The Instigator
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
TheWalkingDrums
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

The Bible does not teach that it is the sole authority

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,446 times Debate No: 28623
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

Despite my clear lack of aptitude for this particular topic, I'm having at it again.

Format:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: Arguments
Round 4: Conclusions, no new arguments

I reserve the right to use any of the seventy-three books in the Biblical canon as defined by the Synod of Hippo.

Burden of proof is shared, but is more on me than my opponent.

Good luck!
TheWalkingDrums

Con

Challenge accepted.

Rules I request:
- No trolls
-No religious bias argument

Bring the first move
Debate Round No. 1
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

I thank my opponent TheWalkingDrums for accepting this debate. I'm not quite sure what he means by 'No religious bias argument', but other than that I have no problem conforming to his rules. On that note, I probably should have mentioned this in Round 1, but I don't expect sources to be a major issue in this debate. The only external resource that I forsee being relevant is the Bible, and possibly a Greek lexicon if necessary.

Arguments:

My opening case will be quite simple, because I feel that the strongest argument in favor of the resolution is the lack of Bible verses that teach that the Bible as sole authority.

Contention One: The Sacred Tradition of the Apostles is authoritative

Paul wrote in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

'Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.' - 2 Thessalonians 2:14

Clearly, Paul esteemed the oral teachings as equal in value to the written ones, which makes sense given that during the first years of Christianity, there was no New Testament.

Also written by Paul, this time to Timothy:

'And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also.' - 2 Timothy 2:2

It is clear that things beyond the Bible, namely the Sacred Tradition which was passed on by the Apostles, was valued equally as similarly authoratative. This affirms the resolution, as a specific mention of other authorities by the Bible shows that the Bible does not teach itself to be the sole authority.

I have heard it argued that the Sacred Tradition somehow vanished with the creation of the Bible. As far as I know, this theory has not an ounce of scriptural backing. In fact, Peter wrote:

'But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.' - 1 Peter 1:25

The Word of the Lord is that which was preached (not read/written) to Peter's audience, and it endures forever. A mysterious disappearance of the oral teachings would certainly prevent them from enduring forever.

Contention Two: The Bible nowhere claims to be the sole authority

I'm not going to post the entire Bible here and say 'See, look, it never says it's the sole authority!', however the only argument I've ever encountered in favor of the Bible claiming to be the sole authority is people mindlessly hollering that it's the Word of God, thus it must somehow be the sole authority. This is clearly not true, as there are numerous verses indicating that the Word of God is spoken as well as written, such as (for example) Acts 4:31, Acts 13:5, Acts 13:46, Philippians 1:14, and Hebrews 13:7.

Conclusion:

I've tried to keep my arguments reasonably brief, yet enough to get my point across. By the words written in the Bible, we can tell the Bible does not teach itself to be the sole authority.
TheWalkingDrums

Con

"No religious bias argument" would mean not bashing one's religion. You may probably Catholic, but on my part, I should not bash Catholicism, rather, keep on sight the topic, same thing with you.

To be honest, I do not know where to rebut, so, I think, I will rebut your argument on Round 3, then being another argument on Round 3.

Argument:
The Bible is the only authority, and no one can go outside it.

My main ground on all my points is 2 Tim. 3:16-17:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

First point: The Bible is our spiritual guide, not just a history book.
Some people would have claim that the Bible is just a history book, and is not only the Word of God. Well, though the Bible may did not declare that it is only the must authority, we can also see that we must not go beyond it.

"Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other." - 1 Cor. 4:6

Adding to the words of the Bible is not only limited by simply adding to it. Making new laws outside the Bible is also not permitted:

"Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar." - Proverbs 30:5-6

The teaching assurance of the Bible is also guaranteed in 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and in 1 Peter 1:20
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet"s own interpretation of things." 1 Peter 1:20

Second point: A sub rebut for Contention Two of Pro:
The "Word of God" for every verses provided is the Bible itself, since, what they teach is what we see in the Bible: Gospel and Good News of Jesus.

Third Point: Traditions and the Word of God, the Bible, is not separated. Baptism, fasting are part of the Bible.

Conclusion and clarification: I do believe that Christian life is not just centered on the Bible, but it is the only authority and guide for Christians

Ephesians 6:17
" Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

Psalm 119:105
"Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path."
Debate Round No. 2
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

I apologize in advance for what will undoubtably be a very poor round; my computer's been acting up and I've not been able to present as good an argument as I would like to.

Rebuttals:

First Point

2 Timothy 3:16-17

'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.'

I personally don't see much of an argument here, just a quote of scripture. Surely it is true. What relevance it has to my opponent's case is yet to be determined, as it sure doesn't say 'The Bible is the sole authority', or even 'the Sacred Scriptures are the sole authority'.

1 Corinthians 4:6

'Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.'

I request that my opponent exegete this passage. I'll provide my own exegesis of it for now.

It pretty clearly states 'so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying "Do not go beyond what is written."'
So what is the meaning of this saying? I'm not quite sure, but it definitely says 'then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over the other', referring to a dispute between the Corinthians over who was the greatest out of Apollo, Cephas, and Paul himself. Clearly, Paul was not in any way referring to authorities, but admonishing the Corinthians for their pride in trying to unrighteously judge who was the greatest among those three.

Proverbs 30:5-6

'Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.'

This says that every word of God is flawless, which I would suppose includes words outside of the Bible.

'We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.' - 1 Thessalonians 2:13

That you heard from us, not that you read from us, that we read to you, or anything suggesting any form of writing.
I surely agree with my opponent that the Scriptures are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, but this doesn't prove them the only authority.

Second Point

While my opponent supposes that the 'word of God' in every provided verse is the Bible itself, that claim is not tremendously supported by the actual verses.

In pretty much every verse (to the best of my knowledge), the word of God is preached, heard, spoken, or some verb implying transmission verbally and orally, rather than by text.

2 Peter 3:16

'speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.'

The Bible and the epistles that comprise it are the scriptures, and as far as I can tell the Bible only refers to itself as the scriptures, not as the word of God. For that reason, I find it unlikely that the preached, heard, spoken, or orally transmitted word of God referred to is the Bible.

Third Point

This point is pretty much just some unsubstantiated hypothesizing. I could just as easily claim the opposite.

Conclusion

The Bible does not teach it is the sole authority, as it acknowledges other authoritative sources.

Thank you.
TheWalkingDrums

Con

Before I proceed to the rebuttals, I have to repeat what I had said in my conclusion: "I do believe that Christian life is not just centered on the Bible..." It would mean that Christianity is not all about the Bible in the sense that we must depend on the Bible always. But, again, as said, "...but it is the only authority and guide for Christians"

I have added the word "guide" since in reality, the Bible guides us. Without the Bible, how can we know about God?

One common argument from non Sola Scriptura denomination is that, "how come Jesus and the Apostles did not use the Bible in teaching others?"

To answer that, Jesus and the Apostles had used the Old Testament, and the Apostle Paul used his books (depending on the place. For example, he used Romans to address it to Rome), then, the Old Testament. Whatever Jesus and the Apostles had taught is clearly in the Bible. Let us just be glad to have one. It is difficult for the Apostles to teach without it, but now, for us, it is easy since we have that book.

Rebuttal:
1) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 does not directly say that it is the only authority, but, as said in Proverbs 30:5-6, we should not add words to the Bible.

2) "Do not go beyond what is written" is not limited to Apollo, Cephas, and to himself, and to Corinthians as well. A lot of people who go beyond what is written had practiced unbiblical practices and traditions, focused more on preachers rather than the Bible, and everything. I do not want to go through these unbiblical practices since I may go out of topic.

3) "This says that every word of God is flawless, which I would suppose includes words outside of the Bible."
The Word of God is the Bible alone. Though, you can create your own philosophies that is biblically based, that doesn't mean, it is the Word of God already. If we consider that the words outside the Bible is the "Word of God", too, then, people may tend to go literally outside the Bible like making own doctrines.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 is part of the Bible itself. It does not mean it is not from the Bible. As known, 1 Thessalonians is part of the New Testament. As said, in the early times, the Apostles does not have the Bible, but in the end, we are blessed to have one. What the Apostles taught is also in the Bible.

Go to add one argument before conclusion:
"Sola Scriptura" means "Bible alone", every authority of the church should follow it. It does not remove church authorities, but it tells and reminds us that the Bible is our GUIDE, that even church authorities and leaders should follow it, that when we go beyond it, there's a danger.

Second, the Bible is a spiritual guide. Some would ask, "Do the Bible deals with morality like stem cell researches and abortion?" I just reply, "The Bible is a spiritual Christian guide." Though it may not directly deal with abortion issues and other morality issues, the Bible is teaching us spiritual relationship with God wherein morality will follow.

Conclusion:

"Sola Scriptura" does not take away the authorities of church leaders, but, it only gives high regard for the Bible as the "only" authority. "Only" means, "do not go beyond what is written". Take note: Scripture alone does NOT take away church authorities, but it is the HIGHEST authority, and NO authority can be higher than it.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." - Matthew 24:35
Debate Round No. 3
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

Rebuttals:

1) Proverbs 30:5-6 says 'Do not add to His words,', not 'do not add to the Bible'. I think I have given probable cause for thinking that the Bible is not the only words of God, as the word of God often referred to in the Bible is spoken, not written (cf. Acts 4:31, Acts 13:5, Acts 13:46, Philippians 1:14, and Hebrews 13:7).

2) Sure it *could* not be limited, but I think it is. If that verse actually meant 'do not go beyond what is written', that would constitute a rejection of the later books of the Bible, such as the Book of Revelation.

3) That's just an assertion. As I argued in Round 2, the word of God is spoken, transmitted orally, preached, and otherwise indicated as not being solely written. Now you must not add to the words of God, so you can't go beyond what is found in the Bible and the spoken word of God, but to stick to the Bible alone would be to neglect the Sacred Tradition (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

1 Thessalonians 2:13 isn't speaking of the Bible, because the word of God so received was heard rather than read.

Conclusion

I don't feel like all of my arguments have been fully addressed, and for that reason I state that the resolution is affirmed.

I thank my opponent for this debate.
TheWalkingDrums

Con

Rebuttals:

1) I agree, during the time of the Apostles, they just spoke the Word, rather than reading (They don't have the Bible). But, whatever is spoken by them is also written, and so, we cannot just "disregard" the Bible. Traditions like baptism and fasting is part of the Bible, too. The Bible is indeed the only Word of God as it is inspired:
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet"s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

From 2 Peter 1:20-21, the verse above, it was said that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible does not give guarantee that other people can "deliver" the Word of God.

And in Revelation 22:18-19

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." - Revelation 22:18-19

We are assured that we must not add and subtract words from the Bible, just like in Proverbs 30:5-6

2) It won't constitute rejection to latter books in the Bible like Revelation, since Revelation itself is an inspired book.

3) Baptism and fasting and any biblical tradition, from the word "biblical", means, it is found in the Bible. "Sola Scriptura" does not mean neglect traditions and practices, in fact, it teaches us those things. The Bible is our guide (Psalm 119:105)
"Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path." - Psalm 119:105

Conclusion: Let our Bible be the guide in our Christian life. Depending on preachers and pastors (or whatever you call to your church leaders) is ok, but do not let yourself be disalign from what the Bible says. The Bible is higher than the church, as it was the Word of God. "Sola Scriptura" does not literally mean, "Bible alone, Bible alone should be the basis", rather, it means, "Let the Bible be our highest authority since it is the Word of God alone"

Thank you for a nice debate.

God bless us all.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dale.G 4 years ago
Dale.G
Jesus Christ was given Authority the bible say's in Luke 10:19-20
New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather[a] rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

/ me quote Jesus Christ said in Matthew 28:18
New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

/ me quote so when Jesus was given authority that means the bible does teach about authority
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:29
New King James Version (NKJV)
29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

/ me quote see look at what the bible say's
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
to catholics readiing here: If u know someone pretty expert ffor defending catholics case you can contact me for debating him on Sola scripture. He must be expert.
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
http://www.debate.org...
read my debate and use the arguments to refute catholicism.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
@joshh_03

I'm willing to debate that as well.
Posted by joshh_03 4 years ago
joshh_03
There are only 66 inspired books of the Bible.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
HA! April Fools.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
I'm going to accept this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
AlwaysMoreThanYouTheWalkingDrumsTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Looking at this objectively, Pro won. Most of Con's arguments only proved the necessity of Scripture, not the absolute sufficiency of it. He had a case with the Proverbs 30:5-6 argument, but Pro showed how he mistook the "Word of God" to mean only what is written. Pro showed how that particular phrase can mean other things throughout the Bible. Con's last round was mainly just reassertions that Pro had already debunked previously. I'm giving Pro S/G to commend him for his structure, which was more organised than Con's. Overall, a pretty blatant victory for Pro.
Vote Placed by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
AlwaysMoreThanYouTheWalkingDrumsTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Good ref from Con on Prov30:5-6 and the quote by Paul "don't go beyond what is written"- which was new to me and its a strong evidence against catholics ; the quote of Paul means he was teaching to them "Dont use your own mind and adhere to what is writen and given to you by scripture" Paul stricktly told them that the scripture is absolutely complete and all suficient in 2Tim3:16. Pro has only repeatedly argued that God also gave word orally. But all the relevant relevation is noted in scripture for us - that the scripture is ALL sufficient n complete for EVERY or all work of church. Bible alone is authority, no extra biblical tradition. The catholic case is alwys eisegesis desperate attemt . Plz read my debate on the same topic for a detailed debate.