A Homily based on the epistle Bible Alone Believers—not a solid stand.

A reading of the 2nd Letter of St. Paul to Timothy: 1:1-2, 10, 13-15. 2:1-2. 3:10-15. (Gold is today’s reading)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy.

Hello from your spiritual father: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord to you. Timothy, take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. (For your staying faithful, thank you—) for you know that everyone in Asia deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes...

So you, my child, Timothy, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well...

From your infancy you have known the sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. The Word of the Lord.


There is a thing called Bible Alone or Sola Scriptura Christianity. It is a weak version of Christian Faith, limiting one’s practice to what can be found or proven in the Bible, with the idea that the Bible is the only authority. Sola Scriptura and its following is only a modern Christian off-short, it was started with the idea of rejecting the historic Church founded by Jesus, as that the brand-new version of their Christianity sees all matter is evil; and thus people are, and thus so the Catholic Church, and thus only the Bible stayed pure through the ages. So Bible Alone folks say that they can just go directly to it, and only to it, for living out their Christianity. The problem with this all is that the Bible itself does not advocate itself as the sole or all-sufficient authority. You cannot even defend from the Bible that the Bible is the sole authority for the believer.

The biggest Bible ‘proof’ that the Bible alone Christians use for their claim for their independent new way of faith is right here in 2nd Timothy 3:16, that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is all-sufficient for teaching…for training in righteousness…that the one who belongs to God may be competent and equipped.”

They use the word all-sufficient in their Bible translations of verse 16 but the Greek word (ophelimos) more says that it is useful and profitable, but not all-sufficient on its own. The Scriptures are useful, even necessary, say we, but the Christian faith does not stand alone by it or upon it. As in how the Bible sufficiency people say it is all we need, for the Bible is pure.

For we know the bible interpreters are not pure and full of grace, as in a Bible Alone church. The individual bible reader (or the charismatic new leader taking people on his modern view of the Word) does not hold authority to do so. They take the Bible and have it interpreted as they like it to say—which explains the 10,000 different types of Christians following this plan. They cannot even agree on what the Bible teaches, and it leaves a question: where is the authority given for it?

There is more to being a believer in Jesus Christ than owning a reading a Bible, but we sure agree that the Bible is wonderful.

It helps us to be prepared for many things to happen to us. The verse in 2 Timothy 3:17 says it helps us become complete– but not completely to live alone on just a Bible. There’s a difference! The good Lord Jesus began a Church, the Catholic Church, in 33 a.d. Jesus started it not by handing us a Bible and saying, read it, it’s all in there—you’ll all see the one truth in each verse. Ok—I am done here. Start your Bible reading.

He gave his authority to the apostles and He had the ecclesia—the assembly of believers—as “church.” You are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.” Not upon this Bible, although Peter and the evangelist Mark would write a gospel, along with other New Testament writers, to make for a Bible that got put out in 393 a.d. at the Catholic council at Hippo. Before that time, it was liturgies, holy gatherings, the oral Word, shared teachings and holy practices that the Church lived. As you heard Father Paul the apostle just tell to the upcoming priest-bishop Timothy—take all the sound words you’ve heard from me (that would be the Church’s Tradition—with a capital T) and the sacred writings and pass it on. It was the living Faith Timothy would pass on.

It was not a Bible alone church at the start—and it was the Catholic Church that acted in her own authority (as given by Jesus) to put together the 73 book Bible out for the Church and world. With her Tradition and Scripture we would be the Church, commissioned to be Christ’ Body. The Bible says nothing of Bible alone believing, not even in 2nd Timothy here, but it does say the Church is Christ’ Body, He the Head, and we the body, in reality (see Eph. Ch.1 & 4 , Col. 1, 1st Cor. 12) and of course the body of Christ goes to the Bible for much direction on Christian living. It IS inspired by God; it is no mere literary work, but indeed contains the revelation of God to us, via Hebrew and Christian testimony. We agree with Paul to Timothy how Scripture and Tradition (big T) would be profitable, edifying and inspire us for good works. For Timothy, he would have heard or read the OT as his Scripture, and then heard the teachings of Paul as passed to him by his mother and grandmother, both converts of Paul, and as well as being immersed in the teachings and practices of that early First Church around him. Timothy was to become a person holding fast to the teachings of The Church (didaskalia mentioned many times in 1st and 2nd Timothy as a Scripture and Tradition combination); this was the groundwork of the Church that endures on to today. Timothy was continuing what Paul had been practicing as the Church, as in the authority of Christ.

In conclusion, we don’t condemn Bible Alone folks—we just say that it is a new version of Christianity that does not have Bible basis nor reference as to how the Church was to understand her self—we’re not a whole lot of self-interpreting authority bible figures all in disunity and disagreement—that’s not who we are called to be. As for the present Church, I see us as living a relationship of Scripture, Tradition and Eucharist, just like the Road to Emmaus story had Jesus talking to the two bewildered disciples and then breaking bread with them, as then they recognized Him. This is today’s lIturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist of Holy Mass!

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