Well Peter I did some research on the sola scriptura and I want to know what your thoughts are on the following:
Okay... Now you're asking a non-theologian to do a theologian's work.
Oh, well. Seeing that you have invited me to do so, I'll go ahead and do the best I can to answer a few of your most important questions from what limited knowledge I have.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction of righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
I'm very familiar with this passage and the Protestant misuses of it. I grant that it does state very clearly the authority of Scripture as inspired by God, an authority that no Orthodox Christian will deny. But it says nothing to indicate that we should see Scripture as the sole
authority for Christian doctrine, which is what you're trying to argue. Since it is so easy when proof-texting to take specific passages of Scripture out of context, let us not forget the exhortation of St. Paul that I quoted earlier in this thread.
"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions
which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
" (1 Thessalonians 2:15)
I think we also need to remember that the writings understood to be Scripture by Ss. Paul and Timothy were solely from the Old Testament, since the New Testament had not even been compiled yet.
According to the Reformed confessional statements the Bible is a perfect, complete and sufficient rule of faith and life.
I find it interesting that it took 1500 years for Christians to figure this out. What happened to that millennium-and-a-half? Was the Church in error for those first 1500 years? Did the gates of hell actually prevail against Christ's Church? If so, then this makes Jesus out to be either a liar or an incompetent oaf.
Since natural revelation is insufficient, direct revelation to the church has ceased, and God has committed his will to us “wholly unto writing,” the Scriptures are our sole standard for faith and life.
By what logic does the above opinion conclude that "direct revelation to the church has ceased?" True, we do believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation of God to man and that there will not be another fuller revelation. (See Hebrews 1:1-2) Hence, the work of the Holy Spirit is to not reveal anything new, but to lead the Church into a fuller understanding of Christ Himself. But this work never ceases.
Third, the doctrine of sola scriptura, which says that “the whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture,” is not a denial that there were many revelations and historical events that did not make it into the canon. The completed Scripture that God has given to the church is exactly what he wanted us to have. He could have given his people one hundred volumes containing more case laws, more detailed histories of the patriarchs, Moses, Israel, Jesus Christ and the acts of the apostolic church. But Jehovah gave us the 66 books alone, and this completed canon is perfect and in every way sufficient to answer its design. God has many secret things that belong to himself and his divine perfections which are infinite and could never fully and adequately be revealed to us even if a million inspired volumes existed. But in his mercy everything that we do need to know, love and serve him has been given to us in the Scriptures.
Where did these Scriptures really come from? Did they just drop out of the sky in their completed form? Or did they develop within the ongoing life of the Church? For the first 200 years or so, the Church had no established New Testament canon. All she had were various writings of the Apostles. The Church didn't really start the work of compiling the canon of the New Testament until the 2nd Century, and they didn't finish the work until 397 with the Council of Carthage.
In the meantime, how did the Church determine which "Apostolic" writings to revere as Scripture and which to reject? I would venture to say that all she had to work from was the oral traditions
of what the Apostles taught. If an "Apostolic" writing was consistent with the unwritten traditions
of the Apostles, it was included in the developing NT canon. Otherwise, it was rejected. In fact, for the longest time the Eastern half of the Christian world almost universally rejected the Apocalypse of St. John (Revelation)
because of Eastern Christendom's problems with the Montanist sect of 2nd Century Asia Minor, whereas the Western Church almost universally rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews
because of the epistle's hard line against the restoration of apostates. But the only reason why the Church could even decide what to recognize as Scripture was because God had given her the authority to do so. Protestants wouldn't even have the New Testament if it were not for the authority, the Tradition, and the work of the Church.
As a final aside, let us look at the fruits of the doctrine of sola scriptura.
Protestants all have one Bible (or so they think), but there are currently over 10,000 Protestant denominations--more are born every day--because no one can agree on how to interpret that Bible. St. Paul bemoaned the party spirit that had infiltrated the Corinthian Church (see 1 Corinthians 1:10-16); I wonder what he would have to say about the party spirit that is the hallmark of Protestantism. Again, I cannot stress enough just how much damage the Protestant reformers did to the mission of Christ by wresting the Scriptures from the Church and subjecting them to interpretation apart from the authority of Holy Tradition. Is it possible that the doctrine of sola scriptura is in itself a tradition made by men?