Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics accept traditions not explicitly stated in the Bible...

...is the Bible wasn't intended to be a compilation of each and every Christian tradition. 

Most Bible-alone folks will readily admit that they trust the Holy Spirit correctly guided early Christians into picking the right writings for the Bible but any other tradition needs to be explicitly stated in the Bible. This leads to statements like “where do you see pope, confession, sacrament, Mary's assumption, etc in the Bible?”

Catholics aren't troubled by this question because there's plenty of implicit evidence in the Bible for these and other Catholic teaching (that's for another day) and because the Bible wasn't intended to be The Handbook of Accepted Christian Doctrine. When selecting which books to include the question was “is this writing consistent with Jesus' and the apostles' teaching?” The question was not “how do we make a comprehensive explanation of each and every thing we believe?”

The Bible contains all truth because it's the revelation of Christ (who is truth) and certainly we would never embrace a doctrine opposed to the Bible but the fact that the books of the Bible were selected because they were consistent with tradition is yet another reason Catholics are happy with traditions consistent with the Bible; but not necessarily explicitly spelled out in it.

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