Leading Church figures on the Authority of Scripture over all Councils, Creeds, Rulings or Writings

ProphecyHistory.com website stands in agreement with these men regarding the supreme authority of Scripture over all councils, creeds, rulings or writings:

Saint Athanasius, Defender of orthodoxy, Council of Nicaea A.D. 325, LINK

"The sacred and inspired Scriptures are sufficient to declare the truth."

Saint Augustine, LINK

"I am not bound by the authority of [Cyprian’s] epistle because I do not hold the writings of Cyprian as canonical, and I accept whatever in them agrees with the authority of the divine Scriptures with his approval, but what does not agree I reject with his permission."

"I have learned to give this reverence and honour to those books of Scripture alone which are now called canonical, as firmly to believe that no one of their authors erred in writing anything ... but I so read the others, that however excellent in purity of doctrine, I do not therefore take a thing to be true because they thought so; but because they can persuade me, either through those canonical authors, or probable reason, that it does not differ from the truth. Nor do I think that you, my brother, are of a different opinion. I say further, I do not suppose that you wish your books to be read as if they were the writings of the prophets or apostles, which beyond a doubt are free from any error."

John Wycliffe, LINK

"Chapter 15
Why every man should know and obey the scripture, which is the scripture of peoples, as Jerome says.

Christ said that the gospel should be preached in all the world, and David said of the Apostles and their preaching, "the sound of them went out into each land, and the words of them went out into the ends of the world." And David also said, "the Lord shall reveal his truth in the scriptures of peoples, and of the princes that were in Zion," that is, in the church, as Jerome explains in his commentary on this verse. He also explains that scripture is here called "the scriptures of peoples" because it was intended that all nations should know the scriptures, and he explains that the "princes" of the church spoken of in this verse are the Apostles who had the authority to write scripture, for it is because the Apostles wrote their scriptures by this authority, and by the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, that it is holy scripture, and the authoritative basis of our Christian faith. And no man has been given this authority after them, however holy or wise he may be, as Jerome declares in his commentary on that verse."

Jean Calvin, LINK

"What, then, you will say, is there no authority in the definitions of councils? Yes, indeed; for I do not contend that all councils are to be condemned, and all their acts rescinded, or, as it is said, made one complete erasure. But you are bringing them all (it will be said) under subordination, and so leaving everyone at liberty to receive or reject the decrees of councils as he pleases. By no means; but whenever the decree of council is produced, the first thing I would wish to be done is, to examine at what time it was held, on what occasion, with what intention, and who were present at it; next I would bring the subject discussed to the standard of Scripture. And this I would do in such a way that the decision of the council should have its weight, and be regarded in the light of a prior judgment, yet not so as to prevent the application of the test which I have mentioned. I wish all had observed the method which Augustine prescribes in his Third Book against Maximinus, when he wished to silence the cavils of this heretic against the decrees of councils,

  • 'I ought not to oppose the Council office to you, nor ought you to oppose that of Ariminum to me, as prejudging the question. I am not bound by the authority of the latter, or you by that of the former. Let thing contend with thing, cause with cause, reason with reason, on the authority of Scripture, an authority not peculiar to either, but common to all.'

In this way councils would be duly respected, and yet the highest place would be given to Scripture, everything being brought to it as a test."

Philip Schaff

The Creeds of Christendom, published by Baker Book House.

“In the Protestant system, the authority of (creeds), as of all human compositions, is relative and limited. It is not coordinate with, but always subordinate to, the Bible, as the only infallible rule of the Christian Faith and practice. The value of creeds depends upon the measure of their agreement with the Scriptures. In the best case, a human creed is only an approximate and relatively correct exposition of revealed truth, and may be improved by the progressive knowledge of the Church, while the Bible remains perfect and infallible. The Bible is of God; the Confession is man’s answer to God’s Word. The Bible has, therefore, a divine and absolute (authority), the Confession only an ecclesiastical and relative authority. Any higher view of the authority of (creeds) is unprotestant and essentially Romanizing. (Creedolatry) is a species of idolatry, and substitutes the tyranny of a printed book for that of a living Pope. It is apt to produce the opposite extreme of a rejection of all creeds, and to promote rationalism and infidelity.”

Francis Turretin, LINK

"The orthodox (although they hold the fathers in great estimation and think them very useful to a knowledge of the history of the ancient church, and our opinion on cardinal doctrines may agree with them) yet deny that their authority, whether as individuals or taken together, can be called authoritative in matters of faith and the interpretation of the Scriptures, so that by their judgment we must stand or fall. Their authority is only ecclesiastical and subordinate to the Scriptures and of no weight except so far as they agree with them" (Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, p. 163).

B. B. Warfield, LINK

"This church-doctrine of inspiration differs from the theories that would fain supplant it, in that it is not the invention nor the property of an individual, but the settled faith of the universal church of God; in that it is not the growth of yesterday, but the assured persuasion of the people of God from the first planting of the church until today; in that it is not a protean shape, varying its affirmations to fit every new change in the ever-shifting thought of men, but from the beginning has been the church’s constant and abiding conviction as to the divinity of the Scriptures committed to her keeping" (Works, vol. 1, p. 52).

John William Burgon, LINK

"... the Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the Throne! Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it (where are we to stop?) every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High! ... Well spake the HOLY GHOST by the mouth of the many blessed men who wrote it. The Bible is none other than the Word of God: not some part of it more, some part of it less; but all alike the utterance of Him who sitteth upon the Throne, absolute, faultless, unerring, supreme."

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., LINK

"Statement of Faith: Scripture: We believe the Bible alone (the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God. It is "God-breathed" and therefore verbally inspired and completely without error (historically, scientifically, morally, and spiritually) and is the final authority on all issues pertaining to life and faith."