Malankara World

40 Questions Answered

By H.G. Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios

QUESTION 1. Should the Holy Bible be the only basis for the Faith of the Church ?

The Bible is only a part of the Holy Tradition of the Church. Hence the commandment of St. Paul to "stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us either by word of mouth or by letter." (2 Thes. 2:15).

The Christian Church came into existence at least thirty years before the first book of the New Testament was written. Our Lord Himself showed in the Sermon on the Mount with His frequent 'But I say unto you' that His authority was greater than that of Moses who gave the Hebrews the Ten Commandments. Our Lord also knew that there ought to be a greater authority than any written book or time-bound teachings and so He said, "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth...." (Jn. 16: 12-15). This maybe the reason for not revealing the Mystery of Trinity fully in the Holy Bible.

Even the word 'Trinity' does not appear in the Scriptures. The Holy Bible gives only the data of Trinity and not the full theology of Trinity. Those who hold on to the obsolete theory called 'sola scriptura' (only the 'Scripture' are legion and their interpretations are legion. A proof text can be found in the Bible for heretical sects like 'Sabbath Mission' who teach that Saturday is to be observed as Sabbath and not Sunday or Jehovah's witnesses who deny the doctrine of Trinity, or the Pentecostal groups who war between themselves on minor issues like speaking in tongues or millennium as post or pre and so on.

The Bible is quoted by heretics and the orthodox from the time of Arius and St. Athanasius. We must not fall a prey to those who want proof-texts for all the teachings of the Church. Theology is based on the Bible, but not limited by the Bible. Bible and Tradition are together the primary source of theology. (Gal. 1: 8; Col. 4:16; Heb. 2:1; Jn 21: 25; Trent Council, Sess. IV, 8 Apr. 1546).

Table of Contents: Sec 1 (Q1-18) | Sec 2 (Q 19-33) | Sec 3 (Q 34 - 40) | Next Question

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