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Sola Scriptura, Biblical proof: 1 Corinthians 4:6

by Theodore Wright.


The evidence for the Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) doctrine as being what was taught in the early church is found in the Holy Scriptures themselves.

First, let us start with where Sola Scriptura is not proven…

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

While these verses do prove from the Scriputres that the Holy Bible is inspired by God as His covenant, they do not prove they are exclusively God’s word as covenant.

However, this verse below does prove Sola Scriptura…


so that you may learn from us the meaning of
the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.”

– 1 Corinthians 4:6b (NIV)


Sola Scriptura is perfectly well stated in the Bible here.  The King James and New King James Version Bibles are even more emphatic by stating that we are even not to think above what is written. Clearly, man-made traditions commonly go beyond what is written, which we are warned against.


It cannot be rightly argued that God’s words here in 1 Corinthians 4:6 are taken out of context. The original Greek language says it like this, translated literally into English,

“you may learn THE not above what has been written”.

Note the word “the” here. It is “THE not above what has been written”. “The”, being what, then? The words that follow it!  The “Do not go beyond what is written” is a saying of its own and independent of the context it is used in 1st Corinthians. The NIV Bible has this well translated in the idea of what is said in Greek for this passage.

What is written is the Holy Scripture! Paul uses the same expression about what is written when referring to Psalm 116:10 (Septuagint) when he wrote 2 Corinthians 4:13, which says… It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,

This passage in 1 Corinthians 4:6 is not declaring a “cut-off date” for what is Holy Scripture with no more inspired word of God past that.   It is stating not to go beyond the teachings of the covenant word of God which the Holy Bible is.


Sola Scriptura is not about denying the Scriptures! If you are only going by the Scriptures, yet not believing or not following them, it is then a denial of the Holy Scriptures and is not the true following of Sola Scriptura. You do not get the right to “bunny pick” your favorite sections and reject other sections. Yes, the Old Testament is understood now in the context of the New Testament, yet the New Testament does not rightly get written off with expressions saying, “That was only true for the early church and not true for today.” If you believe that is right, then you just might as well as lie saying that the gospel is not valid for today in the same manner. Does that really make sense for you to do?


Yes! Learn the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Moreover, heed the saying and don’t go beyond what is written. Do not think up new inventions of doctrine above and beyond what is written.

Do not add oral traditions to God’s word which were not established by Christ and His apostles as Holy Writ. Do not act above what God has said in His word to trespass His commandments.

Also, do not esteem men to be higher than what God has declared them as in His Word.

Thus, Sola Scriptura is found in the Holy Scriptures. It is not a later invention. God inspired the Apostle Paul to teach it.  Learn it!  Do not go beyond what is written. Furthermore, be sure you don’t leave off anything the Bible says either.



Do you want to know more?
Discover how Jesus Himself denied the Apocrypha as inspired.

Sola Scriptura and the Church Fathers
from The Master’s Seminary (blogs.tms.edu)





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