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Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity

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A denial of the sufficiency of Scripture is at the core of almost every form of opposition to the Christian faith today. Scripture Alone is written to instill a passionate love for and understanding of the Bible. In this defense of God's inspired Word, readers will comprehend what "God's Word"is, the nature of Scripture, the relationship of the Bible to tradition, how to apply Scripture to today's issues, and much more. Included is a faith-inspiring study of the canon--what it is and where it came from.

222 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

James R. White

29 books428 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored or contributed to more than twenty four books, including The King James Only Controversy, The Forgotten Trinity, The Potter’s Freedom, and The God Who Justifies. He is an accomplished debater, having engaged in more than one-hundred forty moderated, public debates around the world with leading proponents of Roman Catholicism, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormonism, as well as critics such as Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, and John Shelby Spong. In recent years James has debated in such locations as Sydney, Australia, as well as mosques in Toronto, London, and South Africa. He is an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, has been married to Kelli for more than thirty two years, and has two children, and one grandchild, Clementine.

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5 stars
247 (45%)
4 stars
197 (36%)
3 stars
69 (12%)
2 stars
16 (2%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews
Profile Image for Chris.
8 reviews15 followers
January 15, 2015
This is a disappointing, though not surprisingly, poorly written defense of the Reformed Doctrine of Sola Scriptura by someone who has spent 20 years denying the doctrine. The reader should be aware that Mr. White himself does not believe in Sola Scriptura. A much better book on the subject is William Whitaker's Disputations on Holy Scripture and of course Chapter 1 of Francis Turretin's Elenctic Theology.
Profile Image for Arielle.
76 reviews11 followers
July 15, 2021
Very scholarly written and perhaps my attention span wasn’t ideal for processing all the many concepts, but I appreciate the many helpful and biblical ways to uphold sola scriptura and why it is so important
Profile Image for Ronnie Nichols.
245 reviews
May 20, 2019
It is not a coincidence that proper Systematic Theology always begins with Scripture (God's Word) being the foundation on which our knowledge of God and truth are established. In the modern evangelical community this reality must continue to be in the forefront of our conviction and conversations. Dr. White reminds us of the importance of Sola Scriptura and the dangers of falling away from the Bible as our infallible and inerrant guide to knowing, worshipping, and walking with God. This book would make an excellent small group or Sunday school study. I am not the biggest fan of dialogued arguments in print, but Dr. White uses this method of writing as an effective means to relay important aspect of common arguments and accusations against the Bible. Good stuff here, I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Zach Scheller.
79 reviews8 followers
July 6, 2021
As exhaustive as this topic is, this book doesn’t feel overwhelming or difficult. In fact - it’s actually pretty engaging, as White gives you plenty of imaginary conversations to exemplify his positions on Scripture and it’s reliability.

The main issue with the book is not the content but simply that, by presenting the information in this way, I’m not sure it resonates with the reader after the chapter is completed. I think I would rather have some solid take home points on key questions that the world is asking rather than a transcript of a fake debate that, while informative and enjoyable in the moment, is a little harder to retain.
Profile Image for Aaron White.
380 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2018
As we live with competing ideas and are continually rethinking our beliefs and faith. As we must investigate all claims to truth. As we are in a world steeped with more ideas and variants than ever before, this was a great book for me as I was reminded again of what I believed about Scripture and that what I believed was not only valid but overwhelmingly supportable. Not dedicating myself to theological studies, I know I will need to re reference this book from time to time. There were a few areas that I wanted the author to expound upon, specifically his understanding of the Spirit's work in the life of the believer and the church, although, this could understandably be a book all of it's own.
Profile Image for Justin.
24 reviews2 followers
August 6, 2009
This was a satisfying book. It is not a scholarly examination of the doctrine, but a practical, "grass roots" examination of the doctrine with a little scholarly knowledge thrown in here and there. Dr. White uses a dialogue style of writing throughout much of the book to assert his points. And while at first I was not fond of this, I ended up mildly enjoying it towards the latter sections of the book.

Dr. White begins by giving arguments for the sufficiency of scripture and then defining and further extrapolating upon key terms used throughout the debate around scriptural sufficiency. As Dr. White readily admits, there is nothing new in this book. But I did find most of his thoughts to be very clear and lucid.

The next sections further develop upon the topic of inerrancy by quoting and commenting on the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. And then he gives a quick tutorial on the rules and strategies of proper biblical exegesis, which is something very few popular level books speak about. I really enjoyed this section, however brief it may be.

The latter sections of the book involve Dr. White briefly focusing upon canonicity and defending inerrancy in light of Islamic and Mormon attacks. I found this to be most helpful since this is really what the book is meant to do (help lay apologists defend the sufficiency of scripture against Islamic and Mormon arguments). He then ends the book by focusing on church tradition and continuing revelation.

All in all, I enjoyed the book. Dr. White wrote with clarity and conveyed fairly powerful arguments for scriptural sufficiency. I would probably recommend this book for anyone that needs help in defending sola scriptura in light of Mormon or Roman Catholic arguments.
Profile Image for Justin Daniel.
211 reviews3 followers
September 12, 2018
“Sola Scriptura” was one of the central tenants of the Protestant Reformation. Literally, it means “Scripture Alone,” not ironically the title of this book. James White has written a unique treatise on an issue that is heavily under fire in today’s world that harkens back to this principle that the reformers understood: that the Christian faith rests finally on the Bible. In the days of Martin Luther and John Calvin, these men were fighting against the traditions of the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. At the time, the Catholic tradition had added numerous doctrines to the Christian faith that are nowhere to be found in scripture. Because of this, the reformers saw that the Church needed to return to the Bible as the sole agent of what is to guide the Church through the murky waters of existence. James White has rightly recognized that we are in a time that needs to hear this message more urgently than ever. With attacks from liberal theologians, the media, the uneducated, and the proponents of the sexual revolution, we too are in an age where we need to return to the idea of sola scriptura.

I had to read Dr. White’s book as part of my Systematic Theology I class. In this class, we discuss the prolegomena of theology, bibliology, and theology proper. Much of what is covered in this really vast subject of bibliology (in theological terms) is present in subsequent lectures. Therefore, this text is not for those who seek to understand all the nuances of bibliology. For a more comprehensive text, I’d recommend a book I read last year by Norman Geisler, “From God to Us.” But what Dr. White neglects is in terms of the complicated issues of textual criticism (among other more academic considerations), which is the practice of examining manuscripts to locate the most accurate among all the various manuscripts we have from the 2nd century onward. The goal of this book is much less academic, but not less smart. Dr. White himself in the preface describes this book as a “passionate introduction” to bibliology. So if you’re looking for a bite sized grasp on the inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture, this is your book.

The Bible is central to the Christian because it follows this pattern of logic: if there is a God, then we would only know Him if He has revealed Himself to us; God has revealed Himself to us in the form of the Bible; because the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself, it must be critical to study and know this text in order for us to know God and what He desires. This is why those who reject Christianity often attack scripture first: if they denigrate the foundation of the revelation of God, who He is and what He asks of us and most importantly, how to get right with Him, then the whole system collapses onto itself. Dr. White says, “Almost every denial of biblical sufficiency finds its root in a misunderstanding of, or more likely, a direct rejection of, the true nature of scripture” (White, Kindle Location 623). The opponents of Christianity must first attack the basis of Christian belief in order to dismiss the whole system. After all, if God’s revelation to man is flawed or wrong, then it would be likely to assume that this god really isn’t god. So this is an important point that we, as Christians, get right; we DO believe that God’s revelation is correct and that He is God. Most surprisingly, even those who would recognize the possibility of God, as liberal theologians do, there has been a tendency in recent years for even this group of people to deny the sufficiency of scripture. Starting with the liberal theologian movement at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th with Karl Barth and the neo orthodox movement, scripture is in no doubt under fire from those who even profess there is a god.

Dr. White proceeds to debunk a lot of myths concerning the Bible. His first chapter is entitled “Three Arguments Related to Scriptural Sufficiency.” After setting the groundwork of what the Bible is, Dr. White moves onto what the Bible is not. In chapter two, he speaks about how definitions that we have coined in the context of the study of bibliology is where 85% of the errors related to the Bible come from. One of the most interesting of these objections is the inerrancy debate. In chapter 4, Dr. White addresses this question and he makes an excellent point: “Without a firm foundation, a discernable standard, an unchanging and unchangeable rule, we are left to construct a theology that can ascend no higher than majority opinion, that cannot claim divine authority (though this may not keep such a system from claiming such), and that can only replace the divine consistency of Scripture with its own suppose inherent authority” (White, Kindle Location 1027). There has to be a fixed point in which we receive truth that cannot be moved, or else we merely cater to opinion. For a good portion of the book, Dr. White responds to allegations against the Bible and it’s sufficiency. He address such topics as: the role of tradition, the “Gospel of Thomas”, the canon of scripture, modern day accusations that one can receive revelation from God, and allegations of contradiction.

This is a necessary book in our day and age. While not comprehensive in scope, it fulfills its duty in packing a punch to those objections that laymen, seminarians, and Church goers can appreciate and utilize. One of my most favorite quotes from this book says,

“Church history has repeatedly and clearly proven one thing: Once the highest view of Scripture is abandoned by any theologian, group, denomination, or church, the downhill slide in both its theology and practice is inevitable” (White, Kindle Location 1000)

Indeed, true words that need to be heard.
Profile Image for Ryan.
430 reviews15 followers
October 28, 2014
This was a well-written book on a subject the author has extensive knowledge in. The arguments are clear, logical, and, because of the author's experience, they are insightful. The fictitious arguments were very helpful as well, as White brought in a lot of debate knowledge that helped clarify the issues in a way that was easy to comprehend and assimilate. The author's "goal truly has been to kindle a fire in the hearts of God’s people, not only for His Word but for the sufficiency of His Word" (pg. 214). And he did just that. Though not extremely scholarly, it isn't written on a popular level either, making it a nice work for a wide audience. Helpful and informative.
Profile Image for Cliff Dailey.
77 reviews1 follower
August 30, 2019
White provides a solid introduction to many objections made against the Bible in a creative way. He presents his answers to hard questions about the Bible in a dialogue form. Truly, I understand more clearly the necessity to know more about the forming of the Bible I read today. White points out in this book that living in an age of information permits many people to know much about the Bible, both true things and false things. So, like never before, Christians have to answer some hard questions that come from people of other worldviews. These questions include: Is the Bible credible? And, are there contradictions in the Bible? This was such a good read.
Profile Image for Lily-joseph Jo.
19 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2014
Have you wondered why you believe that the sixty six books of the Bible is your only rule for faith and practice as a Bible-believing Christian? Have you ever tried to explain to the world why you believe what you believe about the Bible and found it to be very difficult? Then it is a book for you. Dr. James White did it very well in this academic-enough-and-easy-enough book. This book would help you to articulate to yourself and others what is the meaning of Sola Scriptura and why it is very important.
Profile Image for Rob.
245 reviews8 followers
July 1, 2015
Part bibliology and part apologetics, this very readable book introduces and defends the Bible and its authority (especially sola Scriptura) and encourages the reader to pursue its topics further. Dr. White draws from his extensive experience as a Christian apologist and interacts with Roman Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, and skeptical approaches to the Bible. Consequently, some of the chapters are dialogues. I was most impressed by his many quotations from the Church Fathers on the authority of the Bible.
Profile Image for Paul Stuart.
113 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2015
Dr. White achieves his goal of this book, which is to simply introduce the reader to the doctrine of "sola scriptura", how to defend it, as well as why we should desire to know and study the Scriptures themselves. Many truths are explained logically and clearly. Many references are given so that the reader can continue his or her study of textual criticism and early church history and/or doctrines. The "dialogue" portions I did not especially care for...however I can not deny that they were still helpful and educational. A must-read for the believer in Jesus Christ.
Profile Image for Paul Lawrence.
31 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2010
An excellent read. While not designed to be the standard for scholarly training, White does a very good job at defining what Scriptural inerrancy and sufficiency is truly is, and not what most Christians would assume they are.

In addition, White walks through several types of "conversations" one might have in regards to the Scriptures. An excellent resource for any serious student of the Bible.
Profile Image for Mark A Powell.
947 reviews27 followers
September 13, 2016
Is the Bible reliable? Can we trust it? White’s answer is a categorical yes, and he deftly explains his reasoning. Throughout the book, White intersperses dialogues that convey his points in a less formal manner. These also have the added benefit of suggesting what objections about the authority of Scripture such conversations might include. With the inerrancy of Scripture gaining traction as potentially the next ‘big issue’ in evangelical circles, this book is worth the read.
Profile Image for Andrew.
143 reviews12 followers
February 22, 2015
This is a useful book for better understanding Sola Scriptura beginning with the first few chapters giving an overview of sola scriptura specifically as it relates to inerrancy and the canon, then proceeding to demonstrate how sola scriptura is used in apologetics with a chapter responding to Roman Catholic objections to Sola Scriptura and a chapter addressing Bible contradictions and another chapter addressing alleged corruption of the Bible.
Profile Image for Chris Whisonant.
85 reviews3 followers
October 1, 2015
If you've ever wanted to read a great primer on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, then you should pick this book up. With chapters dealing with its relationship to inerrancy, Canon, tradition, and allegations of corruption and contradictions, you will come away with a clear understanding of both how and why it is vital. Also, the sections of dialogue will be helpful with seeing how you can better discuss this topic and its relevance.
Author 11 books5 followers
August 16, 2021
James White does an excellent job in Scripture Alone as he introduces this point of doctrine. The information he provides is solid and meaty, yet not overly technical. The dialogue portions in the book help the reader process the information and see how to defend the Scripture against claims for the need of tradition and the accusations of the critics. I would highly recommend this book. God’s Word alone is our foundation, and Scripture Alone clearly demonstrates this truth.
Profile Image for Alexander.
4 reviews3 followers
September 20, 2016
This is an introduction to sola Scriptura. It's an easy read, but is packed with information. Provides the reader with material to respond to those objecting to the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. Specific groups of opponents mentioned are atheists, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and liberal scholars. A good portion of this book is written in a theoretical debate style.
Profile Image for G.
128 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2015
Brilliant primer on Inspiration and Sufficiency of Scripture. What was really helpful were the 'conversations' between those that deny scripture's ultimate authority that helped bring out the issues more clearly.
Profile Image for Shawn Moline.
1 review1 follower
April 3, 2015

I chose this book because I have read other works by James white. I liked how he tackled important concepts and ideas that are not pulsar, but with a certain amount of authority
Profile Image for Josh Pannell.
56 reviews2 followers
September 7, 2015
Good, but not necessary.
This is a satisfactory book on the topic.
Dr. White brings nothing new to the table.
I would rather have read a number of Reformed writers on the topic, or one of the reformers themselves.
7 reviews
January 25, 2011
Sola scriptura is not hard to understand with this easy read.
Profile Image for Patrick.
303 reviews
October 20, 2013
Highly recommended... sufficiency of Scripture for the win! Lots of good example conversations supporting the positions he argues for in the book.
Profile Image for Rich.
99 reviews8 followers
December 21, 2013
3.5 stars. A good introduction to the doctrines of the sufficiency, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture with a helpful focus on application.
Profile Image for Caroline.
20 reviews17 followers
February 18, 2014
Although technical, this book fired me up and made me think more about how to view the Bible the way God intended.
Profile Image for Greg Mathis.
77 reviews6 followers
May 24, 2014
Great primer on sufficiency. Wish I had read this earlier. White seems very confident in his grasp of the issues. The inclusion of debate examples proved illustrative and helpful.
Profile Image for Tim Woody.
84 reviews12 followers
September 1, 2014
A fairly good and short book on sola scriptura. His dialogue sections are helpful and clear dealing with Romanism, Progressive Revelation, Inerrancy, and other such doctrinal conflicts.
Profile Image for Eric.
112 reviews3 followers
August 26, 2015
Excellent introduction to sola scriptura and the reliability of the text of the Bible.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews

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