Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 30, 1953

"Is The Bible Our Sole Guide?"

R. Ervin Driskill, Columbus, Georgia

This is the second article, in answer to an Ad by the Knights of Columbus, in the Ledger, Parade Sec., p. 24. Of course the Romish Church does not believe in the ALL SUFFICIENCY of the Bible and in an effort to justify Oral and Written tradition they cite John 20:30 but, refuse to consider verse 31 which forever kills their claim for tradition. Let us notice the two verses together for one is a commentary on the other: "Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name." Verse 31 tells why all that Jesus did (in verse 30) was not written. "I have only written down that which is necessary to make believers," says John; "The other things which Jesus did (and which are not written) are not necessary." Now, since John gave us a written record of that which was necessary then, the WRITTEN. WORD is SUFFICIENT, it is ALL THAT WE NEED and is therefore, "OUR SOLE GUIDE." Friends, you never heard a Catholic, in your life, quote verse 30 (to try to prove his claim for tradition) that would quote verse 31 too. Why? because he KNOWS it destroys his claim. Three great questions are answered in these two verses: Why has God given us this written record (the Bible)? (1) That we might believe. That we might believe what? (2) That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Why believe that He is the Son of God? (3) That we might have LIFE (eternal life) through His name. Hence, LIFE (eternal life) comes to us through the medium of the scriptures (Bible) and not through uninspired oral or written TRADITION.

A second passage, used in the Ad, is 2 Thessalonians 2:15. It reads: "Stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." In studying this verse let us also consider verse 1. "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father . . ." So, verse 1 tells who the "ours" (of v. 15) is; Paul, Silvanus (Silas) slid Timothy. Paul was inspired and Silas and Timothy were co-laborers with him. What Paul preached, or taught, was inspired and what Silas and Timothy taught, Paul had taught it to them. Whatever Paul, Silas and Timothy taught others or handed down to others, (for that is the meaning of the word tradition) either by WORD or EPISTLE, could be relied on as true and worthy of consideration. We accept this but, what we reject is uninspired Catholic tradition. There is a vast difference in inspired and uninspired tradition. This passage simply strengthens the claim of the scriptures as the "Sole Guide," in matters pertaining to the Christian religion, instead of serving as proof for Roman Catholic tradition. Paul taught by word what he wrote in his epistles yet, in one of his epistles (Gal. 1:8,9) he said that if an "Angel or any man taught something other than that which he taught" to let him be accursed. Catholic tradition is different to that taught by Paul and therefore stands condemned before God.

While Paul and other inspired men lived they naturally taught by WORD and at the same time they were writing epistles to churches (congregations) and individuals that an INSPIRED RECORD might be preserved, for their guide, after they were dead and gone. And, in one of Paul's epistles, he wanted them to know that these epistles (scriptures) were inspired (2 Tim. 3:16,17) and that they (scriptures) were all they needed, as their "Sole Guide," and they (epistles — scriptures) would make them "COMPLETE" and "EQUIP THEM FOR EVERY GOOD WORK." In kindness, let me say; Catholics are either ignorant of the claims of the Bible or, they willfully deny its claims. They cannot deny the Bible as being the "Sole Guide" and, . . . "have a genuine love and respect for it," as the Ad states. Of course this places them in an unenviable position but, ". . . let God be found true, but every man a liar; . . ." (Rom. 3:4)