Protestants, How Do You Understand Scripture Without The Knowledge of Traditions?

Perhaps Protestants here would like to tell us about this.

How do you understand scripture without referring to the relevant traditions that came with it?

You can’t. But neither Anglicanism nor Methodism has ever denied the role of tradition. Or the role of reason, for that matter.

Thanks. So we can exclude Anglicans and Methodists. How about the others?

Speaking about reason - though essential, it can be subjective, no? Can reason be moulded and shaped by the training one is exposed to?

Are you speaking about “theological training?”

If so, is the reason of a Catholic moulded and shaped by the training to which he is exposed?

IMO Protestants may deny Catholic Tradition but they interpret Scripture according to the tradition of their own denomination or ‘non-denomination’.

There’s a difference between “understanding” traditions and “adhering to” traditions.

Maybe it’s because the Bible is full of people who became so focused on traditions at the expense of the relationship with God. It’s written in Hosea that “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”, which is later referred to by Jesus toward the Pharisees (telling them to learn what it means).

To give a secular example, I’m a huge football fan. To me, it is vitally important to understand where the game came from, where it has gone, and where it is going while keeping a mindful eye on the traditions of the past. But it would be nonsensical to become paralyzed by action and inaction. In the days following Pentecost, look at how many “new things” came out. If God is constantly advancing His Kingdom in new ways, at what point do we walk with Him rather than lagging behind?

Thanks for agreeing. Our reason is influenced by what we are taught and so it can be subjective. I took OS Luke’s answer at face value but thought when he inserted ‘reason’, he may have more in mind other than saying no to the OP. But then it could be just my inquisity.

What about you? What do you think about the OP?

[quote=Reuben J;]How do you understand scripture without referring to the relevant traditions that came with it?
[/quote]

And what “relevant traditions” might those be?

xan

jonathon

Do you mean the meaning of the scripture’s message changes with time?

Hmm maybe the OP is not clear enough. What could be traditions after the Bible was canonized to be used to interpret it? The Bible was formulated to lay down what traditions had before it. Before the NT came to existence surely the teachings of the apostles were practiced according to their understanding. Then the NT. How was apostolic teachings understood then and NT now?

I’m not sure what you mean by the “relevant traditions that came with it.”

What do you think are the relevant traditions, and how is it you think those traditions come with the scripture?

How about real presence, for example? How do you understand Jn 6:53-56 or Paul’s 1 Cor 11:23-29 ? Thanks.

Before NT, there were already Christians practicing their faith. I would say that was tradition since they did not have any particular scripture to refer to. What actually did they do when they broke the bread as in Act? What they did was tradition but Act does not describe in detail what they actually did. So how do you understand the verse in Act where they came to fellowship, listened to the apostle teachings, breaking of bread and worship?

I just want to know how Protestants understand scripture without referring to traditions. If you do then fine. But if you don’t, then how do you interpret them?

Scripture is a concealed and closed book for those without the Spirit. It is only by the Spirit of God through illumination that someone can progressively grow in knowledge of the Scriptures. Spiritual blindness is as real as the air that we breathed. You must be born again to understand the Scriptures.

Luke 24:45
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Wisdom from the Spirit - 1 Cor 2
6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [3]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Luke 10:21
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

2 Peter 3:16
16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Matthew 22:29
29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

John 5:39
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

What is born again? How do you know it is the Holy Spirit that is guiding you in understanding the scripture?

How do you understand Jn 6:53-56, 1 Cor 11:23-29 and Lk22:19-20? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to illuminate you regarding these verses and if so, what did he tell you? Thanks.

Once I was reading about John Wesley.

Wesley taught that you should interpret Scripture in light of history, reason, and personal experience.

My problem with tradition is that the word can mean anything you want it to mean. However if you take it to mean history, I have no problems with it.

An understanding of Scripture that is in line with how it has always historically been understood seems safer to me than new idea.

For the most part the Bible is very clear.

The vast majority of difficult things in it can usually be resolved by paying attention to the historical and specific context as well as some knowledge of the languages.

The first part is something any Bible reader can get hold of, and the latter is readily available in commentaries and so on.

Those things in the Bible which remain obscure after recourse is made to context and language are, very likely, there that way for a reason and ought not be resolved in a way that requires assent.

On the other hand entirely, it is often useful to know what important scholars throughout history thought about a given passage, but again, and for any number of reasons, they were not always right. My guess is that biblical scholarship has grown up so much in the last 100 years or so that it can be said with some certainty that they just didn’t have the tools that we do today to mine Scripture of all its treasure.

Example: Augustine never knew Greek. Augustine was a masterful scholar, but he continued in the Jeronymean error of equating penance with repantance because that was the way the Vulgate had it.

Anyway, the upshot is that the Bible is not really all that hard to understand.

Even moreso when we recall that we have the one Who wrote it living inside us.

If you read/study The Bible you learn about the traditions. You learn what traditions God wants or doesn’t want.

[quote=Reuben J]Before NT, there were already Christians practicing their faith. I would say that was tradition since they did not have any particular scripture to refer to.
[/quote]

They had scripture, not to the extent we have it today, nevertheless, they had the OT writings, the writings of the apostles, and the oral tradition, which lines up with scripture with neither contradiction, nor, more importantly, addition, IMO.

[quote=Reuben J]What actually did they do when they broke the bread as in Act? What they did was tradition but Act does not describe in detail what they actually did. So how do you understand the verse in Act where they came to fellowship, listened to the apostle teachings, breaking of bread and worship?
[/quote]

ISTM, that the absence of explicit directions, or instructions with regard to gathering in worship and fellowship points to the freedom those in Christ enjoy to organize, and to structure their worship and fellowship.

Please consider prayer and John chapter 3 for an answer to your question.

A Worker Approved by God

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God [1] not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, [2] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” - Paul from the Scriptures

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