The difference between Tradition and tradition

What is the difference between Tradition and ‘tradition’ and where do they meet?

Let me explain. It was Tradition for the Church to believe in the Assumption of Mary until, only relatively recently in Church history, it became a dogma. Other Traditions are to do with the non-ordainibility of women, rather than it being declared a dogma (see a recent Ask the Apologist reply).

Meanwhile one can also say that the tradition was to celebrate Mass in Latin in the Usus Antiquior but that THAT tradition has now changed to the Novus Ordo Mass as the version one would generally expect to find if you walked into any random Catholic church at Mass time.

So where does the dividing line lie?

At what point does a custom that has grown up become unchangeably part of our identity? Can a custom that has lasted, say, 500 years be changed at any point in the future? What about 1000 years? 1500? 2010 years? At what point does something go from a practical way of doing something or something which we are accustomed to believing without necessarily having had it defined formally to becoming part of the deposit of our faith?

Now I may think I know some of this, but I’m interested in what others think…

(Note that I’m not arguing for any specific changes to Tradition or tradition!)

Divine Tradition refers to the Deposit of Faith, something that was revealed in Public Revelation. As such, its source was either the teaching of Christ Himself or one of the Apostles.

Thus, Divine Tradition must be at least 1,900 years old (i.e. before the close of public revelation at the death of the last apostle).

Regular traditions refer to customs established by men. The difference is one of origin.

So your divine tradition is the same as what we call sacred scripture ie the canon
Does that include the apocrypha…Thanks…God bless

Yes, in a very real way, Divine Tradition is just like Sacred Scripture. Both are the the revealed Word of God. In one case, the Holy Spirit inspired writers to put the Word of God to paper, and in the other case, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostles to preach the Word of God and hand down Christ’s teachings.

Both Scripture and Divine Tradition are treated with equal dignity and authority by the Catholic Church.

The apocrypha books are not considered to be Divinely inspired, and hence are neither Scripture nor Tradition. However, if you were referring to the deutero-canonical books which most Protestants consider to be apocrypha, but are included in the Catholic canon of Scripture, then those 7 books are considered part of Scripture and not technically Divine Tradition.

Divine Tradition came before Sacred Scripture…when the Church, led by the Holy Spirit, had to discern which of the many scriptures that were around in the 3rd century were actually inspired…they looked to Divine Tradition. If the scriptures conflicted in any way with Divine Tradition, they were not considered inspired and thus not included in the Canon.

Divine Tradition is the oral teaching that Paul is referring to in 2Thess 2:15.

Thanks…“In one case, the Holy Spirit inspired writers to put the Word of God to paper, and in the other case” So this is what we know as the sacred scriptures, correct?

"the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostles to preach the Word of God and hand down Christ’s teachings.’

Are these different from the sacred scriptures"? Are they “oral” teaching from the original apostles? What are they…Thanks…Sorry to invade your thread but what you said piqued my interest…

mskejj,

Divine Tradition came before Sacred Scripture…when the Church, led by the Holy Spirit, had to discern which of the many scriptures that were around in the 3rd century were actually inspired…they looked to Divine Tradition. If the scriptures conflicted in any way with Divine Tradition, they were not considered inspired and thus not included in the Canon.

“came before” is exactly correct, so lest anyone else be confused on this point, I though I would clarify. Divine Tradition only covers the time between Christ’s birth and the death of the last Apostle (St. John around 100 AD). Since the Old Testament is Scripture, then clearly some Scripture came before Divine Tradition.

It is true, however, that the Scriptures are not “self-authenticating” in the sense that they do not specify which books are considered Scripture and which are not–which is kind of a big problem. Tradition is self-authenticating insofar as its method of transmission is more closely identified with the magisteriuim of the Church than is Sacred Scripture. Because of this, we say that Tradition comes first before Scripture in the order of knowledge. That is, we have to know Tradition before we can know what is exactly Scripture and what isn’t.

Yes.

"the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostles to preach the Word of God and hand down Christ’s teachings.’

Are these different from the sacred scriptures"? Are they “oral” teaching from the original apostles? What are they…Thanks…Sorry to invade your thread but what you said piqued my interest…

Yes, they are technically different from the Sacred Scriptures, and yes, they are the oral teachings of the Apostles–but specifically those teaching that were inspired. Since there is no exact written account of these teachings, the Church largely looks to the Church Fathers, those men who lived closest to or actually in Apostolic times and wrote about the Apostolic preaching, or from the liturgy, prayers, and practices established in the Early Church by the Apostles. Thus, if today someone asks if “Teaching X” is part of Divine Tradition or not, the firs thing to do is check the early historical sources and find out whether there is evidence that this was a teaching held by the Church in the earliest ages.

Jesus taught the whole Gospel only to His apostles.

Mk 4:34 “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”
Mt 13:11 "to you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven”.
John 15:15 “for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
So Jesus communicated “everything” to His apostles when He taught them the Gospel and He sent the Holy Spirit to teach them again and explain what He taught and to give them the power to remember all He taught.
Since it was taught by Jesus, and not written by Jesus, then we say that the entire Gospel was handed down to the apostles by Tradition.

  1. Jesus commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel. The Church teaches this Gospel “was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.”CCC 75
    Why is this Gospel that they preached and taught the source of ALL saving truth?
    Because in reference to the Gospel, Jesus taught everything to His apostles.

Since Jesus directly taught His Church “everything” then there is no doctrine of salvation the Church could have learned from scripture. If the Church had learned any doctrine of salvation from the Bible, then that would make Jesus a liar when He said He taught them “everything” and “all things”.

  1. Jesus said Salvation comes from believing the Gospel the apostles proclaimed. Jesus did not say salvation comes from reading the the four Gospels, which are the narratives of the life of Jesus.
    Jesus did not say salvation comes from believing the scriptures, or reading scripture, or by studying the scripture, but only by believing the Gospel the apostles proclaimed.
    Again scripture is a witness to this.
    “He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16

Now, we cannot reduce this Gospel to a few verses, because Jesus spent three years teaching His apostles and the Holy Spirit taught them “all things”. It was so much that He had to send the Holy Spirit to "bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

  1. This full and living Gospel was handed down entirely in Tradition.
    The Church teaches in the Catechism:

    “In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority.” Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.” This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, “the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.” CCC 78

The “full and living Gospel” is handed down entirely in Tradition. Thus, “all that she believes” is handed down entirely in Tradition, not scripture.

The Catechism continues.
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”
CCC 81

Again, scripture is a witness to this. First, Jesus commanded His apostles to preach this Gospel that they learned from Him. He did not command them to write the Gospel they learned from Him. Second, the apostles had to take Jesus as an example. Since Jesus did not write a word of scripture when He taught the Gospel, the apostles had to follow His example and also proclaim the Gospel without writing a word of scripture. And since Jesus taught them EVERYTHING, they had to teach their successors EVERYTHING.

There is not a single book of the Bible, not a single chapter of the Bible that claims to be a summary of this Gospel that the apostles taught and preached. Therefore we cannot learn it from reading the bible. It must be proclaimed by the Church.

As the Catechism teaches:
“How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?” No one - no individual and no community - can proclaim the Gospel to himself: “Faith comes from what is heard.” CCC 875

So faith comes from what is heard, no one can learn the Gospel by studying scripture.
Later on the Holy Spirit moved some apostles and apostolic men to write the narratives of the life of Jesus, the four Gospels. The Church teaches that “The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on…”1

These narratives of the life of Jesus are also called “Gospels” because they contain certain of the many elements of the “full and living Gospel”, but they do not claim to be a summary of the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.

So what was the content of this Gospel the apostles taught and preached?
Since Jesus said salvation comes from believing this Gospel, we must know the content of this Gospel.
Now, even an atheist can know exactly the content of this Gospel the apostles taught, even though they never wrote it. It is easy, all we have to do is learn the teachings the early Christians learned from the apostles. If we read what they wrote, we notice that they all believed in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the mass, prayers to the saints in heaven, the authority of the Church, etc. In other words, the early Christians who learned directly from the apostles believed the same teachings the Church teaches today. In other words, the early Christians who learned from the apostles were all Catholic. So the Gospel the apostles taught was the Catholic faith.

And when they taught this faith, there was so much to teach, they simply organized it in the form of the Creed, the Sacraments, the Commandments and Prayer. That is why Catechisms are arranged this way. In other words, the Catechisms simply present the Oral Gospel, (Tradition) that the apostles handed down and taught.
Of course, there is a deeper penetration into what has been revealed as time goes on, but as this is done with the aid of the Holy Spirit, this also becomes part of Tradition.

Wow that interesting…So then Catholics have a set of oral and the Orthodox must have a similar set…So these are not inspired correct? I know some of the ecf’s can have some varied opinions supporting one thing in one spot and saying something different in another…I do find it interesting Catholics using one Father saying something for their support and an Orthodox using the same ecf for their point…thank you…How can you know they are divine if they are apart from sacred scriptures?

Scripture and Sacred Tradition are two sides of the same coin, since Christ revealed Himself to His Apostles, who preached the Gospel, some of which was written down. The Catholic ethos is so ingrained in the Fathers to interpret in light of Tradition that it probably didn’t even occur to them that anyone would question the point, so alien is the concept of Sola Scriptura.

We have to be careful on what inspired means.
Inspired only refers to what is written. Inspired means God moved men to write what He wanted written and only what He wanted written.

But the word of God covers more than what is inspired.
For example, the Gospel that Jesus taught and preached was not inspired, because He did not write anything. He handed it down entirely by Tradition. But, it was the Word of God, because He is God.

The teachings He taught His Church are not inspired, since they were taught and not written, but, they are the word of God. Thus all the teachings that the apostles handed down and organized in the form of the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and prayer, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, since they were taught and not written by God are not inspired, but, they ARE the Word of God.

The two most important distinctions is that ALL the teachings of Jesus are handed down ONLY in Tradition, that is, He taught the apostles everything, regarding the Gospel. (john 15:15) Only certain elements of that Tradition were written in the Gospels.
The second disctinction is that Jesus said salvation comes from believing the Gospel the apostles taught and preached. (mark 16:15-16) 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Thus salvation (liberation from our sins) comes from believing the Tradition the Church hands down, from hearing the Word of God, in Tradition that is taught and preached. It cannot come from reading.

St. Paul says the same thing.
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.“ 1 Corinthians 15:1-3*(NIV)

Thus, the bible is a witness to the teaching that Salvation come from believing what is** taught and preached** (handed down in Tradition), it cannot come from reading Scripture.
Why is this?

Because Scripture is basically salvation history. A history of God’s intervention amoung His people. This history does have some teachings mixed in, but not complete, not organized for teaching as in a catechism, for it is history. The Gospels are narratives of the life of Jesus, they are NOT the organized teachings of Jesus.

The Gospel the apostles taught and preached, and organized into the form of the Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and Prayer, and handed down as the Catholic Faith, are the teaching form of the Gospel, with a little salvation history thrown in. They were intended from the outset to be the teachings of salvation. They were not intended to be anything else. In Matthew Jesus told the apostles, “Teach them to observe ALL that I have commanded you”.
So the apostles were commanded to teach, not write, what Jesus taught and did not write. And they had to follow the example of Jesus. Since Jesus taught and did not write His Gospel, they had to teach and not write the Gospel. The Catechism presents this Gospel. It is not inspired, just as the Gospel that Jesus taught was not inspired. But since the teachings come from God, then all the teachings in it that are presented as coming from God are the Word of God.
Later on the Holy Spirit moved some men to write the New Testament, which is salvation history of the life of Jesus and the early Church. It nowhere, not in any book, chapter or verse claims to be the Gospel that the Apostles and St. Paul taught and preached, and which was so extensive that Jesus had to sent the Holy Spirit to teach the apostles “all things” and to remind them of all that He taught them.
Why do we call the four Gospels of the bible “Gospels” even though no where do they claim to present the entire Gospel the apostles learned from Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Because they present the life of Jesus, and from the example of His life we also learn to know Jesus and how He wants us to live. So while we can only learn the Gospel from Tradition, from what the Church teaches and preaches, the Church teaches that we learn to know God also through the knowledge of His life and actions on this earth. Thus, the Church teaches, not to know scripture is not to know Christ.

In Scripture we learn salvation history, and knowledge of the life of Jesus.
In Tradition we learn the ALL the teachings of the Gospel that the Church learned from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

So you see why Protestants, or anyone, cannot learn the Gospel by reading scripture.
For example, they have no idea what Jesus meant when He said, “This is My body”
They can guess, speculate, study and propose, but they do not know what He meant.
This is because scripture was not intended to teach doctrine, but only salvation history and the life of Jesus, and it was intended to be a “witness” to the teachings, to “nourish” the teachings and to “illuminate” the teachings of the Gospel that the Church learned directly from God.

Only in Tradition are the teachings of the Gospel handed down entirely and in a form in which God intended us to learn. And it is only through the teaching authority of His Church that the Holy Spirit preserves these teachings without error.

It is through Sacred Tradition (of course) that we have Holy Scripture. It is interesting for me to think back to around 300AD. There was no canon of the Bible, just many writings (including heretical ones). The idea of Sola Scriptura doesn’t seem to address the Christians and faith of that time. I image people then thought “Christianity has lasted for hundreds of years and will exist for hundreds more!” All without the notion of the Bible.

Then, the concept would seem to say (Catholic) Pope St. Damasus, together with numerous (Catholic) councils, decided the complete deposit of faith would be only that which was written! (I imagine the Church of that time would find this completely bizarre.) Maybe they just didn’t know that is what they were doing? Except they got it wrong and it had to be fixed by Martin Luther over a thousand years later. It must have needed fixing and he alone had the authority to do that (all the Protestant denominations apparently agree). OK, I am exaggerating (only slightly) to make a point.

I was a lifelong Lutheran until recently and never gave this much thought. Sola Scriptura is so untenable on the face of it. I like Cardinal John Newman’s quote: “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

Divine Tradition is inspired in its content and original transmission. Since it is not written down in an unalterable way, however, it is not considered inspired in its later transmission.

It is true that some of the Church Fathers differ on several points. The Church Fathers are used as evidence of what the original teaching was, but are not themselves considered infallible unless they are unanimous.

Catholics know that Divine Tradition is of Divine origin because the Church says that it is ultimately. This is also true of Scripture. We only know that it is of Divine origin because the Church says so. How do we know that the Church is correct? Historical evidence verifies the Church’s historical claims and the presense of miracles throughout the Church’s history have attested to her Divine foundation. This only makes sense because the only way to verify a claim of supernatural origin is through supernatural evidence. (I use miracles in the technical sense of those events which interrupt the laws of physics and in themselves claim Divine authorship–in other words, it is a fairly rigorous definition).

dcdurel,

We have to be careful on what inspired means.
Inspired only refers to what is written. Inspired means God moved men to write what He wanted written and only what He wanted written.

This actually is not entirely correct. I use the term inspiration very carefully in fact. It was the Council of Trent which infallibly stated that Tradition is inspired. Session IV, Decree on the Canonical Scriptures:

The council is aware that this truth and teaching are contained in written books and in the unwritten traditions that the apostles received from Christ himself or that were handed on, as it were from hand to hand, from the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and so have come down to us.

The original Latin phrase is actually *Spiritu Sancto dictante *which literally means “dictated by the Holy Spirit”.

I wrote my Theology thesis on this topic, so would be more than happy to explain it at length.

The two most important distinctions is that ALL the teachings of Jesus are handed down ONLY in Tradition, that is, He taught the apostles everything, regarding the Gospel. (john 15:15) Only certain elements of that Tradition were written in the Gospels.

This is certainly not defined by the Church. Many theologians hold that there is no teaching in Tradition which is not also in Scripture. While I tend to agree that Tradition is more comprehensive, it is also possible that there are truths in Scripture not found in Tradition. The best example I can think of is the Books of Revelation. It is not clear whether St. John explained his vision orally to anyone or whether the written text was the most comprehensive transmission.

Now that I would definitely agree with…These are Catholic theologians, correct…Do you know if the Orthodox believe the same…Thank you…

Hey if you don’t mind a rabbit trail question…I’m in a thread with another of your Catholic brethren on works…We both agree works should flow from a maturing believer…But he keeps telling me those works are belief, repentance and confession…I tell him that that is God’s working in us through the Holy Spirit’s working and a part of all believers growth and not the works James and Jesus are talking about…I show him where right after James talks about works he gives and example of feeding someone hungry…Jesus mentions the same thing in Matthew
about our ministering to those around us…I try to show this guy this and he’s telling me I blind and don’t have understanding…Would you mind commenting on that…I won’t follow up on your comment so as to not take the thread out of course…

Thanks for the information on inspired. But I was not speaking of people being inspired to do something, but instead, what form of God’s word is inspired. Does the Church teach God’s word is inspired, other than scripture? Does the Church ever teach Tradition is inspired? I can understand how we can say the apostles were inspired to teach something, but still, does that Church call that teaching inspired teaching. And, even if it did, does that make it any different from Tradition handed down that was not inspired? Since Tradition is the word of God, how does it make any difference if that Tradition was the result of inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or if that Tradition was simply the loving obedience of the apostles handing on the word of God. It is the same word of God.
The point I am trying to make is that the word of God does not have to be inspired to be the word of God. Everthing Jesus said was the word of God, the Gospel He handed down was the word of God, but the Church no where defines His teachings as inspired. They don’t have to be inspired. They are already the word of God.

I wrote:
“The two most important distinctions is that ALL the teachings of Jesus are handed down ONLY in Tradition, that is, He taught the apostles everything, regarding the Gospel. (john 15:15) Only certain elements of that Tradition were written in the Gospels.”

Katholish wrote:

This is certainly not defined by the Church. Many theologians hold that there is no teaching in Tradition which is not also in Scripture. While I tend to agree that Tradition is more comprehensive, it is also possible that there are truths in Scripture not found in Tradition. The best example I can think of is the Books of Revelation. It is not clear whether St. John explained his vision orally to anyone or whether the written text was the most comprehensive transmission.

I hold to what I wrote. But, notice I wrote all the teachings of Jesus, not all the teachings of the Holy Spirit. I limited it to the teachings of Jesus, because Jesus came for a specific reason, to proclaim the Gospel. The bible itself, while it leads to the Gospel, and references back to the Gospel, has more truths than the Gospel, but not more important truths than the Gospel. No truth is more important than the truths Jesus handed down in the Gospel, that is, the Catholic faith. For example, how many choirs of angels exist was probably not taught by Jesus to the apostles, and not fully handed down in Tradition, because it certainly could not be called a “saving truth” or “Gospel truth”. Thus, it is necessary to study scripture to learn the full extent of this truth. If this is not a good example, I sure you could think of others. Thus, of course their are truths in scripture, not found in Tradition. But, not “saving truths”. But the Gospel truths are complete ONLY in Tradition. Thus, all the teachings about the Eucharist are handed down in Tradition. Certainly all the teachings of the Eucharist are NOT handed down in Scripture, because the explanations about the Eucharist in scripture are entirely missing. Can we find parts of those teachings of Tradition, regarding the Eucharist in scripture. Of course. But, only parts, no explanations. Can we show how scripture is in accord with the teachings of Tradition. Of course. But, scripture is still incomplete, there are NO explanations, no direct explicit teachings about the Eucharist in scripture. And if the explicit teachings of the Eucharist are missing from Scripture, than scripture is incomplete, whereas Tradition is complete. Of course, even all Gospel truths in Tradition are not entirely explicit. BUT, the Church teaches with the help of the Holy Spirit, there is deeper penetration into this Tradition. And these teachings resulting of this deeper penetration are still the word of God, they become part of Tradition, since they come from Tradition and are elucidated with the guidence the Holy Spirit.

 And again, salvation comes from believing the preached and taught Gospel that was handed down in Tradition.  Salvation does not come from learning the bible, studying the bible, memorizing the bible, etc. The bible may lead one to the Church, from which one can then learn the truths of salvation,  but no one can learn the truths of salvation from the bible.  Heck the bible does not even define "saved" or "salvation."  Which is why most Catholics and Protestants believe that Jesus came **primarily **so we can go to heaven.  This is a heresy.  Look up my other posts on salvation within the last week for an explanation.  

The Church does teach clearly in the Catechism, that the "all saving truth" is handed down in Tradition.  The Church also teaches in the Catechism that "all she believes" is handed down in Tradition.   The scripture verses are witnesses to those teachings. 

The historical events in scripture will never  contain new doctrines concerning our salvation. Are religious truths found in scripture, that are not found in Tradition.   Of course.  We can even say that so and so was a relative of so and so, as the Old Testament points out, and which was never handed down in Tradition.  After all, Tradition certainly cannot hand down a **detailed account of salvation history.**  Only the bible can do that.     But, these accounts could not be counted as a "saving truths" in the narrow sense of the word.   But, they will not be new "saving truth" or "Gospel truths", or basic teachings of our faith.

dcdurel,

Does the Church teach God’s word is inspired, other than scripture? Does the Church ever teach Tradition is inspired? I can understand how we can say the apostles were inspired to teach something, but still, does that Church call that teaching inspired teaching. And, even if it did, does that make it any different from Tradition handed down that was not inspired? Since Tradition is the word of God, how does it make any difference if that Tradition was the result of inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or if that Tradition was simply the loving obedience of the apostles handing on the word of God. It is the same word of God.

Yes, the Church teaches that Tradition is the inspired Word of God. Inspiration doesn’t simply mean that something was done at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but that the actual content is of Divine origin through a human author or speaker. If something is inspired, it is the Word of God, if something is the Word of God tranmitted through men, then it is inspired.

Perhaps making a distinction between active and passive tradition will help. Tradition literally refers to a handing over, but if you think about it, tradition can refer to two things–the actual act of handing something over or the content/object that is handed over. When we speak of Divine Tradition being inspired, we are referring to objective tradition, that is, the actual content handed down which is the Word of God. Active tradition, however, is not inspired–but is infallible. Active tradition is essentially the role of the Church’s Magisterium.

But, notice I wrote all the teachings of Jesus, not all the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

I suppose I would withdraw my objection based on that clarification. However, if we are talking about “saving truths” and not all revealed truths, then I would argue that all saving truths are found in the Scripture as well as Tradition and would reject that statement that all saving truths are ONLY found in Tradition. You said that there are no direct teachings about the Eucharist in Scripture, but I am afraid that is manifestly false. The institution of the Eucharist is clearly portrayed in the Gospels and John’s discourse on the Bread of Life in Chapter 6 doesn’t leave much room for doubt.

Why does the the Word of God, transmitted through men, have to be inspired?
If I, as a religion teaches, teach a class of children that Jesus is both God and man, is that the Holy Spirit moving me to teach what He wants taught and only what he wants taught, or is that simply me obeying God’s command to hand down His teachings that He handed down to the apostles. The Tradition that I hand on is the Word of God. But, the Holy Spirit is certainly not moving me to teach what He wants taught and only what He wants taught. I have to make that decision myself.

Notice Vatican II
9. “Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth, they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known.”

The Church teaches that Sacred Scripture is inspired. The Church does not call Tradition “inspired”.
I think the difference is that the content of Tradition comes from Jesus. Thus from the beginning we know it is the Word of God. Then it was public knowledge that Jesus chose the apostles and sent them to proclaim His word. Thus, the people knew what the fisherman and non-scholars learned came from Jesus, and thus what they taught was the Word of God, and they all taught the same thing.
But, with scripture, there is no way for certain to know if writing was the Word of God. For there were many writings that people claimed to be scripture and only some of those were chosen by the Church. And not all writings could be rejected because of some error. Some writings had no errors. It is ONLY through the authority of the Church, based on apostolic Tradition, that we know what is inspired and what is not inspired. The definition that the writings are inspired were made so that we could know what definitely was the Word of God.
With Tradition, at the beginning there was’t this problem. Because all the apostles handed on and taught the same teachings, anyone could know what the word of God was. It was only later as some teachings began to be denied that The Church had to use her authority to clearly define which teachings came down from the apostles or which teachings followed from what they taught.

So again, I still have not found a single Church teaching the defines Tradition as inspired.  The reason the Church defines scripture as inspired, is because their is no way at all to know if it the word of God unless the Church defines it as inspired. 

I think some Catholics believe that only what is inspired is the Word of God.
That is absolutely false. The Gospel Jesus taught and preached was not inspired. It was certainly the Word of God. The teachings the apostles handed down and taught to the people, and to their successors, the bishops of the Catholic Church, were not inspired, but they were and are certainly the Word of God. The Gospel that St. Paul taught and preached was certainly the Word of God. But, no where does the Church define it as inspired.

And again, Jesus said salvation comes from believing the Gospel the apostles taught and preached, that is, handed down in Tradition. No where does Jesus say salvation comes from believing the inspired writings of scripture.

When we speak of Divine Tradition being inspired, we are referring to objective tradition, that is, the actual content handed down which is the Word of God. Active tradition, however, is not inspired–but is infallible. Active tradition is essentially the role of the Church’s Magisterium.

Where does the Church define the actual content of Divine Tradition as being inspired? I can find it no where in Church teachings.

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