The Transmission of Divine Revelation

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God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations. Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.

In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed down in two ways; orally and in writing. The apostles passed down the Good News through the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostles - as well as other men associated with the apostles - committed the message of salvation to writing.

In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own always, to the close of the age.

Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching. As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.

The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. By adhering to this heritage the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful.

The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith. Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.

There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith. The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the Revelation of the mystery of Christ. In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith.

All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth. The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals. By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.

Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:
  • through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts"; it is in particular theological research which deepens knowledge of revealed truth.
  • from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which believers experience, the sacred Scriptures grow with the one who reads them.
  • from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth.
It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.
 

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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
 

there4eyeM

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The revelation of the poster is that "God" wants to save people.
The rest is verbiage that reduces to hearsay for everyone else. Being told or reading about a revelation is not having the revelation.
 
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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
I can't say it any better than this, "...In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own always, to the close of the age..."

If you choose to boil it down to, "the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should." that is entirely up to you.
 
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The Law of Nature was never intended to be a letter of the law proposition. That would be legal positivism. Where man limits his behavior to the minimum letter of the law and constantly requires other men to close their loopholes. The Law of Nature is more like a spirit of intent where men should avoid even an appearance of impropriety. That's my take on it anyway.

In my opinion an external locus of control mentality coupled with a letter of the law mentality lead to a lot of problems in our society.
 
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The revelation of the poster is that "God" wants to save people.
The rest is verbiage that reduces to hearsay for everyone else. Being told or reading about a revelation is not having the revelation.
I think it's a little more than that.
 

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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
I can't say it any better than this, "...In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own always, to the close of the age..."

If you choose to boil it down to, "the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should." that is entirely up to you.
You can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is the complete authority of Christianity, or its not. If men can claim that they have received additional information or instruction, and have that additional information or instruction accepted equally with the bible, that is by definition addition or subtraction from the Bible.
 
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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
I can't say it any better than this, "...In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority. This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.

Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal. Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own always, to the close of the age..."

If you choose to boil it down to, "the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should." that is entirely up to you.
You can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is the complete authority of Christianity, or its not. If men can claim that they have received additional information or instruction, and have that additional information or instruction accepted equally with the bible, that is by definition addition or subtraction from the Bible.
What does complete authority of Christianity mean exactly?
 

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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
That is not my understanding. We have God's law, i.e., The Ten Commandments. Further instruction came from the Prophets and Jesus, much of which was directed towards the people and issues of their current times. Rabbis, Priests, and Minister of today are charged with how the basic, classic law and instructions are correctly applied to modern times and issues today. Yes, this can be tricky, and yes it can be misused. However when applied thoughtfully and correctly it is a boon to believers of all faiths. Each individual needs to divine and measure how/if these applications of basic law is, in fact, God's will.
 

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You can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is the complete authority of Christianity, or its not. If men can claim that they have received additional information or instruction, and have that additional information or instruction accepted equally with the bible, that is by definition addition or subtraction from the Bible.
Or, the Bible is the complete public authority of Christianity, and that additional information or instruction is for private or more personal, individual use.
 

there4eyeM

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The presence in the accepted modern bibles of "Acts" and the letters exhibits and underlines personal revelation. How could Christianity have survived those first three centuries, when it was far from 'cool' or otherwise advantageous. It was downright dangerous much of the time, yet people even went to martyrdom over what they truly, profoundly felt. How could such a faith have survived, promising what it does, if there hadn't been 'positive feedback'?
This is not 'proof' of anything, but it is a question one poses when honestly considering early Christian history, when it was highly collective and not very materialistic.
 

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So you're saying the Bible is not the complete record of God's law and instruction, but man is free to add to, or subtract from the Bible. as he feels he should. Isn't that convenient.
That is not my understanding. We have God's law, i.e., The Ten Commandments. Further instruction came from the Prophets and Jesus, much of which was directed towards the people and issues of their current times. Rabbis, Priests, and Minister of today are charged with how the basic, classic law and instructions are correctly applied to modern times and issues today. Yes, this can be tricky, and yes it can be misused. However when applied thoughtfully and correctly it is a boon to believers of all faiths. Each individual needs to divine and measure how/if these applications of basic law is, in fact, God's will.
Applying basic law and instructions to modern times is not the same as "divine revelation" Revelation is revealing something that wasn't already known. There are no secrets to a relationship with Christ that are only revealed to a select few, and the rest of us can only hope that information is passed down to us. We already know about basic laws and instruction. Nothing in the Bible or the Torah says anything about more chapters to be added at a later date, or to check for the release of Volume 2.
 

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You can't have it both ways. Either the Bible is the complete authority of Christianity, or its not. If men can claim that they have received additional information or instruction, and have that additional information or instruction accepted equally with the bible, that is by definition addition or subtraction from the Bible.
Or, the Bible is the complete public authority of Christianity, and that additional information or instruction is for private or more personal, individual use.
A person's personal convictions are the result of his own beliefs and moral choices. There is no need to reveal them to him. He already knows
 

Meriweather

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Applying basic law and instructions to modern times is not the same as "divine revelation" Revelation is revealing something that wasn't already known. There are no secrets to a relationship with Christ that are only revealed to a select few, and the rest of us can only hope that information is passed down to us. We already know about basic laws and instruction. Nothing in the Bible or the Torah says anything about more chapters to be added at a later date, or to check for the release of Volume 2.
Not what I am saying. How many inspirational books and writings are there that have been of great help to many without ever becoming scripture?
 

Meriweather

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A person's personal convictions are the result of his own beliefs and moral choices. There is no need to reveal them to him. He already knows
Not talking about personal convictions. I am speaking of private revelations.
 

BULLDOG

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Applying basic law and instructions to modern times is not the same as "divine revelation" Revelation is revealing something that wasn't already known. There are no secrets to a relationship with Christ that are only revealed to a select few, and the rest of us can only hope that information is passed down to us. We already know about basic laws and instruction. Nothing in the Bible or the Torah says anything about more chapters to be added at a later date, or to check for the release of Volume 2.
Not what I am saying. How many inspirational books and writings are there that have been of great help to many without ever becoming scripture?
Probably thousands. Inspirational and Divine revelation are not the same thing. One gives you a way to look at things that you might not have thought of. The other has the authority of God. You don't see the difference?
 

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Probably thousands. Inspirational and Divine revelation are not the same thing. One gives you a way to look at things that you might not have thought of. The other has the authority of God. You don't see the difference?
Throughout history, whom as God worked through?
 
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If we start with the premise that spirit created the material world and created laws of nature which not only predestined beings that know and create to arise but also to mold or evolve their level of consciousness, then it is not a giant leap to believe that besides the constant feedback we receive from the universe that either correct or reinforce our behaviors that we would also receive revelations from the spirit which connects but is not a part of the material world.
 

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