Spiritual Warfare Forum: Oral Tradition vs. Sola Scriptura
Oral Tradition vs. Sola Scriptura QUESTION from Campbell September 23, 2001
In your response to the earlier question, I did not see the most obvious scirptural reference quoted, which I imagine was merely an absent minded omission on your part, since I am certain that you are very familiar with it. My skills are deficit in finding specific references, but if I may paraphrase Saint Paul the Apostle:
Do not depart from the tradition which we have passed on to you, whether in letter or by word of mouth.
Here Saint Paul specifically invokes orally transmitted tradition alongside his letters (which, of course, we know are scriptural), and expects submission to it (Do not depart from...).
At any rate, I find that verse particularly useful in apologetics with Bible Christians.
Bless you in your most necessary work.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 23, 2001 Dear Mr. Campbell:
Thanks for the note. Yes, that is a great verse. But actually, I did mention this verse. This is 2 Thess 2:15. I just didn't type it out.
Matt 23:2-3 is another good verse in that it not only shows that the Magisterium is not a Catholic invention but the way that God has always dealt with his people, and that is implies Magisterial infalibility (they are to be obeyed even when personally they are sinful), but it also proves that the bible-alone is not how things are done. Jesus said that those who sit on the chair of Moses are to be obeyed. He did not say, obey the Bible alone. The Old Testament magisterium OBVIOUSLY had authority and authoity was not the Bible alone.
Then there are all the verses where St. Paul or others talk about listening to the oral transmission of the Word: 2 Tim 1:13; 2 Tim 2:2; 1 Pet 1:25; Rom 10:17; 1 Cor 15:1-2; Mark 16:15 (it should be noted that thise was at a time when the New Testament did not exist, so the oral preaching of the WORD was not expanding upon New Testament Scripture).
And then the verses that prove that private interpretation is improper and subject to error: 2 Pet 1:20; 2 Pet 3:15-16
Protestants are really rather silly. They demonize the Catholic Church for having a Magisterial authority to officially interpret Scripture, yet the Bible affirms the existence of this Magisterium, and the Protestants practice it too, just differently.
With the Protestants the Magisterium is the Pastor, or a charismatic leader, or in some cases a General Assembly who TELLS them what the proper interpretation is.
If the Bible is so singularly authoritative and Magisterial authority so singular bad, then why do Protestants spend so much time PREACHING and TELLING their parishioners what to think about the Bible and how to interpret it. It they were true to their ideas about this the typical worship service in their churches would be some singing, some praying, and reading the bible in silence. Maybe a few would stand up and give an opinion, but their would be no pastoral authority telling them how to interpret.
They will then tell you that the Bible does show that authority does reside with the local Church and that the universal church is only spiritual. But there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER in the Bible of such an economy.
Jesus established ONE CHURCH, not thousands of local churches. Thus authority is with the church as the Protestants might affirm, it is just they have a invalid and unbiblical concept of what Church is.
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