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The Church: Tradition and Scripture November 18, 2014.

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1 The Church: Tradition and Scripture November 18, 2014

2 Scripture vs. Tradition Protestants claim the Bible is the ONLY rule of faith, meaning that it contains all of the material one needs for theology and that this material is sufficiently clear that one does NOT need apostolic tradition or the Church’s magisterium (teaching authority) to help one understand it. In the Protestant view, the whole of Christian truth is found within the Bible’s pages. Anything extraneous to the Bible is simply non- authoritative, unnecessary, or wrong—and may well hinder one in coming to God.

3 Catholics, on the other hand, recognize that the Bible does not endorse this view and that, in fact, it is rejected in Scripture. The true “rule of faith” – as expressed in the Bible itself – is Scripture plus apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly. Scripture vs. Tradition

4 Sacred Tradition Oral teaching of Jesus Christ handed down to the apostles, who handed it down to their disciples and so on and then finally to us How do we know this? New Testament was written 400 years later Oral teachings didn’t become a part of the Bible until the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage in 382AD, 393AD, and 397AD

5 Interestingly enough, the Protestants accept the 27 books in the New Testament Protestants also accept the Catholic tradition of meeting on Sunday, rather than the Jewish custom of meeting on Saturday Sacred Tradition

6 What is Tradition? Term does NOT refer to legends or mythological accounts Nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which may change, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics.

7 What is Tradition? (cont.) Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.

8 Why is Tradition Important? People who translate Bible into their own language might want to put their own spin on some verses Luther did this with Romans 3:28 He inserted the word “alone” after “faith” because he felt it was important – "For we hold that a man is justified by faith [alone] apart from works of law“

9 The Problem? It directly contradicts James 2:24 – "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone“ Tradition took a hit here and the whole Protestant Reformation began based on “Sola Fide” – the erroneous doctrine of being saved by "Faith Alone Scripture cannot be in conflict with Scripture, and one of the ways this is guaranteed is by Sacred Tradition Why is Tradition Important?

10 Examples of Sacred Tradition Acts 20:35 Paul says the following: "In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" These words are not recorded anywhere else in the Bible, including the 4 gospels, so this is one example of an oral teaching of Jesus being handed on to Paul, who hands it down to us.

11 More Examples Jude 1:9 "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." This dispute, between the Archangel Michael and the devil over Moses' body, is nowhere to be found in the written text of the Old Testament.

12 So…what happens if we just drop Sacred Tradition and let Sacred Scripture stand alone? Heresies based on the modern culture start to creep into the interpretations of scripture New people pop up who say that the Eucharist is only symbolic, and not the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ the word "symbolic" is not even in scripture when referring to the Eucharist. None of the writings of the Early Church Fathers used the word "symbolic" either, always referring to the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Jesus

13 Sacred Tradition vs. Sacred Scripture cont. Artificial birth control and abortion become part of certain churches' "OK list“ Sacred Tradition does NOT refer to individual practices and customs – such as the language of the Mass, – kneeling or standing for Holy Communion – eating or not eating meat on Friday

14 "Dei Verbum" "Word of God" document from Vatican II “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. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. “

15 "Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching 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 devotion and reverence." "Dei Verbum“ (cont.)

16 Bible Verses that Explain Sacred Tradition 1 Corinthians 11:2: I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" 2 Thessalonians 2:15: So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 3:6:Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

17 Magesterium The Catholic Church guarantees the faithful handing on of the Word of God through the teaching authority of the Pope and his Bishops Magesterium ensures that no new erroneous doctrine or heresy pops up to lead the people astray The trinity of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magesterium makes sure that the Word of God is faithfully handed on to each succeeding generation

18 If any of the three legs goes away, error is certain to creep in, like it is doing in many protestant churches today, who interpret scripture based on their personal opinion of what they think it says. Sin is now being enshrined in many of their doctrines as they overturn centuries of their tradition with a simple majority vote of their delegates Magesterium (cont.)

19 So…what do you think? Share your comments!!!!

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