“We once found a male who was over 7 feet tall who was far too tall to fit into the shaft, so they bent him in half and tossed him in,” Muhlestein said.
Oh yea… there is no such things as giants. Move along… nothing to see here.
And how did they come up with it being 1500 years old? Why not 3,400 years old?
 November 5, 2014 at 11:37am
Woohoo! Congratulations Mia! Now go to Washington with the other lovely Republican ladies and make those boys squeal!
 November 5, 2014 at 11:34am
I am so happy we took the Senate away from the Democrats. Take that you frackin’ progressive, socialistic, tyrannical lunatics! How does that slap down vote taste?
 November 5, 2014 at 11:31am
What does Ron Paul want us to do?
Democrats are just as much frackin’ war mongers as the Republicans (As they have proven the last 6 years and throughout our history). And the Democrats are worse because they want to force their tyrannical, progressive, socialistic political agenda on the rest of the world as well as the American people.
Democrats are the dirty side of the same coin of politicians that are running our country into the ground. As individual voters we have very little power to change it, and the way things are going with amnesty, voter fraud, and election corruption we are even losing the only thing that can make any difference. America’s days are numbered… but with the Republicans perhaps we’ve added a day or two to the expiration date.
Clearly… America is in trouble because of the liberal, progressive America hating Democrats who want to destroy our great country. They want everyone to tolerate them, but they are the most intolerant, closed minded people I have ever seen in my life. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Big government and socialism don’t work. Ronald Reagan was correct.
November 5, 2014 at 11:14am
The doctrine of Purgatory is another justification for our 497 years of protest against the Catholic Church. Sola Scriptura! Scripture alone. Down with human tradition and man-made teachings.
True. There is one Catholic Church and 33,000 Protestant sects.
The "sola scriptura" controversy is a squabble within and between two sects of the catholic "church".
But I do not like nor appreciate catholics claiming to be Christians. That is blasphemy against God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. The catholic "church" made their choice to reject God and His Word when they began trying to decrease God and increase themselves. They are no longer Christians - they are heretics who are of the world.
Sorry to burst your bubble...Sola Scriptura is not biblical. It is a human tradition and teaching amongst Protestants.
I am sorry to break it to you but Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) is a man-made tradition. That is about 497 years old.
One usually finds that Protestants often assume particular traditions of their own yet are unwilling to acknowledge them as such. Concerning Sola Scriptura, Protestants often do not understand the history behind the reformed doctrine. In actual practice what they do is much closer to Solo Scriptura because it is automatically defined against "what those Catholics do."
Sola scriptura is dead, or at least is undead, a zombie still stalking the darkened hallways of Protestantism. Many well-meaning Protestant Christians don’t see the zombie-dogma for what it is; instead, they choose to see it as a being of light. Dave Armstrong has returned to blow the old decrepit sola scriptura monsters one at a time in his latest work, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura.
Let’s recall the definition of the sola scriptura dogma – yes, it is a dogma – as understood by Norman Geisler, a recognized Protestant authority Dave quotes in his work:
By sola scriptura orthodox Protestants mean that Scripture alone is the primary and absolute source of authority, the final court of appeal, for all doctrine and practice (faith and morals)… (p.16)
Geisler, and other authorities Dave quotes, further explain that other authorities exist, but that these are of secondary importance. Geisler also defends what he calls the perspicuity of Holy Writ, which means that anyone can understand the basic truths of Scripture: the plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things, Geisler states. (p.17). As a true analyst, Dave separated the sola scriptura dogma into its constituents claims, found out its contents, examined its individual parts, and studied the structure of sola scriptura as whole. He found them defective and insufficient to expound and explain the full spectrum of Christian claims.
Dave kills the sola scriptura zombie by selecting 100 verses from Scripture contradicting this central Protestant claim. I guess he selected 100 verses because the number “100” gives the reader a sense of exhaustive answer and completion, not because there are only 100 verses that should make all sincere Protestant Christian at least uncomfortable with the teaching. In fact, Dave is the author of another related work, 501 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura: Is the Bible the Only Infallible Authority?, which is useful if you need another 401 arguments to kill the sola scriptura zombie dead.
Sola scriptura is Latin for “scripture alone” and is a “doctrine” of many Protestant faith communities. The word “doctrine” is placed in inverted commas because it is not a formal doctrine as the Catholic Church understands or defines it; it has a number of differing interpretations and applications among the myriad Protestant denominations. Very few Protestant communities agree on precisely what the doctrine means, but there is a broad consensus of its meaning.
Sola scriptura refers to the notion that the Bible alone is the sole source of authority for Christians and the sole source of Christian doctrine. It also includes, inevitably, the notion that the Bible is self-authenticating as inspired and that the doctrines obtained by the sola scriptura approach are repeatable and obvious.
It is these two inevitable features, and some others, which we will concentrate on when refuting sola scriptura.
The Bible doesn't say it
One of the major arguments against sola scriptura is that the Bible itself does not say anywhere in its 73 books that it is totally sufficient for Christians. If the Bible were totally sufficient then all the information regarding Christianity (including what information should be used to determine what is Christianity) should be in the Bible. But we do not find this information anywhere in the Bible – there are only one logical conclusion – the Bible is not the sole source of Christian teaching.
“Ah, but it does!”
Many Protestants will eagerly quote a number of Scripture passages which seem to give the impression that the Bible is the sole rule of faith – but these passages do not actually say that. The most commonly quoted is II Timothy 3:16-17; “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be equipped, prepared for every good work”. On the face of it this verse can seem to suggest that sola scriptura is a valid argument – but it is not.
The word used is “profitable”, not “sufficient”. It is certainly true that reading the Scriptures can lead to a man being “prepared for every good work” - but this does not mean that just the Scriptures are needed.
The most that this verse says is that the Scriptures are useful and that they are possibly essential – but that is not the same thing as sufficient. This is another example of Protestant “Either / Or” theology.
In addition, few Protestants read these verses in context – when the passage II Timothy 3:14-17 is read it is clear that Saint Paul is reminding Timothy to remember what he learned and from who he learned it, and also to stick to the Scriptures which he “knew from childhood”.
This passage shows two things – firstly, Paul is advocating the following of Tradition. And, secondly, Paul is revealing what he means by “Scriptures” - he means the Old Testament, the Seputagint as it was known. Timothy is urged to read the Scriptures which he has known all his life – the New Testament did not exist when Timothy was a child, the only Scriptures were the Jewish Scriptures. So, if this verse shows sola scriptura it in fact shows sola Old Testament – the New Testament should be abandoned. But, if we abandoned the New Testament, we wouldn't have this verse – so we wouldn't need to abandon the New Testament!
Another verse often cited is John 20:31 which says why that book was written – but saying why something was written is not the same as saying it is sufficient and nothing else is needed. For example, a hammer exists to help with carpentry – but a hammer is not sufficient for carpentry.
The Scriptures were written “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16) and this is why we read them. But they are not sufficient, nor should they ever be thought of in that way.
Protestants may quote a number of other verses from the Bible – pretty much any one which mentions Scripture and writing – and attempt to say that this verse defends sola scriptura. In every case the verses do not – there are literally no verses which defend sola scriptura. The Catholic apologist should look at verses very carefully, always reading the Bible as it is supposed to be read, and will then be able to determine what the verse actually means.
Historical arguments against sola scriptura
The history of the Bible shows, very clearly, that the Church was the organization who made the Bible and that the Church is older than the Bible. The Bible itself shows that there were Christians before a word of the New Testament was written – the whole of the book of Acts, for example, describes the early life of the Church from the Ascension of Jesus onwards. There is no doubt whatsoever that these people were Christians.
However, these people cannot have had a copy of the New Testament – the last book of the New Testament was written around 100 AD. Before that date no Christian could have had a complete “Bible” as we understand it today.
. If the Bible is the “sole source of Christian teaching and knowledge” as sola scriptura claims, how can these people have been Christians? Peter, Paul, James, John and Andrew never saw a complete modern Bible – what they had was the Old Testament Scriptures and the preaching and Tradition of the Church.
Arguments against sola scriptura stemming from Bible ownership
It is a simple truth that not all Christians have a Bible – in many places in the world not everyone can read, and certainly not everyone can afford a Bible. Historically, this was certainly the case – before the advent of cheap printing Bibles were very expensive (the equivalent of $100,000 in today's money!) and few people had them. Is it the case that these people were not Christians?
The claim that Christianity is “the Bible and nothing but the Bible” is a very modern, privileged Western notion – based on the ease of access to the Bible, affluence and literacy. Many Protestants simply have no idea about the historical facts of Christianity and how – for centuries – the Bible simply was not read by the common man because he could not afford to buy one or because he could not read.
Arguments against sola scriptura stemming from the Biblical canon
As mentioned in the articles concerning the history of the Bible and the deuterocanonical books, the Catholic Church determined which books belonged in Sacred Scripture.
Even if the Protestant does not accept this, if sola scriptura is true then the list of which books belong in the Bible is of vital importance. Without this list, the Christian could never be sure if he has all the books that contain the truth of Christianity, of indeed if he has any books which he should not have. But this list – however it was arrived at – is not part of the Bible. There is no list of inspired books in the Bible, and even if there were such a list, how could it be proven this list itself is correct? In all cases an external authority is needed to verify the Bible as accurate and inspired – that authority is the Church.
Arguments against sola scriptura stemming from Protestant disagreements
Not all Protesants agree with the doctrine of sola scriptura, although many do. But virtually no Protestants agree with each other on what the Bible means – this is why there are over 35,000 different denominations of Protestants, each with their own interpretation of the Bible.
If sola scriptura is true then it must be possible to read the same passage of the Bible and always get the same conclusion concerning what the appropriate teaching is. There are some teachings in the Bible which are explicit and reasonably clear – for example “Thou shalt not kill” in Deuteronomy 5:17 – but there are many verses which are much less clear.
The inclusion of “water” in John 3:5 is interpreted by some Christians as a teaching on baptism, and by others as a reference to the amniotic fluid of birth.
If sola scriptura were true, would not the whole Bible be very clear and easy to understand? Would not the Scriptures be written in plain and simple language, and in fact all be written as a form of Catechism containing many “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots”.
But this is not what we see – Saint Peter himself says that the Bible can be hard to understand in II Peter 3:16. Because different Christians have different interpretations of the Bible it cannot be self authenticating. This means that it must have an external source of authority in order to be correctly interpreted. That source of authority is the authority which wrote and assembled the Bible; she is the authoritative Catholic Church.
Arguments against sola scriptura from simple logic and reason
The Bible is a book – it is an inspired and holy book, but it is still a book. Books are made up of words, not meanings. A meaning only exists when an intelligent, thinking being reads the words and interprets what they might mean. For example, the words “The cat is blue” have no meaning until someone reads them and interprets them to mean that there is an animal of a particular sort which has fur which is a particular color.
But those words could be interpreted in a number of ways – the word “cat” might mean a little housecat, or possibly a much larger cat like a panther or cougar. The word “cat” could even be slang – some people call their friends and associates “cats”, for example. The word “blue” could refer to a color of fur, but could also mean something else – it might mean the cat is unhappy, for example.
When we ask someone “What does the book say?” we do not always want them to simply quote the words to us – we want them to tell us what the words mean. That is a person's interpretation. If we are not given a person's interpretation, we have to provide our own – or choose someone else's. We have no way of reading a book without an interpretation – it is just impossible.
That interpretation is external to the book – and is external to the Bible. As Christians we can either choose to go with out own interpretation (which is wrong as is made clear in II Peter 1:20) or we can choose someone else's. The only person who has the authority to determine what is the correct interpretation of Scripture is the Catholic Church.
Arguments against sola scriptura from the Bible itself
Of course, those who believe in sola scriptura may not be impressed by any argument which uses anything other than the Bible as a source – fortunately, in addition to not supporting sola scriptura, the Bible is also dismissive of it.
I Corinthians 11:2, II Thessalonians 2:15 and 3:16 all give explicit instructions to follow Traditions which were passed on. These are clearly oral Traditions as well as those in letters or other Scriptures. A number of non-Catholics cite verses such as Matthew 15:3, Mark 7:9 and Colossians 2:8 which condemn tradition – but this refers to the man-made traditions which are detrimental to the truth of Christianity. The Bible tells us to follow the apostolic Traditions which are handed on from Jesus Christ. These Traditions are part of revelation – and some of them made their way into Sacred Scripture (as is said in Luke 1:1-4).
It is clear from John 21:25 that the Bible does not record everything that Jesus said and did. In Acts 20:35 Paul records a saying of Christ's not found anywhere in the Gospels – where did he get this from if he did not get it from a source outside the Bible (such as being told it by one of the apostles)? Why would he refer to this saying if he did not expect his readers to accept the fact that sayings of Christ not recorded in the Gospels can be used (the very opposite of sola scriptura)? In Matthew 28:20 Christ commands us to obey all His commands – how can we obey all His commands without going outside the Bible if not everything He taught is in the Bible?
The Bible is full of examples of preaching being the foundation of the Christian faith – II Timothy 1:13, 2:2, I Peter 1:25, Romans 10:17, I Corinthians 15:1-2 and Mark 16:15.
All of these are clear verses which show that the first proclamation of Christ was oral – it was preaching, preached by the Church and handed on as Traditions. Eventually, some of that preaching was written down and formed the Bible – but the core of the Christian faith has never been a book. It has been the word which will never pass away (Mark 13:31) – it is made very clear that that word is the word preached (I Peter 1:25).
A Distinction Without A Difference – Solo or Sola?
A modern phenomena is the claim among certain Protestants that sola scriptura does not mean “scripture alone”, but rather it means the Bible is the only infallible authority, but there are other authorities (such as the body of believers) which are authoritative, but not infallibly so. These individuals claim sola scriptura recognizes these other authorities, but solo scriptura does not. This is a spurious and, frankly, ridiculous argument for several reasons.
Firstly, solo scriptura is simply bad Latin, and was never used by the Reformers. It is cod-Latin at best; the correct word is sola. There is nothing in the word “sola” which implies only the Bible has a particular charism or quality; the word means the Bible stands alone, without anything else.
Secondly, none of the Reformers taught anything like the modern interpretation of sola scriptura – what they taught was what the modern individuals call solo scriptura, and which they called sola scriptura.
It is a lie to claim Luther et al taught the modern notion of sola scriptura, and not the modern solo scriptura.
Thirdly, sola and solo scriptura are completely identical. If an authority is not authoritative, then what is the point of it? If it can be disregarded, then what weight does it carry? The answer is it carries none – which is precisely the claim of sola scriptura!
As mentioned above, the Bible is a book and must be interpreted – and that interpretation is outside of the Bible. The modern definition of sola scriptura claims these interpretations are not infallible – which means anyone can make one, and no-one else's has to treated with respect unless the person wishes to agree with it. That is, ultimately, precisely the same as the traditional, and correct, definition of sola scriptura.
The Bible contains much information on Sacred Tradition:
1 Corinthians 11:2 “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth OR by letter”
2 Thessalonians 3:6 “Now we command you brethren, in the name our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the traditions that you received from us”
2 Peter 2:21 “For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
When Paul spoke of receiving and delivering such tradition, he gave no indication that they were fallible or that he questioned any of them because they came through oral transmission rather than written word. He appears to take for granted that which many Protestants have the hardest time grasping and accepting.
The related Greek words paradidomi and paralombano are usually redered, repectively, as (traditions) “delivered” (Luke 1:1-2; Rom 6:17, 1 Cor 11:2, 23; 15:3; Pet 2:21; Jude 3) and “received” (1 Cor 11:23; 15:1-3; Gal 1:9, 12: 1 Thes 2:13)
The bottom (biblical) line is not “tradition versus no tradition”, but rather “true, apostolic tradition versus false tradition of men.” The Bible often expressly distinguishes between the two (false tradition is italicized/true tradition bolded)
Matthew 15:3 “He answered them, And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”
Mathew 15:6 “So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God”
Matthew 15:9 “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”
Sola Scriptura is a man made lie
Could this “Bible Only” church have existed in the first century (AD 0-100)?
Since most of the books had not been written until the latter half of the first century, we’ll have to go with NO.
How about the 2nd, 3rd or 4th centuries (AD 101-400)? The books were written, but so were dozens of other books too. The Church, which we’ve already established predates the Bible, had not yet declared which books made up the NT. And just as important, which did not. Once again no “Bible Only” churches during this time frame.
Let’s jump ahead a few years. AD 401 – 1500. This is the time between the authentication on the books of the Bible and the movable type printing press. There were copies of the Bible at this time; however the process was very slow. It took a monk more than 2 years to hand copy each Bible. The cost for this hand written copy was approximately 3 years wages. Combine that with the fact that 90% of the population was illiterate and you once again are forced to come to the conclusion that a “Bible Only” church would not have been possible at this time.
How about AD 1501-to 1900. Could we have a “Bible Only” church at this time? Finally, it is conceivable to even make the argument. But, we have problems. Which Bible? Are we to stick with the Catholic Bible which has been used for a century and a half, or are we to use the re-writes?
So that brings us to our current time period. This is when the notion of a “Bible Only” church really began to take off. That is why we have 35,000+ Christian denominations and Non-denominations who all claim to read the same Bible yet all disagree with one another over the interpretation.
That Bible only dogma
You don't even know what "Tradition" is.....see that I used a capital "T". You have no idea what "Tradition" is.
"Tradition", with a capital "T", is not "man-made teachings". Tradition was given to us by Christ Himself. It is the truth of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, which entered the world through His Apostles, primarily, orally. The Bible didn't exist for centuries in the beginning of the faith. It spread by Apostolic Tradition, orally.
You don't even know what you're talking about.
What is it?
Bible Alone or Bible plus Tradition?
1 Cor 11:2 – hold fast to traditions I handed on to you
2 Thes 2:15 – hold fast to traditions, whether oral or by letter
2 Thess 3:6 – shun those acting not according to tradition
Jn 21:25 – not everything Jesus said is recorded in Scripture
Mk 13:31 – heaven & earth shall pass away, but my word won’t
Acts 20:35 – Paul records a saying of Jesus not found in gospels
2 Tim 1:13 – follow my sound words; guard the truth
2 Tim 2:2 – what you heard entrust to faithful men
2 Pet 1:20 – no prophecy is a matter of private interpretation
2 Pet 3:15-16 – Paul’s letter can be difficult to grasp & interpret
1 Peter 1:25 – God’s eternal word = word preached to you
Rom 10:17 – faith comes from what is heard
1 Cor 15:1-2 – being saved if you hold fast to the word I preached
Mk 16:15 – go to whole world, proclaim gospel to every creature
Mt 23:2-3 – chair of Moses; observe whatever they tell you
St Athanasius (AD 360) “let us note that the very tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian…” Four Letters to Serapion of Thmius 1,28.
Origen (AD230) “ The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the Apostles, and remains in the Churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.” Fundamental Doctrines 1, preface, 2.
Protestants will take these out of context
Mt 15:3 – break commandment of God for your tradition
Mk 7:9 – set aside God’s commandment to uphold tradition
Col 2:8 – seductive philosophy according to human tradition
And completely overlook:
1 Cor 11: - Commends them for following apostolic tradition
2 Thes 2:15 – commands them to keep traditions
2 Thess 3:6 – shun those acting not according to tradition
Scripture and Tradition
Protestants claim the Bible is the only rule of faith, meaning that it contains all of the material one needs for theology and that this material is sufficiently clear that one does not need apostolic tradition or the Church’s magisterium (teaching authority) to help one understand it. In the Protestant view, the whole of Christian truth is found within the Bible’s pages. Anything extraneous to the Bible is simply non-authoritative, unnecessary, or wrong—and may well hinder one in coming to God.
Catholics, on the other hand, recognize that the Bible does not endorse this view and that, in fact, it is repudiated in Scripture. The true "rule of faith"—as expressed in the Bible itself—is Scripture plus apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly.
In the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum (Latin: "The Word of God"), the relationship between Tradition and Scripture is explained: "Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
"Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed.
Therefore both sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence."
But Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants, who place their confidence in Martin Luther’s theory of sola scriptura (Latin: "Scripture alone"), will usually argue for their position by citing a couple of key verses. The first is this: "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). The other is this: "All Scripture is
inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be equipped, prepared for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16–17). According to these Protestants, these verses demonstrate the reality of sola scriptura (the "Bible only" theory).
Not so, reply Catholics. First, the verse from John refers to the things written in that book (read it with John 20:30, the verse immediately before it to see the context of the statement in question). If this verse proved anything, it would not prove the theory of sola scriptura but that the Gospel of John is sufficient.
Second, the verse from John’s Gospel tells us only that the Bible was composed so we can be helped to believe Jesus is the Messiah. It does not say the Bible is all we need for salvation, much less that the Bible is all we need for theology; nor does it say the Bible is even necessary to believe in Christ.
After all, the earliest Christians had no New Testament to which they could appeal; they learned from oral, rather than written, instruction. Until relatively recent times, the Bible was inaccessible to most people, either because they could not read or because the printing press had not been invented. All these people learned from oral instruction, passed down, generation to generation, by the Church.
Much the same can be said about 2 Timothy 3:16-17. To say that all inspired writing "has its uses" is one thing; to say that only inspired writing need be followed is something else. Besides, there is a telling argument against claims of Evangelical and Fundamentalist Protestants. John Henry Newman explained it in an 1884 essay entitled "Inspiration in its Relation to Revelation."
He wrote: "It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the sacred Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although sacred Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still it is not said to be sufficient. The Apostle [Paul] requires the aid of Tradition (2 Thess. 2:15). Moreover, the Apostle here refers to the scriptures which Timothy was taught in his infancy.
"Now, a good part of the New Testament was not written in his boyhood: Some of the Catholic epistles were not written even when Paul wrote this, and none of the books of the New Testament were then placed on the canon of the Scripture books. He refers, then, to the scriptures of the Old Testament, and, if the argument from this passage proved anything, it would prove too much, viz., that the scriptures of the New Testament were not necessary for a rule of faith."
Furthermore, Protestants typically read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context. When read in the context of the surrounding passages, one discovers that Paul’s reference to Scripture is only part of his exhortation that Timothy take as his guide Tradition and Scripture. The two verses immediately before it state: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14–15).
Paul tells Timothy to continue in what he has learned for two reasons: first, because he knows from whom he has learned it—Paul himself—and second, because he has been educated in the scriptures. The first of these is a direct appeal to apostolic tradition, the oral teaching which the apostle Paul had given Timothy. So Protestants must take 2 Timothy 3:16-17 out of context to arrive at the theory of sola scriptura.
But when the passage is read in context, it becomes clear that it is teaching the importance of apostolic tradition!
The Bible denies that it is sufficient as the complete rule of faith. Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2). He instructs us to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).
This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).
And how was this to be done? By preaching, by oral instruction: "So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). The Church would always be the living teacher. It is a mistake to limit "Christ’s word" to the written word only or to suggest that all his teachings were reduced to writing. The Bible nowhere supports either notion.
Further, it is clear that the oral teaching of Christ would last until the end of time. "’But the word of the Lord abides for ever.’ That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Pet. 1:25).
Note that the word has been "preached"—that is, communicated orally. This would endure. It would not be
supplanted by a written record like the Bible (supplemented, yes, but not supplanted), and would continue to have its own authority.
This is made clear when the apostle Paul tells Timothy: "[W]hat you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Here we see the first few links in the chain of apostolic tradition that has been passed down intact from the apostles to our own day. Paul instructed Timothy to pass on the oral teachings (traditions) that he had received from the apostle. He was to give these to men who would be able to teach others, thus perpetuating the chain. Paul gave this instruction not long before his death (2 Tim. 4:6–8), as a reminder to Timothy of how he should conduct his ministry.
What is Tradition?
In this discussion it is important to keep in mind what the Catholic Church means by tradition. The term does not refer to legends or mythological accounts, nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which may change, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics. Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching.
These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.
They have been handed down and entrusted to the Churchs. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).
Handing on the faith
Paul illustrated what tradition is: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures. . . . Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed" (1 Cor. 15:3,11). The apostle praised those who followed Tradition: "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2)
The first Christians "devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching" (Acts 2:42) long before there was a New Testament. From the very beginning, the fullness of Christian teaching was found in the Church as the living embodiment of Christ, not in a book. The teaching Church, with its oral, apostolic tradition, was authoritative. Paul himself gives a quotation from Jesus that was handed down orally to him: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35)
This saying is not recorded in the Gospels and must have been passed on to Paul. Indeed, even the Gospels themselves are oral tradition which has been written down (Luke 1:1–4). What’s more, Paul does not quote Jesus only. He also quotes from early Christian hymns, as in Ephesians 5:14. These and other things have been given to Christians "through the Lord Jesus" (1 Thess. 4:2).
Fundamentalists say Jesus condemned tradition. They note that Jesus said, "And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?" (Matt. 15:3). Paul warned, "See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ" (Col. 2:8). But these verses merely condemn erroneous human traditions, not truths which were handed down orally and entrusted to the Church by the apostles. These latter truths are part of what is known as apostolic tradition, which is to be distinguished from human traditions or customs.
"Commandments of men"
Consider Matthew 15:6–9, which Fundamentalists and Evangelicals often use to defend their position: "So by these traditions of yours you have made God’s laws ineffectual. You hypocrites, it was a true prophecy that Isaiah made of you, when he said, ‘This people does me honor with its lips, but its heart is far from me. Their worship is in vain, for the doctrines they teach are the commandments of men.’"
Look closely at what Jesus said.
He was not condemning all traditions. He condemned only those that made God’s word void. In this case, it was a matter of the Pharisees feigning the dedication of their goods to the Temple so they could avoid using them to support their aged parents. By doing this, they dodged the commandment to "Honor your father and your mother" (Ex. 20:12).
Elsewhere, Jesus instructed his followers to abide by traditions that are not contrary to God’s commandments. "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice" (Matt. 23:2–3).
What Fundamentalists and Evangelicals often do, unfortunately, is see the word "tradition" in Matthew 15:3 or Colossians 2:8 or elsewhere and conclude that anything termed a "tradition" is to be rejected. They forget that the term is used in a different sense, as in 1 Corinthians 11:2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:15, to describe what should be believed. Jesus did not condemn all traditions; he condemned only erroneous traditions, whether doctrines or practices, that undermined Christian truths. The rest, as the apostles taught, were to be obeyed. Paul commanded the Thessalonians to adhere to all the traditions he had given them, whether oral or written.
The indefectible Church
The task is to determine what constitutes authentic tradition. How can we know which traditions are apostolic and which are merely human? The answer is the same as how we know which scriptures are apostolic and which are merely human—by listening to the magisterium or teaching authority of Christ’s Church. Without the Catholic Church’s teaching authority, we would not know with certainty which purported books of Scripture are authentic. If the Church revealed to us the canon of Scripture, it can also reveal to us the "canon of Tradition" by establishing which traditions have been passed down from the apostles. After all, Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18) and the New Testament itself declares the Church to be "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
 July 24, 2014 at 1:34pm
The UN? A broken and pointless organization. They hate Jews and the USA. The UN can GTFO.
 July 10, 2014 at 9:39am
Stop giving all our damn money away to foreign countries and people who hate us. Especially countries that imprison our citizens like this.
 July 10, 2014 at 9:37am
I say it is time for our military to come home from abroad, close, secure our borders, and mount a rescue mission.
 July 8, 2014 at 8:16am
Never shopped at Cosco, and I never will.
 May 7, 2014 at 11:46am
Wow… really? We’ve had a country with rule of law and self control for 226 years since the Constitution of the United States was ratified.
What a ridiculous position. I’ll obviously not be voting for someone that makes that kind of idiotic statement.
Was about to post the exact same sentiment on that statement which immediately caught my eye.
I feel safe predicting that killary won't run if she feels comfortable making non sequiturs like that.
The rule of law is clearly stated in the constitution so which rule of law could she be referring to?
Were you planning on voting for her before she made that statement? It really shouldn't surprise anyone that her stance is against gun ownership. She's a progressive liberal who hates a free society, pushes for government control of everything, and would sooner see this country burn than help it to succeed.
 April 16, 2014 at 9:25am
No… repent of your sin and believe in Jesus. Call on the name of the Lord to be saved from the coming wrath.
April 15, 2014 at 2:43pm
This is only one sign among many that are currently taking place pointing to something big on the horizon. This link (http://holdtl.org/teaching-2/signs-of-the-end-of-the-age/) talks about 50 signs that are happening at the same time. Jesus commanded us to watch, not stick our heads in the sand and ignore what is going on.
“So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” – Jesus (Matthew 24:33)
I don't know about the rest of the Forum but my legs started shaking and a pool of lemonade is on the floor. Do I click my heels three times like Dorothy Gale from Kansas or react like Step-N-Fetch-It and say, "I ain't afraid of no ghosts?"
April 2, 2014 at 11:19am
This guy needed to be arrested and charged for his bad behavior. No doubt.
Though I think the way McDonald’s designed their stupid drive thrus are terrible. I’ve seen people get mad at one another at another location. Basically the design leaves it in the drivers’ hands to be courteous and patient with other customers as “Lines 1 & 2 merge.”
Of course there are going to be fights break out. McDonalds… fix your design and fire whatever management came up with that “brilliant” idea.
March 22, 2014 at 1:12pm
Genesis 7:7, “So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.”
I’ve heard that two of Noah’s sons don’t have wives in the film. If they can’t even get that right, what is the point of making a movie from the Biblical story? So disappointing.
March 20, 2014 at 10:27am
The people are unhappy, and all you established Democrats and Republicans are going down. You’ve all driven our country into the ground, and the people are going to elect people to fix it. No matter how much you work against us.
Down with elected officials who have brought us to the edge of disaster!
 March 10, 2014 at 1:26pm
Those anti-israeli protestors are a disgrace to Ireland. There are fools in every country. One day the anti-semites will answer to God for the way they have treated Israel, taking their land, and dividing it up among themselves.
We are fools in the west for letting anti-semitic muslims immigrate to our countries and attend our universities.
February 24, 2014 at 1:28pm
So if God let the snake strike each and every one of them and they died, it is their own fault.
February 24, 2014 at 1:27pm
Jesus said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4:12b).