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Featured Christians: Is Sola Scriptura Biblical?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Eddi, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Even though "case law" was involved, it went well beyond that as decisions in various areas that involved the Jewish population as a whole also had to be made to both clarify Torah but also to adjust applications of Torah. Again, if one continues to read through the book of Exodus, one can see this power being manifested.

    One byproduct of this was the Great Sanhedrin that operated at the time of Jesus, but also there were decisions by the Temple priests dealing with a variety of issues that needed to made. Some of these issues involved what's called the "Oral Law" for just one example.

    No religion is static, including both Judaism and Christianity, therefore decisions would have to be made periodically. Jesus fully recognized that, thus giving such powers to the Apostles, and the Apostles did likewise to their successors. One can see this clearly operating in Acts as the decision was to leave ertetz Israel with what turned out to be a temporary "headquarters" based in Antioch. Matter of fact, some Christian theologians believe that this may have been the main reason for the writing of Acts, namely to explain this move, which would have been very controversial.
     
  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It's not "ironically" at all since indeed the bishops were generally the most literate and informed, plus they were the assigned descendants from the Apostles (again, see Acts and also Paul's epistles to see this). But note that this is not by any stretch just about the scriptures as this process was set up prior to the canon being selected, and that canon didn't select itself.

    The "mark" of the true Church was not which books you had but whether your bishops could be traced back as appointees going back to the Apostles. This makes even logical sense because there were others who were claiming that they and their own scriptures were the real ones as there were roughly about 2000 books/letters, according to theologian William Barclay (Anglican), that the Church had to pick from.

    Finally, Luther admitted he created monster of sorts with his "priesthood of all believers", because then the Protestants began to fragment into all different denominations, each claiming to be the "true church". He also added [paraphrased] that now even "milkmaids" believed they could interpret the scriptures.

    But notice that you have walked around the point that it was the Church, not the scriptures, that was the main guide set up by Jesus for and through the Apostles. Therefore, as important as the scriptures are, it's the power of the Holy Spirit guiding both the Church and the individual that's truly most important.
     
  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    As a clarification, the "traditions of men" actually was most likely a reference to the "Oral Law" used by the Pharisees that actually made the Law even tougher yet to apply ("burdens", as Jesus called them).
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Sorry, I just don’t see that in the mainstream church. I see it in fringe cults though.
     
  5. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    THE THEORY OF SOLA SCRIPTURA
    Of course sola-scriptura is not taught in the bible.

    If sacred texts show us anything historically, it is that in authentic religion where there is a personal relationship with God, individuals are given personal revelations by God which, if written down, were held sacred by religious adherents. Revelation is the original source of scripture and scripture, though incredibly insightful, is not the source of original revelations by God to individuals in that personal relationship to God. Many people who came to their knowledge of God, did so without any text or written documents at all.


    SOLA SCRIPTURA IS A THEORY, NOT A PRACTICE
    Individuals may read ONLY the particular bible they have (instead of a different bible) but they are still dependent upon their own levels of awareness, their own level of historical and linguistic abilities and upon the type and correctness of the text they have as well as their own religious biases in assigning personal meanings to their texts. And their personal meanings may differ and conflict with the meanings assigned to the same text by other individuals reading the same or similar versions of the same text. None of us are "sola scripturists" since we bring all of these characteristics to our reading and in assigning meaning to text.

    None of us come to the text with the same text that the ancients had, with the ancient religious worldviews and ancient insights, and few of us come away with exactly the same personal meanings to the same text. When we affect the text and add to it's meaning then its meaning to us is no longer "Sola" scriptural.


    THE ARBITRARINESS OF WHAT IS CONSIDERED SCRIPTURE
    The specific canon one adopts is somewhat arbitrary since what it's considered scripture by various individuals has always differed in various times and various geographic locations. Different people in different places and times have had different canons.


    ERRORS WITHIN TEXTS AND IN INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
    For example, 2 Tim 3:16 has been quoted multiple times as support of sola scriptura. The problem is that there are errors in text and in interpretation of this text.

    KJV 2 Tim 3:16 is quoted as “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
    However this translation is incorrect since it is not what the any version of the actual Greek text says.
    The most common greek version of this text says : Πασα γραφε Θεοπνευστοσ και ωφελεμοσ προσ διδασκαλιαν, προσ ελεγχον,....

    It says : "All inspired texts [are] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, etc...." It does not tell us WHICH texts are inspired, merely that inspired texts are profitable.

    Also, there is no verb for “given”, no past or perfected tense in the text. (The KJV is simply a flawed translation).

    There are diffculties with simply saying that all inspired texts are useful for Christians. While one criteria for a text to deserve the title of “scripture” is that the text is a product of inspiration, the concept of personal detection of that inspiration together with the personal “valuing” of text as scripture is difficult to define in any objective manner.

    For example, there is no objective “inspirometer” since revelation comes from God and his spirit, rather than from the text. While I can gain religious insight and understanding from a text or from an experience or from an observation, the deep and profound direct revelations to my spirit from the personal relationship I have with God comes from God and the holy spirit rather than from the text, from the experience or from the observations I make.


    SCRIPTURE “CANONS” DIFFER IN ARBITRARY WAYS ACCORDING TO TIME PERIODS AND GEOLOGICAL LOCATIONS.
    Often, the various inclusions vs exclusions in the various canons were often based on whether a text supported a specific theology. That is, a text “seems” to be inspired because it agrees with an individuals’ or a groups religious bias rather than based on an objective measurement of “inspiration”.

    Luther rejects James, Erasmus accepts Esdras, Columbus believed in, quoted from, and used non-canonical Esdras’ description of the oceans in his determination of how much water he will navigate before reaching land. Galileos Daughter uses Hermas’ “wintertime” of the righteous in her letters to her Father. In this same way that these individuals all have their different Canons based on what inspired them, how does one then measure “inspiration” as a general rule for all individuals?


    INTERPRETATION OF TEXT VARIES ACCORDING TO TRANSLATORS WHO CREATE THE BIBLES WE READ AND ACCORDING TO THE READERS APPLYING DIFFERENT MEANING TO THE TEXTS
    It is obvious that most of the Christians on the forum read and study and use the bible. They debate the bible and it’s verses endlessly. They interpret the verses in the bible in hundreds (if not thousands) of differing ways. They use the bible and it’s verses to justify almost every doctrine and practice under the sun. Almost all of these conflicting and sometimes opposite (or at least “opposing”) doctrines are found by their proponents to be IN the bible; supported by scripture and are then called “biblical” by their proponents.



    THE MODERN “WESTERN” BIBLES ARE NOT THE SAME TEXT AS THE EASTERN BIBLES NOR IS THE MODERN TEXT THE SAME AS THE ANCIENT TEXTS.
    As @Katzpur said “Delivered" does not mean "preserved." (Post #82) Both modern and ancient translators themselves, tell us that the source text of their translations as well as the textual product of their translations have mistakes and errors.

    While the theory of "Sola Scriptura" is an interesting philosophical point, I've actually never seen nor met anyone who actually was able to USE "sola scriptura" in it's form as a strict source for text or as a strict source for development of doctrine or religious understanding in my life.

    And, neither has any other reader on this forum.

    Clear
    τωεισεσιω
     
    #105 Clear, Feb 19, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    How many times did he follow that with: “But I tell you...”? And Jesus wasn’t talking so much about scripture as he was the law.
     
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    "When Jesus previously quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures, he said: “It is written.” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) But six times in the Sermon on the Mount, he introduced what sounded like statements from the Hebrew Scriptures with the words: “It was said.” (Matthew 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) Why? Because he was referring to the Scriptures as interpreted in the light of Pharisaic traditions that contradicted God’s commandments. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Matthew 15:3) This is made apparent in Jesus’ sixth and last reference in this series: “You heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” But no Mosaic law said, “Hate your enemy.” The scribes and Pharisees said it. That was their interpretation of the Law to love your neighbor—your Jewish neighbor, no others.

    Consider now the first of this series of six statements. Jesus declared: “You heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You must not murder; but whoever commits a murder will be accountable to the court of justice.’ However, I say to you that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice.” (Matthew 5:21, 22) Anger in the heart can lead to abusive speech and from there to condemnatory judgments, and it may ultimately lead to the act of murder itself. Prolonged anger nourished in the heart can be deadly: “Everyone who hates his brother is a manslayer.”—1 John 3:15.

    Jesus next said: “You heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27, 28) You are not going to commit adultery? Then do not even start down that road by entertaining thoughts about it. Guard your heart, where such things have their source. (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18, 19) James 1:14, 15 warns: “Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.” People sometimes say: ‘Don’t start what you can’t finish.’ But in this case we should say: ‘Don’t start what you can’t stop.’ Some who have been faithful even when threatened with death before a firing squad have later fallen for the insidious lure of sexual immorality.

    We come now to Jesus’ third statement. He said: “Moreover it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ However, I say to you that everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of fornication, makes her a subject for adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman [that is, one divorced on grounds other than sexual immorality] commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31, 32) Some Jews dealt treacherously with their wives and divorced them on the flimsiest of grounds. (Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:3-9) Oral traditions allowed a man to divorce his wife “even if she spoiled a dish for him” or “if he found another fairer than she.”—Mishnah.

    In a similar vein, Jesus continued: “Again you heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You must not swear without performing’ . . . However, I say to you: Do not swear at all.” By this time the Jews were abusing oath-taking and were swearing many oaths about trivial things without performing. But Jesus said: “Do not swear at all . . . Just let your word Yes mean Yes, your No, No.” His rule was simple: Be truthful at all times, not having to guarantee your word by an oath. Reserve oaths for vital matters.—Matthew 5:33-37; compare 23:16-22.

    Jesus next said: “You heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ However, I say to you: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him.” (Matthew 5:38-42) Jesus is not here referring to a blow intended to do injury but to an insulting slap with the back of the hand. Do not degrade yourself by swapping insults. Refuse to return evil for evil. Rather, return good and thereby “keep conquering the evil with the good.”—Romans 12:17-21.

    In the sixth and final example, Jesus clearly showed how the Mosaic Law was weakened by rabbinic tradition: “You heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.” (Matthew 5:43, 44) The written Mosaic Law put no limits on love: “You must love your fellow as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) It was the Pharisees who balked at this commandment, and to escape it they limited the term “neighbor” to those who kept the traditions. So it was that when Jesus later reminded a certain lawyer of the command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ the man quibbled: “Who really is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with the illustration of the good Samaritan—make yourself a neighbor to the one that needs you.—Luke 10:25-37.

    So when Jesus referred to parts of the Law and added, “However, I say to you,” he was not setting aside the Mosaic Law and substituting something else in its place. No, but he was deepening and widening its force by showing the spirit behind it. A higher law of brotherhood judges continued ill will as murder. A higher law of purity condemns continued lustful thinking as adultery. A higher law of marriage rejects frivolous divorcing as a course leading to adulterous remarriages. A higher law of truth shows repetitious oaths to be unnecessary. A higher law of mildness sets aside retaliation. A higher law of love calls for a godly love that knows no bounds."

    https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1990724?q=matt+5:21&p=par
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Yah, I’ve exegeted this before professionally. My statement stands. Jesus is talking about the law and not so much “scripture.” Thanks for proving my point.
     
  9. ClimbingTheLadder

    ClimbingTheLadder Up and Down again

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    I disagree, if it wasn't then it'd accept the Catholic Church.
     
  10. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's biblical. It is so because human authorities can go corrupt. That's why when the Jews went corrupt God authenticated Christians to hold His truth while the Catholics went corrupt God authenticated the Protestants to hold His truth.
    OT Canon - It is made of testimonies from the Jews, canonized by the Jews as authenticated.
    NT Canon - It is made of testimonies from the apostles (Christians), canonized by the Christians as authenticated.

    The Jews can only have a correct OT Canon. The Catholics can only have a correct NT Canon. While only the Protestants can have both.

    During the whole process of such a transition of authority, only the legitimate Canons remain unchanged. That's the point of Sola Scriptura.
     
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