Friday, June 16, 2006

Response to James Akin of Catholic Answers
In this article, I am going to be responding to an article found here. It is an article attempting to get around the idea that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches that the scriptures are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the rule of faith for the church. Mr Akin's points are in blue, and my points are in black:
If the doctrine of sola scriptura is true then we must be able to prove all doctrines from Scripture alone. If that is true, then we must be able to prove sola scriptura from Scripture alone. If we canot do that then sola scriptura turns out to be self-refuting, an idea that cuts its own basis out from under itself, like the proposition "No generalizations are true."
Of course, the situation is just as problematic for the Roman Catholic. If one takes the historic Roman Catholic understanding of scripture, that is, that the scriptures are inspired and inerrant [i.e., there are some Roman Catholics like Raymond Brown and Joseph Fitzmayer who deny this], and scripture teaches sola scriptura, then the Catholic is caught on the heels of a delemma:
1. Everything scripture teaches is true.
2. Scripture teaches sola scriptura.
3. Therefore, Sola Scriptura is true.
Hence, the Roman Catholic must argue that the scriptures do not teach Sola Scriptura, because if the scriptures teach sola scriptura, the Catholic position is thereby refuted. Keep in mind that James Akin has just as much to loose in this discussion as any protestant does.
The idea that Jesus -- the living Word of God who came to bring us new revelation via his oral preaching and teaching -- would have believed and practiced the proposition that all doctrine must be proved only by the written word of God is absurd on its face, yet this does not stop the careless advocate of sola scriptura from appealing to instances where Jesus uses Scripture to prove an individual doctrine as if they were proof Scripture is able to validate all doctrines whatsoever.
Of course, James Akin is erecting a strawman of Sola Scriptura. No one believes that God's word was never in an oral form. What Sola Scriptura states is that the truths that are found in the Bible are sufficient to function as the rule of faith. In Matthew 15, Jesus tests a Jewish tradition [one that was supposed to have come down from Moses, and thereby having divine authority] by the teaching of the text of scripture. He, in this very instance, holds scripture as a higher authority than oral tradition. Since Jesus subjected this supposed divine tradition to the higher authority of scripture, should we not do the same? Of course, to do so would make scripture higher authority that oral tradition which would completely refute the Catholic understanding.
The one which has the best hope is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which states:
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (Revised Standard Version).
Some who appeal to this passage appeal to the first clause of it -- "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching" -- were sufficient to establish sola scriptura. Sometimes the appeal takes the form of an emotive appeal to the fact that the text says all Scripture is inspired by God -- better translated as "God-breathed" -- as if Catholics did not also believe that Scripture is written by the verbal inspiration of God.
Actually, one wonders if the Catholic Church has never said that tradition is thopneustos. The problem is that there is nothing other than scripture that is ever called this. If we are going to argue that tradition has the same authority as scripture does, then why is it never called thopneustos? Why does it never say that it has the authority of God speaking to us?
Ultimately, however, the appeal to the first clause is fruitless since it merely says that Scripture is profitable or useful (Greek, ophelimos) for teaching, not that it is mandatory for teaching every individual point of theology. A hammer is profitable or useful for driving nails, but that does not mean that nails can be driven only by hammers (as anyone can testify who is lucky enough to have a nail gun or unfortunate enough to have had to drive a nail with a random blunt object which was at hand)
While I agree with James Akin at this point, I do want to point out that we are talking about the rule of faith in this passage "teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness" are all examples of things that are part in partial of the rule of faith itself. Hence, here we have a context in which we are talking about a rule of faith. That is going to become important later.
One anti-Catholic I know built his case on the Greek words used in this passage for "complete" (artios) and "equipped" (exartizo), which he interpreted to mean "sufficient." He was able to cite one lexicon that listed "sufficient" as a possible translation of artios and one lexicon which listed "sufficient" as a possible translation of exartizo, but there are major problems with his argument.
It is not just the terms themselves, but the fact that this is in a hina clause. The purpose of the scriptures being profitable is to equip the man of God for every good work. In other words, the scriptures are profitable for a purpose. Let us examine each of his "problems" in succession and see if they have any merit:
The two lexicons that used the term "sufficient" listed it as a third or forth translation of the terms, not as the primary translation, and one cannot appeal to possible meanings of a term as proof that it does mean something in a given text, especially when they are third or fourth string possibilities for its meaning.
Well, in the fourth edition of Bauer Danker Arndt and Gingrich's A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature [BDAG], that definition for artios is the only one listed as it says "pert. to being well fitted for some function, complete, capable, proficient=able to meet all demands." It then goes on to list 2 Timothy 3:17 as an example. As far as exartizw in BDAG, the first definition doesn't make any sense as it says "
1. to bring someth. to an end, finish, complete." Now, how can the man be brought to an end for every good work? This definition is referring to something ceasing because of completion. In fact, BDAG agrees with me at this point, and applies the meaning "2. to make ready for service, equip, furnish" to 2 Timothy 3:17. It would be really damaging to the Catholic position to say that the profitableness of scripture makes the man of god ready for service as the Catholic also believes we need tradition as well.
If you look at Louw and Nida's A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains it will not get any better for the Catholic at this point. Louw and Nida lists as the first and only definition of artios: "pertaining to being qualified to perform some function - 'qualified, proficient.' " Of course, why do we need tradition if the word of God makes us qualified for every good work? It doesn't get any better when we look at the lexicon's information for exartizw. Like Louw and Nida, it too has two definitions. However, it's first definition would also make nonsense out of the passage "to cause a duration to come to an end - 'to bring to an end, to end.'" Apparently, that would mean that 2 Timothy 3:17 means that because scripture is profitable, man will be killed. However, if we don't take this absurdity, we are left with the only other definition Louw and Nida give us: "to make someone completely adequate or sufficient for something - 'to make adequate, to furnish completely, to cause to be fully qualified, adequacy.'" This gives us an even stronger definition than BDAG did, and gives us the definition of "sufficient for something."
Worse than this information from BDAG and Louw and Nida, Thayer's lexicon lists the meaning of exartizw as "a. to furnish perfectly" before it lists the meaning "b. to finish, accomplish." Is Thayer somehow contradicting the other lexicons? No, of course not. The point is that lexicon writers assume that a person will exercise care when using a lexicon and make sure that the exegete chooses a definition that is consistent with the context.
All the published Protestant Bible versions (KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NIV, etc.) agree that "sufficient" is not the correct translation of these terms in this instance. None of them render the passage "that the man of God may be sufficient, sufficient for every good work." In fact, none of them use "sufficient" as a translation of even one of the two terms.
Of course, the problem is that they also do not support the Catholic position any better:

2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. [KJV]
If the scriptures make us fully furnished, why do we need tradition?
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. [NKJV]
So, if we are fully equipped for every good work because of scripture's profitableness, why do we need tradition?

2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
If we are complete, because of scripture's profitableness, then why do we need tradition?
2 Timothy 3:17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
If we are proficient because of the scriptures, then why does the Catholic say we also need tradition as part of the regula fide?
2 Timothy 3:17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
If we are thoroughly equipped for every good work because of scripture's profitableness, then why do we need tradition?
Needless to say, these translations are just as clear as the lexicons are.
There is such a thing as hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point), and it is a common Hebrew idiom and a common feature of Paul's letters. For example, in Colossians 1:20 Paul states that God was pleased to reconcile all things to himself through Christ. But obviously he does not mean absolutely all things or he would have to say that God reconciles Satan and the damned to himself through Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 5:19, Eph. 1:10). Thus Paul's statement that Scripture makes a minister one complete may be no more than a typical Hebraic hyperbole.
This is totally grasping at straws as the evidence against the Catholic position on scripture and tradition is mounting. Yes, it is true that there are hyperbolies in the Hebrew scriptures, however, the context always makes it plain that it is a hyperbole. There is, of course, nothing in the context that would force 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to be taken as a hyperbole. 2 Corinthians 5:19, for instance, uses the term kosmos in a way that must be interpreted in light of "not counting men's sins against them." Likewise, Ephesians 1:10 could not even be taken as a hyperbole, as it seems to be dealing more with authority and the fact that every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord at the end times since it specifically mentions "when the times will have reached their fulfillment" in the first half of the verse. Yet he mentions nothing in the context of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which would even begin to suggest that it is a hyperbole.
Worse than that, in verses 13-14 this is specifically given as warning and comfort to Timothy that after Paul passes on. Do you think that in this context Paul would not only make a hyperbole, but give no contextual evidence that he is? Surely this borders on being a purely artificial interpretation.
Absurdities result if we take the principle that he uses to interpret 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and apply it to other texts. The principle is: "If (X) makes you complete then you don't need anything other than (X)" (hence his reasoning, "If Scripture makes you complete then you need Scripture only"). If we apply this principle to James 1:4, which states, "And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." If we applied the principle to James 1:4 we would have to say that we do not need anything other than steadfastness, including Scripture!
(One might object that James 1:4 the Greek words are not artios or exartizo. This is certainly true; the words in that passage are teleios and holokleros, which are even stronger Greek terms. The objection would also commit a basic translation fallacy by assuming that a difference of term always means a difference of concept -- it doesn't -- and, in any event, nobody is going to be able to build much of a case for the meaning of either artios or exartizo based on New Testament study since the first term occurs only once in Scripture and the second only twice [the other occurrence being in Acts 21:5], making meaningful Scriptural comparative studies of the usage impossible).
Several errors must be called down here. First of all, James 1:4 is not in the context of the rule of faith, but in the context of the Christian life, and sanctification in that life. Hence, James is talking about perseverance in the faith and that this is sufficient to make us perfect and complete in terms of our sanctification. However, it must be stressed that nowhere in the context is "teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness" or anything that has to do with the rule of faith. Teleios, for instance, is often used in contexts of moral sanctification. Hence, not only do the terms have different general connotations, the terms themselves are being used in different contexts to support their connotations.
Secondly, he says the Greek terms used in James 1:4 are "stronger." Actually, the problem is that artios and exartizw come from the exact same root. Hence, the terms are, in fact, strengthening one another. Not only that, while it is true that different words do not always have different meanings, it appears James Akin has not taken the time to look at the context and find that the words are much more suitible for the context in which they are being used.
It appears that Mr. Akin is also not aware of the current state of affairs in NT studies. He says that "in any event, nobody is going to be able to build much of a case for the meaning of either artios or exartizo based on New Testament study since the first term occurs only once in Scripture and the second only twice [the other occurrence being in Acts 21:5], making meaningful Scriptural comparative studies of the usage impossible)." This is totally erronious as we now have databases such as Thesaurus Linguae Graece which are able to search all of the literature from the time period in which it is used. In fact, BDAG cites Philo and Josephus as well as the papyri in order to define the terms. It appears that James Akin is either not aware of this, or he is still thinking that only the NT can be used to define terms when we have found through the discoveries of contemporanious literature that the NT was the common language of the period.
The two terms modify the man of God, not Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:17 says Scripture helps makes the man of God complete and equipped, not that Scripture itself is complete and equipped. In order to prove that Scripture is sufficient, the advocate of sola scriptura would have to argue backwards from the sufficiency of a man to the sufficiency of a collection of documents. This puts an extra layer in the argument and thus an extra layer of exegetical uncertainty.
Actually, it is in the context of a hina clause. That the purpose of scripture's profitableness is that the man of God is complete for every good work. For whatever reason, James Akin knows that this hina clause is there, and yet somehow doesn't address it. No protestant says that the two adjectives refer to the scriptures. However, what they say is that the purpose of scripture being profitable is that the man of God is fully equipped for every good work.
This layer of uncertainty is even more problematic for the advocate since to say something helps make a man complete and equipped can presuppose that he already has certain other pieces of equipment. For example, if a man is going on a hiking trip and he has all the equipment he needs except a canteen. He then goes into a sporting goods store and buys one. When he does, he says, "There. Now I am complete, equipped for all of my hiking adventures." This does not at all imply that the canteen alone was all the equipment he needed to be completely furnished. It was only the last piece of equipment. The statement that it made him complete presupposed that he had all the other equipment he needed. In the same way, the statement that Scripture works to complete the man of God can presuppose that the man of God already has certain other articles in his possession that pertain to doctrine (such as the oral teachings of the apostles).
Of course, James Akin does not realize that we have a purpose clause here. The purpose of the canteen's profitableness in his illustration is not to fully equip for hiking. Yet this text says that the purpose of scripture's profitableness is to fully equip the man of God for every good work. This is the complete opposite of James Akin's presentation. How can one reconcile the Catholic position with this? We are not told.
Even if a single source does give a person all the equipment he needs, this does not teach him how to use the equipment. He may need training in how to use his equiptment. Just because a person has all the tools he will need to survive in the woods on a hiking trip does not mean he knows how to use the tools. In the same way, even if Scripture gives one all the basic equipment one needs to do theology, it may be unclear to the point that one needs to use Apostolic Tradition to arrive at the correct interpretation of it.
In fact, this is a permissible position for Catholics to hold. The claim that Scripture contains or implies all the basis data for theology is known as the material sufficiency of Scripture, and it is a perfectly acceptable position for Catholic theologians to hold (cf. Yves Congar's work Tradition and Traditions), so long as one does not move to the position of claiming that Scripture is so clear that one does not need Apostolic Tradition or the Magisterium to interpret it -- a position known as the formal sufficiency of Scripture, which is identical with the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura. Thus a Catholic can say that Scripture gives one all the equiptment one needs for theology, just not the background one needs to use the equiptment.
Well, I am sure James Akin is making an important claim, but he is not. Once we are the man of God we are "adequate" and "fully equipped" [i.e. also having the knowledge of how to use scripture] because of the profitableness of scripture. One would not be adequate and fully furnished without knowledge of how to use the items one has. Therefore, it must be that the scriptures are self-interpreting.
However, what James Akin is getting at here is what is called the material sufficiency point of view. In other words, he, at least, is breaking down at this point and saying that the scriptures are sufficient. However, the problem is, as he sees it, that the scriptures are not clear enough to be interpreted, and hence we need some apostolic tradition to interpret them. I do want to take some time to refute this claim.
This view does not take very long to refute. First, it is unclear what James Akin means by "scripture." Does he mean individual passages of scripture? Or does he mean the overall message of scripture? I don't think anyone questions the fact that there are passages of scripture that are unclear. However, what, if any, of these passages have anything to do with the discussion at hand? I might agree only 95% of the time with other christians about the meaning of certain unclear passages, and we will still have 100% doctrinal unity. Hence, just because certain passages are unclear, does not mean that the entirity of scripture is unclear.
However, what about people that are way off base, and come up with something that makes you wonder if you are reading the same scripture? That can simply be answered by the problem of sin. Here is an illustration. I am a big fan of the Cottars for instance. Their music is occasionally played here in the US on radio. Now, let us say that I heard a lot of static terribly garbled sound coming out of my radio. Should I call the radio company and complain "Stop sending the Cottars' songs over the air all garbled like that." You might get the response, "Have you checked your radio recently?" People are sinful, and they do not want to believe what the scriptures have to say. Hence, they go around making the scriptures say what they want them to say rather than what they actually say. In other words, the scriptures are clear, but people don't want to believe what they read. So, they try to read something else into the text. Therefore, just because there are many interpretations of scripture does not mean all of those interpretations are valid.
Now, the Catholic might ask how we know which interpretations are valid? The answer is simple. We know by the rules of hermenutics. We can take the same rules of interpretation that we use when we interpret Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Augustine, and Shakesphere and apply them to the apostle Paul. No one thinks there is any doubt as to the message of any of these author's works. Yet the Roman Catholic would have us to believe that we need traditions passed down from the apostles to understand the Bible [which was written over a span of time around 100 times the length of time Plato, Aristotle, or Kant wrote] in order to understand what the Bible says.
Consider well what this means. If anyone were to claim this about any other writing from antiquity they would be institutionalized. Imagine if someone were to say "I don't think we can really interpret Aristotle without traditions which Aristotle passed down outside of his writings." Obviously, because of this, we can see that the Catholic Church really has an agenda at this point. They want to take something that you could not apply to any other document the length of the Bible from antiquity and yet apply it to the Bible. Why? Well, it is obvious. Because they want people to believe what they have to say rather than what the scriptures say. If they get to be the infallible interpreter, then whatever they say is correct. It is the same agenda that the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses have when they argue the same thing.
Worse than that, all of these arguments are self-refuting. Some Roman Catholics do not even believe that the scriptures are inerrant. Some Roman Catholics do not believe that the term "brother" is ever used in any sense other then "full brother" or "spiritual brother" in the NT. We have already noted some other differences already. The material sufficiency vs. Partim-Partim viewpoint is something that Catholics disagree on. There are differences on predestination and election. There are even Catholics who are pro-choice! Should we conclude from all of this that the Catholic magisterium and the papal authorities are just not clear enough in their proclaimation, and therefore we need some other authority to know how to properly use papal authority? No Catholic would ever accept that!
So even if one could show that the words artios or exartizo means "sufficient" in this passage, and even if he could show that it applies (directly or indirectly) to Scripture, all this would prove is the material sufficiency of Scripture, which a Catholic can be happy to admit. It does nothing to prove formal sufficiency (the sola scriptura theory).
Actually, no, at this point the man of God would not be fully equipped for every good work, because he would not have the knowledge necessary to equip him to do the work.
To begin with, in the opening clause of the passage, the phrase "All Scripture" is normally taken by Evangelicals to mean "All of Scripture" -- in other words, a reference to the whole of the canon of Scripture, which coextensive with what a Protestant wishes to make normative for theology. This is natural for a Protestant since he things of the term "scripture" in the singular as a reference to the entire Bible and nothing but the Bible. But that is not the way the term is used in the Bible itself.
The ability to refer to the Bible as a unified work is an invention of the age of moveable type. Prior to the existence of the printing press, Scripture was at best a set of individual, bound volumes. In the first century, when Paul was writing, it was a collection of several dozen scrolls. There was no way it was conceived of as a unified literary work, as it is today.
As a result, a study of the way the New Testament uses the term "scripture" reveals that whenever the term is used in the singular -- "scripture" -- it always refers to either a specific book of Scripture or a specific passage within a book. It never refers to the whole of the corpus of works we today refer to under the unified title of "Scripture." When the Bible wants to refer to the whole of the corpus, it always uses the term in the plural -- "the Scriptures," never "Scripture."
Knowing this, we should be clued in to the presence of a mistranslation in the opening clause of 2 Timothy 3:16. Since the singular term "Scripture" is always used for an individual book of passage of the Bible, the phrase "All Scripture" would mean either "All individual book of the Bible" or "All individual passage of the Bible" -- neither of which makes grammatical sense.
And when we turn to the Greek of 2 Timothy 3:16, we find that there is, indeed, a mistranslation. The phrase rendered "All Scripture" is pasa graphe, which means "Every Scripture" -- they key word being "every," not "all." This is an important distinction, and it makes grammatical sense of the phrase, given our knowledge of what the singular term "scripture" means (for "every individual book of Scripture" and "every individual passage of Scripture" certainly make grammatical sense).
Had Paul wanted to refer to the entire corpus of Scripture, he would have used a different Greek phrase -- something like hai pasai graphai ("the whole of the scriptures"), not pasa graphe, which means simply "every scripture" (a fact which even some of the biggest advocates of using 2 Timothy 3:16-17, such as anti-Catholic James White, have admitted).
This is important because it makes it totally impossible to use the passage to prove sola scriptura, because if one tries to use it in that way it will prove way too much.
Since the passage says "Every Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, etc.," if this proved the sufficiency of Scripture, it would actually prove the sufficiency of each passage of Scripture for theology or at least the sufficiency of each book of Scripture for theology. This would mean that not only would the Bible as a whole be enough to prove every point of theology, but each individual passage or book would be sufficient. So you could do theology not only by Scripture alone but by Matthew alone or by Mark alone or Luke alone or what have you. You could do theology sola Matthew, sola Mark, sola Luke, or, to go to the shortest books of the Bible, even sola Jude or sola 3 John if you wanted.
But that is clearly absurd. No single passage, and no single book, of Scripture contains all that we needs to know to do theology. As a result, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 cannot be used to prove sola scriptura. If it could, it would prove way more than sola scriptura. Paul is simply saying that each individual scripture contributes to the man of God being prepared for all of his ministerial tasks, not that each individual scripture is sufficient to do all of theology.
Of course, no one has said that it is. All it is saying is that the purpose of the profitableness of every scripture [including every scripture in the canon] is to fully equip the man of God for every good work. James Akin is simply knocking down a strawman. In fact, we will see that if he considers this purpose clause, all of his other objections go away.
Furthermore, the idea that these verses prove that we should look to Scripture alone clearly takes them out of context. Whenever Protestants quote 2 Timothy 3:16-17, they almost always leave the previous two verses out of their citation. This is unfortunate since if we read the passage with the two preceding verses we get:
"14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.16 Every scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
Paul tells Timothy to remain in what he has firmly believed and then cites two bases for that belief:
He knows from whom he has learned it. This was the oral teachings of the apostle Paul himself, so right here we have Timothy's beliefs being based on apostolic Tradition.
From childhood Timothy has been acquainted with the holy Scriptures. So this is the second basis for Timothy's beliefs.
Thus, right here in 2 Timothy 3:14-17, we have a double appeal to both apostolic Tradition and apostolic Scripture. So when Protestants come and quote verses 16 and 17, they are only quoting the back half of a double appeal to Tradition and Scripture, clearly something that does not prove sola scriptura.
Actually, it is really a horrible example of eisegesis to read into the text of verses 14-15 some idea of apostolic tradition. The text refers to two methods of *learning* not to two deposits of Revelation. What he is saying is that he has learned from Paul first hand, and he has learned from the scriptures since he was a child, and that these are firm foundations of his belief. What James Akin is assuming, and hence, must show is that the contents of what Paul taught Timothy were somehow different then what were found in the scriptures. Paul emphatically goes on to deny this very thing in verses 16-17. How can someone look at a text and assume that what Paul taught Timothy is different than what is found in the scriptures when that would make Paul utterly contradict himself?
Finally, all of the points we have listed, simply by virtue of their number, constitute a case against the advocate's basing sola scriptura on 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The reason is that the thing that differentiates sola scriptura from the Catholic material sufficiency option is that sola scriptura claims that not only does Scripture have all the basic data one needs for theology but that this data is also sufficiently perspicuous in Scripture -- that is, sufficiently clear -- that one does not need outside information, like that provided by apostolic Tradition or the Magisterium, in order to correctly interpret Scripture.
The fact that we have been able to name so many factors undermining the use of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -- any one of which is fatal to attempts to use the passage -- shows that the passage is sufficiently unclear that sola scriptura cannot be proved from it. Even if one were not convinced by anything we have said, if even one of the considerations we have named is recognized as a valid interpretive option then the passage is not sufficiently clear to prove the doctrine and thus canot be used to do so.
Actually, I hoped to have refuted the material sufficiency viewpoint above and shown that it would absolutely shatter our study of any ancient text. How could scripture be "a lamp unto one's feet and a light unto one's path" if it is unclear? Even still, the number of objections Mr. Akin is bringing up might also suggest that he is just bringing up excuses because he doesn't like what the text teaches. All of the "interpretations" we have seen, when we examine them in context, we find that the objection disappears.
And since, as we noted at the outset, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is the passage which has the best chance of being relevant to the issue of sola scriptura, the fact that it is not sufficiently perspicuous to show the doctrine shows that there aren't any passages in Scripture that are perspicuous enough to prove sola scriptura and thus that Scripture is not sufficiently perspicuous for sola scriptura to be true.
Actually, the problem is with the sin that has come over people who convert to Rome. They have to treat the word of God as if it cannot communicate any better than Aristotle or Plato. How can a Christian say such a thing? Here is a perfect example of a passage which screams Sola Scriptura, and we get out of this a person who thinks it is unclear. Do you think sin might play a factor in misinterpretations of scripture? Yup, it sure does, and James Akin's article is excellent proof of that.

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