Wednesday 1st June 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… Unscriptural, Unhistorical, Unreasonable, Unworkable

March 8, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 5

Sola Scriptura is wrong not only because it produced a cacophony of contradictory doctrines, creeds, sects, and denominations, where everyone, Bible in hand, defends his own interpretations. It is wrong not only because it is unscriptural from more than one point of view. It is also wrong because it is unhistorical, unreasonable, and unworkable.
Why unhistorical?
Because nobody ever taught this doctrine until nearly 1,400 years after the Church was founded on Pentecost Day. I mean really nobody. No early Christian writer ever mentioned, alluded to, or hinted at it until Wycliffe concocted the idea and a defrocked monk dogmatized it to justify his subjective moral choices.
If Jesus and the apostles had intended that Christians should have the Bible as their sole guide and interpret it as they saw fit, why is the Bible so silent about it? Why it is not explicitly stated in the sacred text? And how come nobody ever came up with the idea in so many centuries?
The early Fathers and Doctors of the Church, guided by the Popes in Rome, who put together the New Testament for us, said nothing about Sola Scriptura. Since the dawn of the early Church, they taught the people that the Bible is to be interpreted in the light of the apostolic Tradition, guided by the Magisterium of the Church, and not in the light of individual minds and preferences.
Why unworkable?
Because literacy is a comparatively recent phenomenon among mankind, and in the early days, illiteracy was widespread. How would illiterate people manage to use Sola Scriptura, since they could not read? The Church should have started alphabetization missions instead of preaching missions, so that the people could read the Bible by themselves. Instead of saying, “Go and preach to all nations,” Jesus would have said, “Go and teach everyone to read and then give them Bibles,” or something like that. Even today in many parts of the Third World a large number of people cannot read. How would they manage to benefit from Sola Scriptura?
“They can hear the preaching of the ministers, of course,” you would say. Really? But then it is no longer Sola Scriptura, it is oral preaching, the Catholic way to promote the Christian faith, and so we are going back to the Catholic idea that faith comes through hearing, not reading. Besides, improvised preachers usurp the place of the authentic preachers.
If believers in Sola Scriptura wanted to be consistent and not contradictory, they would promote the free distribution of Bibles to every one without any preaching; otherwise, they would be imposing their peculiar interpretation on others, and it would no longer be Sola Scriptura. . . .
Sola Scriptura is also unworkable because through it Christians are unable to establish the scriptural principle of having one Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Eph. 4:5). A World Council of Churches is definitely not a biblical concept!
Finally, if Sola Scriptura were true, then Jesus would not have instituted the Apostolic College and given its members the authority and mission to guide, teach, and sanctify the people; St. Paul would have said nothing about the apostolic Tradition; the early Christians would have said something about it at least; and everyone who read the Bible would reach the same interpretation, guided by the Holy Spirit. But these things never happened.
You know a tree by its fruits, not by the individual opinion of the gardener. The fruits of Sola Scriptura are there for all to see: a division of apocalyptical magnitude among baptized Christians and a gross relativism in faith and morals.
Why unreasonable?
The Bible was not given to the world nicely printed, bound on hardcover or paperback, attached to a parachute. It was the result of a historical process in which the Roman Catholic Church played the major role: Some of her bishops wrote the New Testament books; she distinguished the inspired books from the apocryphal ones; she preserved the authentic texts in their totality free from error; she saved the books from persecution and destruction; she copied them thousands of times without error; she translated them into a variety of languages always maintaining the correct meaning; she taught those books in universities and colleges, seminaries, and parishes. . . .
Therefore the books of the New Testament are Catholic books, and only the Church whose bishops wrote them and saved them is the authentic interpreter of those books.
Anyone who accepts the New Testament as the inspired word of God is accepting the testimony of the Catholic Church who said so. Now, since God gave to the Church the mission to protect Sacred Scripture, it would be inconsistent for God not to give her the authority to interpret them correctly. To give that authority to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet would be a contradiction, and in God there is no contradiction.
Sola Scriptura defenders have to accuse the Catholic Church of having failed in keeping the faith; otherwise, they would condemn themselves as dissenters and incurring in the reproach issued by St. Paul (Romans 16:17-18).
But is it possible for the Church of Jesus Christ, whose bishops wrote the New Testament and protected it for nearly 1,400 years, to fail in the faith?
No, it is not possible. In spite of the misbehavior of her bad children, the Church of Jesus Christ cannot fail in the faith. And why so? Because Jesus promised to be with her till the end of time, and He sent the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him; to remind them of everything He had taught them; and to remain with them forever!
“When the Advocate has come, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning me” (John 15:26). “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you” (John 14:26). “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of Truth. . . . You shall know Him, because He will dwell with you, and be in you” (John 14:16-17).

Jesus Deserves Our Trust

If Jesus, after making all of these promises, allowed His Church to fail, He would have failed Himself in keeping His promises. He would not be the Son of God, and the whole of Christianity would be a fake.
But it is not so. Jesus deserves our trust. If He promises to protect His Church from corruption, we must believe Him if we are Christians. His Church has not failed — dissenters have. His Church kept the Bible pure — dissenters corrupted it. His Church preaches the fullness of His doctrine — dissenters preach their individual opinions and interpretations. That’s the big difference.
Jesus built His Church upon a rock, not upon books that would be written years after His Ascension into Heaven — the New Testament. He built His Church and His Church wrote the New Testament — not the other way around.
He built His Church like the wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock. But dissenters and heretics build their houses (“churches”) on sand, on a multitude of individual interpretations. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and was utterly ruined” (Matt. 7:24-27).
“Thou art Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
Next article: Luther — the Bible’s friend or enemy?

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is: www.RaymondeSouza.com.)

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Amoris Laetitia is ‘objectively unclear’ since even bishops have conflicting interpretations: Cardinal Caffarra

ROME, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The cardinal tasked by Saint Pope John Paul II 36 years ago with founding an institute to study marriage and the family has criticized Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation on the family for lacking…Continue Reading

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis at Santa Marta: memory, prophecy, hope

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning. In remarks to the faithful following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father focused on the threefold theme of the dynamic unity in Christian life, the signs of which are living memory, the prophetic spirit, and the sure horizon of hope. The Pope took as the central focus of his reflection the Gospel passage of the day…Continue Reading

">Ronald Reagan . . . Memorial Day Address

Planned Parenthood sponsors bill to make it illegal to record and post undercover footage

A bill making its way through the California State Assembly, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, seeks to make it a crime to publish conversations with certain health care providers, notably those associated with abortion facilities. California has already squashed the rights of pro-life pregnancy centers, demanding they offer abortion as an option to their clients, despite their pro-life mission. Now, Planned Parenthood and CA Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez think it’s a fine idea to prosecute someone from posting a “photo…Continue Reading

South Carolina governor signs ban on abortion for babies who feel pain

CHARLESTON, May 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina has joined 13 other states that forbid abortions to be performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain. As expected, Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday. The law restricts abortion to the first 19 weeks of pregnancy. “South Carolina took a courageous stand to protect women’s health and safety in limiting abortion at a point at which the risks…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Luther 1517-2017… Five Hundred Years Of Heresy And Doctrinal Confusion

luther

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 (Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment in a series by Wanderer contributor Raymond de Souza on Henry VIII’s book defending the seven sacraments against Martin Luther. De Souza edited this updated version of Henry’s work, which is presented to readers in this series. (This series will appear…Continue Reading

Excluded From Arizona House . . . Racial Healing Meet Has To Find Another Location, Loses Audience

By DEXTER DUGGAN MESA, Ariz. — The chairman of an Arizona Tea Party group introduced a representative of Black Lives Matter Arizona at a racial-healing conference here, saying, “Black lives matter, and of course we agree that all lives matter,” but blacks are unique in U.S. history as “a people who have endured chattel slavery.”…Continue Reading

Havana: The Potemkin Village Of The 21st Century

By ALBERTO MARTINEZ PIEDRA According to the media, it is often heard that many Americans are interested in traveling to Cuba because, as relations between the jewel of the Caribbean and the United States warm, they “want to see the island before it changes.” And they make this statement with a certain degree of optimism.…Continue Reading

Rocky Homilies

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., serves at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensboro, N.C.) + + + The Holy Father’s admonition in Amoris Laetitia that priests must understand that the moral law should not be thrown at people as if it were so many stones (n.…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Procession To The Ends Of The Earth

By JAMES MONTI Several weeks ago, after attending the Easter Vigil at a nearby seminary, and the emptied chapel had fallen silent, I began to hear the sound of the sacring bell being rung in the sacristy. Puzzled by this, I wondered whether the seminarians were perhaps trying to repair the bell. But then from…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Look To Our Father In Heaven

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Everyone has made a wrong decision at some point in his or her life, and everyone can speak about the suffering or pain caused by bad decisions. What, on the other hand, about the suffering or pain that is caused by doing the right thing? How often can we say that we suffered personally and…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church Miracles And The Saints

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’.” “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (Matt. 10:7-8). It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples the power to perform miracles, and many of them did just that. Not…Continue Reading

The Church’s Liturgy — Who Celebrates?

By DON FIER There is an ancient Latin saying in the Church that eloquently expresses what her members believe of the efficacy of the sacraments and their relationship to faith: lex orandi, lex credendi (“the law of prayer is the law of faith”). Each of the seven sacraments, as we saw last week, can be classified in various categories. Yet…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My husband and I are wondering when to say the “Amen” after the Lord’s prayer is prayed during Mass. I believe “Amen” should be said after we say “deliver us from evil.” — J.W., Georgia. A. Although it is correct to say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father while saying it outside of Mass, for example, while…Continue Reading

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kevin Of Glendalough

By CAROLE BRESLIN Dublin, the largest city in Ireland, lies on the east coast of Ireland, just across the Irish Sea from Liverpool, England. It is the heart of Irish commerce and the gateway for travelers who wish to enter into the heart and soul of the ancient Irish culture of the Emerald Isle. Traveling south past the Wicklow mountains,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading