A friend of mine, in responding to a Sola Scriptura claim, launched this interesting little gotcha. It’s a small criticism, but one that I had never considered, so I’ll include it here. The context is a discussion of 2 Timothy 3:15-17, which is the standard SS proof text. So, read the following in light of that passage.
But what if we could somehow grant that all existing NT Scripture is also included in Paul’s statements here? Still, using this passage to argue for SS is disastrous. Surely you agree that the book of 2 Timothy was inerrant from the very moment Paul wrote it. The same day Paul wrote 2 Timothy, the book of 2 Timothy was 100% true. Yet, at the moment Paul finished writing 2 Timothy, the book of Revelation (and possibly some other NT books) had not even been written yet! So if Paul taught that “all currently existing Scripture is utterly sufficient for all the Church’s needs“, then you must believe that the Church has absolutely no need whatsoever to read the book of Revelation! After all, if the pre-Revelation inspired Scriptures are 100% sufficient for the Church, then what need does the Church have of additional books?
That was an interesting thought exercise, but that’s the sort of absurdity that SS leads to. In case you’re wondering what books were written after 2 Timothy, no one can say absolutely, but that would probably include Titus, 2 Peter, and Revelation.
Finally, consider the fact that apostles were still alive for decades after 2 Timothy was written. It would have been disastrous for a Christian to adhere to SS at that time! Just imagine someone in 65 A.D. suggesting that we “ask the apostles about some doctrine”, and someone else responding, “No, we don’t need to ask the apostles anything. The Scriptures alone are all we need. The oral teaching of the apostles is irrelevant.” What appalling hubris that would be!