"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men..." Mark 7:7-8
What Saith the Scriptures?
.© Copyright 1999, by Diane Dew Order the book
The Teaching of Scripture
|The Council of Trent (A.D. 1545) declared
tradition of equal authority with Scripture.
The official Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) places tradition and the Magisterium on the same level of authority with Scripture:
"It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." Catechism of the Catholic Church, pg. 29, para 95; see also pg. 25, para 8
."Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God ..." Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 97
"The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it. 1. Be especially attentive to the content and unity of the whole Scripture.'. . . 2. Read the Scripture within the living Tradition of the whole Church.' . . . 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith." Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 111, 112, 13, 114
"Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And (Holy) Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. " (Pg. 26, #81)
|I. Scripture is the ultimate authority.
Psalms 138:2 "... for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
A. Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19 warn against adding to or detracting from Scripture.
B. The apostle Paul pointed people to the Scripture: Galatians 4:30 "Nevertheless, what saith the Scriptures?"
C. We are exhorted to check out teaching against Scripture (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; Galatians 1:8-9 even an angelic visit; 2 John 10-11 any man). Otherwise, we can err (Matthew 22:29).
II. Trusting in tradition is not honorable; it is deceptive.
III. Jesus denounced tradition as the stumblingblock that keeps man from
the reality of the truth*:
Mark 7:8-9, 13 "For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men ... and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition....Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."
Amos 2:4 "... I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked." Cp. Ezekiel 20:18
IV. The error of clinging to tradition.
A. An attitude of stubbornness (Luke 5:39)
|Roman Catholicism also declares the "Laws
of the Church" to be of equal authority with Scripture.
Canon 252 Sec. 3 claims sacred tradition is the basis for dogmatic theology.
"We confess that the Pope has the power of altering Scripture, or increasing and diminishing it, according to his will." --Article I, "Confessio Romani-Catholica in Hungaria Evangelicis publice prescripta et proposita." From "Libri Symbolici Eccl. Cath. editi a Slreitwolf Gotting, 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343
"We confess that whatsoever new thing the Pope of Rome may have instituted whether it be in Scripture, or out of Scripture, it true, divine, and salvific; and, therefore, ought to be regarded as of higher value by lay people than the precepts of the living God." --Article IV, "Confessio Romani-Catholica in Hungaria Evangelicis publice prescripta et proposita." From "Libri Symbolici Eccl. Cath. editi a Slreitwolf Gotting, 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343
"We confess that Holy Scripture is imperfect and a dead letter, until it is explained by the Supreme Pontiff and permitted by him to be read by lay people." --Article XXI, "Confessio Romani-Catholica in Hungaria Evangelicis publice prescripta et proposita." From "Libri Symbolici Eccl. Cath. editi a Slreitwolf Gotting, 1838 Tom. 2, p. 343
|"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy
of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add
unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man
shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take
away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from
the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:18-19
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Proverbs 30:5-6
When tradition and Scripture don't agree ... what then?
Catholicism claims only the hierarchy can
be trusted to accurately interpret Scripture.
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. This means that the task of interpretation has been entruste d to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome." Catechism of the Catholic Church, p 27, para 85
"For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and m inistry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God." Catechism of the Catholic Church, pg. 34, para 119
|"... no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:15
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" 2 Timothy 3:16
Here's what Peter (the first "pope"?) said about divine authorship and
inspiration of the Written Word**:
1 Peter 1:23-24 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever... The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
1 Peter 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
2 Peter 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."
* Cp. Ezekiel 18:19-20, Deuteronomy 24:16
** Cp. 1 Timothy 4:13
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