Sola Scriptura?


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Q. I would be interested to know where Mary’s Immaculate Conception is referenced in the Bible. I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless. Thank you.

A. Dear Michelle,

Before I answer your questions let me explain a fundamental difference between the sources of Catholic Doctrine and Protestant Doctrine.

The source for Catholic Doctrine is:

All that Jesus taught His disciples which were both written and orally transmitted.

The source for Protestant Doctrine is:

Many things that Jesus taught His disciples, but not all because limited to:

  1. Only what is in the  Bible after Luther removed 7 books.
  2. A few doctrines adopted from Catholicism

Because Protestants are bound to the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura they judge Catholic Doctrine to be suspect when teachings cannot be found explicitly in scripture. They do not seem to be aware that the Bible is a derived source. A sacred secondary source. A source derived from the primary source which is the teaching of Jesus Christ to His disciples.

The Catholic Church derives her teaching from the primary source. Catholic teaching and the Bible are both derived from the primary source, the teachings of Jesus. For this reason, nothing the Catholic Church teaches contradicts anything in the Bible because they are both derived from the same source. Everything that the Catholic Church teaches can not be found explicitly in Sacred Scripture. But, it can be found in the historic teaching of the Catholic Church which is derived from what the apostles taught and handed down to their successors….that which Jesus taught.

So when you ask,

Where is Mary’s Immaculate Conception  referenced in the Bible? I would also like to have reference to her being/remaining sinless.

This is because you have been taught that nothing must be believed as Christians, unless it can be found in Scripture. But this source (the Bible)  is an incomplete record of all that Jesus did and taught. This is clearly affirmed in Scripture.

John 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book

John 21:25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Ironically, even as Protestants criticize Catholics for believing things that are not in scripture they unwittingly believe things that also are not to be found explicitly in Scripture.

First and foremost, the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura  is nowhere to be found in scripture.

Neither is the Doctrine of the Trinity or the Incarnation to be found explicitly in scripture. These were adopted from Catholicism.

For these reasons the Immaculate Conception and perpetual sinlessness of Mary cannot be found explicitly in scripture. But then, again, neither can Sola Scriptura .

For what Scriptural evidence we do have you might want to explore the following post:

Immaculate Conception

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14 Responses

  1. But the NT says that the scriptures are sufficient for salvation.
    Also they say – …”do not go beyond what is written…….”

    And God says He exalts his WORD (scripture) above His Name .

    So what could be higher than the name of God – Scripture !

  2. Dear Charles,
    I am not saying that Scripture is insufficient for salvation. I am simply saying that the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is, itself, no where in Scripture. The idea of Scripture Alone is not found in Scripture alone. Only in Martin Luther’s writings. Scripture is Sacred. No doubt about it. But it is not the only source of knowledge about faith.

    Let’s take a look at “do not go beyond what is written.” (I Cor 4:6) First of all it seems to have been a “saying”. What was meant is not clear but apparently Paul’s purpose was to exhort the Corinthians “not (to) be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

    In context this quote does not in any way refer to scripture nor does it endorse the idea of scripture alone in any way. It only seems to support sola scriptura when quoted out of context.

    Besides, this was written by St. Paul. He couldn’t possibly mean that no one should go beyond “what is written in Scripture.” Because in Thess. he says something completely opposed to Sola Scriptura or Scripture alone. He tells the Thessalonians to hold onto both the oral and the written traditions which he taught them.

    II Thess. 2:15
    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    • Every heresy has arisen from “going beyond scripture ” so this is what Paul was warning about . In or out of context I see its meaning as clear . Plus it is backed by other scriptures . I dont discount tradition completely if it can be traced back to the apostles in some way since I know they had the Holy Spirit but if in doubt I go back to scripture.

      Especially in these last days when denominations teem with lukewarmness and compromise and seek a “one world religion”
      to imitate the one world order ” “new world order ” as they call it.

      Evolution is the greatest heresy and happened by Darwin’s cunning plan to hit the truth of Genesis with glancing and secret blows as he himself admitted to Lyell . The clear Bible teaching was that God is a creator and an instant one at that if He chooses to be eg as a miracle worker .
      But the doubters decided to follow the fake evolutionary theory which is nowhere in scripture and they were too lazy to question the non existent evidence – “test everything” – Paul said.
      So this theory generated great unbelief in God’s word and is the engine of atheism since it is the only real alternative to a creator God
      – that being blind chance which actually needs more miracles than the Bible.

      So the current Pope has embraced evolution as did his predecessors
      and this is where his doubt arises from – the reliability of scripture – that is the maybe God made a mistake philosophy or maybe God thought we could not understand science.

      Plus to equate Darwin’s theory AS science is a nonsense – it is an
      imaginative fantasy which does not even have a rational hypothesis.

      You can be a great scientist without even touching on evolution as most of the founders of the scientific disciplines were.

      So this alternative heresy of creation has caused the sheeple not to believe in something but to believe in anything as Chesterton said
      and thats why we are moving towards a one world religion which will
      usher in the Antichrist .
      Protestants and Catholics have both produced heresies but the heresy that reduces the fear of God is Darwins crazy theory.

      TIMOTHY :-
      “…..traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.
      Turn away from such as these!

      Denying God’s power and replacing it with blind chance is the evolutionists position – the greatest heresy probably .

      • All heresy is caused, not by going beyond Scripture but by rejecting the teachings of the Catholic Church which has the promise of Christ to be with her always. Besides at the time when Paul was writing there was no NT. St. Paul and all the apostles only had the OT. So when they referred to scriptures it only meant OT writings.

        The Church does not endorse evolution. The Church does not teach that evolution is true. The Church is not in the business of exploring science but all that pertains to faith. The Church allows the faithful to believe in evolution but only in the sense that God used evolution to create. Belief in evolution de novo is not accepted.

        • I have gone over the pretense that the scriptures were left on dusty shelves and put together 300 years later in previous posts.
          The gospels were written almost immediately and the NT letters were written not long after as the Apostles worked out their ministry – eg Pauls letters would have been read in all the churches and copied by all and sundry .
          The traditions to be followed would be spread until the NT was complete long before the Romans invaded and destroyed the temple in 70 AD ( not even mentioned by John’s Revelation )
          The scriptures may not have been available in one book
          but they were available and most people and the scribes could write
          as that was their job.

          The church might say they do not endorse evolution but they do .
          They get round it by saying God must have “used” evolution to create which all the evolutionists laugh their heads at

          Pope Francis actually said that ” God does not do magic” ???
          This is blasphemy – God does do magic – that is why He is God .
          That’s why God can do miracles and why He can resurrect from dust
          every person ever born – as He did with his son Jesus .

          Creating out of nothing IS MAGIC !

          “……. but not believing on the Power of the ONE who saved them ..”
          This prophecy is coming to 100% fulfillment

  3. This quote on Paul to me is Paul telling the Thess. to hold onto traditions that would soon be written down and could apply to a tradition from the Apostles like him in churches today if it can be proven and traced back – but by the time that Paul was martyred much or all of these traditions would be in the NT .

    It would be dangerous to apply this advice to say the traditions of the Mormons or the traditions of the Arians etc
    These false traditions can only be countered by going back to scripture as the ancient fathers did over and over again .

    • Your are speculating, and thus “going beyond what is written.”

      • But you were also speculating that the meaning of ” do not go beyond what is written” is not as clear as it seems – and to me and many others it is abundantly clear .

        Following man’s traditions is where the Israelites always went astray – this is what Jesus accused them of – they made up their own traditions and kept adding to them – ending up with the Talmud – which is Babylonian Kabala

        So Paul complimented the Bereans for checking everything he said to scripture not to traditions .

        To follow traditions without checking them to scripture is the Devil’s dream and he would approve of this .
        There were lots of bad traditions around NT times and it would be crazy just to blindly follow them .

  4. There is more evidence for Sola Scriptura and a reasonable assumption than say Immaculate Conception. Immaculate Conception just sounds like Zeus and Alcmene (Greek women not a goddess) having Hercules. Its a fairy tale .
    Every time a Catholic is ask questions about this they use their get out Jail free card and use John 20:30 to almost justify any Catholic Doctrine.
    1. All Doctrines regardless of Tradition Protestant or Catholic are man made. Meaning that they are Teachings to teach certain points of Scripture. Either Systemically or Topically , and at one Time Catholic Law ruled Europe you went allowed Teach anything else.
    2.Now knowing what Doctrine is “Teaching” is the Doctrine itself more Important or the point of the topic your trying to teach?

  5. In the 1600’s Venerable Mary of Agreda was given numerous private revelations which have been published in the 4 volume set (English translation by TAN Publishers) For Christians (Protestant and Catholic alike) it offers a multitude of interesting details about the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and those around them. The lengthy preface explains the viewpoint of the Church regarding these types of private revelations. .It is definitely well worth the time, expense and effort to peruse these pages. While reading this, my thinking evolved from “Why do Catholics put so much emphasis on Mary?” to a profoundly deeper appreciation of and love for the Woman God chose to be His Mother..

  6. BFHU
    So glad to see a new post after a couple of years. I always loved your blog. Hope things are well with you and your family.

  7. Thank you Manny. I guess I sometimes think I’ve pretty much written about each topic. but I got a question and just decided to post it. And this too is a topic I have posted on several times.

    • You probably have posted on all these subjects. Perhaps it’s time to reshape your blog into a different type of ministry. “Bread from Heaven” is such a great title and you are so knowledgable so I would hate to see this disappear. I don’t have any suggestions but perhaps there is some other avenue of your life that can be used to preach God’s word. God bless.

  8. Anyone know of a priest who can give a departing soul safe passage to Purgatory – the place where souls are made immaculate as Our Lady is immaculate.

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