09 June, 2009

Did Jesus condemn all traditions?

Did Jesus really speak against all traditions or was His statement about traditions condemning a specific source and kind. Certainly, He was speaking of the traditions of the Pharisees But how does that teaching apply to other traditions such as Sacred Traditions. Let us actually look at the Scriptures that apply to our discussion which are about Sacred Tradition.

St. Paul speaking of oral Tradition: (1Co 11:2 DRB) Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.

This is St. Paul speaking about both oral and written Sacred Traditions. In his teaching notice he makes no distinction between the oral and the written Sacred Traditions. 2Th 2:15 DRB) (2:14) Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

Here St. Paul is also speaking of both the written and the oral Traditions without distinction as to which is more authoritative (Phi 4:9 DRB) The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Here St. Paul is teaching that we should not associate with people who deny the authority of Sacred Tradition (2Th 3:6 DRB) And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.

Here St. Peter supports what St. Paul has been teaching about (1Pe 1:25 DRB) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.

Here is what St. Irenaeus had to say:

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180 AD):

"So forceful are these arguments that no one should henceforth seek the truth from any other source since it would be simple to get it from the Church ....On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth ..For how should it be if the Apostles themselves had not left us writing? Would it be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of Tradition which they handed down to those whom they committed the Churches?" (Against the Heresies 3:4:1)

"Though none others know we the disposition of our salvation, than those through whom the Gospel came to us, first heralding it, then by the will of God delivering us the Scriptures, which were to be the foundation and pillar of our faith. ...But when the heretics use Scriptures, as if they were wrong and not authoritative, and variable, and the truth could not be extracted from them by those who were ignorant of tradition. And when we challenge them in turn with that tradition, which is from the apostles, which is guarded by the succession of presbyters in the churches, they oppose themselves to tradition, saying they are wiser, not only than those presbyters but even than the Apostles! The Tradition of the apostles manifested, on the contrary, in the whole world, is open in every church to all who seeks the truth ...And since it is a long matter in a work like this to enumerate these successions, we will confute them by pointing to the tradition of the greatest and most ancient and universally-known Church founded and constituted at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, a tradition which she has had and a faith which she proclaims to all men from those apostles." (Against the Heresies 3:1-3)

"It comes to this, therefore, these men do not consent to either Scripture nor tradition." (Against the Heresies 3:2:2).

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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