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Posted: 8/22/2017 4:44:47 PM EDT
Since there are many here who use the term, I wanted to put out there what the reformers meant by the term.  Today's evangelical probably uses it in different ways due to lack of knowledge.  



This is a summary provided by James White.  

Sola Scriptura is NOT:

A claim that the Bible contains all knowledge.
A claim that the Bible is an exhaustive catalog of all religious knowledge
Denial of the Church's authority to teach Gods truth
Denial that Gods word has, at times, been spoken
Rejection of every kind of use of tradition
Denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the Church

Sola Scriptura Does mean:

Scripture is the sole infalliable rule of faith
No other revelation is needed for the Church
There is no other infalliable rule of faith outside of Scripture
Scripture reveals those things necessary for salvation
All traditions are subject to the higher authority of Scripture.

With that out there, I hope it makes a little more sense than when people say " Sola Scriptura means that it's up to me and my Bible, we don't need a Church". That is not what it means.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:01:43 PM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 5:13:52 PM EDT
[#2]
Absolutely.  I am Protestant, and I have no qualms saying that LOTS of people who claim that title don't have a clue what even their own beliefs are.  There is a major lack of depth in what is taught lots of places, and there are lots of people who just claim the title of Protestant because thats what their family has always done the two times a year that they attend services.  And, as I will readily admit, many denominations have become liberal and left all of the theology that they were founded on behind, to become a feel good man centered gossip group.  As with anything, if you truly believe something, take the time to study it and be able to defend it.  I may disagree with someone strongly, but if they can make a case for their beliefs, then I will respect them much more than if they just say Pastor Joe said it so it's true, or because the Pope said so.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 9:42:39 PM EDT
[#3]
Would you take #4 to indicate that there has been post-scriptural infallible revelation? I think that I would probably disagree with that. I have a lot of respect for Dr. White though, I got to meet him when he debated an Islamic cleric on the Duke University campus several years ago. 

ETA: Maybe I'm just misinterpreting his meaning. 
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 10:22:26 PM EDT
[#4]
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Would you take #4 to indicate that there has been post-scriptural infallible revelation? I think that I would probably disagree with that. I have a lot of respect for Dr. White though, I got to meet him when he debated an Islamic cleric on the Duke University campus several years ago. 

ETA: Maybe I'm just misinterpreting his meaning. 
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It is not a denial that Gods word has been spoken?  I'm not seeing what you are...
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:04:03 AM EDT
[#5]
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It is not a denial that Gods word has been spoken?  I'm not seeing what you are...
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I guess I interpreted the statement as saying that there has been post-Scriptural infallible revelation, a la Papal decrees or something.  My position is that infallible revelation ceased (along with prophecy) at the completion of the canon of Scripture.  
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:12:38 AM EDT
[#6]
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 12:37:06 PM EDT
[#7]
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Neither papal decrees nor statements made "ex cathedra" are considered to be new scripture or anything resembling that. The pope can only clarify the meaning of existing scripture, never add or change it. It is only used on the rarest of occasions; Wikipedia lists only 7 that were made in the history of the church.
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Neither papal decrees nor statements made "ex cathedra" are considered to be new scripture or anything resembling that. The pope can only clarify the meaning of existing scripture, never add or change it. It is only used on the rarest of occasions; Wikipedia lists only 7 that were made in the history of the church.
Fair enough, I'm no scholar of the Roman church.  So in your opinion, what is meant by this statement:
Sola Scriptura is NOT: Denial that Gods word has, at times, been spoken.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:12:35 PM EDT
[#8]
In my opinion, it means that before there was a Bible in everyone's hands, the scriptures were passed down orally.  I have no problem with that.  OT and New was done that way.  That doesn't mean that God did not speak these words through men.  Paul wrote a letter, people read it and told others what it said.  At some point the letter was reproduced enough times that people didn't have to pass it down orally only, they had copies. When people compared what was passed down orally to the letter when they finally had it, they probably saw that it was the same thing.  If not the written scripture took precedence and corrected the oral tradition.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:54:16 PM EDT
[#9]
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In my opinion, it means that before there was a Bible in everyone's hands, the scriptures were passed down orally.  I have no problem with that.  OT and New was done that way.  That doesn't mean that God did not speak these words through men.  Paul wrote a letter, people read it and told others what it said.  At some point the letter was reproduced enough times that people didn't have to pass it down orally only, they had copies. When people compared what was passed down orally to the letter when they finally had it, they probably saw that it was the same thing.  If not the written scripture took precedence and corrected the oral tradition.
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Good explanation, thank you.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:20:55 PM EDT
[#10]
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In my opinion, it means that before there was a Bible in everyone's hands, the scriptures were passed down orally.  I have no problem with that.  OT and New was done that way.  That doesn't mean that God did not speak these words through men.  Paul wrote a letter, people read it and told others what it said.  At some point the letter was reproduced enough times that people didn't have to pass it down orally only, they had copies. When people compared what was passed down orally to the letter when they finally had it, they probably saw that it was the same thing.  If not the written scripture took precedence and corrected the oral tradition.
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That is a good explanation.
What was spoken orally would not be different then what was eventually written. Jesus preached orally, but what He preached was eventually written down for us today.
The Bible, even though compiled over many years flows together, Its starts out with man's problem which is sin and then what God did about it.

The cure for sin is Jesus Christ crucified. Which is what the Old Testament pointed to.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:57:27 PM EDT
[#11]
But if scripture is the sole infallible source (because men are fallible), who decided which books constituted "scripture?" Why are there different books in different bibles and how do you know which of them are divinely inspired? Which version of the the bible is "correct?"

(Honestly, I'm just stirring the pot here for the sake of argument. I made my choice long ago.)
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:29:12 PM EDT
[#12]
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 10:48:30 PM EDT
[#13]
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But if scripture is the sole infallible source (because men are fallible), who decided which books constituted "scripture?" Why are there different books in different bibles and how do you know which of them are divinely inspired? Which version of the the bible is "correct?"

(Honestly, I'm just stirring the pot here for the sake of argument. I made my choice long ago.)
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I'm gonna give you my opinion and be vague as to not lead down a rabbit hole.  See we do that question once a year on here with the exact same result, and it's not been 12 months since last time.  People quote church fathers for one side, then people come back and quote church fathers from the other side and no one changes their mind.

God decided which are scripture because He inspired them.  Men recognized which ones were inspired.  Men can't technically "decide what is Holy scripture".  If so, they could decide that Snow White and the seven dwarfs was scripture, but that wouldn't make it so.

Im betting you are speaking of the Old Testament.  As to those books, I can think of no book of the Bible, new or old that has information in it alone, not found anywhere else where that information is critical for my salvation.  If so, it probably doesn't meet the criteria of scripture.  Books of the Bible also can't be scripture if they contradict other books of Scripture.  That wouldn't make any sense.  With that said, I don't know anyone Protestant or otherwise who says DO NOT read these books.  However most don't read them.  In fact I'd be willing to bet that there are some books common to both Catholics and Protestants that don't get read. How many times have you read through Numbers?
Link Posted: 8/25/2017 10:24:08 AM EDT
[#14]
I've had a few 'Aha' moments when reading through minor prophets and other less quoted, less studied books. Some of those books are only a few pages in length and I always wondered why they were part of the canon. Almost without exception I have found a few verses in each which were distinctly 'Catholic' and almost necessitate the inclusion of the whole book into the Old Testament Canon. Admittedly, I'm looking for these types of confirmation, but really had no idea what I would find or where it might appear. Also typeology is a huge influence on how I read this stuff and seeing shadows of the gospel among these obscure texts sometimes comes as a surprise.

Then again, it might be a repressed memory of hearing some of these verses before, that makes them strike me as important. When I was in grade school we had daily mass before school, and then of course I went with the family on Sunday. So over the course of those 8 years, following the liturgical cycles, I would be guaranteed to hear a very large portion of the entire Bible, probably at least twice. And then throw in meager attempts at keeping up with readings through adulthood and its quite likely that my recognition of a particular verse is just an old memory dusted off and pushed to the front of my brain for a moment or two.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 3:34:37 PM EDT
[#15]
What Bible passages support the idea of sola scriptura?
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 4:07:14 PM EDT
[#16]
Do you believe that Sola Scriptura implies that an individual may be able to infallibly interpret scripture?
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 7:48:51 PM EDT
[#17]
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Do you believe that Sola Scriptura implies that an individual may be able to infallibly interpret scripture?
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No.  Men are fallible.  Do I think that I believe what I believe is correct? Yes.  But so do you.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 9:23:49 PM EDT
[#18]
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What Bible passages support the idea of sola scriptura?
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If the Scriptures are not the final authority, then something else must be.  What is the final authority over Gods word? Only one thing can be the Final authority.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 10:59:58 PM EDT
[#19]
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What Bible passages support the idea of sola scriptura?
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Two other good questions
1) What did God think about the Scripture?
2) To what level do we see God elevating the Word of God?
The answer may be surprising and would be a good place to start.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 11:12:51 PM EDT
[#20]
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No.  Men are fallible.  Do I think that I believe what I believe is correct? Yes.  But so do you.
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But there can only be one Truth.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 11:18:31 PM EDT
[#21]
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Quoted:
Two other good questions
1) What did God think about the Scripture?
2) To what level do we see God elevating the Word of God?
The answer may be surprising and would be a good place to start.
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Jesus holds the Jews to the Scripture multiple times.  He believed them.  He quoted them.
Link Posted: 8/30/2017 11:19:32 PM EDT
[#22]
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But there can only be one Truth.
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I agree with that statement.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 8:24:41 AM EDT
[#23]
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Jesus holds the Jews to the Scripture multiple times.  He believed them.  He quoted them.
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Two other good questions
1) What did God think about the Scripture?
2) To what level do we see God elevating the Word of God?
The answer may be surprising and would be a good place to start.
Jesus holds the Jews to the Scripture multiple times.  He believed them.  He quoted them.
Exactly. We then look at Psalm 138:2. If God is elevating His Word above His name and then quotes it and used it and will hold others to it, He will do the same today with us.

Therefore, Sola Scriptura is as you said, infallible and the source of truth, life and practice.

I am really enjoying the discussion. 
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 10:26:21 AM EDT
[#24]
That is, assuming that 'God's Word' is only revealed through a written document. But...

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how
shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they
hear, without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them
that bring glad tidings of good things 16 But all do not obey the gospel. For Isaias saith: Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 11:21:15 AM EDT
[#25]
Gods word? Or God? Romans 1v18-32 says God is revealed to all mankind.  And He judges everyone.  God's word is written down in the Bible. This is spread through preaching and evangelizing.  I don't believe that reading the Bible is a prerequisite for being saved. I may be misunderstanding you.  If so, please elaborate.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 11:35:53 AM EDT
[#26]
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That is, assuming that 'God's Word' is only revealed through a written document. But...

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how
shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they
hear, without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them
that bring glad tidings of good things 16 But all do not obey the gospel. For Isaias saith: Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.
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I agree to a point. 

However, a preacher should base his teaching on God's Word. That is the foundation.

However, there is a general revelation that I believe does point man to God. This is not infallible, but is based on His charector (Romans1:20).
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 1:16:31 PM EDT
[#27]
Well we are back to the same argument as the previous thread then. If the written word is the sole means of divine revelation, then how were Christians evangelized in the first 4 centuries?

For Catholics, the scripture is one part of the sacred deposit.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 1:30:59 PM EDT
[#28]
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Well we are back to the same argument as the previous thread then. If the written word is the sole means of divine revelation, then how were Christians evangelized in the first 4 centuries?

For Catholics, the scripture is one part of the sacred deposit.
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Secondary question, at what point was the original Deposit of Faith superseded with the written one? Because the original (including what know was in from Scripture) pretty clearly told us the WHAT and HOW to teach.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 1:32:38 PM EDT
[#29]
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I agree with that statement.
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But there can only be one Truth.
I agree with that statement.
Indeed. That truth has to be temporal immutable, as well. Two plus two cannot be four on Monday, or five on Tuesday, depending upon outside conditions.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 1:59:54 PM EDT
[#30]
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Well we are back to the same argument as the previous thread then. If the written word is the sole means of divine revelation, then how were Christians evangelized in the first 4 centuries?

For Catholics, the scripture is one part of the sacred deposit.
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I never said Scripture was the only means of divine revelation.  God revealed through prophets and even the very earth.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 2:22:30 PM EDT
[#31]
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Well we are back to the same argument as the previous thread then. If the written word is the sole means of divine revelation, then how were Christians evangelized in the first 4 centuries?

For Catholics, the scripture is one part of the sacred deposit.
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Sorry, I miss understood. There is a special revelation that can't be revealed except by Scripture.

But, how did the the first 4 century Christians be evangelized? They still had the Word. Up until Mark was written, they would use the OT. This is evident from Peter and Steven's messages. Jesus Himself referred back to OT. 

When the Canon was finalized, we still had the Word but now it was in one place. Before they were letters and writings that were passed from church to church and individule to individuals. 

Outside of the Scriptures, the very structure, rituals and functions of OT Judaism and Priestly functions and actions point forward to Jesus.

If I am still miss understanding, please forgive me.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 3:04:39 PM EDT
[#32]
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Sorry, I miss understood. There is a special revelation that can't be revealed except by Scripture.

But, how did the the first 4 century Christians be evangelized? They still had the Word. Up until Mark was written, they would use the OT. This is evident from Peter and Steven's messages. Jesus Himself referred back to OT. 

When the Canon was finalized, we still had the Word but now it was in one place. Before they were letters and writings that were passed from church to church and individule to individuals. 

Outside of the Scriptures, the very structure, rituals and functions of OT Judaism and Priestly functions and actions point forward to Jesus.

If I am still miss understanding, please forgive me.
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The entire Old Testament points to Jesus Christ and the Church he established on earth. We call it typeology.

Before the canon of scripture there were dozens of 'writings' available, some inspired, some not. But it was not the place of any individual to decide whether it a given 'writing' was inspired or not. That decision was made by the Church and codified just before the 5th century began. There was no 'book' to preach from. Yes, the Old Testament was available, but none of the content of the New Testament was settled upon until much later. My point being that the revelation to the apostles encompassed more than just what eventually became the written word. Coupling that to the charge given to Peter in Matt 16:18-19, we have a basis for the Church and its function which predates the canon of scripture.

I appreciate the use of the word 'writings.' As that was the original Greek 'graphe' which is frequently (mis)translated as 'scripture.' The post I made (somewhere??) about Frank Nelte's analysis of 2 Tim 3:16 is a fascinating exhaustive study of translation. Unfortunately its 80 pages long and few have the patience for that type of reading in a world of [google/wiki/that's enough] knowledge.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 4:25:15 PM EDT
[#33]
Sola Scriptura (scripture alone)was started by Martin Luther in his 99 point manifesto that man could be save by scripture alone which is not in the Bible. The Bible states sola scriptura and Sola Fide. Scripture and faith.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 7:27:04 PM EDT
[#34]
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Sola Scriptura (scripture alone)was started by Martin Luther in his 99 point manifesto that man could be save by scripture alone which is not in the Bible. The Bible states sola scriptura and Sola Fide. Scripture and faith.
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Uh...no.  No one has ever claimed that Scripture saves people.
Link Posted: 9/1/2017 8:18:00 AM EDT
[#35]
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Uh...no.  No one has ever claimed that Scripture saves people.
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Sola Scriptura (scripture alone)was started by Martin Luther in his 99 point manifesto that man could be save by scripture alone which is not in the Bible. The Bible states sola scriptura and Sola Fide. Scripture and faith.

Uh...no.  No one has ever claimed that Scripture saves people.
I saying just the opposite.
Link Posted: 9/1/2017 9:17:48 AM EDT
[#36]
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No.  Men are fallible.  Do I think that I believe what I believe is correct? Yes.  But so do you.
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Do you believe that Sola Scriptura implies that an individual may be able to infallibly interpret scripture?
No.  Men are fallible.  Do I think that I believe what I believe is correct? Yes.  But so do you.
Do you believe that any of the translations of Biblical text from its original languages were completed infallibly? Which versions were infallibly translated?
Link Posted: 9/1/2017 9:27:23 AM EDT
[#37]
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Do you believe that any of the translations of Biblical text from its original languages were completed infallibly? Which versions were infallibly translated?
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No, when man is involved nothing is perfect.  However, I do believe that what we have in the main translations, not the versions produced by cults or rewritten ones to force an agenda, are as close to original as to convey God's word to man as He intended.  Yes there are issues with comas and stuff like that, but discoveries like the Dead Sea scrolls and the fragments that are found, testify to the authenticity of our translations.
Link Posted: 9/1/2017 12:42:00 PM EDT
[#38]
Quoted:

With that out there, I hope it makes a little more sense than when people say " Sola Scriptura means that it's up to me and my Bible, we don't need a Church". That is not what it means.
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So I while I agree a church is needed, what exactly are the authorities required for that church to be legitimate?
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 11:43:49 AM EDT
[#39]
I'm going to just throw this out there...
In so many ways, what I do on a daily bases must be validated as true. I proof the math, the formulas, the codes, the costs, the theory, the concepts, the processes. I measure those things
with detailed, careful precision.

Before people could read or write, the stories of generations of families, their histories, their lives, the beliefs, where carefully passed down by repeating them over and over again. Tradition.
When the Word became written.. IN STONE no less, the stones traveled and were considered a treasure and wealth. For the Jewish people, the tablets, written by God, were sacred. More than wealth or treasure.

Over the years, the first Christians, practiced their faith, (proven historically) by passing the word and teaching of Christ on by very carefully repeating the words of Christ which have an astounding, consistency, with very little variation.
Historians, archeologists, scholars, theological forensic experts, all have validated the progression of the life cycle of the Word of God. They validated it historically. Through science. They found traditions, and archeological proof
that the teaching in the Bible coincide, remarkably accurately, with event's, that can be proved through artifacts and geological studies, art, and other finds. Further it helped to lend clarification to the translation and interpretation of biblical writings. 

There are thousands of books that are protagonist and antagonistic, however none can conclusively disprove. Many scientist have tried. The ones who failed are called Christians. The one who couldn't believe also confirmed they cannot deny. That leaves just a handful of the lost.
St. Augustine set out with scientific precision to disprove the known works. I believe his life's purpose was to dispute the existence of God all together. The more he tried, the more he couldn't. He contemplated the biblical translation and disputed them, but history and archeology, bits could not be denied. The Bible holds, historical significance. It confirms the laws and traditions of the chosen people. It's confirms sacred tradition. They are all intertwined and one cannot exist without the other. While the literal context of the content of the Sacred Word has validity the Bible itself proves tradition as much as tradition proves the bible.  New understanding of the Dead Sea scrolls, happen as a result of historical and archeological "proofs". This is why the Catholic Church considers the value of sacred tradition along with the Sacred Word of the bible in our faith. One can't be without the other.
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