The Protestant claim of “Scripture alone” (sola Scriptura) elevated Scripture to the sole standard and decisive source for theology. In contrast to Roman Catholic theology, which emphasized Scripture and tradition, the Protestant faith emphasized the keyword “alone”; that is, Scripture alone is the final authority when matters of faith and doctrine are at issue.
It was the Bible that gave the decisive force and authority to the Protestant Reformation and its revolt against Rome and the errors it had been teaching for centuries. Over against an allegorical interpretation of Scripture, where many different meanings were read into the biblical text, the Protestant Reformers emphasized the importance of a grammatical-historical interpretation of the Bible, which took seriously the grammar and literal meaning of the biblical text.
This week we will look at sola Scriptura in greater detail. We will learn that sola Scriptura implies some fundamental principles of biblical interpretation that are indispensable for a proper understanding of God’s Word. As Protestants, we must maintain the Bible as the ultimate doctrinal authority.