The block quotes are my comments, then Constantine’s response and my response to his comments. All from the comments section of Was St. Augustine a Heretic?
BFHU: Jesus, interestingly, NEVER, told His disciples to write anything down.
C: … since Christ Jesus is coextensive with the Holy Spirit, it is a logical necessity that Jesus did, in fact, cause His disciples to write everything down.
BFHU: I did not state that Jesus/God did not INSPIRE the disciples to write. I said Jesus NEVER SAID, “Write my teachings down.” To believe that God caused the disciples to write might be veering into heresy because God does nothing against our free will.
BFHU: We uphold the written Tradition which is Scripture.
C: No, you really don’t. God the Father declared the superiority of written Scripture
BFHU: Where is this declaration?????
C. Additionally, Roman Catholic scholars have shown how Rome systematically withholds the majority of Scripture from the Mass, which shows that you don’t uphold the Scripture.
BFHU: Someone has been lying to you. In three years of Sunday mass attendance we hear nearly every thing in the scripture. Protestants do not hear nearly as much Scripture as Catholics at their masses. If one attends daily mass they hear nearly the whole Bible in only two years.
BFHU: Oral Tradition absolutely WAS the ORIGINAL DEPOSIT OF FAITH. Adam and Eve and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc. = All Oral Tradition. And this Oral Tradition was passed down for several thousand years before Moses wrote these stories down.
C. Oh, really? What oral tradition do we have from Adam and Eve? What oral tradition is still extant from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? There is no extant oral tradition from any of these and all you know about them came from the written Scriptures. It is just so obvious.
BFHU: NONE, of the stories about about Adam, Eve, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph etc. Were written down UNTIL Moses wrote them down, as far as we know. All these stories were passed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next. We believe that God was able to preserve these in TRUTH for thousands of intervening years, b/c we accept the OT as inerrant.
So, even Protestants believe that God is able to preserve TRUTH using oral Tradition, (Tradition only means “what is passed down.”) when it comes to the OT stories that covered 1000′s of years. But, for some reason they REJECT that God was able to preserve the TRUTH of Jesus’ teaching through oral Tradition for the first 400 years of Christianity.
Why is that?
Catholics believe that God can do all things. I know Protestants would agree but on what grounds do you KNOW God was unable to preserve the teachings of Jesus ORALLY for a mere 400 years?
BFHU: The New Testament writings were separated by less than 100 years from the events they portray. Never-the-less for decades the Christian Oral Tradition inflamed the ancient world with Christian Faith and produced countless martyrs.
C: So what did Jesus mean when He accused the Pharisees of not knowing the Scriptures? (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24). Did He hold them accountable to Scriptures that had not been written yet? No!
BFHU: I agree.
C: And as I have written here, before, the Apostles were under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that their oral proclamation was different that anything that came after.
BFHU: Jesus taught them and they taught others what Jesus had taught them. Do you think those taught by the apostles were unable to teach what they had been taught?
C: The only objective, reliable way you now have to know what you know is the written Scripture.
BFHU: Scripture is precious but it cannot be interpreted in a vacuum. The teaching Church produced the NT Scripture. That same teaching Church has passed the original understanding of these scriptures down to us through the writings of the Fathers. These, in themselves are not inerrant or scripture but they show us how the earliest Christians understood many passages of Scripture. You are free to trust your own interpretation but I find what was believed and taught in the first four centuries to be closer to the TRUTH than my own .
Filed under: Tradition |