Dearly beloved in Christ, The early Fathers mark a strong witness to the Protestant idea of "sola scriptura", a Latin phrase which does not mean "scripture alone contains everything true", but "by scripture alone do we find out what is necessary to the salvation of our souls". All of these quotes were discovered by others and placed on various Anglican & Reformed websites, but this is a personal collection of those quotes which I find strongest of all. I thought it'd be good to have a resource of these to defend our Anglican Communion in future, should they be needed for that purpose. These are ordered chronologically, by date of passage from this world. IRENAEUS, bishop of Lyons (A.D. 202) Against Heresies: Book 3, chapter 2, paragraph 1 "When [gnostic heretics] are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. (They allege) that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but 'viva voce', by the 'living voice'." ATHANASIUS, bishop of Alexandria (A.D. 373) On the Councils of Arminium & Seleucia: Part 1, paragraph 6 "Vainly do they [Arian bishops] run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter, but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in divine Scripture." ATHANASIUS: Festal Letter 39, section 6 "These [books in the canon of Scripture] are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. BASIL, bishop of Caesarea (A.D. 379) Epistle 283 (to a widow) "Enjoying, as you do, the consolation of the Holy Scriptures, you stand in need neither of my assistance nor of that of anybody else to help you to comprehend your duty. You have the all-sufficient counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead you to what is right." BASIL: Homily on the Faith, section 1 "It is a manifest falling off from the faith and an argument of pride, either to take away any thing from the things that are written, or to introduce any of the things that are not written" BASIL: Moralia: Rule 80, section 22 "What is the mark of a faithful soul? To be in these dispositions of full acceptance on the authority of the words of Scripture, not venturing to reject anything nor making additions. For, if ‘all that is not of faith is sin' as the Apostle says, and ‘faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,' everything outside Holy Scripture, not being of faith, is sin." CYRIL, bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 387) Fourth Catechetical Lecture: Section 17 Concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures. GREGORY, bishop of Nyssa (A.D. 395) On the Holy Trinity "We do not think that it is right to make their [modalist heretics'] prevailing custom the law and rule of sound doctrine. For if custom is to avail for proof of soundness, we too, surely, may advance our prevailing custom; and if heretics reject this, we are surely not bound to follow theirs. Let the inspired Scripture, then, be our umpire, and the vote of truth will surely be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words." GREGORY of Nyssa: on the Soul and the Resurrection "We are not entitled to the license of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings." AMBROSE, bishop of Milan (A.D. 397) On Cain and Abel: Book 1, chapter 6, paragraph 22 "I wish that virtue and faith be arrayed in the unadorned words of Scripture in order that they may gleam in their own light and that in due order they may speak out plainly for themselves. The sun and the moon need no interpreter. The brilliance of their light is all-sufficient a light that fills the entire world. Faith serves as an illumination for the inspired Word. It is, if I may say so, an intestate witness having no need of another's testimony, yet it dazzles the eyes of all mankind." EPIPHANIUS, bishop of Salamis (A.D. 403) The Well-Anchored Man, section 41 "God is come, and the divine Scriptures explain all things to us clearly; for there is nothing in them difficult or obscure." JOHN "CHRYSOSTOM", bishop of Constantiople (A.D. 407) Third Sermon on the Parable of Dives & Lazarus, section 3 "Those without [the faith]—philosophers, rhetoricians, and annalists, not striving for the common good, but having in view their own renown—if they said anything useful, even this they involved in their usual obscurity, as in a cloud. But the apostles and prophets always did the very opposite; they, as the common instructors of the world, made all that they delivered plain to all men, in order that every one, even unaided, might be able to learn by the mere reading." CHRYSOSTOM: Homily 3 on 2 Thessalonians (1:9-10) "What need is there of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain." JEROME (A.D. 420): Homily 18 on the Psalms of David " 'In his record of the peoples the Lord shall tell’: in the sacred writings, in His Scripture that is read to all peoples in order that all may know. Thus the apostles have written; thus the Lord Himself has spoken, not merely for a few, but that all might know and understand. Plato wrote books, but he did not write for all people but only for a few, for there are not many more than two or three men who know him. But the princes of the Church and the princes of Christ did not write only for the few, but for everyone without exception. ‘And princes’: the apostles and evangelists. ‘Of those who have been born in her.’ Note ‘who have been’ and not ‘who are.’ That is to make sure that, with the exception of the apostles, whatever else is said afterwards should be removed and not, later on, hold the force of authority. No matter how holy anyone may be after the time of the apostles, no matter how eloquent, he does not have authority, for ‘in his record of the peoples and princes the Lord shall tell of those who have been born in her'." JEROME: Against Helvidius; or, The Perpetual Virginity of the blessed virgin Mary, section 21 "As we do not deny what is written, so we do reject what is not written. We believe that God was born of the Virgin, because we read it. That Mary was married after she brought forth, we do not believe, because we do not read it." AUGUSTINE of Hippo (A.D. 430): Letter 140, chapter 37 "Love to read the sacred Letters, and you will not find many things to ask of me. By reading and meditating, if you pray wholeheartedly to God, the Giver of all good things, you will learn all that is worth knowing, or at least you will learn more under His inspiration than through the instruction of any man." CYRIL, bishop of Alexandria (A.D. 444) Doctrinal Question 2 "How can one clearly explain what holy writ has not stated clearly? For example it is written in the book of Genesis that in the beginning God made heaven and earth. Holy writ declared that he has made it and we accept this truth in faith. But meddlesome inquiry into the means, origin or method whereby heaven, earth and the rest of creation were brought into being has its harmful side, for there is no need to involve the mind in profundities. What divine Scripture does not state very clearly must remain unknown and be passed over in silence." THEODORET, bishop of Cyrrhus: Dialogue, Part 2: The Unconfounded Orth.—"So the body of the Lord rose incorruptible, impassible, and immortal, and is worshipped by the powers of heaven, and is yet a body having its former limitation". Eran.—"In these points you seem to say sooth, but after its assumption into heaven I do not think that you will deny that it was changed into the nature of Godhead". Orth.—"I would not so say persuaded only by human arguments, for I am not so rash as to say anything concerning which divine Scripture is silent". ~ A more comprehensive version is posted in my first attempt at a blog (Cross, Crown & Communion), which is just a place to archive my discoveries. Every quote is checked from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, compared over many hours with other sources; including the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia. Much credit goes to Turretin Fan.