Reformers recognized that those earlier believers were not inspired, were not inerrant, and, in fact, quite often made errors in their judgments and beliefs, just as people do today. The only infallible rule of faith, they argued, is found in the pages of Holy Writ. The big differences between Catholic and Protestant versions of sola scriptura are that Catholicism believes an authority in the form of the papacy is necessary along with tradition. One of the big ironies about sola scriptura is that the same arguments against Protestantism are used against the Orthodoxy by Catholicism. So between Orthodoxy and Catholicism you have two churches claiming the authority of tradition, and yet their authorities conflict with each other; their traditions conflict with each other. And yet, they laugh at Protestants.
The problem is that human wisdom is fallible, and not a sufficient foundation for believing anything about God. It is not sufficient to assume that when the New Testament speaks of tradition, it means tradition in the sense of the Roman Catholic or Orthodoxy way of understanding tradition. God’s Word needed to be written down to govern His people through all generations. And so it’s not surprising that this written Scripture became the standard for testing.