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The 12 Books of Abraham

    FAQ 17

    Sola Scriptura:
    Are We True
    Evangelical Christians?

    Q. You claim to be 'evangelical' but you are not sola scriptura because you admit other scriptures. Therefore you cannot be evangelical Christian.

    You do not appear understand what sola scriptura - or 'Scripture alone' - means. When evangelical Christians say they are sola scriptura that does not mean that Scripture (the Bible) is the only source of revelation but that it is the original historical source of revelation; Yahweh Himself is, of course, the ultimate source of His revelation. Moreover, Scripture (the Bible) is the criterion of standard for all continuing revelation. This means that all religious experience, spoken and written teachings and new scriptures must be tested in the light of the Bible and not vice versa. This we accept, therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Members of the Chavurat Bekorot and New Covenant Christians in general are not ultimately dependent upon any scriptures outside the Bible however much we treasure them. Evangelical Christians believe that the Scripture (Bible) interprets itself by the working of the Holy Spirit. Therefore if the Holy Spirit interprets the Bible for me, and I write it down on paper, it becomes more Scripture, since that is how the original Scripture (Bible) came in the first place. Therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Evangelical Christians believe that the Spirit is the interpreter of Scripture, but what the Holy Spirit gives is that which is, in a sense, already contained in Scripture. Every revelation and new Scripture that we in the Holy Order possess, we believe, is already 'contained' in the Bible because nothing we teach contradicts what is already there, but is merely an amplification or clarification of the original Word. Therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Evangelical Christians believe that the Church (Messianic Community) is the servant of the Spirit in its interpretation of the Bible. The Bible needs to be expounded by the Church (Messianic Community), but the Church (Messianic Community) must always stand under the Bible in its proclamation and interpretation. This we do also, only we write down our interpretation by the Spirit and call it more Scripture (albeit it in a very secondary sense). Therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    The Protestant Reformers were adamant that the ecclesiastical tradition, while containing much spiritual wisdom, should never be placed on a par with Scripture (the Bible). The tradition instead must be corrected and judged by the Scriptures (Bible). Calvin exclaimed:

      "But a most pernicious error widely prevails that Scripture has only so much weight as is conceded to it by the consent of the Church. As if the eternal and inviolable truth of God depended upon the decision of men!" (John Calvin, Institutes, I,7,1, p.75).

    We believe all of these things. If a (non-Biblical) scripture contradicts the Bible, then it must be thrown out. Thus for us the Bible is the final standard by which we measure all truth. We therefore most certainly believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Evengelicals contend against the neo-Protestants that the Word made flesh must never be divorced from the Word expressed in Scripture. The divine wisdom incarnate and the divine wisdom inscribed are correlative. Christ is the content of Scripture, and Scripture is the cradle in which Christ is laid (Luther). These things we also believe. Therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Now this is very different from some of the heretical groups and cults which place other revelation above or alongside the Bible, neither of which we do. We proclaim as the rule of our faith SOLA SCRIPTURA, have always done so, and will always do so. We thus have every right to claim to be evangelical Christian, even though we are a little different from mainsteam 'evangelicals' inasmuch as we are Torah-obedient evangelical Christian.

    We accept all the cardinal doctrines of the Christian Faith, uncompromisingly adhering to the Apostles' Creed.

    Now Sola Scriptura does not, in fact, mean Sola Biblia, though this is often confused by evangelicals. Thinking evangelicals have never claimed that ALL of Yahweh's truth is contained in the Bible, only that ALL the Bible contains Yahweh's truth, and that Yahweh has providentially given us the present canon on which to have a common standard. We share that common standard. Some evangelical Churches receive prophecies and write them down (many Pentecostal groups, for instance) but none of them regards these prophecies to be a part of the Bible or equal in status because they believe these prophecies must be tested BY the Bible. We, also, have prophecies and revelations, and like the Pentecostals mentioned, we believe they must all be tested against the Bible. So whilst many denominations and groups would disagree with our stance on more scriptures, they would agree with us in our position on the Bible, for we would be able to proclaim with them: Sola Scriptura.

    Why do we take this position? Because:

    • (a) Yah'shua (Jesus) accepted the Old Testament canon in its entirety; and
    • (b) Those books that make up the present New Testament were carefully tested by the Church (Messianic Community) in its first three centuries to ensure that they were apostolic.

    We believe they 'played safe', ommitting some books which were apostolic because they were not 100% sure. We accept this. The New Testament itself names letters of Paul that are not in the New Testament which surely have a claim to be put into the New Testament if they are ever found. However, Yahweh has providentially ensured that the present Protestant Canon survive and be the standard for the whole Body of Christ (Messianic Community) until He returns. Though we would like to see a larger Bible, and believe many other books (ancient and modern) have an equal claim to being in there, we limit ourselves for the sake of the Body and because we believe this is the way Yahweh has ordained it. Therefore we believe in Sola Scriptura.

    Were we to believe that other non-biblical books were legitimately a part of the Bible, being equal in authority, and canon, THEN we would not be Sola Scriptura.

    Further Reading

    [1] Donald G. Bloesch, The Evangelical Renaissance (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1974, ISBN 0-340-17960-0. This book is an excellent historical evaluation of the Evangelical Movement. New Covenant Patriarchal Christians consider themselves a part of the stream of the "New Evangelicalism" (and specifically the Torah-observant Messianic Israelite one) that is leading to the fullness of the Bible revelation, of which Christian polygamy is an essential part.

    [2] For an outline of our foundational beliefs see The Messianic Evangelicals

    [3] Our Threefold Vision and Mission: Reformation, Restoration and Completion

    [4] Give Me This Mountain! Beyond Messianics and Evangelicals

    [5] Statement of Faith

    Author: SBSK

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    First created on 16 July 1999
    Updated on 13 April 2016

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