Solus Christus and Sola Scriptura. The Christological Roots of Martin Luther’s Interpretation of Scripture


  • Paul O'Callaghan


Summary: I. Sola Scriptura, a hallmark of the Protestant Reformation. II. Luther and Scripture. III. The five principles of Lutheran interpretation of Scripture. IV. Further attempts to understand sola Scriptura. V. Scripture and Catholic Th eology. VI. Sola Scriptura and solus Christus. VII. Luther’s Christ as personal Savior. VIII. The life of Christ in the Christian believer. IX. Lutheran kenosis and the realism of salvation. X. Summing up.

Sola Scriptura, ‘Scripture alone’ is usually considered the formal principle of Protestantism: God’s revelation is communicated to believers through the word of God present in the Bible, and not so much by patristic tradition, liturgical practice, the teaching office of bishops and pope. Although Luther seldom used the expression he did consider Scripture as the prime source in theology, because it refers essentially to Christ.
We interpret Scripture, he said, in terms of what draws us to Christ. On occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this study attempts to present the Lutheran understanding of Biblical interpretation as well as Luther’s classical though personalist view of Christology on which it depends.