Reprinted with permission from As I See It. AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question of “tradition” in the New Testament
The Bible declares its own Divine inspiration through the superintending work of the Holy Spirit over the authors:
Knowing this first that no prophetic utterance in Scripture comes from the [prophet’s] own motivation. For the prophetic utterance never came from human will, but while they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God. (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; all translations are my own)
All Scripture is God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16a)
It likewise affirms its absolute truthfulness and freedom from factual error, Psalm 19:9b (among several places):
The fear of Yahweh is pure, standing for ever;
The judgments of Yahweh are true; they are completely just.
Furthermore, the Bible teaches its own all-sufficiency in matters of theological and spiritual truth, in short, its finality as the authoritative source of doctrinal beliefs and Christian practices. This is clearly the proper inference, the reasonable corollary of its Divine inspiration, as Paul plainly affirms:
All Scripture [literally, writing] is God-breathed, and [therefore] useful for doctrinal instruction, for conviction, for correction, for training in righteous conduct, so that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17)
Or, to restate it: the inspired Scriptures are an all-sufficient source for proper beliefs and conduct for every Christian. In short, they lack nothing necessary to becoming a Christian (“They are able to make you wise regarding salvation through faith in Messiah Jesus,” 2 Tim. 3:15) and growing to full Christian maturity. It might be said that they have “100% of the necessary daily requirements of all spiritual nutrients, vitamins and minerals.” They are, in a word, complete, and therefore the final and exclusive authoritative source of what Christians are supposed to believe and do. None other is necessary, or available.