Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Bible, Tradition, Canon, and Sola Scriptura (Index Page for Dave Armstrong)


Table of Contents:

I. Relationship of the Bible to the Church
II. Tradition (Apostolic)
III. Sola Scriptura (Scripture as the Only Infallible Authority)
IV. Private Judgment
V. Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture
VI. Material and Formal Sufficiency of Scripture
VII. The Canon of Scripture
VIII. Deuterocanonical Books (So-Called "Apocrypha")
IX. Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties

I. Relationship of the Bible to the Church

Apostolic Succession Based on Biblical Data / Supposed "Prooftexting" and Protestant Reluctance to Discuss Bible Text Interpretations With Catholics



Be sure to patronize your local Catholic bookstores. They can order any book of mine for you.

II. Tradition (Apostolic)

Why We Need More Than the Bible (my talk on Catholic Answers Live: 10-10-03. Real Audio file)

 “Tradition” Is Not Always a Bad Word! It Only is Sometimes [written specifically for children: 12 or younger; article for Seton Magazine (link) ]



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III. Sola Scriptura

Biblia y TradiciĆ³n: Mantened la TradiciĆ³n . . . [Bible and Tradition: "Maintain the traditions . . ."]

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part One (Definitions and Introduction)

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part Two

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part Three (Dual-Source Theory)

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part Four (Tradition and Apostolic Succession)

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part Five (The Canon)

Reply to C. Michael Patton on Sola Scriptura, Part Six (Divisions)

Lively Debate on Sola Scriptura and the Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture With Two Protestants in the CARM Chat Room

Biblical Proof of Church Infallibility and Disproof of Sola Scriptura in One Bible Verse (1 Timothy 3:15) -- Reinforced by Closely Related Cross-References

Do I Know and Understand the Definition of Sola Scriptura (Let's Have Some Fun With This One)?

The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:6-30) vs. Sola Scriptura and James White (vs. James White) 

Reply to Jason Engwer's Catholic But Not Roman Catholic Series on the Church Fathers: Sola Scriptura (An In-Depth Analysis of Ten Church Fathers' Views Pertaining to the Rule of Faith) (+ Part Two) (vs. Jason Engwer)

Dialogue on Sola Scriptura and the Church Fathers (+ Part Two) (vs. Jason Engwer)

Dialogue with Two Protestants on the Irrational, Unbiblical Protestant Demand for Multiple, Explicit Scriptural Prooftexts for Every Doctrine (Especially Marian Doctrine): The Virgin Birth as a Difficulty for This View

The Bereans and "Searching the Scriptures": Biblical Proofs of the Man-Made Protestant Tradition of Sola Scriptura?

IV. Private Judgment

Catholic vs. Protestant Conceptions of the Meaning and Consequences of Private Judgment (Including Lengthy Citations From Reformed Protestants Arthur W. Pink, Archibald Bruce, and Charles Hodge, Four Protestant Confessions, and Catholic John Henry Newman)

[ePUB 4.99] [MOBI 4.99] [PDF 1.99]  [KINDLE: 6.99] [NOOK: 6.99] [iTUNES: 6.99]
 V. Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture

"Me, My Bible, and the Holy Spirit" (The Relationship of the Church to the Judgment of Individuals in the Matter of Authoritative Biblical Interpretation. Does the Church Require a Particular Meaning for Each Passage?)

Protestants Say That the Bible is "Clear" and "Self-Interpreting" (i.e., No Necessity for Church or Tradition). Yet They Can't Agree on a Million Things [Facebook discussion, 10 Feb. 2014]

VI. Material and Formal Sufficiency of Scripture

VII. The Canon of Scripture

VIII. Deuterocanonical Books (So-Called "Apocrypha")


Reply Concerning the Canonicity of the So-Called "Apocrypha" (vs. Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon)

IX. Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties

[see also related papers in the Atheist and Agnostic section]

Master List / Resources

Did Paul and Peter Disobey Jesus and Risk Hellfire (Calling Folks "Fools")? Did Jesus Contradict Himself? Or Do Proverbs and Hyperbolic Utterances Allow Exceptions? [Facebook, 5 Feb. 2014]



Adam and Eve and Other Early Figures

The Hittites

Massacres and Wars of Annihilation / God's Judgment

God and Evil

Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart? (Does God Positively Ordain Evil?) (vs. [atheist] "DagoodS")

The Psalms

Last updated on 26 July 2014.



Chris M said...

Dave, I have a couple questions.

I'm currently in a Jesus of Nazareth class taught at a University by an Anglican Priest. He does not believe in Biblical innerancy. Am I right in thinking Catholicism does believe the Bible is 100% inerrant? I've read a couple encylicals - one in the early 1900s and another in the 1960s if I remember right - where the Pope stated that the Bible was 100% inspired and thus 100% inerrant. Am I right in thinking this is actually a *dogmatic* article of faith?

Second, if this is so, how are certain contradictions reconciled? For instance, today he read us all 4 Gospel accounts of the Empty Tomb. They differed substantially. And also there are the differing accounts of Paul's conversion in Acts. In one telling the men did not hear Christ speaking, and in the next they did. How are these things dealt with by the Church?

Thanks again, and God bless.

Maroun said...

Hi Chris.
If you google church fathers,and then click church fathers home,after that go to saint augustine ,and one of the many many things which he wrote is called.- The Harmony of the Gospels ,in there you will find the answers which you are looking for about what some people believe to be contradiction in the bible.
And yes you are right that the catholic church believe that the bible is inerrant and is inspired by the Holy Spirit and as though it has God as it`s author.

Maroun said...

Hi Chris again.
For example in the same encyclopedia,when you go to church fathers,you could also check John Crysostom`s explanations of the acts of the apostles in homelies 19 and 47 , as for your first question plz check Augustine`s harmony of the gospels, book III .

Dave Armstrong said...

The Church holds that the manuscripts are inerrant and infallible, yes. Some minor errors may have slipped in due to faulty copying.

Most so-called "contradictions" are easily explained as complementaries in some fashion.

See the final section: "Alleged Biblical Contradictions and Difficulties" -- of my Bible, Church, Tradition, & Canon page:

sdhshh said...

Coul you answer these questions (about tradition, scripture etc.? Irrefutable questions that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can’t answer

Dave Armstrong said...

I'm sure I could (and have). I've written more about sola Scriptura and related issues than anything else, including a book with 620 separate arguments in it.

As a matter of policy, I no longer interact with anti-Catholics, because of the futility of all such efforts for ten years online, excepting historically important ones like Luther and Calvin.

Chris M said...


I've researched the supposed "contradictions" and find all the accusations unfounded. I do not blame you either for not engaging in such pointless arguments. Anyone who wants to study and learn has all the tools they need at your site, which, as I think I've said before, is one of the reasons I'm becoming Catholic.

Thanks Dave, I'm trying to spread the word about your amazing site.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for the plugs!

Maroun said...

Sdhshh wrote , Irrefutable questions that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can’t answer.
Woahahahaha , one of the funniest statements i have ever

Ken Sponburg said...


William Webster claimed that the famous quote from Basil the Great regarding many of our beliefs and customs coming from unwritten tradition is referring to liturgical practices, not dogma like the Trinity or baptismal regeneration. He says that Basil demonstrates this by mentioning customs like baptizing three times, using oil at baptism etc. Was Basil really referring to dogma coming from unwritten tradition, or just customs?

Dave Armstrong said...

Dunno without looking. But William Webster hardly has any credibility in historical matters, as I have shown at length, twice:

Refutation of William Webster's Fundamental Misunderstanding of Development of Doctrine

Refutation of Protestant Polemicist William Webster's Critique of Catholic Tradition and Newmanian Development of Doctrine (vs. William Webster)

Ken Sponburg said...

Not very helpful concerning my question.

Adomnan said...

Beliefs and customs underlying or reflected in liturgical practices cannot be separated from dogma. Therefore, Mr. Webster's observation and your question make no sense. You're asking Dave to make a distinction between liturgy/rites and doctrine. He can't do this. Nobody can.

St. Basil would have regarded every liturgical act as meaningful and purposeful. That meaning and purpose are what is called "dogma." For example, the dogmatic catechesis of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, like all ancient catechesis, was based on an exposition of the sacraments.

No ancient Christian ever attempted to argue or prove "baptismal regeneration," because to all of them the purpose of baptism was so obviously regeneration that this didn't require demonstration. Besides, it never occurred to anybody to deny baptismal regeneration, and so no explicit defense of the concept or refutation of error was needed.

Only sometime after the start of the Reformation did "baptismal regeneration" become an issue. That was because some people, for the first time in history, ceased believing that rites were effective.

If you were to ask a Christian in Basil's day if he believed in baptismal regeneration, he wouldn't even understand your question. It would be like asking him if he believed he had been born or was currently alive. Baptism was regeneration. It was as simple as that.

You need to stop thinking like a typical 21st-century American if you want to understand ancient Christianity, including, of course, the Christianity of the New Testament. For example, ancient people did not intentionally engage in empty ritual play-acing. For them, every rite accomplished what it meant. Otherwise, they wouldn't bother with it. A rite wasn't a "symbolic" public demonstration, as Evangelical baptisms are today.

So, you see, for us Catholics, who carry on ancient Christianity, William Webster's observation is fundamentally misguided and pointless.

Adomnan said...

Typo: "play-acing" should be "play-acting."