Angel: Mr. Salza, your reliance upon tradition to prove Catholic teaching is unbiblical. No where does it say tradition is inspired by God.
J. Salza: This statement assumes that “it” (you presumably mean the Bible) has to say something in order for that something to be true. But the Bible does not say that everything necessary for salvation comes from the Bible. This fact is irrefutable.
Angel: The Scriptures are very clear that the Word is inspired 2 TIM3:16.
J. Salza: Please prayerfully read my link on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. http://www.scripturecatholic.com/scripture-alone-sola-scriptura/ This page explains the real meaning of the passage.
Angel: Notice, it says ‘All Scripture” and does not say “All Scripture and Tradition.”
J. Salza: First, your conclusion assumes that all Scripture necessarily excludes apostolic tradition. But the verse does not say that. You are reading your conclusions into the verse (eisegesis). Also, tell me what Scriptures Paul was referring to here? The Old Testament? The Talmud? He could not have possibly meant the New Testament Scriptures, because there was no New Testament canon at the time, and not all the New Testament Scriptures were even written. The verse says nothing at all about Sola Scriptura.
Angel: I strongly recommend you study through the book of Colossians, especially Colossians 2:8. This speaks to your church very clearly. You are getting lost in your tradition.
J. Salza: Colossians 2:8 deals with traditions of men, not apostolic tradition. There are some traditions that we must reject (those that nullify the Word of God), and some Traditions that we must accept (the apostolic tradition that Paul refers to in 2 Thess. 2:15). Paul does not say stand fast and hold firm to the letter alone. He also mandates us to follow the Tradition that comes from the apostles. You have to find another verse in Scripture that voids Paul’s commandment in 2 Thess. 2:15; otherwise, your “letter alone” position is not biblical.
Angel: Your flock is going to Mary for salvation. I hate to break the bad news brother, but Mary cannot save you. We now have a direct line to Jesus and forgiveness without Mary or the Saints.
J. Salza: You obviously don’t know the Catholic faith. We don’t go to Mary for salvation. Catholics go to Christ and Christ alone for salvation. You really should read the Catechism of the Catholic Church before you profess to be an expert on Catholicism. Moreover, if you want to be closer to Jesus, then you better consider going to Him through His mother. He chose to come to us through her, and He wants us to come to Him through her as well.
Angel: This will help you understand sola Scriptura. I also would like a document of who witnessed this assumption of Mary. Just provide me with one witness. Give me the document and who wrote it. The doctrine of sola Scriptura simply states that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the rule of faith, for the Church.
J. Salza: Where did you get that definition? I just checked a number of scholarly Protestant sources, and they each provide a different definition. I guess because sola Scriptura is not taught in the Bible, you guys make up the definitions as you go along.
Angel: All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience.
J. Salza: You just trapped yourself. If “all that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and no other source,” then that teaching must be found in Scripture. But where is it? Please…give me chapter and verse.
Angel: To be more specific, I provide the following definition. The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, church or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting and self-authenticating. The Christian Church looks to the Scriptures as the only and sufficient rule of faith and the Church is always subject to the Word and is constantly reformed thereby.
J. Salza: You have provided a definition of sola Scriptura, presumably on your own authority, but you haven’t told me where the Bible provides the definition of sola Scriptura. That is really the issue. If it’s not in the Bible, then the Bible doesn’t teach it. Further, as a sola Scriptura advocate, how do you explain the canon of Scripture? How do you know what Scriptures are inspired using sola Scriptura? You cannot, and this is devastating to the notion of sola Scriptura. You see, it was the Catholic Church who selected the canon of Scripture at the end of the fourth century. How did it do that?
The Church was led into this truth by the power of the Holy Spirit and used apostolic tradition to determine the apostolicity of the Scriptures. It also made this decision nearly 300 years after the death of the last apostle. If the Church can make an infallible decision 300 years after the death of the last apostle, then how come it cannot make equally authoritative decisions today? You cannot account for sola Scriptura during this period between the apostle John’s death and the selection of the canon (and you cannot say that there was a New Testament canon established before 382 A.D. because many texts, such as the Apocalypse, 3 John, Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, etc. were subject to a lot of debate; as were works such as the Didache and Clement’s letter). This destroys the theory of sola Scriptura.
You should also contemplate why there is not a single early Church father who espoused this theory of sola Scriptura. Instead, this novel theology was introduced by Luther, almost 1,500 years after Christ’s ascension. You can’t rely on Protestant exegetes of the 20th century to prove this novel theory. You must familiarize yourself with the fathers and doctors of the Church, those taught by the apostles and their successors. Christ’s Church was built upon Peter, to whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven. These keys represent the authority over the new Davidic kingdom restored and renewed in Jesus Christ. (cf. Isaiah 22:19-22). Re-acquaint yourself with history, and you will be in for a holy shock.
Let me try to make this succinct.
1. Sola Scriptura says everything we need to know that is necessary for our salvation comes from the Bible alone.
2. Knowing what Scriptures are inspired and what Scriptures are not inspired is necessary for our salvation.
3. Knowing what Scriptures are inspired and what Scriptures are not inspired cannot be known from the Bible.
4. Therefore, sola Scripture cannot be true.
The foregoing is irrefutable. That’s where our debate begins and ends.
POINT: Knowing what Scriptures are inspired and what Scriptures are not inspired is a Revelation from God that was given to the Catholic Church. If you really want to be an “expert” in Catholicism, I suggest you begin reading Catholic sources; not the private judgment theology that has resulted in 30,000 different Protestant denominations of different interpretations and massive confusion.
Grace be with you.