Oral Tradition - Why we have IT


#1

It is a foundation of our faith to believe that God gave Moses an oral explanation of the Torah along with the written text. This oral tradition is now essentially preserved in the Talmud and Midrashim. Just as we depend on tradition for the accepted text, vocalization, and translation of the Torah, so must we depend on tradition for its interpretation. The Written Torah cannot be understood without the oral tradition. Hence, if anything, the Oral Torah is the more important of the two. Since the Written Torah appears largely defective unless supplemented by the oral tradition, a denial of the Oral Torah necessarily leads to the denial of the divine origin of the written text as well…by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
aish.com/literacy/concepts/The_Oral_Tradition.asp
Scripture
I. The Word of God is Transferred Orally

Mark 13:31 - heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus’ Word will not pass away. But Jesus never says anything about His Word being entirely committed to a book. Also, it took 400 years to compile the Bible, and another 1,000 years to invent the printing press. How was the Word of God communicated? Orally, by the bishops of the Church, with the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit
Luke 10:16 - He who hears you (not “who reads your writings”), hears me. The oral word passes from Jesus to the apostles to their successors by the gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit. This succession has been preserved in the Holy Catholic Church
1 Cor. 15:1,11 - faith comes from what is “preached” (not read). For non-Catholics to argue that oral tradition once existed but exists no longer, they must prove this from Scripture. But no where does Scripture say oral tradition died with the apostles. To the contrary, Scripture says the oral word abides forever.

II. Learning through Oral Apostolic Tradition

Matt. 15:3 - Jesus condemns human traditions that void God’s word. Some Protestants use this verse to condemn all tradition. But this verse has nothing to do with the tradition we must obey that was handed down to us from the apostles. (Here, the Pharisees, in their human tradition, gave goods to the temple to avoid taking care of their parents, and this voids God’s law of honoring one’s father and mother.)
Mark 7:9 - this is the same as Matt. 15:3 - there is a distinction between human tradition (that we should reject) and apostolic tradition (that we must accept).
1 Cor. 11:2 - Paul commends the faithful for maintaining the apostolic tradition that they have received. The oral word is preserved and protected by the Spirit
1 Thess. 4:2 – Paul again refers the Thessalonians to the instructions they already had received, which is the oral apostolic tradition

III. Examples of Jesus’ and the Apostles’ Reliance on Oral Tradition
Matt. 2:23 - the prophecy “He shall be a Nazarene” is oral tradition. It is not found in the Old Testament. This demonstrates that the apostles relied upon oral tradition and taught by oral tradition.
Matt 23:2 - Jesus relies on the oral tradition of acknowledging Moses’ seat of authority (which passed from Moses to Joshua to the Sanhedrin). This is not recorded in the Old Testament
Acts 20:35 - Paul relies on the oral tradition of the apostles for this statement (“it is better to give than to receive”) of Jesus. It is not recorded in the Gospels
1 Cor. 10:4 - Paul relies on the oral tradition of the rock following Moses. It is not recorded in the Old Testament. See Exodus 17:1-17 and Num. 20:2-13.
Heb. 11:37 - the author of Hebrews relies on the oral tradition of the martyrs being sawed in two. This is not recorded in the Old Testament.
Jude 9 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of the Archangel Michael’s dispute with satan over Moses’ body. This is not found in the Old Testament.
Jude 14-15 - Jude relies on the oral tradition of Enoch’s prophecy which is not recorded in the Old Testament.
scripturecatholic.com/oral_tradition.html


#2

I have no idea what you are trying to say here. What does the fact that the story of Jesus may have been passed down orally at one time have to do with the Talmud? Other than the fact that the Talmud was also originally passed down orally, I don’t see anything the two issues have in common.

I’m not sure what the significance of this is for you. My Torah and my phone book are both in writing, but other than that I don’t think they have a lot in common.


#3

Protestants are so often blind to the pedigree of their own ideas.Many Protestants like to play the game that they have no tradition at all, and that they are simply returning to the Bible, etc., etc. I could write for days about the resulting absurdities of this tunnel vision outlook.

In the case of my discussion of the canon, that is a problem that cannot be resolved by the Bible at all, because the Bible never lists its Table of Contents. The canon is logically prior to the Bible, because it determines the extent and specificity of what books are in what we call “the Bible” in the first place. So the “Word of God” doesn’t do much good there, does it? Christian Tradition has to decide. And for a Christian worldview that does not allow for an infallible Tradition, that is a HUGE problem indeed, and at the level of the very fundamentals of Protestantism: you can’t have sola Scriptura if you don’t have a non-circular, non-traditional rationale to determine what the Bible is that is to have sole infallible authority. I’ve always said that sola Scriptura and the canon issue are the two "Achilles’ Heels of Protestantism
.
Our authority doesn’t come from a human personality but from the Word of God.
That’s impossible to do (in a practical sense). The book doesn’t interpret itself (though Protestants claim that it does). Furthermore, this “Bible vs. authoritative human beings in the Church” mentality is not the view of the Bible itself, which refers to Church authority and a binding tradition. So (ironically) to claim to be following simply the “Bible Alone” is to land right back into a Catholic notion of ecclesiology and authority

Due to the Protestant experience of effectual calling and belief in the Word of God as sole authorityThis is a distortion of the classic Protestant understanding of sola Scriptura (and is more accurately described as SOLO Scriptura). In the former conception, Scripture was the sole infallible or ultimate authority, but not the sole authority, period.most every ‘attack’ from Roman Catholics can usually only be met with a bemused grin.Go ahead, try to avoid this discussion and grin if you must. That won’t give anyone any confidence in your position who doesn’t already accept it on some other basis.

How do you know when they are right and wrong? By what criterion do you decide? The Bible? How do you know who is right about the Bible when different Protestants disagree? By the “inner witness” of the Spirit? Now we are back to pure subjectivism again

socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/09/importance-of-studying-luther.html


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