I hear many Protestants in discussions on Sacred Tradition use an analogy to describe it's "unrelabilitiy" so to speak,and this analogy is equated to a "rumor" or "hearsay" of an event or story that is told and as it is passed around from one person to the next,the story begins to morph and change and by the time several people have heard and told the story to other people it doesn't even ressemble the true event,or what really happened.
And one day I was watching television, and a documentary was on that proposed to trace the footsteps of the Holy Family through Egypt as they were in exile from Judea.And the Gentleman,who was a Protestant, hosting the program was conversing with an Orthodox Priest, and the discussion came up about "Tradition",which is in reference to the Holy Families Trek through Egypt,forewhich their journey not being documented in Sacred Scripture.
The commentator was asking about the relabilty of Tradition,and The Priest explained to him that Tradition is faithfully preserved in the Liturgy,and He said and I'm not quoting here,that Tradition is not what is understood from one person to another,or should I say "private",but these Traditions are spoken and taught in the context of divine liturgy before the entire congregation,in that "everyone" hears "first person",and if one person hears something they are not sure of,or one proposes to question such teachings,the witness of the entire congregation is there to clarify the meaning,and by this this one person is corrected,this alone is the guarantee against hearsay,or should I say heresy!
I thought this was very insightful,any thoughts on this.
Yes, Tradition is not so much a sacred text handed down by word of mouth, but rather the propogation and transmisssion of a faithful context in which Scripture, the dogmas, etc. is are preserved and passed on. It is the living water in which the fish of the Apostles swim up stream and spawn. Outside that water, the fish of scripture would die.
The Church is a culture in the anthropological sense, and like any culture, it is cultivated in its members.
As a sidenote, the Protestant claim is belied by the facts of language. Languages are not learned by their native speakers from a grammar book. They are learned by speakng them. And they are learned so accurate that, for instance, English, over a thousand years from the days of the Anglo-Saxons, is still recognizably Germanic; it can be seen that it is related to German, Dutch, etc. and even further afield Russian, Persian, and Sanskrit. As for texts, the Brahmas have preserved the Vedas and the Modeds the Avesta so well that modern philological examination can identify the prehistoric context of their composition, and the proto-Indo-European myths and society can be reconstructed, reconstruction born out by archeology etc.