TRADITIONS that are FOUND in THE BIBLE!
The word tradition occurs only 14 times in the whole New Testament in the Old
Testament not once. We find 8 references are from Jesus himself, all of which are
derogatory of traditions. Not once does he insinuate they are useful or scriptural. Paul
has 5 references, 2 of which are derogatory (Col.2:8; Gal.1:14). Peter also has one
reference also derogatory 1 Pt.1:18. (the aimless conduct received by the tradition of
the fathers). For Peter to be called the first Pope and does not uphold this practice
does not help their position.
Another time he was asked about eating bread before washing their hands. Mark 7:7-9
And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For
laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men-- the washing of
pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. And He said to them, All too
well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. They had a
choice but instead defaulted to their own rules that they thought was biblical.
There are other instances of tradition in the Bible but they are all scriptural or do
not contend with the scripture teaching itself. An example of this is in Jn.10:22 with
the feast of dedication (Chanukah). Jesus did not refute this because it was a actual
historical event. Yet if the leaders had made it mandatory it would have received a
different reaction from Jesus. We do have the freedom to hold for our personal enjoyment
practices of individual choice. However this is not what the Roman Catholic Church is
claiming. They are teaching that these were handed down from the Apostles (some of which
are found from Scripture) and are commands and even necessary for ones spiritual life.
Paul explains in Gal 1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my
contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of
my fathers. Paul understood the differences of what tradition was and what was
Upon only 3 verses that have the word tradition in the Scriptures,
Catholicisms entire practice for traditions being of equal status with scripture are
founded on these. Despite the fact that the same Scripture that mentions the word
tradition makes it clear from both Jesus and the apostles writings that they are to be
our source of life. So lets look at this Scriptures carefully and see what they
say and what they do not say.
1) 1 Cor.11:23 For I received from the Lord that
which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was
betrayed took bread; Here Paul states he is presenting in writing what he had previously
taught them in person, that which I also delivered unto you.
This pertains to the communion and how it is to be taken. So what he had taught
orally was inscripturated, so there no validation for oral tradition here. Paul most
likely learned of the communion by the other apostles as they fellowshipped and broke
bread each week. However Paul learned more of this from the Lord and is the only
apostle to write in detail about it.
2) 2 Thess. 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast
and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
Both which were taught were the same that was written down. What traditions is Paul
talking about? In v.5 Paul previously stated Remember ye not, that, when I was yet
with you, I told you these things? This Paul says he already taught them in person
but now is writing it down. Consistent with the rest of the teachings, everything said
was written down that would be used to have one practice their Christian relationship.
He was giving them and us in writing what he had previously taught. Which was about
the man of sin, to provide further understanding clarifying any misconceptions they had,
Since the epistle starts off with the church shaken up by a false letter or word they
received that the resurrection already taking place and they thought they missed out. So
presently he is elaborating on the details of the tribulation and the falling away.
3) 2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that
walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition (some translations have teaching, at any
rate teaching can be passed on orally before it is committed to writing) which he
received from us. Again if we go further we find what is being said which
proves all should be read in its context. V.10 for even when we were with you
we commanded you this, If anyone does not work neither shall they eat. It was
the same thing by personal word or by letter. They showed this teaching by example as
they were with the Corinthians and he put in writing what he had taught them earlier.
This way they would not forget or corrupt it after his death. None of these scriptures
have any relationship to the traditions presently taught and practiced in the Roman
Catholic Church. Further no one has ever documented any specific teaching to be
accredited to Paul in their traditions. Obviously not everything the apostles said
is written down but the doctrines are. So there is nothing spoken that was not
written that we would need to know about salvation and living. For example Paul
says in 1 Cor.15:1 Moreover brethren I declare to you the gospel which I
preached to you... Here it is written out.
The only revelation we have today is the same committed to the apostles that was
written down, this was what the church accepted and practiced after the apostles, that
which was written, not what is spoken. The same Paul who is claimed to write of
traditions specifically tell us in 1 Cor.4:6 do not to go beyond what is written.
How could he do this if he approved of the apostles oral teaching alongside the
writings? He couldn't. That is why what was taught was penned on paper, pointing to the
Scripture as our final authority.
Every time the Pharisees the religious men brought up traditions as equal to the
Scripture Jesus brought them to the word. This is why he called them the traditions of
men because they did not come from God but by religious men who no longer intended to
obey the word.
In Acts 20:29 Paul warns the Ephesian elders about savage wolves that would come
after his departure. It would unlikely to think that Paul did not put in writing what
the Holy Spirit inspired as teaching to all the churches. It would be much easier to
distort what is orally handed down and left up to individual re-translating. As time
would go on generations would pass on memories that would be inaccurate to recall the
original teachings by word of mouth. This is why God had Moses write everything down in
the book of the law, so there would be no question what was said, any mistakes would be
minimized. If God did so in the Old Testament would he change this policy in the
new. Jesus pointed to the Old Testament word. The early church pointed to the word
written as well.
When we look at the examples of tradition in the Scripture we find its purpose does
the very opposite of the word written. If the traditions the Catholics hold are
suppose to be a body of teaching that was passed down by the apostles oral tradition,
why are they written down? Why are they not included in the bible if they are written
down. After all they are suppose to be apostolic teaching .
Tradition becomes invalid if in any point it contradicts the Bible.
Catholic teachings of purgatory, penance, indulgences, Mass, praying the rosary,
praying to saints and Mary, wearing scapulars, are not found in the
Scripture and they contradict scriptures teachings. Any verses found to
validate these by Catholics are always subject to being redefined or pulled from its
actual context. The
Catholic Church has used their Traditions to make them equal to word when. The fact is
that God says nothing has this kind of authority except the word itself.
In the New Testament Period Jesus whole ministry was a contention with the Pharisees
traditions. They wanted him to validate and approve what they called the tradition of
the elders (fathers) Mk.7:1-9 Mt.15:1-4 contention grew between Jesus and the religious
leaders as they wanted his approval of their traditions to be considered equal with
Scripture. Jesus was clear he was not going to approve of their traditions saying you
lay aside the commandment of God and hold higher the tradition of men.
They challenged Jesus on the cleansing rituals. Jesus responded its not cleansing
from the outside, but mans heart from the inside is what needs the cleansing. The
Pharisees set up a barrier between God and man making the commandments of no effect
because they stopped people from seeing the word of God. Jesus always brought their
traditions to the ultimate authority the word of God. Mk.7: These people honor me
with their lips, but their heart is far from me and in vain they worship me teaching as
doctrine the commandments of men. By adding traditions alongside the word they
watered down the truth This is why Jesus quoted Mt.11:28 Come to ME all you who labor
and are heavy laden and I will give you REST.
The Pharisees laws were burdens that God never intended, it brought the people into
bondage because it went beyond Scripture and was never intended to do what God inspired
to be written. Nowhere is it written to continue to have traditions by word of mouth
after the apostles.
Not once did Jesus speak well about traditions,
Neither did Paul as he said in Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the
world, AND NOT AFTER CHRIST. He said to let the word of God dwell in you
richly. It is the word of God that is living and active (Heb.4:12) to change one from
the inside, traditions can never be a alternative or of equal value to what God has
spoken and written down for all generations to live by.
As Jesus said....