Sola Scriptura, n. [Lat. sola, only, Scriptura, Scripture] A momentous
doctrine of the Reformation, holding that only the Scriptures are to
be used as a basis for teaching.
Scripture has held an important role in church history; it is
God-breathed and profitable for teaching and rebuking, in its
entirety. If a belief contradicts the unambiguous teaching of the
Scriptures, it is an error; only a heretic would hold so low of a
regard for these sacred writings as to hold even one out and say of
it, "It is a letter of straw. Burn it."
If the Scriptures are to be magnified beyond being seen as a final
resolution as to which doctrines are and are not acceptable, and
declared to be the only acceptable source of teaching, then it is
important to see what they are and what they do and do not say.
The Scriptures are an anthology of a wide variety of sacred writings.
A definition is not the place to quote a thousand pages of truth, but
there are a few points which are notable here. The Scriptures do say
that God himself speaks through the lips of prophets, and the Creation
declares the glory of its Creator. They do not, at any point, give a
listing of which works are to be considered canonical.
- -- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary