Responding to Arguments Against Sola Scriptura

The video I respond to

A few days ago, I came across a video made by the youtube channel Catholic Truth. In this video, he made five objections or questions for those who believed in Sola Scriptura. For those who don’t know what Sola Scriptura is, Sola Scriptura means that the Bible is the only infallible source of authority. (Some people define it differently, but I think that this is the best definition for the doctrine).

This video motivated me to make a responding/ reacting video which you can find on my youtube channel Apologetics for All. In this video, I respond to all five of his questions in depth and show why they are unable to defeat sola scriptura.

I will quickly summarise my defence of the doctrine below.

Thumbnail to the video I made

#1. Where in the Bible does it say the bible is all you need? 

I believe that there is a difference between something being sufficient and something being all you need. While sola scriptura teaches that the Bible is sufficient, it doesn’t rule out the utility of other sources of authority (albeit them not being infallible as well).

Therefore, in order to provide a Biblical basis for the sufficiency of scripture I will point you towards 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Following the logic that someone wouldn’t describe an insufficient tool as something which would “thoroughly equip” someone for a specific task.

Even the objection is true, it doesn’t even attack sola scriptura, in fact it is aimed at a straw-man.  Remember, I am not defending that the Bible is the only source of authority, I am just defending that the Bible is the only infallible source of authority.

#2. Where does Scripture teach that the Bible is the ONLY or FINAL authority?

As seen in the previous response, we are not defending that the Bible is the only source of authority so the first half of the criticism is put to bed.

When it comes to the idea of the Bible being the final source of authority, we can turn to the book of Revelation which talks about the problems of adding and subtracting from the Bible.

(Revelation 22:18-19) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

There is some debate about whether this is referring to solely the book of Revelation or the entire Bible, but since I do cover this sufficiently in my video I will not cover it again here apart from saying that it is reasonable to believe that it is referring to all of scripture.

As you can see, Revelation says that you should not add or take away from the Scriptures which sounds quite similar to the idea of Sola Scriptura.

#3. How do we know, according to the Bible alone, that the books in the Bible are inspired Scripture? 

We can learn that the books in the Bible are theopneustos or God-breathed from 2 Timothy. While this may referring to the Old Testament specifically, it can also be applied to the New Testament, as the New Testament records the fulfilment of the Old Testament.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Where in the Bible does it give a list of inspired Scripture and how do we know what is inspired and what is not? 

– Where does it say in the Bible that the Book of Hebrews is inspired Scripture? 

– Where does it say in the Bible that Matthew is inspired? Or Philemon?

I concede this point here. Not every book says “this book is inspired by God”. However, there are theologians and historical experts who are well learned in this subject and are able to put together a canon to the best of their abilities.

Their journey can be guided by a threefold criteria:

  1. There is no internal contradiction of message
  2. They all contain/ point towards the same message of Jesus Christ
  3. They are written by influential church figures

It also helps when some scriptures actually claim that they are not divinely inspired.

For example, 1 and 2 Maccabbees.

(2 Maccabees 15:39) Which if I have done well, and as it becometh the history, it is what I desired: but if not so perfectly, it must be pardoned me.

This is really suspicious if it was truly divinely inspired. Imagine the gospel of Matthew writing “I tried my best but I could have messed up. If I messed up then please forgive me for my messing up, I really didn’t mean it” as a disclaimer at the end of the chapter.

(1 Maccabees 9:27) So there was great distress in Israel, the worst since the time when prophets ceased to appear among them.

This explicitly says that there are no prophets at the time of writing.

#4. According to the Bible alone, how do we even know Matthew wrote Matthew? How do we know wrote the Book of Hebrews? 

We don’t.  I concede this point. 

We do not know for 100% certainty who wrote the gospels.

This is why we turn to history and other sources to find out.  By understanding the perspective of the narrative or the way they write, one can match the gospels to their authors to the best of their abilities.

Yet even if we got these wrong, it doesn’t disprove sola scriptura. It just means that someone else wrote the books. The narratives and scripture would remain unchanged and unscathed.   

#5. Where in the Bible does it say the Bible alone is the Word of God?

(Revelation 22:18-19) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

This suggests that we should not add or take away things from the Bible. Does this mean that humans cannot teach or preach the word of God? Of course not! No one is claiming that! When a pastor reads from the Bible, he is preaching the infallible word of God.

However, it doesn’t follow that the pastor himself is infallible as well or that he would never make a mistake.

To conclude:

I hope you enjoyed this short blog, feel free to check out the video which goes over this issue more in depth. Feel free to comment and subscribe to this blog, it will really mean a lot to me. Thank you!!😁

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