samedi 12 mai 2018

Oral Traditions

Today a letter to CMI and Lita Cosner's response gave between them two wrong answers and dismissed the right one.

Do oral traditions have any authority?
Published: 12 May 2018 (GMT+10)

Try finding Jannes and Jambres who Paul writes about without using the Talmud, and it is here in the Talmud where you will find many teachings that Jesus taught about (torments, Abraham’s bosom etc) and here that you will find about re-incarnation.

Jannes and Mambres were an oral tradition accessible to both St Paul and the Talmudic writers.

That Greek version NT's have Jannes and Jambres, like Talmud, seems to indicate Vulgate having Jannes and Mambres is less contaminated by Talmud.

While the Talmud certainly CLAIMS to faithfully continue the oral tradition from Moses on Mount Sinai, it doesn't : it's like saying Pentecostals faithfully continue the oral tradition of holiness in the Catholic Church. Pentecostal tradition is contaminated by Reformation. Talmudic tradition is contaminated by the Rejection of Christ.

You want the real Catholic tradition on holiness? Catholic Church. You want the real Jewish oral tradition from Old Testament era? Also Catholic Church. Not Pentecostals and not Talmud.

Now, what is Lita's response?

Paul citing Jannes and Jambres does not make the Talmud inspired by God any more than him citing the Greek philosophers to the pagans in Athens makes them inspired by God.

While the philosophers were not inerrantly inspired by God, they were at least guided by God to reject in theory (though it did not work out in practise) the pagan errors of Polytheism.

While Talmud is as a whole very much not inspired, the parts that not distorting OT oral tradition voice it are also remnants of a guidance by God. Though Josephus is a surer source.

What does Lita say against this?

And Jesus’ own words condemn those who would put the traditions of the elders at the same level or above Scripture. See Matthew 15:1ff.

Actually, it is more like twisting traditions of the elders to evade Scripture. Or, we must note, traditions "of the elders" - i. e. recent Pharisaic ones, not even claiming to be ancient tradition.

If you have in fact promised a particular jar of spices to God, through offering to the temple (Protestants, please note, the donations to Catholic Church in the Middle Ages are prefigured), it makes some sense you don't need to give it to your father if he asks for it. BUT if you hadn't made such an offering already, your father asks for it and you invent "it is corban" because you think your father (among the generation of old men admiring Our Lord when he was 12) will use it badly, well, that is a different thing, I think that was the exact twisting that Christ described. Taking a tradition out of its law of God context. Suppose one had really offered but not yet given a jar to God through the temple and father asks for it? Well, possibly, give your dad the jar of spices, let him do his (in my opinion probable) corban to Jesus, and you do yours with another jar. Or you do yours with that jar, but give your dad quickly another jar.

Christ was not envious of the jars of spices he was missing, but angry because His admirers were humiliated by their own children who thought they knew better. Old people deprived of autonomy by "responsability".

Catholic Theologians on II Timothy 3:8, here:

Ver. 8. Jannes and Mambres. The names of the magicians, who in Egypt, resisted Moses, says S. Chrys. and though not mentioned in the Scriptures, their names might be known by tradition. Wi. — Since the Old Testament does not mention these magicians of Pharao, who opposed Moses, it seems probable that S. Paul either learnt their names by a particular revelation, as S. Chrys. Theophyl. and Tirinus think, or by some tradition of the Jews, agreeably to the opinions of Theodoret, Grotius, Estius, &c. Others think he might have found their names in some ancient histories, which have not reached our time; or perhaps from the apocryaphal book of Jannes and Mambres, mentioned by Origen and Ambrosiaster. Certain it is, that in S. Paul's time the names of these two famous magicians were very well known; thus it is by no means necessary in this instance to have recourse to a particular inspiration. The Orientals say there were many magicians who opposed Moses. Among others, they mention Sabous and Gadous, who came from Thebias; Graath and Mospha, from some other country. They wished, as they inform us, to imitate the miracle by which Moses turned his rod into a serpent, by throwing their canes on the ground, and ropes filled with quicksilver. These ropes began to move a little, one twisting with another, on account of the heat of the earth warmed by the sun. But the rod of Moses in a moment broke them to pieces. Calmet. — These magicians are called by different names. The Greek has Jannes and Jambres. Some ancient writers, Jannes and Mambres; as Cyprian, Optatus, (c. 7.) Born. &c. The Jews call that Joanne, or Johanna, whom the Greeks name Jannes; and that called by the Jews Jambres, the Greeks name Mambres. The Hebrews would have them to be the sons of Balaam, the soothsayer, and the masters of Moses in the sciences of the Egyptians. Calmet.

And on Matthew 15:

Ver. 1. The Pharisees observed a rigid and simple mode life, disdaining all luxurious delicacies. They scrupulously followed the dicta of reason, and paid the greatest veneration and implicit obedience to the opinions and traditions of their seniors. All contingencies they ascribe to fate, but not to the exclusion of free-will. The immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments, were favourite tenets with them, and their fame for wisdom, temperance, and integrity was proverbial. Josephus, Antiq. B. xviii, c. ii.

Ver. 2. Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition. The Pharisees had various traditions delivered down from their ancestors, called deuterwseiV, of which some were works of supererogation, others were contrary to the law. E. — It is a great proof of malice in the Pharisees, and of irreproachable character in our Lord, that they should be reduce to notice triffles, no ways connected with either piety or religion. . . They moreover betrayed their superstition, by insisting on the observance of these outward ceremonies, as essential parts of piety, which were not commanded by any law, (were certainly of no divine origin) and which, at most, were duties of civility, or emblems of interior purity. Jans. — The tradition of the ancients? They do not say the written law, which did not prescribe these washings of hands, cups, pots, beds, &c. These traditions came only from the doctors of their law, who are called elders, which is a name of dignity, as was that of senator among the Romans, and so, in English, are the names of major, alderman, &c. See Acts v. 6. &c. Wi.

Ver. 3. Why do you also. The Jews understanding the saying of the prophets, "wash yourselves and be clean," in a carnal manner, they made a precept of not eating without first washing their hands. Ven. Bede. — The traditions here alluded to, and which they call the oral law, were respected equally with the written law, by all the Jews, except the sect of Caraites; they were collected in seventy-two books, and composed the cabbala, and were kept by Gemaliel and other heads of the sanhedrim, till the destruction of Jerusalem. About 120 years after this, Rabbi Judas composed a book of them, called Mishna, or second law; afterwards two supplements and explanations were given, viz. the Talmud of Jerusalem, and the Talmud of Babylon. By these the Jews are still governed in ecclesiastical matters.

Ver. 5. The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.[1] This gift is called Corban, Mark vii. 11. Now, as to the sense of this obscure place, I shall mention two expositions that seem preferable to others. The first is, as if a son said to his father or mother, Whatsoever was mine, (with which indeed I might have assisted you, my parents) I have given, i.e. promised to give to the temple: and being to keep this promise, I need not, or I cannot now assist you. The second interpretation is, as if the son said to his father or mother, Whatsoever gift I have made to God will be profitable to you, as well as to me; or, let it be profitable to you, (which is more according to the Greek text, both here and in S. Mark) and therefore I am no further obliged to assist you. Wi. — That is, the offering that I shall make to God, shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves, by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents, if they once offered to the temple and the priests that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns. Ch. — They committed a double crime. They neither offered the gift to God, nor succoured their parents in their distress. Chrys. hom. lii.

Ver. 6. And he shall not honour; that is, assist his father or his mother. It is doubtful whether these may not be the words of the Pharisees; but they rather seem the words of our Saviour Christ, especially seeing that in S. Mark, Christ himself adds: And, farther, you suffer him not to do any thing for his father or mother, making void the word of God by your tradition. Wi.

So, traditions of "ancients" doesn't mean from ancient times, like traditions from Moses, Aaron, Joshua, but traditions from men considered as elders or doctors or ancients, men like Hillel, Shammai, Gamaliel.

Now, it is perfectly true as the feedbacker states that parts of the afterlife were and are known by oral tradition rather than by direct statement in the Scriptures.

The question is only which one : the Talmudic one, which he adhers to, which considered both Purgatory of some sort and Reincarnation, or the Catholic one, which I adher to, which considers Purgatory, but rejects Reincarnation. That depends on which community, Church or Synagogue, guarded the truth. As I believe it was Catholic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, I'll take the traditions of this Church, and not all of the Talmud.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Sts Nereus and Achilleus

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire