Scripture tells us that Christ left a Church with divine authority to govern in His name. (Mt 16:13-20, 18:18; Lk10:16). Christ promised that this Church would last until the end of time (Mt 16:18, Mt 28:19-20;Jn 14:16). The Bible also tells us that Sacred Tradition is to be followed alongside Sacred Scripture (2 Thess 2:15, 3:6).
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not found in Scripture. In fact, the Bible tells us that we need more than just the Bible alone. The Bible confirms that not everything Jesus said and did is recorded in Scripture (John 21:25) and that we must also hold fast to oral tradition, the preached Word of God (1 Cor 11:2; 1 Pet 1:25).
In 2 Pet 3:15-16, we are warned that Sacred Scripture can be very difficult to interpret, which strongly implies the need for an authoritative interpreter. Finally, 1 Tim 3:15 reassures us that the Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth.”
Common Sense will tell you that any written document meant to play a crucial role in determining how people live must have a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee, and officially interpret it.Otherwise, chaos reigns as everyone interprets the document according to his personal whim. For example, the Founding Fathers of this country put together a magnificent document to be authoritative in determing how this country would be governed: the U.S. Constitution. They also established a living, continuing authority to guard, guarantee, and offically interpret the Constitution: the Supreme Court.
The Founding Fathers knew that without a living authority the Constitution would lead to endless divisions as every one acted as his own interpreter. God certainly has more wisdom than the founders of this country. He would never have left a written document to be the only rule of faith without a living authority to guard and officially interpret it. Where does it say that in the Bible? The Bible itself doesn’t tell us to follow only It. In fact, it clearly states that much has been written and that there is tradition of early church fathers and aposites to study, learn, and to follow. Remember, the New Testament wasn’t even finished until after Jesus left.
The early church fathers that assembled the Bible where Catholic, “greek meaning, Universal” and it took some time to determine what books were to be in the Bible. There were many other gospels and letters that were determined to be un-inspired. So, if you want to follow the Bible alone theory, why wouldn’t you follow what the early Church fathers did in addition to the Bible? You’re relying on their authority that the books of the Bible are indeed inspired. What did the people do before the Bible was written? For almost 400 years there wasn’t even a Bible to read and hundreds of more years before it became readily available to the general public. Followers of Christ, Christians as they would call themselves, would meet in someone’s house. The leader of the assembly would read the sacred writings-letters of Paul, parts of the Good News from Mark, Matthew, Luke, or the most recent Gospel by John. How do you interpret the Bible? The Bible has been translated from Greek, Aramaic, (the language Jesus spoke) and Hebrew, and we rely on teachings of the original Church to interpret it for us. The Catholic Church has given us its infalible teachings from the Bible. Where do Protestant and other Christian denominations get their teachings from? You’re left to your own interpretation or local Pastor. Who would you rather rely on, a Church with teachings and doctrine that can be traced back to the time of Christ, yourself, (to suit your individual needs) or, your Pastor?
You can not read the Bible line by line and make interpretations. The Bible must be read in context, something many people don’t take the time to do. Taken line by line, you can arrive at any meaning you want.