I haven't been following this thread, so you must forgive me if my irruption is irrelevant to what has gone before. It seems to me, as an outsider to Orthodoxy, that you have that body of belief and practice called Holy Tradition, but that you have filled it with the things you wish to believe - a bit like someone said on a different thread that we Prots have done from another source with the things we want a priori to believe. You know well enough the usual gripes we Prots have about your religious practices - prayer to the saints, prayer for the dead, infant baptism (in the case of Baptists anyway) etc etc - we have discussed them at length elsewhere and they need not be listed here, neither do I wish to restart a discussion of them. You say they are in Holy Tradition because they were within the oral teaching the apostles gave to the early churches, which was not included in the books of the NT. A fair enough theory, but there is (as far as I know) no evidence for these beliefs and practices within the first churches. The earliest writings being Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp and so on, there is a fairly large gap in time before the material of Holy Tradition makes its appearance. Therefore, the question of whether its contents are traditions of men or of God is, surely, a matter of faith not sight? If we pin our faith on scripture alone as sufficient and alone authoritative, and if you pin yours on Holy Tradition (which includes scripture), are we not in fact both making an act of faith? This does not mean that we are right and you wrong, nor vice versa, but the matter surely cannot be determined by rational argument.