Three Supposed Proofs Against Tradition
A Commentary on an Article Condemning Tradition
After the Protestant writer reveals Biblical and spiritual blunders in the fourth paragraph, analyzed in the last segment of this commentary, he then seeks to provide Biblical proofs against Holy Tradition by presenting a list of three verses. He thus introduces them by saying this:
Upon only 3 verses that have the word "tradition" in the Scriptures, Catholicism's entire practice for traditions being of equal status with Scripture are founded. Despite the fact that the same Scripture that mentions the word tradition makes it clear from both Jesus and the apostles' writings that they are to be our source of life. So let's look at the Scriptures carefully and see what they say and what they do not say.
One thing must be clear from this paragraph by the Protestant writer against Tradition: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity did not create the belief that Holy Tradition is of equal status with Holy Scripture, as though it were a later doctrine added into the Faith by corrupt religious leaders and ideas. Ironically, it is the belief that Tradition is not equal to Scripture which is the later doctrine invented through spiritual corruption and doctrinal ignorance by men with no connections to the Prophets and Apostles- the Sadducees, Martin Luther, and other Protestant reformers. The belief that Tradition is equal to Scripture had existed in Ancient Judaism because that is what the Prophets had established; and the belief that Tradition is equal to Scripture had existed in Early Christianity because that is what the Apostles had established. Indeed, the Gospel itself began as oral Holy Tradition, and as a result, the written NT is a record of a handful of Apostles discussing certain of its elements, though not at all including everything that was said and done by the Lord and His Disciples, as John 21:25 relates. The unknown Protestant writer is oblivious to the ancient spirituality of Bible times because his spiritual culture interprets Scripture and Sacred History according to its own doctrinal expectations, and as though the Apostolic Faith revolves around a struggle between Catholics and Protestants, thereby forming a different image of Christ, a different image of the Prophets, a different image of the Apostles, a different image of the Church, a different image of the Bible, etc. From this alternate perception of Holy Spirit inspiration, he takes three verses from the Bible which he says disproves the equality of Tradition with Scripture, though in reality they prove the equality of Tradition with Scripture. Then he tries to say that there is a contradiction in these three verses for anyone stating that the Apostles believed in oral Tradition, though he is the one contradicting the spirituality of Scripture and its writers. Lastly, he says that these verses point to the fact that the written Scripture is our only source of life, even though Scripture itself teaches us to rely on Holy Tradition.
Here are the verses he uses and what he says about them:
1) 1 Corinthians 11:23 says, "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread." Here Paul states he is presenting in writing what he had previously taught them in person, "that which I also delivered unto you."
This pertains to the communion and how it is to be taken. So what he had taught orally was inscripturated, so there is no validation for oral tradition here. Paul most likely learned of the communion by the other apostles as they fellowshipped and broke bread each week. However, Paul learned more of this from the Lord and is the only apostle to write in detail about it.
2) II Thessalonians 2:15 says, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."
Both which were taught were the same that was written down. What traditions is Paul talking about? In verse 5 Paul previously stated, "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" This Paul says he already taught them in person but now is writing it down. Consistent with the rest of the teachings, everything that was orally said was written down, which would be used in order to have one practice his Christian relationship. He was giving them and us in writing what he had previously taught, which was about the man of sin. This was to provide further understanding and to clarify any misconceptions they had, since the epistle starts off with the church shaken up by a false letter or word they received that the resurrection had already taken place and they thought they missed out. So presently he is elaborating on the details of the tribulation and the falling away.
3) II Thessalonians 3:6 says, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition (some translations have teaching, at any rate, teaching can be passed on orally before it is committed to writing) which he received from us." Again if we go further we find what is being said which proves all should be read in its context. Verse 10 says, "For even when we were with you we commanded you this: If anyone does not work, neither shall they eat." It was the same thing by personal word or by letter. They showed this teaching by example as they were with the Corinthians and he put in writing what he had taught them earlier. This way they would not forget or corrupt it after his death. None of these Scriptures have any relationship to the traditions presently taught and practiced in the Roman Catholic Church. Further no one has ever documented any specific teaching to be accredited to Paul in their traditions. Obviously not everything the apostles "said" is written down, but the doctrines are. So there is nothing spoken that was not written that we would need to know about salvation and living. For example Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1, "Moreover brethren I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you..." Here it is written out.
These are the proofs which the unknown Protestant uses against Holy Tradition. In the next three segments of this commentary on his refutations, these supposed proofs will be analyzed to see what their true purports actually are.
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