Two birds with one stone (passage) - Word of God and Tradition


#1

Hi all,
I’m having bible studies with a Presbyterian friend (ex-Catholic) and after reading through John 1 we both agreed that the Word mentioned from 1-5 is Jesus. To further consolidate this point I mentioned how the Word was translated from the Greek word Logos and did a bit of explaining and research together.

I was actually really surprised that we could agree on this: a couple weeks before he used John 1 as evidence for his argument that ‘THE BIBLE IS ENOUGH’ and at the time I didn’t know how to respond which was quite a shame. I was also happy we could gain a deeper understand of Jesus’ importance via looking at connections in Genesis 1.

When I took a toilet break and came back, he (unfortunately) began to question whether the Word that is being referred to also means the bible. He believed these were equal or meant the same thing and drew a triangle diagram with Jesus, The Word and Bible at each point. I explained how Jesus cannot = bible. His rationale (not perfectly described here) was that if the bible is centered around Christ and it’s purpose is to explain our salvation through Him, then the bible is the Word. It was confusing logic to me and he in turn regarded my logic as confusing.

This was my logic:
The ‘Word’ used in the bible doesn’t always mean the same thing: it can refer to Jesus (John 1) or scripture (words written down and inspired by the Holy Spirit). Somehow we ended up on the major implication of the bible NOT being enough and that tradition is needed.

In explaining tradition I mentioned how the new testament canon was not formed until around 300 AD. I also pointed to the fact that things were said and done that were not recorded in the bible (end of John).

THE BIG WORRY: I then asked my friend if he would refer to the words that Jesus said as the ‘Word of God’ since He spoke using words and is God. He said yes. Then I said something along the lines of well there you have it, the bible isn’t the only source of the ‘Word of God’. He said that was HERESY!

Was I wrong here! Was that heretical? It actually got me a little scared :eek:

We plan to go through more of John as well as explore the concept of Christian tradition.
I purposely described the gist of our discussion so you could critique or give advice for the future (PLEASE GIVE ME ANY FEEDBACK :D). I feel like I’ve come a long way in a short period of time doing apologetics. I’m being as loving as possible whilst relying on God (not me) to change hearts. Hope, Faith and Love. Thanks to those who read the whole thing.

God bless and HAPPY EASTER!!!


#2

You and your friend sound like you are having a great discussion.

One question though - If the only possible source of ‘the Word of God’ is the Bible, then doesn’t that put the Bible above the living God?


#3

John 1:1 says "… the Word was God
Does he really think a book/Bible is God?
Does he then prostrate himself before his Bible and worship it since it’s God?


#4

We venerate the written Revalation of Sacred Scripture as we do the Lord’s body. Meaning we are to ‘consume’ the written Tradition into our hearts. It has the seal of the Holy Spirit as its author, through the individual saints in the founding Church, and also Confirmed through the Pope and Magisterium as Canon.

Tradition is two fold… Written and Oral. So the written Word is part of Tradition.

Jesus is the ‘one’ Word of God. The Word is the expression of God to man. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. While there is a completeness in the (72 books) of Sacred Scripture, it still lacks the ability to give, in and of itself, full Communion of Jesus. This requires the Eucharist, which is given to the apostolic Church Christ instituted. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit together constitute completeness of God. Receiving the Eucharist in a pure heart before God is obeying the Word of God in fullness.

Peace
Michael


#5

This sentence is misleading; it gives the impression we honor Scripture in the same way that we adore Our Lord in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus Himself, so we adore the Holy Eucharist. We do not adore the Bible even tho it contains God’s word.Moreover the Catholic Church has held on to this faith in the presence in the Eucharist of the Body and Blood of Christ, not only in her teaching but also in her practice, since she has at all times given to this great Sacrament the worship which is known as Latria and which may be given to God alone.
newadvent.org/library/docs_pa06mf.htm


#6

I did a little digging, and I see your statement says about the same as Dei Verbum – which is obviously authoritative!!!
21. The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles…
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html

However, until I can be shown different, I say the Church does not offer the type of veneration called “latria” to a Bible. Perhaps “dulia” - I don’t know. Haven’t been able to find anything yet.
Help anyone?


#7

If you do a Bible search on the word “word”, you’ll find it’s used quite often in the NT Scripture — but it is capitalized only 5 times:

4 times in Chapter 1 of John’s gospel (verses 1 & 14)
vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/4J_2.HTM

and

1 time in the Book of Revelation
vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/4J_3.HTM
(Rev. 19:13 He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.)

I would say that in those five cases, where “Word” is capitalized, it refers only to the person of Jesus and not the words spoken by Him or the contents of all of Sacred Scripture.


#8

Boom! That’s a good point :slight_smile:

So can we conclude that each time the bible uses the capital W for the ‘Word’, these are the instances where Jesus = Word?

Thats what I was trying to get at. He didn’t understand what he was implying. It might have something to do with his notion of THE BIBLE IS ENOUGH. And if we say its not the ONLY source of divine revelation, it doesn’t fit his belief structure.

On that note what ARE the sources of divine revelation? Is it only written tradition (bible), spoken tradition (prayers and traditions like the Eucharist), and modern revelation like in the case of St Faustina? Have I missed out on other sources? Are my sources wrong?

Thanks to all the replies :slight_smile:


#9

Modern or private revelations would not be included what the Church means by the term "divine revelation. “Divine Revelation” would include only Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
"The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_PH.HTM

You might like to read the whole section on divine revelation. It starts at Paragraph 50.


#10

No, we certainly do NOT do any such thing!!!

While I appreciate the reverence you are trying to show to Scripture, the comparison is simply wrong. The Eucharist IS Jesus Christ: , body, blood, soul, and divinity. The Bible is designed to teach about God, but is not itself God. Because the Eucharist is God Almighty, we may show it divine honors. Any copy of the bible, however, remains nothing more than paper and ink. It is erroneous to say that any book is equally deserving of honor as God Himself.


#11

No. There were no capital letters in Greek at the time the New Testament was written. Any decisions about capitalization or punctuation are those made by modern editors, and their choices are certainly NOT divinely inspired!


#12

Myself and Pope Francis do…:wink:

Peace
Michael


#13

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

141 “The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord” (DV 21): both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105; cf. Isa 50:4).

Some Catholics and Protestants alike should know the importance of Scripture.

Peace
Michael


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.