Below is a catholics argument trying to discredit “sola scriptura”. I will answer these in between paragraphs. 

Here is a catholic:

A Quick Ten-Step Refutation of Sola Scriptura

Dave Armstrong

 March 02, 2016

1. Sola Scriptura Is Not Taught in the Bible

Catholics agree with Protestants that Scripture is a “standard of truth”—even the preeminent one—but not in a sense that rules out the binding authority of authentic apostolic Tradition and the Church. The Bible doesn’t teach that. Catholics agree that Scripture is materially sufficient. In other words, on this view, every true doctrine can be found in the Bible, if only implicitly and indirectly by deduction. 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.


The scripture called sepher of the lord is the standard of truth as it say,

ISAIAH 34:16 Seek ye out of the sepher (writing) of the lord and read, none of it shall fail, none shall want her reuth (additional one)...his spirit it has gathered them.

1 Corinthians 4:6

[6]And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

2 Peter 1:3

[3]According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and eusebiae (piety or devotion) through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

By these decisive verses, it inferred that we must not exceed written scriptures, which scriptures called sepher of the lord is infallible logically in terms of exegesis and that it don’t need additional materials in relation to its nature, a religious writing, therefore when it comes to religious truth, the sepher is the only source, as reference and standard of truth. These sepher was already with the apostles as all things about piety were already with them, thus during apostolic times, they have complete oral and written tradition.

This sepher was particularly called “gathered”, implying, many writings gathered as one sepher. It is in the sense that whatever is not included in the one sepher as a gathered one collective writing is not scripture, as this one sepher don’t need additional one. There is a historical gathering of these writings as one collective document which through the process of canonization determines its extent-66 books! That as one sepher, must not have additional source of standard truth as implied,


Its illogical for god to say, exceed not what is written if it did not certify which is the scope of that “written” bec he claimed a sure word of prophecy (teachings). Sure teachings. Certain! Thus there must be specification of that “written” that must be the standard source of truth. Indeed, there is, he called sepher of the lord. Historically, as canon of scriptures, which as the verse say is infallible and not wanting additional ones.

Besides, GOD never certified OT oral tradition as inspired, therefore, its invalid.)

2. The “Word of God” Refers to Oral Teaching Also

“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 [NIV]).

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).

If we compare this passage with another, written to the same church, Paul appears to regard oral teaching and the word of God as 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).


True! Oral tradition is part of the apostolic ministry. There was no guarantee though that after the apostles it would necessarily be a continuous mode of ministry or an infinite source of truth whereas the written tradition was assured.

Psalms 102:12,18

[12]But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

[18]This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.)

3. Tradition Is Not a Dirty Word

Protestants often quote the verses in the Bible where corrupt traditions of men are condemned (e.g., Matt. 15:2–6; Mark 7:8–13; Col. 2:8). Of course, Catholics agree with this. But it’s not the whole truth. True, apostolic Tradition also is endorsed positively. This Tradition is in total harmony with and consistent with Scripture.


4. 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:

a. 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.


wrong! Assumption. 

Matthew 2:23

[23]And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets. He shall be called a Nazarene.

What is said to be spoken by the prophets that must be fulfilled was the ones in ISAIAH 9:1-2 wherein his presence in galilee would bring light to the place of darkness and that as a possibility, by his dwelling in Nazareth as later realized.

HE SHALL BE A NAZARENE is Matthews narrative input, as supplemental info, either taught to him through history or by the holy spirit.

Nowhere did it say, it was prophesied.)

b. 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. It is found in the (originally oral) Mishnah, which teaches a sort of “teaching succession” from Moses on down.


Matthew 23:2-4

[2]Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 

[3]All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 

[4]For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 

MOSES SEAT is logically a metaphor of moses inherent function as rabbinical leader wherein, he was privileged to impose laws, duties and obligations which these scribes and pharisees utilized. Jesus did not adopt it from any other source. No direct proof of that.)

c. 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. But rabbinic tradition does.


I don’t think its logical that two similar accounts is conclusive that both are related in terms of being the latter as influenced by oral tradition. An example, “house of David” was an inscription on fragments in TEL DAN STELE, does it mean, it was the source for luke2:4 “house of David”?


Therefore, similarity of accounts doesn’t necessarily suggests an affiliation in terms of being “inspired scriptures” or even, as the older as, source material for the latter. Unless confirmed, alleged inspired scriptures are useless, such as OT oral tradition.)

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


Yes! Oral tradition was necessary, it was not guaranteed though that it would be infinite.

Much so, nothing of such sort, a specific oral tradition, were confirmed or proven as “inspired”. 

1 Thessalonians 5:21

[21]Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

5. 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).

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).


Yes! Apostolic rights. It was only for them! These as having the guidance of the holy spirit, have rights to decide and imposed laws basing on these decisions as a process of formulating doctrines, through the holy spirit, as jesus said,

The spirit of truth will guide you to the truth

The holy spirit, directly guided them, possibly in audible manner.

Acts 13:2

[2]As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.)

6. Pharisees, Sadducees, and Oral, Extrabiblical Tradition

Christianity was derived in many ways from the Pharisaical tradition of Judaism. The Sadducees, on the other hand, rejected the future resurrection of the soul, the afterlife, rewards and retribution, demons and angels, and predestinarianism. The Sadducees also rejected all authoritative oral teaching and essentially believed in sola scriptura. They were the theological liberals of that time. Christian Pharisees are referred to in Acts 15:5 and Philippians 3:5, but the Bible never mentions Christian Sadducees.

The Pharisees, despite their corruptions and excesses, were the mainstream Jewish tradition, and both Jesus and Paul acknowledge this. So neither the orthodox Old Testament Jews nor the early Church was guided by the principle of sola scriptura


SOLA SCRIPTURA was not an old testament reality. Its a christian doctrine, as I presented above about a one sepher that is infallible in terms of explanation, and self-sufficient as it dont need additional religious supplements.

By saying,

Christianity was derived in many ways from the Pharisaical tradition of Judaism

I could say you’re wrong. As Paul said, you cannot be justified by the law of moses and you’re not under the law but under grace. In matters of tradition, whatever that don’t contradicts Christ is acceptable.

What is acceptable standard of truth is the sepher of the lord! 

ISAIAH 34:16 Seek ye out of the sepher (writing) of the lord and read, none of it shall fail, none shall want her reuth (additional one)...his spirit it has gathered them.

1 Corinthians 4:6

[6]And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.)

7. Old Testament Jews Did Not Believe in Sola Scriptura

To give two examples from the Old Testament itself:

a. 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 (cf. Ezra 7:26).

b. 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 (cf. 2 Chr. 17:8–9).

So the people did indeed understand the law (cf. Neh. 8:8, 12), but not without much assistance—not merely upon hearing. Likewise, the Bible is not altogether clear in and of itself but requires the aid of teachers who are more familiar with biblical styles and Hebrew idiom, background, context, exegesis and cross-reference, hermeneutical principles, original languages, etc. The Old Testament, then, teaches about a binding Tradition and need for authoritative interpreters, as does the New Testament (cf. Mark 4:33–34; Acts 8:30–31; 2 Pet. 1:20; 3:16).

8. Ephesians 4 Refutes 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 Church. Protestants extrapolate onto the text what isn’t there. If we look at the overall context of this passage, we can see that Paul makes reference to oral Tradition three times (cf. 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).

If 2 Timothy 3 proves the sole sufficiency of Scripture, then, by analogy, Ephesians 4 would likewise prove the sufficiency of pastors and teachers for the attainment of Christian perfection. In Ephesians 4, the Christian believer is equipped, built up, brought into unity and mature manhood, and even preserved from doctrinal confusion by means of the teaching function of the Church. This is a far stronger statement of the perfecting of the saints than 2 Timothy 3, yet it does not 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. It is far more reasonable to recognize that the absence of one or more elements in one passage does not mean that they are nonexistent. The Church and Scripture are both equally necessary and important for teaching.


Saying, If 2 Timothy 3 proves the sole sufficiency of Scripture, then, by analogy, Ephesians 4 would likewise prove the sufficiency of pastors and teachers for the attainment of Christian perfection.
I say, nothing in the verse suggests pastors/teachers as “sufficient” for attaining perfection. Its integral context is simply part of sola scriptura! that teachers equipped us for perfection through sola scriptura!/i>

9. Paul Casually Assumes That His Passed-Down Tradition Is Infallible and Binding

If Paul wasn’t assuming that, 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 Thess. 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 “the pretty-much, mostly, largely true but not infallible doctrine which you have been taught.”

10. Sola Scriptura Is a Circular Position

When all is said and done, Protestants who accept sola scriptura as their rule of faith appeal to the Bible. If they are asked why one should believe in their particular denominational teaching rather than another, each will appeal to “the Bible’s clear teaching.” Often they act as if they have no tradition that guides their own interpretation.

This is similar to people on two sides of a constitutional debate both saying, “Well, we go by what the Constitution says, whereas you guys don’t.” The U.S. Constitution, like the Bible, is not sufficient in and of itself to resolve differing interpretations. Judges and courts are necessary, and their decrees are legally binding. Supreme Court rulings cannot be overturned except by a future ruling or constitutional amendment. In any event, there is always a final appeal that settles the matter.

But Protestantism lacks this because it appeals to a logically self-defeating principle and a book that must be interpreted by human beings. 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. One either believes there is one truth in any given theological dispute (whatever it is) or adopts a relativist or indifferentist position, where contradictions are fine or the doctrine is so “minor” that differences “don’t matter.”

But the Bible doesn’t teach that whole categories of doctrines are “minor” and that Christians freely and joyfully can disagree in such a fashion. Denominationalism and divisions are vigorously condemned. The only conclusion we can reach from the Bible is what we call the “three-legged stool”: Bible, Church, and Tradition are all necessary to arrive at truth. If you knock out any leg of a three-legged stool, it collapses.


With all things been said, the absence of a clear proof that discredit sola scriptura is sufficient proof, how god has clearly, outlined the merits that supports sola scriptura, and these are:

ISAIAH 34:16 Seek ye out of the sepher (writing) of the lord and read, none of it shall fail, none shall want her reuth (additional one)...his spirit it has gathered them.

1 Corinthians 4:6

[6]And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Again, historically, that process of gathering the sepher was realized when manuscripts after textual criticism was become one collective canon! It speaks of the initial 66 books of the bible, and saying, none of it needs additional ones, implied it as the sole standard of truth.

Though oral tradition was apostolic, none of it guaranteed an infinite state of being the source of truth!




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