Dr. John MacArthur
P.O. BOX 4000
Panorama City, CA 91412
I have heard you on the radio criticizing with three other anti-Catholics the Evangelical and Catholics Together Pact. I have also read the book "Sola Scriptura! the Protestant position on the bible," including your chapter on the sufficiency of the written word. Being someone who used to believe in sola fide and sola scriptura I take issue with many things you pronounce as biblical truth. Since you are a foremost propounder of the Reformation I thought I would send you papers that I have personally written showing how unbiblical those concepts are. I have sent these papers to Peaceway Productions and Fellowship Tract League and they never responded to the points which show how unbiblical these Reformation principles are. I would love it if you, or as I know that you are a busy man, anybody on your staff could respond to the many things I point out. I read the whole sola scriptura book, and many of the weaknesses that I pointed out in my writing, were not addressed anywhere in that book. However, since I am writing to you, I would like to focus my attention on your chapter of the sola scriptura book.
You start off by saying that Catholic beliefs are like pagan
beliefs because we put tradition on a par with scripture. Well, it is a
very scriptural concept. I will critique your analysis of 2 Thess. 2:15
later, but there it says to hold fast to traditions, whether oral or
written. Anyway you criticize the Catholic interpretation of this verse,
here scripture is called tradition. Your own theology accepts at least
this tradition as authoritative. If you want to tie us to pagan
religions, you must tie yourself to them as well.
You quote Mark 7, which is comparable to Matthew 15, where Jesus
condemns tradition of men. You will note that Jesus condemns traditions
of men, not apostolic tradition. In fact nowhere does Jesus condemn
apostolic tradition. Any tradition of man that contradicts scripture the
Catholic church likewise condemns. That is why the church condemns sola
scriptura. Nowhere in either the old or new testament is it taught. 2
Tim 3:16 says nothing of the sort. The belabored attempt by Robert
Godfrey in the Sola Scriptura book to say that it does is actually
exactly verbatim what he spoke in a CURE-CATHOLIC ANSWER Debate which was
thoroughly refuted by Bob Sungenis and Bill Marshner, with no real
response from Godfrey or other Protestant apologists. Some Protestants
who attended the debate converted to the Catholic faith that weekend
because they were shown how unbiblical both Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura
You next wrote that the Old Testament through Moses shows Sola
Scriptura in action, that traditions of men are not necessary. Well,
Moses is the first author of any scripture. Before we get to Moses
however, we must look at how the people of God before him knew what was
true. If Sola Scriptura is true, and the only method of accurately
transmitting God's word, why is there no command anywhere in all of
Genesis for God's people to write down his word? Did God's people not
have infallible truth passed on? Of course they did, and absolutely
nothing was written down. According to Sola Scriptura, everything has to
be written. Another common argument in the Sola Scriptura book is that
the church has corrupted God's truth and that is why we must rely on the
bible alone; however, God in the Old Testament established covenants
with Adam, Noah, and Abraham, with Isaac and Jacob succeeding them. God
tells none of them to write anything down. How did God's covenant people
know of their prior generations? Oral tradition, and this truth had to
be infallible, otherwise Moses would have access only to corrupt errors.
However, apparently sola scriptura people believe in the infallibility
of this oral tradition, otherwise you would not believe in the book of
Genesis. Therefore sola scriptura is self contradictory even before we
get to the laying down of Moses' law.
You brought up Moses as a shining example of sola scriptura in
practice, because Moses wrote down the law. Let us look at the specific
verses that you quoted (as well as the surrounding verses) to prove sola
scriptura and see if your analysis is correct. You quote Deut. 4:2 and
12:32 to say that one should not add or take away from God's word. Of
course in neither of those passages did God say that he will only reveal
himself and his word in the present or succeeding generations by having
his prophets write God's word. If we actually read Deut. 4 about not
adding or taking away the words that I command you, it is Moses who is
the one commanding. Of course he is relating what the Lord told him, but
Deut. 4 shows that the "I command you" is Moses. Moses has magisterial
authority. This is a far cry from sola scriptura. It is no doubt that
it is God's word, but it is coming through Moses, the infallible
interpreter. If you somehow misinterpret Deut. 4 to say the "I command
you" is God, then when you write about not adding or taking away God's
word, then we should not believe any scriptures after Deuteronomy. That
would do away with 61 (66 - 5) books of the bible (or 68 (73-5), if you
include the 7 books that the Protestants threw out. You write, well it
does not mean that but only that God could add to his word. If that is
granted to you, you find nowhere in scripture where God only reveals his
truth through scripture. The Catholic church does not add to God's word.
On the contrary, if you limit revelation to scripture you are taking
away from God's word, likewise condemned in the very scripture quoted.
It is true that God told Moses to write down his words (Deut.
24:7, 12; 34:27); However, that is not what sola scriptura teaches. It
teaches that scripture alone is authoritative. Even you will admit that
faithful Jews had to follow the leader, who at that time was Moses, as he
was God's prophet. According to your theory all you have to do is read
scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and no leader is of the same
authority as scripture. Did Moses tell everyone to write their own law,
study it personally, ask the Holy Spirit to guide them? That concept is
nowhere to be found in the scriptures quoted. The Book of the Law was
put beside the ark of the covenant (Deut. 31:26), the holy of holies.
The common people could not just wander into the holy of holies, and
privately read and interpret the book of the law. Only the high priest
could enter the holy of holies, which contained the law, and enter into
the Holy of Holies, only once a year (Heb. 9:6-8). This is a far cry
from any concept of sola scriptura.
Moses was an authoritative leader who interpreted the law for
them. All Jews were subject to the authoritative leader, Moses. In fact
those who were punished by God were those who rebelled against Moses.
Jude in his inspired epistle relates that God's authoritative leaders
must be followed in the New Testament (which puts a death knell to sola
scriptura) and relates it specifically to Moses! In the context of
writing about God's judgement of evil people, Jude 11 notes that people
should not follow the example of Korah's rebellion (Num. 16:1-35). Korah
said we can take upon ourselves authority, (Num. 16:1-3) we do not have
to follow you! (sound familiar?) He proclaimed that he was just as holy
as Moses and Aaron and sought the ministerial priesthood himself (Num.
16:3, 10). This was beyond the universal priesthood given to the Jews
(Exod. 19:6). They wanted to worship on their own authority and did not
want to submit to Moses. God punished not only Korah, and his followers
(Num 16:31-34) but also those who complained about it (16:46-49). This
is not just an Old Testament incident, but Jude directly ties this
rebellion to the New Testament. For this passage to have any relevance
to Jude, it means that there are authoritative leaders who must be
followed and there is great risk in rejecting them. Sola scriptura
followers take it upon themselves to privately interpret God's word, as
did Korah and his rebels, who were condemned by God. How do you explain
the fact that Jude was warning the church against those who rejected the
authority of the New Testament Church's hierarchy if (as Sola Scriptura
preaches) the New Testament Church had no authoritative hierarchy?
Then you brought up Joshua, as another example of sola scriptura
in practice. It is true that the people were told to meditate on the
book of the law and follow it (Josh. 1:7-8). Likewise the Catholic
church encourages us to study and meditate on the bible; however this
passage in Joshua says nothing about all the people putting one's own
interpretation of Moses' law as the final authority, as sola scriptura
teaches. On the contrary, just as the people were bound both to what
Moses spoke and wrote, so they were bound to follow Joshua as a means of
keeping with God's law. You selectively quoted this important part of
Joshua which actually fits in with the Catholic view of authority. Josh.
1:16-18 exclaims "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you
send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will
heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses.
Whoever rebels against your command does not heed your words, in all that
you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good
courage." Joshua is an authoritative leader and the people are bound to
follow him. It is a total misuse of the context to say that Josh. 1 does
anything but disprove sola scriptura. Those who rebel in any way against
Joshua (which includes interpreting the law in any unauthorized way) are
You refer quickly to James White claiming that many in the early
church believed in sola scriptura. If one selectively quotes Church
Fathers, you can have them say many things, but these same church fathers
affirmed tradition alongside the utmost respect they had for the bible.
All of those quoted by White also believed authoritative church teaching
was binding on all believers.
The cheap shots that you take at the Catholic church on the
Immaculate Conception, Assumption, etc., would take a whole biblical
explanation that I do not have the time to develop. I refer you to
"Refuting the Attack on Mary", from Catholic Answers, which is a short
but thorough refutation of the attacks on the mother of God (Luke 1:43)
who is proclaimed in scripture that all generations shall call blessed.
2 Tim. 3:15-17
This scripture is supposedly the magic scripture that proves sola scriptura. This is the only scripture that any informed Protestant with a straight face will assert that even implies sola scriptura. (By the way, 1 Cor 4:6 though it says not to go beyond what is written, has no context of scripture. Paul is writing about the book of life in regards to eternity, on those who are acquitted or condemned before God, about not being arrogant.) Remember that the main point of sola scriptura is that it is the sole authority in regards to understanding salvation. It was a magic bullet in your chapter because not only did you use it to affirm sola scriptura, but also to rebut the Catholic interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:2 and 2 Thess. 2:15. If is not sufficient to show or even be consistent with sola scriptura, it is irrelevant to the rebuttal of 1 Cor 11:2 and 2 Thess. 2:15. Let us dissect the context.
Throughout Paul's letter he talks about various things needed to
equip the believer. In the immediate context he writes in v. 10 "But you
have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith
longsuffering, love, perseverance,...". Does he say in v. 10 that the
only source of doctrine is scripture? No!. It is obvious that the way
that Timothy primarily received Paul's doctrine was orally, also by his
way of life and oral teaching. In. v. 14 it says to continue in the
things that Timothy is assured of. So when we get to vv. 15-17, the
conclusion that talks about being fully equipped for every good work
includes this oral tradition explicated in v. 10. This is the immediate
background to vv. 15-17.
v. 15 - You assert that v. 15 "affirms that Scripture is
sufficient for salvation". It definitely says that the scripture helps
to make Timothy wise for salvation. You will notice that it does not say
that only scripture is the source of Timothy's teaching. After all, just
back in v. 10 he said that oral teaching (i.e. tradition) is a source of
this doctrine. This is confirmed in 2 Thess. 2:13-15 where before he
affirms oral tradition alongside written tradition (I will rebut your
analysis of this verse later) he mentions salvation (v. 13). That
affirms that oral tradition also explains salvation more clearly; Next
Paul writes that the scriptures that inform Timothy about salvation are
the scriptures Timothy has known since childhood. James White may say in
debates that Paul is not talking about the extent, but the nature of
scriptures, and partly it may be true, but that does not do away with the
fact that Paul is exclusively writing about the Old Testament. Sola
Scriptura advocates would have to say that besides not needing oral
tradition, you also do not need the New Testament, as this passage is
exclusively in reference to the Old Testament. Now it is true that the
Old Testament does teach on salvation (Ps. 106:31 cf., Num. 25:1-16;
Prov. 24:12; Prov. 17:15, etc.) which by the way rebuts the Calvinist
view of justification), but salvation is preached much more clearly in
the new covenant; The other point is that nowhere does Paul even state
that what he is writing is scripture! How do we know that what Paul
writes is scripture? How does Timothy know that this letter is
scripture? When Peter mentions Paul's writings as scripture (2 Peter
3:16), he does not mention any specific letter that Paul wrote. The
church preserved these writings so you have them. That is something that
even Luther acknowledged. Also, when Peter writes of the epistles that
are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16) the previous verse (v. 15) shows
that the things that are hard to understand have to do with salvation!
This shows that the Protestant understanding of the perspicuity of
scripture in regards to salvation is false; Even if I granted you or
James White or Robert Godfrey's interpretation of verses 16 and 17, these
points in and of themselves refute the sola scriptura interpretation of
the rest of these verses.
v. 16 - You assert that "verse 16 affirms the absolute authority
of scripture." There are two problems with this analysis. First this
verse does not say that only Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
It does not say that only scripture is needed to serve these ends.
Therefore, this verse is not relevant to sola scriptura just on that
point. The other fact is that scripture is termed profitable for
doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. If I drink
water, it is profitable but not sufficient to keep me alive. I also need
food. The church likewise asserts that scripture is profitable for these
four ends; however the title of your chapter is "the sufficiency of the
written word". Later when it talks about being fully equipped for every
good work we must remember that scripture is only termed profitable for
v. 17 - "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped
for every good work." Does not this mean sufficiency? Does Paul ever use
this kind of language about other things? In fact in the very same
letter he uses the very phrase. He writes in 2:21, "If anyone cleanses
himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and
useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." The context is
about sanctification. Is Paul saying sanctification, and deliverance
from youthful lusts (v. 22) is sufficient to equip Paul? Using the logic
employed by Protestant apologists, to be consistent with this
interpretation of 2 Tim 3:15-17, then you do not need anything else to
equip you except sanctification. Another point is that in order for this
scripture to be sufficient, then Timothy must be saying forget everything
else I told you. "Ignore 2 Tim 2:2 (which I get to next) where he
specifically tells him to pass on what I told (not wrote) you." Ignore
2:21. Ignore 2 Tim 3:8 which shows recognition of an oral tradition on
the names of Pharaoh's magicians, Jannes and Jamberes (nowhere in the old
testament). He does not need to argue that this is a fact, he assumes it
as authoritative, showing dependency on oral tradition. Paul nowhere
says in 2 Tim 3:15-17 to ignore everything else I've both told you and
written to you. In order for 2 Tim 3:15-17 to mean sola scriptura he
would have to tell them to do so. What Paul is writing in this section
is that scripture is indeed inspired by God and is useful to equip you
for every good work. However, in the immediate context (vv. 10-14) in
regards to salvation, as well as areas of spiritual development in this
same epistle there various things that equip, including oral tradition.
I have this same love scripture as you do. However, it is only one of
various things that do equip.
2 Tim 2:2
"The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also". 1) Here you write that Paul is only training Timothy for discipleship, not for apostolic succession. 2) You quote 2 Tim 3:15-17 to rebut the Catholic interpretation. 3) Assert that only scripture is to be passed on infallibly.
1) The statement that Timothy is only being trained for
discipleship belies the very words themselves. The context of this
statement affirms that it is oral tradition that is passed on. A few
verses before (2 Tim 1:13) Paul tells Timothy "Hold fast the pattern of
sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in
Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the
Holy Spirit who dwells in us." A good commentary on this verse (2 Tim
1:13) is by St. John Chrysostem in his commentary on Timothy:
Not by letters alone did Paul instruct his disciple in his duty,
but before by words also; which he shows, both in many other passages as
where he says, "whether by word or epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15), and
especially here. Let us not therefore suppose that anything relating to
doctrine was spoken imperfectly. For many things he delivered to him
without writing. Of these therefore he reminds him, when he says, "Hold
fast the form of sound words, which thou has heard of me." (2 Tim
1:13).(Homilies on Timothy, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series
vol. 13, p. 484)
1 Tim. 1:14 shows us that Paul expects the bishop Timothy (1 Tim
4:14, 2 Tim 1:6) to hold fast to this tradition by the Holy Spirit. This
is in perfect keeping with the church teaching on infallible teaching.
And this is how Paul lays down the foundation for 2 Tim 2:2. This oral
teaching (tradition) is exactly what Timothy is explaining in 2 Tim 2:2.
When we get to 2 Tim 2:2 we notice that three generations of Christians
are told to pass on truth orally. In 2 Tim 2:1 Paul calls Timothy his
son. Paul is the first generation apostle who passes on his
authoritative teaching orally to Timothy, the second generation. Then he
tells the second generation leader Timothy to entrust this same oral
teaching to the third generation (Timothy's spiritual sons.) To say that
this has nothing to do with apostolic succession ignores the very words
of Paul. Paul has already shown us in 2 Tim 1:13-14 that oral tradition
is in the background of this very verse. 2 Tim 2:2 on its own talks of
passing on what is entrusted to Timothy. Individually these verses
assert oral tradition exactly in the Catholic way. However when these
verses are combined, any honest reader will see that sola scriptura is
the farthest thing from Paul's mind. This is not mere discipleship, it
is teaching. When the background to this verse is shown to be (2 Tim
1:13-14) Timothy holding on to Paul's oral teaching it is clear that this
oral tradition is binding on not only Timothy, but his successors.
2) In this passage 2 Tim 3:15-17 is totally irrelevant because
there is no message anywhere in this context (2 Tim 2) about scripture.
What is relevant is that right in the middle of passing on authoritative
teaching there is no mention of scripture at all. Your conclusion on 2
Tim 2 that Timothy is told that the only reliable method of passing on
teaching is scripture is nowhere in the text or context. In fact 2 Tim
3:15-17 said nothing about passing scripture on whereas in 2 Tim 2:2 oral
teaching is said to be passed on.
3) The fact that only scripture is called inspired ignores the
fact that the Catholic Church affirms that only scripture is inspired.
We do not hold that tradition that is passed on is inspired; however,
the words that Paul spoke were inspired. What the 12 apostles spoke and
were not written were inspired as well. For example, one of many
instances in which the term Word of God is used is Acts 13:5 is when it
is preached, but not recorded. I suggest you search how many times the
term word of God is used in Acts and you will see that the term word of
God more often refers to what the apostles spoke, and not what they
wrote. That was just as inspired as what was written. This very word of
God Paul teaches here in 2 Tim 2:2 is to be passed on through 3
generations and nowhere does he say that this oral tradition must be
Paul writes this epistle at the end of this life (2 Tim 4:6-8).
This makes this statement even more a death knell to the idea of sola
scriptura. You wrote that after the apostles die, the only thing that is
binding is written tradition, and what is oral is not to be transmitted
authoritatively. If he believed in sola scriptura, the time of his death
would be the perfect occasion to state this. What does he specifically
say must be passed on in three generations? Oral tradition. He does not
say this of scripture.
You acknowledge that this passage shows that the people were bound to the oral teaching of the apostles. You also must thus acknowledge that the church precedes the bible and the church does not derive its authority from the bible. You also write that the inerrant oral truth of the apostles was binding on the people. However your conclusion that it was binding only on those who heard it errs in an important matter: Nowhere do we find in scripture that this inerrant truth is only limited to future generations by scripture.
1 Cor 11:2
- Your analysis of this verse makes another acknowledgement that it talks of transmission of doctrine. However you make a big thing out of knocking down a Catholic argument that Catholics do not make. You write the only way that this would help the Catholic argument is if Paul is transmitting a tradition that he received from the other apostles and this is a second transmission. (You make this same argument to rebut 2 Thess. 2:15 and 3:6). Although this would help our case we do not depend on this. Paul is an apostle. If he teaches somebody either orally or by writing we term that apostolic tradition. This tradition that he is writing about in this verse is in fact apostolic tradition as he is the source. That is enough for the Catholic case. In fact however, even in this same chapter, Paul relates a tradition that he did in fact receive from the apostles. He writes of the tradition of the eucharist (1 Cor 11:23-32, specifically v. 23). He received this tradition from the apostles and he deems this tradition so authoritative that whoever eats and drinks the Lord's body in an unworthy manner are condemned. This tradition that he received from the apostles he sees as so reliable that he terms it as coming from Jesus himself.
There are in fact other examples of Paul receiving as
authoritative oral tradition from the apostles, and he shows a use of it.
For example, I encourage you to read Acts 20:36. Here Paul quotes Jesus
himself, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". That is found
nowhere in the four gospels. It is obvious that Paul heard this saying
of Jesus by the apostles. He says that this is an authoritative saying
of Jesus. He passes this oral teaching on to others. What about 1 Cor
15:3-7? How did he know what Jesus did after his resurrection in
relation to the other apostles. In v. 3 he writes about what he received
he passes on. That is a good definition of what a tradition is. Then he
relates about Jesus being seen by Peter, the rest of the apostles, and
then 500 brethren. Paul quotes this as authoritative fact, because he
had received this tradition orally from the apostles. These examples
show indeed that Paul relied on oral tradition as authoritative and he
passes it on as authoritative, exactly what you denied that he did. This
does not include the many instances in the New Testament shown in the
accompanying article "Oral Tradition in the New Testament" which shows
how Jesus, Matthew, Jude, and Paul all used oral traditions that could be
traced back to Old Testament times and used these traditions as
Back to 1 Cor 11:2, this verse also belies the total dependency
of Paul on scripture. Just as in the other passages, when he is trying
to pass on authoritative tradition, he makes no effort to claim that this
tradition is valid only if it becomes scripture. He does not write,
"Well, this is now scripture, and now you can forget these oral
traditions when I die, and only follow what I write." The very fact that
he uses the word tradition when he writes of the oral transmission of
doctrine means that this was the means he intended for doctrine to be
passed on. If he calls the visible church the pillar and ground of truth
(1 Tim 3:15), he does in fact believe that this transmission not only is
but will be infallible.
2 Thess. 2:15
"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." I agree with some of your analysis of the background to the verse. There are definitely things that unsettled the believers in regards to the Lord's coming. You even quote 2:5 which actually reinforces the Catholic position. What is to stabilize these believers? V. 5 shows that it was the things that he told them. He does not write "What I am now writing is scripture, and let that be the thing to establish you." In v. 6 he writes "now you know what is restraining,". He does not spell out what restrains the man of sin. In order to understand these verses, on the very face of it, oral tradition is necessary. This lays the foundation for a very strong positive statement on tradition.
Vv. 13-14 shows us that the tradition that Paul actually is
referring to includes salvation and the gospel. (By the way, salvation
is done specifically by sanctification by the Holy Spirit, not a declared
righteousness, in which sanctification is only a byproduct of salvation).
This exposes the fallacy that scripture is the only means to find out
how one is saved.
You write that Paul understands that only scripture is to be
infallible and church tradition is fallible. If Paul understands this to
be true, then why does Paul never write this? You would expect him to
write "Hold fast to the oral and written traditions, but since only the
written tradition is infallible, when I die, only hold to the written
tradition (scripture), as those who follow you are only bound to
scripture. After I die, ignore all the oral tradition that I gave to
you, as you are not bound to follow it." However, Paul makes no such
attempt to differentiate between oral and written tradition. He commands
them to hold them both. You made a big thing about only scripture being
inspired (2 Tim. 3:16) and oral tradition never being termed such. Even
though here oral tradition is not specifically called inspired the fact
is that it is put on the same par as scripture in this very verse. This
very much implies that the tradition that Paul passes orally is in fact
inspired. We do not term the succeeding generations tradition as
inspired. We do not hold the church fathers or popes were or are
inspired in their interpretations of this original deposit of truth. We
do hold that this truth has been passed on infallibly.
Since Paul uses the word tradition, which as you quoted, means to
transmit, it very much implies that this is to be passed on. However,
you again state that only written tradition is to be passed on, and oral
tradition is not to be passed on. I just encourage you to reread the
passage! It says to hold on to both. If one is to be transmitted, so is
the other one to be transmitted. If one is not to be transmitted, then
the other is not to be transmitted. Since you most assuredly write that
the written tradition is indeed to be passed on and is authoritative, to
be consistent with Paul's language, we must hold that this oral tradition
is to be passed on, and is just as authoritative. If one is infallible,
so is the other, using Paul's authoritative language.
St. John Chrysostem notes what can only be termed an honest
interpretation of this verse:
Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the church also worth of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther. (Chrysostem, Homilies on Thessalonians, NPNF, First Series, vol 13, p. 390)
The reason why I quote specifically Chrysostem here and in my
analysis of 2 Tim 2:2 is because Robert Godfrey alleged that Chrysostem's
analysis of 2 Tim 3:16 agreed with the Protestant concept of sola
scriptura. Chrysostem's analysis of 2 Tim 3:16 obviously did not imply
belief in sola scriptura. He did not agree with Sola Scriptura (of
course no one had ever even thought of this concept until Wycliff, and
then Luther) and showed that he saw apostolic tradition as authoritative.
James White similarly selectively quoted Irenaeus and Athanasius. Of
course White did not bring up that Athanasius specifically taught that
the church taught infallibly and by his actions often referred to the
church in Rome to settle disputes. In regards to Irenaeus, I invite you
to read him (Against Heresies, book III, chapters 1 through 4, especially
chapter 3, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 414-417).
In this critique of your chapter I have hit on the main points
and I think I have shown how both your attempts to buttress sola
scriptura using the bible and to attack oral tradition can not withstand
true biblical scrutiny. This is only a short critique of sola scriptura
per your defense of it and a response to your attack on the biblical
basis of tradition. The attached article shows how Paul, Matthew, and
Jude specifically rely on oral tradition and use it as authoritative.
I've read all of the sola scriptura book and many of the holes in this
doctrine are not really dealt with. I would love it if you could respond
to any of my writings, especially this, since it critiques your chapter
in the sola scriptura. If you, any of your staff, or any students in
your school can honestly deal with what I have written, I would enjoy any
correspondence. I understand that you actually spoke well of
"Catholicism, Crisis of Faith", an anti-Catholic film that was only a
caricature of the Catholic faith in which a straw man was erected and
easily knocked down. I wish you would not commend such slanted views of
I have written to several Protestant ministries on both sola
scriptura and sola fide. I would be pleased if someone could deal with
this exegesis. I would love for someone to attempt to show me that the
analysis that I made was wrong.
1997 John MacArthur's errors on Sola Scriptura ...by Matt1618 (email@example.com).
This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. Last modified March 28, 1997.