Sola Scriptura, Holy Tradition, and the Hermeneutics of Christ

Eclectic Orthodoxy

by Robert F. Fortuin

It is not uncommon to hear Eastern Orthodox Christians assert that ‘holy tradition is the context of scripture’—by this is meant that the Bible cannot be separated from the practice and theology of the community of Christian believers. To consider the scriptures as pure text divorced from its situation in history, the situation which prompted the need for the writing and reception of the biblical text, is to commit a fundamental error. The Eastern Orthodox position is often asserted in response to claims of Sola Scriptura, the Protestant Reformation principle that the Bible is the sole and sufficient source for Christian faith and practice. While Sola Scriptura has been interpreted and applied in diverse and sundry ways by Protestants since the 500 years that expired Martin Luther’s complaints at Wittenberg, it will invariably favor placing authority and meaning in the text itself over (and against)…

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