Tradition of Men Misreads Scripture

Protestants often ding the Catholic Church for holding Sacred Tradition and Scripture as authoritative.

Ironically, Protestants also hold some traditions of their own that actually causes them to misinterpret, misunderstand, ignore or just be blind to what Scripture actually does and does not say.

Not all Protestants will have all of these traditions but they are pretty common among most evangelical Protestants.

Protestant Tradition:All sin is equal in the eyes of God.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

This is the verse used to support this tradition. Now the verse does point out that breaking any point of the law constitutes breaking “all of it”. But this verse does not in any way say that all sin is equal in the eyes of God.

Here are a few other verse used to support this tradition.

Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 3:4-5Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

These verses talk about sin but none of them say anything about all sin being equal in the eyes of God.  There is NO SCRIPTURE that supports this Protestant Tradition. But there are scriptures that talk about an inequality of sin in the eyes of God. How do Protestants miss these? See my post

Is All Sin the Same in God’s Eyes?

Protestant Tradition: Sola Scriptura

The verse used to support the tradition is:

2 Timothy 3:15-17 …you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And, yet, this verse commends scripture but it does not say anywhere in it or elsewhere in the whole Bible that all Christian beliefs must be found explicitly in scripture. And, this verse was written before the NT was canonized so it could only have been referring to the OT scriptures.

Protestant Tradition: Prayers to the Saints condemned

Here is the verse used to support this Tradition:

 Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

12“For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.13“You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. 4“For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.

Deut 18:11 condemns those who “call up the dead”, “consult the dead” (NIV), ” practice necromancy” (KJV) So, Protestants reason that since Mary and the Saints are dead, Catholics who ask the Saints for intercessory prayer are therefore “calling up the dead”  which is condemned in the Old Testament. Therefore prayer to the Saints is condemned!

But what they fail to notice because of their eagerness to condemn Catholic practices is that the whole passage is talking about various practices of DIVINATION. Divination seeks occult knowledge from the dead. It seeks information and guidance. It is nothing like asking the Saints in Heaven to pray for us. But the Protestant Tradition blinds them to the context of the passage and the meaning of the actual words used in the Deuteronomy passage.

Protestant Tradition: Peter’s Confession is the Rock in Mt 16.

In Matthew 16:13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”….16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be  loosed in heaven.”

In this passage Jesus clearly renames Simon Rock/Petros/Kepha and declares that on this Rock/Petra/Kepha He will build His Church.

But Protestants who have the Tradition of rejecting the Pope and hierarchy say that Jesus is not saying that He will build His Church on Peter but rather on Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah. But this passage says nothing about Peter’s confession being the Rock/Petros/Kepha.

Pronouns, in all languages must refer to a nearby noun.  The pronoun “this” is in verse 18. Peter’s confession is in verse 16. That is two verses, three sentences and seven nouns away! If pronouns in English or any other language could have seven nouns in between the pronoun and the antecedent it would be incomprehensible!

Protestant Tradition: God only chose some

Limited Atonement is a Calvinist doctrine linked inextricably with another Calvinist Doctrine: Eternal Security. Many Protestants hold to Eternal Security but reject the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement. This doctrine declares that Jesus’ salvation is only offered to the Elect. Those who are chosen by God. This doctrine is arrived at by reading Romans 9 out of context of the rest of the book.

Romans 9: 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:12 not by works but by him who calls—… Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

Using this passage with others Calvinists assert that God planned for only His Elect to be saved (the objects of His Mercy prepared in advance). The rest were chosen for damnation. Although they don’t talk about that last bit. But it is the only logical conclusion one can come to. This doctrine has God actively choosing some but not others to be saved; as opposed to the idea that Jesus died to save everyone.

Thus based on the Calvinist Tradition of Limited Atonement, the Calvinist finds himself in opposition to the plain meaning of Sacred Scripture in these verses:

I Timothy 2:4  who desires all men to be saved

John 3:17
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

1 Timothy 4:10That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If the Doctrine of Limited Atonement were true then Scripture is lying about God and His plan and desire.

Protestant Tradition: We go straight to Heaven. No Stops in Purgatory.

Because in 2 Corinthians St. Paul says that  “to be away from the body is to be with the Lord.” Therefore, when our soul leaves the body it is with the Lord. No stops in Purgatory–wham!–we will be with the Lord.

So, when this is quoted to Catholics trying to defend the Doctrine of Purgatory it  leaves them speechless. What can a Catholic say to contradict the very words of Scripture?


Ask to take a look at the passage.

Here is what it actually says:

2 Corinthians 5:6-8  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

St. Paul says that he would prefer to be away from the body and with the Lord. That is very different than saying dogmatically that to be away from the body IS TO BE WITH THE LORD.

The Protestant Tradition, of the rejection of Purgatory, causes them to misquote this passage in support of their Tradition. In fact, I just went to a funeral yesterday where this passage was misquoted. Protestants have been taught and memorized a misquote rather than what it actually says.

I might prefer to be in New York. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a layover in Denver.

Tradition of Men Negate the Word of God

Ever since becoming Catholic I have been struck with the irony that while claiming to take Scripture literally, Protestants ignore every scripture that supports Catholic Theology, except when it comes to John 6. This they try to explain away.

As a Protestant I was taught to believe NOTHING unless it was in Scripture and that Catholics and others were in danger of going to Hell because they believed things not found in Sacred Scripture.

And yet, as many of you know if you have read a few posts here, I find myself constantly responding to many Protestant assertions,

“Where is that is Scripture?”

Not because I believe in Sola Scriptura but because Protestants do. And to raise their awareness that not everything they believe is actually found in Scripture.

We all believe things not stated explicitly in Scripture. The difference is that we Catholics tend to know this but Protestants seem to be largely unaware of it. They are as surprised as a deer caught in the headlights when asked about their doctrine:

Where is that in Scripture?

But the elephant in the room that Protestants don’t talk about is, that Sacred Scripture does not say anything about the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura invented by Martin Luther 500 years ago, which they use so effectively to put Catholics on the defensive.

So, that is one issue. The irony that Sola Scriptura is not found in Scripture.

But what about the fact that Protestants, who claim to take the Scriptures literally, completely ignore and/or explain away with mental and verbal gymnastics, many key passages of Scripture that SUPPORT Catholic beliefs.

Is that not ironic? Here are a few. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

CATHOLIC BELIEF: BAPTISM for salvation and entrance to the Kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 3:20-21… who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…

CATHOLIC BELIEF: THE EUCHARIST-Bread and Wine become the body and blood of Jesus

John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
John 6:51,53-58 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.…So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me,
and I in him.
“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
“This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

I Corinthians 11:23 The Lord Jesus, … said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; … 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.

CATHOLIC BELIEF: MORTAL & VENIAL SIN-All sin is NOT the same in God’s eyes.

I John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.

Here we see Scripture mentioning deadly and non-deadly sins. And, not only that, God calls some sins an ABOMINATION!!

Leviticus 18:22‘ You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you.

For more click–>Sins of Abomination

And GOD hates these sins:

Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

1) haughty eyes,
2) a lying tongue,
3) hands that shed innocent blood,
4) a heart that devises wicked schemes,
5)feet that are quick to rush into evil,
6) a false witness who pours out lies
7)and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Most Protestant teach that all sin is EQUAL. That there is no such thing as sin that is worse than other sin.  I have no idea why, when we have scripture that clearly indicates otherwise and there is no scripture that states all sin is equal.


John 20:22-23And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.

This is the first dispensation of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles only, prior to Pentecost. It empowered them to hear and absolve…or not… sin. Confession had to be audible in order for the apostle to forgive or retain.


I Cor 7:1 It is good for a man not to marry…An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided.”

Matthew 19:12
For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Using this verse out of context Protestants denounce the practice of calling our priests, ‘father’.

Matthew 23:8-12
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[a] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted

And yet they completely ignore the fact that Jesus, St. Paul, St. Stephen, and St. John call men ‘Father’.

Jesus Himself referred to FATHER Abraham. Did Jesus break his own rule?

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Luke 16:24 & 30 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire….’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

1 John 2:13-14I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

St. Paul and St. Stephen also address the Jewish religious leaders as fathers. Did they also break Jesus’ rule?

 Acts 7:1-2 Then the high priest asked him( Stephen), “Are these charges true?”2To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me!

Acts 22:1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

St. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians reminds them that they only have one father in Christ, himself. And he claims them as his spiritual children.

1 Corinthians 4:14-15
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

St. Paul continues this spiritual father/child relationship in the following epistles. He identifies himself as their spiritual father either directly as in I Thess. or indirectly by calling Timothy and Titus his “true son in faith”.

1 Thessalonians 2:11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith(that makes Paul a father in the faith): Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

St.Paul fathered those he brought to life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And he had no problem with appropriating this title to himself. So, either St. Paul was wrong or the Protestant tradition is wrong.


2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,

UNITY– One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One faith, One baptism; One God and Father…Eph. 4:4

John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

And yet I have heard Protestants who praise the diversity of all the thousands of different Protestant denominations as a good thing. I have always been too polite to quote John 17 to them.

The thoroughness and meticulous cohesion of Catholic doctrine as compared to the instability of many Protestant doctrines played no small part in my conversion to the Catholic Church.

Why NOT Just Rely on Scripture?

JIML: Based on your explanations for Catholic traditions that are not based in Scripture, one may say that everything that is not spoken in Scripture is OK to do.

You have misunderstood. One must listen to Scripture and the Doctrine taught by the Catholic Church. Why do Protestant practice contraception when God killed Onan when he did it?

JIML:I believe it is safer follow what Scripture explicitly says to do, and not to do. Ambiguity is where the devil sneaks in – so if the Bible is silent on stuff, why do something that may be sinful (or may lead someone to sin)? We can only know if we’re living according to God’s will when we can hear God speaking about it in His Word.

BFHU: There is nothing in the Catholic Faith that contradicts the Scripture. Nothing that is taught by the Catholic Church that is a sin. But of course, Catholics sin. But not in obedience to our Faith but by disobedience.

JIML:I’ve been reading throughout this website, and see that many of questions asked are not answered; the answer seems to be: since the Scripture does not prohibit it explicitly (although some practices come very closely to idolatry – and seem that way to many), then it must be OK to practice them.

That is because if I can’t give Protestants chapter and verse in Scripture to answer the questions they do not consider it answered. Until a Protestant can PROVE Sola Scriptura from Scripture I am not under any Scriptural obligation to obey it. I only provide the best scripture I can to answer questions. But even when Scripture CLEARLY SUPPORTS Catholic Theology Protestants still wiggle out of it by INTERPRETING IT DIFFERENTLY. Such as,

JIML:From a logical point of view, it seems kind of unorthodox – since we know that God’s Word is true, we use it as the plum line for our lives in faith.

BFHU: Catholics do also.

JIML:It seems logical not to practice things that Bible does not speak of.

BFHU: Why? If Sola Scriptura was Scriptural then it would be logical. But since the Christian Faith of 2000 years had believed and practiced what the Catholic Church teaches, then it seems a lot MORE logical to practice the Faith of the Church founded by Jesus and His Apostles than a denomination founded by men.

JIML:Traditon, spoken of in the Bible, speaks of REVELATION OF CHRIST spoken and written about by Apostles. Everything that Christ taught the apostles is considered apostolic tradition.

BFHU: I agree.

JIML: Human tradition – rituals, rules, regulations are generally criticized, even condemned by Jesus Himself (the Pharisees, who by wanting to observe the law perfectly, made up many unnecessary rules, that made them miss God and His intentions).

BFHU: Only the traditions that nullified the word of God and examples are given. But St. Paul exhorts us to cling to the traditions he taught by word (Oral Tradition) or writing (Scripture)

JIML:Finally, I just wonder why you would speak so harshly about Protestants, who read the Bible and see that it does not speak about Mary being taken into heaven, and nowhere it says that she was without sin.

I don’t speak harshly about Protestants. I used to be a zealous Protestant. You can read my conversion story above on a tab. But Scripture does not say Mary Sinned so why are Protestants so sure she did? It doesn’t say in Scripture that Mary died and was buried. So How can Protestants know this is what happened. Protestants forget about Sola Scriptura when it is not helpful to make their case.

JIML:Why is it wrong to take Jesus at His Word, when He says that He Himself intercedes for us before the Father?

BFHU: It is not wrong. We do this. Show me one place where the Catholic Church does not take Jesus at his word.

JIML:Why is it so wrong (based on what you say) to rely solely on Scripture?

BFHU: Because Protestants criticize the Catholic Church for beliefs not found in Scripture and yet Protestants also hold beliefs not found in scripture. And because Protestants have a limited Faith since it rejects the Fullness of the Faith found in the Church founded by Jesus and ALL of His teachings.

JIML:Isn’t Christ and only Christ enough for our salvation? Isn’t only God who can forgive, justify, sanctify and glorify? No protestant will tell you we do not need the Church, but only Christ is the foundation of the Church. No man, but Jesus. Peter – yes the first church member, the church planter ordained by God, but still a mere man. Only Christ will remain after the judgment. All else – all human tradition – Protestant or Catholic will burn in the fire. What is truly of God will remain – and that is the Word of God given to the Church.

I agree but that Word is NOT only what got written down. Jesus is the WORD. and there were other teachings that were passed down orally.

Just as you say that some Catholic rituals are OK because they aren’t spoken of in Scripture, why would you say that Protestant belief of ‘sola scriptura’ is against Scripture?

BFHU: We do not say that Sola Scriptura is against Scripture. What I say over and over is that Protestants object to Catholic beliefs by saying, “Where is that in Scripture?” Protestants do this b/c they believe the doctrine of Sola Scriptura conceived of by Martin Luther 500 years ago.( But the Catholic Faith and beliefs have been around for 2000 years as evidenced by reading the Early Church Fathers.

But the problem with the Doctrine of Sola Scriptura is that it cannot be found in Scripture! So Protestants criticize Catholics for beliefs that cannot be found in Scripture and yet the very foundation of why they criticize Catholics, Sola Scriptura, is not in Scripture any more than the assumption or immaculate Conception of Mary!!!

JIML: Is it because Protestants do not follow human traditions, which are ambiguous? Is that why you think they are wrong?

BFHU: But that is the point. Protestants DO FOLLOW CATHOLIC TRADITION! The New Testament Canon is a Catholic TRADITION. The NT table of contents is not contained in scripture.
The Doctrine of the Trinity is Catholic Teaching that is not found explicitly in the NT. That is why Jehovahs Witnesses exist.
The word Trinity and Incarnation are NOT found in Scripture just like Purgatory is not found in Scripture.These are all Catholic Traditions.

JIML: Why is it wrong to stray from traditions and doctrines that do not have strong Biblical foundation?

BFHU: Because Jesus founded a Church 2000 years ago. Christianity evangelized the known world 1500 years until Protestantism was born, claiming to know better than the Church founded by Christ. Protestantism dropped by the wayside things that Christians had always and every where believed. Everything Jesus did and taught did not get written in the books of the NT. They are precious but there also existed along side the NT Oral teachings and explanations of Scripture that Protestantism lost touch with.

JIML:One more thing – how can we ever know if a human is right or wrong? How can we know if someone is telling the truth? I would love to hear your thoughts.

BFHU: Regarding what exactly? In general everyday stuff….beats me. Regarding Christianity….If what a teacher or Christian says aligns with the Cathechism I would accept it. But if it contradicts any teaching of the Church, and I mean CHURCH, not some whacko priest or catholic layman, then I reject it.

Discussion of Catholic TRADITION

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.

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.

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.

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 .

Jesus NEVER called Mary His Mother

David D: 1. NOWHERE is MARY EVER ONCE venerated or prayed to ANYWHERE in the New Testament.

The one example we have of someone venerating Mary is in Luke 11 where Jesus is preaching and a woman in the crowd INTERRUPTS Jesus and heres what happened;

(LUKE 11:27-28) 27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed
is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Jesus negated this woman’s assumption and turned the attention on the WORD OF GOD.

BFHU: Jesus never once said that God is a Trinity either. Did He use the word incarnation. Do you therefore reject the Doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity? Remember, the Protestant idea that all religious truth must be found explicitly in scripture or else it is illigitimate is not to be found in scripture alone.

David D: Jesus NEVER ONCE called Mary HIS OWN mother. Wonder why? lol

BFHU:Everything Jesus said and “did is not written because the world could not contain the books.” John 20:30 So you cannot actually KNOW that Jesus never called Mary “mother”. But what are you saying? You don’t believe Mary was the mother of Jesus?

Sacred Tradition Never Existed!!!

David D: Lord God in Heaven. This is absolute foolishness as is ALL that is catholic.

I find it very amusing that Protestants indignantly excoriate the Catholic Church for teaching
doctrine that is not explicitly spelled out in Scripture. Protestants so often say:
“NEVER does Scripture say…..” Nowhere in Scripture does it say…..” etc.
And yet the Protestant Doctrine or the teaching of Sola Scriptura is “Nowhere in Scripture” and
“NEVER does Scripture say” that all Christian Doctrine and teaching must be found explicitly in
Scripture. That is a HUGE double standard don’t you think?

So, show me where it says in Scripture that that all beliefs must be found in scripture?
If there is no scripture, then for Sola Scriptura Protestants, Sola Scriptura must be a
“tradition of men”. Which it certainly is. And the man who began it was Martin Luther.
David D:Sacred Tradition DOES NOT EXIST. IT NEVER DID.

BFHU:Then what do you suppose St. Paul meant by these verses?

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

David D:
There are almost 1500 hundred references which SPECIFICALLY reference the OLD TESTAMENT WRITINGS. Paul in his letters said ‘These things (referring to the Old Testament) happened as examples for us and were WRITTEN down so we could learn from them’Sacred Tradition EXISTS only for ONE PURPOSE. That PURPOSE is to give catholicism a quick back door escape from its contradictions to WRITTEN Scripture.

BFHU: Well, I would have to disagree of course. St. Paul certainly exhorted that we cling to them, Tradition, that is. And you can say Catholicism contradicts written scripture but it really doesn’t. It only contradicts Protestant INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE. That is very different. Protestant interpretation has only been around for 500 years. And many Protestant doctrines and interpretations are much younger than that. Some are only 40 years old. So, if you don’t mind I will stick to what the earliest Christians, (those closest to Jesus and the Apostles) believed. And according to St. Paul they certainly did have Sacred Tradition.


Did Mary Have Other Children?

Q.The best way to find an answer of what is true is to go
right to the Scripture and let it speak for itself.
A.The Scripture cannot speak for itself. It has to interpreted/understood by a human being. And human beings can come up with different interpretations. That is why the Protestants have splintered into thousands of denominations.

Q. Remember, the scriptures (the Word of God) are the ultimate Authority.

A. Where does scripture actually say anywhere at all that the written word of God is the "Ultimate Authority"? This contention is not based on scripture. Sola Scriptura is surprisingly not based on Scripture!

Q. Hear are some of the scriptures that show that Mary had other children.


Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?”

A. This can be understood to mean kinsmen not strictly siblings. Note Jesus is called the Carpenter’s son. Jesus’s mother is called Mary. Jesus’ brethren/kinsmen are James, Joses, etc.. This passage does not designate sons of Mary as you seem to think. It says nothing about sons of Mary or specifically names Mary as their mother.

Q.  Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

A. If you note Mary the Mother of James…is not designated as Mary the Mother of Jesus. And for a good reason. She was not the Virgin Mary. She was “the other Mary” as pointed out in John:

John 19:25 2Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother (Holy Mary), his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Three Marys…And Salome.

So we have the Virgin Mary was Jesus’ mother and Mary the wife of Clopas was most likely the mother of James and Joses etc., “sister” of the Virgin Mary;  Mary Magdalene‘s children are never mentioned so Salome was probably the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 27:56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Mark 15:40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Note that the sister of Jesus’ mother is called Mary. Most families do not name two of their children the same name. So, this is further evidence that the Greek word adelpha translated here as sister is more accurately translated as kinswoman.

You come to  scriptures with a bias that James and Joses etc.are Jesus’ siblings and therefore “see” this undefined “Mary” (in Mt.) as Jesus’ mother even though nothing in the Matthew passage identifies this Mary as Jesus’ mother.

And the passage in  John supports the Catholic historical understanding that these “brethren” of the Lord Jesus are  kinsmen and not literal siblings.

Q. the problem is that the Roman Catholic church places tradition over and above the Authority of the Word of God, making it non effectual (mark 7:13).

A. I know this is the standard Protestant contention. But, it is due to ignorance of what the Catholic Church means when we talk about Scripture and Tradition. We too condemn “the traditions of men that nullify the word of God.” What we call Tradition is nothing less than the TEACHINGS of Jesus as taught to His disciples and passed down from one generation to the next for 400 years before the New Testament, as we know, it was canonized.

Q. There is nothing in God’s Word that either implicitly or explicitly says Jesus was the lone son of Mary, or that Mary remained a virgin.

A.    That is correct. But neither is there anything in scripture that says all Christian truth is contained in scripture and scripture alone. All historical information about the apostles and Mary and all that went on in the early church is not contained in scripture.

That does not make that history, therefore nonexistent. It does exist in writings of early church fathers and others. But not all of it as St. John tells us.

John 21:25Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

So, scripture itself tells us there is MUCH more information that is not written. The Catholic Church has preserved these unwritten teachings of Jesus and His apostles in her SACRED TRADITION. She accepts all of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, written and unwritten as St. Paul exhorted us to do.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6
    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

If Catholics Knew the Bible They Would NOT Be Catholic

MK: The Bible (Holy Scripture) is replete with warnings against adding to it and taking away from it.

Deuteronomy 4:1-2: “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.

2“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

BFHU: OK.  You have cited scripture from the OLD TESTAMENT that warns against adding to or taking away from Scripture. Let’s think about that.

The citation is from Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the OT.

And yet another 34 books were added after Deuteronomy!!!

And after that,  Christians added another 27 books called the New Testament.

And then, one thousand years after the canon of the Bible was finalized by Catholic Popes and councils, Martin Luther removed seven books from the Old Testament and seven books from the New Testament that contradicted his personal theology. He later added the New Testament books back in to his translation of the Bible but Protestants today still have an Old Testament that is missing seven books.

Therefore, perhaps something is a little wrong with the way you are interpreting this scripture. No?

Generally what Protestants accuse Catholics of adding  to the Bible is  “Tradition”. But you have not been well taught. Protestants have an oral tradition of teaching their people that Catholics have added the “traditions of men” to the written Word of God. But that is misinformation. Don’t you think it is just a bit arrogant to think that Catholic theologians, priests, bishops, popes, everyone else for 2000 years completely missed those verses about  the “traditions of men”?

Mark 7:8Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.

Mark 7:9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

Mark 7:13 invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down;

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

No. The Catholic Church did not miss those verses. The Catholic Church wholeheartedly agrees with not only these verses but all of Sacred Scripture.

What we call “Tradition” DOES NOT MEAN “traditions of men”. Protestants confuse the issue in order to maintain their grip on a concept with which to beat up the Catholic Church and accuse her  corrupting the Christian Faith.

What we mean by TRADITION with a capital “T” is simply the oral teachings of the APOSTLES OF JESUS CHRIST. What we call Tradition is short for APOSTOLIC TRADITION. This is none other than what JESUS taught His Apostles. Some of His teachings got written down. These we call the Written Tradition or Scripture. The teaching that did not get written down is called Oral Tradition, Tradition, Apostolic Tradition. One thing it is NOT is the mere “traditions of men”. Those were condemned by Jesus and the apostles and we too condemn them.

Here are two Scriptures that clearly support the holding firmly to Oral Traditions/ Oral Teachings.

2 Thessalonians 2:15

15So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

So we know that the Thessalonians had the benefit of Oral Tradition, taught by word of mouth. And Paul told them to HOLD TO THEM.

Add to this the fact that the Apostle John clearly tells us in Scripture that all that Jesus did had not been written down because the whole world could not contain the books if they were.  (John 21:25) The evidence for a body of teaching that was oral for a long time is certainly in Scripture. You can interpret these verses in ways that support your biases but unless you maintain infallibility I certainly have the freedom to interpret them to support the Catholic Faith. And the Catholic Church DOES assert infallibility in all Her teachings regarding Faith and Morals.

Why Do Catholic Follow the Traditions of Men?

Q. I wonder about what you say about tradition.. In 1 Tim. 4:1-5, 2 Tim. 4:1-5, Mt. 15:1-9, and other passages, it warns not to follow the traditions of men.

A. As any good Berean would do let’s look at the scriptures you have cited.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

I don’t see anything in these passages that condemn Tradition. Could you be a little more specific? I do see the word tradition mentioned in your third quote. But as you mentioned
it talks about “traditions of men.”

Mt. 15:6 And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7″You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8’THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 9’BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”

I think you believe that Catholic Traditions are the same as what Jesus is condemning here. But, it isn’t. The important distinction in this passage is, as you said in your question, that Jesus refers to the ‘traditions of men”. These are the types of traditions that can often contradict the word of God.

But, there is not one Catholic Tradition that contradicts any scripture. There are however, Catholic Traditions that contradict the teachings and interpretations of Protestants. But that is not the same thing as contradicting Sacred Scripture. Did you know that St Paul especially exhorted the faithful to cling to the Traditions he had taught them? Here are some Scriptures that support our use of Sacred Tradition.

So then brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
~ St. Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you.
~ St. Paul (1 Corinthians 11:2)

We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
~ (1 John 4:6)

Early Church Beliefs In the Eucharist

Q. Did the Christians in the first three centuries believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist?

A. Yes. They certainly did!

110 AD–St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the Apostle John wrote:

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ. Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again.” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6,2)

“I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ…and for drink I desire His Blood, which is love incorruptible.” (Letter to the Romans 7,3)

150 AD–St Justin Martyr wrote to the Emperor of Rome :

“We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true…For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the Flesh and the Blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66,20 )

180 ADSt. Irenaeus, was the bishop of Lyons, France and a student of St. Polycarp who sat at the feet of the Apostle John. St. Irenaeus wrote :

“He (Jesus) has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be His own Blood, from which He causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, He has established as His own Body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.” (Against Heresies, 5,2,2 )

350 AD St Cyril of Jerusalem, in a teaching to those coming into the Church wrote in:

Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the Body and Blood of Christ.” (Catechetical Lectures:(Mystagogic 4) 22,6 )

Thus we see that the Christian Church, at the very beginning of its history taught and believed that the bread and wine of communion was transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ in fulfillment of Jesus’ discourse on the Bread From Heaven in John 6 and the plain sense of His words at the institution of Communion at the Last Supper. “This is My Body” This is My Blood”

This is the same Church that Jesus founded on Peter and the Apostles.

This is the same church that Jesus promised the Gates of Hell would never overcome.

This is the same Church that chose the books of the Bible out of all the other books floating around the ancient world, at the end of the fourth century.

This is the same Church that was called Catholic at least as early as 110 AD.

This is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Ancient, but ever young.