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-   -   TS 18: Tradition (http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2430)

Ron Conte 13th July 2008 01:30 PM

TS 18: Tradition
 
If enough members are interested, we can discuss the definition of Tradition, and how one might draw upon Tradition in order to learn truths of the Faith.

Please read this article, and pose any questions you may have:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/in...-tradition.htm

Jeanne D'Arc 13th July 2008 02:23 PM

Ron, I would be very interested. As I read the posts of everyone, I am at a loss as to how to keep up. Although I am not posting everyday I am learning and voraciously reading each and every post. I am waaaaaay behind everyone else in their understanding and comfort level. Teach on!!
Joan

Pontifex 13th July 2008 02:54 PM

I would certainly be interested as I would like to better understand the relation between oral tradition and the revealed truths in the Bible and that between the living magisterium and the inspired Scriptures.

Ron Conte 13th July 2008 03:05 PM

OK, members who are interested should read the article, then post their comments and questions.

Sacred Tradition is not an oral tradition.

Rob 13th July 2008 07:17 PM

Ron,

You have said that Tradition comes first, and Scripture second, implying that first God makes a deed, and then this is recorded in Scripture, which is generally true.
However I notice that sometimes the opposite happens, that is first a prophecy is recorded in Scripture and then the deed happens after a certain amount of time (years or centuries). For example the return of Christ is a deed for the salvation of mankind, yet this return has been already explicitly reported in Scripture, but has not happened yet. So is it correct to say that the Tradition does not always come before Scripture, at least in a chronological way? I suppose that this is true from a human perspective, but from God's point of view it's like all Tradition has occurred already.

Ron Conte 13th July 2008 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob (Post 18656)
Ron,

You have said that Tradition comes first, and Scripture second, implying that first God makes a deed, and then this is recorded in Scripture, which is generally true.
However I notice that sometimes the opposite happens, that is first a prophecy is recorded in Scripture and then the deed happens after a certain amount of time (years or centuries). For example the return of Christ is a deed for the salvation of mankind, yet this return has been already explicitly reported in Scripture, but has not happened yet. So is it correct to say that the Tradition does not always come before Scripture, at least in a chronological way? I suppose that this is true from a human perspective, but from God's point of view it's like all Tradition has occurred already.


Interesting point. But when a prophecy in Scripture predicts a future event, the revelation (which is itself a deed) of that prophecy to the prophet precedes its inspired writing. So it is always true that Tradition precedes Scripture, i.e. that a deed of God precedes the word of God.

I like your comment that from God's point of view, the predicted event is logically prior (even if not chronologically prior) to the prophecy of that event. God is predicting what has, from His point of view beyond time, already occurred. Also true.

Arax 13th July 2008 11:45 PM

Interesting article. As I was reading it I was reminded of a topic I would like some clarification on. Perhaps this is not the proper place to ask, but is there an existing thread on the topic "Outside the Church there is no salvation"? If not I would be grateful to see one started.

I have always thought of this as something like, "without" the Church, or "except for" the Church, since it is certainly possible for God to save someone who is not a practicing member of the Catholic Church. I understand that any baptized Christian is actually a member of the Church and that others can be baptized by blood or by desire, but I still don't feel entirely confident if I were asked to explain all of this.

Ron Conte 13th July 2008 11:55 PM

See this thread:
No salvation outside of the Church
http://catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2413

Joey 14th July 2008 12:41 AM

My understanding of Sacred Tradition was way off. I did have the false notion that it was nothing more than oral or unwritten truths of Divine Revelation. But your article made it so clear that anything oral would eventually become something written, otherwise it would become distorted after being told and retold. "Deeds wrought by God for the salvation history of mankind." I love the use of repetition in your articles and books because it sinks in that way. Deeds of God, with more to come, adding to our deposit of Faith, adding to Sacred Scripture by way of the Third Testament.

Arax 14th July 2008 02:30 AM

Ron,

Thanks for pointing me towards that information. It was very helpful.

Julie

Climacus Areopagite 14th July 2008 05:25 PM

Ron,

What are some ways a person can draw from Tradition in order to learn the truths of the Faith?

Ron Conte 14th July 2008 05:43 PM

Tradition is the deeds of God in salvation history, and the preeminent deed is the salvific act of Christ on the Cross. Whenever we carry our crosses in our lives, we help to transmit Tradition. We also transmit Tradition by word, when we explain the Way of Christ to others.

The lives of the Saints and Blesseds and martyrs can be cited as examples in order to make a theological argument based on Tradition. We can learn from their example by reading about their deeds in their lives, which are like the deeds of Christ.

The words of the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints of the Church help to transmit Tradition (but those words are not Tradition itself). So those words can be cited in an argument based on Tradition, and can be a way to learn from Tradition. So read what the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints wrote.

We can learn from the spiritual life of the Church, which is yet another way that Tradition is transmitted, by reading about the history of the Church. For example, the TS on the Ecumenical Councils teaches us from Tradition.

Rob 14th July 2008 07:39 PM

Salvation is found in Tradition, since Jesus' death on the cross is God's main Salvific Act, and that is a deed wrought direcly by God.
How do others faiths or religions access Tradition if they have never heard about saints, doctors, or Christ?

Ron Conte 14th July 2008 09:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob (Post 18733)
Salvation is found in Tradition, since Jesus' death on the cross is God's main Salvific Act, and that is a deed wrought direcly by God.
How do others faiths or religions access Tradition if they have never heard about saints, doctors, or Christ?


The Old Testament time period also has deeds of God in salvation history, including creation of the universe (which is apparent to all), creation of mankind, and the various OT events.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 04:52 PM

Ron, are the Warning, the Miracle and the Chastisement to be considered the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation ? Are these truths found outside of the Sacred Deposit of Faith and cannot be taught by either the Sacred Magisterium or the Ordinary Magisterium ?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19030)
Ron, are the Warning, the Miracle and the Chastisement to be considered the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation ? Are these truths found outside of the Sacred Deposit of Faith and cannot be taught by either the Sacred Magisterium or the Ordinary Magisterium ?


In my opinion, the Warning, the Miracle and the Chastisement are all found in Sacred Scripture. Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium all teach one and the same Truth, just as Father, Son, Spirit share one and the same Nature. So I would say yes, these are deeds of salvation history.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 05:02 PM

How then must we understand the the fact that the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation must actually have occurred ?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19032)
How then must we understand the the fact that the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation must actually have occurred ?


Some events are first predicted by Sacred Scripture, then they occur, such as the birth of the Savior of a virgin. But all of Scripture proceeds from Tradition, because God is beyond Time. When an event is mentioned first in Scripture, and then occurs later in Tradition, the event is still logically prior to its description. God does not really predict what will happen, rather He describes what has already happened in the future, since He is in Eternity.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 05:31 PM

Is it necessary that the deeds wrought by God, such as the Warning, the Miracle and the Chastisement, be found literally or figuratively in Sacred Scripture ?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19034)
Is it necessary that the deeds wrought by God, such as the Warning, the Miracle and the Chastisement, be found literally or figuratively in Sacred Scripture ?


There are two levels to Scripture:

1: words referring to things (literally or figuratively)
2: things referrring to other things (the spiritual level)

Many of the predictions in the OT about Christ are at the second level in the OT, but in the NT, they are then in the first level.

It is not necessary for a truth to be at the first level; a truth could be at either level.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19035)
There are two levels to Scripture:

1: words referring to things (literally or figuratively)
2: things referrring to other things (the spiritual level)

Many of the predictions in the OT about Christ are at the second level in the OT, but in the NT, they are then in the first level.

It is not necessary for a truth to be at the first level; a truth could be at either level.


Must there be a correspondance between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Can a deed wrought by God not be found in Sacred Scripture (literally, figuratively or spriritually) ?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19037)
Must there be a correspondance between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Can a deed wrought by God not be found in Sacred Scripture (literally, figuratively or spriritually) ?


theologians do not agree on the answer to that question.

my opinion is that all truths found, explicitly or implicitly, in Tradition are also found, explicitly or implicitly, in Scripture, the literal or figurative meaning being explicit, and the spiritual meaning being implicit.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 08:47 PM

Ron, are true private revelations part of Sacred Tradition ?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19045)
Ron, are true private revelations part of Sacred Tradition ?


No. They contain nothing essential to faith, morals, or salvation that is not already found in Tradition and Scripture.

Not every act of God is part of the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19046)
No. They contain nothing essential to faith, morals, or salvation that is not already found in Tradition and Scripture.

Not every act of God is part of the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation.


Without true private revelations, would you have been able to come to the conclusions found in your writings about the future, ie. those based (or all) in Scriptures?

Ron Conte 22nd July 2008 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19047)
Without true private revelations, would you have been able to come to the conclusions found in your writings about the future, ie. those based (or all) in Scriptures?

To a great extent, yes. Obviously, certain predictions, such as about the Warning and Miracle are helped a great deal by private revelation. But the entire tribulation is described in the Book of Revelation, and there are also important points in the Gospels and the OT.

Pontifex 22nd July 2008 10:54 PM

Ron, here is an article that explains that Sacred Tradition means the handing down of divine revelation from one generation of believers to the next, as preserved under the divine guidance of the Catholic Church established by Christ.

I believe, as you stated earlier, that we catholics tend to confuse Sacred Tradition with its transmission or even confuse it with oral tradition.


http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0003fea3.asp

Pontifex 23rd July 2008 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19037)
Must there be a correspondance between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Can a deed wrought by God not be found in Sacred Scripture (literally, figuratively or spriritually) ?


Ron, I was reading the Second Vatican Council (Dei Verbum) which states that the plan of revelation "...is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them ".

I take this to mean that there has to be a correspondance between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Are theologians who believe otherwise in error ?

Ron Conte 23rd July 2008 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19058)
Ron, I was reading the Second Vatican Council (Dei Verbum) which states that the plan of revelation "...is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them ".

I take this to mean that there has to be a correspondance between Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Are theologians who believe otherwise in error ?

Yes, Tradition and Scripture are closely related, so closely related that the constitute one Sacred Deposit of Faith.

I'm not sure which theologians or which of their assertions you are referring to.

Pontifex 23rd July 2008 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19059)
Yes, Tradition and Scripture are closely related, so closely related that the constitute one Sacred Deposit of Faith.

I'm not sure which theologians or which of their assertions you are referring to.


Sorry. I meant, generally speaking, those theologians who teach that it is possible that a given deed wrought by God cannot or may not be found in Sacred Scripture (literally, figuratively or spriritually). Is this an open question for debate among theologians ?

Ron Conte 23rd July 2008 02:42 AM

Most theologians do not understand that Tradition is the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation. Also, not many theologians write at length about Tradition itself. Those who think that some truths are found only in Tradition or only in Scripture, but not both, generally don't understand Tradition to be deeds; they tend to confuse Tradition with the transmission of Tradition.

Pontifex 24th July 2008 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19040)
theologians do not agree on the answer to that question.

my opinion is that all truths found, explicitly or implicitly, in Tradition are also found, explicitly or implicitly, in Scripture, the literal or figurative meaning being explicit, and the spiritual meaning being implicit.


In the case of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin which is part of Sacred Tradition, it is clear there is no explicit Scriptural basis for it, and I would venture no figurative or spriritual basis as well. Or, is there ?

Ron Conte 24th July 2008 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19161)
In the case of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin which is part of Sacred Tradition, it is clear there is no explicit Scriptural basis for it, and I would venture no figurative or spriritual basis as well. Or, is there ?


The explicit level of meaning of Scripture is literal or figurative.
The implicit level of meaning of Scripture is the spiritual level.

The passages that refer to the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, apply implicitly to Mary, because she was perfect in following Christ. There are numerous passages that can be understood as implicitly refering to Mary's assumption. For example, this passage from Acts:

{13:35} And also then, in another place, he says: ‘You will not allow your Holy One to see corruption.’

It refers primarily to Christ, but secondarily to Mary, since she is more like her Son than any other human person.

And there is this verse:

[Revelation 12]
{12:1} And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars.

Pontifex 24th July 2008 06:25 PM

Ron, has the Catholic Church always understood Sacred Tradition as “the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation” as defined in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum ?

Ron Conte 24th July 2008 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pontifex (Post 19165)
Ron, has the Catholic Church always understood Sacred Tradition as “the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation” as defined in the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum ?

This understanding has always been implicit in the spiritual life and worship of the Church. The faithful have always lived according to the example of Christ, which is preeminent within Tradition. But this idea has not always been understood explicitly, in these same terms.

Pontifex 24th July 2008 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19166)
This understanding has always been implicit in the spiritual life and worship of the Church. The faithful have always lived according to the example of Christ, which is preeminent within Tradition. But this idea has not always been understood explicitly, in these same terms.


Your certainly right! Hence, your title "New Insights into Sacred Tradition". I think your explanation of the definition of Sacred Tradition is perhaps providential in the sense that it could help restore theological gaps, like Sola Scriptura, with the Protestants. Especially in light of the unification of the Church in the 2020's and the Ecumenical Council to follow.

Generally speaking, Protestants (and Catholics too!) confuse or at least associate Tradition, in part, as oral in nature in the sense that there is revelation handed down from Christ to the apostles orally that was never recorded in Scripture and which has subsequently been preserved by the Magisterium of the Church.

Catholics also confuse Tradition:

John Hardon, in his Question and Answer Catholic Catechism, says:

84. What is Sacred Tradition?
Sacred Tradition is the unwritten word of God that the prophets and apostles received through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, under his guidance, the Church has handed on to the Christian world. St. Paul told the faithful: 'Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that were taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter' (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

87. How has Sacred Tradition been handed on?
Sacred Tradition, which is divine revelation in oral form, has been handed on by the Church's doctrine, life and worship.

This leads to the belief that you have one source (God) but two vehicles of divine revelation, one written (Scripture) and one oral (Tradition). I certainly was of this opinion!

Ron Conte 24th July 2008 09:44 PM

This confusion occurs because there are two things to consider:

Tradition itself - the infallible deeds of God in salvation history

the transmission of Tradition - by spoken and written word (not infallible), and by deed and example (also not infallible)

But obviously anything oral can be written down, so the main distinction between Tradition and Scripture cannot be that one is spoken and the other written. Also, the individual acts that serve to transmit Tradition are not infallible. But Tradition itself must be infallible, so there must be a distinction between Tradition itself and its means of transmission.

This distinction also occurs with Sacred Scripture. The means of transmitting Scripture (by particular translations and edits of the Bible) can have errors particular to that translation or edition, yet the truths being transmitted are inerrant.

Yes, I think you are right that it is providential. This definition of Tradition is one that might be more acceptable to Protestants. They cannot deny that there were deeds by God in salvation history.

Rob 24th July 2008 10:11 PM

Ron, I like you analogy of Tradition and Scripture to music and words, it helps to visualize better the distinction between the two:

"Tradition and Scripture are like a song with both music and words. They are in perfect harmony together and together they express the same thing. The music can be discussed in words, but it can never actually be put into words without ceasing to be music. Just so, Tradition is the truths of God that cannot be put into words without ceasing to be Sacred Infallible Tradition. "

Pontifex 26th July 2008 01:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19067)
Most theologians do not understand that Tradition is the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation. Also, not many theologians write at length about Tradition itself. Those who think that some truths are found only in Tradition or only in Scripture, but not both, generally don't understand Tradition to be deeds; they tend to confuse Tradition with the transmission of Tradition.


It would make sense that the deeds of God in the history of Salvation are to have a foundation in Scripture because one would come to the conclusion that If something is not in Scripture, it is not in Scripture. And if it is not in Scripture, it is not part of the Deposit of Faith.

Pontifex 3rd August 2008 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Conte (Post 19166)
This understanding has always been implicit in the spiritual life and worship of the Church. The faithful have always lived according to the example of Christ, which is preeminent within Tradition. But this idea has not always been understood explicitly, in these same terms.


Ron, then should your teachings about Tradition contained in your article be caveated in the sense that, although implicit in the Church's doctrine (which you suggest and I agree with), it has not been explicitated by the Magisterium as of yet and therefore infallible.


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