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Scripture and Tradition? Where does Tradition stand?

Loutzenhiser's picture

We will continue the 2 Tim and 1 Thess here. I will bring the last posts from each thread here.

Let me define the thread subject here. We all agree that Scripture is foundational to the church, but where does tradition stand and what tradition.

Some questions -

Is a tradition considered to be apostolical even though it is announced and defined at a later date?

Must a tradition have some other supporting evidence or is the church's "word" good enough for it to be considered canonical?

Is Dogma tradition or just a church's view?

What support must a tradition have to be canonical? (such as multi-church support?)

Are views and teachings about a tradition also tradition or just a church's opinion?

michael_legna's picture

The history of the creed is a prime example of development

Michael -
No the ideas of Purgatory and Papal Infallibility are as old as the Church, the dogmas might have only been declared relatively recently, but that is not the same thing at all.

Dogma's (like the development of the creed) come up only when an accepted teaching is questioned by a small minority and that minority become large enough or vocal enough that the Church feels a need to officially state them to remove any room for doubt as to where the Church might stand in the mind of those who have gone astray from orthodoxy.

Loutzenhiser -
The creed was a declaration of beliefs that was held by the church and supported by decisions/teachings already in place. The use of creeds continues to this day with the change of the name to Statement of Beliefs. (notice that I am supporting the tradition of the creed not the contents)

If you believe that about the creed then you do not know its history. The Nicene Creed developed from the Apostles Creed before it and even then evolved over hundreds of years. It was not created static and fixed, but it was added to as issues arose, and the additions were always phrased to defend a held belief which had recently come under attack.

The same process is at work in the Church in its establishment of dogma.

Robert said -
Teachings such as purgatory and Papal infallibility are later game additions that require obscure verse opinions to support.

That is your opinion but it is not the case since the doctrines were both know in the early Church long before the Reformation.

Robert said -
These beliefs as such were not taught by the Apostles. When did Peter ever say that his decisions were infallible?

Robert said -
Where did Paul ever teach a direct view of purgatory?

1 Cor 3 is as direct as many teachings of Paul's on a number of other subjects. Certainly more direct than the idea of salvation by faith alone which never once occurs in all of his writings.

Robert said -
Yes scripturally, the triune God was never taught as the triune God but there are many direct references that show the triune God and an understanding of it. Can you show the same support for late development tradition?

I know of no late developments of tradition so I would not know how to address this issue. I do know that the doctrine of the Trinity was itself argued long after the establishment of Christ as God at the end of the Christological debates in the early Church, so it was itself a late idea in relation to some of the simpler doctrines.