Is Tradition still necessary?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Ps104_33, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    Here is a paragraph or two from another message board that I found by a Roman Catholic that I found interesting. Please read:

    "I heard Scott Hahn talk a couple years ago on the (implied) biblical
    basis for Our Lady's Assumption and Coronation: Revelation 12:1 .
    St. John sees Our Lady in heaven as a "woman clothed with the sun, and
    on her head a crown of twelve starts...". Scott says this describes
    Our Lady in physical form, thus supporting the Church dogma of Mary
    being assumed body and soul into heaven.

    However, we Catholics should be careful not to fall into the Protestant
    trap that everything that Catholics believe better be proved through
    scriptures, or else it's false (as Scott also says, Sola Scriptura
    is not even scripture-based). We of course have the teaching magisterium
    of the Catholic church, which has been commissioned by Jesus to infallibly
    interpret Catholic faith and morals."


    It used to be that the Roman Catholic Church taught that the Bible did not contain all that there is to know concerning faith and practice.
    But their seems to be alot of "neo-catholics" out there today (Hahn, Staples, Sippo, Windsor, Keating) who seem to be able to support the Marion dogma with Scripture. This is one of the reasons Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis has been at odds with Hahn. Just look at his web site and read some of his articles against some of Hahn's teachings.
    If all these teachings of the Catholic Church can be supported with the Bible as Hahn says, does that make Catholics sola scriptura?
     
  2. MikeS

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    My understanding is that no Catholic dogma or doctrine can be contradicted by Scripture, but I don't think the Church goes so far as to require every teaching to be supported by Scripture, at least explicitly, and depending of course on exactly what meaning we assign to "supported."

    Of course the Catholic Church is not now sola scriptura -- that's not supported by Scripture! ;)
     
  3. neal4christ

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    Of course, that is a matter of opinion. ;) [​IMG]

    God Bless You,
    Neal
     
  4. BobRyan

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    Acts 17:11 "Studying the scriptures DAILY to see IF the things spoken to them by Paul - were SO".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. CatholicConvert

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    Hello Neal --

    Well, this should be easy then. Show me in Scripture where Scripture says of itself that the believer should be "sola scriptura".

    Cordially in Christ and the Blessed Virgin,

    Brother Ed
     
  6. neal4christ

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    Hey there Ed,

    I never claimed it said it explicitly. ;) I see it there, though, just like Catholics see many doctrines that are not explicit. [​IMG] I'll show you hard evidence of Sola Scriptura if you show me hard evidence for the assumption of Mary. ;) Or I would accept if you could show me that tradition is God-breathed as Scripture is. [​IMG]

    God Bless You Ed,
    Neal

    P.S. I am not getting into this now, don't have the time and don't really care to. I have looked at much from the Catholic perspective and I am not moved to accept their position on tradition. [​IMG]
     
  7. Ps104_33

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    I was expecting more of a response on this one but I think my main point escaped everyone.

    As alot of these Roman Catholic apologists seem to be finding Scripture to back up some of their beliefs that were, in the past, depended totally upon Tradition, will there ever come a day when the Roman Catholic Church will believe in sola scriptura? For example, if the Assumption BVM was totally depended upon by Tradition for 2000 years and Scott Hahn can suddenly support it with the Bible, that doctrine now has no need for Tradition. As more and more light is shed on Dr. Hahn from the Bible there could come a day where Tradition is no longer necessary. If the Church believes in Scripture plus Tradition then Roman Catholics are foolish for trying to find Scriptural backing for doctrines that were based on Tradition for it would destroy the need for Tradition and they would be Protestant! :confused:
     
  8. Brother Adam

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    Scripture and tradition work together to bring a fuller faith. They are not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible for Catholics to draw from both scripture and tradition. Who's wiser- the educated father or the foolish child?

    Even baptists have tradition [​IMG]
     
  9. BobRyan

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    As long as tradition is "tested" -- sola scriptura - .

    As in the case of Mark 7 where the ONE TRUE CHURCH started by God had gone into errors of "tradition" that made void the word of God - the danger still exists today.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. Carson Weber

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    Not everything that Christians believe can be drawn from Scripture. For instance, nowhere in the Scripture do we find the canon of the Bible and a statement that says every one of "these" books is inspired. In 2 Tim 3:16-17, we find Paul saying that all "Scripture" is inspired, but what exactly is Scripture? Nowhere does the Bible say that these "66" or these "73" books are definitively Scripture. So, every Christian accepts the extra-Biblical tradition of the canon of the Bible. This is why Tradition and Scripture are inseparable. You cannot divorce the two without doing irreparable damage to both.
     
  11. neal4christ

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    So what is your test to see if a tradition is acceptable? The example you give was clearly not covered by 2 Thess. 2:15. The canon had not been completed then. So that was not a tradition passed down. However, certain criteria were used to determine the canon. By the way, I am not sure about this, but do the Jews recognize the Apocrypha as being canonical in their tradition?

    See, tradition becomes a convenient means of importing outside doctrines. Much like all of the doctrines of Mary. We can't find any explicit (and very stretched implicit) support from Scripture and there really isn't much criteria used to determine its truth. Just an appeal to tradition. So how do we determine which traditions are of God and of men. Not all of what the CC proposes is passed down from the apostles. And if it did not come from them, I find it very difficult to see the authority of the traditions of men.

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  12. Carson Weber

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    Hi Neal,

    You asked, "So what is your test to see if a tradition is acceptable?"

    This is where the teaching office of the successors of the apostles is crucial. They have been entrusted with the task of guarding the deposit [paratheke] of faith (see what Paul says to Timothy in 1 Tim 6:20 and 2 Tim 2:2), and so it is to this teaching office that we look in determining the authenticity of tradition. The highest expression of tradition lies in the living worship of the Church, in the liturgy.. when we gather not just to proclaim the Scriptures but to celebrate and renew the covenant in the sacraments.

    The example you give was clearly not covered by 2 Thess. 2:15. The canon had not been completed then.

    You're assuming that the canon is true. How do you know this? Scripture doesn't say what is to be Scripture and what isn't, and it is to the teaching office of the Church that we look to the definition of the canon.. even you, implicitly.. remember, there are still the non-Chalcedonian churches that exist today with 21 book New Testament canons. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't reject extra-Biblical tradition wholesale and at the same time accept the extra-Biblical tradition of the canon. In fact, much of the canon was determined based upon the extant tradition throughout the Catholic church at the time. One of the criteria was: does this epistle fall in line with the received doctrine of the Apostles?

    However, certain criteria were used to determine the canon.

    That is without a doubt, but who did the determining? The laity? Random Christians? The bishops?

    By the way, I am not sure about this, but do the Jews recognize the Apocrypha as being canonical in their tradition?

    The Jews consider the entire NT Apocrypha, and they disregard it in their tradition. The Jews of Jesus' day considered the Deuterocanonicals as canonical; the Jews at Jamnia (90 A.D.) decided to exclude particular epistles they thought were authored in Greek, not Hebrew (these are the Deuterocanonicals), but from 20th c. excavations at Qumran, we now know that this is not the case.

    See, tradition becomes a convenient means of importing outside doctrines.

    That's what heterodox Historical-Biblical critics will tell you concerning the New Testament. They will tell you that outside doctrines were incorporated into what we consider NT Scripture by the communities and individual redactors who wrote and compiled the New Testament. The question isn't whether this is possible; the question is whether it happened and whether the Holy Spirit is involved in guarding the deposit of faith through the ministry of the bishops.

    Much like all of the doctrines of Mary. We can't find any explicit (and very stretched implicit) support from Scripture and there really isn't much criteria used to determine its truth. Just an appeal to tradition.

    I disagree. Every Marian doctrine is contained, at least in seed form [implicitly] in Scripture, and in the Councils' and Popes' definitions, you will see the passages upon which these doctrines are ultimately based, albeit in seminal form. Every Marian doctrine can ultimately be traced to her role as the New Eve in the plan of salvation history.
     
  13. neal4christ

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    How do we judge what they teach? What is the measuring stick to see if they teach truth?

    I am sorry, but that is not what I am doing. You are misunderstanding me. I am rejecting some of the extra-Biblical teachings of the RCC.

    I am not denying that someone came up with it. I do not reject all tradition (although I would not classify the canon as tradition). But I don't accept all tradition because some of it is clearly traditions of men.

    I will have to check into all this because I have heard evidence quite to the contrary. I don't have the time now because of school and work; I really don't have the time to talk about this.

    Huh? I am not talking about any redactors. I am talking about the appeal to tradition. You do this. It is not in Scripture, but you appeal to the authority of tradition. How do you know that ALL of the traditions you believe came from the apostles?

    As I knew you would. [​IMG] But I don't see these things and I don't accept other men's beliefs in this. I have looked at some of the evidence and mostly see fanciful imagination creating something not needed. I could go find a verse and build a whole doctrine out of it and appeal to the verse as the seed form of the doctrine. Still doesn't make it right. Same with the Mary stuff. Bottom line, if it was really that important, especially in the early church, there would be explicit evidence in Scripture. But there isn't. That speaks volumes to me, seeing that ONLY Scripture is said to be God-breathed. If God wanted us to know all this about Mary one would think He would have definitely included something about it explicitly in the only thing called God-breathed. If you can show me that tradition is God-breathed, I will be a little more ready to entertain some of the traditions of the RCC. But, as it is, there is only one source of truth that is said to be God-breathed, that is, the Scriptures. So I will stick with what we know for SURE and judge other teachings accordingly.

    May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Be With You,
    Neal
     
  14. Stephen III

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    Neal wrote:
    And exactly who is it that said Scripture is God -breathed.

    And if your answer is Scripture, does it make sense that a book could make this claim of itself? If so then why discount The Koran, or the Book of Mormon, if these books were to make this claim?
     
  15. neal4christ

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    So people are in charge of determining what is true? I can believe that the Scriptures are God-breathed because a group of men tell me it is okay? I think not. I do not accept what a group of bishops or whoever says is true because they say it is true.

    As for other books, that is for an entire different thread. Needless to say, these other books can be shown to be inferior and false at times. I am sure there are many good books written on this topic. One of the major reasons I believe the Scriptures is because of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and the attestation to that. Other faith books do not have that luxury.

    Why do you believe the Scriptures, Stephen? Because of a group of men or because of Scripture itself?

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  16. Brother Adam

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    Neal,

    How do you know that Christ died, was buried, and rose again? You weren't there so you must rely on the scriptures. And who tells you what is suppose to be in the Bible? Well, Luther would have been much happier if James was snipped out- but he didn't have the authority to do that! Can we get together a group of Baptist scholars today and have them start from scratch and tell us what belongs in the bible? No, because they don't have the authority to do that either.

    We are trusting in the original councils of men that got together and decided what was scripture and what was not- we're trusting that God lead those councils and we now truly have a complete and closed canon.

    And whether we like to admit it or not, we owe a certian amount of gratitude to the RCC for gaurding the scriptures from those who would see them destroyed, and for the role men who belonged to the Church played in the final closing of the canon.

    I would suggest "The Journey from Texts to Translations" by Wegner as a good start. It's published by Moody Press and gives a good overview of the process that took place, though I'm not sure everything is 100% accurate.
     
  17. neal4christ

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    I do not deny this and neither have I. But see, I do not see it as a simple choice by a group of men as to what is Scripture and what is not. I see God over the whole process and the Holy Spirit intimately involved. Are you willing to say that God's Word, which is the ONLY thing said to be God-breathed (in terms of sources of truth), would never been discovered if a few men did not choose to acknowledge it? There were specific criteria that were used to determine the canon, not just willy-nilly pick and choose. And, like it or not, ONLY the Scriptures are claimed to be God-breathed. Does that mean other things don't display the truth, at least on some level? No. But the Scriptures are our only measuring stick for they alone are God-breathed.

    God Bless,
    Neal
     
  18. Brother Adam

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    "I do not deny this and neither have I. But see, I do not see it as a simple choice by a group of men as to what is Scripture and what is not. I see God over the whole process and the Holy Spirit intimately involved."

    I agree.

    "Are you willing to say that God's Word, which is the ONLY thing said to be God-breathed (in terms of sources of truth), would never been discovered if a few men did not choose to acknowledge it?"

    As much as I'm willing to say that Jesus Christ would have not been born if Mary said no. God already knew the outcome in his infinite will.

    "There were specific criteria that were used to determine the canon, not just willy-nilly pick and choose. And, like it or not, ONLY the Scriptures are claimed to be God-breathed."

    That is right, and if your not familiar with the process, I suggest that book as a start. Define "God-breathed".

    "Does that mean other things don't display the truth, at least on some level? No. But the Scriptures are our only measuring stick for they alone are God-breathed."

    Hopefully we will discover just that as our conversation continues.
     
  19. Carson Weber

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    Hi Neal,

    You asked, "How do we judge what they teach? What is the measuring stick to see if they teach truth?"

    In the same way that you judge whether your received New Testament canon is truth: on authority.

    I do not reject all tradition (although I would not classify the canon as tradition).

    If the canon isn't Tradition, then what is it? How do you know Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, and Luke wrote Luke?

    How do you know that ALL of the traditions you believe came from the apostles?

    In the same way that you know the New Testament epistles came from the Apostles. Apostolic authority.

    You can't hide from the authority issue because you ultimately rely upon a human authority. It's a matter of me bringing the issue to light, not whether you rely upon an authority apart from yourself. Of course, as Christians, you and I do not divorce the visible authority from the invisible authority; this is most poignant when it comes to divine inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures.

    But I don't see these things and I don't accept other men's beliefs in this.

    And because you simply 'disagree', you and I go our separate ways. That's the Spirit of Protestantism.

    Bottom line, if it was really that important, especially in the early church, there would be explicit evidence in Scripture.

    Mary, as the New Eve, is explicitly shown in Scripture through literary allusion, esp. in St. John at the Wedding at Cana and at Calvary, as well as in Revelation 12.

    If God wanted us to know all this about Mary one would think He would have definitely included something about it explicitly in the only thing called God-breathed.

    According to your reasoning, if God wanted us to know that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully Man - and that the Godhead is composed of three persons sharing one substance, He would have definitely included something about it explicitly in the only thing called God-breathed.

    If you can show me that tradition is God-breathed, I will be a little more ready to entertain some of the traditions of the RCC.

    Now, why do you make this requirement, when Scripture itself commands us to receive apostolic tradition in humility without making this requirement? You're making a requirement that Scripture doesn't itself ask us to require.

    But, as it is, there is only one source of truth that is said to be God-breathed, that is, the Scriptures. So I will stick with what we know for SURE and judge other teachings accordingly.

    Yet, you only know that the Scriptures are Scripture for SURE as much as you receive the apostolic tradition that they are Scripture. Again, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

    I do not accept what a group of bishops or whoever says is true because they say it is true.

    But, you do when it comes to the question, "What books are to be included in the New Testament?" You accept the Catholic canon wholesale, without any reservations.

    I do not see it as a simple choice by a group of men as to what is Scripture and what is not. I see God over the whole process and the Holy Spirit intimately involved.

    And I, with you, do not see it as a simple choice by a group of men.. I too see God over the whole process and the Holy Spirit intimately involved.

    But, why not be consistent? Why not accept the whole process, which includes all of the councils?
     
  20. BobRyan

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    Did the NT - first century church "trust in the Jews" for their OT scripture - or were they trusting in God?

    Did the NT - first century church "trust in the Jewish Christians" for their NT inspired letters? OR were they trusting in God Acts 17:11?

    It appears that "instead" of our faith being placed in the Jewish OT church and the Jewish Christians of the first Century - it is clearly a case of our faith being placed in God and His sovereign leadership. Christ as the Head of the body of Christ in all ages.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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