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Author Topic: Tradition. Knowledge.  (Read 447 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pne123
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« on: October 25, 2012, 10:27:37 PM »

Some questions about tradition.

1.  What is it and how is it defined.  Where is tradition "codified" if at all.

2.  How do I know when I hear, see or read the word tradition that I am reading something true or not.

3.  Is tradition infallible.

4.  When I read an orthodox book and it refer to tradition and espouses a certain practice or tradition, how do I know it is true, as in the writer has the tradition written correct, or whether the writer is espousing a personal view and simply using tradition to buttress and to espouse, perhaps falsely, a personal view.

5.  Are tradition and the written bible equal.  Is there any other authority.  Is what God might say in prayer to me or in my conscience an equal to bible or tradition.

Many thanks for your comments.
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Pne123
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 10:29:23 PM »

Also what is the difference between tradition and varied practices in different orthodox forms.
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Ashman618
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 10:35:39 PM »

I believe the bible is viewed as part of the Tradition
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 10:49:45 PM »

I'll give it a shot...

1.  What is it and how is it defined.  Where is tradition "codified" if at all.

Tradition is "the faith once delivered to the saint" "whether by word or epistle" as it has been passed down through the ages, even to our own times. Tradition is not something just in the past, but is a living thing lived and passed on by each generation, including the present. While much of it is written down by this point, it is not generally codified or organized systematically. Certainly there is more written down today than, say, the 3rd century, but there isn't one resource that you can consult as the authoritative and final authority. The witness of tradition as a whole, or the church as a whole, or the "mind of the fathers" guides the way, but this cannot be easily conveyed in a book. Tradition must be lived.

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2.  How do I know when I hear, see or read the word tradition that I am reading something true or not.

I would say guidance from past generations helps. The witness of the Church as believed by most people, in most places, in most times, is often clear. There is also the concept of obtaining an orthodox mindset through cultivating the virtues and ascetic and other spiritual practices. It is a process through life learning and finding an ever deeper understanding. However, when in doubt (and even when not in doubt), trust those who have been given teaching and practical authority (e.g. your bishop).

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3.  Is tradition infallible.

Some would say yes. Some would say the Church is infallible. As for me, I don't think that the word has much use. I'd rather just leave it at: properly understood (to the extent we can), tradition will guide us and keep us from going astray, as our lives and thoughts will hopefully (in part) do for future generations.

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4.  When I read an orthodox book and it refer to tradition and espouses a certain practice or tradition, how do I know it is true, as in the writer has the tradition written correct, or whether the writer is espousing a personal view and simply using tradition to buttress and to espouse, perhaps falsely, a personal view.

I would answer here the same thing I said for #2.

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5.  Are tradition and the written bible equal.  Is there any other authority.  Is what God might say in prayer to me or in my conscience an equal to bible or tradition.

I think the important thing here is: truth is truth. Whether something is said by St. Paul, or St. John Chrysostom, or Pne123, if it's true then it's true. The real issue is, which sources are more likely to hit upon that truth, and to express that truth more clearly? With that question, I think the Bible and tradition as a whole could both be said to speak the truth in a fully trustworthy way, sometimes with the thoughts of councils or church fathers helping us understanding the Bible, and sometimes vice versa. There is a chance that we could misunderstand what the Bible says, or what a Church Father says, that's why it's important to look at the whole scope of what has been taught, from the first inspired words of the Bible to what your bishop says today, to what you personally have discerned, but keeping in mind that some sources (e.g. ourselves) are more likely to be wrong, and some sources (e.g. the bible) are always to be trusted when rightly understood. Other parts of tradition to consider, besides written works (Bible, Councils, Fathers, modern theologians, bishops) would include icons, hagiography, liturgical texts, pious customs and practices, etc.
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Ashman618
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 10:56:47 PM »

Yes yes What he said Smiley
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IoanC
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 01:07:19 PM »

The Bible is Tradition. It wasn't even written down at first, but was spread orally. I recommend this article: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Tradition
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 10:06:41 AM »

Also, it's important to understand that there is Tradition, the faith once delivered to the saints, and tradition, the spiritual and cultural practices that make up "the way we've always done it." Some traditions are more helpful than others, but are not the same as Holy Tradition.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 12:57:52 PM »

Some questions about tradition.

1.  What is it and how is it defined.  Where is tradition "codified" if at all.

2.  How do I know when I hear, see or read the word tradition that I am reading something true or not.

3.  Is tradition infallible.

4.  When I read an orthodox book and it refer to tradition and espouses a certain practice or tradition, how do I know it is true, as in the writer has the tradition written correct, or whether the writer is espousing a personal view and simply using tradition to buttress and to espouse, perhaps falsely, a personal view.

5.  Are tradition and the written bible equal.  Is there any other authority.  Is what God might say in prayer to me or in my conscience an equal to bible or tradition.

Many thanks for your comments.

1.Tradition is the life of the Church.Tradition is the faith of the Church which is codified in councils and canons and exists in the teaching and practice of the Church.It is also codified in the Catechism.Maybe someone can point a good Catechism to you Wink.

2.There are Traditions (capital T) and traditions (small t).Capital T , Traditions are those of authority in the Church, like Church's cannons, the faith of the Councils and the Holy Liturghy.Small traditions are of two types : cultural and clerical.These clerical traditions are unofficial in the sense that they don`t belong to an official record, like those of the councils.These are called theologumens which means popular belief.There is another type of tradition also, the cultural one.Traditions that are brought or influenced by a certain culture, who can happen to be superstitious in many cases thus not that good.These are among common people, in funerals, at certain feasts, certain practices etc.. The best way to know what true tradition is , is to consult a good priest on it and/or start studying intensely the Church.

3.Capital "T" Traditions some believe them to be infallible as the Church is infallible.The Liturgy is infaillible, the cannons are infaillible and the faith is infaillible.

4.Read the Cathechism and study the "Officials" .

5.No Tradition is not equal with the Bible.It is superior to the Bible because it is the principle by which the Bible is interpreted and some think that it is also the life of the Bible.
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Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi
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