Bible or Bible+Apostolic Oral Tradition MOOT

Now in this respect there are several points of controversy between Catholics and every body of Protestants. Is all revealed truth consigned to Holy Scripture? or can it, must it, be admitted that Christ gave to His Apostles to be transmitted to His Church, that the Apostles received either from the very lips of Jesus or from inspiration or Revelation, Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings? –Catholic Encyclopedia under Tradition and Living Magisterium

2 Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Catholic apologetic appeal to 2 Th 2:15 identifies apostolic oral tradition as that which the Thessalonians were taught in 51 AD.

Note the Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition, this material consists of “divine instructions” either “from the very lips of Jesus or from inspiration or Revelation… which they transmitted to the Church.”

As that perfectly describes Biblical tradition, it will have the following appearance:

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.-kjv

Oral teaching from Christ’s very lips which subsequently is given to the Church via the apostles:

1 Corinthians 11:24 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Another example of Apostolic Oral tradition:

Jude 1:17-18 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Peter’s very lips was one of the sources of this apostolic oral tradition:

2 Peter 3:3-4 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

Sola scripturaists propose all-important oral tradition eventually was recorded in our Bibles.

2 Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

In other words, while it is true some apostolic oral tradition existed when Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 in 51 AD, this oral teaching found its way into the 21 Bible books written after 51 AD:

1 & 2 Co (55-56); Ro (56); Lk,Eph,Phil,Col,Philemon (60); Ac,1 Tm (62); Ti, 1 Pt (64); 2 Timothy (66); 2 Pt,Heb (67); Jude (68); Jn (80); 1-3 Jn (90); Re (94).

Indeed, the Bible is quite clear it contains all necessary to the faith, 2 Tim 3:15ff.

Empirical evidence proves it is impossible literate human beings not put in written form any oral “divine teaching” they possess. No culture has done that throughout human history.

Therefore it is special pleading to argue that is precisely what the RCC has done with sayings from the very lips of Christ and His apostles.

The argument is even more specious when one considers the care the RCC gave to establishing the canon. How inconsistent to render such Herculean effort lest anything apostolic be lost only to do exactly that by refusing to preserve in written form, genuine apostolic oral teaching.

Hence it is impossible we ascribe to the RCC the enormous criminal negligence and towering incompetence that is necessary to fail preserve genuine apostolic oral tradition by writing it down.

True love of one’s fellow man would preclude the “hiding of the talent” lest others be profited thereby.

Therefore the argument Bible+apostolic oral tradition or the Bible Alone, which is better, is moot.

Genuine apostolic oral tradition does not exist today apart from our Bibles.

I’ll post the same answer here as in your other thread…

…The problem here is that you have placed a definition here on tradition which does not fall within Catholic understanding. You have limited Tradtion to ORAL tradition. This is NOT Catholic understanding. With all due respect to the one statement (out of context) from the Catholic Encyclopedia, let me quote the definition of Tradition from the Catechism for you…

  ** . . . two distinct modes of transmission***    81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42

"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."43
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."44 *

…You’ll see there are no restrictions here that state Tradition can only be Oral. That is a restriction you have laid on us incorrectly. Tradition in this sense would only mean those things held by the Church specifically not referred to in sacred Scripture. Under this corrected understanding, indeed, the list you provide above certainly is admissable as elements that contain some of that Tradition which indeed may ORIGINALLY have been oral. In fact as time progressed, it would be expected that these things would be written down, explained, expounded upon in the works of the Church.

But again, that they were originally oral doesn’t mean they might not have been written down later. Paul made no prohibition that what was passed by word of mouth, must only be passed that way forever more.

Tradition refers more broadly to those things not explicit in Holy scripture and need not ALWAYS and FOREVER be oral. You should divorce yourself of the notion that Oral Tradition = Tradition in our understanding if you hope to have a meaningful discussion on this.

I would advise any readers of this thread to visit the following:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=10605

No, it is not really “quite clear.”

I think over all *LetsObeyChrist *has hit on a very legitimate point. Maybe the whole question is moot. After all, what is the Bible without the interpretation thereof. Perhaps there is inherent in placing the Bible as a sole rule of faith the need for some divinely inspired way to understand the Bible.

I see a lot of myself eight years ago in the poster, LetsObeyChrist. I spent a bundle ordering tapes from Grace To You (John MacArthur’s ministry)

I do not think Jesus foresaw the future Grace Community Church to come along and fill this niche, but rather established His church while he was still alive.

May God bless you as much as he has me. I think LetsObey Christ would make a fine Catholic apologist some day.

From your other thread:

Frankly I have never met a Catholic or has ever heard real apostolic oral tradition from their very lips.

Rather it appears they were convinced such tradition must exist and then, upon becoming Catholic, they are given substitutes for it and they never get to hear genuine (from the very lips of Christ and His apostles) oral tradition.

I’m not a Catholic, I won’t be satisfied with inferior substitutes. I want what is advertised, period.

Rather than the point being moot, the answer to that item applies to your assertions here, and is presented here:

Well, it would be very difficult to hear directly from the lips of Our Ascended Lord, or His Apostles who are with Him in heaven.:rolleyes:

Indeed, he must have known we would have nothing beyond about 70 years in ANY subject if we insisted on the very lips of the utterer.:nope:

I suspect the Lord figured that out when He gave His Church Apostolic Succession through the Bishops.:clapping:

Nor would the Lord give His Church anything in the way of “inferior substitutes,” and we are therefore most grateful to Him for establishing this institution to teach and guard the deposit of the faith. :yup:

Blessings,

Gerry

Here are a few passages of interest from Irenaeus:

[list]Chapter II.-The Heretics Follow Neither Scripture Nor Tradition.

[/list]1. When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but *vivâ voce: *wherefore also Paul declared, “But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.” …

[list]Chapter IV.-The Truth is to Be Found Nowhere Else But in the Catholic Church, the Sole Depository of Apostolical Doctrine. Heresies are of Recent Formation, and Cannot Trace Their Origin Up to the Apostles.

[/list]1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: …to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question?** For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings?** Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

  1. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God,… Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed;… Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.

You can read the quotes in context via the links. But it can be seen that even in Irenaeus’s day was the struggle with those who preferred ‘traditions’ to the Scriptures. This proves that even the earliest Church relied primarily on the apostolic scriptures for doctrinal truth. It shows further that it was Irenaeus’s view that the only time that ‘traditions’ were to be relied upon is when there were no Scriptures in the language (“in the absence of written documents”), and then it was only to be those traditions which were traceable directly to the apostles.

There is no genuine apostolic oral tradition today which did not come to us via written documents.

[quote=pnewton]I would advise any readers of this thread to visit the following:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=10605

No, it is not really “quite clear.”

I think over all *LetsObeyChrist *has hit on a very legitimate point. Maybe the whole question is moot. After all, what is the Bible without the interpretation thereof. Perhaps there is inherent in placing the Bible as a sole rule of faith the need for some divinely inspired way to understand the Bible.

I see a lot of myself eight years ago in the poster, LetsObeyChrist. I spent a bundle ordering tapes from Grace To You (John MacArthur’s ministry)

I do not think Jesus foresaw the future Grace Community Church to come along and fill this niche, but rather established His church while he was still alive.

May God bless you as much as he has me. I think LetsObey Christ would make a fine Catholic apologist some day.
[/quote]

:eek: I’ve heard everything!
pnewton, LOC isn’t Catholic and his initial post attacked Apostolic Tradition possesed by the Church!

I must say, though, that your last point is valid; when are people going tor realise that the Bible does not speak; hence it cannot interpret itself!

[quote=SteveG]I’ll post the same answer here as in your other thread…

…The problem here is that you have placed a definition here on tradition which does not fall within Catholic understanding. You have limited Tradtion to ORAL tradition. This is NOT Catholic understanding…snip
[/quote]

Perhaps this analogy will help illustrate my point.

XYZ advertises it has delicious “New York Steak” for sale. When I ask for the advertised steak they object I have limited the definition of steak, buy their hamburger (with lots of bread filler) instead. It’s good they say.

But its not the advertised “New York Steak.”

At the heart of any definition of “apostolic oral tradition” is teaching from the mouth of the apostles.

That fact is documented in the Catholic encyclopedia I cited.

It says Protestants refuse to admit such material exists.

They don’t refuse to admit the materials you are defining as “apostolic oral tradition,” they don’t believe the RCC has authentic sayings from the mouth of Jesus and His apostles that aren’t in the Bible.

To convince Protestants the RCC really does have genuine sayings from the lips of Christ and His apostles, that are not in the Bible, you must allow them to see the material.

If it is still in oral form then you must allow them to hear it.

To convince them you have delicious “New York Steak” you will have to allow them to taste it.

Until then the claim is disbelieved.

It is irrelevant and immaterial Catholics don’t mind eating hamburger meat instead of the advertised New York Steak. That is well and good for you.

My point is they don’t have the advertised New York Steak.

To prove me wrong you must allow me to experience the Steak. I reject all offers of substitutes, I want to see (or hear) exactly what the Catholic Encyclopedia claimed Protestants must admit exists, sayings from the lips of Christ and His apostles, which they gave to the Church, that are not found in the Bible today.

Until you produce “of the Twelve” apostolic oral (“from their lips”) teaching, that is not found in the Bible, but which the RCC received from the apostles, Protestant denial will remain.

Unless you prove it exists by showing it to them, Protestants are right to deny it exists.

It is prudent to do so.

As this post says, whether the Bible+Apostolic Oral Tradition is better than just the Bible alone is moot, only the Bible exists.

That fact will be proved in this thread, no Catholic can produce the advertised material. They can’t because it don’t exist.

What they have is inferior material that is NOT sayings from the very lips of Christ and His apostles, hamburger meat with lots of bread filler that is not New York Steak.

And who do you think COMPILED the Bible for Protestants to even read? :rolleyes:

[quote=Faithful 2 Rome]And who do you think COMPILED the Bible for Protestants to even read? :rolleyes:
[/quote]

Why go off topic? The Catholic Encyclopedia says we must admit sayings from the lips of Christ and His apostles, divine instruction and revelation from their mouth, exists outside of the Bible, in their trust.

Well good for them! Now share it with the world.

Lets check it out and if authentic, canonize it.

It is heartless the RCC withhold such important text from the world.

Whether oral or written, it must be experienced by the Protestants who, until they do, will continue to deny it exists.

I will consider as proof such material doesn’t exist, the continued failure to produce the advertised material for my inspection.

Hence ALL arguments against sola scriptura are moot, genuine apostolic oral tradition only exists in the Bible, not anywhere else.

You cannot prove me wrong by showing it because it don’t exist.

LOC, please quote us a chapter and verse which says all authoritative teaching is exclusively found in Scripture.

Chapter and verse, please.

[quote=drforjc]LOC, please quote us a chapter and verse which says all authoritative teaching is exclusively found in Scripture.

Chapter and verse, please.
[/quote]

The purpose of this thread was to give you the opportunity to prove real from the mouth apostolic oral tradition truly exists apart from Scripture, just as the Catholic Encyclopedia says.

Take this opportunity to do so, cite the sayings from Christ and His apostles lips, that are not found in our Bibles, that you have heard in the Catholic Church.

I will now list all of this material I have heard from Catholic apologists:

“_________________.”

Hence I consider the argument “Bible+apostolic oral tradition is better than the Bible alone” to be absurd, we only have the Bible.

That exists. The other stuff clearly does not.

[quote=Gerry Hunter]From your other thread:

Rather than the point being moot, the answer to that item applies to your assertions here, and is presented here:

Well, it would be very difficult to hear directly from the lips of Our Ascended Lord, or His Apostles who are with Him in heaven.:rolleyes:

Indeed, he must have known we would have nothing beyond about 70 years in ANY subject if we insisted on the very lips of the utterer.:nope:

I suspect the Lord figured that out when He gave His Church Apostolic Succession through the Bishops.:clapping:

Nor would the Lord give His Church anything in the way of “inferior substitutes,” and we are therefore most grateful to Him for establishing this institution to teach and guard the deposit of the faith. :yup:

Blessings,

Gerry
[/quote]

Clearly you did not read the Catholic Encyclopedia’s assertion Prots must admit sayings from the lips of Christ and His apostles, which they gave to the church, that are NOT in our Bibles, exists.

OK! I agree such material would be wonderful.

No sola scripturaist would object to such extra biblical tradition, rather we would canonize it (if it is genuine sayings from Christ and His apostles lips), making it part of the Bible!

So now is your chance to prove you have this material.

Copy paste it here, all of it.

To save you some time allow me to copy paste all of this material Catholic apologists have shared with me through the years:

Ready?

Here it is: “_________.”

I’d wager you cannot post more material than I just did, its no gamble, its a sure thing and I’d donate the money to Voice of the Martyrs.

But I shall not be unwilling to put down, along with my interpretations, whatsoever instructions I received with care at any time from the elders, and stored up with care in my memory, assuring you at the same time of their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those who spoke much, but in those who taught the truth; nor in those who related strange commandments, but in those who rehearsed the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and proceeding from truth itself. If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings,–what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord’s disciples: which things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. **For I imagined that what was to be got from books was not so profitable to me as what came from the living and abiding voice. **

  • Papias A.D. 110

LOC, you are clearly unaquainted with my reading habits which, I can assure you, includes the Catholic Encyclopaedia (first edition).

Further, I have, in another thread, noted that there is an excellent source of Holy Tradition to be found in the pages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You are, or course, free to reject looking there, and given that one can lead a horse to water but not make him drink, that will be as will be.

I note with some interest your argument from silence. It rather reminds me of the sign frequently seen in gay pride parades: “What Jesus said about homosexuality.” The rest of the sign is blank. It read well (if you glance at it quickly) but proves nothing, as do all arguments from silence.

As for adding to Holy Scripture, {“No sola scripturaist would object to such extra biblical tradition, rather we would canonize it (if it is genuine sayings from Christ and His apostles lips), making it part of the Bible!”} say what!? :bigyikes: Do you contend that Protestants can really add to Holy Scripture? Well, you should know that the Church is the guardian of the deposit of the faith, and acknowledges that she can neither add to nor subtract from it. She does not, and acknowledges that she does not, have the power to tamper with it in the way you suggest.

Think of the deposit of the faith as a grand piano. It would have 88 keys, and the faithful are meant to play all 88 of them, not restrict themselves to a subset of their own collective choosing. Nor can they rearrange the keyboard.

There is an assertion by your mentor that Holy Scripture is sufficient. I have a well structured refutation of that assertion, which I’d be pleased to provide to you on request. Meantime, as the Church has done since the time of Christ, Catholics will avail themselves of the fullness of the deposit of the faith, in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. And we cordially invite you to do the same.

Blessings,

Gerry

It never ceases to amaze me how such a schoolboy’s folley can bob to the surface from time to time. The old testament is chalk full of inferences to a “Living Tradition” that had not been either penned or placed in the cannon of scripture. What book of scripture specifically describes the procedure necessary to make an acceptable sacrifice to God? Obviously there were those who tried and failed, and there were very specific techniques for doing almost everything, yet not all of those are present in sacred scripture.

Why then would one care to dispute that the New Covenant would also contain a Living Tradition? It seem to reason that without even question, that the first converts to Christianity were throughly Jewish and thus employed the same structure as was perscribed in the Old Covenant; and Jesus kept the “Law” as well. I sometimes get suspicious when folks demand that I limit my informational venues to exclusive sources and consider nothing else. I mean thats kind of like salvery or bondage. I think thats the same kind of campaign that the Nazi’s waged with their saturation of propaganda. Surely we know that the Jehova’s Wittness and other cults employ this mechanizm of sequestering the believer to a limited supply of information, all of which will never refute and only support thier existing doctrines.

It makes me nervous that a person could come in my house and mutilate my dictionaries or encylopedias by removing whatever might strike his fancy at the moment. And then go on to tell me that these are the only reference materials I can read and all else is untruth. I would surely take up arms and subdue this tyrannical intruder.

However, as for Martin Luther and his efforts to “dress” the Bible, it seems that protestant folks think its the greatest thing since sliced peanut butter…er…or bread,…something.

[quote=LetsObeyChrist]Perhaps this analogy will help illustrate my point.

XYZ advertises it has delicious “New York Steak” for sale. When I ask for the advertised steak they object I have limited the definition of steak, buy their hamburger (with lots of bread filler) instead. It’s good they say.

But its not the advertised “New York Steak.”

At the heart of any definition of “apostolic oral tradition” is teaching from the mouth of the apostles.

That fact is documented in the Catholic encyclopedia I cited…
[/quote]

Sorry, but you don’t get to make up any rules you like. First, the Catholic Encyclopedia is NOT infallible. Second, it only states that the tradition was oral initially. It does not state it must be so ever forward. Nor does scripture make such a demand. You continue to say ORAL apostolic tradition. This is simply incorrect. It is APOSTOLIC tradition, sans the ORAL. You can keep making the demand based on faulty understanding, but it won’t change that it is a faulty understanding.

[quote=LetsObeyChrist]Hence ALL arguments against sola scriptura are moot, genuine apostolic oral tradition only exists in the Bible, not anywhere else.

[/quote]

It is NOT ORAL apostolic tradition. It is Apolstolic tradition. At the point it was written down it ceased being oral, and it became simply apostolic Tradition. You can’t get around this.

OK, just for starters.
Praying to the saints and Mary (attested from the earliest Christian communities in the Roman Catacombs-Circa 1st and 2nd Century) and now written down.

Now YOU prove that it wasn’t apostolic tradition.

I’ll be back with more when time permits.

How about the Trinity?

It is hinted and alluded to in various verses but no one ever said that there are 3 persons in one God. This is a tradition passed on to early Christians, and something of this magnitude could have only been a teaching of Jesus.

The concept of the Trinity was only formally declared a dogma by the Nicean council around 325 in response to the Arian heresy. It is officially codified in the Nicene Creed. Every Christian of today believes in the Trinity, yet no one is calling for the canonization of the Nicene Creed. Rightfully so, since the canon of the bible is closed, and no one can add or remove from it.

I agree. A non-Christian who picked up the Bible without any external source helping him to understand it will not grasp the concept of Trinity; nowhere is it explicitly taught in the Bible! The Trinitarian doctrine, in fact, is one of Sacred Tradition of the Church!

i.e.:
nowhere is it in the Bible said that:

  1. God is One
  2. God is Three.
  3. The two facts above are not contradictory, God is Three by not dividing the substance, God is One yet Three Persons, distinct and separate; again, this does NOT separate the One Substance of One God.

This is Sacred Tradition, people! :rolleyes:

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