The “theogneustos” argument against sola scriptura

James White’s most popular argument against (mainly) Catholic arguments for tradition (and positively:  Protestant arguments for sola scriptura) is that 2 Tim. 3:16-17 says that “the scriptures” are “God-breathed” (theogneustos).  It does not say that tradition is “god-breathed;” ergo, Scripture is superior to Tradition.

Several problems with this argument:

  1. It is a rather bald example of the argument from silence fallacy.
  2. If the argument stands, it proves too much and refutes the Protestant case.   “Theogneustos” only qualifies the Scriptures that Timothy knew from childhood, which is the Old Testament scriptures. Therefore, if the argument stands the Protestant must abandon the New Testament canon as uninspired.    If the Protestant says that the NT is also “theogneustos,” he is assuming what he is trying to prove.
  3. Interestingly, this is another example  of oppositions in Western culture:  Scripture against Tradition (the NIV translation is probably the best and most crass example).

One comment on “The “theogneustos” argument against sola scriptura

  1. Vincent says:

    One thing I’ve learned over the last year and a half is that every — and I mean EVERY — English language Bible associated with Protestantism (the exceptions being the DR, but that’s based on the Vulgate which is itself problematic as a ‘translation of a translation of a …’) has little to no shame when it comes to BUTCHERING the meaning of texts. Absolutely BUTCHERING THEM, in order to fit their preconceived notions of theology and teaching. In other words, the traditions of men are not only responsible for the Protestant’s canon, but for their translation of that canon as well.

    Case in point: Find the word “energies” translated as “energies” (or translated AT ALL, and not COMPLETELY REMOVED FROM THE TEXT) in the various places it occurs in the New Testament. And, as you already mentioned, the inconsistency of translating “paradosis.”

    There are many more, sadly.

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