Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Negative Answer to Question 2

by Matthew Bellisario

I think you have gone off track here in trying to justify that Tradition is something that is “added” to Sacred Scripture. Although the above quotes you have posted imply that there are two “sources”, we must understand this in the context that we are looking at two forms of Divine Revelation. As I have already pointed out, it refers to two in as much as we adhere to the 3 persons of the Holy Trinity. Certainly no one would say that Jesus is an “addition” to the Father or the Holy Spirit, yet when someone prays in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, it appears that the “and” is one addition of another person. Yet we know that God is one being with 3 persons to which all the persons of the Holy Trinity are eternal and coexisting. Like this mystery we also must conclude that these documents are writing in a descriptive analogy so that the faithful will understand that Sacred Scripture is not the complete deposit of Divine Revelation, and the above quotes do not in any way contradict that the ultimate source of Divine Revelation is God and that the Gospel is not something divided into two separate “sources” but one source in two forms.

I think we can see that you are attempting to belittle Sacred Tradition by making it seem as if it is something that was arbitrarily added to the Scriptures which is clearly untrue. In fact I have written earlier in this debate where I demonstrated that the Sacred Scriptures and their interpretation actually resides within Tradition. Dei Verbum clearly illustrates my point and does not contradict my definition,

9. "The words of the holy fathers witness to the presence of this living tradition, whose wealth is poured into the practice and life of the believing and praying Church. Through the same tradition the Church's full canon of the sacred books is known, and the sacred writings themselves are more profoundly understood and unceasingly made active in her; and thus God, who spoke of old, uninterruptedly converses with the bride of His beloved Son; and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel resounds in the Church, and through her, in the world, leads unto all truth those who believe and makes the word of Christ dwell abundantly in them (see Col. 3:16).”

10.Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church.

So we can see that Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are one deposit of the same Divine Revelation. Sacred Tradition is not an addition to Sacred Scripture in as much as they are both the Word of God. Any reference to Scripture plus Tradition is done in the context of showing that Sacred Scripture is not the only Word of God regarding Divine Revelation. You are looking for a contradiction here that simply is not there.The use of the above quotations you are using are for the purpose of refuting the heresy of Sola Scriptura, but once again we must read the entire documents to understand their complete context so as to understand the full definition of Sacred Tradition. Dei Verbum nicely sums up Divine Revelation regarding Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. They are all bound together which is the whole point I have been making. None are an addition to the other, but form one sacred deposit of the Word of God.

10. It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls. From Dei Verbum 10.

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