The Instigator
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Jacob_Apologist
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Resolved: The Bible does not teach that it alone is sufficient

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Jacob_Apologist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,499 times Debate No: 25840
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

Resolved: The Bible does not teach that it alone is sufficient

This is pretty much a debate on "sola scriptura". So yeah. If you have questions, ask in comments before accepting the debate. The Bible referred to is the CATHOLIC Bible, with 73 books. Not that I expect the Deuterocanon to come into this, but I just want to be explicit.

Rules:

1. No semantics.
2. Use reasonably intelligible grammar/spelling.
3. A forfeit is not an automatic loss, but it is a loss of the conduct point and probably will also cost arguments.
4. Burden of Proof is shared. Since I don't really know what my opponent will bring up, I will just start out by refuting some generic verses often used by proponents of this theory, but by Round 3 I will be focused specifically on my opponent's arguments.

Debate Structure:

1. Acceptance.
2. I babble some nonsense, my opponent makes their case.
3. I attack my opponent's case, and they defend it.
4. Conclusions. No new arguments from either side.

Good luck!
Jacob_Apologist

Con

This is not just my acceptance but I thought of presenting my arguments in this round itself so that Pro will be comfortable to address them, in addition he can address other arguments of Sola Scripture to rebut, that I didn’t give.

I will be defending contentions like:
a) Bible does teaches Sola Scripture ie. Scripture alone to be all sufficient
b) Catholics faces the fatal counter tradition of Rabbinic Judaism who holds the very same contention.
c) Epistemological defeat in presupposing a council to be authority

Let me begin by defining what the doctrine of sola scriptura does not say. First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail. John 21:25 speaks to the fact that there are many things that Jesus said and did that are not recorded in John, or in fact in any book in the world because the whole books of the world could not contain it. But the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church. We do not need to know the color of Thomas' eyes. We do not need to know the menu of each meal of the Apostolic band for the Scriptures to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church.

Secondly, it is not a denial of the Church's authority to teach God's truth. I Timothy 3:15 describes the Church as "the pillar and foundation of the truth." The truth is in Jesus Christ and in His Word. The Church teaches truth and calls men to Christ and, in so doing, functions as the pillar and foundation thereof. The Church does not add revelation or rule over Scripture. The Church being the bride of Christ, listens to the Word of Christ, which is found in God-breathed Scripture.

Thirdly, it is not a denial that God's Word has been spoken. Apostolic preaching was authoritative in and of itself. Yet, the Apostles proved their message from Scripture, as we see in Acts 17:2, and 18:28, and John commended those in Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be Apostles, Revelation 2:2. The Apostles were not afraid to demonstrate the consistency between their teaching and the Old Testament.

The doctrine of sola scriptura, simply stated, is that the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the "rule of faith" for the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience. To be more specific, I provide the following definition:

The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, Church or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self-authenticating.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction, for training in righteousness, in order that the man of God might be complete, fully equipped for every good work."

The word for complete or adequate (artios) and “fully equipped” exērtismenos.

There are other references as well but for not I feel its redundant to quote them now, moreover all are already aware that 2 Tim 3:16-17 is the most explicit evidence we have. And by this one verse the debate should be over. But it doesn’t, so rather et us discuss those arguments which are made on the interpretation of those verses. I will later show more evidence from the Bible. I also can’t expect the Catholics to quote anything outside of Scripture to support it.

Catholicism Vs Orthodox Judaism :The unbelieving Jewish arguments can be seen as very same with the arguments of Catholics in support of oral and traditional authority of some council just as the Rabbis hold Sanhedrin to be possessing oral law. Catholics hold that the Vatican council holds the authority to interpret the scripture. Whosoever disagree with them cannot be true.

This is a fatal flaw in the contention of Catholics. If we take Catholic arguments to be compelling that the Scripture was not the sole authority of faith and doctrines, then we cannot ignore the very same case that Jews believe, that too they used to reject Jesus. I’d like to see my opponent refuting the Jewish case of oral tradition apart from Scripture by using Old Testament books.

Epistemic defeat: Catholic apologists have argued against Evangelicals that the arguments supporting Sola Scripture fails on epistemology of man. Arguing, that they can’t know about the list of Canon books from scripture, the knowledge of canon will have to come outside of scripture. The knowledge concerning Canon must be infallible, otherwise we can’t be sure whether or not it’s inspired and what books are they. And we as Catholics have infallible source of the Canon which is the council or church which gave them the infallible knowledge.

The problem in this argument is that it’s self-defeating. For how does the catholic came to know whether the council or the church is really the true church? Who gave them the (infallible) knowledge about the Church? Their friend or apologists did? It causes an infinite regress. They need to understand that human epistemology is by definition fallible. An individual in flesh will always remain fallible in his knowledge. The council or anyone outside of an individual cannot feed any infallible data in your mind, they cannot ‘know’ in place of others. The knowledge about the Church whether or not it’s true Church of Christ or not is just as depended on an individual as the knowledge for Canon. God being infallible communicated with us through revealed (infallible) scripture. Now if you argue that there is an infallible council which would tell us about the infallible scripture; there is no difference and change in this argument. The human will still remain fallible. The sources of knowledge concerning those infallible objects (scripture or God) will remain same.

It is easy to understand that the knowledge concerning Canon and Scripture or the Gospel will remain inductive reasoning as opposed to deductive. We know about the Canon list, history, compilations or the message of Gospel through ‘investigation’. In order to make your reasoning deductive, you need to presuppose the truth of a council or a committee – I can presuppose the canon scripture itself the same way. The point is, this objection of catholic’s is fallacious and flawed. We knew the canon by the very means the Jews at the time and before him knew the Jewish canon, the personal investigation, and knowledge or say tradition. Do not say they believed in Old Testament Canon because the Sanhedrin council and leaders sanctioned it being infallible.

Catholics must remember not to confuse the tradition with something essentially extra-scriptural. Whenever the apostles talks about tradition, they mean whatever they already delivered to them through by evangelism. (2 Thess 3:6; 2 Thess 2:15) In 2:15 he says “whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” Meaning whatever the tradition should be, have been taught to them and that the scripture is the evidence of true tradition. Ther is no evidence of oral tradition outside of the Scripture.

Let me hear the case of my opponent and I hope he address more arguments that I haven’t given or don’t know, so that we can debate.
Debate Round No. 1
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

I thank my opponent for his timely response and willingness to debate this important topic. He suggested that he post an argument in his first round, and I agreed. Without further ado, I will begin.

Sadly, much of my opponent's case is irrelevant.

Con writes "...We do not need to know the menu of each meal of the Apostolic band for the Scriptures to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church."

Fair enough. That entire paragraph seems reasonable.

Con writes "Secondly, it is not a denial of the Church's authority to teach God's truth..."

Again, fair enough.

Con writes "Thirdly, it is not a denial that God's Word has been spoken."

At the moment, I see no problem with this, but it is suspiciously worded.

Con writes "All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source."

Contentious.

Con writes "The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation."

This is just stupid. I could say "The Catholic Church's authority comes from its nature as God's Church, and because of that its authority is not dependent on any scriptures. Let me now use the Catholic Church to prove itself.".

Con writes "2 Timothy 3:16-17"

Nice try, but I happen to be conducting an investigation into those two verses.

First, 2 Timothy 3:14-15

"(14) But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, (15) and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed... right before Paul says you need nothing but scriptures? I don't think so. Especially considering that the sacred scriptures in question are revealed by these two verses to be the OLD TESTAMENT (should be obvious Timothy didn't know the New Testament from infancy). So even if this does show that you need nothing but the scriptures (which I disagree with), it's saying all you need is the Old Testament (my RSV-2CE's footnote concurs with my conclusion).

Additionally, I present James 1:4

"(4) And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Who needs the scriptures? This one verse, taken out of context and in complete defiance of logic, is telling me that perseverance will make me complete and lacking in nothing. So then, what do I need the scriptures for? You can't reject that that is the meaning of this verse without also rejecting that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 proves sola scriptura, and if you don't reject that meaning the verse itself shows that scripture is not necessary at all.

The early Christians made it hundreds of years without a NT canon. Just making a slight prediction, all the "other references" you have are likely to be referring to the Old Testament.

Catholicism vs Orthodox Judaism

Completely irrelevant. Neither Catholicism nor Orthodox Judaism needs to be involved in this debate, and for the life of me I cannot see why my opponent saw fit to do so. Despite this, I will say that you're wrong because Jesus himself accepted Rabbinic tradition. Observe Matthew 23.

"(1) Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, (2) saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat upon the chair of Moses. (3) Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.".

So the Jews were not guided by sola scriptura, and Jesus acknowledged this.

Epistemic Defeat

Equally irrelevant, but this does bring up some interesting questions. For instance, how can someone's "personal investigations" divine what scriptures are inspired? The Church predates the scriptures, so if I had to pick either the Church or the scriptures I'd definitely go with the Church.

Con writes "The problem in this argument is that it’s self-defeating. For how does the catholic came to know whether the council or the church is really the true church? Who gave them the (infallible) knowledge about the Church? Their friend or apologists did?"

And yours isn't? How did you come to know whether the scriptures are really the true scriptures? Who gave you infallible knowledge about the scriptures?

Bible Challenge!

Do not look up the scriptures in question, although with my luck you'll probably have them memorized.

"I give thanks to my God always, remembering you in my prayers,"

"For the grace of God has appeared, saving all"

"Knowing then that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthily of his commandment and his glory"

Just by looking at these, can you tell me which one(s) is (are) inspired and which one(s) is (are) not, and your grounds for making that decision?

Con writes "We knew the canon by the very means the Jews at the time and before him knew the Jewish canon"

Well, that's not really a powerful recommendation as Jews around the 1st and 2nd centuries realized they were using the wrong canon, as it hadn't even been closed yet. I think that analogy was much more apt than you originally intended.

Con writes "Ther is no evidence of oral tradition outside of the Scripture."

Assertion.

My Case:

Since I've wasted a bunch of characters arguing against irrelevant arguments, my case will be short.

1. The Church wrote the scriptures

Before my opponent makes some sort of claim that God wrote the scriptures or something, I will concede that the scriptures are inspired writing. However, that does not change the fact that the scriptures themselves were a product of the early Church, created to help teach and bring people to Christ it is true, but not intended to be a definitive be-all end-all reference for everything the Church taught. Merely looking at the New Testament shows this, it's mostly a bunch of epistles to specific people/places. Additionally, as I have already mentioned, the Church existed without a canon of the scriptures for quite some time.

2. Timing

Note when the NT was written. They were written in the times of the early Church, often to combat specific heresies. It stands to reason that they would omit things that may have been common knowledge at the time for the early Church, but that we wouldn't know of if the only thing we had was the scriptures.

3. Various Scripture

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them."

Note: in opposition to the teaching that you learned. Not the scriptures you have read. Sure, you can claim Paul meant the teachings of the scriptures, but that then begs the question why he didn't say something more along the lines of "in opposition to the scriptures".

Matthew 18:17

"If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector."

The Church mediates disputes, and if you don't listen to it you are to be treated as a tax collector. Ouch. With all the disputes about who's right regarding the billions of interpretations drawn from "scripture alone", don't you think now's a good time to go to the Church?

1 Corinthians 11:2

"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you."

Traditions without any mention of scriptures, hmm. You can always just assert every tradition ever is in the scriptures, but it stands to reason these passages would be more likely to say things like "I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the epistles that I wrote you" if that was actually the case.

As Peter says, "Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,", and there's no way to interpret the Bible outside of the Church in an impersonal way.

Sola scriptura ought to be rejected, although most of my arguments were not relevant to the actual resolution.

Thank you, and I turn it over to my opponent.
Jacob_Apologist

Con

Read - Joshua 1:8 ;Deu 31:24-26 ;Exodus 24: 7-8; 34:27

In 1 Kings 2. David is about to die and wants to give his son, Solomon, some last words which he will need to be a successful king:
“3-4 Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is WRITTEN in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in ALL that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me” (NASB)

No Oral Law

Pro says “Jesus himself accepted Rabbinic tradition” Matt 23:1-3 but the whole chapter reveals the opposite. Jesus rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees explaining how corrupted their behavior is. V1 says they have taken the position of Moses. He rebukes them for their so called self-authorization on the law or scripture. In fact it is so explicit throughout the Gospel Jesus rebuked the tradition of leaders.

He doesn’t seem to understand what the Oral Torah of Rabbinic Judaism is. The Rabbinic and Orthodox Jews teach there was Oral Law given to Moses on Sinai along with the written; it was given for interpretation and detailed observation of the law. The oral torah in time was also written for preservation (just as catechism and other writings of Catholicism), its Talmud and other writings of the tradition. Rabbis claim that the Sanhedrin council or the council of leaders hold the sole authority for interpretation. They claim personal interpretation is forbidden and impossible. Jesus referred them as the tradition of men which goes against the scripture. The Pharisees taught the scripture, that’s why Jesus said listen to their teachings; that doesn’t mean their interpretation was true. I don’t think we need any ref of how many times. Take for ex Matt 15:1-14

So there is no indication of Oral Torah or tradition apart from the written scripture throughout the Bible. We have ample negative evidence against the tradition of men (that goes against the scripture) in the NT. It always appeals to the written scripture, the authors refer “it is written” to quote and allude to the Old Testament passages, and the phrase is used about 54 times in the NT.

Almost whenever the word “tradition” is used in negative sense, just as Jesus, Apostle Paul also condemned tradition of men (Galatians 1:14; Colossians 2:8)

When he mentioned the true tradition, he distinguished it by saying that the true tradition is what you have already received from us, the one that corresponds to the scriptures (2 Thess 2:15 & 3:6; 1 Corinthians 11:2)

Objection to 2 Tim 3:16-17 is false, because the verse talks about the origin, nature and function of the Scripture, it doesn’t talk about the canon or limiting the OT in the context. Notice that the verses neither require that Timothy must possess the full NT nor that the NT should be closed and completed at the time of this letter. The verse only talks about the function and nature of every scripture.

There is no reason why should we think these verses aren’t implying EVERY scripture as he writes, rather than talking only about OT. Verse 15 could refer specifically to the OT, but that doesn’t mean why should the next verse which clearly says ‘EVERY Scripture’ is excluding the NT. Apostles did not differentiated the NT writings with OT when they talked about “scriptures”. Peter in 2 Peter 3:16 equates and include Paul’s epistles in “scriptures”. Pro’s argument can’t be consistently held unless one believes that only the OT is inspired scripture and adequate for all those things which makes a person capable for every good work of Church. Such skeptic must exclude NT to be inspired scripture.

He takes an absurd interpretation on James 1:4. The context is talking about sanctification, perseverance in faith in many trails. It is illogical to read it, that if it talks that the context of endurance and sanctification is referred as an ingredient of completeness, and then it excludes the Scriptures. Would such reader also misinterpret the context that it even Jesus isn’t required for completion? Where does any verse explicitly says “only Jesus is sufficient for every good work and all the functions of man in the Church”? That’s an argument from silence. 2 Tim 3:16-17 gives a clear exhaustive list that the Scripture is required and adequate for all the function of man needed for the Church- that’s an explicit definition of what “sufficiency” mean. Neither James nor any single author in any verse indicated of any oral tradition or law which is required apart from the scripture.

Pro either didn’t understand or tried to ignore the argument that the Rabbinic Judaism refutes the same concept and arguments of Oral tradition that my opponent holds.

I ask him how he answers the objection of Jews from oral tradition which denies Sola Scripture. If Pro affirms the arguments of Rabbis then how can he consistently consider the NT to be scripture because Rabbinic Judaism rejects Jesus? If he holds Sola Scripture for OT then how the Jews maintained the OT Canon (until the coming of Christ) apart from any divine oral tradition and council? I hope he doesn’t repeat the absurd claim that the Jewish OT canon was false until after centuries later catholics added apocrypha into the canon. Why would God let the apostles and Jews to have a false canon for thousands of years?

Epistemic defeat: Pro again seems to miss the argument. I explained how fallible human knowledge doesn’t restrict us from believing in something “infallible”. For example we believe various infallible truths be it 2+2, scientific facts or the idea of God, that’s all obviously only through the fallible mind. Catholics argued- in order to believe infallible X you need an infallible source Y (council or roman church). That’s fallacious; as I showed how on earth the catholic got to ‘know’ about the infallible source Y without any infallible source for it? Its obvious fact that human epistemology is by nature not infallible; we don’t need to have an external source to know about something to be true or divine. Catholics use circular logic by presupposing their Council to be true in their argument. He even assumes circular logic to prove his Church let him do that as in the light of Scripture his tradition proves false.

His arguments: Church through the apostles gave the NT scripture, true. That doesn’t mean the books are “a bunch of epistles to some people” rather the Apostles knew their letters are “scripture” they instructed the scripture should be read by all Churches or every believers (1 Thes 5:27; 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:1 Col 4:16 etc) They never meant only for immediate context but for all believers for all times. The early Churches circulated the books among themselves and heavily copied to preserve. No council was necessary to affirm what was already true and no book became canonical by the action of any church council, rather the Churches had the books as they were circulated. The same way Sanhedrin never had authority over OT Canon. Sola Scripture doesn’t mean that Church couldn’t stand without 27 canon books; the true Gospel was initially taught orally then the same was written as evidence for all generations. The truth of true Church & its tradition is whatever that is written in scripture.

He again argued from silence that Rom 16:17 is talking of some mysterious extra biblical tradition when we know what NT mean by true tradition and teachings. On Matt 17:18 again he presume that “Church” is something extra biblical council (Vatican or Sanhedrin) when we know that Scripture alone is the sole authority for ALL works of Church. 2 Pet 1:20 is misinterpreted by catholics; v21 makes the context clear that the Scripture is inspired by God, it’s not a personal interpretation and creation of the prophets, but Holy Spirit, v19 emphasize Scripture alone, again no extra-biblical tradition anywhere in the Bible. We have immense positive evidence that Bible instructs SS.
Debate Round No. 2
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

Con writes "Read - Joshua 1:8 ;Deu 31:24-26 ;Exodus 24: 7-8; 34:27"

Note that it specifies "what is written in the Law of Moses" (emphasis mine). I assume that you take this to mean the New Testament has no value? You can succeed in all that you do by merely following the written Law of Moses, is that right? That seems to be the point you're trying to make with this.

Con writes "He rebukes them for their so called self-authorization on the law or scripture."

False. He rebuked them for their hypocrisy.

"Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice." - Matthew 23:3

If Jesus was telling the crowd that the Pharisees had no authority, he sure picked an odd way to do it. I think it's overwhelmingly probably that most people in the crowd would interpret the words "do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you" to mean that they ought to "do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you". How do you interpret that?

Con writes
"He doesn’t seem to understand what the Oral Torah of Rabbinic Judaism is."

Con doesn't seem to understand what Rabbinic Judaism is, else he'd know that Rabbinic Judaism is founded on the theology of the Pharisees, who held that their interpretations had Mosaic authority, a concept supported by Jesus telling the people to "do and observe all things whatsoever they [the Pharisees and scribes] tell you".

Oddly enough, the Sadducees rejected the oral Torah and accepted only the written one. I don't recall Jesus telling anyone to do and observe their practices.

Con writes "The Pharisees taught the scripture, that’s why Jesus said listen to their teachings; that doesn’t mean their interpretation was true."

First of all, there's the obvious problem that the Pharisees didn't teach the scripture (well they did, but they also taught the oral Torah). Second of all, if their interpretation was dead wrong, why would Jesus say to listen to them?

Matthew 15:3

"He said to them in reply, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Clearly, Jesus didn't think you should break commandments of God in favor of tradition, and that you cannot nullify his commandments with tradition.

Con writes "So there is no indication of Oral Torah or tradition apart from the written scripture throughout the Bible."

False.

Con writes "We have ample negative evidence against the tradition of men (that goes against the scripture) in the NT."

So... tradition can't go against scripture. If it doesn't go against scripture, what's wrong with it?

Although my opponent has decided not to provide any of his "ample negative evidence
Con writes "Almost whenever the word “tradition” is used in negative sense, just as Jesus, Apostle Paul also condemned tradition of men"

Again, don't cling to traditions of men over the commands of God, but you've still given no evidence that all tradition is of men. Even the Bible is a tradition of sorts, and Paul also spoke positively of tradition. More on this later.

Con writes "When he mentioned the true tradition, he distinguished it by saying that the true tradition is what you have already received from us, the one that corresponds to the scriptures"

If by "correspond" you mean "be analogous to in function", then yes, you're right. There would obviously be no need for tradition, "true" or not, if the scriptures are all you need.

Con writes "Objection to 2 Tim 3:16-17 is false"

Con also writes "He takes an absurd interpretation on James 1:4. It is illogical to read it, that if it talks that the context of endurance and sanctification is referred as an ingredient of completeness, and then it excludes the Scriptures."

Turn. That "absurd interpretation" was intentionally stupid, and is of course an illogical reading. However, it's pretty much the exact same conclusion reached by you in 2 Timothy 3:16-17; that the scriptures are sufficient for all. Why isn't just my perseverance sufficient?

Con writes "Would such reader also misinterpret the context that it even Jesus isn’t required for completion?"

Quite probably, if he was the sort that would misinterpret the context of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to say that scripture is sufficient for everything.

Con writes "2 Tim 3:16-17 gives a clear exhaustive list"

I again ask, why do you ignore where Paul specifically exhorts Timothy to hold fast to tradition? That would be a pointless exercise if the scripture alone is enough. I also find it mildly curious that you consider two verses out of the entire Bible to be a "clear exhaustive list".

Con writes "I ask him how he answers the objection of Jews from oral tradition which denies Sola Scripture."

Fortunately, this debate is not about how I answer the objection of Jews from oral tradition.

Con writes "If he holds Sola Scripture for OT then how the Jews maintained the OT Canon (until the coming of Christ) apart from any divine oral tradition and council?"

Excellent question, my friend. How did the Christians maintain the NT canon apart from any divine oral tradition and council?

Con writes "I hope he doesn’t repeat the absurd claim that the Jewish OT canon was false until after centuries later catholics added apocrypha into the canon."

Although this is irrelevant, you're blatantly wrong. "Apocrypha" was never added into the canon "centuries later".

Con writes "They never meant only for immediate context but for all believers for all times."

So you claim that when 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 6:1 are things that all Christians are obligated to fully keep even today?

Hey, maybe you do. Who am I to judge? Just don't try to put any of that stuff in context; because they were apparently meant for all believers for all times, despite having been specifically written to certain people in a historical context that Con deigns to ignore fully.

Con writes "No council was necessary to affirm what was already true"

Con never showed why he accepts the canon, he just pretty much accepts it as a given and argues that he has every right to presume it while I have no right to presume the church.

Con writes "when we know that Scripture alone is the sole authority for ALL works of Church."

You mean when you yourself have concluded that the scripture alone is the sole authority? Tell me; for what purpose does the church exist if nothing more than the Bible is needed?

Con writes "we don’t need to have an external source to know about something to be true or divine"

Yes we do. It's called God.

Con writes "rather the Churches had the books as they were circulated."

There was severe debate about the canonicity of several of the books, such as Revelation. How would such a thing be possible if any old person can tell what scripture is inspired?

Con writes " the true Gospel was initially taught orally"

And for some reason you assume the entire thing was written down, despite clear exhortations for people to hold to tradition as well as scriptures.

Con also writes "It always appeals to the written scripture"

So what you're saying it can't appeal to the true Gospel, which was initially taught orally.

Con writes "2 Pet 1:20 is misinterpreted by catholics; v21 makes the context clear that the Scripture is inspired by God, it’s not a personal interpretation and creation of the prophets, but Holy Spirit"

So then how do you, the fallible one, draw an interpretation from it? Are you infallible?

I may have messed up the order of my opponent's statements somewhat, sorry.

Argument:

For whatever reason, my opponent has taken it upon himself to deem that oral teachings are dead and that now the teachings of God can only be gleaned from the scriptures, while not supporting this claim.

2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2 Timothy 4:2 ("proclaim", not "write"), Titus 1:3, 1 Peter 1:25, 2 John 1:12, Deuteronomy 31:10-11.

Since the Word abides forever and my opponent has given no reason to claim the entire Word is in the Bible, his argument fails.

In Deuteronomy, the scripture was only read once every seven years. Were they bereft of salvation in the interim?

Out of space.
Jacob_Apologist

Con

Pro again gave the complete rebuttal based on distortion of my all arguments.We see still not a single positive evidence for his case. I will try my best this time to leave absolutely no chance of misunderstanding so that all the readers especially Catholics, can have no excuse in denying the evidences I presented.

I gave great evidence from the OT that it teaches Sola Scripture(SS) & it has no indication of any oral law. This refutes the position of both Rabbinic Judaism & my catholic opponent on the Oral law. Jesus did rebuke the Pharisees for their self-authorization on the Law as they “have seated themselves in the seat of Moses.” In Matt 23 he told the crowd to listen whatever they teach, but never take them as authority of Moses, because they did teach some true and meaningful things of the scripture after all, however they were farthest from the truth overall. As NET Bible translates “pay attention to what they tell you & do it.” Nowhere did Jesus indicate that Sanhedrin has any divine authority over the law to be authoritative on anything including interpretation. In fact anyone who has read the Gospels would know that Jesus openly rebuked, condemned & abused them.

Rabbinic Judaism Vs Catholicism (Pharisees take the authority of Moses: Popes snatches the seat of Peter)

You can’t possibly imagine that Jesus agreed with the Pharisees. If Oral law of Sanhedrin was true and Pharisees were right; that entails—Jesus was a false prophet and he was rightly killed for his crimes and today’s Jews are correct in their tradition of abusing, cursing him.

Sadducees were no different at all; they only believed torah to be inspired and rejected all prophets. This is a grave mistake in my view that a catholic would go on to claim that even Jesus supported Oral law and authority of Pharisees. I have proved that not only OT doesn’t have any oral law but strict SS but Jesus too enforced the same. Pro made strawman attacks: When I said the NT always appeals to the scripture, I mean the OT is maintained as only divine authority. So the catholic will either have to agree with Rabbis or with SolaScripture; either way he will have to deny Catholicism.

The context of James 1:4 and 2 Tim 3:16-17 can’t be equated. I explained James is talking about a specific context to his audience- they need to endure in hardship. Endurance is one of the ingredients the man of God need in the Church life. Paul on the other hand was speaking of the general context on the nature of Scripture. He says the Scripture contains everything so that the man of God may be complete and fully equipped in every work of Church- that is to say the Scripture is the rule book, absolute divine authority. Moreover the word for ‘complete’ or 'perfect' used in James 1:4; Matt 19:21 etc is “teleios” meaning “mature, grown, more perfect” and so on. Paul was careful in his word selection here, he used “artios” the word appears only once in the NT; it means “complete, adequate, proficient, prepared to work efficient, fully complete and ready”; do a lexicon study on the various top sources of greek for detail. Paul goes on to define what it means “fully equipped for every good work” and in v16 he gave the list of all works of the Church that a man needs. He explained the meaning of “sufficiency” in a great detail- or rather should we say “absolute sufficiency”. Compare how similar the verse 1 Kings 2:3-4 is with Paul’s words.

Further Pro again distorted my words when I said the Bible is meant to be authority for all time for all people, I don’t mean that there are no specific contexts present in it as to for whom its written, I said about the nature & significance of Scripture in response to his misconception as he sees the scripture as “a bunch of letters written by some guys to some guys.”

Church Tradition Vs Tradition of Man

It is important to note, since he repeatedly misses my arguments I have to explain this in detail. Whenever the apostles instruct to hold the tradition; they meant the true tradition of Church. Don’t have a false notion of the word “church” as if it means some authority of council, physical building, Vatican or Sanhedrin. The Gospel was initially taught orally. The Church tradition is whatever the apostles preached: Whatever that is sufficient and necessary for believers for every good work of the Church is written in Scripture. Means whatever corresponds with the Scripture is the true tradition. The Scripture is the very basis, foundation & authority for Church Tradition (CT). CT is the behavior obedience practice of the Gospel.

CT was taught and preached orally first. Early Church had CT; even if in early years some Churches did not have the full list of 27 books with them, such as revelation or a couple of epistles, that doesn’t mean those Churches were not saved. It’s not necessary to have all 27 books in order to have CT.
  1. CT was preached orally and then in written
  2. The scripture contains everything sufficient for all works of the Church for a believer. Therefore to test what is CT: the only criteria & is scripture alone.
  3. Whatever goes beyond sound doctrine is Man’s Tradition (MT)

I never said that the Gospel can and should be preached in written only. I repeatedly said the CT was taught and then written that is the Scripture. God preserved the CT, Sound doctrine through preserving Scripture from the time of Moses. Scripture alone is authority for all sound doctrine and CT. Doctrines can be preached in any means of communication; orally, sign lang, sms, facebook etc.

More relevant are the passages where Paul urges the readers to hold firm the “Sound Doctrine” (1 Tim 4:6; 2 Tim 4:3; Titus 2:1) He exhorted to rebuke and reprove anyone who contradicts with sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 6:3 Titus 1:9

Titus, Timothy and any early Christian corrected, rebuked the false gospels by the authority of true Gospel the sound doctrine that apostles preached. They had the true Gospel and it was sufficient enough to correct others even if they had it orally. The Scripture have been the written evidence to correct those who contradict till today. No where the scripture did indicates of any extra biblical authority. This is how the Word of God endures forever, from the time of Moses till today and forever. Man has tried deliberately to distort and deny the only divine authority- the Scripture, but it endures and we continue to reprove, rebuke and correct those who contradict and follow another Gospel.

Deu 31:10-11 ceremonial public reading of the law in seven years is irrelevant. The public reading was not the only source of learning the law, they had other copies and they remembered the doctrines.

Proverb 7:1-3 God has revealed his Words and preserved them as evidence as the Scripture. God never said “keep the words of xyz leaders, rabbis of popes, Sanhedrin or Vatican”.

Epistemic Defeat of Catholic argument

He couldn’t give any defense to any of the arguments that refutes the case of Catholicism that support anti-sola scripture to hold it’s “MT”. I proved, we have the true CT and the Canon without any external source just as the Jews possessed the Canon of OT through True tradition. Tradition doesn’t mean extra biblical. We have great evidence of the preservation of the Canon of both OT and the NT. Jews never believed the apocrypha as Scripture, it’s only the catholics who added those books in the list anyways. The argument that we need a divine Y as source for believing a divine X is proven fallacious as its circular. We believe in the divine infallible scripture by our human fallible mind just as we believe in infallible God or any infallible truth by the same mind. That’s based on evidence that God preserved & sound logic.

Pro even attempted to agree with Rabbinic Judaism which was a grave mistake; but we should understand, in order to defend his position, he will need to take such radical grave stances. The misinterpretation of all the biblical testimony is also necessary for him.
Debate Round No. 3
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

I apologize for this, but I will have to forfeit.

This is really unfair to my opponent, but it must be done as I procrastinated writing my argument for far too long.

I have only three hours left, and some things I have to do, so there's no way I'll be able to write anything meaningful.

Vote Con.
Jacob_Apologist

Con

Whatever be the reason of Pro’s forfeit in the last round, it is irrelevant. I’d encourage members to vote on basis of an honest judgment of the arguments in the cases presented here, and not just because of his concession. I am sure there is no way for the Catholics to disprove my case. The three contentions I defended here are supported by scripture and reasoning.

a) Bible does teaches Sola Scripture ie. Scripture alone to be all sufficient
b) Catholics faces the fatal counter tradition of Rabbinic Judaism who holds the very same contention.
c) Epistemological defeat in presupposing a council to be authority

1). The Bible does teach Sola Scripture, from the time of Moses to the NT.

1 Kings 2:3-4 "Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is WRITTEN in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in ALL that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction, for training in righteousness, in order that the man of God might be complete, fully equipped for every good work."

The Bible gives extensive warning for believers not to believe in manmade doctrines, philosophy, or any other Gospel that the Apostles preached For instance Galatians 1:6-9.

Colossians 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (NET)

The true tradition of Church is very clear- the Gospel which Apostles preached and taught the believers who they wrote, as they mentioned it to be the real tradition. Catholics have to equate this true tradition with the mysterious hidden extra biblical doctrines of catholic tradition. This is argument from silence again. Their doctrines come under the false tradition of man that the Apostles warned of. So that’s negative evidence against the tradition of man, we are to stick only to the Scripture. Even if there were no such explicit verse like 2 Tim 3 presented in the Bible, that would no reason that we should assume that there are some hidden extra biblical doctrines we are to adhere to. That’s just false arguments from silence. There were never any extra biblical doctrines.

For some studies and detailed arguments, evidences, please see the footnotes of NET Bible on 2 Peter 1:20, which was another supposedly good argument of Catholics. The verse actually says that no prophesy or scripture is written by the personal invention of prophet, but divinely revealed and inspired. Read the footnote here http://bible.org...

Another source I found beneficial is the work of Gassen, a Jewish brother who refuted Rabbi Tovia Singer’s argument against Sola Scripture https://sites.google.com... You can also read the Sola Scripture debate transcript “James White vs Patrick Madrid” on Aomin dot org.

2) The arguments of unbelieving Judaizers fall on the head of the Catholics as all of their arguments against Sola Scripture are identical to the catholic arguments. This is a huge problem which makes their position untenable and paradoxical.

3) The epistemological argument was supposed to be the best defense for their position but it’s clearly shown to be fallacious. It assumes that we can’t safely believe in the infallible scriptures and the canon without believing some external infallible source. It’s proven that their case is just made up of false assumptions, reasoning, doctrines and some misinterpretations.

I challenge any other catholic apologists, if you think you have a good defense for your case against Sola Scripture, and that you can refute my contentions, debate me. Or contact your eminent scholars and apologists to help you. Thank you for reading.

Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by babyy 4 years ago
babyy
Hello dear, my name is Ester, i came across your profile now.So I decided to stop by an let you know that I really want to have a good friendship with you. Beside i have something special i want to discuses with you, but I find it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site. I will be very happy, If you can get back to me, through my e-mail iD(esteredmond(at )ymail.c o m)
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
What if everyone put on their kid boy pants and quit suckling poisionous informtion from a holy binky so we as a human race could effectively evolve concioussly to a planet of intelligent minded people instead of a bunch of followers of childish statistical improbabilities that ultimitely lead to divisiveness, violence, and hatred, this would be one awesome planet with all big kids :)
Posted by Volk23 5 years ago
Volk23
Using this verse:

"2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction, for training in righteousness, in order that the man of God might be complete, fully equipped for every good work."

As a defense of Sola Scriptura is both anachronistic (since the early church didn't ascribe to Sola Scriptura) and a terrible reading of the verse. All these verses say is that scripture is <i><b>profitable</i></b>, not that it is the only authority which we can rightly follow. The burden of the CON in this debate was to show the latter, which he didn't.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Please ignore this "Although my opponent has decided not to provide any of his "ample negative evidence". I meant to delete that before I posted, but I didn't.
Posted by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
AMTY I sent you a debate challenge on this passage. I didn't see that you had posted this on my profile until after I already sent it.
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
perhaps in 15 hrs or so.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Fair enough. By when should I expect your argument?
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
Perhaps complete 5 rounds would be too long for debate :
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
@jacob_apologist

Well, you should have mentioned that before you accepted so I could have extended it, but okay.
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
I will post my opening case from round 1 straightway, bec 3 rounds wont be sufficient for debating.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Smithereens 5 years ago
Smithereens
AlwaysMoreThanYouJacob_ApologistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit, but a good debate never the less
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
AlwaysMoreThanYouJacob_ApologistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Pro, though a good read until then.
Vote Placed by annanicole 5 years ago
annanicole
AlwaysMoreThanYouJacob_ApologistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Round forfeited, and arguments unanswered.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
AlwaysMoreThanYouJacob_ApologistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: an honorable FF