What Does The Word Tradition Mean In Scripture?: Answering A Catholic

catholic tradition
Catholic tradition is unbiblical and is idolatrous

[A Catholic said] “You Protestants have some big problems if you cannot see the difference between Veneration and Adoration. Your understanding is so one dimensional. Because you have a limited view of Divine Revelation; only accepting scripture without tradition. Take a look at your Bible which says, ” Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”(2 Thes. 3:6) and also, ” So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.”(2 Thes 2:15, RSV)”

The word tradition in those two passages has nothing to do with Catholic theology, that is number 1. Remember, context ascribes to a word the meaning of it which is the key to understanding Holy Scripture.

Let us look at 2 Thes. 3:6, in that passage the keyword is: idle…Paul is saying not to be idle and remember the tradition spoken about that issue. Paul is not referring to a doctrine that is passed down verbally that only the Catholics know but, their traditions has to do with the message of idleness that was already written down which are the Scriptures. In 2 Thes. 3:6, he was referring to this passage:

1 Timothy 5:13

13 At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips† and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t say.

Now, let’s look at 2 Thes. 2:15

2 Thessalonians 2:15

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, whether by what we said or what we wrote.

The question to ask is, [what traditions do they, the church must hold to?] Another question to ask, for understanding this passage, [do we know what the Apostles taught?]

The first answer to the question would be that the traditions are the same message as that of Scripture and the second question, the answer is, yes, we do know what they taught. Below are 5 points that clarify what the Apostle Paul meant by traditions.

1. We stand firm in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. The Apostles taught [verbally, traditions or written down, our Bible which is the same message] pertaining to Jesus Christ.
3. Jesus said in Matthew 7 [referring to standing firm] that to hear His Word and to do it, a person has built his house [his life] on the rock [saving faith in Jesus Christ] and nothing will bring him down [destroy his faith in Jesus]
4. Paul with the rest of the Apostles will never contradict with the traditions they taught and what has been written down which are the Scriptures.
5. The traditions and what has been penned down [our Bible] are both and the same, the Scriptures since there is only one author, the Holy Spirit and one message about Jesus Christ.

What are the traditions? Basically, some places that the 12 Apostles and Paul visited, they were taught the Word of God but, later some got letters containing the Word of God that was taught to them and some did not. So, both the word tradition and the Word of God were the same message. 

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18 thoughts on “What Does The Word Tradition Mean In Scripture?: Answering A Catholic

  1. OK, my Protestant brothers and sisters; I have been on a long journey of faith that seems to have ended up making me a Catholic. That being said, I used to be one of you. For more than 30 years a Protestant. But because the animosity shown toward Catholics by Protestants, and the words of our Lord who said, “if you do not love your brother that you see, how can you love God.” –I converted to Catholicism.
    To continue my thoughts on Tradition, the short answer would be that the Bible is actually only a part of Tradition; it can out of Tradition. You said, “later some got letters” so this means they had no written word until later. Then how did they have faith without scripture? Scripture developed out of Tradition. “Knowing this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter off personal interpretation.”(1 Peter 1:20, NAB)

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    1. I do apologize for my late reply. I would like to say thank you for giving me your time for reading the post and commenting.

      “But because the animosity shown toward Catholics by Protestants, and the words of our Lord who said, “if you do not love your brother that you see, how can you love God.” –I converted to Catholicism.”

      I see a tremendous problem with your statement.
      1. The Truth is not the focus of your switching or your abandonment of having faith alone [sola fide] in Jesus Christ for salvation.
      2. People at times or to be more honest, most of the time, mistakes the Truth which hurts which might sound unloving.
      3. I cannot comment on what you heard because I didn’t hear what my brothers and sisters said to some Catholics. I know for certain that if a person has the Holy Spirit, love for the Truth will come out and they will show love. No Spirit-filled believer can bend to what is false as to agree.

      “Then how did they have faith without scripture? Scripture developed out of Tradition.”

      They always had Scripture, what do you think that Paul and the Apostles quoted the most? The Old Testament. The awesome thing is that when they read the Old Testament, they saw Jesus in them. Another thing, the Apostles were teaching the people Jesus’ Word at the time. Remember, tradition is the Gospel, so for the ones that didn’t have a letter from an Apostle had the teachings, Gospel, that they heard [through tradition]. Salvation only comes through the hearing of the message of Jesus Christ, Romans 10:16. The tradition [verbally taught] was the Gospel before it was penned.

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  2. My point being, that Christians have no right to interpret scripture on their own, with out guidance from the Church. The Holy Spirit is not enough, “speaking of these things as he[Paul] does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.”(2 Peter 3:16, NAB) So, therefore we need a teaching office in the Church to give us guidance.(ie. the Magisterium)
    1 Timothy 3:15 says,”But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” It is on the Church’s authority that we get the complete Catholic books of the Bible(73 in number) from the Council of Carthage 397, which was well before the Reformation that occurred in the 16th century.

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    1. “My point being, that Christians have no right to interpret scripture on their own, with out guidance from the Church. The Holy Spirit is not enough”

      Your statement here by far is the most disturbing thing that I have heard. You’re not the only one by the way, who said this, a Calvinist also declared the same thing. I will tell you what I told that individual.

      Scripture strongly opposes such a statement as yours “The Holy Spirit is not enough”

      John 16:13
      13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

      Only through the Holy Spirit can a person be lead to the Truth and know it. The Holy Spirit wasn’t only for the Apostles to learn from, but for every believer in Jesus Christ as seen in 1 John 2:20-21 which says, 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth.

      And it continues in 1 John 2:26-27 which says, 26 I have written these things to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, his anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in him.

      The Christians could not be deceived because they knew the truth based on the Holy Spirit living inside of them who revealed it to them. So, if a false teacher would find them out in the field to try to deceive him, he would be protected by the filter in his heart that would tell him the difference between a lie and God’s Word, the Holy Spirit.

      “speaking of these things as he[Paul] does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.”(2 Peter 3:16, NAB)’

      Those who distort the truth are false teachers who contradict the teachings of the Gospels. Those who do that are not believers [not having the Holy Spirit]. Why do I say that, because you have in that verse, the words, “their own destruction” meaning that the person’s outcome who is preaching a lie will end up in hell for leading people there.

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