In her book, The Bible, Karen Armstrong finishes a chapter on Sola Scriptura with the following message:
Sola scriptura could point people in the direction of the Bible, but it could never provide an absolute mandate: people could always find alternative texts to support an opposing point of view. By the seventeenth century, religious people were becoming acutely aware that the Bible was a very confusing book, and this at a time when clarity and rationality were prized as never before.The Bible pages 181-182 by Karen Armstrong
As the single work at the heart of Christianity, the world’s largest organized religion, the Bible is the spiritual guide for one out of every three people in the world. It is also the world’s most widely distributed book and its best-selling, with an estimated six billion copies sold in the last two hundred years. But the Bible is a complex work with a complicated and obscure history. Its contents have changed over the centuries, it has been transformed by translation and, through interpretation, has developed manifold meanings to various religions, denominations, and sects.
In this seminal account, acclaimed historian Karen Armstrong discusses the conception, gestation, life, and afterlife of history’s most powerful book. Armstrong analyzes the social and political situation in which oral history turned into written scripture, how this all-pervasive scripture was collected into one work, and how it became accepted as Christianity’s sacred text, and how its interpretation changed over time. Armstrong’s history of the Bible is a brilliant, captivating book, crucial in an age of declining faith and rising fundamentalism.