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Author Topic: Sacred tradition - a discussion of the early church  (Read 1958 times)


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Sacred tradition - a discussion of the early church
« on: June 20, 2012, 10:09:37 AM »

"Sacred tradition or holy tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority.

The word "tradition" is taken from the Latin trado, tradere meaning to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath. The teachings of Scripture are written down in the Bible, and are handed on, not only in writing, but also in the lives of those who live according to its teachings. The teachings of Tradition are not necessarily written down, but are lived and are handed on by the lives of those who lived according to its teachings, according to the example of Christ and the Apostles (1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:15). This perpetual handing on of the teachings of Tradition is called a living Tradition; it is the transmission of the teachings of Tradition from one generation to the next. The term "deposit of faith" refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ's revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms, sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition (apostolic succession)."


Athanasius of Alexandria, one of the early church fathers, taught that tradition was, and is an essential part of the church.  We have to consider that "the church" for the first 300 years was really a collection of Christians all with their own unique identity.  The Egyptian Coptic Rites are perhaps the old remaining remnants of that past age. The Coptic rites survived over 1500 years of coexistence with the Islamic faith, but the the reality is that they will soon be gone, partly because of growing tensions in the area, and part because only the old (people) remain in the community.  The world has grown too busy for the young to ensure that the rite continue another generation.

What can we learn from the early church?  I would appreciate your thoughts.........