Sola scriptura-Eucharist, Christmas and Easter celebration question

Sorry for the long title.

The bible does not give any directives on Christmas and Easter celebrations. Yet protestants celebrate these–a Church tradition-- Of course the events are there-but the direction on how to celebrate them are not in the new testament.

Jesus Himself gives directions how to celebrate mass with the Eucharist, saying This IS my body and blood. This is the ONLY celebratory directive in the new testament, yet many protestants ignore it?

How can they follow church traditions and not a directive of Jesus and claim to be sola scriptura?

But from my experience the different churches celebrate the events that are recorded, differently. Meaning there is not one over-arching “tradition” or celebration, with some not celebrating either event. “Easter” is obviously all tied together with Jewish celebration, fulfilled by Christ. Christmas is much more of a Tradition indeed.

Jesus Himself gives directions how to celebrate mass with the Eucharist, saying This IS my body and blood. This is the ONLY celebratory directive in the new testament, yet many protestants ignore it?

Most protestants don’t ignore it, the majority also celebrate the Eucharist, though not all of them call it that. Every church I’ve been to celebrates the Eucharist; Christian church (weekly), Methodist (monthly), non-denom (quarterly), Church of God, church of the Friends, etc… and I know Anglicans, Lutherans, baptists, etc… do as well.

How can they follow church traditions and not a directive of Jesus and claim to be sola scriptura?

As has been stated on the boards, sola scriptura is different than “solo” scriptura. There are many church traditions that “protestant” churches incorporate into their services, sola scriptura is about final authority and a measuring stick for practices and beliefs.

Both sola and solo scriptura are scripture over tradition.

Jesus said in the scriptures–This IS My Body. He did not say— a symbol.

Thank you for your reply though.

Except that the protestant understanding of Eucharist is way different than that the original apostolic churches understood by the Eucharist…it has gone to about 40K definitions now adays.

Actually not all have celebrated Christmas or Easter. The Puritans in the U.S. made celebrating Christmas illegal. The Seventh Day Adventists don’t celebrate Easter, and they are a rather large group. I think their main objection to Easter is that it is a Sunday and Sunday worship for them is a grave sin started by the Catholic Church which naive Protestants unwittingly go along with. So once you lose unity you’ll wind up with variations on just about everything.

Denominations object to Easter because they feel it was a feast day for a pagan goddess & the church changed it to the Resurrection, but it still is celebrated on the pagan feast.

What’s wrong with understanding Holy Scripture, which all Christians understand to be the inspired Word of God, to be the final arbiter over the traditions of men?

:thumbsup: Exactly. And Catholics aren’t the only Christians who take His Word literally; many Protestants do too, just as Kliska noted.

You’re welcome. :o

I’d say, indeed, it is obvious we all celebrate differently; Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, but we all do tend to celebrate the Eucharist, which is Thanksgiving to the Lord for His sacrifice via the bread and wine, body and blood. That and baptism tends to be something that unites a majority of Christendom, though we approach it differently.

Yes, sola and solo scriptura are a “check” for tradition, so tradition can’t contradict scripture or it is seen as wrong, in essence scripture would then logically be said to be “over” tradition. But solo scriptura is much more restrictive than sola, which allows a lot of room for tradition.

Christmas and Easter are cultural celebrations to remember the birth and ressurection of the Savior. There’s nothing in scripture to say we have to celebrate those, but there isn’t anything wrong with it either, and much good can be brought be having a special time to remember Him.

And the specifics of how to celebrate events (Christmas trees, candy canes, etc) are completely cultural traditions.

Most non-Catholic faiths do recognize the Lord’s Supper and celebrate it. The frequency and meaning of these will vary from group to group.

Catholics do not place Tradition (capital T) over Scripture; we take Tradition **with **Scripture. When was the first Gospel “written”? Well after Christ’s Resurrection. How did the Apostles convey the Gospel before the written Bible? Word of mouth; from their memory. There was a passage (in Acts I believe) where Paul is called back to meet with Peter because there is word that Paul is not teaching what the Apostles taught. After questioning him, Peter decides Paul is indeed preaching the true Word and Paul is sent out again to evangelize the far flung churches. Early church leaders collected the various writings that were recognized and used in the early church; this is called the canon or collection and formed the Bible as we know it today. Tradition (capital T) is the reason why we have the written Bible today but Catholics do not place Tradition above Scripture.

Catholics also believe God continues His work through the Church. This work is conducted by the Magisterium or teaching church. The Magisterium are the collection of bishops led by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. The Holy Spirit works through all of us and more so through the teaching body of the Church.

Hope this helps in some way. God Bless you. :thumbsup:

That’s also one of the reasons why we as Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, because like you said it’s not found in the Bible. Even though many christians recognize this many of them would still criticize us for following the Bible in this regard.
And although we do not celebrate the Eucharist as we do not believe that they literally ate Jesus flesh and literally drank his blood, we believe it was only used as symbols to represent his body and his blood, we do however commemorate Jesus death every year on Nisan 14 the same night Jesus Instituted the Lords Evening Meal and also the same night he died, that’s the only day with a date in the Bible that Christ told his diciples to hold or follow… We still do this every year because of the command at Luke 22:19 which says “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”

Sola scriptura does not mean “the exclusion of all traditions.” What Protestants mean by sola scriptura is that any tradition (such as observing Christmas or Easter) should not contradict the word of God.

For example, a tradition glorifying homosexual marriage would violate sola scriptura since gay marriage contradicts biblical teaching.

Celebrating the birth and resurrection of Christ is a way of reminding people about these amazing events, and it gives the church the opportunity to highlight these events in their teaching. Therefore, the emphasis is on celebrating and teaching about scriptural concepts. This goal is perfectly compatible with sola scriptura for most Protestants.

There are Protestants and fringe groups outside of Protestantism that object to Christmas and Easter due to their historical connection to pagan holidays, which in their opinion would be dishonoring to Christ because it’s mixing up his birth and resurrection with false religious traditions.

Protestants obey the Scriptural command to observe the Eucharist. They disagree on what the Eucharist is, but they do follow the command to eat and drink in remembrance of him. Some Protestants believe similar to the Catholic Church, but other Protestants believe that it is clear in the New Testament that Jesus was speaking more or less symbolically when he said, “This is my body . . .”

This doesn’t mean we “ignore the directive” from Jesus. It just means we disagree with the Catholic Church and those other Protestants that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood. :shrug:

=mommy k;13245837]Sorry for the long title.

The bible does not give any directives on Christmas and Easter celebrations. Yet protestants celebrate these–a Church tradition-- Of course the events are there-but the direction on how to celebrate them are not in the new testament.

Jesus Himself gives directions how to celebrate mass with the Eucharist, saying This IS my body and blood. This is the ONLY celebratory directive in the new testament, yet many protestants ignore it?

How can they follow church traditions and not a directive of Jesus and claim to be sola scriptura?

BECAUSE the somehow; despite FIVE different authors of the New Testament; Jesus Himself and immediate implementation after Christ resurrection; ad even Eucharistic Miracles; are still able to disavow that the REAL Presence IS the very Real Presence of Jesus Christ Himself.

Mt. 26
Mk. 14
Lk 22
1st. Cor, 11

This flows form a Gross lack of Faith, as it relies on human understandings limits being sufficient to override what is cleanly evident to 1 BILLION Plus Catholics; Eastern Orthodox and others.:shrug:

God Bless you and thanks for asking,


Isaiah 55: 6-10 is too not understood.

[6]" Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. [7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive. [8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. [9] For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. [10] And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater":

As you know, Catholics believe in the very real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. When the priest prays the prayer of consecration, by the power of the Holy Spirit (not because the priest says the words), Christ changes the substance of the bread and wine. God can and does anything. I will respectfully agree to disagree with the rest of your opinion; it is your belief but not mine and the Catholic Church’s. God Bless you. :thumbsup:

To be honest with you I don’t really fully know or understand what the eucharist is, I was merely stating what we believe and practice.

But let me ask do you believe that the diciples literally ate Jesus body and literally drank his blood?

Do Catholics have the same view with regards to the celebration of Christmas and Easter like Protestants?

To answer your question: yes, I believe Jesus took bread and wine and changed the substance (not the properties) into His Body and Blood. As you recall, Jesus didn’t say “this is like My Body” or “this is like My Blood.” He said “this IS My Body and Blood.” In the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus tells a group of His followers “my flesh is true food” and some of them walked away (in horror.) He turned to Peter and asked Peter if he was going to leave as well (as you recall, Peter is a good Jew and would be taught to avoid blood because it’s considered unclean by the Jewish faith.) Peter rightly identifies Jesus as the Christ and there is no where else to turn to.

Today, we have similar challenges. Some have heard these passages and turn away from the thought of literally eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ. It’s cannibalism, they believe. If Christ were only human and not God Incarnate, perhaps they have a better argument but He is God. He is both totally Divine and totally human at the same time. Just as the consecrated host becomes fully Christ and fully bread at the same time. That’s the best explanation I have at the moment and I’m sure I’m not 100% correct theologically speaking. This is why it’s still considered a holy mystery.

God Bless you.

You have a good question. How can a communion/denomination claim that their doctrines and teachings are held accountable to scripture if Christ’s words in the upper room aren’t understood as He said them?

Starting at about page 36 of the linked PDF of the Lutheran Service Book, is the Liturgy of the Sacrament. Note what is said when someone receives the Eucharist:
“Take, eat; this is the true body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given into death for your sins.”

On the other hand, sola scriptura does not mean - “if it isn’t in the Bible, you can’t do it.”
The expectation that scripture must describe a celebration of Christmas, or Easter, or Pentecost, or All Saints Day, or any other festival of the Church year in order to celebrate any of these, is a misunderstanding of the practice of sola scriptura.


Most Protestants don’t follow the regulative principle.

Do you believe that if it isn’t in the Bible that it makes it acceptable for us to do? Or would u say we as humans can and have the right to decide what is and isn’t acceptable to God?

Although the Bible doesn’t say in direct words that we can’t celebrate birthdays, but the Bible’s direct references to birthdays are helpful in how true Christians should view them. It is significant that the only two direct references in the Bible to birthday celebrations (Pharaoh of Egypt and Herod Antipas) were remembered for executions and painted in a negative light. Since we as Christians imitate Christ it is also significant that the Bible never mentioned that Jesus - the greatest man who ever lived and all Christian’s exemplar - ever celebrated his birth, nor did the early Christians. Christians of the first century did not celebrate the festival honoring the birth of Jesus - for the same reason they honored no other birthday anniversary. It was the feeling at that time by ALL Christians that the celebration of all birthdays (even the Lords) was a custom of the PAGANS. In an effort to divorce themselves from ALL pagan practices, the early Christians refused to set aside a date marking Jesus’ birth. As a result, the first celebration of Christmas by Christians did not take place until the fourth century. The Jews themselves never celebrated birthdays until long after the death of Jesus. They considered it a purely pagan custom and detestable to the God they worshiped. Jesus and his Apostles continued this belief and so did their followers for centuries.

Thanks for the explanation I see where you coming from and it is a interesting analogy… Because if you read it like that it will seem as if Jesus says we must literally eat his flesh and drink his blood, but if you read the whole chapter and the see context of it you will notice that it has nothing to do with the communion of Christ or the eucharist, and like you say the reason why the Jews were shocked at the way Jesus was speaking is because they too took what Jesus said in a literal way, and they knew that if they literally ate his flesh and drank his blood that it would mean that Jesus and them would be breaking the law that God gave to Moses, like you said the Jews knew this. We also know that Jesus said that he didn’t come to abolish the law of Moses.
The diciples also took what Jesus said literally that’s why they were shocked at what he said like John 6:60 says - When they heard this, many of his disciples said: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”
Then Jesus asks them in verse 61 - But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were murmuring about this, said to them: “Does this stumble you?"
He then answers them in verse 63 and says - “It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
So based on that answer it’s clear that Jesus says he was speaking in a spiritual (figurative) sense and not a literal sense as believed by many christians today.

Like if it all is literal like Jesus says his flesh is real food then that would mean when Jesus says in verse 35 that “I am the bread of life” that Jesus is literally bread… That whole chapter is in a figurative sense.
Or how do you not believe Jesus words in verse 63 when he says its all spiritual and that the flesh is of no use at all?

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