One question – How did the books of the Bible get into the Bible? A problem for Sola Scriptura (or scripture alone) is the canon of the New Testament. There’s no “inspired table of contents” in Scripture that tells us which books belong and which ones don’t. That information comes to us from outside Scripture. Our knowledge of which books comprise the canon of the New Testament must be infallible; if not, there’s no way to know for sure if the books we regard as inspired really are inspired. It must be binding; otherwise folks would be free to have their own customized canon containing those books they take a fancy to and lacking the ones they don’t. And it must be part of divine revelation; if it’s not it’s merely a tradition of men, and if that were so, Protestants would be forced into the intolerable position of championing a canon of purely human origin. So the Protestant position is that divine revelation and guidance was a one time shot. God revealed his scripture and then left it up to each person to interpret the scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If that is the case, then why is it that the Holy Spirit provides so many different “guided” interpretations of the scripture? The Holy Spirit is all powerful and I believe more consistent than the existence of a vast number of Christian denominations would lead us to believe. Overlooking the fact that nowhere in the Bible does it say that scripture alone is all that is necessary, here are a few passages that specifically make it clear that there is more to faith than simple view of the scriptures.
“Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15
We are taught to hold fast to traditions taught either orally or by letter. Yes the scriptures are important, but they were not all that we are to learn from.
“We instruct you, brothers, in the name of (our) Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6
Once again, another example of where teaching is stressed as well as the acceptance of oral tradition.
“I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:2
Apostolic tradition once again is held in high esteem, at least by Paul. So much is said about upholding traditions. If scripture were so central to the Protestant faith, why would traditions be discarded?
“Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?” Acts 8:30-31
Even the scripture tells us that it is not self revealing. We require instruction. Another good example of this is the number of ways a particular scripture passage is interpreted by the different Protestant denominations. If private interpretation were proper, would not the Holy Spirit ensure that interpretations were consistent.