One of the fundamental doctrines of Protestantism is the belief that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith. In other words everything that a Christian must believe and practice must be found within the pages of Scriptures. if it is not found in the Scriptures even if it is not an evil practice then it is not worthy of our time and effort. Because of the mentality of Protestants that everything must be in Scriptures they begin to question some of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith particularly that ones pertaining to the blessed Virgin Mary. We often hear them ask the question “where is the found in Scripture?” “Does the Bible mention this and that?” Such a question would be a valid one if the Scriptures are our only rule of faith. But that is not the case it has been proven repeatedly that the “Bible Alone” doctrine itself is nowhere to be found in Scriptures.
There are only few Scriptural passages that they use in order to prove that Bible alone is scriptural. Their lack of understanding of the passage lead them to believe that this is a golden evidence for their invented doctrine. Then they would proceed then spend more time proving that Sacred Tradition or Apostolic tradition is not biblical rather than demonstrating that Bible alone is Biblical. The Scriptural passage that they often quote to defend the Bible alone doctrine is 2 Timothy 3:16 which says;
All Scripture is inspired by God and can profitably used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy. This is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work. 2 Timothy 3:16
At first glance this passage is a solid proof for Bible alone doctrine especially for an untrained reader of the Sacred Scriptures. upon close scrutiny this passage would not hold water in defending the Bible alone doctrine.When St. Paul said “All Scripture” what does he mean by this? Is he referring to the entire Scriptures both the Old and New Testament? The answer to this question can be found in verse 15 of the same passage. St. Paul was speaking to Timothy and was referring to the importance of the Sacred Scripture since the time of Timothy’s infancy or younger days. However, during Timothy younger years not a single New Testament was ever written yet. Therefore, basing on the context of the passage it tells us that when St. Paul was speaking about Scriptures he is referring to the Old Testament as inspired by God, not the entire Scriptures including both the Old and New Testament. The Protestant scholar William Evans, Ph.D, D.D of the Moody Bible Institute has the same observation when he commented on this passage.
The word inspired means literally God-breathed. It is composed of two Greek words: theos= God and pnein=to breathe. The term “given by inspiration” signifies, then, that the writings of the Old Testament, of which Paul is here speaking, are the result of a certain influence exerted by God upon their authors. W. Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible, p.168
There is no reason to doubt Dr. Evan’s commentary on 2 Timothy 3:16, he bravely said the truth what his fellow pastors cannot admit that this passage is referring to the Old Testament not the entire Bible as what we have now. Since St. Paul is clearly referring to the Old Testament in this passage then it literally destroys the notion of Sola Scriptura that everything must be in the Bible. Granting without admitting that the Protestant doctrine of Bible alone is true then basing on the context of 2 Timothy 3:16 the New Testament would be of no use to us since everything can be found in the Old Testament. Another consideration that we must remember is that 2 Timothy 3:16 is not only speaking of the inspiration of the Old testament but it also tells us that the Scripture is a tool use by people who are in the ministry in order to teach and correct errors, it doesn’t say that Scripture is the only rule of faith.
There are instances that we cannot use the Scriptures alone to prove a given Christian belief, and that belief is the inspiration of the canon of the New Testament. All the 27 books of the New Testament is accepted by all Christian denominations even though there is not a single hint in the Old Testament about the canon of the New Testament. On what basis does Protestants accept that there are 27 New Testament books? Where in the Bible does it say that there must be 27 New Testament books not 20, not 30 but 27? How do you know that the New Testament is inspired by God? They might quote 2 Timothy 3:16 however its context points to the inspiration of the Old Testament not the New Testament. Even if it does on what basis would you accept that 2 Timothy 3:16 is inspired by God? Clearly, the Bible alone doctrine espoused by Protestants have no Biblical basis. The only logical explanation why they accepted this doctrine is that it serves as an alternative rather than accepting the diving authority of the Catholic Church (Mt. 16:17-19, 1 Timothy 3:16, Col.1:18).