1) the "scripture" referenced in the New Testament (and used by the early church, call the 'patristic fathers' by the Catholic Church) was the Septuagint. They revered this Canon and we can see that in what was Canonized as the New Testament.
Acts 17:11 NKJV - These were more fair-minded than those in
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and
searched the Scriptures daily [to find out] whether these things were
The Bereans are lauded for searching their scriptures daily. They tested what was being taught by Paul, against God's word - not against the patristic sayings of the Jerusalem council (the leaders of the early church, of which James was the head, and Peter sought His approval.
The same is repeated later in Acts
Acts 28:23 NKJV - So when they had appointed him a day, many came to
him at [his] lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of
the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the
Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.
The Law of Moses and the Prophets, is a reference to the Torah (Penteteuch) and the rest of the "Old Testament" - this would have been read from what we today call the Septuagint, as Koine Greek was the lingua franca.
It's clear from these two scriptures alone, that Paul, Peter and the rest of the apostles didn't view scripture as being of private interpretation. In fact, in the major problem of that day, of Gentiles being grafted in to the Church what did James reference?
Acts 15:14-17 NKJV - "Simon has declared how God at the first visited
the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. "And with this
the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: 'After this I
will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen
down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest
of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by
My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.'
James (the leader of the early Church) referenced the book of Amos, from the Septuagint. The Scriptures was His authority.
That's also what Paul meant here:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV - All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of
God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The scripture he meant, wasn't his own writings but the Septuagint - the law and the prophets. However Peter tells us even after He wrote His second epistle, they were considered equal with scripture.
2 Peter 3:15-16 NKJV - and consider [that] the longsuffering of our
Lord [is] salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to
the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his
epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things
hard to understand, which untaught and unstable [people] twist to
their own destruction, as [they do] also the rest of the
He compares Paul's writings to the rest of scriptures - holding them in high reverence. He is also not saying they are of private interpretation - but they are hard to understand for the unlearned for those who haven't read the law and prophets, they can be misconstrued.
2) The next question, and this is also important before answering your primary point, "asking for a Catholic answer, do answers which only cite scripture qualify as not-an-answer?" What did the early church view as authority? the words of the overseers (that you call Bishops) or was scripture the highest authority?
When Ptolemy king of Egypt formed a library, and endeavored to collect
the writings of all men, he heard also of these prophets, and sent to
Herod, who was at that time king of the Jews, requesting that the
books of the prophets be sent to him. And Herod the king did indeed
send them, written, as they were, in the foresaid Hebrew language. And
when their contents were found to be unintelligible to the Egyptians,
he again sent and requested that men be commissioned to translate them
into the Greek language. And when this was done, the books remained
with the Egyptians, where they are until now. They are also in the
possession of all Jews throughout the world. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160)
Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.173
Justin here is telling us the Septuagint was in broad use by the Jews, and by the Gentiles. (Which is exactly what we also see in the Bible)
God, then, was made man, and the Lord did Himself save us, giving us
the token of the Virgin. But not as some allege, among those now
presuming to expound the Scripture, [thus:] "Behold, a young woman
shall conceive, and bring forth a son," as Theodotion the Ephesian has
interpreted, and Aquila of Pontus, both Jewish proselytes… For before
the Romans possessed their kingdom, while as yet the Macedonians held
Asia, Ptolemy the son of Lagus, being anxious to adorn the library
which he had founded in Alexandria, with a collection of the writings
of all men, which were [works] of merit, made request to the people of
Jerusalem, that they should have their Scriptures translated into
the Greek language. And they - for at that time they were still
subject to the Macedonians - sent to Ptolemy seventy of their elders,
who were thoroughly skilled in the Scriptures and in both the
languages, to carry out what he had desired. But he, wishing to test
them individually, and fearing lest they might perchance, by taking
counsel together, conceal the truth in the Scriptures, by their
interpretation, separated them from each other, and commanded them all
to write the same translation. He did this with respect to all the
books. But when they came together in the same place before Ptolemy,
and each of them compared his own interpretation with that of every
other, God was indeed glorified, and the Scriptures were acknowledged
as truly divine. For all of them read out the common translation
[which they had prepared] in the very same words and the very same
names, from beginning to end, so that even the Gentiles present
perceived that the Scriptures had been interpreted by the inspiration
of God. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 451-452
Irenaeus in the second century makes his plea for the resurrection based on scripture not His opinion or a divine grace granted to Him. He is also telling us here, that the way the Septuagint was translated, prevented private interpretation. The translators were separated and they came up with the same end results.
Note that last highlighted line from a second century Christian. "The scriptures were acknowledged as truly divine."
Irenaeus plea is for the authority of scripture, through the Septuagint.
3) Now that we've built up the argument from scripture and the early Church, let's answer your question.
"asking for a Catholic answer, do answers which only cite scripture qualify as not-an-answer?"
If they (Catholics) are holding to new traditions not found in scripture or the early Church then an answer solely from the authority of Scripture is not an answer to a religious question. They appeal to the higher authority they place in the Papacy, which we do not see in scripture or the early church.