The New Testament provides revelation of both apostolic teaching and apostolic tradition. Together, they serve as the authoritative guide for the faith and practice of the ecclesia of God.
Accurately Handling the Word of Truth - Part Two
Although often misunderstood, apostolic teaching and tradition are equally important to the New Testament ecclesia. Generally speaking, apostolic teaching is revelatory of church doctrine and apostolic tradition serves to guide church practice.
Exhortations and commands to obey apostolic tradition are frequently discovered in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 4:14-17; 10:31-11:1; 11:16; 11:34; Philippians 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6-7; Titus 1:5). Among other things, apostolic tradition provides the New Testament church with general patterns for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper as a full meal; interactive meetings; governance by consensus; and gatherings in the intimacy of the small group environment.
Many have recognized the inspiration and importance of apostolic teaching, but have neglected the practice of inspired apostolic tradition. However, when church practice does not originate from apostolic tradition, it is merely derived from historical precedent or the traditions of men.
© 2018 James Hiatt