The Five Solas of The Protestant Reformation–Part 2 Sola Scriptura: Scripture Alone

The Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation are foundational truths of Christianity.  Although I provided an overview in a previous blog, I’ll now discuss Sola Scriptura (scripture alone).
What Scripture?
In Christianity, the term “scripture” refers to the canon of texts consisting of 66 books of the Bible (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament).  
Although the Bible includes the experiences, personalities, and perspectives of over 40 human writers, its Author is God.  The distinction between human writers and a Divine Author is not an exercise of wordplay. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (NASB).  Here, the term “inspired” comes from Greek theopneustos meaning God-breathed. 1 In other words, just as God breathed life and truth into Adam, He also did so for those charged with transcribing both the literal and spiritual Word of God.

Why Scripture Alone? The certainty of Sola Scriptura hinges on our belief that the Bible is timeless, hopeful, and truthful.  Sola Scriptura is timeless because it’s unchangeable, practical, applicable, and authoritative for every generation, every circumstance, and every experience (1 Timothy 3:16-17).  In Isaiah 40:8, we find these words: “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”  

It’s hopeful according to Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  This hope does not involve misguided guesswork but rather a certainty of saving faith that is interrelated to the concept of Sola Fide (faith alone).  John 20:30-31 reminds us “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Lastly, scripture is truthful, more specifically, it contains Eternal Truths.  I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, who famously says in the movie A Few Good Men  “You want the truth?  You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”  

Thank God we call all handle God’s Truth!  How so? John 17:7 explains what truth is: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” 1 King 17:24 further support this idea: “Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.” The Bible also contains truth because we don’t need extra-biblical resources to determine, support, or authenticate scripture. This by no means diminishes the importance of Bible dictionaries, commentaries, etc. because these sources provide us with context of Scripture.  My point is that we don’t need another Bible or divine interpreter to add to or take away from what the Bible says.
I will discuss the significance of Sola Fide (faith alone) in a future blog.
 Swanson, James. Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) 1997.  Digital.

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