19 February 2007

Scripture and Tradition

So what is the difference between scripture and tradition?

I am asking it, because it has come up in my own mind in my "Comparative Confessions" class.

The Bible wasn't the Bible until 324 AD, at the earliest. That is when the
canon was decided on by the early church fathers. Books were in, and books were out.

This group of books was unchanged until the 15th Century - when Luther said
that the Apocrypha was not part of the Bible. Calvin, and other reformers
accepted this move. So Calvin, and Luther demoted/threw out a few books of the Bible, after they had been part of the canon for almost 1200 years. How come they get to do that?

This article on Wikipedia on the Apocrypha is very interesting:
It talks about how Origen believed that Song of Songs should be tossed out of the canon.

My main question is, isn't it tradition (inspired by the Holy Spirit) that created the canon as we had it in 324? How can we throw out 14 books and fragments of books that have been part of our cannon for 1150 years and say that we are "Sola Scriptura"?

Seems that scripture came out of (Holy Spirit lead) tradition. We say that the early church fathers lead us, but we don't even read the same Bible. Any move to change the current scripture would be thrown out by fundamentalists who have in their hands the truncated Bible. Some might say that the "dubious origin" of the Apocryphal books justifies the removal, but many modern scholars would point to the dubious origin of many of Paul's letters (1&2 Timothy, Titus, etc.)

At the end of the day, I don't understand why people can throw out a good portion of the Bible and still say that they live by scripture alone - without tradion.

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