The Doctrine of the Trinity Proves the Inadequacy of Sola Scriptura
Yesterday the Universal Church celebrated the feast of the Trinity. It always falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost and reminds the faithful of the importance of this doctrine. What I always reflect on however, is how the Church could have come up with this doctrine without using the bible alone as its source of information and revelation? A couple of quick historical facts will illustrate my point.
1) The bible as we know it today was not even fully collected and canonized in 325 AD when the Catholic Church met in Nicea to write the "white paper" on the nature of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (Also known as Christology) The books that later came to be included in the New Testament were circulating and being read at mass but a formal list of what should be considered inspired and worthy of reading in the liturgy was not yet formulated until the Council of Rome in 382 AD. So if sola scriptura is a valid paradigm, how could the doctrine of the Trinity be enunciated at that council if the bible, which sola scripturists believe is the only source of truth, was not even available?
2) If you disagree with the above point and claim (falsely I might add), "like, but the bible was around dude, like, it's just that your church hadn't like put it's official gnarly imprimatur on it yet"
then I may ask, why then did they need the council in the first place? The Council of Nicea was held because of the fact that many Christians were believing and promulgating the wrong concept of who Christ was. The bishop Arius was preaching that Christ was not truly God, but sort of like God. This was so rampant, that the Arian heresy threatened to destabilize, politically, the entire Roman world.
SO, if the bible alone (even if it had been canonized at that point) was adequate in clearly formulating Christology, why did the Council of Nicea need to even meet?
3) Non-trinitarians always use the bible to disprove the doctrine of the trinity, thereby illustrating the failure of sola scriptura to be useful in resolving doctrinal disputes. Here's one of their sites using 100 verses to "disprove" the trinity.
The point of this exercise is not to disregard the bible (for we as Catholics revere it as the written Word of God), but to show that Christ Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to His Church as a way to lead us in all truth. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about the dogma of the Holy Trinity:
"From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church's living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis, and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify its Trinitarian faith, both to deepen its own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it. This clarification was the work of the early councils, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people's sense of the faith."