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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
1. Meaning in Jewish Theology:
The term in the New Testament has apparently three meanings. It means, in Jewish theology, the oral teachings of the elders (distinguished ancestors from Moses on) which were reverenced by the late Jews equally with the written teachings of the Old Testament, and were regarded by them as equally authoritative on matters of belief and conduct. There seem to be three classes of these oral teachings: ( a ) some oral laws of Moses (as they supposed) given by the great lawgiver in addition to the written laws; ( b ) decisions of various judges which became precedents in judicial matters; ( 100 ) interpretations of great teachers (rabbis) which came to be prized with the same reverence as were the Old Testament Scriptures.
It was against the tradition of the elders in this first sense that Jesus spoke so pointedly to the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 15:2 f; Mark 7:3 f). The Pharisees charged Jesus with transgressing "the tradition of the elders." Jesus turned on them with the question, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" He then shows how their hollow traditionalism has fruited into mere ceremonialism and externalism (washing of hands, vessels, saying "Corban" to a suffering parent, i.e. "My property is devoted to God, and therefore I cannot use it to help you," etc.), but He taught that this view of uncleanness was essentially false, since the heart, the seat of the soul, is the source of thought, character and conduct ( Mark 7:14 f).
2. As Used in 1 Corinthians and 2 Thessalonians:
The word is used by Paul when referring to his personal Christian teachings to the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica (1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6 ). In this sense the word in the singular is better translated "instruction," signifying the body of teaching delivered by the apostle to the church at Thessalonica (2 Thessalonians 3:6 ). But Paul in the other two passages uses it in the plural, meaning the separate instructions which he delivered to the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica.
3. As Used in Colossians:
The word is used by Paul in Colossians 2:8 in a sense apparently different from the two senses above. He warns his readers against the teachings of the false teachers in Colosse, which are "after the tradition of men." Olshausen, Lightfoot, Dargan, in their commentaries in the place cited., maintain that the reference is to the Judaistic character of the false teachers. This may be true, and yet we must see that the word "tradition" has a much broader meaning here than in 1 above. Besides, it is not certain that the false teachings at Colosse are essentially Jewish in character. The phrase "tradition of men" seems to emphasize merely the human , not necessarily Jewish, origin of these false teachings.
The verb παραδίδωμι ,
Broadus, Allen, Meyer, commentaries on Matthew 15:2 f; Swete, Gould, commentaries on Mk ( Mark 7:3 f); Lightfoot, Meyer, commentaries on Galatians 1:14; Lightfoot, Olshausen, Dargan (American Commentary ), commentaries on Colossians 2:8; Milligan, commentary on 1 and 2 Thess (2 Thessalonians 2:15 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6 ); Weber, Jewish Theology (Ger., Altsyn. Theol .); Pocock, Porta Mosis , 350-402; Schurer, HJP , II, i, section 25; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah , II, chapter xxxi; Josephus, Ant. ,
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Tradition'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/t/tradition.html. 1915.
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16