(Continued from page 367)
Papal Rome's arguments for 'oral tradition' fail in the same way Muhammad failed!
You write: I have shown verses which unequivocally state the unwritten word is inspired. I have thoroughly demonstrated that there is a revelation passed on by word of mouth/orally and that it must be heeded (and not only Scripture)- that refutes sola scriptura.http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com
TCE: The simple truth to the 'verses which [you believe] unequivocally state the unwritten word is inspired ʾ and the argument against accepting 'oral tradition' is extremely obvious, as we have already elucidated (see Menu) and which is also entirely consistent with our refutations above.
Any Word from God to a chosen servant is obviously inspired but, if it were not written down as a record for people all over the world to enjoy throughout the history of mankind, it is equally obvious that - apart from a few possible witnesses occasionally present at the time of the revelation - no one could be 100% certain that it was an inspired Word from God. Equally obviously, every Word claimed to be from God, whether oral or written, has to pass all the tests for Scripture - as we have also elucidated previously!
Knowing that you will follow the same spiritual path as previous Papal Roman Catholics and fail to even attempt to answer our refutations, we simply ask readers with a genuine belief in the Lord Jesus Christ to pray that He will open the eyes of the blind who are truly chosen by His Father as Scripture makes clear:
John 6:64-65 - But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray Him. And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it be given unto him of the Father.
John 5:36-47 - But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me. And the Father that sent Me, He hath borne witness of Me. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He sent, Him ye believe not. Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me; and ye will not come to Me, that ye may have life. I receive not glory from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves. I am come in My Father's Name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not? Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe Me; for he wrote [Greek: grápho - to "grave", especially to write; figuratively, to describe] of Me. But if ye believe not his writings [Greek: grámma], how shall ye believe My words?
Why didn't Jesus tell them that Moses said these words - so they should believe? Why did He quote from the preserved written Word of God? For the obvious reason that people would quibble that Moses may not have said these words, or even been misunderstood by people and to have meant something different!
These are exactly the arguments that the other cults and false religions also use to try and deny the Lord Jesus Christ - and His Word - and thus you also find other deceivers such as the Mormons and Islam trying to manufacture reasons for people to believe in their false prophets. But the accuracy of the Word of God is unparalleled and thus both your claims and theirs are utterly refuted.
When we read Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah, who wrote many prophecies concerning the promised Messiah, we know why no person has any excuse for denying the Saviour because He emphasised how important that the written record existed and not just the spoken word:
John 12:32-50 - ʿ... And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself. But this He said, signifying by what manner of death He should die. The multitude therefore answered Him, We have heard out of the law that the Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said unto them, Yet a little while is the light among you. Walk while ye have the light, that darkness overtake you not: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the Light, believe on the Light, that ye may become sons of Light. These things spake Jesus, and He departed and hid Himself from them. But though He had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on Him: that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? For this cause they could not believe, for that Isaiah said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; Lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, And should turn, And I should heal them. These things said Isaiah, because he saw His glory; and he spake of Him. Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the glory that is of men more than the glory that is of God. And Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And he that beholdeth Me beholdeth Him that sent Me. I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me may not abide in the darkness. And if any man hear My sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My sayings, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I spake not from Myself; but the Father that sent Me, He hath given Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto Me, so I speak.ʾ
The multitude had 'heard out of the law that the Christ abideth for ever ...' because of the written word which the people knew had been preserved from the beginning of Israel's dealings with God - despite the foolishness of the majority of their rulers! And we know that His Words would also be 'heard' throughout history because of this carefully preserved word in the manuscripts copied with care through the centuries (although this is less true of those that fell into the hands of Papal Rome - as we have also shown on earlier pages).
John 17:1-26 - These things spake Jesus; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee: even as Thou gavest Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He should give eternal life. And this is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ. I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. I manifested Thy name unto the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me; and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are from Thee: for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given unto them; and they received them, and knew of a truth that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine: and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine: and I am glorified in them. And I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as we are. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition; that the scripture (Greek: graphe) might be fulfilled. But now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them from the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, even so sent I them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are One; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and lovedst them, even as Thou lovedst Me. Father, I desire that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world knew thee not, but I knew thee; and these knew that Thou didst send Me; and I made known unto them Thy name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou lovedst Me may be in them, and I in them.
Jesus speaks of His words and the words of His disciples being believed while referring to the manner in which people will hear His words as they heard them in the 'scripture being fulfilled' - the written Word!
And even many pagans will know the words Jesus used to describe the impossibility of God ever being incapable of protecting His Word:
Matthew 5:18 - For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Luke 16:17 - And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
The Greek word for 'law' is nómos (used for the law of Moses and of the Gospel).
How can anyone claiming to be a believer fail to remember the drama of Moses and the Word of God preserved on tablets:
Exodus 24:12 And YHWH said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them.
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, with the two tables of the testimony in his hand; tables that were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
Exodus 32:16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
Exodus 32:19 - And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables (Hebrew: lûwach - a tablet of stone, wood or metal - a board, plate, or table) out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
But even this destroyed record was easily restored by God:
Exodus 34:1 - And YHWH said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon the tables the words that were on the first tables, which thou brakest.
Exodus 34:4 - And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as YHWH had commanded him, and took in his hand two tables of stone.
Exodus 34:28 - And he was there with YHWH fortunately days and fortunately nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Exodus 34:29 - And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.
Deuteronomy 4:13 - And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deuteronomy 5:22 - These words YHWH spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them unto me.
Deuteronomy 9:9-11 - When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which YHWH made with you, then I abode in the mount fortunately days and fortunately nights; I did neither eat bread nor drink water. And YHWH delivered unto me the two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which YHWH speak with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of fortunately days and fortunately nights, that YHWH gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
Deuteronomy 9:15 - So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount was burning with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
Deuteronomy 9:17 - And I took hold of the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
Deuteronomy 10:1-5 - At that time YHWH said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. So I made an ark of acacia wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in my hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which YHWH spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and YHWH gave them unto me. And I turned and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are as YHWH commanded me.
1 Kings 8:9 - There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when YHWH made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
2 Chronicles 5:10 - There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put there at Horeb, when YHWH made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
Habakkuk 2:1-4 - I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look forth to see what he will speak with me, and what I shall answer concerning my complaint. And YHWH answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets [Hebrew: lûwach), that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hasteth toward the end, and shall not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay. Behold, his soul is puffed up, it is not upright in him; but the righteous shall live by his faith.
Habbakuk the prophet was told by God to write the vision on tables (tablets) in large letters so that it could be read, and not just by anyone, but even those passing by quickly would be able to see what was written with a quick glance. The second part tells us that God had given the prophet a prophecy for believing Israel and reveals, yet again, how the idea of 'oral' transmission and preservation of the Word of God is not true to any facts revealed in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
Apart from the lessons we learn from Papal Rome's foolish flip-flops - which prove her hierarchy neither follows the written Word of God or has any genuine 'oral tradition' - we also have the example of a religion that tried to preserve its record of 'Allah's word' by using memorisation.
The false prophet of Islam, Muhammad, did not write down his 'revelations' but delivered them orally so that, shortly after his death, it became necessary to collect all the scattered pieces and chapters of his revelations into one book for use in the Muslim community. According to Islamic tradition different fragments of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad verbatim by the angel Gabriel over a period of twenty-three years (Sura 25:32; 17:106) and, after each revelation, the 'prophet' would recite the words to those present ("Qur'an" means reading or reciting). Many devout believers memorized these Qur'anic portions as they were revealed and used them for private meditation or public worship, especially the shorter Meccan suras. Tradition also relates that Muhammad's scribes wrote the revelations on "pieces of paper, stones, palm-leaves, shoulder-blades, ribs, and bits of leather" - not the most robust materials and there is no known, verified, record of multiple copies on any of these materials to give confidence in the accuracy of the record.
As long as the 'prophet' was alive and acting as God's mouthpiece to his followers and the wider community, no urgent need was felt to gather all the 'revelations' into one collection. However, with the death of their prophet, the demand for collecting and compiling the 'revelations' in written form became a matter of concern. About a year after Muhammad's death, especially at the battle of Yamamah (633 AD), a great number of those who could recite the Qur'an by memory (hafiz) were killed. Followers of Muhammad, mainly due to the promptings of Umar, who later became the second Caliph of Islam, ordered the collection of the Qur'an because of the fear that the knowledge of it might fade away. Zaid bin Thabit, one of Muhammad's most trusted secretaries, was appointed to this task. According to Zaid's testimony, "during the lifetime of the prophet the Qur'an had all been written down, but it was not yet united in one place nor arranged in successive order." Zaid's own account is preserved for us in Sahih of Al-Bukhari where it is written that the scribe '...started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palm-leaf stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart'.
Despite this account from the most trusted traditionalist in Islam, al Bukhari (d. 870), Muslim scholars recognise the weakness of their position, when compared to the incomparable record of preservation of the Bible, and subsequently claim that the Qur'an was arranged in the same form that exists today as a result of careful supervision by Muhammad and Gabriel! A further crisis occurred during the reign of Uthman, the third Muslim Caliph, when Islam was faced with another crisis regarding the Qur'an. Uthman recognised that several Muslim communities were using different versions of the Qur'an and it was feared that this had created obvious uncertainty as to which Qur'anic reading was the correct one with resultant doctrinal confusion. Bukhari recorded that this news reached Uthman from Hudhaifa, general of the Muslim army in the campaign in Armenia, who had observed such debates among his own troops. So, once again, Zaid was called to head a new project of editing an official revised version of the Qur'an. After the production of the revised version, which followed the dialect of the Quraish, several copies of this new authoritative Qur'an were sent to each major centre of the Islamic empire and all the other copies of the Qur'an were recalled and burned by order of Caliph Uthman.
Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Sa'id bin Al-As, and 'Abdur-Rahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. Uthman ordered that, if the three Quraishi men disagreed with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, they should write it in the dialect of Quraish since the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue (and not delivered from heaven in some wondrous form of Arabic as later Muslims have tried to claim!). They followed this order and, when they had written many copies, Uthman returned the original manuscript to Hafsa and then sent one copy to every Muslim province and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Qur'anic scholars generally claim that the Uthmanic version of the Qur'an has remained practically the same to the present day, but they cannot avoid the fact that we know that at least seven recensions and five different collections existed before Uthman's attempted 'clean-up'. And, despite Uthman's 'clean-up' of the Qur'an and the hopeful hiding of the many versions that clearly existed prior to his work, other obvious problems still exist for Islam - including the lack of any spiritual credibility of Uthman and his chosen scribe!
There is a further damaging similarity in the tale of Islam to the claims of Papal Rome. According to the common view of Muslims, the Qur'an is the 'recited revelation' while the traditions (hadith) are the 'un-recited (read) revelation'. So, in Islam, the traditions are regarded as a kind of 'second class revelation' compared to the primary 'revelation' in the Qur'an in accordance with a reported tradition from Muhammad:
'My sayings do not abrogate the Word of God, but the Word of God can abrogate my sayings' (Mishkat Book I, Chapter 6).
Ironically, this reveals the Papal Roman Catholic view in an even shabbier light than that of Islam, for Papal Rome has tried to abrogate the Bible (the real Word of God!) with its unsupported traditions - as we have repeatedly proven in our replies to Papal Roman Catholics!
Our study of the attempts by Jerome to produce a superior Bible - which resulted in the Vulgate - and the subsequent failure of Papal Rome to even carefully preserve that work (see Menu) reveals yet another failure by the popes.
The relationship between an eloquent 'orator' speaking the received Word of God and the 'oracles' (utterances of God) given originally, is clearly seen in the Bible:
Acts 18:24 - And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent [Greek: lógios, fluent, i.e. an orator, eloquent] man, and mighty in the scriptures [Greek: graphe - a document, i.e. holy Writ, or its contents or a statement in it, scripture], came to Ephesus.
Acts 7:38 - This is he that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel that spake to him in the Mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received living oracles [Greek: lógion, an utterance (of God), oracle] to give unto us:
Romans 3:2 - Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles [Greek: lógion, an utterance (of God), oracle] of God.
Hebrews 5:12 - For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles [Greek: lógion, an utterance (of God), oracle] of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.
1 Peter 4:11 - if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles [Greek: lógion, an utterance (of God), oracle] of God; is any man ministereth, ministering as of the strength which God supplieth: that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
If ever a clear statement on 'oral tradition' was going to be made it would have been in these verses in the New Testament - but there is only the clear record of the accurate deliverance by mouth ('oracles') to God's servants who recorded His Words in documents (graphe) that later orators (such as Apollos) could refer to maintain and deliver His clear and accurate Will to mankind. The fact that the historical record shows clearly how Papal Rome has failed to maintain and deliver the Word of God accurately to the world reveals that her claim to 'oral tradition' is a total myth! Coupled with the evidence from examining Jerome's translation of the Bible, the subsequent thorough mangling by Rome's scribes, and the arrogant wresting of Scripture by Pope Sixtus V, we see more irrefutable proof that Papal Rome is a complete deception with no supportable link to Biblical Christianity.
Much more could be written about the clear importance of the Word of God being preserved in written form rather than the hope of an unproven oral record, but the final word from us comes from the Logos Himself - the Lord Jesus Christ! When tempted by Satan, Jesus did not rely on what He had said to mankind in the history of the world to the point where He came to earth to save all of believing mankind, as we can safely read at:
Matthew 4:1-11 - 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted fortunately days and fortunately nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written (Greek: grápho), 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took* Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said* to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You'; and 'On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 8 Again, the devil took* Him to a very high mountain and showed* Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said* to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'" 11 Then the devil left* Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
In similar vein, we read Luke 4:1-13 - 1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for fortunately days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'" 5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 "Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours." 8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'" 9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,' 11 and, 'On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'" 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 13When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
So we have Jesus repeatedly replying 'It is written' (Greek: grápho) and, only once, Scripture records here that He replied to Satan - 'It is said ' (Greek: eréō - to utter, i.e. speak or say, call, speak of, tell) - and that is in a parallel passage in another inspired gospel record (Luke 4v12)!
And, since we know that the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the originator of every Word of God that is 'said', before 'it is written', we can be confident that He has decided that His Word will be recorded in the written form so that no man has excuse to deny His Word.
Thus we conclude our complete demolition of your claims and rest confident in this knowledge summarised by:
Romans 16:25-27 - Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures (Greek: graphe) of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.