Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by Scripture alone”) is the Christian doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Sola scriptura does not deny that other authorities govern Christian life and devotion, but sees them all as subordinate to and corrected by the written word of God.
Sola scriptura is a formal principle of many Protestant Christian denominations, and one of the five solas. It was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the Reformers, who taught that authentication of Scripture is governed by the discernible excellence of the text as well as the personal witness of the Holy Spirit to the heart of each man. Some Evangelical and Baptist denominations state the doctrine of sola scriptura more strongly: Scripture is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter (“Scripture interprets Scripture”), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine.
By contrast, the Anglican Communion and the Methodist Church, though generally considered a form of Protestantism, uphold the doctrine of prima scriptura, with Sacred Scripture being illumined by tradition, reason, and inMethodism, experience as well, thus completing the four sides of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.