Scripture and Tradition

Scripture

Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation, inspired and inerrantly written. The Bible is not like any other book. Because the Scriptures were written under the positive influence of the Holy Spirit, they are considered to be sacred literature. We believe that God is revealed through the Patriarchs and Prophets in the Old Testament and through Jesus Christ in the New Testament. God’s revelation is also entrusted to the Apostles and their successors so that the Word of God is revealed in both Scripture and Tradition. Catholics believe that the Bible is a living document—it continually speaks to believers in every age.

Tradition

It is important to keep in mind what the Catholic Church means by tradition. The term does not refer to legends or mythological accounts, nor does it encompass transitory customs or practices which may change, as circumstances warrant, such as styles of priestly dress, particular forms of devotion to saints, or even liturgical rubrics. Sacred or apostolic tradition consists of the teachings that the apostles passed on orally through their preaching. These teachings largely (perhaps entirely) overlap with those contained in Scripture, but the mode of their transmission is different. 

They have been handed down and entrusted to the Church. It is necessary that Christians believe in and follow this tradition as well as the Bible (Luke 10:16). The truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Eph. 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13). For more information visit Catholic Answers. 

 

 


(Fra Angelico: St Peter Preaching in the presence of St. Mark)