SOLA SCRIPTURA: Explanation of Tradition 0

Tradition 0 is hard to critique. Mainly because its premise, “the Whole Bible and nothing but the Bible,” is merely assumed and not defended. Many if not most, who hold this position do not clarify or defend it. This might draw the conclusion that there is no such position. However, indirect evidence points to the truth of the position. Such statements as the one presented by a student of Dr. Chafer affirm the tradition:

Dr. Chafer has himself said that ‘the very fact that I did not study a prescribed course in theology made it possible for me to approach the subject (theology) with an unprejudiced mind and to be concerned only with what the Bible actually teaches’. This independent research has resulted in a work, which is unabridged, Calvinistic, premillennial, and dispensational.[1]

Dr. Chafer believed that he approached Scripture without bias. He believed that his mind was free and clear of any presuppositions, which allowed him to approach Scripture alone arriving at the correct interpretation. Charles Ryrie wrote, “Protestantism removes the church as a base of authority. . . The Scripture contain the objective revelation of God and are therefore the basis of authority for the conservative Protestant.”[2] According to Ryrie, the church is left out of the equation on authority. These statements confirm the doctrine called solo scriptura—Scripture the only authority without any other recognized authority.

Solo scriptura claims that creeds and confessions promote man’s opinion of truth over the authority of divine revelation. If the church embarks on forming creeds, it is a slippery slope back to Rome and its advancement of tradition above Scripture. History proves that creeds seize the place of biblical authority.  Solo scriptura’s creed, if you will, is, “The whole Bible and nothing but the Bible.”


[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols., (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 8:5-6.

[2] Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1987), 22.

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2 thoughts on “SOLA SCRIPTURA: Explanation of Tradition 0

  1. Pingback: Articles of Interest for Scriptural Study | Moje Da Poet: Meditations & Musings

  2. Pingback: Articles of Interest for Scriptural Study « Variegated Vision

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