Orthodox and Scripture

In Orthodoxy, we hold Scripture to lie within tradition… We do not believe in Scripture and tradition as two separate or parallel sources. Tradition is simply the mind and heart of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Scripture is the authentic core of that which is written down as the Canonical Norm of believing and living. However, Scripture on its own without tradition can lead people astray. Not on account of Scripture itself of course, but by their refusal to attend to the mind and heart of the Church.

In general Protestantism holds to the doctrine of sola scriptura (Scripture alone). The problem with this is, and the question always has to be asked, “The Bible according to whom?” All 38,000+ Protestant denominations claim Christ and the Bible to be correct – even in the face of clear contradictions with others who claim to be of the same denomination. How is the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 achieved by this?

The Scriptures themselves contradict the Doctrine of sola scriptura.

1 Corinthians 11:2 – “I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions, just as I passed them on to you.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15 – “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught whether by word, or our epistle.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6 – “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”

It is interesting that in certain versions of the Bible like the NIV, Protestants have changed the actual meaning of the word from “tradition” to “teachings” in the above passages.

The question then arises, what traditions are we to hold too? The answer has always been: Apostolic Tradition… which Orthodoxy has clung too for 2000+ years.

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