Daily Archives: September 3, 2006

1 Comment

This essay was written by John MacArthur.

In this essay, MacArthur unapologetically answers Roman Catholic apologists.

The very first point is that we (as humans) have the tendancy to venerate tradition and there are many world religions that rely totally on tradition and oral transmission (Native American religions and Druidism, to name two.) Even among the religionsh, such as Hinduism, that use sacred writings, tradition is blended.

What happens is that it ends up that Scripture is read through the "translator" of tradition, thus rendering tradition the highest authority, because only through tradition can the Scripture be accurate.

Traditional Judaism follows this Scripture-plus-tradition pattern; the familiar books of the Old Testament alone are considered "Scripture", but the Jews have added the Talmud - this is the "lens" through which they read Scripture, rendering the Scripture in submission to the Talmud.

Christ told them:

"This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men."

This was inexcusable; the Jews were in direct disobedience to God's Word: "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4:2).

MacArthur writes:

So the revealed Word of God, and nothing else, was the supreme and sole authority in Judaism. This alone was the standard of truth delivered to them by God Himself. Moses was instructed to write down the very words God gave him (Exodus 34:27), and that written record of God's Word became the basis for God's covenant with the nation (Exodus 24:4, 7). The written Word was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:9), symbolizing its supreme authority in the lives and the worship of the Jews forever. God even told Moses' successor, Joshua: "Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night., so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it" Joshua 1:7 -- 8).

Thus, the principle of Sola Scriptura is given to us in the Word of God.

...continue reading