The coming of false teaching (3:1-13), 2.) Paul was about experience martyrdom (4:6-7), and 3.) This was the Apostle Paul's last epistle. Contextual evidence points us to one infallible rule of faith: Scripture. The context mentions no other inspired "rule of faith."
C.) The Results Of Using Scripture:
-Scripture "thoroughly" equips the man of God for "every good work," not most or just a few good works. It addresses everything we need to know about a life of godliness, and gives us principles of application. Scripture contains everything necessary for salvation. Scripture alone is therefore sufficient for the Christian church to use as the final court of authority in spiritual matters.
- Listing The Four So-Called Major Dilemmas Of Using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 As A Biblical Defense Of Sola Scriptura (In The Words Of The Author):
- Evaluating The Evidence Provided Against The Citation Of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 As Being Supportive Of Sola Scriptura:
-The second Roman Catholic objection to the Protestant citation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as biblical justification for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura fails because if Scripture equips the man of God for every good work, then it logically follows that it is the final, sufficient rule of faith for Christians to use in spiritual matters. Can anybody produce a list of "good works" that cannot be found in Scripture? What else can "every good work" mean?
-For the third Roman Catholic argument to hold any water, at least three conditions need to be met before the apologists can advance any "proof-texts" for "Sacred Tradition": 1.) The exact traditions need to be identified, 2.) It needs to be proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the word "tradition" mentioned within the specific texts of Scripture are different in substance from what is contained in the Bible, and 3.) Conclusive evidence needs to be provided in order for any random tradition to be considered apostolic and infallible (click here for full discussion).
-Neither does James 1:4 illustrate what the author of the article is trying to prove (interpreting "every good work" in 2 Timothy 3:17 to mean that Scripture is sufficient is just as nonsensical as interpreting "perseverance...perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" in James 1:4 to mean that all a person needs is patience to be perfected). This rebuttal does not work because the context of 2 Timothy 3 is directing the reader to the rule of faith (Scripture), whereas James 1 concerns the application of the principles found within that infallible guide. So Tim Staples has actually misapplied the message found in James 1:4 to 2 Timothy 3:17 because he has confused the meaning of both contexts. If Roman Catholic apologists insist on using this argument against the Protestant interpretation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, then it would logically follow that they would have to add "patience" as an additional infallible standard of authority to their "three-legged stool!"
-As for the final quibble raised in the cited excerpt from Catholic Answers above, there is really no reason for us to interpret the message found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as being directed strictly toward members of a church hierarchy. For starters, the office of pope is not even biblical. In fact, it was not until 150 A.D. that the Roman Church began to develop a single one-head bishop structure (click for more details). Secondly, we never find in Scripture the church tasks found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (to teach, refute, correct, and instruct in righteousness) as being assigned only to clergy. And thirdly, the phrase "man of God" does not necessarily denote reference to ordained ministers (though Timothy most certainly was ordained by Paul). Notice how reputable Roman Catholic Bible versions translate the phrase "man of God." The Jerusalem Bible translates it to be "the man who is dedicated to God." The Good News Bible translates it to be "the person who serves God." The New American Bible translates the phrase "man of God" to be "one who belongs to God." The point is really moot and beside the point. It is also clear from this text that all ordained ministers of the church are subject to the supreme authority of the Scriptures. While it is true that the context of 2 Timothy is about preaching, the fact remains that the Apostle Paul pointed to only one rule of faith (Scripture) to function as the infallible standard of authority for the Christian church. Why would Scripture function as a sufficient rule of faith for leadership, but not also for the average reader?
- Addressing The Charge Of Circular Reasoning:
- Addressing Canon Issues:
- Addressing The 33,000 Protestant Denominations Myth: