Is tradition important?


Is tradition important?

I am seeking answers regarding the significance of tradition and seemed to come off short through my search function on this topic. In the Non-Catholic forum, tradition comes up and non RC have nothing good to say about tradition,….citing what Jesus said about the tradition of men. Yet, in other threads, the seat of Moses which Jesus refers to and is yet no in the OT is a counter example of how tradition is used in the Church’s foundation.

Can some one help me with why tradition is important?


It isn’t just important, it is essential. The reason it is essential is because in Scripture Paul exhorts us to hold fast to Tradition:

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 2:15).


Sure it’s important (to all branches of Christianity), but one has to know what is tradition and what is Sacred Tradition. The former being that which can change and is not dogmatic, while Sacred Tradition is actually things that confirm that we have not strayed from the original New Testament teachings of the faith.
Example: The Writings of the Early Church Fathers.

Simple tradition is more like wedding rings, abstinence on Fridays, celibate priesthood, and such. Most often they are known as traditions and dsiciplines.

It’s a bit more involved than this, and so I offer these articles from the CA online Library: Scripture & Tradition and Anti-Catholicism both of which may help better than I can.
Pax tecum,


Non-Catholics have a problem with “tradition” because they fail to make a distinction between “tradition” (small t) which are changing, non-essential customs and practices, and “Tradition” (large T), which is part of the unchanging deposit of the Faith, which along with Sacred Scripture, makes up Divine Revelation. From the Catholic Answers tract, "Scripture and Tradition:

What is Tradition?

In this discussion it is important to keep in mind what the Catholic Church means by Tradition. The 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. Sacred or Apostolic Tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different.

They have been handed down and entrusted to the Church. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this Tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).

To see the whole tract, go here:



By the way, one of the definitions for the Greek word for tradition, paradosis, is:

*2b) of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence *

Sounds awefully similar Apostolic Succession.

Greek Bible (very cool site)


Tradition with a big T sure helps not inventing the wheel every generation.

Protestants have their traditions too—condemning the Catholic Church when ever they can.


Peace be with you!

Well, making the distinction between Tradition (which, of course, must by all means be kept) and tradition, I think that tradition is very important. You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with a nun a few months ago. We (my Newman club) were visiting Marylhurst (many nuns retire there) and the nuns were giving us a tour of their main building, in which there is a huge, beautiful chapel. I asked one of the nuns if that was the original altar behind the main altar and she said yes. I asked if they ever still used it to celebrate Mass and she said no, unfortunately. Then she said, "You know, between us, I think it’s important to keep hold of our traditions and the way things used to be done."
So yes, I think that tradition is very important.

In Christ,


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