Follow usTwitterFacebook


26 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Cafod praises historic peace deal between Colombia and rebel fighters

A peace deal has been reached in Colombia which will see the end to the longest internal armed conflict in the western hemisphere The aid agency Cafod has welc…

Read more

02 Nov 2016 News No comments

Catholics and Lutherans must ‘move beyond controversies of the past’, says Pope Francis

Francis was speaking at a service to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Pope Francis urged Catholics and Lutherans to take decisive steps…

Read more

18 May 2016 Americas Australia Europe Middle East Middle East - Africa News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (1)

Muslims must rescue themselves from extremists - Bishop Kukah says

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, said Islam “has to rescue itself from extremists.” The bishop made the comments in an interview with Catholic…

Read more

14 Jul 2016 Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Heythrop confirms there will be no merger with Roehampton University

A proposed merger between Heythrop College and Roehampton University will now not go ahead, it emerged this week. The Society of Jesus, which runs the colleg…

Read more

14 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

NJ archbishop sets strict rules barring Catholics from the sacraments

ROME — Even as Pope Francis and Catholic leaders from around the world debate ways to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, Newark Archbishop John Myers has …

Read more

12 Oct 2015 Articles No comments

On the Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman raise a glass to Pius X

We must not forget the anti-modernists who saved Newman's reputation St Pius X, a pope not normally known for his humour, once wrote of Cardinal Newman: ‘Truly…

Read more

03 Sep 2015 Middle East News No comments

Patriarch pleads for young Christians to stay in Syria, Iraq

In an open letter to young Catholics, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham has pleaded for an end to a “tsunami” of emigration. “The almost communal …

Read more

17 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope asks cardinals to review how the Church vets future bishops

Council of Cardinals will study the way the Church identifies and appoints bishops Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the…

Read more

16 Sep 2015 Articles Comments (7)

The origin of the Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross which follow the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate’s praetorium to Christ’s tomb have been a popular devotion in parishes, especially…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Do Jesus’ words in Matthew 15 indicate that Scripture is superior to Tradition?

Full Question

In Matthew 15:1-9 (the well-known passage that says, “you make void the word of God by your tradition”), didn’t Jesus indicate that any tradition which contradicts Scripture is false, meaning that we must test traditions by Scripture? In other words, tradition is inferior to Scripture?


It is true that any proposed tradition that contradicts Scripture is a false tradition and must be rejected, but this does not make apostolic Tradition inferior to Scripture. It is also true that any proposed scripture which contradicts apostolic Tradition is a false scripture and must be rejected.

This was, in fact, one of the ways in which the canon of the New Testament was selected. Any scriptures which contained doctrines which were contrary to the Traditions the apostles had handed down to the Church Fathers were rejected.

From the Gnostic gospels (such as the Gospel of Thomas) and Marcion’s edited version of Luke’s Gospel and Paul’s epistles, there were a lot of heretical writings proposed by different groups for inclusion in the New Testament. But the Fathers said, “No, this contradicts the faith that was handed down to us from the apostles. Thus it must be a forged or otherwise non-inspired writing.”

So while a tradition must be tested against Scripture to see if the tradition is apostolic, it is also true that scripture must be tested against Tradition to see if the scripture is apostolic. There is complementarity here; one mode of teaching is not automatically inferior to the other.



Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories