‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 4 ‘It Reveals’
During the Reformation, in addition to ‘faith alone,’ another of the mostly forgotten truths that were brought up is in Latin called ‘sola scriptura.’ This means ‘Scripture alone,’ and reinforces the point that Scripture, by itself, is the first and final authority in a believer’s life (Matthew 4:4). Scripture overrides and transcends a priest’s word, or a pastor’s commentary, a rabbinic ruling and even a pope’s bull. One reason this truth (among others) had to be recovered, and now repeated, was that many teachings of men (then and now) obscure the plain meaning of God’s Word for everyday people. Another reason is that church (or Jewish) traditions drift into overriding the Bible after a while.
There are good writings from many good teachers that help us understand more about the Bible. Talmud (the ‘oral law’) for instance, has a great deal of good commentary. The apocrypha has some interesting insights. But they are not the Word, and do not carry the same authority. No extra-biblical writing measures up to the Bible. Even the good ones just repeat what is already in the Word. As Solomon says, there is no new thing under the sun.
Many times the extra writings just lead away from the Bible. Papal bulls, the efforts of so-called ‘prophets’ (Edgar Cayce, Ellen White, Charles Russell etc.) and almost all other extra-biblical writings just obscure the plain meaning of His ancient message. People keep trying to trump God’s Word with other writings. The Nicolaitans use their education to scare us and stifle dissent. They fool some of the people some of the time, but they can’t fool all of us. Whole Bible Christians understand that there are many sources for learning, but only one with Authority.