Author Topic: "Protestant Teachings" found in Scripture???  (Read 1580 times)

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Offline DennyB

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"Protestant Teachings" found in Scripture???
« on: May 30, 2005, 06:12:22 PM »
I have been looking in on several other boards,none of which I find more solice and peace than this one. There seems to be this belief among Evangelcial Protestants, That there are "teachings" found in Scripture regarding Christian doctrine and practice,this being this sole premise for Sola Scriptura,I just don't see how this can be, even among Protestant Biblical Scholars.

I just don't see the "Holy Bible" as some sort of Instructional "How-to book" on Christianity,but very many Protestants see it this way,even learned ones. Any Comments?


Denny Brown

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Re: "Protestant Teachings" found in Scripture???
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 09:27:22 AM »
I know this thread is older, but I think this is actually a topic that doesn't get discussed a lot here, so I'd like to make some comments.

Actually, I don't think the Protestants have it as wrong as some Orthodox and Catholic apologists think. I am talking about your normal Joe Protestant here, and not talking about the people who hold to stricter versions of sola scriptura (no one can be a total adherent of sola scriptura, since the decision to adopt a sola scriptura position is itself a non-scriptural decision based on non-scriptural ideas). Vincent of Lerins, at least in Orthodox circles, is celebrated largely for solving the problem of how Scripture and Tradition interact and work together. Even though Scripture is sufficient, Vincent said (in his Commonitory) that since there are so many interpretations of Scripture, we must look to the Church and her wisdom (given via her people through the world) for the correct interpretation of Scripture.

But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church's interpretation? For this reason,-because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.

His thoughts on the matter are summarized in the line, " the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all" (or, "This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent.") The thing about it is, he did not set tradition up as an equal of Scripture, but only as an interpretive tool for understanding Scripture. Of course, tradition handed on quite a bit that wasn't contained explicitly in Scripture, but the point is that Vincent seemed to consider Scripture sufficient. Indeed, he did not object to the idea that Scripture was "complete" and even "more than sufficient". His position rather seemed to be that the deficiency was on the part of the people who tried to interpret Scripture, not Scripture itself. Thus tradition is for our own benefit, and the Church is for our own benefit, they are like the glasses that let people with extremely poor eyesight read the Scripture.

So, while I think that some Protestants take the Bible alone stuff too far (and it is itself an unbiblical notion), I also think that many Protestants perhaps have ahold of an important thing that people more focused on tradition sometimes miss. Tradition is generally (though IMO not always) suppose to be the "passing on" of something, after all, not the direct, active creator of something. Scripture is supposed to be the basis of things, not the supplement which backs up what such and such a Father or Council said. I would agree that people who go to the Bible as a "how to book," without having tradition, are going to go astray. For example, you just can't totally recreate what the early Church's worship services were like based solely on the Bible. But it probably should be "sufficient" for what it was intended to convey (e.g., the Gospel). Not that I personally agree with the Bible being a sufficient book to base your life on, I'm just saying that that seems to be an acceptable, orthodox position to hold to.