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Non-Catholics Section: Bible Alone?

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Non-Catholics Section:

Bible Alone? (Sola Scriptura)

Sources: Various

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Do You Believe That the Bible is the Sole Rule of Faith?

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Do You Believe That the Bible is the Sole Rule of Faith?

Consider:

* Do you reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition? Click here

* Do you believe that the earliest Christians read the Bible? Click here

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith, considering that it was not written until years after Christ's death (the book of Revelation wasn't even completed until around 100 A.D.!)?

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith, considering that it wasn't formally codified for hundreds of years?

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith considering that Christians pre-date the Bible? In fact, New Testament Scripture was written for those who were already Christian!

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why didn't Jesus write a single word of it?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why didn't Jesus promise his followers a Bible?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why didn't Jesus say that the Bible would remain forever, as he promised that his Church would remain forever (see Mt 16:18)?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why didn't Jesus recommend that we read it? If it was necessary to our salvation, why would Christ not even mention it?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why does Jesus not refer to it even once? (All of Christ's references to Scripture are limited to the Old Testament).

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why did it take so many years for all of it to finally be written?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why were the New Testament letters issued singly by their authors to certain groups of people rather than compiled together and marked as "scripture" for all persons?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why does Jesus command the Apostles to preach rather than write Scripture?

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith, considering that most of the early Christians were illiterate? In fact, throughout most of history, a large number of people have been illiterate and uneducated. Even today, many persons are illiterate.

* If the Bible was necessary to salvation, why would Christ not have left no earthly means to easily prepare and propagate it for many hundreds of years (e.g. a printing press or other method of printing)? Surely, converts were made much faster than Bibles could be hand-copied!

* If the Bible was necessary to salvation, why would Christ not ensure that its production and distribution would not be cost-prohibitive? Further, why wouldn't Christ or the Apostles initiate literacy classes so the people could actually read the Bible?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why doesn't Scripture say so? Why is it you base your salvation in the "bible alone" theory when your theory itself is not contained in the bible that you claim to take as the sole rule of faith? 

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why does Scripture say to follow also the oral traditions (see 2 Thes. 2:15)?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why was Christ's message passed down by the Apostles mostly by the spoken - and not written - word (cf. Mk. 16:20, 2 Tm. 2:2)?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why is so little of it written by the original twelve Apostles?

* If the Bible is the sole rule of faith, why were portions of it (e.g. the New Testament letters) written to specific groups of people rather than to all persons? Why did the authors not mark them as Scripture? Why didn't they indicate that the letters should be saved and distributed? Why were the letters scattered in various locations? Why didn't their authors note that all the letters would eventually be compiled? Why didn't the earliest Christians ever get to see a completed Bible?

* If the Apostles believed in "sola scriptura", why did they themselves not have complete bibles? Why did they not at least specify which books were to be considered Scripture?

* If the Apostles believed in "sola scriptura", why did they not write more Scripture? If the Bible is so important, why did they not even distribute Scripture or make any known references to acquiring it?

* Does it not bother you that the earliest Christians were not - and could not possibly have been - "bible only"?

* How could the "bible alone" theory ever work considering that the bible never tells us which books should be a part of the Bible? Remember that Scripture itself tells that certain spurious writings tried to pass off as genuine (see 2 Thes. 2:2). 

* If the Bible alone was the sole rule of faith, why does Scripture say that faith comes through hearing, not reading (see Rom. 10:17)?

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, how could the uneducated, the ignorant, the retarded, children not yet able to read, etc. ever be saved? 

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, does it not bother you that there are no original manuscripts and that you have to rely on others to translate copies for you? Does it not bother you that each translation of the bible is different? Does it not bother you that Protestant bibles have been shown to be tainted with many errors and mistranslations?

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith considering that "without any authority there could be no way to ultimately (and certainly) resolve the problem of competing interpretations"? Note: For more on personal interpretation of the Bible, click here.

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, does it not bother you have to rely on someone else to tell you which books actually comprise the Bible? Why does Scripture not tell you what books it is comprised of if it is the sole rule of faith? Why do you (most likely) use a translation of the bible which omits books that were accepted by Christ and the Apostles? Note: Click here for more on this topic.

* If the Bible was to be the sole rule of faith, why does Scripture say that it is only "profitable" (or "useful") to salvation, rather than "sufficient" for salvation?

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, "why does Scripture show persons going to the Apostles and presbyters (priests) to enter the Church rather than relying on the Bible?"

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, why does it not give detailed instructions for Baptisms?

* If the Bible was the sole rule of faith, why does it refer to deadly sin (1 Jn. 5:16-17), but not explain what deadly sin is or what to do about it? Is "deadly sin" really to be considered unimportant?

* How can the Bible be the sole rule of faith, considering that it is so easily misinterpreted?

* If the Bible was to sole rule of faith, why is this concept not biblical, not practical, and not historical?

* If the Bible were the sole rule of faith, why is it so complex? Why do some passages seem to contradict each other? Do you suppose that salvation is only open to those with extraordinary intelligence and excellent memories (remember that most of us can't memorize the entire bible)? "A competent religious guide must be clear and intelligible to all, so that every one may fully understand the true meaning of the instructions it contains. Is the Bible a book intelligible to all? Far from it; it is full of obscurities and difficulties not only for the illiterate, but even for the learned." {Gibbons}

* Why do you believe in the "bible alone" theory when Scripture says that not all has been written down (cf. Jn. 20:30, Jn. 21:25)? "Now the Evangelists are silent as to the greater part of Christ's teaching; for whereas He preached for the space nearly of three years, all the teaching which they have written down would scarcely, one might say, suffice for the discourse of a single day. For out of a great many things extracting a few, they have given only a taste as it were of the sweetness of His teaching." (St. Theophylact)

* Why do you believe in the "bible alone" theory considering Scripture says that...

One should take as the norm the words heard  from (not written by) St. Paul (see 2 Tm. 1:13). How can this be if the bible is the sole rule of faith?

What was heard (not read) was to be passed on (see 2 Tm. 2:2). How can this be if the bible is the sole rule of faith?

What was heard (not read) was to remain (1 Jn. 2:24). How can the bible be the sole rule of faith if what is heard (and not read) is what is to remain?

One is to keep doing what was heard and seen in St. Paul (not read) (see Phil 4:9) If the bible was to be the sole rule of faith, why instruct persons to do what was heard and seen (and not read)?

Paul was to set all things in order when he came (1 Cor. 11:34). Why did he not write them down if the bible was to be the sole rule of faith?

Christ had much more to tell - which wasn't included in the Gospels - that would come from the Holy Spirit (see Jn. 16:12-13). Do you imagine this instruction of the Holy Spirit is not important since it was not written down in Scripture?

Decisions of the Apostles and presbyters (priests) were reached (not read) and handed on (not written down) and they were to be observed (see Acts. 16:4). How can this be if the sole rule of faith is the Bible?

St. Peter and the other Apostles were given the authority to bind and loose and their decisions are to be ratified in heaven (Mt 16:19, 18:18). Is it not then important to know what they loosed and held bound? Why are such decisions of the twelve Apostles not in Scripture if the Bible was to be the sole rule of faith?

* Does it not trouble you that the concept of "bible alone Christianity" didn't exist until about 1500 years after Christ's death?

* Although you may claim you believe in the "bible alone" theory, do you actually live by this? Do you ever use the word "Bible" or "Trinity"? Are you aware that neither of these words is in the Bible? Note: Click here for 'Is Your Faith Biblical?'

* Do you, perhaps, rely on the Bible alone because you reject the concept of authority in religious matters? Why is it you reject authority on one hand, but rely on the Catholic Church's authority on the other hand to determine the canon (list of inspired books) of the Bible? Note: For more on authority in the Church, click here.

* Do you realize that if you rely on the Bible alone for salvation, you have already placed your salvation in the hands of the Catholic Church? You must know that she was the one who determined which books were inspired and she is the one who protected and preserved Holy Scripture. Without the Catholic Church, you could not even own any translation of the Bible. 


In Closing...

"If we had lived in the first twenty-five years of the Church, how would we have answered this question: 'How can I know what I am to believe?' We could not have said, 'I will look in the Bible.' For there was no New Testament Bible then. We would have believed what the Apostolic Church was teaching, and, until the invention of printing, it would have been difficult for any of us to have made ourselves so-called infallible private interpreters of the book." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

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