Are there two kinds of tradition?


#1

I have often heard Catholic apologists and theologians speak of “tradition” with a big “T” and “tradition” with a little “t”. The former is often designated as “dogma” or the “deposit of the faith” while the later is often referred to as “discipline” or “significant teaching” but it is not necessary to hold to the later to be a good Catholic, though holding to the former is. How does one tell the difference? Is there a clear test or list.


#2

[quote=mshealy]I have often heard Catholic apologists and theologians speak of “tradition” with a big “T” and “tradition” with a little “t”. The former is often designated as “dogma” or the “deposit of the faith” while the later is often referred to as “discipline” or “significant teaching” but it is not necessary to hold to the later to be a good Catholic, though holding to the former is. How does one tell the difference? Is there a clear test or list.
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“Tradition” is something that has been true always and everywhere–it’s unchanging. “tradition” is something that is more to do with practice than a definition of a truth. An example: the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during the consecration is a dogma. Priestly vestments would be a tradition/discipline. Hope that helps!


#3

[quote=Genesis315]“Tradition” is something that has been true always and everywhere–it’s unchanging. “tradition” is something that is more to do with practice than a definition of a truth. An example: the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during the consecration is a dogma. Priestly vestments would be a tradition/discipline. Hope that helps!
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The Tradition of the Church is the whole, consistent, uninterupted legacy of church teaching, theology, dogma, understanding, etc. e.g. “Never in the the Tradition of the Church has contraception been permitted.” or “Church Tradition has consistently defended the necessity of a male priesthood.”

Tradition with a small t is simply custom, the way we would ordinarily use it. “When a new pope is elected, white smoke is traditionally used to indicate the selection.”


#4

Simply put, “Tradition” with a big ‘T’ is divine revelation which is not written in the Bible. Since divine revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, Tradition necessarily means a teaching that has been with the Church since the beginning.


#5

[quote=mshealy]I have often heard Catholic apologists and theologians speak of “tradition” with a big “T” and “tradition” with a little “t”. The former is often designated as “dogma” or the “deposit of the faith” while the later is often referred to as “discipline” or “significant teaching” but it is not necessary to hold to the later to be a good Catholic, though holding to the former is. How does one tell the difference? Is there a clear test or list.
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Written Tradition is the Catholic Scriptures. Unwritten, beyond those Scriptures would for example, be “what books are required to be in the Catholic Scriptures”. One must necessarily go Outside written Tradition to determine what is IN written Tradition.
The Catechism is a primary listing of "T"radition including Gospels, Epistles, and by Word of mouth all handed down. If some point is only "t"radition, it will normally indicate it.

Canon Law is primarily "t"radition. If some point is "T"radition, it will normally indicate it.

Each is a set of beliefs and discipline garnered over 2000 years of practice, wisdom, and the Deposit of Faith.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

Of course, if one is NOT a brethern of St Paul, one may ignore this command.
One may then start a new religion based on say, written Tradition only and one’s own interpretation and declare that they have the Holy Ghost on their shoulder…a tempting idea. Until of couse, someone thought he had a bummer interpretation and then they could start the same process themselves. Then the Messiah’s prayer could be interpretated “that they all may be many”.
Not that the would ever happen!


#6

[quote=Dr. Colossus]Simply put, “Tradition” with a big ‘T’ is divine revelation which is not written in the Bible. Since divine revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, Tradition necessarily means a teaching that has been with the Church since the beginning.
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I agree except for a slight nitpick. :wink: The Bible is a part of Sacred Tradition, but the whole of Sacred Tradition is not contained within the Bible. Yes? :yup:


#7

[quote=Della]I agree except for a slight nitpick. :wink: The Bible is a part of Sacred Tradition, but the whole of Sacred Tradition is not contained within the Bible. Yes? :yup:
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Good point, though here’s even more of a nitpick :D:

The Bible is part of the Deposit of Faith, but is separate from Tradition. However, the canon of the Bible (the list of books regarded as authentic and inspired) is part of Tradition. So the two parts of the Deposit of Faith are interwoven.


#8

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