The Scriptural Foundation of Sola Scriptura


The challenge has been doled out, the challenge: “Sola Scriptura has no scriptural foundation”…au contraire.

Though usually in my blog I have much to say in this instance I believe I will let the Holy Scriptures speak and leave well-enough alone.

The Bible is God’s own Holy word to us.  The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. (WCF 1. 4)

2 PETER 1:19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 TIM 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work

1 JOHN 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.

1 THESS 2:13 And we also thank God constantlyfor this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men (WCF 1.6)

2 TIM 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

2 THESS 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:

JOHN 6:45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me

1 COR 2:9-12 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:

2 PETER 3:16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

PS. 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

PS. 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.

The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2 Pet. 1:20–21, Acts 15:15–16)

The supreme judge by which all controversies of (the Christian) religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

MATT 22:29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

MATT 22:31  And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God

EPH 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

ACTS 28:25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

So you see, there is all kinds of evidence for Sola Scriptura…you can either accept it…or reject it.




9 thoughts on “The Scriptural Foundation of Sola Scriptura

  1. Hi. 🙂 You can blame Julia of Steak and a Bible for steering this “apostate” your way. 😀

    I was especially curious when Julia praised your scriptural foundation for sola scriptura. I don’t want this to get ugly (as often tends to happen), but I wondered if I could probe the soundness of your foundation a little. If my presence is not welcome here, I will graciously leave.

    Your argument, rather than being a “scriptural foundation,” seems to be founded on the Westminster Confession. Remove the WCF quotations, and the scriptural quotations don’t have any coherence; in fact some don’t even seem all that relevant. If it weren’t for the WCF proclaiming sola scriptura and complaining about “new revelations” and “traditions of the men,” the verses you cite against extrascriptural revelation read only as warnings against false teachers, not as a proclamation of sola scriptura. There is no suggestion anywhere to reject anything not found explicitly in Scripture or to rely solely on Scripture.

    Protestants tend to read all references to the “word of God” in Scripture as a reference to Scripture itself, but in context most of these refer to the word of God proclaimed orally by Jesus and the prophets and Apostles, not necessarily the written word — which is invariably γραφή (graphē). Likewise the “testimony” and “teachings” of God. Remember, too, that in the vocabulary of the New Testament writers, “Scripture” referred to the Old Testament.

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  3. This is a wonderful collection of verses lifting up God’s word to us in Scripture, and the illumination through the Holy Spirit. Key word being “sola” though; there’s nothing in any of those verses that says that “only” scripture is how God speaks to us. These verses shout ‘Scriptura!” but not “sola Scriptura”.

    Indeed several of these verses don’t mention scripture but lift up how God speaks to us directly through the Holy Spirit.

    Indeed, if “only” scripture were the means to God’s revelation, how could the canon of Scripture have been established at the council of Hippo in the first place?

    • well how about this stern warning: and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Rev. 22:19
      The canon of scripture is closed.

    • Furthermore, I think you misunderstand the nature of Sola Scriptura, for the doctrine says that it is Scripture that has the final authority over the church,,,not a man (such as the Pope) Of which there is plenty of evidences as mentioned in the verses above.

      • Indeed, Scripture is God’s perfect word expressed perfectly and its canon is closed, but Holy Spirit-led interpretation and guidance is not closed.

        as we see in Acts 8:
        29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [a]chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

        I think we understand each other; as you yourself say, the Scriptures must be illuminated individually by the Holy Spirit. However “sola” is a very powerful all-encompassing word and it negates interpretation by the Holy Spirit or it would be “mostly Scriptura”.

        So when we say that the Pope has authority in matters of doctrine, we do not mean that he in and of himself has authority because he’s so awesome or anything. Catholics believe that for the preservation of Christ’s Church, the Holy Spirit has granted a special gift to the Pope so that when he interprets Scripture, and expresses that as doctrine, it is never flawed. Similar to how God granted wisdom to Solomon as a gift.

        1 Cor. 13 1-2 sums up the Pope’s gift well I think:
        If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

      • We differentiate between “Scripture” which is God’s perfect word expressed perfectly and “Doctrine” which is God’s perfect word expressed imperfectly.

        And then of course the prompting and illumination by the Holy Spirit granted to all of us.

        and then there are the very rare personal “revelations” lower-case “r” in the form of visions, which is different from the “Revelation” upper-case “R” of God and His plan in Scripture.

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