What Did the Apostles Teach?

Reblogged with permission from protestanterrors.com

To those who do not believe in Apostolic tradition, but in Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura):
The Bible was not put under one cover until the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) accepted the official list of books (click here for the actual Council text and scroll down to see the list of books in the Canon at that time, which is the same as used by the Catholic Church today). Not for over 1000 years after these early Councils was the printing press invented (1450), so Bible manuscripts were quite rare and costly before the printing press came about. Between 397 and 1450 then, how did most people learn about the contents of Scripture, and who was the authoritative figure for the early Church during these centuries? The authority clearly could not have been the Bible, but clearly was the Church Herself who preached it to the faithful. So how can Scripture have been our only guide for the centuries before copies of the Bible were readily available, and were the people who lived during those centuries all damned because they did not have access to Scripture?
Consider this verse from Scripture: “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name” John 20:30-31. What else does this tell us than Jesus did and said other things that were not recorded in Scripture? Are we really to think that anything Jesus did or said that didn’t make it into the books of Scripture are false or should not be adhered to?
Consider the verse, “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written” John 21:25. Clearly there are many things Jesus said and did that were passed on as tradition (by word of mouth) and did not make it into the books of Scripture.
Nowhere in Scripture do we see references to Jesus writing anything down during His public life, nor does Scripture show that He ever asked His Apostles to write down what He was teaching either. If Scripture were the ONLY resource we should have for our salvation, surely Jesus and His Apostles would have written constantly, but they did not. So while Scripture is essential, tradition is also essential.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say Scripture alone should be accepted as revelation, and it certainly does not say we should condemn Apostolic tradition. Look all through the Gospels and you will see nothing spoken against tradition except for traditions which are human or against Scripture. Why do the Protestant reformers add this to Our Lord’s words? It is forbidden to add anything to Scripture, as it is to take anything away from it. Why do the Protestant reformers also take away the traditions which are expressly authorized?
Consider the verse, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:14. What else does this tell us than the Apostles spread the word of God not only through Epistles, but also by WORD, and that we should hold to the traditions which we are taught?
Any unwritten Apostolic doctrine we call Tradition. Consider the verse, “If any man be hungry, let him eat at home; that you come not together unto judgment. And the rest I will set in order, when I come.” 1 Corinthians 11:34. This clearly shows St. Paul writing important words to the Corinthians, then stating he will “set the rest in order” when he comes, yet we do not have writing about them elsewhere. What he said then, will it be lost to the Church? No, it has come down through tradition.
Consider the verse, “Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full.” 2 John 1:12. St. John had something worthy of being written yet he chose to speak instead. Instead of Scripture, he has made tradition.
Consider the verse, “Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13. This is clearly St. Paul recommending to St. Timothy an unwritten Apostolic word. This is tradition!
Also consider the verse, “And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. What is this but the Apostle speaking, the witnesses relating, and St. Timothy teaching, followed by these teaching others? This is clearly tradition.
Consider the verse, “I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now” John 16:12. When did He say these things which He had to say? Was it all written? It is also said that He was forty days with them teaching them of the Kingdom of God, but we have neither all of His apparitions nor everything He told them during that time.
Consider the verses, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Matthew 28:20, and “He that heareth you, heareth me” Luke 10:16, etc. This clearly shows the Apostles teaching is true revelation.

7 Responses

  1. To whom it may concern:

    You say that “clearly” the church herself was the authority; however, clearly you are wrong. It has always been God through His revealed truth that is the authority, and His word is truth. The Scriptures are His word. If the church contradicts the Scriptures, she is simply wrong. The Scriptures are not wrong. The only way that the church has any authority is if she speaks as the oracles of God by quoting and accurately teaching what the Scriptures say.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.



  2. The church does not contradict scripture but properly interprets and teaches it. Proper exegesis and hermeneutics require that we ask these questions. What did the original speaker or writer really say and intend to say? What did the original listener or reader really hear in the context in which it was said and in the culture in which they lived? Once this is determined the original meaning is derived. Only from there can we begin to ask what is this saying to me in my context, culture and situation. Who would have been the best interpreters of the sayings of Jesus but the Apostles? The Apostles were entrusted with the task of delivering the sayings of Jesus properly to their disciples and future generations of Christians. This is the importance of Apostolic succession. The original statements in this blog offer sufficient data, from scripture and reason, to substantiate that there were other communications from Jesus than are recorded. Are we to suppose that all the other things Jesus said and did in the presence of his apostles is irrelevant and that God’s revelation of himself, his son and the plan of redemption is limited to what is written? That is proposterous on it’s face. Jesus spent three years teaching the apostles many things that they only later understood. Can’t we suppose that between the resurrection and the ascension that Jesus further explained and clarified the complicated and confusing things he had been teaching? Some things they couldn’t comprehend until after the resurrection and some things they couldn’t understand until after they had received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Oral tradition and written word go hand in hand to deliver to us all the truth that God intended us to have. And the church is the one true interpreter and teacher of these great truths, the Pope along with the Bishops under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And if we do not believe that, then what is the final authority in interpreting scripture? Could it be personal interpretation led by the Holy Spirit? I think that the many divisions among protestant churches both doctrinally and in fellowship is clear indication that this option is not a very good one. Jesus prayer for the church in John 17 was that we would be one. The approach of personal interpretation has done more to bring division rather that unity that any other cause. This cannot be the answer if it has caused such turmoil. Jesus has given us the church, the Pope along with the Bishops and the Magisterium that we may all be one.

  3. Dear Bo Kennerly,

    You teach many assumptions. God adds to His church those that are being saved (Acts 2: 47). The church is the body of believers who are being saved and are the body of Christ and His bride (1 Corinthians 12: 27; Ephesians 5: 23-32; Revelation 21: 9).

    The church has no authority to make up rules or laws or truth. In fact, truth cannot be made up. She must earnestly contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints in the First Century once and for all (Jude 3). She is to let be accursed all those who would presume to add, take away, or pervert the truth that was preached in the First Century, even if that one is an Apostle or an Angel from Heaven (Galatians 1: 6-9).

    In Acts 17, Jesus prayed for His Apostles to whom He promised to give the Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. He prayed also for all those who would believe on Him through their word, which would be guided by the Holy Spirit. In that they were guided into all truth, there was no truth left to be revealed.

    Paul wrote,

    “3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

    4Whereby, WHEN YE READ, YE MAY UNDERSTAND MY KNOWLEDGE in the mystery of Christ)

    5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit (Ephesians 3: 3-5; KJV);”

    Paul was an Apostle who had the Holy Spirit beyond most and was guided into all truth. He conveyed his knowledge to the Ephesians by letter and expected that they would understand that knowledge WHEN THEY READ HIS EPISTLE.

    The Scriptures are not written in a way that cannot be understood as you suppose. The Scriptures are said to be breathed by God and are able to make the man of God complete and to thoroughly equip him unto all good works. Your view is that the word of God is useless without your religions Traditions to enlighten men about What God’s word really means. Notice that this is the premier tactic of false teachers. Your traditions also contradict God’s word. Consider 1 Timothy 3: 1-2

    “1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2A bishop then MUST BE blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;… (1 Timothy 3: 1-2; KJV)”

    You see, Paul says that a Bishop MUST BE the husband of one wife, but your religion teaches that for a man to qualify for the office of a Bishop he must swear an oath of celibacy. They compel men who desire the good work of a bishop to swear oaths of celibacy! While God’s Word says that it is a faithful saying that if a man desires the good work of a bishop he MUST BE THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE among several other prerequisite qualifications. Wow! Who authorized that?? Clearly not God.

    Furthermore, it is evident that they refuse bishops to marry in fulfillment of Paul’s prophesy.

    Paul wrote, “1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
    2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
    FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and COMMANDING TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
    4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (1 Timothy 4: 1-4; KJV)”
    Notice also that the Roman church does not allow men to eat meat on certain occasions, in fulfillment of this prophesy.

    You also conclude that because two men disagree about what the Bible says, it cannot be God’s will that the Scriptures be the standard of truth. This assumes that both men are well studied in the Bible, are sincere, and are using sound hermeneutics. This is an unwarranted assumption. It also assumes that if both men are well studied in the Bible, are sincere, and are using sound hermeneutics, that they cannot come to an agreement on what the Scriptures are saying. This is an erroneous assumption. Paul wrote, “…4Whereby, WHEN YE READ, YE MAY UNDERSTAND MY KNOWLEDGE in the mystery of Christ).”
    Moreover, how do you know what the Apostles oral traditions are? Didn’t your religion write your traditions down? This demonstrates that writing it down works better than just passing it down orally. That is why the Scripture says,
    “ 16All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    God planned to use the Holy Bible as the standard of His truth, not the Traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, contrary to what those men may say.

    God did not establish the office of a Pope nor some Magisterium. Those are the works of men also.

    Much more could be said.



    • <>

      So what’s the point? Are you saying Catholic bishops do not do good works? If you come from a Protestant tradition (which you do), then you certainly do NOT desireth a good work since you only believe in justification by faith ALONE.


      If you can just discard your fundamentalist pair of glasses, you will read properly in the context with the aid of the apostolic tradition, that:

      the condition only means that no one who has been married more than once can be a bishop. The MUST does not mean that one MUST BE MARRIED.

      Much more can be said.

  4. Thank you Joe for the comment. What does Paul mean when he says in I Timothy 3:15 that God’s “Church” is the household of the living God, the “Pillar and Bulwark or Foundation” of the truth. And Ephesians 3:10, that through “the church” the manifold wisdom of God might now be known. I used to believe that the word “church” meant all believers, as you indicated, but how can that be when there is such division and so many interpretations of “truth”. Who has the right to speak for God? The Church; Baptist, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Independents, Free Will Whatevers, Seeker sensitive churches, Vineyard, Calvary Chapel, Charismatics, or the little one church denominations that pop up daily. Is Calvin right or Luther, or Zwingly, the Anabaptists, the Arminianist. There must be one who can speak the one truth, properly interpreted, for God. Who can that be? Can it possibly be the church that Jesus started with the Apostles? Could it be that Jesus appointed the first Pope, Peter? Could it be that the passage where Jesus gives Peter the keys to the kingdom is actually, literally true? Why is it that those who interpret the scriptures literally will not accept this as a literal statement?
    The scripture you quoted where Paul is giving qualifications for Bishops cannot mean that Bishops MUST be married because that contradicts the statements by Paul in Corinthians where he says he would rather single people remain single for the greater cause of Christ ministry. Paul was stating that Bishop’s can only be married to one woman, not that they had to be married to one woman. Polygamy was a problem at that time.
    What is your problem with the Roman Catholic Church? Bottom Line.
    By the way, I am not a Catholic yet. I am a seminary student in a major well known Evangelical Seminary. I am investigating Catholicism.

  5. Did you read this “Scott Hahn Conversion Story”?


    Here following is the transcript of a talk given by Scott Hahn outlining his journey of faith, a journey that took him from being a fervent Presbyterian minister and Professor of Theology at a major Protestant seminary to become a Roman Catholic Theologian and internationally known apologist for the Catholic Church. Through study and prayer Scott Hahn came to realize that the truth of the Catholic Church is firmly rooted in Scripture.

  6. He follows this way and she follows that way. What a mess we have made of these things. Follow God and allow Him to speak to (you) as humility and truth are the goals of your pursuit. This will lead to Love.

    So many different people speaking so many different things in the Name of Christ. Who can find Him by listening to all of this? Let God be true and every man a liar. If you were judged with death by any (one) message you speak to others as you try and represent God, then would you still speak? Don’t trust what you hear others say. If it is that important to you then Investigate for yourself what the other side is saying. Its possible that you just don’t understand what is really taught.

    So, don’t ask a Catholic what he/she feels about an issue. Instead go to the church teachings. Likewise, don’t go to a protestant denomination what they feel. Rather go to their order of teachings. Truth will be peaceful to you and then you will not have to defend your faith with so many words (in fear that you might be wrong). Rather, you will have peace and actually do the Words of God and become restful in Him. Even in this world.

    May His True Peace fill your hearts without limitations and religious ceilings.


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