Authority, Scripture and Tradition in Catholicism and Judaism

Protestant to a Catholic: How do you establish that the Catholic Church has authority over scripture?

Catholic: Simple. For starters, it’s in scripture. “On this rock” and so much more.

Protestant: For starters?

Catholic: We also rely on tradition.

Protestant: How much is “also.”

Catholic” Half and half. Half on scripture, and half on tradition.

Protestant: What would happen if you were to rely on tradition alone for your authority? Would that halve the authority of the barque of Peter?

Catholic: No, the authority would be the same; the only difference is that the barque would sail at half-mast.

The Talmudic Jew, in contrast to the Catholic, does not fall for or into this circular kind of reasoning. For him, tradition (Oral Torah) produced scripture (Written Torah). Where is his authority for this? Why, tradition. At full sail.

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2 thoughts on “Authority, Scripture and Tradition in Catholicism and Judaism

  1. There is neither such thing as tradition alone nor half Tradition & half Scripture – the Catholic “answer” given above is hypothetical (perhaps you made it). Catholic position is close to what you wrote about Talmudic Jews. The Church existed before the first book of New Testament was written and before the Jews closed their canon (which happened at least in second century AD). Chris teaching was circulated orally and what was later put down in written form indicated He intended to give His apostles authority over His Church. The authority was passed down to their successors – this, of course, belongs to Tradition. Yet Christ did promise to be with His Church to the end of age and did promise to send the Holy Spirit to be with them forever.- for sure Chris was aware that His disciples were mortals, i.e. they would not live to the end of age.

    • Vivator, your “Christ’s teaching was circulated orally and what was later put down in written form indicated He intended to give His apostles authority over His Church.”

      What sources would you use to convince an interested party of apostolic succession headed by the pope?

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