ANSWERED: Should we keep Traditions?

Recently, I have been continualy asked by evangelicals, “Why tradition? Mar 7:8 clearly teaches that traditions are not to be kept!”

To answer these kinds of questions, I have used E-Sword to closely study the instances of “Tradition” in the Bible. The results were amazing… It shows that we should keep traditions, just not traditions that contrast to God’s Word and his Commendments :slight_smile:

A funny example of a tradition that is in contrast to God’s Word is “Sola Scriptura” (I would count this as a fundamentalist tradition). Ironically, “Sola Scriptura” is not in the scriptures, and yet it teaches us to only follow the scripture - which is hypocritical, to some extent. All Christianity would probably agree that God always warned us of hypocriticy.
**
Listed are ALL the instances of the word, “TRADITION” in the Bible.**
Emphasized are the words I kept an eye on.
Strong Faced are the verses that meant the most.
Green are the verses that clearly show that traditions are to be kept as long as it comes from Church Authority.
Maroon are the verses that clearly indicate that traditions against God’s commandments are not to be kept.
**
The translation used was the NEW AMERICAN BIBLE **
Mat 15:2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash (their) hands when they eat a meal."
Mat 15:3 He said to them in reply, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Mat 15:6 need not honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
Mar 7:3 (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles (and beds).)
Mar 7:5 So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"
Mar 7:8 You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition."
Mar 7:9 He went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!
Mar 7:13 You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things."
1Co 11:2 I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
Gal 1:13 For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it,
*
Gal 1:14 and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.**
Col 2:8 See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
2Th 3:6 We instruct you, brothers, in the name of (our) Lord Jesus Christ,to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us.

I know of no Catholic Tradition that is against God’s Word or God’s Commandment :slight_smile:

I agree Paolo. The Apostolic Tradition (teachings) of the Church are the oral teachings of Jesus Christ that the Church has preserved down through the centuries, including definitive statements the Church has made about the Bible and what different parts of it are actually saying. The traditions of the church, such as evening prayers (vespers) or praying the rosary also have a very important place in our lives as Catholics. I think when your evangelical friends say that Christ condemned all Tradition/traditions in Matthew 15:2-6, they are making the “Part to the Whole” fallacy, or falsely thinking that because Christ condemned one Jewish tradition (that offended God), this means that no traditions should be kept, whether we’re talking about practices or teachings. But how can all traditions offend God? If they were completely faithful to that belief, they wouldn’t put up Christmas trees every year either or have turkey every Thanksgiving. Ask them if they do any of those things, if they follow any traditions in their life whatsoever. If they don’t, then I’d say they’re making their lives much harder than they have to, but if they do, then they’re nothing less than hypocrites.

If traditions were really not to be kept, every single one of their religious services would have to be different. Doing things the same way week after week is keeping tradition. Going to the same building each week, at the same time each week, is keeping tradition. Singing songs the congregation knows is keeping tradition. Giving a sermon each week is keeping tradition.

I’m sure you get the point.

[quote=CollegeKid]I agree Paolo. The Apostolic Tradition (teachings) of the Church are the oral teachings of Jesus Christ that the Church has preserved down through the centuries, including definitive statements the Church has made about the Bible and what different parts of it are actually saying. The traditions of the church, such as evening prayers (vespers) or praying the rosary also have a very important place in our lives as Catholics. I think when your evangelical friends say that Christ condemned all Tradition/traditions in Matthew 15:2-6, they are making the “Part to the Whole” fallacy, or falsely thinking that because Christ condemned one Jewish tradition (that offended God), this means that no traditions should be kept, whether we’re talking about practices or teachings. But how can all traditions offend God? If they were completely faithful to that belief, they wouldn’t put up Christmas trees every year either or have turkey every Thanksgiving. Ask them if they do any of those things, if they follow any traditions in their life whatsoever. If they don’t, then I’d say they’re making their lives much harder than they have to, but if they do, then they’re nothing less than hypocrites.
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What are some of these oral traditions that we received from Christ? I ask that because on a non-Catholic Web site, a non-Catholic wanted from the Catholics definitive quotes of oral traditions passed down by Jesus. The New Testament and the Trinity were metnioned by Catholics, but quickly dismissed, as were references to the Early Church Fathers. What do we say when someone refutes our oral traditions?

[quote=jim1130]What are some of these oral traditions that we received from Christ? I ask that because on a non-Catholic Web site, a non-Catholic wanted from the Catholics definitive quotes of oral traditions passed down by Jesus. The New Testament and the Trinity were metnioned by Catholics, but quickly dismissed, as were references to the Early Church Fathers. What do we say when someone refutes our oral traditions?
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This is complete hogwash. Anybody who dismisses the Early Church Fathers, especially in a discussion about oral tradition, is just looking for a fight with closed ears and a closed mind.
How could ANYbody say that they demand facts and quotes if they won’t even pay attention to what Scripture says about tradition. Oral tradition is just that - oral. Written
As Paolo90 listed earlier:
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
What? THEY know better than the Apostles who KNEW Jesus?
We should BE so holy as to live a life comparable to the Church fathers - many of whom were martyred for the faith.

Records weren’t kept of every word Jesus uttered.
Let’s not forget about what it says in John 21:25:

“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.”

Peace,
Elvisman

“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” - St. Jerome

1Cor 11:2
I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you

So who was wrong…Mark or Paul? The answer is neither. Mark was speaking in context of the Pharisees behavior.

2 Thes 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 Thes 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.*

Of course now I can’t get that song from Fiddler on the Roof out of my head. :slight_smile:

[quote=jim1130]What are some of these oral traditions that we received from Christ? I ask that because on a non-Catholic Web site, a non-Catholic wanted from the Catholics definitive quotes of oral traditions passed down by Jesus. The New Testament and the Trinity were metnioned by Catholics, but quickly dismissed, as were references to the Early Church Fathers. What do we say when someone refutes our oral traditions?
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First off persist in arguing for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as an example of oral tradition. I believe its a great example. Why? Because everything we believe about the Trinity is not expressly laid out in scripture. If it were I think there would be far less of these “Christian” sects, such as the Christadelphians, who use the Bible as their sole rule of faith and come to the conclusion that God is only one, and not three persons of one divine being. Now as for the explicit doctrine of the Trinity- its something that was further defined at the First Council of Nicea and the First Council of Constantinople, which in part dealt with condemning Arius, a 4th century Alexandrian (Egyptian) priest who was teaching that Christ was of a “lesser” being who was begotten AFTER the Father and that the Holy Spirit was a even “lesser” being begotten AFTER Christ. These councils helped reaffirm that all three persons of the Trinity are of the same being, and that all had existed from all time. Arius’ heresy, known as Arianism today, was condemned at these councils. I don’t know if that technically qualifies as oral* tradition since these reaffirmations were recorded in documents, but I think its a pretty good example of extra-biblical, Apostolic Tradition.*

Also Jim, I agree with the other poster that you should stick up for the testimony of the early church fathers. People like Ignatius the bishop of Antioch is believed to have been one of the auditors of St. John the Apostle, and the same is true of Polycarp the bishop of Smyrna. Given that St. Paul, in his second letter to St. Timothy, told him “And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2:2), since you have real historical examples of early church bishops who were probably in contact with members of the group of the original 12 apostles of Christ, their testimony on matters of faith should not be taken lightly.

[quote=CollegeKid]Also Jim, I agree with the other poster that you should stick up for the testimony of the early church fathers. People like Ignatius the bishop of Antioch is believed to have been one of the auditors of St. John the Apostle, and the same is true of Polycarp the bishop of Smyrna. Given that St. Paul, in his second letter to St. Timothy, told him “And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well” (2 Timothy 2:2), since you have real historical examples of early church bishops who were probably in contact with members of the group of the original 12 apostles of Christ, their testimony on matters of faith should not be taken lightly.
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Thank you. Jim

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