Minor Premise

God breathed out the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16). Conclusion:

Therefore, the Scriptures are true (John 17:17).

As illustrated above, the inerrancy of Scripture can be inferred by premises that are themselves taught by Scripture.

We read in Scripture that truth is an attribute of God (Jeremiah 10:10; John 1:14; 14:6; 17:3), and that God speaks truthfully - that is, He does not lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2; Romans 3:3-4).

We also are told that Scripture is "breathed out" by God (2 Timothy 3:16).

The Word of God, then, is true (John 17:14,17; cf. Psalm 119:142; 151; 160; Revelation 21:5; 22:6). http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Inspiration.html

Now the link between these two ideas is in the phrase final authority. Remember that this idea was developed to counter the teaching that the church was the final authority.

The problem with this all is that even with the Scripture as final authority, there is so much disagreement among believers.

Rhodes presents us with some clear straight forward logical thinking. This is fine. I believe that God expects us to use our minds. As we meditate on the word, we find there are logical connections between it's themes.

There is nothing wrong with his logic at least at first glance. But logical thinking is just an example of man's wisdom. In this case, the logical thinking fails because we have neglected the Whole counsel of God.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

By this I mean that there are certain scriptures that you have to take into account when considering this doctrine of Sola Scriptura. What if we could use the bible to prove that it is not the final authority?

So here we are, challenging the foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation. Is this heresy or chutzpah?

Nevertheless what saith the scripture Galatians 4:30 Here we go.

Second Corinthians 3 tells us that the letter of the law [sola scriptura] kills. It is the ministration of death. 2 Corinthians 3:6-7

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

The New Testament i.e. the Holy Spirit gives life. New testament ministers do not minister the letter of the law. They minister the Spirit. So the New Testament, that is the Covenant, not the Book, is synonymous with the Spirit. If you minister the Spirit, you are ministering the New Covenant. Doesn't this tell us that the Holy Spirit is the final authority? The author of the scripture has to be the final authority.

Now look at the temptation of Christ and put on your spiritual goggles.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

The phrase bread alone signifies the written word, sola scriptura. Jesus contrasts that with the spoken word. In both verses, word is used to translate the Greek rhema, which means utterance, that is something spoken.

God is saying we can't go by just what the written word [sola scriptura] says, we need him to explain it to us.

Looking back on the idea of inerrancy, it simply tells us that there are no mistakes. The bible contains exactly what God intended for it to say. But God did not want to make everything plain and obvious. He wants it so that we have to seek for that wisdom from above to understand the written word.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

This is very close to what Proverbs 3:5 says.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. To accept the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is to lean on our own understanding.

To be fair, most of those who teach sola scriptura acknowledge the need for the Holy Spirit's illumination. But this is usually superficial; lip service. More often than not they will resort to some principle such as grammatico-historicaI exegesis. This let's them get back to using man's wisdom. And man's wisdom, plus sola scriptura has given us some 20 thousand protestant denominations as a result.

If we have the written word. And if we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, then there shouldn't be so much division in the church. Could it be that we don't really have much access to the Holy Spirit? Could it be that our denominations do not get much input from the Holy Spirit? Could it be that we are not willing to face that fact and wonder why it is? Could it be that there is a lack of faith involved?

Often we hear about disputes over what the bible says. With all the many translations, dictionaries and commentaries, it's not a problem to know what the bible says. That's sola scriptura. We know what the bible says.

We rarely agree on what it means. One of my favorite sayings is this.

When two Christians meet the first thing they will do is greet one another in the Lord. Secondly they will find something to disagree about.

Many writers invoke the principle that Scripture interprets scripture. Well exactly how does Scripture interpret scripture? Believe me, it doesn't use the literal hermeneutic or grammatico-historicaI exegesis. It does it by quoting other scripture and showing logical or thematic connections. For example:

Here is a series of verses dealing with how the Spirit gives us the faith to receive the meaning of the scriptures. This is a case of connecting the dots so you can see the picture.

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

This quote from Hebrews tells us that the word, sola scriptura, must be received with faith, or it is worthless to us.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Here Romans 10 is saying faith comes by hearing. That is through your spiritual headphones.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God,

Second Timothy tells us we need to have the scripture given to us by God. Sola scriptura is not enough.

Matthew 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

Matthew 19 here is telling us we can't receive the scripture unless it is given to us. That would be by the Holy Spirit naturally.

To sum it all up here, Sola Scriptura is not enough. Scripture alone is the letter of the Law that works death. What else is needed?

First the word must be rightly divided. That is rightly handled and analyzed; and logic carefully applied.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

And then the word must be given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and received with faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

He rewards those who seek him, by letting them find him. He reveals himself.

He that has eyes, has he seen? He that has ears, has he heard? Man does not live by bread alone But by God's spoken word

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