Sola scriptura, meaning scripture alone, originated as a doctrinal position of Martin Luther’s movement away from and out of the Catholic Church. As a Christian theological position, sola scriptura stands opposed to the elevation of authority above that of God’s word. The Catholic Church recognizes tradition equal to scripture for authority, along with the words of the Pope.
Besides tradition, there can be other usurpers to a sola scriptura position. For example, promoting ‘special revelation,’ charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, dreams, or visions above sola scriptura are popular “authorities” that might be held up today.
Sola scriptura rejects any original infallible authority, other than the Bible. In this view, all secondary authority is derived from the authority of the scriptures and is therefore subject to reform when compared to the teaching of the Bible. Church councils, preachers, biblical commentators, private revelation, or even a message allegedly from an angel or an apostle are not an original authority alongside the Bible in the sola scriptura approach.
HowScriptureanswers "Is sola scriptura (scripture alone) enough?"
God has only ever authorized sola scriptura (scripture alone)1,2,5,6,7,8,10,11 and it is all we see people practicing3,6,7,8,9. We are commanded not to go beyond what is written1,5,8,11, and Scripture points out some threats: human traditions10, human philosophies/reason/thinking4, and generally just going beyond what is written1,5,8,11.
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