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Sola scriptura

Sola scriptura

Overview
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 contains all knowledge necessary for salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 and holiness
Sanctification
Sanctity is an ancient concept widespread among religions, a property of a thing or person sacred or set apart within the religion, from totem poles through temple vessels to days of the week, to a human believer who achieves this state. Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity,...

. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid
Validity
In logic, argument is valid if and only if its conclusion is entailed by its premises, a formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation, and an argument form is valid if and only if every argument of that logical form is valid....

 logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 from scripture. However, sola scriptura is not a denial of other authorities governing Christian life and devotion.
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Encyclopedia
Sola scriptura is the doctrine that the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 contains all knowledge necessary for salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 and holiness
Sanctification
Sanctity is an ancient concept widespread among religions, a property of a thing or person sacred or set apart within the religion, from totem poles through temple vessels to days of the week, to a human believer who achieves this state. Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity,...

. Consequently, sola scriptura demands that only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid
Validity
In logic, argument is valid if and only if its conclusion is entailed by its premises, a formula is valid if and only if it is true under every interpretation, and an argument form is valid if and only if every argument of that logical form is valid....

 logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 from scripture. However, sola scriptura is not a denial of other authorities governing Christian life and devotion. Rather, it simply demands that all other authorities are subordinate to, and are to be corrected by, the written word of God. Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 held by the Reformers
Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformers were those theologians, churchmen, and statesmen whose careers, works, and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century...

 and is a formal principle
Formal principle
Formal principle and material principle are two categories in Christian theology to identify and distinguish the authoritative source of theology from the theology itself, especially the central doctrine of that theology , of a religion, religious movement, tradition, body, denomination, or...

 of Protestantism today (see Five solas
Five solas
The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English...

).

During the Reformation, authentication of scripture was governed by the discernible excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

 to the heart of each man. Furthermore, per sola scriptura, the relationship of Scriptural authority to pastoral care was well exampled by the Westminster Confession of Faith
Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly, largely of the Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been...

 which stated:

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

Here the phrase "due use of the ordinary means" includes appeals to pastors and teachers
(Ephesians 4:11-14). As such, sola scriptura reflects a careful tension between the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture necessary for its role as final authority, and the occasional need for its meaning to be revealed by exposition (Hebrews 5:12).

Beyond the Reformation, as in some Evangelical and Baptist denominations, sola scriptura is stated even more strongly: it is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

.

By contrast, the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

 and the episcopacy. These churches also believe that the Church has authority to establish or restrict interpretation of Scriptures because, in part, it implicitly selected
Development of the Christian Biblical canon
The Christian Biblical canon is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the Christian Bible. Books included in the Christian Biblical canons of both the Old and New Testament were decided at the Council of Trent , by the Thirty-Nine Articles , the Westminster...

 which books were to be in the biblical canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 through its traditions, whereas Protestants believe the Church passively recognized and received the books that were already widely considered canonical.

Overview


Sola scriptura is one of the five solas
Five solas
The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English...

, considered by some Protestant groups to be the theological pillars of the Reformation. The key implication of the principle is that interpretations and applications of the Scriptures do not have the same authority as the Scriptures themselves; hence, the ecclesiastical authority is viewed as subject to correction by the Scriptures, even by an individual member of the Church.

Luther said, "a simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it". The intention of the Reformation was to correct the perceived errors of the Catholic Church by appeal to the uniqueness of the Bible's authority and to reject what Catholics considered to be Apostolic Tradition as a source of original authority alongside the Bible, wherever Tradition did not have biblical support or where it supposedly contradicted Scripture.

Sola scriptura, however, does not ignore Christian history and tradition when seeking to understand the Bible. Rather, it sees the Bible as the only final authority in matters of faith and practice. As Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 said, "The true rule is this: God's Word shall establish articles of faith, and no one else, not even an angel can do so."

The term heretical is commonly used by Protestants who denounce teachings and institutions that they accordingly view as deviating from Scripture.

Characteristics in Lutheranism



Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 believe that the holy Bible of the Old
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 and New
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 Testaments is the only divinely inspired book and the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. Scripture alone is the formal principle of the faith, the final authority for all matters of faith and morals because of its inspiration, authority, clarity, efficacy, and sufficiency.

Inspiration


The Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of verbal inspiration, the direct, immediate word of God. As Lutherans confess in the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

, the Holy Spirit "spoke through the prophets". The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
Apology of the Augsburg Confession
The Apology of the Augsburg Confession was written by Philipp Melanchthon during and after the 1530 Diet of Augsburg as a response to the Pontifical Confutation of the Augsburg Confession, Charles V's commissioned official Roman Catholic response to the Lutheran Augsburg Confession of June 25, 1530...

 identifies Holy Scripture with the Word of God and calls the Holy Spirit the author of the Bible. Because of this, Lutherans confess in the Formula of Concord
Formula of Concord
Formula of Concord is an authoritative Lutheran statement of faith that, in its two parts , makes up the final section of the Lutheran Corpus Doctrinae or Body of Doctrine, known as...

, "we receive and embrace with our whole heart the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the pure, clear fountain of Israel." The apocryphal books were not written by the prophets, by inspiration; they contain errors were never included in the Palestinian Canon that Jesus used, and therefore are not a part of Holy Scripture. The prophetic and apostolic Scriptures are authentic as written by the prophets and apostles. A correct translation of their writings is God's Word because it has the same meaning as the original Hebrew and Greek. A mistranslation is not God's word, and no human authority can invest it with divine authority.

Divine authority


Holy Scripture, the Word of God, carries the full authority of God. Every single statement of the Bible calls for instant, unqualified and unrestricted acceptance. Every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and therefore requires full agreement. Every promise of the Bible calls for unshakable trust in its fulfillment. Every command of the Bible is the directive of God himself and therefore demands willing observance.

Clarity



The Bible presents all doctrines and commands of the Christian faith clearly. God's Word is freely accessible to every reader or hearer of ordinary intelligence, without requiring any special education. Of course, one must understand the language God's Word is presented in, and not be so preoccupied by contrary thoughts so as to prevent understanding. As a result of this, no one needs to wait for any clergy, and pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, scholar, or ecumenical council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

 to explain the real meaning of any part of the Bible.

Efficacy


Scripture is united with the power of the Holy Spirit and with it, not only demands, but also creates the acceptance of its teaching. This teaching produces faith and obedience. Holy Scripture is not a dead letter, but rather, the power of the Holy Spirit is inherent in it. Scripture does not compel a mere intellectual assent to its doctrine, resting on logical argumentation, but rather it creates the living agreement of faith. As the Smalcald Articles
Smalcald Articles
The Smalcald Articles or Schmalkald Articles are a summary of Lutheran doctrine, written by Martin Luther in 1537 for a meeting of the Schmalkaldic League in preparation for an intended ecumenical Council of the Church.-History:...

 affirm, "in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word."

Sufficiency


The Bible contains everything that one needs to know in order to obtain salvation and to live a Christian life. There are no deficiencies in Scripture that need to be filled with by tradition
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

, pronouncements of the Pope, new revelations
Revelation (Latter Day Saints)
Latter Day Saints teach that the Latter Day Saint movement began with a Revelation from God . They also teach that revelation is the foundation of the church established by Jesus Christ and that it remains an essential element of His true church today...

, or present-day development of doctrine
Development of doctrine
Development of doctrine is a term used by John Henry Newman and other theologians influenced by him to describe the way Catholic teaching has become more detailed and explicit over the centuries, while later statements of doctrine remain consistent with earlier statements.-Newman's book:The term...

.

Prima scriptura


Sola scriptura may be contrasted with prima scriptura
Prima scriptura
Prima scriptura is a doctrine that says canonized scripture is "first" or "above all" sources of divine revelation.Implicitly, this view acknowledges that, besides canonical scripture, there are other guides for what a believer should believe, and how he should live, such as the created order,...

, which holds that, besides canonical
Canonical
Canonical is an adjective derived from canon. Canon comes from the greek word κανών kanon, "rule" or "measuring stick" , and is used in various meanings....

 scripture, there are other guides for what a believer should believe, and how he or she should live. Examples of this include the general revelation
General revelation
General revelation is a term used by theologians which refers to a universal aspect of God, of God's knowledge and of spiritual matters, discovered through natural means, such as observation of nature , philosophy and reasoning, human conscience or providence or providential history...

 in creation, traditions, charismatic gifts, mystical
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 insight, angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

ic visitations, conscience, common sense, the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else. Prima scriptura suggests that ways of knowing or understanding God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and his will, that do not originate from canonized scripture, are in a second place, perhaps helpful in interpreting that scripture, but testable by the canon and correctable by it, if they seem to contradict the scriptures.

Sola scriptura rejects any original infallible authority, other than the Bible. In this view, all secondary authority is derived from the authority of the Scriptures and is therefore subject to reform when compared to the teaching of the Bible. Church councils, preachers, biblical commentators, private revelation, or even a message allegedly from an angel or an apostle are not an original authority alongside the Bible in the sola scriptura approach. Even though most Protestants look at scripture alone and no other authority, some say that the Bible itself teaches against sola scriptura. They believe that if a person believes in the whole Bible then that person cannot not believe in sola scriptura. These theologians believe that those following the concepts of sola scriptura have personally perverted the meaning of either the Bible or sola scriptura. They point to passages in Book of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

, Book of Chronicles, and Epistle of Jude
Epistle of Jude
The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the brother of James the Just. - Composition :...

 9 which refer to writings such as the Assumption of Moses
Assumption of Moses
The Assumption of Moses is a Jewish apocryphal pseudepigraphical work. It is known from a single sixth-century incomplete manuscript in Latin that was discovered by Antonio Ceriani in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan in the mid-nineteenth century and published by him in 1861.-Identification:The...

 that are not part of the Bible.(See Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible
Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible
The non-canonical books in this article include Biblical apocrypha and Deuterocanonical books , Pseudepigrapha, writings from Hellenistic and other non-Biblical cultures, and lost works of known or unknown status...

)

Singular authority of Scripture


The idea of the singular authority of Scripture is the motivation behind much of the Protestant effort to translate the Bible into vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 languages and distribute it widely. Protestants generally believe each Christian should read the Bible for themselves and evaluate what they have been taught on the basis of it. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, motivated by their belief that authoritative doctrine can also come from tradition, have been more active in translating them as well as the Bible into the vernacular languages, though this has not always been the case. Traditions of these non-Protestant churches include the Bible, patristic
Patristics
Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian writers, known as the Church Fathers. The names derive from the Latin pater . The period is generally considered to run from the end of New Testament times or end of the Apostolic Age Patristics or Patrology is the study of Early Christian...

, conciliar
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

, and liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 texts. Even prior to the Protestant movement, hundreds of vernacular translations of the Bible and liturgical materials were translated throughout the preceding sixteen centuries. Some Bible translations such as the Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

 included annotations and commentary that were anti-Roman Catholic. Before the Protestant Reformation, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 was almost exclusively utilized but it was understood by only the most literate.

According to sola scriptura, the Church does not speak infallibly in its traditions, but only in Scripture. As John Wesley
John Wesley
John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield...

 stated in the 18th century, "In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church." For this reason, sola scriptura is called the formal cause or principle of the Reformation.

Protestants argue that the Scriptures are guaranteed to remain true to their divine source; and, thus, only insofar as the Church retains scriptural faith is it assured of God's favor. Following such an argument, if the Church were to fall away from faith through Scripture (a possibility which Roman Catholics deny but Protestants affirm), its authority would be negated. Therefore, the early Protestants argued for the elimination of traditions and doctrines they believed were based on distortions of Scripture, or were contrary to the Bible, but which the Roman Catholic Church considered scripturally-based aspects of the Christian faith, such as transubstantiation
Transubstantiation
In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

 , the doctrine of purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

 , the veneration of images or icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s , and especially the doctrine that the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 in Rome is the head of the Church on earth (Papal supremacy
Papal supremacy
Papal supremacy refers to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that the pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ and as pastor of the entire Christian Church, has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered: that, in brief,...

) .

However, the Reformers believed some tradition to be very seriously in conflict with the Scriptures: especially, with regard to teaching about the Church itself, but also touching on basic principles of the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

. They believed that no matter how venerable the traditional source, traditional authority is always open to question by comparison to what the Scriptures say. The individual may be forced to rely on his understanding of Scripture even if the whole tradition were to speak against him. This, they said, had always been implicitly recognized in the Church, and remains a fail-safe against the corruption of the Church by human error and deceit. Corruptions had crept in, the Reformers said, which seriously undermined the legitimate authority of the Church, and Tradition had been perverted by wicked men.

Sola scriptura is a doctrine that is not, in the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6 "expressly set down in scripture". However, it is claimed that it passes the second test of being part of "the whole counsel of God" because it is "deduced from scripture" "by good and necessary consequence"
Good and necessary consequence
The phrase good and necessary consequence was used more commonly several centuries ago to express the idea which we would place today under the general heading of logic; that is, to reason validly by logical deduction or better, deductive reasoning....

, citing passages such as Isaiah 8:20: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.". Jesus is also typically understood by Protestants as expressly nullifying unscriptural traditions in the (Jewish) church, when he says, for example in Mark 7:13: "thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do."

Scripture and Sacred Tradition


The Catholic Church whence the Protestant Church broke away, and against which they directed these arguments, did not see Scripture and the Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

 of the faith as different sources of authority, but that Scripture was handed down as part of Sacred Tradition (see 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 2 Timothy 2:2). Accepted traditions were also perceived by the Church as cohesive in nature. The proper interpretation of the Scriptures was seen as part of the faith of the Church, and seen indeed as the manner in which Biblical authority was upheld (see Book of Acts 15:28-29). The meaning of Scripture was seen as proven from the Faith universally held in the churches (see Phil 2:1, Acts 4:32), and the correctness of that universal Faith was seen as proven from the Scriptures and apostolic Sacred Tradition (see 2 The 2:15, 2 The 3:6, 1 Corinthians 11:2). The Biblical canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 itself was thus viewed by the Church as part of the Church's Tradition, as defined by its leadership and acknowledged by its laity.

However, this view of scripture and tradition was not universally accepted. Throughout the history of the Church, movements have arisen within the Church or alongside of it which have disputed the official interpretation of the Scriptures. The leaders of these movements were sometimes labeled heretics
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 and their doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

s were rejected. According to Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

, the Judaistic
Judaizers
Judaizers is predominantly a Christian term, derived from the Greek verb ioudaïzō . This term is most widely known from the single use in the New Testament where Paul publicly challenges Peter for compelling Gentile believers to "judaize", also known as the Incident at Antioch.According to the...

 Ebionites
Ebionites
Ebionites, or Ebionaioi, , is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian sect or sects that existed during the first centuries of the Christian Era. They regarded Jesus as the Messiah and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish religious law and rites...

 charged less than one hundred years after the Apostles that the Christians overruled the authority of Scripture by failing to keep the Mosaic Law
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

 (see also Biblical law in Christianity
Biblical law in Christianity
Christian views of the Old Covenant have been central to Christian theology and practice since the circumcision controversy in Early Christianity. There are differing views about the applicability of the Old Covenant among Christian denominations...

). Later, Arius
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 (250
250
Year 250 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Traianus and Gratus...

-336
336
Year 336 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Nepotianus and Facundus...

), once he had been made a presbyter in Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, began arguing that the teaching concerning the deity of Christ was an invention of men not found in Scripture and not believed by the Early Christians.

See also the recent Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was formulated in October 1978 by more than 200 evangelical leaders at a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, held in Chicago. The statement was designed to defend the position of Biblical inerrancy against a perceived...

 and the Catholic Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,344 to 6.23...

 and Providentissimus Deus by Leo XIII and Divino Afflante Spiritu by Pius XII.

Legacy


Sola scriptura continues to be a doctrinal commitment of conservative branches and offshoots of the Lutheran churches, Reformed churches
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

, and Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 churches as well as other Protestants, especially where they describe themselves by the slogan "Bible-believing
Bible believer
Bible believer is a self-description by conservative Christians to differentiate their teachings from others who see non- or extrabiblical tradition as higher or equal in authority.In normal usage, "Bible believer" means an individual or organisation that believes the Christian Bible is true in some...

" (See Fundamentalism
Fundamentalist Christianity
Christian fundamentalism, also known as Fundamentalist Christianity, or Fundamentalism, arose out of British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century among evangelical Christians...

).

See also


  • Bibliolatry
    Bibliolatry
    Bibliolatry is the worship of a particular book. See also Idolatry and Idolatry and Christianity.-Bibliolatry in Christianity:...

  • Ex cathedra
    Ex Cathedra
    Ex Cathedra is a British choir and early music ensemble based in Birmingham in the West Midlands, England. It performs choral music spanning the 15th to 21st centuries, and regularly commissions new works....

  • Ijtihad
    Ijtihad
    Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

    , the Islamic concept of interpretation of religion and law not limited by tradition
  • Qur'an alone
    Qur'an alone
    Quranism is an Islamic denomination that holds the Qur'an to be the only canonical text in Islam. Quranists reject the religious authority of Hadith and often Sunnah, libraries compiled by later scholars who catalogued narratives of what the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said and done,...

    , an Islamic movement influenced in its theory by sola scriptura.
  • Wesleyan Quadrilateral
    Wesleyan Quadrilateral
    The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is a methodology for theological reflection that is credited to John Wesley, leader of the Methodist movement in the late 18th Century. The term itself was coined by 20th century American Methodist Albert C...

  • Prima scriptura
    Prima scriptura
    Prima scriptura is a doctrine that says canonized scripture is "first" or "above all" sources of divine revelation.Implicitly, this view acknowledges that, besides canonical scripture, there are other guides for what a believer should believe, and how he should live, such as the created order,...

  • Cessationism versus Continuationism, where Sola Scriptura is discussed with regard to the issue of charismatic gifts

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