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Not by Scripture Alone: A Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura Paperback – March, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

Since the time of Martin Luther, Protestants have claimed that Scripture alone is the final, infallible rule of faith for man.  In doing so, they have also claimed that Sacred Tradition and Church Authority, although helpful, are not infallible and therefore cannot serve as authorities on par with Scripture.  Is this a correct understanding of Scripture, Tradition and the Church, and does either Scripture or Tradition teach that sola scriptura should be the sole guiding rule for decisions on faith and morals?  A thorough investigation into this controversy reveals that the answer is a resounding, NO.  As never before, the Catholic Church has been called upon to be the defender of Scripture and preserver of truth in modern times.  Not by Scripture Alone will set the biblical and historical record straight.  But more important, as you learn the real truth about Scripture, Tradition, and the Church, this book will offer you the means to come to a very deep relationship with God and know how best to glorify him on this earth. This book is the single most important systematic, logical, sustained, direct, multifaceted treatment of this central issue that I know of. - Peter Kreeft

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Queenship Pub Co (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579180558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579180553
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By MacDuff on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Well here's one Protestant at least who's not going to bombard this book with criticisms and complaints--seeing as how these reviews are meant to discuss the book, not the plethora of beliefs held by whichever reviewer. I'm not really sure what some of these Protestant reviewers were expecting when they picked up the book.

That being said, I'm in no danger of converting, and yet I definitely think this book warrants 4 stars. Prompted by discussions with my Catholic roommate I was referred to this book. It didn't dispell all the historical and theological "myths" that Protestants propagate (most of which I would say aren't myths), but it did lay out a very solid argument from historical, theological, and biblical grounds. Any Protestant looking for a solid Catholic critique on those three grounds of the Protestant position should definitely pick this one up and be challenged by fairly solid scholarship. I especially appreciated hearing a thoughtful critique of 2 Timothy 3:16 and other scriptural passages used to defend Sola Scriptura (Chapter 3).

Bottom line, I don't think Sungenis and his companions are right, but I think he makes a good argument that Protestants need to hear and address. If you want a good and concise Catholic argument on this issue--seek no further.
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94 of 110 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
When a Protestant discusses the faith with a Catholic the words, "show me where it says that in the Bible" will always come up. By saying this, the Protestant assumes that everything concerning faith and morals is WRITTEN explicity in the pages of Scripture. But is this assumption itself a biblical teaching?. To the surprise of most people the answer is no! The Bible nowhere states or implies that the Bible alone is the only rule of faith for the believer. Do you think differently? Then you must read this book. "Not by Scripture Alone" is a thorough review of how Scripture should be used in the life of a believer. Those who hold to the idea of Sola Scriptura, have rejected the biblical teaching of an authoritative Church (Matt 18:17) and Apostolic Tradition (2 Thes 2:15). This book handles all the issues one by one and demonstrates that a true Bible-believing Christian can not believe in the Bible Alone theory. I congratulate the authors of this fine book. I know that this book will help people come home to the fullness of the Christian faith that can only be found in the Catholic Church. Reviewed by Gospel Truth Ministries.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Well it probably won't, but this is the most complete book available on the issue of Sola Scriptura. I heard many arguments on both sides of the debate before I read this, and every one of them and more is examined in detail in this book. Bible verses are thouroughly examined in their context, and varying translations are even discussed rather than quoting from the English translation that best supports the apologist's point of view, as many others have done. Frequent quotations from Protestant authors throughout the book and the inclusion of the transcript of a formal debate between Patrick Madrid and Douglass Jones in the appendix allows the reader to hear arguments on both sides of the story. The size of the book may be a turn off to some, and there is some redundancy from the multiple authors, but the book is still very much worth while. For someone who is new to studying Catholic/Protestant dividing issues, I would recommend first reading a conversion story such as Scott Hahn's or David Currie's, to get your feet wet before plunging into the deep end with this book.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David Capparuccini on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am currently a non-denominational Christian. Who through the guidance of God the Holy Spirit is searching for the True Church. Mr. Sungenis and his fellow authors in this book have indeed taken me a step closer to this truth. First of all I would like to respond to the Protestant who wrote that this book was completely ridculous. I will by no means judge someone or their character. But I would like to say that this book is one of the BEST ever written on the matter of is Scripture Alone the final authority on Faith and Morals. I say it is the best ever that I have read. And I have read numerous Protestant commentaries upholding the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Through this book and my study of Tradition and the early Church Fathers I have come to see that Sola Scriptura is a novel idea. If you are a Protestant and express disbelief then please do not judge your Catholic brothers in Christ but read this book for yourself. I would also like to respond to the man that equated Catholocism with a cult like the Mormons and Jehova's Witness. If you have any knowledge of Church History you can easily see that this claim is completely ABSURD. As the authors of Not By Scripture Alone are so kind to point out. That the Catholic Church is the church that has the longest historical background. As well as firm roots in the Bible. Matt 16 shows this, as does 1 Thess 2:15. It is a Protestant church that can easily be equated as a cult. I say this with complete love for my Protestant brethren to see. Just look! their our currently 28,000 Protestant denominations now. 28,000 Protestant denominations! Which one is the true denomination? Let my Protestant bretheren provide answers to that. IF by some chance Sola Scriptura is the truth. Then answer me?Read more ›
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