Only the Bible...
Some people will say, "If it is not in the Bible, I will not believe it." Ask them if they believe in the Holy Trinity. If they say 'yes, of course', then say, "O.K. then find the word 'Trinity' for me in the Bible." They can't find it because that word is not in the Bible. How then can anyone who believes in the Holy Trinity say, 'SOLA SCRIPTURA' (only the Bible)? Do you sincerely believe the Bible is the Holy Word of GOD, and is the truth? Do you feel if it is in the Bible, you can believe it? Do you feel if it is not in the Bible, you will not believe it? But what about 'Tradition'? Some people will say 'Tradition' is just something the Catholic Church uses and we can't really believe it because if it isn't written, it can't be true. 'SOLA SCRIPTURA'...
Lets look at this more closely... Now some are saying, they believe in the 'Trinity', of which, the word is not in the Bible (neither is the word 'Incarnation' but most Christians believe in it), but they don't believe in 'Tradition' which IS in the Bible. What? 'Tradition' is in the Bible...?
Well for starters, look in your Bible in Thessalonians: 2Thes 2:15, 'Therefore brethren, stand fast, and hold the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by WORD, or our Epistle'. This verse is telling you to honor the traditions which have been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. SOLA SCRIPTURA...? No way, "For the Bible tells me so." An 'apparent' Bible conflict with 2Thes 2:15, is Col 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the 'tradition' of MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." However the Bible refers to two types of 'Tradition', human 'tradition' (small 't') handed down by men and not after Christ (as stated in Col 2:8), and apostolic 'Tradition' (capital 'T'), handed down from the 'Word of GOD', the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself, and the on going teaching of the Church. The condemnations of tradition in Mt 15:3, Mk 7:9, and Col 2:8 refer to bad human traditions. 2Thes 2:15 refers to apostolic tradition, the 'Word of GOD'. See references at the end of this file.
Jesus Christ taught orally, the 'spoken word'. He did not write a book. The only record that He wrote anything at all is in Jn 8:6-8, "Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground." We do not even know what He wrote. The first book of the New Testament was written many years after His death. Where did the New Testament writers get their source, Sola Scriptura? There was no Scriptura to draw from at that time, so 'Tradition' had to have played a big role in the writing of these books. If you had no Tradition, you would have no Bible.
There were many books written before and after the New Testament. The Bible does not say that it is the only book to be believed. Many say Peter was not the first Pope, because the Bible does not say he was ever in Rome. It does not say he wasn't there either. Many other writings of the same era (Eusebius Pamphilius, for example), say he was indeed in Rome, and he died there. This was shown to be true, as his tomb was found under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In Matthew 1:1-17, we have the 'begats', the genealogy of Jesus Christ (v1,17). It is interesting to note that the genealogy is for Jesus's foster father, St. Joseph, who was not His real Father and not a blood relation. The genealogy of Mary, His real mother, a blood relation, who gave Him birth is not stated. After all, the substance of the blood that flowed through the veins of Jesus came from Mary. How do you account for this 'apparent omission' in the Word of GOD? The answer is, it was 'TRADITIONAL' for the Jews to show the genealogy of the males and not the females. This clearly shows that 'Tradition' played a big role in the written Word of the Holy Bible.
* Note! The Bible does show Mary to be of the house of David, but no ancestral line can be traced. If you will compare: Gen 3:15, "I will put enmity between thy seed and her 'SEED' (Jesus)..." Rom 1:3, "Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the 'SEED' of David according to the flesh." Lk 1:32, "...and the Lord GOD will give Him the throne of David His father, and He shall be King over the house of Jacob forever." Also see, Isa 7:13-14, Jn 7:42, Acts 2:29-30, 13:22-23, 2Tim 2:8, Rev 5:5.
Another verse using the word, 'tradition' (human tradition) is: Gal 1:14, 'And profited in the Jews religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the TRADITIONS of my fathers'.
Here is an interesting verse. Read Acts 20:35. "In all things I have shown you that by so toiling you ought to help the weak and REMEMBER the word of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE'." The word 'REMEMBER', doesn't it mean 'KEEP THE TRADITION'? And if that isn't enough, try to find where the Lord said, 'IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE', in the Gospels. You can't because it isn't there. Paul passed this phrase to the people by none other than 'TRADITION'.
There are several events in the New Testament which cannot be traced to the Old Testament and so must have been handed down by TRADITION. Some examples are: Mt 2:23 - Nazarene, 2Tim 3:8 - Jamnes and Jambres, Jude 9 - St.Michael disputing with the devil about the body of Moses.
It has been said, that all that is written in the Gospels cumulatively, would only cover 18 days in the life of Jesus Christ. He lived for 33 years or 33 X 365 = 12045 days. What about the missing 12027 days? Where are the 'writings' of over 99% of His life? A good part is probably lost, and the remainder is, no doubt...TRADITION!
How can anyone dismiss what John says in: John 20:30 and 21:25 Jn 21:25, 'And there are also MANY OTHER THINGS WHICH JESUS DID, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the WORLD ITSELF COULD NOT CONTAIN THE BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE WRITTEN. AMEN'. Amen is right...
So what does all this mean...? In a few words, 'KEEP THE TRADITIONS'.
Have you ever looked at an equilateral triangle (equal lengths and angles in all dimensions)? It is the strongest, most rigid geometric form in existence. You see a lot of them in use in bridges to add strength. The Catholic Church is very careful to preserve 'Tradition'. It is one leg of a triangle of Church teaching. The other two legs are Holy Scripture and the Magisterium. No one leg can subsist without the other two. We have a triangle in the Holy Trinity, a triangle in the teaching of the Church, and a triangle in each living person, a body, soul, and spirit. The legs of each of these 3 triangles cannot be separated and still retain the attributes, integrity, and the meaning of the whole.
For those who of you who believe in Sola Scriptura, I ask you: "SOLA SCRIPTURA, show me in the Bible where it says, SOLA SCRIPTURA, only the Bible." YOU WILL NOT FIND IT. Since you do not believe anything unless it is written in Scripture, how can you possibly believe in Sola Scriptura when it cannot be found in Scripture?
St. Augustine, Martin Luther's guide and mentor, ought to have the last word about Sola Scriptura. He said, "But for the authority of the Church, I would not believe the Gospel."
Apostolic 'Tradition': Psa 44:1,45:17,77:5,10-11,105:5,143:5, Prov 2:17,6:20, *Isa 40:8, *Isa 59:21, Mt 28:20, *Mk 13:31, Lk 2:19,51, Jn 14:25-26,15:20,27, Jn 21:24-25, Act 2:42, *Act 20:35, Rom 12:6, 1Cor *2:13,11:2, 1Cor 15:2, 2Cor 3:2-3, *2Thes 2:14-15, *2Thes 3:6, 2Tim 1:13,2:2,15, 2Tim 3:14, Heb 2:1, *1Pet 1:25, *2Pet 1:20, 1Jn 1:1, 1Jn 2:24, *2Jn 1:12, *3Jn 1:13-14, Jud 1:3, Rev 12:17, Rev 19:10.
Human 'tradition': Mt 15:2,3,6, Mk 7:3,5,8,9,13, *1Cor 2:13, Gal 1:14, *Col 2:8,14, Tit 1:14, 1Pet 1:18