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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Tradition

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  • randall hay
    Pastor Futrell, nice work in your classes! I might add that while paradosisoccurs 13 times in the NT, the verb paradidomioccurs some 120 times. It never
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 13, 2011
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      Pastor Futrell, nice work in your classes!

      I might add that while paradosisoccurs 13 times in the NT, the verb

      some 120 times. It never means anything other than to hand something to
      others. Paradidomiis defined

      this way even by Protestant dictionaries; the standard BAGD lexicon, which was
      done by Lutherans, defines it

      more exactly as pertaining to ‘oral or written tradition,’ citing many secular
      as well as Christian authors.

      I also like to quote Prof. David Scaer, professor of Biblical and systematic
      theology and chairman of the dept of

      systematics at CTS Ft Wayne:

      "Through the controversies of the historical content of the Bible, the LCMS
      espoused a sola Scriptura theology

      and lived off its own traditions" (CTQ, Vol. 71, #3-4, July/October 2007,
      p. 205).

      The article discusses this in more detail; but how can Lutherans criticize
      tradition if the head of their own

      systematics dept admits it is underlying their own Sola Scriptura belief?

      ---Well, that's a rhetorical question...obviously, the tradition that one does
      not have traditions perpetuates the

      modern LCMS ethos. It is a big-T tradition, too; it trumps all others. The way
      the Orthodox cling to traditions

      so fiercely is a commonplace; but the LCMS does also.

      I rec'd many blessings from the LCMS...but one thing I found is that this
      Tradition can't be fought. Appealing to

      reason, Luther, the confessions or a 17th century German theologian doesn't
      help. All it does is drive you crazy.

      Even if you spend years and gallons of blood, sweat and tears trying to
      transform a parish and make all kinds of

      changes, it'll all fly out the window within the first eight months the next
      pastor is there. It happened to a friend of

      mine. I completely lost my peace before we became Orthodox; I was lying awake
      at night fretting over these


      Of course there are always battles to be fought; but now I'm fighting demons
      rather than Lutherans. Glory to God.



      From: Richard K. Futrell <PastorFutrell@...>
      To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, October 12, 2011 7:54:42 AM
      Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Tradition


      Thanks you so much for that tidbit on the bias in the NIV translation. I wasn't
      aware of that (but then I don;t use the NIV as my primary translation).

      Here's some stuff I taught in a midweek class a while back on "tradition."

      Christian worship is supposed to be traditional, if we understand “tradition” as
      the Bible uses the word. For God in His written, revealed Word requires it!

      But first, let look at the places where “tradition” is looked down on in the
      Bible (as that seems to be what we know the most about).

      - “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash
      their hands before they eat.” Jesus replied,, “And why do you break God's
      commandment because of your tradition?” [Matthew 15:2-3) (See also Mark 7,
      which is the parallel. These two passages are the only places in the Gospels
      were paradosis is used.)

      Similarly Paul is in two places critical of tradition:

      - Galatians 1:14: Paul mentions that before he was a Christian, he was extremely
      zealous for the traditions of the Jewish fathers.

      - Colossians 2:8: Paul distinguishes between human traditions and Christ: “Be
      careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based
      on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on

      These are the only negative mentions of tradition in the New Testament!

      The Greek verb paradidomi often means “hand over, arrest.” The verb is used of
      Judas, often translated as “betray,” because his betrayal was in “handing over”

      But “handing over” is also used positively:

      - The Father “hands over” all things to His Son (Matthew 11:27).

      - In the Parable of the Talents, the goods of the kingdom are “entrusted” to
      stewards. God has entrusted us with those goods. That’s why we are not
      supposed to bury them (as did one of those stewards), treating them as something

      - Luke 1:2: Eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have “traditioned”--that is,
      delivered--the things of Jesus to others.

      - In John’s Gospel, the verb “tradition” is always used to refer to Jesus being
      betrayed or handed over to soldiers, except for 19:30, where Jesus nods His head
      and “hands over” His Spirit.

      Paul praises the Corinthians for keeping the traditions that he delivered to

      - 1 Corinthians 11:2: “Now I praise you for remembering me in everything and
      keeping the traditions just as I delivered them to you.” [Paul traditioned the

      - Similarly 2 Thessalonians 2:15: “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the
      traditions that you were taught, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

      Scripture tells us to avoid those who do not hold to the Apostolic Tradition:

      - 2 Thessalonians 3:6: “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord
      Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not
      according to the tradition received from us.”

      The question for us is: What are the traditions that the Apostle is so insistent
      that we hold firm?

      - Paul identifies it in 1 Cor. 11:23, speaking of the Words of Institution as
      something received from the Lord which He traditions/hands over to the

      - Then, in 1 Corinthians 15:3, Paul gives an early creedal statement, saying
      that this is what has been “handed over” to the Church – the preaching of Jesus
      Christ Crucified and Risen.

      - In 2 Peter 2, the Apostle warns of those who speak “bombastic, empty words,”
      (2:18) who allure and entice the desires of our sinful human nature. They
      promise freedom, but are slaves of corruption. Peter then again uses
      “tradition,” saying it would have been better for them not to have known the way
      of righteousness, then to have known it and forsaken the commandment
      “traditioned” (handed over) to them.

      - Jude writes in his epistle that he is compelled to contend for the faith that
      has been traditioned, once-for-all handed over to the saints.

      From all this it is clear that the Christian faith to be Christian is to be
      “traditional,” and that central to our worship is the holy tradition which comes
      to us from Christ through the Apostles. Worship must be “traditional,”
      something handed down to us if it is to be Christian.

      Rich Futrell, Pastor
      Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO

      Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the Augsburg
      Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of Christ Jesus,
      His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given
      and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life for body, soul, and spirit.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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