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31 July, 2007 / theexpositor

What are the Five Solas?

The subject of the Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation have come up in several conversations recently, and in some of those discussions, it seemed that some people did not understand what the Five Solas are. So, I offer the following brief definition from, and a link from a document that was originally written for the 1993 Reformation Celebration at Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel, MS, as part of a worship service.


The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” in English. The five solas were what the Reformers believed to be the only things needed in their respective functions in Christian salvation. Listing them as such was also done with a view to excluding other things that hindered salvation. This formulation was intended to distinguish between what were viewed as deviations in the Christian church and the essentials of Christian life and practice.


The Five Solas of the Reformation by Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D.