Is it really true that the Bible is incomplete and not sufficient as a basis of faith and in leading us to attain salvation?
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"To engage in self-contradiction"

Letter to the Editor:
GOD'S MESSAGE, March 2005, p.3

I WAS BORN A CATHOLIC but I am one of those who attend Mass only when there are special occasions in the family like Christening, wedding, internment, and Christmas days. My friend who is a seminarian encourages me more to be active in our religion. In one of our friendly discussions, I asked him where in the Bible we could read many of our doctrines and practices like Trinity, purgatory, rosary, keeping images and the like. He read some biblical verses which I believe are not conclusively teaching them. He nevertheless pointed out that we must not be strictly biblical, for the Bible is incomplete, especially on the written account of Christ's life. He explained that we must  believe in the Bible, but we must also accept other Catholic books and traditions as bases of our faith.

What can you say about this? Is it really true that the Bible is incomplete and not sufficient as a basis of faith and in leading us to attain salvation?

Peter Yong
Seoul, South Korea

Editor's reply:

It is true that the Bible's account on Christ's life is incomplete---the reason is explained by Apostle John:

"But there are many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25, Revised Standard Version)

Though not all the things Jesus did were written in the Bible, it is not right to believe that what were recorded in the Bible are not adequate in leading to us to attain eternal life or salvation. Apostle John testifies, thus:

" Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may  have life in his name." (John 20:30-31, New International Version)

As a basis of faith, the Bible therefore does not need to be supplemented by any other book and even by what the Catholics call tradition. The truth, is to believe in the Bible and to propose that the Bible needs to be supplemented is to engage in self-contradiction---for the Bible warns everyone not to go beyond what is written:

" Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for you benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, 'Do not go beyond what is written'. .... (I Cor. 4:6, Ibid)

"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of these book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book." (Rev. 22:18, New King James Version)

Hence, a true believer in the Bible know that when compared to other books used as a bases by various religions, the Bible alone teaches the way to salvation. Aside from this, he also follows the biblical teaching not to go beyond what is written in it. Anyone who claims that he believe in the authority of the Bible and purports that it must be coupled with something else as source of true faith is guilty of either inconsistency or not truly accepting the precepts of the Bible.

This is the reason why the Iglesia ni Cristo believes that the Bible should be the sole basis of man's faith. It is the only book inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking errors, correcting faults and giving instructions (II Tim. 3:16, Today's English Version). Using the Bible as the only basis of faith will give us the wisdom that leads to salvation (II Tim. 3:15).

15 and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed. (II Timothy 3:15-17, Today's English Version)


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