Solo scripture is different than Sola. Solo means singularly ‘alone’, whereas Sola, in context (historically), means ‘Alone’, but not ‘alone’; in other words, the Reformers, like Luther saw value to the Church’s tradition, relative to the interpretive process (but of course he saw it as non-normative, and in service to the interpretation of scripture — i.e. not magesterial). It seems that many in my Christian heritage (‘Fundamentalist’), often want to trumpet Solo Scriptura; meaning that scripture is all we need, all we need to do is learn the biblical languages, and hermeneutical rules, and we are set.

To be honest, I have an inkling, at points, to lean this way myself; some times I just want it to be me and my bible — and certainly there is a place for that, we should approach scripture devotionally and intimately. But, even granting the sufficiency of scripture to bear witness to Christ, all by itself; I think it would be naive and arrogant to ignore what the Spirit has been saying through his body, interpretively, for the last two thousand years, don’t you? Those who live by the mantra of Solo Scriptura certainly are right to recognize the comprehensive value deposited in the scriptures, singularly; but I think it is certainly wrong to ignore the richness vested in the Church, by the Spirit, relative to insights and thoughts that have come before us (and even among us in different cultures throughout the world).

Does anybody else think we need to be cognizant of the past, when approaching scripture; or do you think that all we need is the scriptures themselves, without any insight from the past?

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