"Who says?" part II

As a biblical justification for my last post, consider this:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers–it is to him you shall listen–just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’–when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

Consider: at the time this passage was written, there was no infallible magisterium, nor any infallible church. Yet, these commands were supposed to be applied by someone. Who is the “you”? The answer is: Israel, considered as a group of fallible people. Or, which is functionally the same, individual Israelites in communication with other individual Israelites, all of whom are fallible.

The Isrealites operated on the principle of sola scriptura: putative teachings and prophets had to be evaluated by the laypeople on the basis of the writings of Moses (and, as future prophets were judged to be from God indeed, the communications of those prophets as well).