CATHOLIC PROTESTANTScripture Sola & Scriptura SacredTradition
PROTESTANTS CLAIM The Bible is •the only rule of faith where thewhole of Christian truth is found •the only definitive source of divine truth.Anything extraneous to the Bible is simply non-authoritative, unnecessary, or wrong
PROTESTANTS CLAIM For this reason, they are critical of certain doctrines of the Catholic Church, which, according to them,have no basis in Scripture.
Key Bible Verses for Sola Scriptura"These are written that you may believe that Jesus isthe Christ, the Son of God,and that believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31) See context
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of hisdisciples, which are not written in this book.31 But these are written so that you may come to believe thatJesus is the Messiah, the Son ofGod, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
1. If this verse provedanything, it would not provethe theory of sola scripturabut that the Gospel of John is sufficient.2. The verse tells us only that the Bible was composed so we can be helped to believe Jesus is the Messiah.
3. 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 saythe Bible is even necessary to believe in Christ.
"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)
1. To say thatall inspired writing "has its uses" is one thing; to say that only inspired writing need be followed is something else.
BIBLE & APOSTOLIC TRADITION1. The Catholic Church bases her teaching upon one source: The Word of God. This divine revelation is transmitted in two ways: 1. Scripture & 2.Apostolic tradition. Oral transmission of the faith is also considered the word of God (1 Thess. 2:13).
What is Tradition? 1. The term does not refer tolegends or mythological accounts, nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which maychange, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics.
2. Sacred or apostolic tradition consists ofa)the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. b) These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture,but the mode of their transmission is different.
c) They have been handed down andentrusted to the Church. It is necessarythat Christians believe in and follow thistradition as well as the Bible (Luke10:16).d) The truth of the faith has been givenprimarily to the leaders of the Church(Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form thefoundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20).e) The Church has been guided by theHoly Spirit, who protects this teachingfrom corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).
PAUL & TRADITION Paul illustrated what tradition is: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sinsin 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).
Paul instructs us to "stand firm andhold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15).
Paul told Timothy:"[W]hat you have heard from mebefore many witnessesentrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).
The first Christians "devoted themselvesto the apostles’ teaching" (Acts 2:42) -- long before there was a New Testament.
The Early Fathers Of the Church regarded oral tradition (as taught by the Church) to be equal in authority with written tradition (Scripture) because they both camefrom the same God through the same Church.As Paul tells us: “hold fast to the traditions that youwere taught, either by an oral statement or by a letterof ours” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Examples:
ORAL TEACHING & THE CHURCH This oral teachingwas 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).
ORAL TEACHING & THE CHURCH 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).
How we know which scriptures are apostolic —by listening to the magisteriumor teaching authority of Christ’s Church.
Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18) The New Testament itself declares the Church to be "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
“The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in theform of Tradition, has been entrusted tothe living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This means that the task ofinterpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” CCC 85
“Yet this Magisterium is not superiorto the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it withdedication, and expounds it faithfully.All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.” CCC 86
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.