Sola Scriptura 4
Martin Luther held tenaciously to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Here is but a sampling of his perspectives on the subject:
- The Holy Spirit Himself and God, the Creator of all things, is the Author of this book (What Luther Says 1:62).
- Scripture, although also written of men, is not of men nor from men, but from God (1:63).
- He who would not read these stories in vain must firmly hold that Holy Scripture is not human but divine wisdom (1:67).
- The Word must stand, for God cannot lie; and heaven and earth must go to ruins before the most insignificant letter or tittle of His Word remains unfulfilled (1:68).
- We intend to glory in nothing but Holy Scripture, and we are certain that the Holy Spirit cannot oppose or contradict Himself (1:72).
John Calvin strongly emphasized the importance of a commitment to Sola Scriptura. He wrote:
If true religion is to beam upon us, our principle must be, that it is necessary to begin with heavenly teaching, and that it is impossible for any man to obtain even the minutest portion of right and sound doctrine without being a disciple of Scripture. Hence, the first step in true knowledge is taken when we reverently embrace the testimony which God has been pleased therein to give of himself. (Institutes 1:6:2)
God clearly communicates that His Word is the final authority in all matters. It is not to be tampered with in any way. Biblical texts declaring this include the following:
- Exodus 34:27 – “Then the LORD said to Moses, Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel” (New King James Version 145).
- Deuteronomy 4:1-2 – “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (255).
- Deuteronomy 12:32 – “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (269).
- Deuteronomy 32:1-4 – “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He” (296).