How did oral tradition fail the Copts?

Considering the Coptic Church was founded in the 40’s by Mark, and they were the same Catholic Church that the RCC is then how did oral tradition fail them in the fifth century?

Their Bible’s are the same as the Catholic Bible’s, so obviously the written tradition lasted and can be relied on, but there are interpretations that differ.

How can oral tradition be trusted if different beliefs came from the same early Church and caused separation?

What on earth are you talking about? :confused:

Haha, alright.

Assuming that you do not accept the beliefs of the Catholic Church does that mean that either your tradition or the CC’s tradition failed? At the council of Chalcedon there was a discrepancy, but how could that be possible if your Church and the CC has the exact same oral tradition?

I think that it is because of the Magisterium (teaching authority of the catholic church) that we can be confident that we have the oral tradition. Without the Magisterium trusting in oral tradition would be like trusting the end product of a 2,000 year old game of telephone. It would be totally unreliable. God promised to preserve the gospel in the Catholic Church. That is why we can reliably trust in oral tradition.

I know…


You asked:

How can oral tradition be trusted if different beliefs came from the same early Church and caused separation?

Using your same logic:

How can the Bible be trusted if hundreds of different beliefs came from the same book?

How does it sound to you know?

And the similarities between the Traditional churches is far greater than between the Sola Scriptura churches.

Can you explain more on why we should trust that instead of what a different Church, founded before Rome, in Egypt taught based on their tradition?

Not exactly.

You see, different beliefs may come from the same text and yet the text remains the same. In oral tradition, the words spoken have changed. I would have a hard time accepting the Bible if multiple Bible’s contradicted its self.

“Jesus walked on water” “Jesus never walked on water” in the same chapter.

Don’t let my “Religion” tag misdirect you. Your statement is irrelevant to what I’m asking.

Yes, exactly.

The question I presented follows the same logic you are following.

In this case you need to present the oral tradition in question.

For example,

The Oral Tradition of the Copts is: ___________________________

The Oral Tradition of the Latins is: ___________________________

In your question you are questioning the trust of oral tradition based on differences of belief. Yet, you don’t present what this oral tradition is and what these beliefs are.

On the other hand. I can effectively present you differing beliefs from the same text (Ignoring different translations and the fact that we don’t have the originals).

All I have to present you is the different denomination and how they each draw different beliefs: baptism, communion, gender ordination, etc. All from the same text. I can point exactly to what this same text is interpreted differently.

You have to bear the burden of presenting your case and show where is it that you base your mistrust in oral tradition, on only one example of 2 different Churches.

And still you are trusting a source that is without a doubt a much bigger factor of differing beliefs.

It always amazes me how God brings me back to earth in humility is so many unexpected ways. This thread is just such an example. Here I was, believing that I was reasonably intelligent. And I have not got a clue what this thread is all about!!!
God is such a surprise!

Catechism of the Catholic Church #85: ““The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form** or in the form of Tradition**, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

You and me both, friend.

I don’t even know where to begin…I feel like I should say something, but at the same time I don’t want to cause a fight. Suffice it to say that several of the OP’s underlying presuppositions (if I am reading his reply to me correctly) are dubious. For one thing, Alexandria was never the same Church as Rome. They were in communion of course, but you need only go to Alexandria one day and Rome another day and you will see that they are not the same place. I am not being snarky; I put it that way to emphasize that it is in the local traditions and customs of a particular place (and the Church at that particular place) that you will find the tradition received by the Alexandrians, or the Romans, or the Antiochians, or the whoevers. And these were never the same tradition. For instance, it has apparently always been part of Constantinopolitan tradition that the Trisagion prayer (what we call in Coptic, borrowing from the Greek in which we still say, the “Agios”) was received by the Church in a particular way. This received tradition is not the same as the received tradition regarding that prayer in the Alexandrian (Coptic) or Antiochian (Syriac) churches. Likewise, the Antiochian Syriacs have certain traditions regarding a particular understanding of St. Peter which are not the same as the Coptic, and are likewise not the same as the Roman (which of course is its own tradition regarding Peter’s place in the Church and what it means for proper ecclesiology). The Ethiopians even have traditions regarding Pontius Pilate that are not shared by anyone else, and yet they remain in communion with the Copts, Syriac Orthodox, Armenians, etc. So merely having a different tradition regarding the role of any particular person or any other particular part of Church history is not sufficient to say that one tradition or another has “failed”. There are all kinds of traditions in the Church, even within the much more monolithic Roman or Latin cultural sphere (e.g., Latins in the Iberian peninsula are distinct ritualistically and historically from Latins in, say, England). In this, we can say Coptic tradition no more ‘failed’ as evidenced by the schism than did Byzantine Greek or Latin tradition did. Of course, as an Evangelical it is in some sense natural for you to take the Latin/Roman/Greek/Imperial/Chalcedonian view as being the default, but please keep in mind that not everyone sees things this way. This will make future posts on this topic much more fruitful, should there be any.

What’s more, your understanding of the Bible as static and unitary is ahistorical. In that there is not a fixed Biblical canon in the Orthodox Church, it matters little that the Coptic Bible may be in a accord to a greater degree with the Latin (though they are not the same, as you state; they are largely the same). The Alexandrian hermeneutic tradition, which I take it is what you’re really referring to in this thread, if not in those exact words, is worlds apart from that of the West, or even that of Antioch. I’ll let Fr. Lazarus al-Anthony explain it to you, since he certainly knows it better than I do:

Fr. Lazarus on the Bible in the Alexandrian tradition

Well, I do like this position because it seems so open; but when I look at the Catholic position it seems more “my way or the highway, the Coptic Church is wrong.” And I know everyone is taking a shot at me but I don’t see where I’m going wrong here.

From the Catholic point of view, did oral tradition fail the Coptic Church seeing as they did not reach all of the same conclusions that the CC did?

I think here you have to first see the mysteries, the Eucharist and its emphasis. No failing there, the Church is blessed.

Read my post. I think a lot of people here are having trouble making any sense of your question of all.

It all depends on what you’re looking at. There are a great many of things that the RCC and the COC agree on, but when our leaders feel it necessary, we do not hesitate to point out where the Vatican is wrong. On matters of doctrine (i.e., not the sort of thing discussed in the video I just linked; I just meant that as an example), these are all the familiar things that everyone posting should already know about. A lot of the relative openness of the Coptic Orthodox Church is from the attitude that we would rather find means to be together with other Christians than to be apart (and this is far from a Coptic peculiarity; the Armenians and Syriacs are probably even more ecumenically-minded than we are), but then there are of course those things that are not ours to compromise on, and so we stay apart for good reasons.

From an outsider’s perspective (mine), it seems like the Catholic position is much less “my way or the highway” these days than used to be. The RCC has signed agreements on various matters with the Oriental Orthodox, the Chalcedonian Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and various other bodies it not too long ago considered heretical. Its eccelsiology is still a/the major stumbling block (both for it in relation to other communions and other communions in relation to it), with its faithful apparently considering the matter of Chalcedon to be either solved or not grounds for further division.

TRH1292–Do I understand this correctly? Is this saying that the CC teaches that the task of authentically interpreting both the Bible and Tradition has been entrusted to the CC and not the Coptic Orthodox Church, because the Coptic Orthodox Church is not in communion with the Bishop of Rome?

I know the CC is a lot gentler to other Church’s than it has been in the past. One can easily access John of Damascus’s mocking tone of Islam, or Leo X and the Lutherans. Likewise, the difference in belief on Christ’s two nature’s in Coptic Orthodoxy.

I realize that the CC says only super nice things about Muslims, Lutherans and the Orthodox and perhaps they will come to an agreement, but at this time I only ask the Catholics if the Copts messed up their oral tradition to reach some different conclusions. Considering that the Coptic Church is as old as the Catholic Church, shouldn’t they have both agreed on all points 1600 years ago? Who screwed up and how?

And if they really are so alike, then why don’t they just reunite?

But the Copts were a part of that Church and should have reached the same conclusions and never separated. We’re talking 1600 years ago and a Church built on St. Mark.

Hi dronald.

I have, on occassion, come across Catholic bloggers and whatnot who ask how protestants can disagree amongst themselves, when they all endorse Sola Scriptura. Your question seems to me to be the flip-side of that question.

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