The original blog post is from a brother in Christ, Nick, who runs Nick’s Catholic Blog and posted a piece on why Sola Scriptura is not Scriptural.
He starts off like so:
I believe that 2 Timothy 3:16 is the most important passage for Protestantism, because this passage is indispensable for their foundational doctrine, Sola Scriptura. Few other major doctrines rely so heavily on such meager evidence as this, and if this verse is the ‘strongest’ proof they have to offer, then to remove this ‘option’ from their apologetics toolbag would – without exaggeration – prove disastrous to their entire system. The focus of this article is to address a few short, yet very effective arguments against using 2 Timothy 3:16f in support of Sola Scriptura (SS).
I’ve read this twice, and here are two initial reactions:
1) You told us what “every Scripture” means according to your analysis here. Let’s say I grant that.
You didn’t go on to apply that exegesis that “every individual Scr is sufficient” (since you granted “sufficient” in your endnote) to your position. If as you claim you hold Scr in highest regard, what does that mean? Work it out. A good example would be 1 Chronicles 2:4. Please show how that individual Scripture is sufficient for the 4 aims.
2) You said:
Catholics fully accept the inspiration of all 73 Books of Scripture and hold all Scripture in the highest regard
Surely you meant “SOME Catholics fully accept… while others (ie, liberal Catholics that the RCC has not even approached excommunicating) don’t even get close”.
Why, if you place such a high value on intellectual honesty, would you say such a misleading thing?
I am going to address your first 2 points based on your last comment wondering why nobody seems to present an adequate defense of the “truly orthodox” position (a clue is your unwillingness to consider other arguments), which is found in what the Catholic Church teaches.
1. Why the term sufficient is not…sufficient in terms of Sacred Scripture: Let me first begin by pointing out what you may already know and what may have already been addressed. At the time of Paul’s penning of 2 Timothy, the only scripture referenced was the Old Testament, otherwise known as the Septuagint. Should this error of sola scriptura be carried out to its (il)logical conclusion then the entirety of the New Testament canon could not be considered “inspired” because its own existence is not biblical and I think is even be considered heretical by Jews today.
If we examine the verse in context (not only in the bible but also historically), we note that Timothy was already acquainted “with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15).” Most scholars agree that Paul wrote 2 Timothy sometime around the first half of the first century. This shows that 2 Timothy, as well as other Pauline texts, pre-date the penning of the 4 [G]ospels (the earliest being Mark (AD 65-75), as Paul was executed by Nero sometime between AD 63-67.
As a young man, apparently well versed in the Old Testament, Paul was reminding Timothy that the Septuagint contained all that was necessary to affirm/confirm that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Christ. Early Christian homiletics were built upon the text from the Old Testament all of which point to Our Blessed Lord. An example of this is found in the First Reading of today’s Mass which comes from Acts 13:26-33 wherein Paul states in verse 33, “this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, `Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee.’”
However, 2 Tim 3:15 informs us that Timothy still required an act of faith as the verbal instruction from Paul, as found in 2 Tim 1:13, 2 Tim 2:2. As with any element of instruction, one must have faith not only in their instructor but also in He Who instructed him. This is why Paul reminds Timothy in verse 16 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” yet he does not state “sufficient” or even allude to Scripture as being enough. This is because, as the Church states in CCC108, “the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book’. Christianity is the religion of the ‘Word’ of God, a word that is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living’. If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, ‘open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures.’” This act of the Holy Spirit is the authority to interpret Scripture (and bind and loose, etc.) given to the Church by Jesus Himself (Mt 16:18-19, Mt 18:17-20, 1 Tim 3:15) and guaranteed free from error by the same.
2. Not all Catholics accept the 73 books (or even Church authority for that matter): Let me be blunt here. The Church is a hospital of sinners and not a museum for saints (Dear Abby). Moreover, your second point is total bull. You know that when Nick or anyone else says that “all Catholics” or even yourself if you say “all Protestants” do, say, or believe something – we are speaking in general terms. Yet, because the Church has divine authority Nick is correct in stating that “all Catholics,” I am certain he means faithful Catholics (John 5:24, 14:15, 14:23-24, 15:10, 15:20; Luke 6:47, 10:16 – you get the picture) accept not only the 73 books of the Bible but also the authority of Magisterium that defined them through the infallibility granted her by Christ via the Holy Spirit. Even you as a Protestant hold to what the Church defined as inspired text in the New Testament. Without the Church, you would have no certainty of what is and is not canon. Therefore, if you, as most Protestants I know, consider yourselves to catholic and not Catholic – then I would toss you into the camp with non-faithful Catholics. Because it is under your own false authority, of which Jesus (John 5:39; Mark 13:22; Matt 7:15, 24:11, 24) and Peter (2 Peter 1:20) warned you, that you interpret Scripture; “labor[ing] for the food which perishes (John 6:27)” instead of laboring for food that gives eternal life (John 6:40). That food, which is the “Bread of Life (John 6:22-59)” – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ given up for you on Calvary (Luke 22:19-20, Mark 14:22-24, Matt 26:26-28) – is the one you reject by your doubt and disobedience (1 Peter 2:4-7, Acts 4:11, Luke 20:17, Mark 12:10, Matt 21:42, Psalm 118:22 [1 John 2:19 not originally cited].
If you would like to continue this conversation, you can find me at http://lozeerose.blogspot.com or on Twitter @reallozerose.