The Case Against Sola Scriptura

I would first like to credit the online article of Dave Armstrong (Armstrong, David. The Catholic Verses. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2004.), who’s article setup was inspiration to my own. Thanks Mr. Armstrong! Now let’s dive into this…

Sola Scriptura (Latin for “Scripture Alone”) is the Protestant doctrine that the Bible is the sole and supreme authority on Christian doctrine. It is one of five “Solas” that first were mentioned as “battle cries” during the Protestant Reformation. The five “Solas” are key Protestant beliefs that were used by Protestants when rebelling against the authority of the Roman Catholic Church beginning in the 1500s. The Five Solas are as follows:

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone )

Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

Solo Christo (Christ Alone, added to the previous Solae by mid-20th century Protestants)

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone, added to the previous Solae by mid-20th century Protestants)

Out of these Five Solae, Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are referred to the most by modern-day Protestants when arguing against Roman Catholic doctrine. The common Protestant argument is that first, the Bible alone is the supreme religious authority for Christianity; second, tradition is unnecessary and is condemned by the Bible; and third, an authoritative, teaching Church is not needed. Lets take a closer look at these claims.

The Bible Never Claims to be the Sole Teacher

Catholics agree with Protestants that Scripture is a “standard of truth” but not in a sense that rules out the binding authority of authentic apostolic Tradition and the Church. The Bible doesn’t teach that. But no biblical passage teaches that Scripture is the formal authority or rule of faith in isolation from the Church and Tradition. Sola Scriptura can’t even be deduced from implicit passages.

Not so! cry the Protestants. The Bible teaches Sola Scriptura!

Lets look at the commonly cited “proof” texts.

“All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Let’s look at this passage a little closer. Does it really help the Protestant argument? “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach…” Profitable. Hmm. There is a difference between being profitable and sufficient. All scripture is profitable to teach, reprove, correct, and instruct; but that by no means says it is the sole rule of Faith!

Also, read in context with the preceding verses, St. Paul is talking to Timothy about the scriptures that he has known from his infancy (2 Timothy 3:15). The only scriptures at that time was the Old Testament! So if this is proof of Sola Scriptura, then in reality it is Sola Old Testament! The real message of this passage is that all scripture is profitable, but not sufficient.

“But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

Here a verse is taken out of context. This is the ending of the Gospel of John. He says that the things he has written of the Lord are there so we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and have life in His name. “…that you may believe…” These things are written in his Gospel that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, not that the Bible is the supreme authority!

“Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the scriptures, whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Protestants cite this verse because it appears these noble people of New Testament times relied solely on the scriptures. Not so. Yet again, another verse taken out of context. These “noble” people are converts to Christianity; Jews and Gentiles. They searched the scriptures daily to see if Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah spoken of by the prophets. Nowhere is Sola Scriptura taught in this passage.

The Bible Teaches Tradition is Also Authoritative

Protestants often quote the verses in the Bible where corrupt traditions of men are condemned (Matt. 15:2-6; Mark 7:8-13; Col. 2:8). They seem to think that since Jesus condemned man-made traditions that nullify the Word of God, then all tradition is bad and useless.

Catholics disagree with this. True, apostolic Tradition is to be endorsed positively. This Tradition is in total harmony with and consistent with Scripture.

Let us remember that Jesus Christ commissioned the Apostles to “preach the Gospel to every creature”(Mark 16:15), not to “write down everything that I have taught you in one big book.” The Apostles oral teaching was to be believed, as it was binding (Luke 10:16). The prophet Isaiah prophesied of how the Word of the Lord would not depart from his people’s mouths; and would remain with them forever (Is. 59:21) This shows how important Tradition really is; not only the Bible holds the authoritative Christian teaching. This oral teaching will last forever, says Simon Peter.

“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:25)

Be aware of the word preached–it was oral. This was guaranteed to last.

Let’s look at a few examples of tradition being taught by the Bible.

“And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42, emphasis added)

The first Christians persevered in the doctrine of the apostles, not solely on the Bible. The New Testament was not written at this particular time, so this does not help the Protestant argument.

“Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.” (1 Cor. 11:2, emphasis added)

These “ordinances” that Paul has delivered to the Corinthians are his traditions-something that is to be upheld, according to the Apostle.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” (2 Thes. 2:14, emphasis added)

St. Paul commands the holding of oral and written Tradition–not Scripture alone.

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Tim.1:13-14)

Paul tells Timothy to keep the sound teaching he has heard from him–oral Tradition.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”(2 Timothy 2:2, emphasis added)

Paul tells Timothy to entrust to “reliable people” the teaching he has heard him say. This teaching that Timothy has heard is oral teaching–Tradition. Tradition is taught to be held as binding by the Church’s believer’s; not only Scripture. St. Paul approves of Apostolic Tradition, apart from the harmful traditions of men.

The Apostles’ oral Tradition is of the same authority as the Bible! Christ told them this by saying:

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (Matthew 10:40)

“He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)

Tradition and Sacred Scripture are of the same authority, not “Scripture Alone”. Neither of them contradict each other.

St. Paul Knew That His Passed-Down Tradition Was Infallible and Binding

If St. Paul knew that what he was teaching was infallible, or else he would have been commanding his followers to adhere to a mistaken doctrine. He writes:

“If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thes. 3:14)

“Take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17)

He didn’t write about holding fast to “the pretty-much, mostly, largely true; possibly imperfect and maybe fallible doctrine which you have been taught.”

Jesus and St. Paul Accepted Non-Biblical Oral and Written Traditions

Protestants defending Sola Scriptura will claim that Jesus and Paul accepted the authority of the Old Testament. This is true, but they also appealed to other authority outside of written revelation. For example:

In Matthew 23:2-3, Jesus teaches that the scribes and Pharisees have a legitimate, binding authority based “on Moses’ seat,” but this phrase or idea cannot be found anywhere in the Old Testament.

In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul refers to a rock that “followed” the Jews through the Sinai wilderness. The Old Testament says nothing about such miraculous movement.

“As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses” (2 Tim. 3:8). These two men cannot be found in the related Old Testament passage (Ex. 7:8) or anywhere else in the Old Testament.

The reference to “He shall be called a Nazarene” cannot be found in the Old Testament, yet it was “spoken by the prophets” (Matt. 2:23). Therefore, this prophecy, which is considered to be “God’s word,” was passed down orally rather than through Scripture.

The “Word of God” Refers Also to Oral, Not Always Written Teaching

“Word” in Holy Scripture often refers to a proclaimed, oral teaching of prophets or apostles. What the prophets spoke was the word of God regardless of whether or not their utterances were recorded later as written Scripture. So for example, we read in Jeremiah:

“For twenty-three years…the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again…’But you did not listen to me,’ declares the Lord…Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: ‘Because you have not listened to my words…’ ” (Jer. 25:3, 7-8).

This was the Word of God even though some of it was not recorded in writing. It had equal authority as writing or proclamation-never-reduced-to-writing. This was true also of apostolic preaching. When the phrases “word of God” or “word of the Lord” appear in Acts and the epistles, they almost always refer to oral preaching, not to Scripture. For example:

“When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God.” (1 Thess. 2:13, emphasis added)

St. Paul appears to teach that the Word of God and Tradition are synonymous.

“Keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thess. 3:6, emphasis added)

The Early Christians on Tradition’s Authority

St. Irenaeus (lived 130-202 AD)

“As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same.” (Against Heresies 1:10:2 [A.D. 189])

Origen of Alexandria (lived 184-253)

“Although there are many who believe that they themselves hold to the teachings of Christ, there are yet some among them who think differently from their predecessors. The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.” (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:2 [A.D. 225])

And Epiphanius summarizes the Catholic Church’s teaching on Tradition quite well.

Epiphanius of Salamis (lived 310-403)

It is needful also to make use of tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy apostles handed down some things in the scriptures, other things in tradition.” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 61:6 [A.D. 375])

These Church Fathers held Sacred Tradition on the same level of authority as they did the Sacred Scriptures; not raising one above the other.

A Teaching, Authoritative Church

The Bible, like any book, cannot interpret itself. There must be a truthful, teaching authority. There are people who do not understand the Scriptures and twist thdivineem to their own destruction. St. Peter mentions this in his second epistle, when speaking of St. Paul’s writings.

“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16, emphasis added)

Someone with reasonable biblical knowledge must teach the meaning of the scriptures to others. Someone must show others the meaning of the sacred writings, so they may understand.

“And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaiah the prophet. And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:28-31, emphasis added)

People must be shown the meaning of the Scriptures that they may know their meaning, and that they may not twist them to their own destruction.

Even the Twelve Apostles did not understand some of Christ’s parables, and needed them explained (Mark 4:33-34). The prophesies in Scripture are not to be privately interpreted (2 Pet. 1:20), lest people twist their meanings (2 Peter 3:16).

Who can correctly teach the Bible’s meaning?

The Bible itself refers to the Church as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). The truth of the faith has been revealed primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who with Jesus Christ, are the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, which keeps it’s teaching from corruption forever (John 14:16).

Beginning with Peter, the Apostles received authority from Jesus Christ Himself.

“Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18, emphasis added)

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:17, emphasis added)

The Apostles, who were the first leaders of the Church, were all given authority by God Himself! One instance is when they exercised their authority is at the Council of Jerusalem.

The Apostles Exercised Authority at the Council of Jerusalem

In the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:6-30), we see Peter and James speaking with authority. This Council makes an authoritative pronouncement (citing the Holy Spirit) that was binding on all Christians:

“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity” (Acts 15:28-29, emphasis added).

In the next chapter, we read that Paul, Timothy, and Silas were traveling around “through the cities,” and Scripture says that “they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem” (Acts 16:4).

The first Christians needed authoritative teachers! These teachers were and are the leaders of the Church!

Ancient Jews Did Not Teach Sola Scriptura

To give two examples from the Old Testament itself:

In Nehemiah 8:3, Ezra reads the law of Moses to the people in Jerusalem. In verse 7 we find thirteen Levites who assisted Ezra and helped the people to understand the law. Much earlier, we find Levites exercising the same function (2 Chr. 17:8-9).

Ezra, a priest and scribe, studied the Jewish law and taught it to Israel, and his authority was binding under pain of imprisonment, banishment, loss of goods, and even death (Ezra 7:26).

So the people did indeed understand the law (Neh. 8:8, 12), but not without teaching assistance. The Old Testament teaches the need for authoritative interpreters, just like the New Testament.

Ephesians 4:11-15 and Others Refute the Protestant “Proof Text”

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

This passage doesn’t teach formal sufficiency, which excludes a binding, authoritative role for Tradition and the Church. If we look at the overall context of this passage, we can see that Paul makes reference to oral Tradition three times (2 Tim. 1:13-14, 2:2, 3:14). And to use an analogy, let’s examine a similar passage:

“And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:11-15, emphasis added).

If 2 Timothy 3 proves the sole sufficiency of Scripture, then Ephesians 4 would also prove the sufficiency of pastors and teachers for the attainment of Christian perfection. The pastors, teachers, etc. are able to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, building Christ’s Church, and unity in knowledge of the Faith. Using the Protestant mindset for 2 Timothy 3:16, it appears that the leaders of the Church are sufficient, since this passage doesn’t even mention Scripture. So if all non-scriptural elements are excluded in 2 Timothy, then, by analogy, Scripture would logically have to be excluded in Ephesians.

This is not the case if one views the situation logically. The Church, Tradition, and Scripture are both equally necessary and important for teaching.

Another passage that could be mentioned such as James 1:4.

“And patience hath a perfect work; that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing.” (James 1:4, emphasis added)

It appears that, using the Protestant mentality applied to 2 Timothy 3:16, patience is enough to perfect a man, and only patience. James makes no mention of Scripture being sufficient. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Martin Luther called the Epistle of James “an epistle of straw” and wanted to “throw Jimmy into the fire”. Just imagine if the Pope said something like that. No Protestant would let him live it down.

Or perhaps 2 Corinthians 12:9 which states:

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness‘ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, emphasis added)

Maybe even Matthew 19:21.

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21, emphasis added)

There are many things that contribute to a Christians perfection, not the Bible alone. There are many components to Christian perfection; Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church in addition to the Holy Bible.

divine-3

Sola Scriptura Is a House Divided Against Itself

If all Protestants refer to the Bible alone, then why are there so many different denominations? If the Bible alone cannot steer you wrong, then why are there so many differences between these Sola Scriptura Protestants?

Obviously, given the divisions in Protestantism, simply “going to the Bible” hasn’t worked. In the end, a person has no assurance or certainty in the Protestant system. They can only “go to the Bible” themselves and perhaps come up with another doctrinal version of some disputed doctrine to add to the list.

Without the use of Tradition and the teaching Magisterium of the Church, there are several questions that come to light. For example:

Where in the Bible do we find an inspired and infallible list of books that should belong in the Bible? How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the individual books of the New Testament are inspired?

Who may authoritatively arbitrate between Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit into mutually contradictory interpretations of the Bible?

Protestants usually claim that they all agree “on the important things.” Who is able to decide authoritatively what is important in the Christian faith and what is not?

How did the early Church evangelize and overthrow the Roman Empire, survive and prosper almost 350 years, without knowing for sure which books belong in the canon of Scripture?

And finally…

If Jesus intended for Christianity to strictly be a “religion of the book,” why did He wait 1400 years before showing somebody how to build a printing press?

I really enjoy asking that last question. Anyway…without a teaching Church, and an equally authoritative Tradition, the Sola Scriptura Protestants are violating the Word of God Himself. Not something a “Bible Christian” should want to do. So, I do suggest that the Protestants rethink their Sola Scriptura position. After all, as Martin Luther said, the Roman Papists have the Word of God, which all Protestants received from them.

We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists–that with them is the Word of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it.” – Martin Luther, Commentary on John

Protestants might want to start paying Papist Rome’s authority a little more respect. After all, the Catholic Church was started by Jesus Christ, God Himself, opposed to all the man-made Protestant denominations who practice their man-made traditions that are in the world today.

In conclusion, let us echo the Divine Master’s prayer for Christian unity throughout the world.

“I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)

Yours in Christ,

Patrick Devens

Teen Apologist

 

 

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41 thoughts on “The Case Against Sola Scriptura

  1. Good sister maria, yes, the saved know they are born again. You cant help but notice. it happens in and instant. And you know something happened. In my case, I thought it was a acid flashback that I had been hearing about. I tried to shake it off. it wasn’t till yrs later that I realized I was born again. I didn’t know anything about being born again. never heard of it.
    Good sister Maria, those who aren’t born again cant understand it. God isn’t the author of confusion. If one isn’t sure they are going to heaven…..guess what?
    Concerning tradition….these catholics talk about it a lot. This post talks a lot about the bible not being enough. This post talks a lot about their catholic tradition. ive heard many catholics say the word tradition…but none of them has said what these traditions are.
    Sola Scriptura protestants are wrong, Ok…so tell us what these tradition are, please and thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have compiled quite an exhaustive list of bible verses and references! I especially like that you quoted Origen. Most protestants believe that there was an apostasy sometime during the life of the early Church, usually saying it was around the fourth century. The excerpt from Origen is very direct about the Church’s stance on Tradition, AND he lived before the fourth century. Great Job!

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  3. No one is telling you not to trust the Lord. However, it seems you put an incredible amount of trust in yourself and not in the Divine institution that gave you that Bible you are from.

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  4. Dear tradcat4christ,

    As God is my Judge, I fear Him and Him alone.

    Psalm 2
    11 Serve the Lord with fear,
    And rejoice with trembling.
    12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
    And you perish in the way,
    When His wrath is kindled but a little.
    Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

    It isn’t pride that makes me say that I’m saved but His Word records this for us:

    John 6:37-38
    37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

    I believe Him and trust Him and am doing this:

    Philippians 2:
    12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

    Take note that it is God who works in us “both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe that the message that tradcat4 Christ was trying to express was that a person cannot truly just know that they are “saved” until the moment of death. As in, if a person gravely sins, he or she has lost favor with God, and is not guaranteed Heaven.

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      • Patrick, if I fall the Lord has promised me as His child to chasten and correct me, and to make me stand. My confidence isn’t in my own ability but in Jesus Christ. Why, when I’m trusting Him, do Catholics try to destroy my confidence in Him?

        John 3
        35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear young Patrick,

    I’ve finished reading your article that dismisses Sola Scriptura. You’ve worked hard at this. I would ask you to read the Reformers for an able and biblical defense of this doctrine. The Lord has already fought this battle through them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First, thanks for taking the time to read through my article. Also, please do not refer to me as young; it is slightly condescending. Just because a person is younger than another, does not mean he or she does not have the same knowledge of a subject.

      As for the Solas, I have always heard the final two referred to as the most recent. I have never heard them called by name by the Reformers. Do they have writings that they list Sola Christo and Sola Deo Gloria in them? I’d be interested to take a look and change any possible mistakes in my article.

      Tradition is God’s unwritten Word. Rome has not invented any Tradition. The Catholic Church’s doctrines have solid biblical and historical root. You should remember that the Roman Catholic church dates back to the Apostles, while the heretical Protestant sects date back roughly to the 1500’s.

      As for you saying that “we have sometimes interpreted things wrong”, who is to judge that they are “non-essentials”? Martin Luther created the doctrine of Sola Fide. If Christians believe that faith alone can save them, and that doctrine is in fact incorrect, then many Christians are in danger of Hell fire. No one can deem something in Christianity a “non-essential’. Baptists do not baptize infants, while other sects do practice infant baptism. If baptism is needed to enter heaven, then millions of Christian’s souls may have been already lost. Among some Protestants, these might seem “non-essentials”, but in reality, if they are incorrect about doctrine, it will have disastrous consequences.

      You say that Protestants do have certainty — but then why are they all divided into so many denominations?? Someone is wrong. Not all are right. You honor God’s gift of sound teachers — but a Magesterium is not needed?? The Magesterium are the teachers. The Catholic Church is the only Church to date back to the time of Christ and the Apostles. All Protestant churches are mere man-made congregations.

      The Tradition of the Holy Roman Catholic Church is apostolic, because its Tradition dates back to the Apostles and their successors. Is Protestant doctrine apostolic?? How can it be, when much of it was made by the so called “Reformers”? They were not Reformers, they did not reform anything. Luther himself said the Church was “beyond reform” and should be “thoroughly uprooted”. They were “Revolutionists”. They hardly agree with each other on anything, and even their apparent followers today have veered from their original teaching.

      Luther teaches Con-Substantiation, Zwingli teaches that the Eucharist is symbolic. Who is correct? The Roman Catholic Church has always taught what Christ said, “This is my body” (Luke 22:19). There can only be one truth among these doctrines. I have in fact read the Reformer’s works. They do not agree with each other, so what certainty would I have from looking through there teachings again? The Lord did not use contradicting men like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others to “fight this battle”. Luther was most certainly not a man of God. He was a vulgar lunatic. That is evident from his written works.

      Again thanks for viewing and taking the time to read through this. God did not wait till the 1500’s to lay out the foundation of His saving religion. He did that when he instituted the Catholic Church (Matt. 16:18).

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Patrick, you are an able defender of Tradition. But should all Roman Catholic traditions be defended? How do we know that they are truly apostolic? Where do we go to examine this? Earlier Christians such as Cyril, Epiphanius, etc., sometimes disagree – Catholics and Protestants admit this. We must go to the Old and New Testaments. We must be Bereans, and we have more than the Bereans of Paul’s day had. This is what the Lord wants, for He said,

    John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patrick, before I read more, May I comment on this? You wrote,

    “Obviously, given the divisions in Protestantism, simply “going to the Bible” hasn’t worked. In the end, a person has no assurance or certainty in the Protestant system. They can only “go to the Bible” themselves and perhaps come up with another doctrinal version of some disputed doctrine to add to the list.”

    Using tradition, the Church of Rome has promulgated many disputed doctrines: the efficacy of the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass for sins, for example.

    Yes, we have sometimes interpreted things wrongly – chiefly nonessentials. So has Rome also, but has done this on essentials. And is it true that Prtestants, Bible-believers, Evangelicals not have assurance of certainty? We do – in the Word of God rightly expounded. We honor God’s gift of sound teachers to His Church, of which He is the Sole Head. A Magisterium is not needed, and in fact promulgates false doctrine, for example, that the Eucharist is a sacrifice – and a bloodless one – for sins, when Christ died once, for all, and we also know that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.

    Still reading…

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  8. Patrick,

    Hi! I’ve just started to read this. On what do you base the statements in parentheses?

    “Solo Christo (Christ Alone, added to the previous Solae by mid-20th century Protestants)

    Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone, added to the previous Solae by mid-20th century Protestants)”

    In all I’ve read on The Solas, I’ve never seen this before. All five solas are Reformation rallying points.

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  9. Dear Patrick~ I have to lovingly ask you a question. First of all, if Mary is the mother of God wouldn’t God have mentioned her and paid homage to her Himself in the Old Testament, beginning in Genesis~ the beginning of time? You have to understand that God found favor in Mary to carry His Only Begotten Son into this world through God’s Holy Spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @bornagain732, Thanks for the comment!

      Ok, well, Mary is mentioned in a prophesy in Genesis 3:15 when God promises a woman who has enmity placed between her and the devil. This woman will crush the devil’s head. This woman cannot be Eve, because she has fallen under Satan’s power by sin. Mary is the woman, because it is HER seed that enmity is also placed between her and the devil. In the bible, the seed (lineage) is always done thru the male. In this instance however, it is listed as the woman’s seed, because there was no human father that conceived Jesus.

      Mary is also prophesied about in Isaiah 7:14:

      Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

      And, are you saying that Mary is NOT the mother of God? Mary is the Blessed of Mother of Jesus Christ, God Himself. All generations will call her blessed. (Luke 1:48) No offense I just wanted clarification. God bless.

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      • Dear Patrick~ According to the Bible the world was created through Jesus long befoe Mary was born. Jesus came first not Mary. Jesus existed before the world began. He created everything including Mary.
        Jesus said in John 17:5 ~5 “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
        Shared with the love of God’s truth ❤

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      • Yes, Jesus Christ created the world before Mary was born. That does not negate the fact that Mary became Jesus’ mother when He stepped into time when He became man.

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      • Dear Patrick~ She was chosen and favored by God to CARRY Jesus~a vessel~ that is it. Even Mary admitted she needed a Saviour. I have to stop commenting because I feel that you are looking for reassurance of that which you are posting. I can not give you that. I know the Lord through HIs Holy Spirit pointed me to the TRUTH of Jesus Christ alone. I pray that you will listen to God when the convictions of His Holy Spirit tug at your heart and conscience.
        Shared with you for the love of GOd’s truth~not mine ❤

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      • I am not looking for reassurance on anything. I was merely replying to comments on my blog page. Mary is not merely a “vessel”–she was chosen to be the Blessed Mother of God. If she is nothing but a “vessel” then all generations would not refer to her as blessed. Thank you for giving the time to state you opinion. I firmly believe I have found the Truth in the Roman Catholic Church. Thank you for being respectable and calm in your comments; unlike other non-Catholics I have conversed with. I hope you continue to check out my blog posts, I’ll do the same for yours. Thanks, God bless.

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      • Dear Patrick~ Maybe reassurance was the wrong word ~agreement~ is the word I should have used. I apologize for any offense I may have caused by using the word ~reassurance. Thank you for the same respect you have shown. ❤

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      • Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person—Jesus Christ, God “in the flesh” (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)—and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

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      • Well said, she is the perfect example of a total submission to the Will of God. A lot of Protestants like to use this verse in Scripture against Mary .
        Luke 11:27-28
        And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

        Christ said that not to diminish Mary in anyway but to illustrate that she was the perfect example of the Will of God. She was the Immaculate Conception (conceived without sin), that’s why it’s the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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      • I would suggest reading the “City of God”. God in His infinite Wisdom already had a plan in place that involved Him becoming man and Mary was involved from the beginning even before the declaration that Adam and Eve be created He knew how things were to play out so to speak without interference in the gift of free will. It’s hard to understand from our perspective, but even when it comes to the angels who know worlds more than us humans, Lucifer saw God’s plan to be born of men and would not submit himself due to his pride to God in the form of a man and was thus cast into eternal hellfire. Our vision and understanding is hindered by our physical senses and it is hard to think outside of a structured timeline, but God is not limited by space and time.

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      • You are talking about Augustine’s the City of God, correct? That work of art is fantastic. I have read that, and also own “The Mystical City of God” by the Franciscan nun Venerable Mary of Jesus of Ágreda.

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      • “The mountains with their huge bulk had not been established,” for God had not as yet then decreed the creation of the high mountains, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs or the other saints of great holiness, and this was not yet exerting its full weight and force in the mighty and sweet manner (Sap. 8, 1) in which God executes his counsels and great works. And not only before the mountains (which are the great saints) but also “before the hills I was brought forth,” which are the orders of the holy angels. Before them the divine Mind had conceived the most holy Humanity united hypostatically with the divine Word, and the Mother, who bore it. The Son and the Mother were conceived before the hierarchies of the angelic hosts, so, that, what David said in the eighth psalm, becomes intelligible: “What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lesser than the Angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor! Thou has set him over the works of thy hands; Thou hast subjected all things under his feet.” Let all understand and know, that there is a Godman, who is above all angels and men, and that all are his inferiors and his servants, for being the first of men, He is God at the same time. He is the first in the divine Mind and in the divine Will, and with Him is associated and inseparably connected, one Woman and Virgin, his Mother, the exalted Queen of all creation.”

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      • Dear tradcat4christ,
        (Rom 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;.
        Now I would ask you kindly and lovingly where does it say that Mary was sinless? od’s Word says ALL-not some- but ALL.
        Even Mary said she needed a Saviour
        :(Luke 1:47 KJV) And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

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      • You need to recall that Mary was proclaimed “full of grace” BEFORE Christ had redeemed the human race. How would Mary have been worthy of this title, if she was sinful? If she was full of grace, how would there be any room for sin?

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