1. What is the Final Authority?

Catholic Position

95 “It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture
and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”

“And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles
by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”

85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written
form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to
the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

119 “It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of
course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of
God.”[88]

Scripture Says

Revelation
22:18-19

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his
part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Romans 16:17-18
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches
deceive the hearts of the simple.

Commentary

  • Are church tradition and the magisterium equal in authority to the sacred scriptures?
  • What happens when they disagree with each other?