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I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!John 8:58"

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The Tradition of The Rosary

Part 2


By Bruce W. Robida



Some say that certain truths have come down to us through the ages by way of tradition.  I challenge that idea when some of those traditions contradict the Bible.  There cannot be two separate truths that are opposed to each other.  It is impossible to have two conflicting truths.  Either the tradition is true or the Bible is true.  For the Bible to not be true on any point, how could anyone know which Scriptures are to be regarded as true and which ones should be rejected as untrue?  The Bible should be rejected entirely if tradition is found to be true over the Bible.

Lets take a look at what the Bible says about tradition. It is easy to see that it doesn’t have much good to say about it.  In the New International Version, tradition, or traditions are mentioned only thirteen times.  The first verse we come to talks about the tradition of men and women in Israel who sing the laments for Josiah.  There is no comment on whether this tradition is good or bad, it is only a comment on the tradition.

Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the men and women singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. 2CH 35:25

The remaining Scriptures that are found have nothing good to say about traditions, in fact the traditions of men that were opposed to God, caused Him to be angry with those who would follow them.

You have observed the statutes of Omri and all the practices of Ahab's house, and you have followed their traditions.  Therefore I will give you over to ruin and your people to derision; you will bear the scorn of the nations. " MIC 6:16 (see 1and 2 Kings, and 2 Chronicles to understand how Omri and Ahab, kings of Israel treated  God’s Commands).

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, `Honor your father and mother' and `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' he is not to `honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: " `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' " MT 15:1-9

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.  When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. ) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with `unclean' hands?" He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: " `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain;    their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother,' and, `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." MK 7:1-13

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. COL 2:8

And finally, concerning traditions, the primary Scripture used to promote the idea that traditions passed down through the elders of the Church are acceptable is
2 Thessalonians  2:15.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2TH 2:15

Some Bible versions of this verse use the word, traditions instead of teachings.  The apostles went to all of the Churches, teaching them about Christ and the kingdom of God.  They preached the Gospel to them which, we have today but was not written then.  They explained to them how the prophets predicted Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection, using the Scriptures that they did have then, which was the Old Testament which, we also have today.  The apostle in this verse was simply telling them to hold to the teachings or, traditions which they passed on to them, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  The apostles are not here today to teach us in person.  They cannot speak to us directly, but we do have their letters which are included in the New Testament.  When they taught the Church then, they wrote to the Churches, but they also spoke to them as well, reminding them of those things that they wrote.  Is it possible for the teachings or traditions of the apostles and Christ to contradict each other?  If it is true that some traditions were passed down to us today, as pure as when they were spoken by Christ and the apostles, they could not contradict the teachings or traditions of the Bible.  One or the other must be false.  I must reject the one which contradicts the Bible, otherwise I must reject the Bible itself because it would be impossible to know what was true and what was not.  I would be at the mercy of everyone who claims to speak for God.  That person would be my spiritual leader (head) rather than Christ.

I went through all of this so that when we look at the tradition of the rosary, we can consider how it flies in the face of Scripture.  What is more important?  Following the traditions of men, or the traditions, or teachings of the Bible?  Knowing what the Bible has to say about tradition and how God does not approve of tradition which nullifies His Word, I would reject such traditions and question anyone who promotes them.

In Part Three we'll take a look at the mysteries and prayers of the Rosary

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