A Sidekick's Blog

Traditions 1, 2, and 0 | February 24, 2014

On Bible Interpretation: I appreciate my church having something to guide their interpretation of the bible! Even in the Apostles’ time there were tradions of interpretation, and CREEDS to guide them. Paul cites some of these “faithful sayings, worthy of acceptation” in his letters (1 Tim 1:15, 3:1, 4:9, 2 Tim 2:11, Titus 3:8). If creeds and traditions had a place even in the 1st century church, we ought not dismiss sound creeds and traditions in the 21st century church.

Green Baggins

I’ve been reading in Timothy Ward’s excellent little book Words of Life, and he has a very helpful and clear description of the three main view of Scripture and tradition that were circulating at the time of the Reformation. In this description he builds on Heiko Oberman’s very important work in his Harvest of Medieval Theology. What Oberman calls Tradition I (T1) is the view “that tradition is a tool to aid in the faithful interpretation of Scripture, expounding the primary teachings of Scripture, with Scripture remaining the only source of infallible divine revelation” (Ward, 144). Tradition II (T2) is the view “that there are two distinct sources of divine revelation, Scripture and church tradition, with the latter being haded down either orally or through customary church practices.”

Ward argues that T1 was the position of the early church, and that T2 developed only in the twelfth century…

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