26 October, 2009

The Sufficiency of Scripture

Read more diligently that gospel which is given to us by the apostles; and read more diligently the prophets, and you will find every action and the whole doctrine of our Lord preached in them.
Ireneaus, Against Heretics 4:66

We know that the Scriptures are perfect, being spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit.
Irenaeus, Against Heretics, 2.47

We have received the disposition of our salvation by no others, but those by whom the Gospel came to us; which they then preached, and afterwards by God's will delivered to us in the Scriptures, to be the pillar and ground of our faith.
Irenaeus, Against Heretics, 3.1

Let the school of Hermogenes prove that what it advances is written; or if it be not written, let it fear the malediction uttered against those who dare to add or to retrench.
Tertullian, Against Hermogenes, exact reference needed

There is one God, whom we do not otherwise acknowledge, brethren, but out of the Sacred Scriptures. For as he, who would profess the wisdom of this world cannot otherwise attain it, unless he read the doctrines of the philosophers; so whosoever will exercise piety towards God, can learn it no where but from the Holy Scriptures.
Hippolytus, Against Noetus ch. 9 more exact reference needed

They that are ready to spend their time in the best things will not give up seeking for the truth until they have found the demonstration from the Scriptures themselves.
Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 7.16.3

In which (the two Testaments) every word that appertains to God may be required and discussed; and all knowledge may be understood out of them. But if anything remain which the Holy Scripture does not determine, no other third Scripture ought to be received for authorizing any knowledge or doctrine; but that which remains we must commit to the fire, that is, we will reserve it for God. For in this present world God would not have us to know all things.
Origen, Homilies on Leviticus, 5.9.6

We are not entitled to such license, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings.
Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection NPNF II, V:439

What is the mark of a faithful soul? To be in these dispositions of full acceptance on the authority of the words of Scripture, not venturing to reject anything nor making additions. For, if ‘all that is not of faith is sin’ as the Apostle says, and ‘faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,’ everything outside Holy Scripture, not being of faith, is sin.
Basil the Great, The Morals, p. 204, vol 9 TFOTC.

We are not content simply because this is the tradition of the Fathers. What is important is that the Fathers followed the meaning of the Scripture.
Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, Ch 7, par. 16.

If the Lord is faithful in all he says, it is clearly a falling from faith and a sin of pride either to reject anything of the things that are written or to add anything unwritten.
Basil the Great, cited in Chemnitz, ECT 1.224

Enjoying as you do the consolation of the Holy Scriptures, you stand in need neither of my assistance nor of that of anybody else to help you comprehend your duty. You have the all-sufficient counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead you to what is right.
Basil the Great NPNFII, VIII, Letters and Select Works, Letter CCLXXXIII, p. 312

Neither dare one agree with catholic bishops if by chance they err in anything, but the result that their opinion is against the canonical Scriptures of God.
Augustine, De unitate ecclesiae, ch. 10,

It is impossible either to say or fully to understand anything about God beyond what has been divinely proclaimed to us, whether told or revealed, by the sacred declarations of the Old and New Testaments.
John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith, Book I, Chapter 2

Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures. Do not simply give faith to me speaking these things to you except you have the proof of what I say from the divine Scriptures. For the security and preservation of our faith are not supported by ingenuity of speech, but by the proofs of the divine Scriptures.
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 4.17

But take thou and hold that faith only as a learner and in profession, which is by the Church delivered to thee, and is established from all Scripture. For since all cannot read the Scripture, but some as being unlearned, others by business, are hindered from the knowledge of them; in order that the soul may not perish for lack of instruction, in the Articles which are few we comprehend the whole doctrine of Faith...And for the present, commit to memory the Faith, merely listening to the words; and expect at the fitting season the proof of each of its parts from the Divine Scriptures. For the Articles of the Faith were not composed at the good pleasure of men: but the most important points chosen from all Scriptures, make up the one teaching of the Faith. And, as the mustard seed in a little grain contains many branches, thus also this Faith, in a few words, hath enfolded in its bosom the whole knowledge of godliness contained both in the Old and New Testaments. Behold, therefore, brethren and hold the traditions which ye now receive, and write them on the table of your hearts
Cyrl of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 5.12

The Catholic Christians will neither speak nor endure to hear any thing in religion that is a stranger to Scripture; it being an evil heart of immodesty to speak those things which are not written.
Athanasius, Exhort. ad Monachas
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