Previously, I wrote a brief report about a book I read, Tradition and the Church, by Msgr George Agius. It was written in the late 1920’s.
Agius made what seemed a far-fetched assertion, that the Church could have thrived even if scripture (NT) hadn’t been written, owing to the strength and growth of the apostolic tradition.
Well, so now I pick up Jaroslav Pelikan’s first volume of The Christian Tradition, A history of the Development of Doctrine, first published around 1971. Guess what, he says essentially the same thing. The Church was thriving without a body of NT scripture, by virtue of a strong, public apostolic tradition.
These are both technical books, and might bore a lot of people. But, for those who are interested in how important Catholic tradition is, here are two books that should not be ignored. Agius was a Catholic priest and scholar. Peilkan was an American raised in the Lutheran tradition, who joined the Orthodox church before his death. He was a highly respected scholar and was awarded over 40 honorary doctoral degrees in his career.
They both also give their respective definitions of traditions, both agreeing that the tradition started with Jesus Christ.