Thursday, January 08, 2009

25 Short Biblical Arguments For the Binding Authority of Tradition

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1. The bottom line is not “tradition vs. no tradition,” but rather, “true, apostolic tradition vs. false traditions of men.”

2. Tradition can't be separated from the Bible; that would be like trying to separate hydrogen atoms from a water molecule.

3. I became a Catholic largely because Protestant innovations were merely the inventions of men. They had no pedigree in Church history, and thus, no reason to be accepted. [BCO, 113; modified]

4. Who determines which teachings are "traditions of men" and how? And why should we value their opinions or heed their authority more so than the venerable Fathers of the Church? [BCO, 113]

5. What we need to establish is: why is anything and everything that may have been passed down by the apostles, to be regarded as intrinsically questionable simply because it is not inspired Scripture?

6. If God can use sinners to write an inspired Bible, certainly He can use sinful men to proclaim infallible teachings in Tradition, as that is merely a protection from error, not a positive quality of inspiration.

7. Most early heresies (e.g., Monophysitism and Arianism), believed in sola Scriptura, and the Church refuted them by the method of “Bible-as-interpreted-by-apostolic-Tradition,” within the framework of apostolic succession. [BCO, 80; modified]

8. Jesus contrasts human tradition with the word of God in Mark 7:13, but that word of God is not only not restricted to the written Bible, but even identical to Divine Tradition, once one does some straightforward comparative exegesis.

9. The Bible points to an authoritative tradition and an authoritative Church (even to a papacy). It has apostolic succession; it has infallible councils. It has authoritative bishops. It's all in there. Catholicism is biblical: far more than any form of Protestantism.

10. Peter in Acts 2, in his sermon in the Upper Room, and in other recorded sermons, gave an authoritative New Covenant interpretation of salvation history. It was binding before it became "inscripturated," because it was from an apostle.

11. It is ludicrous to assume sola Scriptura, and then contend that the apostles always intended for subsequent Christian teaching after their deaths to be by the written word in the Bible alone, and never by oral or Church tradition, for the simple reason that this is never taught in Scripture.

12. When Peter interpreted Old Testament Scripture messianically and "Christianly," in the Upper Room (as recorded in Acts 2), his word was just as authoritative and inspired as when it was set down in writing later. Throughout the book of Acts we see St. Peter and St. Paul exercising apostolic authority and preaching, not handing out Bibles.

13. The Bible itself speaks explicitly of both a true divine, "received" Tradition and of the binding authority of the universal, institutional Church, and the very canon (the "stuff") of the Bible was authoritatively determined by the Church. Therefore, the three interrelated concepts cannot be separated, any more than can the three dimensions of a cube. [PRO, 9]

14. The Church Fathers always appealed not solely to Holy Scripture, but to the history of doctrine and apostolic succession, which for them was the clincher and coup de grace, in arguments against the heretics. Groups such as the Arians, on the other hand, believed in Scripture Alone, precisely because they couldn't trace their late-arriving doctrines back past Arius (d.c. 336). [PRO, 14-15]

15. Jesus rejects only corrupt, human, Pharisaic tradition (paradosis: Mt 15:3,6, Mk 7:8-9,13), not Tradition per se, so this might be thought to be an indirect espousal of true apostolic Tradition. This is also the case with Paul in Colossians 2:8. The New Testament explicitly cites oral tradition in Matthew 2:23, 23:2, 1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 3:19, and Jude 9, in support of doctrine, and also elsewhere (2 Tim 3:8, Jas 5:17, Mt 7:12). [BCO, 87]

16. Scripture is unique, but it itself refers to an authoritative apostolic Tradition, which is not identical to itself (e.g., Jn 21:25; 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 2:2; 2 Pet 2:21). Apostolic Tradition and Scripture are harmonious, but they are not identical, and that being the case, sola Scriptura is demonstrated to be untrue. It's as simple as that, but there are many other deficiencies in it as well. [BCO, 12]

17. Tradition, like the Bible, or Word of God, is also presented as immutable in Holy Scripture (in the sense that all truth is immutable), since it is spoken of as delivered "once and for all" to the saints (Jude 3). Likewise, 2 + 2 = 4 stands forever. So does a = a, and the theory of gravity (as long as this present universe exists). Every created soul, for that matter, "stands forever," as they will never cease being. The preached gospel stood forever as truth before it was ever encapsulated in the Bible. [PRO, 15]

18. I've often noted how, in a single night of discussion, Jesus or Paul or other apostles passing along what they learned from Our Lord, could have easily spoken more words than we have in the entire New Testament. It's fallacious to think that none of that had any effect on subsequent teaching (even Bible writing) of these same apostles and disciples. One can remember encounters like this with extraordinary people for a lifetime: at least the main ideas, if not all particulars.

19. Jesus Himself followed the Pharisaical tradition. He adopted the Pharisaical stand on controversial issues (Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:17), accepted the oral tradition of the academies, observed the proper mealtime procedures (Mark 6:56, Matthew 14:36) and the Sabbath, and priestly regulations (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:4). Jesus' condemnations were directed towards the Pharisees of the school of Shammai, whereas Jesus was closer to the school of Hillel.

20. A prophet's inspired utterance was indeed the word of the Lord, but it obviously was not written as it was spoken! Most if not all prophecy was first oral proclamation, but it was just as binding and inspired as oral revelation, as it was in later written form (i.e., those prophecies which were finally recorded -- surely there were more). In this sense truly inspired prophecies are precisely analogous to the proclamation of the gospel, or kerygma, by the apostles.

21. Protestants will acknowledge (often when pressed) that oral forms were "authoritative" before Scripture was compiled. But then, where in Scripture are we ever informed that oral tradition is to altogether cease after the canon is established? I agree that these oral transmissions do not detract from Scripture itself, but then I believe that legitimate (not corrupt or Pharisaical) tradition, whether oral or written, is consistent with Scripture – that they are two sides of a coin. [BCO, 26; modified]

22. Many Protestants axiomatically assume the (false) premise that the Bible precludes tradition. Therefore, they reason that in the opposite scenario of Tradition being present and authoritative, the Bible therefore necessarily becomes unnecessary. But that is no more true or biblical than its logical opposite. We crush this false dilemma by asserting that the Bible itself presupposes both tradition and the written revelation (as well as the Church) as normative at all times, and not in any way, shape, or form opposed to each other at all. [PRO, 15]

23. The apostolic deposit is not "secondary" material. It was received from Jesus, passed on to the apostles and in turn passed down by them. It expands upon what we know from Scripture, and is just as valid (in terms of truth, though not inspiration). True, one must determine precisely what constitutes the Tradition. That's ultimately the job of the Church. Truth doesn't have to always be in the Bible itself to be authoritative. It has to be apostolic and to have always been held implicitly or explicitly by the Church universal. What is apostolic always is in fact harmonious with biblical teachings. [BCO, 53]

24. There are a multitude of allusions and direct citations of the "deuterocanonical" (or so-called "apocryphal") books in the New Testament. Since Protestants consider these non-inspired and thus not part of the Bible, to authoritatively cite them is, from their perspective, citing a purely non-biblical tradition. But Jesus and the Bible writers do this quite often, which goes to show that there is a much larger Christian tradition, than the Bible Alone (i.e., the latter as defined by Protestants, who deny that the deuterocanon is Scripture; for us, it is citing of Scripture, which is no problem at all).

25. A) All true tradition = Scripture.

B) Our preliminary adopted true tradition: A (upon which we base our overall notion of tradition, and which serves as our primary definition) is not found in Scripture.

C) But then it must be a false tradition, because it fails to meet its own (non-reasoned) assumed criterion of being in Scripture, which is tradition.

D) A false, self-defeating tradition clearly cannot be the basis of all true tradition.

E) Therefore the result that flows from an already self-defeating preliminary principle is itself self-defeating and therefore false.

F) Ergo, A must be rejected as irrational and self-contradictory.

SOURCES

Armstrong, Dave, Bible Conversations: Catholic-Protestant Dialogues on the Bible, Tradition, and Salvation [BCO], Lulu, 2007.

Armstrong, Dave, Protestantism: Critical Reflections of an Ecumenical Catholic [PRO], Lulu, 2007.

8 comments:

Selah said...

1. The bottom line is not “tradition vs. no tradition,” but rather, “true, apostolic tradition vs. false traditions of men.”

Exactly! Right on! The RCC is the latter.

2. Tradition can't be separated from the Bible; that would be like trying to separate hydrogen atoms from a water molecule.

Yes it can, as you stated above: "False traditions of men, like the RCC, CAN and MUST be separated from the Bible.


3. I became a Catholic largely because Protestant innovations were merely the inventions of men. They had no pedigree in Church history, and thus, no reason to be accepted. [BCO, 113; modified]

Nonsense! This is merely an ad hoc. man-contrived response to the unanswerable history-validated departure of the RCC from the true deposit of faith. I also wonder what personal hurt you may experienced as an "evangelical" that may have contributed to your rejection of evangelical truth as a way of getting at other "evangelicals" with whom you were displeased? Such faulty reasoning as yours for rejecting those who hold to "sola Scriptura" for "sola RC Ecclesia."

Maroun said...

Selah,could you plz tell us when did the catholic church departed from the true deposit of faith?which year?which century?because we could show you and demonstrate to you and to every protestant that everything the church fathers taught and believed and fought in the first,second third and fourth and fifth century is still taught believed and fought for in the catholic church.
So plz very kindly illuminate us and show us the truth...But if you dont have an answer from tradition and the church fathers,then plz stop your false accusations. Because this is exactly what the protestants have,false ignorant accusations...
I am very sorry if i am a bit rude,but we are sick and tired of the false accusers of the brethren like you are.So plz prove us wrong and show us and tell us when did the catholic church departed from the true deposit of faith and what are your proofs?And i insist on having names of the church fathers and the year and the things which they taught which according to you were orthodox and the catholic church refused them and rebuked them and followed the traditions of men as you claim?
But let me tell you in advance,you wont find anything,because all you have are false accusations,so plz prove me wrong .
GBU

Selah said...

You are following your teachers quite well, demanding exact time for something that you know quite well was a progressive "departure" from the Apostolic Gospel that began even pre-RCC establishment: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” Gal. 1.6-9 NAS95S

The RCC embraced and crystallized the "another gospel" Paul did not preach by "infallibly" determining that one is only "finally" saved by what they do, not what Christ has done. This arrogant changing of the ontos of divine justification turned the truth of God into a lie." Want proof? Read your own history and ad hoc attempts to justify this false doctrine by adding other non-biblical ones. Demanding that I produce this historic "commonly known" truth is a straw man defense in light of the abundant evidence.

My, my, what a beautiful "intellectual" defense: "false IGNORANT accusations." Wow! I'm frightened out of my wits - and oh, so very much intimidated and influenced by your brilliance. You accuse me of being a "protestant." Did I tell you that? Perhaps I am Orthodox. Actually I'm not, however, I do not bear a name that the RCC has placed upon all who reject their false teachings. If you want to label me, then I'm a "BC - Biblical Catholic," meaning that I am a part of the true ONE universal church that has its foundation in and upon Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

"I am very sorry if i am a bit rude,but we are sick and tired of the false accusers of the brethren like you are." Right back at you!

I will not take your bait to make a listing of all the man-made traditions and erroneous doctrines the RCC has developed over the centuries. These only lead to "wranglings about man-mad philosophies that lead to further argumentations." I will give you but two that once and for all underline its departure from the CORE teaching of the Gospel as deposited by the Apostles:
1. The RCC teaches that it has "supreme teaching authority" CCC - 443. and that in spite of the mounting opposition to that teaching taking place within its own ranks at this time, hence, in CCC-2039, it is emphasized that its definition of RCism is the only one that counts! So much for RC "uniformity of doctrine"!!!!
This claim to "Papal nfallibility of teaching" - via Bishops, Cardinals or Magisterium: CCC-108,113,119 - rests on the other insupportable claims of Peter being the first Pope and the unbroken succession of Apostles through Popes - some whom have actually being anathamized by the RCC and others who rejected the claim of infallibility! Now, if I have to give you names and dates for these - YOU are the one who does not know your history!

The Bible however, makes it clear that it is the unchanging Word of God whose teachings must not be added to or taken away from, and that the Holy Spirit, not the Magisterium, Bishop, Cardinal or Pope is the authoritative teacher Gal. 1:8,9; 1 John 4:1

Selah said...

2. The RCC, following the Council of Trent, teaches that faith without works is heresy:
"If anyone says that faith which justifies is nothing else but trust in the divine mercy, which pardons sins because of Christ; or that it is that trust alone by which we are justified: let him be anathema." [Session six, "Decree of Jusitfication," canon 12.
This is confirmed in your newly revised and updated official "Catechism of the Catholic Church" in which it is clearly stated that faith alone is insufficient for justification [1815-16].
The Bible teaches just the very opposite:
Romans 4:5: "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, Romans 4.6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: Romans 4.7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. Romans 4.8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”” (Romans 4.5-8 NAS95S)

"so plz prove me wrong" . DONE - if you accept the Bile as your final authority rather than the Pope that is now living in Rome [As you know some resided in Avignon, France! ]. If the latter, you can "substantiate" any and everything the RCC says - it's its OWN authority and makes up the rules as it goes along and call it "living tradition." How ingenious!

Maroun said...

Selah.
You said , The RCC, following the Council of Trent, teaches that faith without works is heresy:
Indeed it`s true,how many tens of verses would you like me to quote from the new testament ,to prove to you that faith without works is dead,and that it dosent matter if you say Lord Lord but do not obey the Lord ,and that even the devils believe and tremble,and so on.....
We as catholics believe and accept the bible as the infallible word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit.In fact it was the catholic church which gave us the canon of scripture.
But to accept and believe that the bible is the inspired word of God is not enough,because look at the confusion among all the different thousands of protestant denominations,all pretending to be led by the Holy Spirit and all contradicting each others.
And then you said that you could be orthodox?even though you said you werent,you see we know by the way you speak that you are not,because actualy the orthodox and the catholics both have practicaly the same beliefs and there are no problems concerning the dogmas nor the sacraments.So you should say that catholics and orthodox both departed from the true apostolic tradition?and of course in the end you will realise like all your protestant friends that you are the only one correct and all those which disagree with you are wrong right?
So my friend,the apostles and all the church fathers have taught that faith without works is dead ,so we did not depart nor leave the true apostolic tradition,but the protestants did,and everyone which believes in sola scriptura and sola fides.
In fact,at the times of the apootles,there was a heresy called antinomianism.Have you ever heard of it?it`s exactly what you believe,faith alone,and the apostles fought this heresy and refused and your friend Martin Luther,took it again,so we still believe what the true christians have always believed , and that faith without works is dead.
And dont you know that the only time in the bible faith alone was used,it wasent used as you think to tell us that faith alone saves,but on the contrary it was used in a very clear way saying faith alone does not save and it`s dead.
So you`d better check your bible...
GBU

Maroun said...

Selah.
You also said.The RCC embraced and crystallized the "another gospel" Paul did not preach by "infallibly" determining that one is only "finally" saved by what they do, not what Christ has done.
Show me in the cathechism of the catholic church,that this is what the church teaches or believe plz...
And if you believe that we are saved only by what Christ has done,does this mean according to you,that we shouldnt even have faith?are you a universalist?
Even saint Paul believed and taught that faith without love is nothing,so why do you keep insisting that faith alone is enough and pretend to be right and pretend to be in accordance with Paul?And then you quoted from Galatians to prove to yourself that you are right?in the same letter Paul says that not any kind of faith matters but the faith which manifest itself thrue love and then in Gal 5:19-21,he was warning the christian Galatians that those which do certain things will not inherit the kingdom of God.So why do you pretend that Paul taught faith alone when he himself warns everyone that faith alone is not enough?and if you are not led by the Spirit but led by the flesh then you ,me or anyone else will not inherit the kingdom of God...
So as i told you before,if you have one or two verses,i can show you tens,and not like you did,you take the verses out of context just to prove to yourself that you are right.And again,the apostles themselves and all the church fathers,agree`s with me and not with you...
So plz stop your arrogance and hatred against the Church ,because by attacking the church you are attacking the Lord Himself,because the church is His body and i mean the Catholic church because the Lord is one and the Church is one...
GBU

Selah said...

... "to prove to you that faith without works is dead,and that it dosent matter if you say Lord Lord but do not obey the Lord ,and that even the devils believe and tremble,and so on.....

In context, we're discussion the BASIS for salvation, not the EVIDENCE of it. The BIBLE teaches that Faith is the BASIS for salvation, the RCC teaches that faith is the BASIS for it - and in fact, teaches that infants, through water baptism, "are freed from sin and reborn sons of God: - CCC/1213 - see also 799, 1213-1284, etc - where this heresy is taught. These children grow into adults believing that they have been justified by baptism, whereas the Bible teaches that "sinners are justified by faith alone." Good works - as defined by the Bible - follow as an evidence NOT CAUSE - of salvation.

Now, admittedly, the CCC does say that faith is necessary for justification - 161 - but then, unfortunately, via major inconsistencies and contradictions, it then goes on to nullify this by insisting on all kinds of "works" by the individual that results in "progressive faith" that does not provide assurance of salvation/justification until after death and perhaps, a "cleansing before supper/dinner" via purgatory. This is absolutely foreign to Scripture."He that has the Son, has life, and he that does not have the Son, does not have life." - 1 Jn. 5:11-14 -
*****
...",does this mean according to you,that we shouldnt even have faith?are you a universalist?"

This is a ridiculous conclusion and unfounded accusation if you are honestly reflection upon the context of our discussion. Why do you have to make such knowingly unreasonable and unfounded assumptions? Let's "stick with the context" of our discussion. We know that "even the devils believe" that Jesus is the Son of God, but they are not saved as a result of that belief because it does not have the element of TRUST and RELIANCE upon the NATURE and MERITS of Jesus Christ.KNOWLEDGE of Christ and who HE is does not save, although it is involved in the process, FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE does.
***
.."In fact it was the catholic church which gave us the canon of scripture."

This is a false, erroneous statement that cannot be honestly validated on any Biblical, rational or historical grounds. Simply stating it does not make it right, no matter how history is twisted to fit the facts.

Jewish believers, as taught by Jesus and the Apostles, embraced the Old Testament as THEIR Scriptures before the RCC system was conceived in the minds of erring "church fathers." Jesus said that ALL of the OT spoke of Him - Lk. 24:25-32 - The Scriptures, including the NT did not originate with man, but with God, through the Spirit: "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Pet. 1:20,21.
Scripture is therefore, not simply "written tradition." It is a uniquely divine revelation wholly superintended by the Holy Spirit - even Peter and other Apostles did not understand what was written (2 Peter 3.14–16 NAS95)

The early TRUE Church - pre-RCC - did not receive the Bible from the RCC. They received it from the Holy Spirit. In fact, the idea that some RCC have that they did give it to the church actually goes against the official teaching of the RCC! Here are the words from the First Vatican Council: "These books the church holds to be sacred and canonical NOT BECAUSE SHE SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED THEM BY HER AUTHORITY [my emphasis] after they had been composed by unaided skill, nor simply because they contain revelation without error, but because, being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their Author, and were as such committed to the church" [Session 3, chapter 2].
I agree with this - but apparently you do not!


To be contd.

Selah said...

{Contd.]

You said: "So as i told you before,if you have one or two verses,i can show you tens,and not like you did,you take the verses out of context just to prove to yourself that you are right.And again,the apostles themselves and all the church fathers,agree`s with me and not with you..."

I have already shown you in the previous post that this statement is silly, outrageous and w/o foundation. I have provided both Scripture and references from your own official CCC that you are in error - as were SOME of the "church fathers" you mention. You also, are promoting a teaching the CCC does not endorse re. the RCC giving the Canon of Scripture to the TRUE Church.

****

You said: "So plz stop your arrogance and hatred against the Church ,because by attacking the church you are attacking the Lord Himself,because the church is His body and i mean the Catholic church because the Lord is one and the Church is one..."

It amazes how you can make such an outrageous statemnt re. the RCC being THE true Body of Christ. The RCC is man made institution held together by its own man-made doctrines and rules that pray upon the fears and superstitions of its adherents [penance, purgatory, Mariology, celibacy, etc.]. The TRUE body of Christ, His TRUE Church is made up of individuals who have, on the basis of the Word of God alone, placed faced alone in Christ alone. These justified-by- faith alone" people exist in all denominations - including the RCC!
Your myopic view of the true church that is limited to the adherents of the RCC is pathetic, to say the least, and erroneous to underscore its tragic consequences. "Not all who say, 'RCC! RCC! will enter the kingdom of God."

Far from "hating" the church as you so flippantly assert, I love and cherish the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Church HE Himself is building on the basis of and the fact that He is the Son of the Living God - the ONLY qualified Mediator between God and man re. their salvation.