As an example, what about examining Jesus' interaction with the Roman Centurion using historical documents explaining how the Roman Army was run?

1 Answer 1


I will answer, because (as you may have noticed from my other answers) I'm about as "Sola Scriptura" as they come.


Basically, we believe that Scripture was given by God as the standard for His people to use in determining truth.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. - 2 Tim 3:16-17

(See also Titus 1:9.) Since Scripture adequately equips you to correct false doctrine, that implies it is the standard of truth.

So the point is this: If a person teaches something contrary to Scripture, they are wrong.

That is not to say that everything outside of scripture is wrong (or "not from God")... just everything contrary. Therefore we reject any teaching which opposes what we know (based on Scripture);

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ - 2 Cor 10:5

So the only safe bet is to use Scripture as the foundation of all of your doctrine. (Additional elements include understanding the Scriptures, being led by the Spirit, recognizing the teachers God has given, etc.)

So as I said, the answer to your question is "no." In fact, studying history is incredibly helpful in understanding Scripture. (When preparing for sermons, I have often found the NIV Archaeological Study Bible very helpful in bridging contexts between the ancient world and our own.)

I think the big distinction between Sola Scriptura and opposing views is that if the Bible says "X" and an external source says "Y", we consider the external source rubbish, whereas others may attempt to reconcile the two, sometimes by re-translating the Bible.

  • I can't imagine someone saying that scripture is literally the only possible source of truth. To take an extreme example, if I want to know if it's raining outside, I don't consult scripture: I look out the window. As Jas3.1 says, an advocate of Sola Scriptura would say that anything that contradicts scripture must be false. Where it gets debatable is on something claiming to be revelation from God outside of scripture: some say that the Bible is the complete revelation of God, others would allow for additional revelation.
    – Jay
    Commented May 22, 2012 at 3:52

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