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Non-Catholics Section: Tradition

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Non-Catholics Section:

Tradition

Sources: Various

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Do You Reject the Concept of Divinely Revealed Unwritten Tradition?

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Do You Reject the Concept of Divinely Revealed Unwritten Tradition? 

Consider:

* Do you believe that the Bible is the sole rule of faith? Click here

* How can one reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition when it is clear that oral tradition predates Scripture? Oral tradition existed before a word of the New Testament was written (and also before a single word of the Old Testament was written).

* If tradition was to be passed on in writing (and not orally), why does Jesus commission the apostles to preach and not to write Scripture (see Mk. 16:15)?

* "The Old Testament required oral tradition - why not the New?"

* How can one reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition when St. Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians: "I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you" (1 Cor. 11:2)?

* How can one reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition when Scripture says to "hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours" (2 Thes. 2:15)?

* How can one reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition when Scripture says to "shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us" (2 Thes. 3:6)?

* How can you reject the concept of unwritten tradition when Scripture itself says that not everything has been written down (see. Jn. 21:25)?

* If tradition was to be passed on in writing, why does St. John indicate that he prefers to speak face to face (cf. 2 Jn. 1:12, 3 Jn. 1:13-14)?

* How can one reject the concept of divinely revealed unwritten tradition when Scripture itself is part of tradition (e.g. the canon of books that make up the Bible)?

* Do you think tradition is condemned because of passages such as Mt. 15:3, Mk. 7-9, and Col. 2:8? Can you not see that this refers to human tradition in opposition to God? Do you not realize that Scripture positively instructs believers to follow certain unwritten traditions (e.g. 1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thes. 2:15, 2 Thes. 3:6)? 

* In light of the fact that Scripture does positively instruct believers to follow certain unwritten traditions, how can your non-Catholic 'Christian church' be true if it does not follow such tradition? If you claim to be 'Bible only', aren't you concerned that you aren't following the unwritten, oral traditions as instructed in the Bible?


Closing Quotations...

"Reject not the tradition of old men which they have learned from their fathers; From it you will obtain the knowledge how to answer in time of need." (Sirach 8:9)

"The Gospels need tradition as the lungs need air, and as the eyes light, and as the plants the earth!" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"The truths which God has revealed are contained in Holy Scripture and in Tradition." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Divine Tradition has the same force as the Bible, since it too contains God's revelation to men." (Baltimore Catechism)

"It is needful also to make use of Tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy Apostles handed down some things in the Scriptures, other things in Tradition." (St. Epiphanius of Salamis)

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Tradition is the non-written word of God, which has been transmitted by word of mouth by Jesus Christ and by the apostles, and which has come down to us through the centuries by the means of the Church, without being altered." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Divine Tradition is the unwritten word of God - that is, truths revealed by God, though not written in the Bible, and given to the Church through word of mouth by Jesus Christ or by the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost." (Baltimore Catechism)

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Our Lord did and said many things which are not related in the Gospel. For the evangelists were intent on handing down chiefly those things that were necessary for salvation or concerned the building of the ecclesiastical edifice." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." (Second Vatican Council)

"But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the Apostles themselves or by plenary councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"Moreover that the Apostles handed down much that was unwritten, Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, tells us in these words: Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught of us, whether by word or by epistle. And to the Corinthians he writes, Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions as I have delivered them to you." (John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence. Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church." (Second Vatican Council)

"The sacred and holy ecumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit, with the same three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, keeping this constantly in view, that with the abolishing of errors, the purity itself of the Gospel is preserved in the Church, which promised before through the Prophets in the Holy Scriptures our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded 'to be preached' by His apostles 'to every creature' as the source of every saving truth and of instruction in morals [Matt. 28:19 ff., Mark 16:15], and [the Synod] clearly perceiving that this truth and instruction are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions, which have been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the apostles themselves, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, have come down even to us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, [the Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and holds in veneration with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament, since one God is the author or both, and also the traditions themselves, those that appertain both to faith and to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And so that no doubt may arise in anyone's mind as to which are the books that are accepted by this Synod, it has decreed that a list of the Sacred books be added to this decree... If anyone, however, should not accept the said books as sacred and canonical, entire with all their parts, as they were wont to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate edition, and if both knowingly and deliberately he should condemn the aforesaid traditions let him be anathema." (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

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