Why Does the Church Follow So Many Traditions?
When the Pharisees challenge Jesus for failing to practice some of their religious traditions, he rebukes them sharply: “You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on” (Mk 7:13). Some Christians quote this passage to condemn Catholic traditions as a whole as something contrary to the “word of God.” But is Jesus actually condemning all tradition?
The word “tradition” means literally “that which is handed down.” Anything received from others and passes on to others is thus a tradition: language, culture, scientific knowledge, and even faith itself. Jesus is certainly not condemning all of these things.
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