What is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth?
If you ask most non-Catholic Christians this question, their answer will be: "Why, the Bible, of course." The doctrine of the Bible Alone, or Sola Scriptura, is one of the most significant points of departure among Catholics and "Bible Christians." The irony is that, because Catholics believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, the notion that the Bible is the sole rule of faith must be rejected. Why? Because it is contrary to scripture!
That's right! Nowhere in the Bible does it state that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and morals. Here is why the doctrine of "Bible alone" cannot be true:
- The Bible does not tell us even what books comprise the Bible.
So what does the Bible say is the "Pillar and Foundation of Truth?" 1 Timothy 3:15 declares "But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth."
- The Bible cannot be its own authority. If books can be self-authenticating then we should also accept the Book of Mormon and the Qu'ran both of which claim to be the "word of God."
- Using subjective human opinion to interpret the Bible rather than some infallible authority to interpret it, leads to thousands of individual opinions as is manifested by the state of "Bible Christianity" today.
Does the Bible say follow only scripture? On the contrary, 2 Thess. 2:15 tells us: "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." St. John Chrysostom commented on this verse around A.D. 398. "Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther."
More information on this topic can be found at Catholic Answers under Scripture and Tradition.