Traditions

August 21, 2016

“The term"tradition" comes from the Latin traditio, but the Greek term is paradosis and the verb is paradido. It means giving, offering, delivering, performing charity. In theological terms it means any teaching or practice which has been transmitted from generation to generation throughout the life of the Church. More exactly, paradosis is the very life of the Holy Trinity as it has been revealed by Christ Himself and testified by the Holy Spirit.The roots and the foundations of this sacred tradition can be found in the Scriptures. For it is only in the Scriptures that we can see and live the presence of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (George Bebis, Ph.D.)

 

“St Paul uses the word tradition to describe this process of faithfully passing on that which he had received."Therefore,” he writes to the brothers in Thessaloniki,"stand firm and hold fast to the traditions – the paradoseis – that you were taught by word or our epistle.” By oral tradition or written tradition, he means. These traditions flow from a single source: the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church. More than the words of Scripture, more than the words of saints, authority rests with the Holy Spirit who inspires, who equips, who distinguishes truth from falsehood, right from wrong, good from evil, life from death. As long as there are faithful persons open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the truth as expressed by the Church will remain.” (Father John Oliver)

 

"No one can deny that there is a dangerous and dark side to tradition. It does not take a Ph.D. in biblical studies to be aware of the harsh language used in Scripture against the legalistic and man-centered traditions of the Pharisees, or the other empty traditions filtering around during the New Testament era, against which Saint Paul warns his readers to be on guard (Colossians 2:8) Undoubtedly some of the most harsh language in all Scripture directed toward this aspect of tradition can be found coming from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 15:3-9. He calls the Pharisees"hypocrites" for nullifying the commandments of God through their phony traditions...[but] while deprecating the dark side of tradition-that is, the tradition of men [He] speaks quite highly concerning tradition properly applied.” (R. Thomas Zell)

 

“…tradition, like the Bible itself, can be perverted and twisted into something unimaginably ugly and godless, if that is the intent of those who are using it. But if we as modern Christians have false preconceptions that go beyond that realization, and tell us that all tradition is evil, or that tradition is something to be avoided like the plague, we need to take a second look at Scripture itself. As we will soon see, the early Church had no such hang-ups about tradition-although Christians were most definitely concerned about differentiating between Holy Tradition and the traditions of men.” (R. Thomas Zell)

 

“...people must be made strong in the faith if they are to withstand the secular assaults that are gaining influence in our modern world. The traditions and ceremonies of the Church are meaningless until people have taken in Christ for themselves.” (Abbot Tryphon)

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