Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior SectionReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext SectionRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-ReferenceVerse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-VerseReference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate LineSeparate Line
Line-By-Line Verse OnlyVerse Only
Line-By-Line Reference OnlyReference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference DelimitersNone — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference DelimitersSquare — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference DelimitersCurly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference DelimitersParens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-ReferenceVerse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-VerseReference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-OnlyReference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse NumbersNo Number
No Verse DelimetersNo Delimiter — 15
Square Verse DelimitersSquare — [15]
Curly Verse DelimitersCurly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse DelimitersParens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate BooksAbbreviate Books
Use SBL Abbrev.Use SBL Abbrev.
En dash not HyphenEn dash not Hyphen
 
Quotes Around VersesQuotes Around Verses
Remove Square BracketsRemove Square Brackets
Sort CanonicallySort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x
Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Bible Basics: An Introduction to Christian Beliefs

Don Stewart :: What Is the Place of Tradition in Determining Christian Doctrine?

toggle collapse
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences

Question 5

What Is the Place of Tradition in Determining Christian Doctrine?

An important issue that must be considered is the place of “tradition” in the determination of authoritative Christian doctrine. What role, if any, does tradition have? Does tradition have the same authority as written Scripture?

Tradition Defined

The word, “tradition,” comes from a word meaning, “to hand over.” It has the idea of accepting beliefs or practices that have been handed down from others. Any group that exists for a period of time will develop its own traditions. From the Bible, we learn the following about the right and wrong use of tradition:

  1. The Bible Says There Are Good Traditions

    Before the New Testament was put into writing, the message was conveyed by word of mouth, or tradition. For example, Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the traditions which had been passed down to him. He said:

    For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread. (1 Corinthians 11:23 NET)

    Paul taught Timothy to hold on to the traditions that he had been taught. He emphasized that these traditions present a divine standard for belief and practice. He said:

    Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13 NET)

    The Contemporary English Version translates the verse in this manner:

    Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model. (2 Timothy 1:13 CEV)

    Once these oral traditions were committed to writing, there was an authoritative source for all Christians for all time—the New Testament.

  2. Scripture Says There Are Bad Traditions

    The Bible also mentions traditions that are not good. Jesus warned against such traditions that contradict the Word of God. Matthew records the following episode:

    Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:1-3 ESV)

    The New Living Translation puts it this way:

    Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus. “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?” they demanded. “They ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” (Matthew 15:1-3 NLT)

    In this case, the current traditions of the religious authorities violated the express commands that God had previously revealed.

  3. New Traditions Arose after the Time of Christ That Differed from Scripture

    Eventually a “new” testament was written by those whom Jesus had specially chosen. Consequently, it was no longer necessary to pass on traditions about Christ; the written Word was the final standard on all matters of faith and practice. However, after the time of Christ and His apostles, there arose a number of church practices that differed from the truths taught in Scripture. These non-biblical traditions brought a strong reaction from those who accepted the authority of Scripture. These traditions were rejected because they contradicted what the Bible clearly said. Again, Scripture was the final test.

  4. All Traditions Must Be Tested by Scripture

    Tradition, therefore, can be either good or bad. Scripture must test them. The traditions that have been passed down can be helpful in understanding biblical truth. However, the light of God’s Word must test them all. The psalmist wrote about seeing things in God’s light. He said:

    For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9 NKJV)

    The Contemporary English Version says:

    The life-giving fountain belongs to you, and your light gives light to each of us. (Psalm 36:9 CEV)

    To conclude, we emphasize that traditions are neutral. They can be either good or bad.

    However, once the Scripture was completed, tradition has no place in determining Christian belief or practice. Christian belief and Christian practice are determined by the Scriptures alone.

Summary - Question 5
What Is the Place of Tradition in Determining Christian Doctrine?

The word, “tradition,” has the idea of “handing something over.” Scripture has things to say about the subject of tradition.

The New Testament speaks approvingly of certain traditions about Jesus. Therefore, some traditions are good. However, Jesus Himself warned of traditions that were contrary to the Word of God. Consequently, we may also have some bad traditions which are against God’s Word.

In the history of the church, a number of traditions have risen that are at odds with the Bible. These must be rejected.

Accordingly, traditions can be either good or bad. The key question about any tradition is, “Does it match up with Scripture?” Now that we have a Scripture that is complete, tradition has no place in determining what Christians should believe or how they should behave.

These questions can only be settled by the teachings found in the Word of God.

What Basic Assumptions Should Be Made Before Studying Christian Doctrine? ← Prior Section
What Is the Difference Between Theology and Religion? (Belief and Practice) Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login to your account

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

 

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

[ Cancel ]← Login to Your Account

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or UsernameUsername or Email Address

 

← Return to Login

Close LoginCLOSE
Tap to Close