Augustine: Respect only the Scripture

St. Augustine writes to St. Jerome:

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the Ms. is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it. As to all other writings, in reading them, however great the superiority of the authors to myself in sanctity and learning, I do not accept their teaching as true on the mere ground of the opinion being held by them; but only because they have succeeded in convincing my judgment of its truth either by means of these canonical writings themselves, or by arguments addressed to my reason. I believe, my brother, that this is your own opinion as well as mine.

8 thoughts on “Augustine: Respect only the Scripture”

  1. That is amazing!! I’d say awesome but the word is a tad overused. A very Protestant veiw of scripture if that wasn’t an anachronism.

  2. This is a prime example of a “great” Christian philosopher insulating himself from reasonable objections. Augustine makes a circular argument where he IRRATIONALLY ASSumes the inerrancy of the text without any good justification.

  3. Incidentally, the quote is from a letter written to Jerome, where Augustine attempts to defending the accusations made by Celsus of biblical contradictions.

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