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URL:https://www.bible.ca/sola-scriptura-tradition.htm
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Title:Sola Scriptura: The failure of extra-biblical oral church traditions
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Body:Sola Scriptura: The failure of extra-biblical oral church traditions Tradition is only valid, when it mirrors scripture, not adds to it or changes it!

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Sola Scriptura home page

A. Our position on scripture and tradition: "The Bible is the mother of Tradition"

Our view is that the scriptures themselves are the all-sufficient and infallible "Rule of Faith" (regula fidei) for every day living, doctrine and liturgy. Tertullian and Jerome started dangerous practices in writing their "Rule of Faith", because these creeds eventually supplanted the authority of the Bible itself. 100% of the information we need for salvation is found in scripture. This means that doctrines and liturgy not taught in scripture are superfluous to the will of God, and range from optional at best to condemned. All traditions are derived from and measured against scripture.

Truth: "The Bible is the mother of Tradition"

False: "Tradition is the mother of the Bible."

Click to View Top ten list of why the Roman Catholic and Orthodox take the wrong view of tradition

B. The Catholic and Orthodox view of tradition: "Tradition is the mother of the Bible." (priest)

When Roman Catholic and Orthodox defenders attach sola Scriptura, they appeal to references to tradition in both scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers. They use these references to justify the introduction of extra-biblical doctrines which they say should not be rejected because they were taught orally by the apostles themselves. Every time they see the word "tradition" they think it destroys the truth of sola Scriptura. There are a number of serious problems with this view. Scripture is also called tradition in the Bible and by the Church Fathers. Even the "Rule of Faith" Creeds were all based directly on scripture phrase by phrase, and never "oral tradition". Finally, there were liturgical traditions that the Church Fathers said were not found in scripture, but oral tradition alone. Amazingly, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches practice almost none of this liturgy today, proving false their claim that their current liturgy came from the apostles.

Today however, the Roman Catholic church, for example rejects both scripture and tradition (as recorded in the apostolic fathers) and claims that truth is determined only by the current practice of the living Pope. When scripture contradicts Catholic teaching and liturgy, they claim we misinterpret scripture. When the tradition of the Church Fathers contradicts Catholic teaching and liturgy, they claim we misinterpret history. Like Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics believe that the current church organization is inspired and guided by God into truth. Before reading the quote below, make sure you are sitting down with your seat belt on!

"But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine. How can we know what antiquity was except through the Church? ... I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. ... The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour." (Henry Edward Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation, 1865, p 227-228)

C. Jesus condemned the error of using tradition: Catholic/Orthodox are guilty!

"The entire Roman Catholic argument depends upon the assumption that Rome could not do what Israel did. The problem is that in reality she has done exactly what Israel did. She has placed herself in precisely the same position that the Scribes and Pharisees found themselves in. Their oral law or tradition was so "synthesized" to the written Torah, that judgment of the validity of that unwritten law by means of the written law became an impossibility. Neither could judge the other because both were assumed to have originated with Moses. In the same way Rome has developed an unwritten tradition that she has synthesized with the written New Testament to the degree that it cannot be judged by that New Testament. If Mark 7 teaches us anything, it is that the two must not be "synthesized." The written Word of God must remain the unique norm." (The Shape Of Sola Scriptura, Keith A. Mathison, Reformed Protestant, 2001, p 179)

Click to View Doctrinal development is condemned!

The Apostolic Fathers recognized five different kinds of tradition:

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Tradition #1: Scripture. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6)

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Tradition #2: Verbal inspiration. (Jer 1:9; 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6; 2 Tim 2:2)

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Tradition #3: Expedient tradition. (Roman 14:5)

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Tradition #4: Uninspired creeds "Rule of Faith". (1 Cor 15:3-6; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:8)

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Tradition #5: False doctrine tradition. (Mk 7:7-9; Col 2:8; 2 Tim 4:2-5)

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Mistakes made by the Apostolic Fathers based upon tradition

Oral tradition is inherently unreliable over time

We challenge traditionalists to give us one example of one apostolic oral tradition that is still practiced in the church today. Remember, you cannot quote the writings of the apostolic fathers, because that is not oral but written! Since you believe the ecumenical councils were inspired, that doesn't count either. Why should they since they are clearly post-apostolic legislation. Had the apostles taught what the councils said, then they wouldn't have needed the canons!

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Roman Catholic and Orthodox "oral tradition" defenders attack the Bible and we defeat them with the sword of the Spirit! Click to View Anti-Sola Scriptura arguments refuted! Click to View Sola Scriptura home page

Extra-Biblical Oral Tradition Arguments Refuted: Typical Arguments that Catholics & Orthodox use to defend oral tradition are refuted.

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"Paul commanded oral tradition to be followed in 2 Thessalonians 2:15" Click to View CLICK HERE

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"John 20:30 clearly tells us that the Bible lacks many things Jesus did." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Paul got the names 'Jannes and Jambres' in 2 Timothy 3:8-9, from oral tradition." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"In 2 John 12, John refused to write everything in scripture, but gave them oral traditions." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"2 Timothy 2:2 proves apostolic succession and oral tradition." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"The saying of Jesus in Acts 20:35 came from oral tradition." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"The story of Michael and the Devil over Moses in Jude 9, comes from oral tradition." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"The prophecy in Matthew 2:23, that Jesus would be called a Nazarene, comes from oral tradition only, not scripture." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Moses' Seat is the antitype of the Papal authority. Matthew 23:2" Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Paul quoted an early hymn from tradition in Ephesians 5:14, 'Awake O sleeper'" Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Jews being sawn in two in Hebrews 11:37 came from tradition not scripture." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"We only know the identity of John as the writer of the fourth gospel from tradition" Click to View CLICK HERE

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"The rock of the wilderness that followed them was recorded only in Jewish tradition, not scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:4." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Only oral tradition knew that all the prophets were persecuted in Acts 7:52." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Only oral tradition gave the duration of Elijah's drought in James 5:17 as 3 1/2 years." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Sola Scriptura is impossible since only 10% of people could read in 100 AD" Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Sola Scriptura is impossible because there were so few Bibles in circulation until the printing press was invented in the 16th century." Click to View CLICK HERE

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"Widespread malnutrition of the first three centuries crippled the thinking ability of the average Christian to engage in Bible study." Click to View CLICK HERE

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See Also: Anti-Sola Scriptura arguments refuted! Click to View

by Steve Rudd

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