Sola Scriptura, or “by scripture alone” is a commonly used term in many Protestant Christian Churches all over the world. It is a theological doctrine stating that if something is not in the Bible it is not to be practiced within the Christian faith.
Sola Scriptura makes the Bible a sole source of authority for the Christian faith and practice.
I have to agree that the Bible is surely the most important book you will read in your life. After all, any Christian agrees that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God. However, there is a difference between understanding the worth of the Bible as a tool of devotion and turning it into sole authority over your life, thus making it an idol in itself.
Let’s look at some arguments that convinced me that Sola Scriptura makes no sense anymore :
- SOLA SCRIPTURA IS SELF-REFUTING : Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible is to be seen as ALL we need for religious guidance. Actually, the opposite is true. Since the principle of Sola Scriptura is extra biblical and you want to be 100% biblical — how can you rely on Sola Scriptura?
- SOLA SCRIPTURA FAILS TO EXPLAIN ITSELF : the Bible itself wasn’t formally compiled until the fourth century. Christians before that relied on various accounts of Jesus and until the Church compiled the actual Bible, nobody knew which scripture was to be accepted as part of what we now call the Bible. The authority that did compile the Bible was the Catholic Church, under the guidance of the pope and other bishops. Therefore, the books of the Bible rely on something outside of the Bible, the authority of the Church. Whether you accept it or not, you have been listening to the authority of the Catholic Church — all along as you read the books the Catholic Church has compiled for you into the Bible.
- SOLA SCRIPTURA IS KIND OF A NEW IDEA : No early Christian dared to declare scripture as sole authority. It was proposed fifteen centuries after Jesus’ Resurrection. It’s an example of man-made rules Jesus specifically warned against.
The Bible has the power to change many lives. I have heard many stories of people sitting down, reading it and being changed. And that’s great! I am not here to tell you that the Bible isn’t God’s way of speaking to you. I am just here to tell you that there’s more.
Jesus established a church, not a Bible. The Bible was compiled by his Catholic church.
Matthew 16:18 “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church”
The Bible was compiled by the Catholic Church and spread by the Catholic Church. It remains the holy Inspired Word of God, but it’s not our only source of guidance. Jesus left us his disciples so that we could have “apostolic succession” a tracing of authority from Jesus to his disciples, bishops and popes all the way until today. And although his Church has seen many tribulations, and will see many more, ” the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
N.B. It wouldn’t be fair for me to finish this post and not mention the book “Why I am Catholic” written by a former Protestant himself Brandon Vogt. I highly recommend it!
Meet the author
Johanna – Hebrew for “God is Gracious”
I’m a former New Ager, Yogi & spiritual nomad turned Christian after a moment of illumination in 2017. I created this website to help you differentiate between light & darkness and to answer questions about spiritual topics from a Catholic Christian worldview. ->Find me on IG @myjourneytojesus