Friday 22 September 2017

Sola Scriptura


'Sola Scriptura' (or 'Scriptures alone' in Latin) is the Christian doctrine that separates true Christians from Roman Catholics and others who claim to be Christians.

The Holy Bible (Holy Scriptures) is the Word of God and is 'given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works' (2 Timothy 3:16-17, KJV). Therefore, the Holy Bible is infallible, free from error, rightly being the only rule of life and faith, and has supreme authority over all Christians. Hence teachings that contradict the Holy Bible should be completely rejected.

However, Roman Catholics and some Christians have always challenged this true doctrine. We will now look at some of their challenges.

1. Interpretation of the Scriptures

Challenge from Roman Catholics:

This teaching allows interpretation of the Scriptures by anyone and therefore, there are so many different Protestant Churches teaching different doctrines today. We (Roman Catholics) have the Pope and the Church to guide us in matters of faith.


The Scriptures is infallible, hence the infallible way of interpreting the Scriptures is to 'interpret Scriptures using Scriptures'. The Scriptures, being the Word of God, is powerful enough to guide the Christian to live a perfect life (refer to 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

True, we may sometimes need teachers to help us understand the Scriptures. God has graciously given us pastors and teachers to help us in our faith. However, we should not trust our teachers more than we trust the Scriptures, especially if the teachers teach differently from the Scriptures. Most importantly, we must remember that true understanding of the Scriptures comes from God (refer to St Luke 24:45).

Trusting in the Scriptures is directly trusting in God because the Scriptures is the Word of God. However, total trust in the Pope or other clergyman is to put confidence in man. We should remember that 'It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man' (Psalm 118:8, KJV) and the noble Bereans searched the Scriptures daily for guidance (refer to Acts 17:11).

The Pope is only a man and he obviously can make mistakes. In fact, Roman Catholic teachings have changed over the centuries. One good example is the Roman Catholic position on the death penalty. During the Holy Protestant Reformation, the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church persecuted Christians, leading to the martyrdoms of many great Christians. However, centuries later, the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church today are strong opponents of the death penalty.

In the modern world, we see Protestant Churches having different practices and interpretations of the Scriptures on issues such as the ordination of women. However, careful analysis of these issues shows that 'disobedient to the Scriptures' and not 'Sola Scriptura' that is the cause of the different practices. One good example is the ordination of women. We know from the Scriptures that church leadership is reserved to men (refer to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 & Titus 1:5-9), women are banned from teaching men because of Eve's sin (refer to Genesis 3:16 & 1 Timothy 2:11-14), man is the head of the woman (refer to 1 Corinthians 11:3) and women should be silent (refer to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 & 1 Timothy 2:11). However, feminists are unhappy and have decided to rebel against God in order to follow their unbiblical feminist ideology. In reality, the whole feminist ideology contradicts the Holy Bible and therefore, it is impossible for a man to be both a Christian and a feminist at the same time.

2. 'Sola Scriptura' is biblical

Challenge from Roman Catholics:

'Sola Scriptura' is not biblical but comes from the Reformation.


'Sola Scriptura' is biblical. We know that the Jews always follow the Law of Moses (Scriptures). We remember that our Lord Jesus Christ used only the Scriptures while He was being tempted in the wilderness (refer to St Matthew Chapter 4 & St Luke Chapter 4). We also remember Him explaining the Scriptures concerning Himself to the two disciples travelling to Emmaus (refer to St Luke 24:27). As written above, the noble Bereans searched the Scriptures daily for guidance (refer to Acts 17:11).

3. The Scriptures does not come from the Roman Catholic Church

Challenge from Roman Catholics:

The Scriptures was canonised during the Council of Carthage in the year 397. Therefore, the Scriptures come from the (Roman Catholic) Church.


The Scriptures is always the Word of God. The authority of the Scriptures comes from God and does not depend on man. Through the Council of Carthage, Christians recognise the writings God has given to us as the Scriptures.


The Scriptures is the Word of God. Therefore, the Scriptures is the only rule of life and faith and has supreme authority over all of mankind.

The Scriptures is the truth and will never change. As man cannot be trusted and with false teachers and false teachings in the world, we must trust only in God and in the Scriptures if we truly want to lead a biblical life as true Christians.

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