Bible, Tradition, Canon, & “Sola Scriptura” (Index Page)

BibleRosary
Photograph by Chris Sloan, 28 Nov. 2009 [Flickr / CC BY 2.0 license]
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Asterisked posts are links to old Blogspot papers of mine. Allow a minute or two for them to upload and select archived versions (if necessary) from July 2015 or earlier.
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Table of Contents


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I. Relationship of the Bible to the Church

II. Tradition (Apostolic)

III. Sola Scriptura (Scripture as the Only Infallible Authority)

IV. Private Judgment

V. Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture

VI. Material and Formal Sufficiency of Scripture / Rule of Faith

VII. The Canon of Scripture

VIII. Deuterocanonical Books (So-Called “Apocrypha”)
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IX. Biblical Archaeology / Israel
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X. Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties
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I. RELATIONSHIP OF THE BIBLE TO THE CHURCH
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Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Philippians (RSV) [1998]

Apologetics-Oriented Biblical Commentary on Colossians (RSV) [1998]

Laymen’s Greek & Hebrew Bible Resources for Free [1-22-02; linked sources added on 11-28-16]

“Why Don’t Catholics Read the Bible?” [6-26-02]

Catholic “Three-Legged Stool”: Scripture, Tradition, & Church: Dialogue with an Anglican on the Catholic Rule of Faith (vs. Jon Jacobson) [10-31-02]

The Freedom of the Catholic Biblical Exegete / Interpreter + Bible Passages that the Church has Definitively Interpreted [9-14-03]

Clarification On What I Consider “Biblical Evidence” [2-1-08; re-posted on Facebook on 11-28-16]

Bibles & Catholics, Sunday School?, Memorization, Etc. [9-25-08]

Books by Dave Armstrong: Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths: A Source Book for Apologists and Inquirers [4-18-09]

How Do Catholics Approach & Interpret Holy Scripture? [6-17-09]

Catholic Interpretation of Scripture (Hermeneutics / Exegesis): Resource List (Links) [6-28-09]

Review of Orthodox Catholic Bible Commentaries (David W. Emery) [2-8-10] *

Were Vernacular Bibles Unknown Before Luther? (+ later Facebook discussion) [6-15-11]

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman on Catholic Bibles in the Vernacular Before Luther [Facebook, 1-9-12]

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Dialogue on Authoritative Bible Interpretation in the New Testament (vs. Reformed Baptist Elder Jim Drickamer) [1-14-17]
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Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
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Who’s More Biblical: Protestants or Catholics? (vs. Dustin Buck Lattimore) [Facebook, 5-3-17]
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The Analogy of an Infallible Bible to an Infallible Church [11-6-05; rev. 7-25-15 and 6-7-17; published at National Catholic Register: 6-16-17]
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II. TRADITION (APOSTOLIC) 
 
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Reflections on Tradition, Sola Scriptura, Perspicuity, and the Canon [9-14-92] *

Dialogue on Whether the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of Mary are Legitimately Part of Apostolic Tradition (vs. James White) [June 1996; posted to Facebook on 2-4-17]

Dialogue on “Tradition” in the New Testament (vs. Dr. Eric Svendsen) [1996]

Apostolic [Quasi-] Protestantism?: Dialogue with Eric Svendsen [6-26-96]

Dialogue on “Perspicuous Apostolic Teaching” (vs. James White) [May-June 1996]

“Tradition” Isn’t a Dirty Word [late 90s; rev. 8-16-16]

Books by Dave Armstrong: Bible Conversations: Catholic-Protestant Dialogues on the Bible, Tradition, and Salvation [June 2002]

William Webster vs. Tradition, Development, & Truth [4-10-03]

“Moses’ Seat” & Jesus vs. Sola Scriptura (vs. James White) [12-27-03]

Refutation of “Catholicism Refuted”: Pt. II (Tradition, Papacy) [12-10-04]

James White’s Critique of My Book, The Catholic Verses: Part I: The Binding Authority of Tradition [12-30-04]

Refutation of James White: Moses’ Seat, the Bible, and Tradition (Introduction: #1) (+Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI) [5-12-05]

Bible and Tradition Issues: Reply to a “Bible Christian” Inquirer (Particularly Regarding St. Augustine’s Position) [3-1-07]

Martin Luther’s Remarkably “Pro-Tradition” Strain of Thought [1-18-08]

Erasmus’ Hyperaspistes (1526): Luther’s Anti-Traditional Elements [2-10-09]

Biblical Evidence for Apostolic Oral Tradition [2-20-09]

25 Brief Arguments for Binding Catholic Tradition [2009]

Biblical Evidence for True Apostolic Tradition (vs. “Traditions of Men”) [6-23-11]

Bible on Submission to Church & Apostolic Tradition + Biblical Condemnation of the Rebellious & Schismatic Aspects of the Protestant Revolt [8-27-11]

Biblical Evidence for the Oral Torah [10-18-11]

 “Tradition” Is Not Always a Bad Word! [written specifically for children: 12 or younger; 2-12-14]
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Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
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Dialogue on Oral Tradition & Apostolic Succession (vs. John E. Taylor) [5-17-17]
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 III. SOLA SCRIPTURA
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Debate: Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Jason Engwer) [8-1-03]

Ten Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Jason Engwer) [8-1-03]

Sola Scriptura: Unbiblical!: Refutation of Dr. Richard Bennett [9-15-03]

Refutation of Dr. John MacArthur’s Sola Scriptura Defense: “The Sufficiency of the Written Word” [9-15-03]

Biblical Argumentation: Same as Sola Scriptura? [10-7-03]

Quick Ten-Step Refutation of Sola Scriptura [10-10-03]

“Moses’ Seat” & Jesus vs. Sola Scriptura (vs. James White) [12-27-03]

Sola Scriptura and Private Judgment Are Logically Circular [1-28-04; slight modifications and abridgment on 9-5-17]

Sola Scriptura is Self-Defeating and False if Not in the Bible (vs. Kevin Johnson) [5-4-04]

Jerusalem Council vs. Sola Scriptura [9-2-04]

Levites and the Old Covenant System vs. Sola Scriptura [4-9-06]

OT Levites & Priests: Closer to Sola Scriptura or Catholicism? [4-9-06]

Catholic Rule of Faith and Binding Authority: Old Testament Analogies [4-9-06]

Cardinal Newman: “The Principle of Continuity between the Jewish and Christian Churches” (Catholic Authority) [4-9-06; posted to Facebook on 2-15-17]

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman on the Authoritative Interpretation of God’s Revelation (Over Against Sola Scriptura) [4-9-06; posted to Facebook on 2-15-17]

1 Timothy 3:15: Sola Scriptura or Visible Church Authority? [10-2-07]

Sola Scriptura Debate (vs. C. Michael Patton) [10-19-08]

Sola Scriptura: Catholic Scholars vs. Apologists on its Illogical Nature? (E.g., Joseph Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Henri de Lubac) [11-13-08]

Reformed Fundamentalist Views of Scripture Alone Reflected by Luther and Calvin [6-24-09] *

Do I Know and Understand the Definition of Sola Scriptura? [7-5-09] *

St. Paul’s Word Selection vs. Sola Scriptura [4-3-10]

Dialogue with a Lutheran: Church Fathers & Sola Scriptura (vs. Nathan Rinne) [10-13-11]

Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman:  If Sola Scriptura is True, Why Were There Virtually No Vernacular Versions of the Bible in the Early Church? [Facebook, 1-10-12]
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Sola Scriptura, 2 Tim 3:16-17, & “Man of God” [1-27-12]

Biblical Argumentation is NOT Sola Scriptura [5-8-12]

Books by Dave Armstrong: 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura [May 2012]

Answer to Sola Scriptura “Prooftexts” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 & Romans 16:15-16 (vs. David T. King) [6-26-12]

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Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
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Who’s More Biblical: Protestants or Catholics? (vs. Dustin Buck Lattimore) [Facebook, 5-3-17]
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David T. King Ignores Sola Scriptura Biblical Disproofs (Incl. lengthy analysis of 2 Peter 1:20: “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”) [11-13-17]
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IV. PRIVATE JUDGMENT 
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V. PERSPICUITY (CLEARNESS) OF SCRIPTURE

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The Perspicuity (“Clearness”) of Scripture [1996] *

Baptismal Regeneration: Central Doctrine, According to Luther & Lutheranism [1996]

The Perspicuity (Clarity) of the Bible [2-10-00] *

Dialogue: Clearness (Perspicuity) of Scripture and the Formal Sufficiency of Scripture (vs. Carmen Bryant) [6-8-00]

Luther: Scripture Easily Grasped by “Plowboys” [11-1-08]

Erasmus’ Hyperaspistes (1526): Sola Scriptura and Perspicuity of Scripture [2-12-09]

25 Brief Arguments Regarding Biblical “Clearness” [2009]

Dialogue with a Catholic on the Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture, and the Definition of Christian in Relation to the Holy Trinity (+ Part Two) [1-22-10] *

The Anglican Newman (1833-1838) on the Falsity of Perspicuity (Clearness) of Holy Scripture [3-7-11]

Protestants Say That the Bible is “Clear” and “Self-Interpreting” (i.e., No Necessity for Church or Tradition). Yet They Can’t Agree on a Million Things [Facebook discussion, 2-10-14]

The Bible: “Clear” & “Self-Interpreting”? [February 2014]

Perspicuity (Clarity) of Holy Scripture [11-21-15]

Protestant Unity on “Central” Doctrines?: Baptism as Test Case (vs. Methodist Philosophy professor Jerry Walls) [1-9-17]

Dialogue on Authoritative Bible Interpretation in the New Testament (vs. Reformed Baptist Elder Jim Drickamer) [1-14-17]

Cardinal Newman and Reformed Theologian Berkouwer on the Essential Silliness of Thinking that Bible Interpretation Would be Easy for One and All (No “Difficulties”), Merely Because the Bible is an Inspired, Divine Revelation [Facebook, 7-20-17]

 

VI. MATERIAL AND FORMAL SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE / RULE OF FAITH
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Church Fathers and Sola Scriptura [originally July 2003; somewhat modified condensation: 4-5-17]
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VII. THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

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Were Apostles Always Aware of Writing Scripture? (6-29-06; abridged version of the above dialogue, from 9-25-16)
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The Protestant Conundrum on the Canon of Scripture is as Great as Ever (vs. my Presbyterian friend, John E. Taylor) [Facebook, 5-8-17]

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Conundrum! Scripture Alone Cannot Establish the Biblical Canon [National Catholic Register, 5-16-17]

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VIII. DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS (SO-CALLED “APOCRYPHA”)

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IX. BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY / ISRAEL
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X. ALLEGED BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS AND DIFFICULTIES   
[see also related papers in the Atheist and Agnostic section]
 

Master List / General / Resources

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Jesus |

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Jesus Had “Offspring”? (Isaiah 53:10) [5-30-06; posted to Facebook on 2-15-17]
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Did Paul and Peter Disobey Jesus and Risk Hellfire (Calling Folks “Fools”)? Did Jesus Contradict Himself? Or Do Proverbs and Hyperbolic Utterances Allow Exceptions? [2-5-14]

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Gadarenes, Gerasenes, Swine, & Atheist Skeptics (vs. Jonathan MS Pearce) [7-25-17]
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Reply to Alleged Biblical Contradictions Concerning Judas and His Death (vs. Dave Van Allen and Dr. Jim Arvo) [9-27-07] *
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Defending the Historical Adam of Genesis (vs. Eric S. Giunta) [9-25-11]
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Where Did Cain Get His Wife? [Facebook, 3-7-13]
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Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair? (vs. Bishop Robert Barron) [11-28-13]
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New Testament Proofs of Noah’s Historical Existence (Seton Magazine article, 22 April 2014)
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“Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?” (Dr. Dennis Bonnette, Crisis Magazine, 11-24-14)
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Massacres and Wars of Annihilation / God’s Judgment

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Last Updated on 2 December 2017.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16577436069382434060 Chris M

    Dave, I have a couple questions.

    I'm currently in a Jesus of Nazareth class taught at a University by an Anglican Priest. He does not believe in Biblical innerancy. Am I right in thinking Catholicism does believe the Bible is 100% inerrant? I've read a couple encylicals – one in the early 1900s and another in the 1960s if I remember right – where the Pope stated that the Bible was 100% inspired and thus 100% inerrant. Am I right in thinking this is actually a *dogmatic* article of faith?

    Second, if this is so, how are certain contradictions reconciled? For instance, today he read us all 4 Gospel accounts of the Empty Tomb. They differed substantially. And also there are the differing accounts of Paul's conversion in Acts. In one telling the men did not hear Christ speaking, and in the next they did. How are these things dealt with by the Church?

    Thanks again, and God bless.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17891800446559973689 Maroun

    Hi Chris.
    If you google church fathers,and then click church fathers home,after that go to saint augustine ,and one of the many many things which he wrote is called.- The Harmony of the Gospels ,in there you will find the answers which you are looking for about what some people believe to be contradiction in the bible.
    And yes you are right that the catholic church believe that the bible is inerrant and is inspired by the Holy Spirit and as though it has God as it`s author.
    GBU

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17891800446559973689 Maroun

    Hi Chris again.
    For example in the same encyclopedia,when you go to church fathers,you could also check John Crysostom`s explanations of the acts of the apostles in homelies 19 and 47 , as for your first question plz check Augustine`s harmony of the gospels, book III .
    GBU

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07771661758539438173 Dave Armstrong

    The Church holds that the manuscripts are inerrant and infallible, yes. Some minor errors may have slipped in due to faulty copying.

    Most so-called "contradictions" are easily explained as complementaries in some fashion.

    See the final section: "Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties" — of my Bible, Church, Tradition, & Canon page:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/11/bible-church-tradition-canon-index.html

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/06888282878602282770 sdhshh

    Coul you answer these questions (about tradition, scripture etc.?

    http://www.bible.ca/catholic-questions.htm Irrefutable questions that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can’t answer

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07771661758539438173 Dave Armstrong

    I'm sure I could (and have). I've written more about sola Scriptura and related issues than anything else, including a book with 620 separate arguments in it.

    As a matter of policy, I no longer interact with anti-Catholics, because of the futility of all such efforts for ten years online, excepting historically important ones like Luther and Calvin.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16577436069382434060 Chris M

    Dave,

    I've researched the supposed "contradictions" and find all the accusations unfounded. I do not blame you either for not engaging in such pointless arguments. Anyone who wants to study and learn has all the tools they need at your site, which, as I think I've said before, is one of the reasons I'm becoming Catholic.

    Thanks Dave, I'm trying to spread the word about your amazing site.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07771661758539438173 Dave Armstrong

    Thanks for the plugs!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17891800446559973689 Maroun

    Sdhshh wrote , Irrefutable questions that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can’t answer.
    Woahahahaha , one of the funniest statements i have ever read…lol

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16294571008244780190 Ken Sponburg

    Dave,

    William Webster claimed that the famous quote from Basil the Great regarding many of our beliefs and customs coming from unwritten tradition is referring to liturgical practices, not dogma like the Trinity or baptismal regeneration. He says that Basil demonstrates this by mentioning customs like baptizing three times, using oil at baptism etc. Was Basil really referring to dogma coming from unwritten tradition, or just customs?

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/07771661758539438173 Dave Armstrong

    Dunno without looking. But William Webster hardly has any credibility in historical matters, as I have shown at length, twice:

    Refutation of William Webster's Fundamental Misunderstanding of Development of Doctrine

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2004/02/refutation-of-william-websters.html

    Refutation of Protestant Polemicist William Webster's Critique of Catholic Tradition and Newmanian Development of Doctrine (vs. William Webster)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/08/refutation-of-protestant-polemicist.html

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16294571008244780190 Ken Sponburg

    Not very helpful concerning my question.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15746373228302022418 Adomnan

    Beliefs and customs underlying or reflected in liturgical practices cannot be separated from dogma. Therefore, Mr. Webster's observation and your question make no sense. You're asking Dave to make a distinction between liturgy/rites and doctrine. He can't do this. Nobody can.

    St. Basil would have regarded every liturgical act as meaningful and purposeful. That meaning and purpose are what is called "dogma." For example, the dogmatic catechesis of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, like all ancient catechesis, was based on an exposition of the sacraments.

    No ancient Christian ever attempted to argue or prove "baptismal regeneration," because to all of them the purpose of baptism was so obviously regeneration that this didn't require demonstration. Besides, it never occurred to anybody to deny baptismal regeneration, and so no explicit defense of the concept or refutation of error was needed.

    Only sometime after the start of the Reformation did "baptismal regeneration" become an issue. That was because some people, for the first time in history, ceased believing that rites were effective.

    If you were to ask a Christian in Basil's day if he believed in baptismal regeneration, he wouldn't even understand your question. It would be like asking him if he believed he had been born or was currently alive. Baptism was regeneration. It was as simple as that.

    You need to stop thinking like a typical 21st-century American if you want to understand ancient Christianity, including, of course, the Christianity of the New Testament. For example, ancient people did not intentionally engage in empty ritual play-acing. For them, every rite accomplished what it meant. Otherwise, they wouldn't bother with it. A rite wasn't a "symbolic" public demonstration, as Evangelical baptisms are today.

    So, you see, for us Catholics, who carry on ancient Christianity, William Webster's observation is fundamentally misguided and pointless.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15746373228302022418 Adomnan

    Typo: "play-acing" should be "play-acting."