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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Tradition

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In any society traditions develop as beliefs and practices are handed on from one generation to the next. The Jews of Jesus’ day had many traditions. Some of these had been taught in the law of Moses (Luke 2:27; Luke 2:41-42), and others had grown up over the centuries (Luke 1:9). Many of the later traditions had been developed and taught by the scribes and Pharisees, and brought Jesus into conflict with the Jewish religious leaders (Matthew 23:4-16; see SCRIBES; PHARISEES).

Jesus was not opposed to Jewish traditions. In fact, he kept some of them himself (Luke 4:16; John 10:22-23). But he was opposed to the teaching of traditions as binding on people. The Jewish leaders taught human traditions as if they were God’s commandments; worse still, they rejected the genuine commandments of God in order to keep their traditions (Mark 7:7-13; cf. Colossians 2:8).

The tradition that Christians are to keep is twofold. First, they must keep the teaching passed down from Jesus through the apostles and recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; Judges 1:3; see GOSPEL). Second, they must maintain the standard of behaviour demanded by that teaching (1 Corinthians 11:1-2; Philippians 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; see OBEDIENCE).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Tradition'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/t/tradition.html. 2004.

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