Adherents to Sola Scriptura basically believe that Scripture should be the foundation of all doctrine. (NOTE: That is not to say that outside sources cannot be used to aide us in understanding the text - see here.)

Based on what we know about Jesus from Scripture, could Jesus be considered an adherent to this philosophy?

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    Jesus is God. He can't be an 'adherent' of any doctrine. Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 13:14
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    How can Jesus adhere to a scripture which wasn't written yet? So then... if it WAS written would he adhere to it? Probably not for reasons suggested by DJClayworth. Did Jesus "adhere" to the old testament? No and any person practicing Judaism would tall you that Jesus did not fulfill the prophesies that they were expecting and from his own accord, demanded change. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:24
  • @TheFreemason Have you ever read the Gospels? Jesus' entire life, ministry, and teachings were rooted in the Old Covenant Scriptures. I'm obviously not asking if Jesus adhered to later NT writings that weren't even written yet.
    – Jas 3.1
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:26
  • then it is not Sola Scriptura - which is for the bible. And if Jesus continued following the old testament (and demanded his followers to do it as well) then we'd still be burning lambs. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:29
  • @TheFreemason I have never heard anyone say that the Old Testament was not Scripture until the NT was complete. Where are you getting these ideas from? To my knowledge the orthodox position (at least in the Protestant tradition) has always been that the writings were Scripture from the moment they was written. Are you coming from a church background that believes it's only "Scripture" because the church said so?
    – Jas 3.1
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:42

4 Answers 4


The answer is simply: No. One way to prove it, is to take the verse where Jesus says:

"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." (Luke 10:16)

That means, that whatever the apostles say, is Jesus' teaching. Then we can take Paul's words to the Thessalonians in chapter 2 verse 15:

"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter." (NIV)

This is saying to hold to the scriptures and oral teaching. One link that might prove helpful is here, asking: "Sola Scriptura vs. the Magisterium: What did Jesus Teach?". One that deals with just Sola Scriptura can be found here.

One link that might have an answer, says:

Did not Jesus say, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. . . ." [Matthew 28:19] Of course this admonishes them to teach; it says nothing about writing. And the Bible itself says nothing about it being the sole source of God’s revelation.

Anyways, that is just my opinion and it may be a little biased. One thing to think about, is that for the first couple hundred years, there was no "New Testament". The last of the gospels by John, was written by A.D 85 or later.

I agree with you that:

If a person teaches something contrary to Scripture, they are wrong.

But sometimes things may seem contrary and actually be true to each-other. Here is a link that explains some things that seem to contradict each-other in the bible, but just need a little explanation (I know that that is both sources from the bible, but it is basically the same).

And just to let you know, I'm not Roman Catholic.


We need to start by bearing in mind that during Jesus lifetime there is no set Bible as such. There are collections of scrolls in synagogues but the ones that would eventually be considered canonical by modern Judaism were not set at that time (canonicity in Judaism slowly distilled between ~200BC and ~200AD). You would get different stuff in different places, some were widely accepted e.g. the Torah, some version of Isaiah etc. others not so much - e.g. the writings. In this context perhaps it is difficult to define what Sola Scriptura really means.

The Biblical Jesus is well-versed in the OT (Luke 2:41-52). However, often presents the anti-thesis to these Biblical texts in his own teaching "You have heard it said but I say to you ".

On the whole it seems pretty unlikely that Jesus subscribed to Sola Scriptura as we understand it.


Jesus was tempted thrice by the Devil and he responded three words that defeated the Devil: "IT IS WRITTEN." ~ Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus never did refer to oral traditions in a positive way.Rather, every time he defends truth he refers to the scriptures:

Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." (Mark 7:13)

"What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" (Luke 10:26)

Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? (Mark 12:24)

But Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

"What then is this that is written: 'The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone'? (Luke 20:17)

"How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?" (Matthew 26:54)

Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures since childhood. What is this Holy Scriptures? Is it the 39 books? Is it the Septuagint or is it the Hebrew Texts?

One thing is for sure.There existed the Holy Scriptures that is God-breathed and Timothy knew it since childhood according to Paul.

15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ASV)

It says "EVERY good work" not "SOME good work."Hence, Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), showcasing the Scriptures as the only authoritative revelation God has given to his church for teaching and deciding matters of faith [doctrines] and morals [ethics].

What this shows is that Sola Scriptura existed in the first century. Jesus is the model whom Paul followed on this principle and this is substantiated by this instance recorded in 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

  • 2 Timothy 3:14 always left out of a Protestant explanation or defense. 14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them."
    – Marc
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 13:02
  • @Marc, Paul was saying that Timothy knew from whom he had learned and that's from those who held onto the apostolic teaching.2 Timothy 3:14 does say that we should have a "list of bishops"( apostolic succession) but rather, of "teaching succession" ("continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of" i.e. apostolic teaching).
    – R. Brown
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 9:28
  • it is interesting that you brough up bishops. Did I suggest 2 Tim 3:14 addresses Bishops? I only suggested that Sola Scriptura was not the only thing mentioned to Timothy,a Bishop ordained by Paul, as authoritative,he mentions as you suggest the teaching authority of the Curch to maintain orthodoxy i.e. The magestarium"Continue in what you have learned" They did not learn TULIP any part of it. They did not learn the 5 Sola's, Every part of it is a deviation to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Biblically Speaking. James 2:24 "You see that a man is JUSTIFIED by WORKS and NOT by FAITH ALONE"
    – Marc
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 15:11
  • @Marc It's interesting you said this" "I only suggested that Sola Scriptura was not the only thing mentioned to Timothy."Well, you just mishandled James 2:24, it talked about James' "brethren", that is, those who HAVE BEEN SAVED by grace through faith alone (cf:Ephesians 2:8, James 2:1).
    – R. Brown
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 14:14
  • Do brethren need to be justified a second time? If they do that makes sense, or are they getting more justified. Are there degrees in justification? These "Bretheren" according to you already having accepted Jesus as thier personal lord and savior, are learning how thier works, done after thier salvation, has now (finally) justified them? Completing their transition from unsaved to saved by some act of charity sealing the deal? Why do those who "have been saved" need to receive further justification above and beyond Faith? Ephesians does not say "Alone" you have added that.
    – Marc
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 2:13

Protestants are going to say yes. Catholics are going to say no.

I presume any Christian is going to consider this question equivalent to, "Is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura true?" I mean, who is going to say, "I am a Christian, I believe Jesus to be the all-knowing God made flesh ... but when on this very important point he said X, he was completely wrong."

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    This is a very different question from "is Sola Scriptura true?" Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 13:11
  • How is it different? If you're a Christian, I think by definition that means that at the very least you have a very high respect for Jesus Christ. So if someone convinced you that Jesus did not believe in Sola Scriptura, you would have to have a strong bias against it, and vice versa.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 2:18
  • Jesus is God. If Jesus says something, it's God's word, whether it's written in scripture or not. Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 2:31
  • @DJClayworth I don't understand that last point. I mean, I agree that it's true, but what statements has Jesus made that you and I know about that aren't in Scripture? Are you saying that Jesus rejected Sola Scriptura in some statement that is not in scripture? Or are you saying that Jesus could give a further revelation beyond what is in scripture, and this would be as authoritative as scripture? I'd say sort of: If it was accepted, it would then by definition be part of scripture. If it was rejected as a fake or hoax, then it wouldn't be authoritative.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:52
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    OK, Jay. Imagine you are a disciple of Jesus, circa 30AD. You listen to Jesus preaching. Is what he says authoritative? Yes, absolutely. Is it in scripture? No, because the New Testament isn't written down yet. The only scripture is the Old Testament. If you are a follower of 'sola scriptura' then you must reject his words, because they are not in scripture. And if Jesus were a follower of sola scriptura then he must reject them also. Which would be stupid. Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 4:07

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