Charles: The Holy spirit gave us the Bible and the NT gospels and letters which
had been used for 300 years by christians before the official canon
was adopted. Christians already knew the accepted NT scriptures.
BFHU: What you say is correct. But there is more….The Christians were also familiar and accepted other writings for use in liturgy that were not later canonized. But no one is trying to convince anyone that no one knew or read any of the writings that were canonized 400 years later. The point is that people who believe in sola scriptura and Luther himself, possessed the whole Bible. It seems to make a lot of sense to believe that one should use ONLY the Bible to derive doctrine for Christian belief.
But most people never realize that there are many problems with this idea. For instance:
1. This cannot have been a divine principle because the Bible as we now know it was not known for 400 years after the birth of Christ.
2. Most Churches for years did not possess a complete set of the writings that centuries later became what we know today at the Bible.
3. For the first 400 years of Christianity or so churches read excellent writings in their liturgies that were later NOT canonized.
4. Scripture must be interpreted. To decide which of several differing interpretations is authentic one MUST go outside of the Bible and determine what has always and everywhere been believed. But b/c Protestants do not understand that they do not have infallible interpretation, they split and split and split into various sects based on differing interpretations.
5. Sola Scriptura is not found in scripture and is therefore self-refuting.
6. Jesus never told the disciples to write the New Testament.
7. The Bible is not a book of systematic theology therefore it is VERY difficult to derive doctrine from it alone.
8. Protestants, without realizing it, automatically adopted a lot of Catholic doctrine and Tradition (and rejected others) . They did not really sit down with the Bible Alone and make up their religions. That is why most Protestants believe in the Trinity and yet this doctrine is not clearly explicated in scripture alone and the word never appears in Scripture. This doctrine was clarified at Catholic Church councils. Primarily the Nicean council.