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The Early Church Fathers on Sacred or Apostolic Tradition.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures



  1. St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258)
    Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272)
    St. Alexander of Alexandria, (A.D. c.250-325)
    Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338)
    St. Eusebius of Vercelli, (A.D. 283-371)
    St. Alexander of Alexandria, (c. A.D. 250-325)
    St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378)
    St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367)
    St. Gregory of Nazianzen, (A.D. 318-389)
    St. Basil the Great, (A.D. 328-379)
    St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403)
    St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420)
    St. John Chrysostom, (A.D. 344 - 407)
St. Cyprian of Carthage, (A.D. 200-258), North African; bishop; biblical scholar, martyr.

"Although I am sensible that most of the bishops, who have been, by the divine favor, set over the Lord's churches throughout the world, hold to the method of evangelical truth and of the Lord's tradition, and depart not, by any human and novel institution, from that which Christ our Master both taught and did; yet, as some, through ignorance or simplicity, in consecrating the chalice of the Lord, and in ministering it to the people, do not that which Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, the author and teacher of this sacrifice, did and taught,

I have thought it an act of duty, as well as of necessity, to write this letter to you, in order that if any one be yet held in this error, he may, when he has seen the light of truth, return to the root and origin of the Lord s tradition. . . . Know, then, that we have been admonished that, in offering the chalice, the Lord's tradition be observed, and that nothing be done by us but what the Lord first did for us, that the chalice, that is, which is offered in commemoration of Him, be offered mixed with wine."

Ep. lxiii. ad Caecilium,p. 225.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 402

Firmilian of Cæsarea, (A.D. 210-272), Cappadocian; bishop, contemporary of Gregory Thaumaturge, ardent admirer of Origen; remembered for the moral support he gave St. Cyprian of Carthage on the issue of baptizing heretics.

"As to what Stephen has asserted, as though the Apostles had forbidden those who came over from heresy to be baptized, and had handed this down to be observed by posterity, you (Cyprian) have answered most fully, that no one is so foolish as to believe that the Apostles have handed this down, seeing even that it is certain that these execrable and detestable heresies took their rise after their time. . . . Further, that they, who are at Rome, do not, in all things, observe what has been handed down from the beginning, and in vain put forward the authority of the Apostles, any one may know even from this, that as regards the celebration of the Easter-day, and many other sacraments of divine concernment, there are amongst them sundry diversities, and that their observance does not exactly correspond with that at Jerusalem; in which respect there are also, in many other provinces, many differences, according to the diversity of place and names; and yet not on that account has there ever been a departure from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church. This breach Stephen has now dared to make, breaking with you that peace which his predecessors ever maintained with you in mutual love and honor; and besides this, defaming the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, as if they had handed this down; they who, in their epistles, have execrated heretics, and warned us to avoid them. Whence it is apparent that this is a human tradition which upholds heretics, and insists that they have baptism, which appertains to the Church

Inter op. S. Cypriani, Ep. lxxv. p. 303.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 403-404

St. Alexander of Alexandria, (c.A.D. 250-325), He succeeded to the chair of Alexandria about the year A.D. 312. He was the first to resist the heresy of Arius, whom he condemned, and whose against novelties he wrote numerous letters to the bishops of various churches; only two of these remain.

"The messengers that have been sent to you, and to others, will inform you of the contumely and injustice which they have endured (from the Arians). Be ye also, therefore, moved, I beseech you, not as if we were alone, but as if you also had been unjustly treated, and let each lend his aid, as though he personally suffered; lest the canons of the Church, and the faith of the Church, be shortly damaged. For both are endangered, unless God speedily through you rectify these disorders, and the Church find defenders. For it is not now that the canons and statutes have been given to the churches, but from our fathers have they been well and steadfastly transmitted. Neither is it now that the faith began, but from the Lord, through the disciples, has it come down to us. In order, therefore, that those things, which from the ancients have been preserved in the churches even unto us, may not in these our days utterly perish, and that the things entrusted to us may not be required at our hands, be ye zealous, brethren, as being the dispensers of the mysteries of God, and as witnessing these things rudely seized by others."

Ep. Encyc. ad Ep. n. i. t. i. p. 88.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 406-407

"For this has been their device and cunning (of the Arians), and they had ever this deadly purpose, to seek to drive from their chairs, and to hunt down those who in any place are of the orthodox faith, and who hold to that teaching of the Catholic Church which has been handed down to them from their fathers."

Apol. con. Arian (Ex Ep. Syn. Sard.) n. 37, t. i. pp. 122-3.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 407

"But as these men, maddened by their impiety, and smitten with blind dizziness as regards the truth, make it their sole business to bring accusations against the synod (of Nicaea), let them tell us out of what sort of Scriptures they have learnt, or from which of the holy men they have heard, the terms which are heaped together by them?"

Ibid. n. 18, pp. 175-6.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 408

"Who ever heard such things as these? or whence, or from whom, have the favorers and hirelings of this heresy learnt them? Who, when they were catechised, ever uttered such things to them? . . . But if even they themselves (the Arians) confess that these things are now heard for the first time, they will not deny that this heresy is alien, and is not from the fathers. But that which is not from the fathers, but has just now been discovered, what else can it be but that of which the blessed Apostle Paul prophesied, "In the last times some shall depart from the sound faith. (1 Timothy 4:1)?"

Or. i. Con. Arian, n. 8, t. i. p. 325.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 408-409

"Though dwelling in the desert, I have written to you these few things, on account of the audacity of those who have turned aside from the truth. ... I have delivered to you the apostolic faith, as it has been transmitted to us by the fathers, not inventing anything adventitious, but what I have learned, that have I written harmoniously with the holy Scriptures."

Ep. i. ad Serap. n. 33, t. i. part. 2, p. 545.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 409

"It is enough to give this only for answer to such things (from the Arians), and to say these things are not of the Catholic Church; neither did the fathers think thus."

Ep. ad Epictet. n. 3, t. I, par. ii. p. 722.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 412

"This is that madness and audacity of these men (Arians), as I have already stated. But our faith is right and is derived from the apostolic doctrine and the tradition of the fathers, confirmed from both the Old and New Testament."

Ep. ad Adelph.n. 6, ib. p. 730.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 412

Imitating the introduction to St. Luke's Gospel, he says:

"For as much as certain persons have taken in hand to set forth in order the books, called Apocrypha, and to mix them with the divinely inspired writings, concerning which we have full assurance, according as they, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, have delivered to the fathers, it has seemed good to me also, at the exhortation of certain brethren, and having attained to this knowledge from the beginning, to set forth in order the books than are canonized, and are handed down, and believed to be divine."

[Then Athanasius lists the well-known canon.]

Ep. Fest. t. 1, par. ii. p. 767.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 413

Eusebius of Cæsarea, (A.D. c.263-338), appointed Bishop of Cæsarea in A.D. 314, Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist, scholar of the Biblical canon who was deeply embroiled in the Arian controversy.

Eusebius of Cæsarea says of St. Ignatius, and of his epistles:

"He warns them to be especially on their guard against the heresies just then first springing up, and increasing. He exhorts them to hold firmly the tradition of the Apostles, which, for security, he thought it necessary, as a witness, to confirm in writing."

Hist. Eccles. l. iii. c. 36
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 388

[Having given a list of the Deuterocanonical books of the New Testament, he says:]

"All the above writings are controverted. And yet I have of necessity given a catalogue of them, distinguishing, according to the tradition of the Church, those writings which are true, genuine, and acknowledged, from the other writings in addition to these, which are not put into the body of the New Testament, and are even controverted, but which still are acknowledged by the greater number of ecclesiastical writers; that thus we may be able to know, both what writings are of this character, and also those which are circulated by heretics under the name of Apostles, as containing the gospels of Peter, and of Thomas, and of Matthias, and even of others besides these, and the acts of John and of the other Apostles."

Hist. Eccles. l. iii. c. 25, p. 119.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 404.

"Moses, on inanimate tables, but Christ, on living souls, wrote the perfect precepts of the New Testament; and His disciples also, according to the wish of their Master, making their teaching suitable to the ears of the many, what things so ever were taught by their perfect Master, for such as had overcome mere habit, those they delivered to such as were competent to receive them; but whatsoever things they had received to adapt to those who were still under the passions, and who stood in need of remedies, such, letting themselves down to the weakness of the majority, they transmitted, some to be observed on account of written, and others on account of unwritten laws: so that even now in the Church of Christ there are two modes of living having force of law, the one, above nature and superior to the common and human scheme of life, not admitting of marriage, or the generation of children, nor of possessions, nor of superfluity, and devoted entirely to the service of God according to their overflowing heavenly love."

Dem. Evang. c. viii. p. 29.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 404-405

St. Eusebius of Vercelli, (A.D. 283-371), Sardinian; bishop.

While [Ignatius of Antioch] was making the journey through Asia under the strictest military guard, he strengthened the diocese in each city where he stayed by spoken sermons and exhortations, and he especially exhorted them above all to be on their guard against the heresies which then for the first time were prevalent and he urged them to hold fast to the tradition of the Apostles to which he thought it necessary, for securities sake, to give form by written testimony.

Ecclesiastical History, 3:36 [A.D. 325]

St. Athanasius of Alexandria, (A.D. 296-372), Egyptian; bishop, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. He was present, as an assistant to St. Alexander of Alexandria, at the council of Nicea who he succeeded in A.D. 326. During more than forty years he was the champion of orthodoxy, and suffered much severe persecution from the Arian party.

Without prefixing Consulate, month, and day, [the Fathers] wrote concerning Easter:

"It seemed good as follows," for it did then seem good that there should be a general compliance; but about the faith they wrote not, "It seemed good" but, "Thus believes the Catholic Church"; and thereupon they confessed how they believed, in order to show that their own sentiments were not novel, but Apostolic; and what they wrote down was no discovery of theirs, but is the same as was taught by the Apostles.

Letter on the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia [A.D. 359]

St. Ephrem the Syrian, (of Edessa), (A.D. 306-378), Syrian; born in Nisebis, deacon, hymnist, poet. His works were even during his own lifetime almost all translated into Greek, and were, as St. Jerome informs us, held in such high estimation, as to be read in some churches after the Holy Scriptures. We have his life by St. Gregory of Nyssa.

"Be firmly persuaded of this, not as an opinion, but as a truth, that whatsoever has been transmitted, whether in writing only or by word of mouth, and by consequence the divine names and appellations, is directed to this end, that we may have life, and may have it more abundantly."

T. iii. Syr. Serm. lix. adv. Scrutat.p. 113.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 413

St. Hilary of Poitiers, (A.D. 315-367), French; husband, theologian, bishop of Poiters around A.D. 355, and Doctor of the Church. Referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West.". He was obviously a firm supporter of St. Athanasius.

"We think that we may meet with the approval of all Catholics thus: that it behooves us not to recede from the received creed (Nicea) which, after being examined by all of us, we have in all its parts approved: and that we shall not recede from the faith, which we have received through the prophets, the Holy Spirit teaching from God the Father through Christ our Lord, and in the gospels, and in all the Apostles, as once laid it continues even to this day, through the tradition of the fathers, according to a succession from the Apostles, even to the discussion had at Nicea against the heresy which had, at that period, sprung up."

Ex. op. Hist. Fragm. vii. (Defin. Cathol. in Condi. Arim.) n.3,t.ii.p. 684
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 268-269

St. Gregory of Nazianzen, (A.D. 318-389), Cappadocian; archbishop, theologian, Doctor of the Church.

"May we, to the last breath of life, confess with great confidence that excellent deposit of the holy fathers who were nearest to Christ, and the primitive faith; that confession which we imbibed from our infancy; which we first uttered; and with which may we depart this life."

T. i. Orat. 6, p. 141.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 414-415

"My sheep hear my voice, that voice which I received from the sacred oracles, which I learned from the holy fathers, and in which I have taught at all times without varying, not assuming various shapes according to the times; and I will never cease thus to teach; with that voice was I born, and with it will I quit this world."

T. i. Or. 25, pp. 440-41.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 415

"Hold fast the words imbibed from thy infancy; leave discussion to wiser men. Let it suffice thee to hold to the foundation; let the architect build thereon. It is enough to strengthen thy heart with bread; leave garnishings to the rich."

T. i. Or. 26, p. 456.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 415

St. Basil the Great, (A.D. 328-379), Cappadocian; bishop of Cæsarea in A.D. 369, theologian, monk. Studied in Palestine, Constantinople, and Athens. Many of the subsequent years of his life were spent in the deserts of Egypt and Libya. His character and works have gained for him the surname of "the great".

Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us "in mystery" by the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will contradict; - no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in these matters.

On the Holy Spirit 27 [A.D. 375]

St. Epiphanius of Salamis, (A.D. 332-403), Palestinian; bishop, abbot, scholar.

"I will declare of the Holy Ghost that He is fully God and Lord, thus taught by ecclesiastical men who have preceded me; who, themselves also, having been previously instructed in the testimonies of the divine Scriptures by apostolic men, have delivered them to their successors."

De Trin. c. vii. n. 3, Galland. t. vii. p. 459.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 424

"As to the parentage of the three children, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, we do not meet with anything, either in the Apocrypha, or in tradition. What then are we to say? Shall they, I mean Sidrach, and the rest, lead us astray into unbeseeming assertions, and into exceeding and unmeasured wonder at every thing that falls under our notice? Far be this from us. For boundaries have been fixed for us, and foundations laid, and we have the dwelling-place of faith, and traditions of Apostles, and sacred Scriptures, and successions of doctrine, and on every side has God's truth been secured; and let none of us be led astray by empty fables."

T. 1, adv. Hæres. (55), pp. 470-71.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 425

"But all the divine words require not to be treated as allegories, but must be taken as they stand. But there needs consideration and understanding to see the force of each statement. It is also necessary to use tradition: for all things cannot be derived from the divine Scriptures; because the holy Apostles transmitted some things indeed in writings, and some in tradition, as the blessed Apostle declares, "As I have delivered unto you ..." (1 Corinthians 11:2); and elsewhere, "So do I teach, and so have I delivered in the churches:" Also, "If ye remember, unless you have believed in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:2)

Adv. Hæres. (61), pp. 510-11.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 425-426

"Now of these which is the wiser? This deceived man (Aerius) who has just now obtained notoriety, and who is still living; or they who were witnesses before us, who held before us the tradition in (or for) the Church, and who themselves had received it from their fathers, whose fathers again had learnt it from their forefathers, even as the Church, having received the true faith from its fathers, retains it, together with the traditions, even unto this day."

Adv. Hæres. 75, p. 910.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 426

"Shall any one be able to annul a mother's command, or a father's law? Even as was said by Solomon, "My son hear the words of thy father, and forsake not the laws of thy mother." (Proverbs 1:8.), pointing out that the Father, (that is, the only begotten God) and the Holy Spirit have taught both in writing and without writing; and that our holy mother, the Church, has laws abiding in her indissoluble, incapable, that is, of being dissolved. Laws which are excellent, and all to be admired, having been established in the Church, this deceiver (Aerius) is again convicted. And passing this man by as a beetle, or an insect, let us pass on, overthrowing him by the solid ground work of the Church, and by the power of God."

Adv. Hares. (75), p. 912
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 426

"For, this have we by messengers required, to this have we exhorted, and we still continue exhorting, to remove all contention, and to adhere to the divine law of the Apostles, and evangelists, and fathers, and to the confession of the plain, and firm and immovable, and in all points most correct, faith."

Adv. Hares. (77), p. 1008.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 427

St. Jerome, (A.D. 342-420), Dalmatian; born in Strido; priest, hermit, abbot, biblical scholar, translator and Doctor of the Church. In an age distinguished by men of the greatest eloquence and learning, St. Jerome, especially in all matters connected with the Sacred Scriptures, was then preeminent, and has probably never since been equalled.

"How is it then that the name of the council of Nicaea is put forward, and novelties are brought in, wich were never thought of by our predecessors?"

T de Incarn. 52 p. 715.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 427

"Neither have we innovated anything; but guarding what was settled by Athanasius of holy memory, who was, as it were, a pillar of the faith, and what was defined in the councils held by our fathers of the old holiness, we tear not up the land-marks which our fathers have set, nor violate the rights of an hereditary communion."

T de Incarn. Ep. xiv. Theodos. n. 7, pp. 818-19.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 427-428

Don't you know that the laying on of hands after baptism and then the invocation of the Holy Spirit is a custom of the Churches? Do you demand Scripture proof? You may find it in the Acts of the Apostles. And even if it did not rest on the authority of Scripture the consensus of the whole world in this respect would have the force of a command. For many other observances of the Churches, which are do to tradition, have acquired the authority of the written law.

The Dialogue Against the Luciferians 8 [A.D. 382]

"For your admonition concerning the canons of the Church, we return you thanks; but meanwhile, know that we have had no earlier custom (or, nothing is dearer to us) than to guard the rights of Christ, and not to move the land-marks of the fathers, and ever to bear in mind the Roman faith, commended by the mouth of an Apostle, and of which faith the church of Alexandria boasts that it is a partaker."

T. 1, Ep. Ixiii. ad Theoph. n. 2, col. 351.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 428

Being asked whether Saturday is to be kept as a fast, and the Eucharist to be received daily, as in the Roman and Spanish churches, he says,

"I would give you this brief admonition, that ecclesiastical traditions (such especially as are of no injury to faith) are to be observed as they have been transmitted by those who have gone before; and that a custom which prevails in certain places is not overthrown by a contrary custom which may prevail elsewhere. . . . Let each province abound in its own sense, and account the precepts of the fathers apostolic laws."

T. 1, Ep. lxxi. ad Lucin. n. 6, col. 432-33.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 428-429

"Art thou ignorant that it is the custom of the churches for hands to be imposed upon the baptized after their baptism, and that thus the Holy Ghost is invoked? Dost thou ask where this is written? In the Acts of the Apostles. Even though the authority of the Scripture were not at hand, the agreement of the whole world in this matter would prevail as a command. For many other things also, that, by tradition, are observed in the churches, have gained for themselves the authority of a written law, as the dipping the head three times in the laver."

T. ii. Adv. Luciferi. n. 8, col. 180.
The above remark is by the Luciferian, but is acknowledged by Jerome.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 429

"Let Eunomius tell us whence he derives this assurance? From what inspired declaration? Which of the evangelists, which of the Apostles has uttered any such declaration? What prophet, or lawgiver, or patriarch, or which amongst the others whom the Holy Ghost has inspired, whose declarations are unwritten, introduced any such term. Whether have we learned in the tradition of the faith from the truth that we ought to believe Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, or that He is a creature? How happened it that the Truth, whilst transmitting to us the mystery, gave as a law faith on the Son, and not on the creature?"

T. ii. l.ii. Adv. Eunom. p. 461.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 414

"Let him then (Eunomius) first demonstrate that the Church has vainly believed Him to be truly the only-begotten Son. . . . And let no one put in this place that what is publicly confessed by us is also established by proof; for it suffices for a demonstration of our words that we have a tradition that comes down to us from the fathers, like unto an inheritance transmitted by succession from the Apostles through the holy men that have come after them."

T. ii. l.ii. Adv. Eunom. p. 554.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 414

St. John Chrysostom, (A.D. 344 - 407), Syrian; archbishop, Doctor of the Church. Born at Antioch in 344; he was ordained priest in A.D. 383, and raised to the see of Constantinople in the year A.D. 398. His eloquence gained him the title of Chrysostom, or the mouth of gold. His expositions of Scripture, especially the Epistles of St. Paul, are very valuable. This illustrious prelate died on his road to exile, in A.D. 407.

"So then brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther.

Homilies on Second Thessalonians [circa A.D. 400]

Commenting on 1 Corinthians 11:2:

"That in all things you are mindful of me, and keep my ordinances, as I have delivered them to you."

Whence it follows that he delivered them many things also without writing, as he shows elsewhere in many places: but at that time he only delivered (them), but now he also lays down the cause. . . . "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the churches of God." It is therefore contentiousness to oppose these things, and not an exercise of reason. . . . "For we", sayeth he, "have no such custom," so as to contend, and to strive, and to oppose ourselves. And not even here did he stop, but also subjoined, "nor the churches of God", showing that to all the world they are opposed and in resistance, by not yielding. But even though the Corinthians at that time were contentious, now all the world has both received and kept this very law. So great is the power of the crucified."

T. x. Horn. xxvi. in Ep. i. ad Cor. n. 4, 5, pp. 267, 275.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 429

Commenting on 2 Thessalonians 2:14:

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, wither by word, or by our epistle."

Hence it is plain that they did not deliver all things by epistle, but many things also without writing, and in like manner both those and these things are worthy of credit. Wherefore let us reckon the tradition of the Church worthy of credit, it is a tradition, seek nothing further."

T. xi. Hom. iv. in Ep. ii. ad Thess. n. 2, p. 615.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 429-430

On 2 Timothy 1:13, he says:

"Not by letters only did he instruct his disciple in his duties, but before by words also; which he has shown often and in many other places, saying, "Whether by word, or by epistle, as from us." Let us not therefore fancy that things regarding doctrine were spoken defectively; for many things did he also deliver to him without writing, of which therefore he now reminds him, when he said, "Hold the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me."

T. xi. Hom. iii. in Ep. ii. ad Tim. n. 1, p. 724.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 430

On 2 Timothy 2:2:

"And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men:" to faithful men, not to questioners (or, seekers), not to reasoners. To faithful men. To whom? to those who betray not the gospel which they should preach. "The things which thou hast heard", not which thou hast searched out. For "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." But what is "by many witnesses?" as if he had said: Thou hast not heard in secret, nor in a hidden manner, but in the presence of many, with boldness of speech. He said not, tell, but commit, as in the case of a treasure, that which is committed is deposited in safety."

T. xi. Hom. iv. in Ep. ii. ad Tim. n. 1, p. 732.
The Faith of Catholics, Volume 1, page 430



By Apostolical Traditions, are understood such points of Catholic belief and practice, as, not committed to writing in the Holy Scriptures, that have come down in an unbroken line of oral delivery, and varied testimony, from the apostolic ages.


Among many of these traditions, is the authentic canon of the books of the Old and New Testament, carefully separated from all spurious and apocryphal admixture at the Council of Rome in A.D. 382, preserved in the Church, and transmitted to us today.



The Church's Scriptures on Sacred or Apostolic Tradition


Paul writes on the Apostolic Tradition of saying the Mass

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. 24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.

1 Corinthians 11:2, 23, 24

Hold fast to the Tradition which has been passed on to you by either the written word or by mouth

3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 14 Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

2 Thessalonians 2:3, 14

Paul warns Timothy to avoid those things which have not been passed down to his trust

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.

1 Timothy 6:20

Pull tells Timothy to hold to the sound words which he heard of him in faith

13 Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 Keep the good thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us.

2 Timothy 1:13-14

Paul predicts that evil men will come along with errors that deviate from the truth of the Gospel

13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error. 14 But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:13-15

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