"Sola Scriptura" means "the Bible alone."
In the previous article, Sola Scriptura I, it was shown that Sola Scriptura has no basis in the Christian faith when it comes to rejecting the Catholic Church Tradition.
In this article, we shall demonstrate that those who support Sola Scriptura, they do not have a sound argument based on the history of the Christian Church.
When Jesus told the Apostles to communicate the faith, the truths that must be believed in order to be saved, He did not say, “Take your Bible, go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus made no reference to the Holy Bible because in those days, there was no Holy Bible as we know it today.
Jesus never wrote a Bible. He never commanded His Apostles to write Bibles. Jesus never said to write Bibles, to scatter them all over the earth and to let every man read it and interpret it for himself in accordance to His teachings. Yet, this is the basic belief of Protestantism. Everyone needs to read the Bible and decide what is the truth and what is not the truth. Not only does each individual denomination have its own individual and opposing beliefs, so does many Protestant Churches within the same denomination. Equally, within families, each member is entitled to his/her own individual belief that may oppose other members of the same family. Is this Unity? Is this the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that our Lord Jesus founded?
What happened was:
1. Jesus said to Saint Peter, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.” [Mt. 16:18]
2. Saint Paul clearly taught that the Church is the pillar and bulwark (“bulwark” means a protective wall or embankment.) of the truth. [1 Tim. 3:16]
3. Jesus commissioned Peter to preach in His name, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” [Jn. 20:21] This means that Jesus gave Peter the authority to preach in His name.
4. Then Jesus said, “Whoever listens to you listens to Me, and whoever rejects you rejects Me, and whoever rejects Me rejects the One Who sent Me.” [Lk. 10:16] “If the offender refuses to listen even to the Church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile (“gentile” in the sense of non-believer”) and a tax collector.” [Mt. 18:17]
The Catholic Church and the Faith was in place before the existence of the New Testament, the second part of the Holy Bible. Of the 12 Apostles, only 5 wrote something. Seven to ten years before anything was written down, the Catholic Church was already administering the Sacraments, baptizing, forgiving sins, praying over the sick, etc...
Before one single word of the New Testament was written, the Catholic Church had already spread throughout the Roman Empire. The Catholic Church had Saints and Martyrs before it had Gospels and Epistles.
Saint Matthew wrote his Gospel about 7 years after Jesus was taken up to Heaven. Saint Mark was 10 years later; Saint Luke was 25 years after the Ascension of the Lord. The Gospel of John was written about 63 years after the Ascension.
I ask you, “How did the early believers become Christians?” “How did they save their souls?” It certainly was not by reading the Bible because there was no New Testament. It was not until 397 A.D., under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, at the Council of Carthage, that the Catholic Church finally agreed on which writings should be part of the New Testament.
The strange thing about Sola Scriptura, those who claim that every word in the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God, they fail to affirm that God commissioned the Catholic Church, no other Church, to compile the Holy Bible. It was the Catholic Church that produced the Bible. It was not the Bible that produced the Church.
Now if faith is only obtained by reading the Holy Bible (Sola Scriptura) in order to be saved, than salvation comes from the invention of the printing press. Before the middle of the 1400's, the Holy Bible was hand-written. Very few persons owned a copy of it. Every Christian family did not own a Holy Bible. Nor could many parishes afford to buy one.
It was only during the last 500 years that those who were rich and who can afford to buy a printed Bible, this permitted them to read it and decide for themselves what was the truth. This excluded the believers in poor countries who were unable to afford a Bible. This also excluded all the languages in which the Holy Bible was never translated. Before the 1950's, very few Nations had Bibles translated in all the languages spoken in their nation.
So you see my brothers and sisters in Christ, if we are to believe that we only need the Holy Bible in order to be saved, then most of the members of the Church during the past 1,500 years could not have been saved, only those who owned a Bible. We know that this is not true, that an endless number of believers, saints and martyrs, were saved throughout the centuries because of their unity to the Catholic Church as commanded by Jesus.