I recently did some research on how protestants defend the idea of “The Bible Alone”, and I came across a site that motivated me to write this response. The site was the very first site that showed up on Google when I did a search on “bible alone” and is called “Christian Witness to Roman Catholics” (cwrc).

What I found so very amazing is that this site claims that it is the Catholic Church that has to prove its beliefs as noted here:

“1. The Roman Catholic religion must prove that Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium are so closely connected that one cannot stand without the others. They must prove that Scripture and their Tradition and Magisterium must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments. Finally, Rome must prove that other sources can be summoned to give “certainty about God’s revealed truth” other than the Bible alone.”

Seriously? The Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years, the protestant for 500. The Catholic Church through those Traditions and Magisterium determined the books of the Bible and proclaimed them to be authoritative. If not for that, the Protestants would not have a bible to begin with, and in essence have themselves submitted to the very Traditions and Magisterium by accepting that declaration.

Can you imagine if a group of people who didn’t like the American government decided that their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution was better then the established authorities? Anyone could simply say that they don’t have to follow the laws of this country because they don’t agree with them! That would bring chaos. God’s Church lives by different values than our american government, but the principles are the same. Jesus chose 12 apostles for a reason. Jesus gave Peter the “keys” of the kingdom. He gave the apostles the right to forgive or retain sins. There is order and purpose to how Jesus began to establish His kingdom on earth, and like any organized system, it grows and adjusts to its surroundings. But without leaders to make big decisions, there would be no Church. Peter knew that when he called for someone to replace Judas (the beginning of Apostolic Succession!). This also shows that there can be corrupted leadership, but that does not negate the authority of the Church. It is still protected by the promise Jesus made that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

If the Bible Alone is the authority we are to live by, then that must mean that the first several hundred years after Christ simply had no authority. How do you apply that doctrine to those years? Are you to say that oral tradition was okay for a few years but then that authority had to be transferred to writings. Then which letters were considered divinely inspired? It simply makes no sense to say that God used those Catholic heretics (who baptised babies, believed in the real presence, and purgatory) to correctly select the inspired books, then declare them infallible, then took all authority away from the Church that up to that point had the authority to make that decision. Not to mention that they included 7 more books in the Old Testament that the protestants threw out of their bibles 1,000 years later! Who gave them the authority to do that! Were the Christians that assumed they had the correct books in the bible for 1,000 years all deceived until the 16th century?

Check out this quote from St. Francis De Sales in the late 1500’s
“You take away Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the Machabees: why do you thus dismember the Holy Scripture? Who has told you that they are not sacred? There was some doubt about them in the ancient Church; but was there not doubt in the ancient Church about Esther, the Epistle to the Hebrews, those of S. James and S. Jude, the Second of S. Peter, the two last of S. John, and especially of the Apocalypse? Why do you not also erase these as you have done those? Acknowledge honestly that what you have done in this has only been in order to contradict the Church.” http://www.goodcatholicbooks.org/francis/catholic-controversy/protestant-scripture.html#CHAPTER_VII