Sola Scriptura and Protestant Denominations

Recently I’ve been doing some research on the doctrine of sola scriptura. Among the many sources I’ve been reading is the Book “Exploring Protestant Traditions” from W. David Buschart. I’ve created the following table to compare how the protestant traditions employ sola scriptura. Although this table may be helpful for an initial overview, please refer to the book itself[1] or other literature to get a more informed opinion. There is a high degree of variability within all of these denominations and a tabular description such as this cannot convey many of the nuances that are involved. Nonetheless it can be useful for a quick-glance overview.

Sources for Theology:

Scripture Tradition Reason Experience
Lutheran S + confessional heritage - -
Anabaptist S - early church creeds rejected,
+ implied confessional heritage
-
Reformed S - chruch tradition,
+ confessional heritage
+ subordinate to scripture and Holy Spirit + subordinate to scripture and Holy Spirit
Anglican S + ancient traditions accepted + interprets traditions and scripture + liturgy plays an important role
Baptist S - staunchly anti-creedal
Wesleyan S – some set scripture on an equal plane with the other sources + + +
Dispensational S - + in the form of theology and hermeneutical method -
Pentecostal S - - + from the Holy Spirit


Theological Sources Key:

S Supreme + Some Influence - No Influence


Other Aspects:

Interpreter Holy Spirit
Lutheran Community guides, enables
Anabaptist Community hindered by empasis on reason,
illumines understanding
Reformed The theolgian witnesses to the scripture
Anglican Community guidance
Baptist Individual Illumines the mind of the reader
Wesleyan
Dispensational
Pentecostal experiential role
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  1. [1] The book is nicely subdivided so that one can quickly focus on the interpretive aspects of each denominational community.

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