Sola Scriptura, the idea that the Bible is our sole source for spiritual truth, is a fine idea, not actually applied by anyone ever.
We should uphold Sola Scriptura as our aim, yet honestly admit that much of our doctrine is based on other stuff.
In fact, many who hold to Sola Scriptura have never reada the whola thinga. How, pray tell, do you claim to base all your doctrine on a book you’ve never read, let alone endeavored to understand?
“My doctrine is based on the Bible,” say all manner of people who disagree with each other on basic doctrines.
How can this be true? Is the Bible this open for interpretation? Is it that confusing? Or are people using other things to decide what they believe?
Peter does say the scriptures contain many things hard to be understood. Above that, people twist them all out of proportion. (You can read Peter’s take on that here.)
The Bible does need to be interpreted, but the authors had one intent in mind and it would serve us well to discover that.
But that’s hard. So we fall back on other authorities while still maintaining the veneer that we hold Sola Scriptura.
Check out these definitions of Sola Scriptura that come right out and say Sola Scriptura isn’t actually a thing other than in word.
By Sola Scriptura Protestants mean that Scripture alone is the primary and absolute source for all doctrine and practice (faith and morals).
There is one word in there that shoots this whole definition to pieces. Did you catch it? The word is “primary.” Primary implies secondary. Primary means there are other sources. It just does. Words mean things. Something cannot be primary and absolute at the same time. They cancel each other out. So, this is either an incredibly accurate definition of Sola Scriptura based on practice, or it’s bad writing.
Get a load of this definition I saw. This one cracked me up
For the Reformers, “Scripture alone” did not mean “Scripture all by itself.” Rather, Scripture was “alone” as the only unquestionable religious authority, not the only religious authority.
Oh, that’s too much, you guys are killing me. Sola doesn’t mean Sola. Again this is either a really honest definition recognizing reality, or it’s bad writing. I think it’s actually being honest. They know Sola Scriptura is just words without meaning, because they just denied the meaning with their words.
Again, Sola Scriptura is a nice idea, but no one does it. There are some who at least admit as much.
We don’t like Sola Scriptura because it puts the Bible in the hands of the reader, which is out of our control, and who knows what they will come up with.
If you let people find out what the Bible says, they’ll probably disagree with you and cause problems. So it’s best to leave the door open for other authorities so you can smash those who veer out of the way. Welcome to Church History.
Sola Scriptura: it’s a nice idea that no one does. Feel free to be the first.