Posted by Clyde Herrin
All Christians accept the Bible as being the inspired word of God and believe that it is our guide for what we believe and how we live. Some believe the Bible is all we need; others believe that church traditions are also authoritative and are needed to supplement and accurately understand the Bible. Here is what Wikipedia says about this:
Sacred tradition or holy tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority.
The word “tradition” is taken from the Latin trado, tradere meaning to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath. The teachings of Jesus and his Apostles are preserved in writing in the Bible as well as word of mouth and are handed on. This perpetual handing-on of the Tradition is called a living Tradition; it is the transmission of the teachings of the Apostles from one generation to the next. The term “deposit of faith” refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ’s revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms,sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition (through apostolic succession).
In the theology of these churches, sacred scripture is the written part of this larger tradition, recording (albeit sometimes through the work of individual authors) the community’s experience of God or more specifically of Jesus Christ. Hence the Bible must be interpreted within the context of sacred tradition and within the community of the church. Sacred tradition, and thus sacred scripture as well, are “inspired,” another technical theological term indicating that they contain and communicate the truths of faith and morals God intended to make known for mankind’s salvation. This is in contrast to many Protestant traditions, which teach that the Bible alone is a sufficient basis for all Christian teaching (a position known as sola scriptura).
What does the Bible itself say about this? Read the rest of this entry →