The amount of overlap on this subject is a convincing indicator, to me at least, that these three are truly connected and equal. I have chosen to touch on Scripture last because I believe that the Scripture’s authority is built on the Apostolic Authority that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. So I saw it more appropriate to build Apostolic Tradition and the Holy Spirit’s Empowerment in the sections that were just covered. So now that the foundations of the Holy Scripture’s authority has been built elsewhere I will simply and briefly repeat what has been given to show the whole building of Scripture’s authority.
Preface: The Scriptures are the writings of the Apostles and Prophets and are authoritative. It is because they originate from divinely inspired Apostles of Jesus, or Prophets of God, that these writings are as the directives of God and Jesus; therefore making them authoritative.
- Apostles and Prophets as Scripture’s Authors and Origin (Making them Authoritative)
- Directly Chosen by The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Association and Recognition)
- Under Inspiration of the Holy Spirit Personally (Empowerment)
- The Above Evidenced in
- Association and Recognition
- Appointment of Apostles: Luke 6:12-16, Acts 1:24-26
- Reflective Recipient Nature (Matthew 10:40, John 13:20)
- Association and Relevancy (1 John 1:1-3, Galatians 2 and 1 Corinthians 9:1-3, [Matthias] Acts 1:21)
- Promise: John 14:26, Acts 1:8
- Fulfillment: Acts 2 (Pentecost)
- Apostolic Affirmation of the Spirit’s Power in them: Romans 15:15-20, 1 Corinthians 2:1-4, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
- Inspiration: 2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:10-12 (Referencing the Prophecies recorded in Scripture) 2 Peter 1:20-21
- Association and Recognition
- Early Witness in the Writings of the Early Christians
- Catholicism and Pan-Orthodoxy approve (Modern)
1. The Author’s were Chosen and Associated with Jesus
Whether we are speaking about the Prophet of the Old Testament, Apostle of the New Testament, or those closely associated with the Apostles in the New Testament we can conclude that their association plays a big part in their writings. The Old Testament Prophetical books often start out by recording that the prophecy of said prophet was from the Lord, or YHWH. They therefore being chosen by God makes them pretty creditable. When it comes to the Apostles we know that they were chosen by the Lord Jesus. The Apostles had spent time with Him. When it comes to other New Testament authors such as Luke for example, we know also that they were associates of the Apostles who probably even received a lot of what they wrote from them as well. So we then find in each of these categories a succession leading back to the Father and the Son. Even the Holy Spirit is shown to be associated as I will show in the next section.
Appointment of Apostles: Luke 6:12-16, Acts 1:24-26
Reflective Recipient Nature (Matthew 10:40, John 13:20)
Association and Relevancy (1 John 1:1-3, Galatians 2 and 1 Corinthians 9:1-3, Matthias Acts 1:21)
2. Empowered by the Spirit (Inspiration)
The empowerment by the Spirit is the means by which also gave the Apostles and Prophets authority. When it comes to Scripture this means that their teachings whether spoken or written are authoritative. This means that the written teachings can be said to be from God. We call this inspiration, right?
Promise: John 14:26, Acts 1:8
Fulfillment: Acts 2 (Pentecost)
Tradition has always witnessed to these things above
“We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.”
“But while the latter proceeded, on the subject of the soul, as far in the direction of supposed consequences as the thinker pleased, we are not entitled to such license, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings.”
“For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error.”
“But we do not rest only on the fact that such is the tradition of the Fathers; for they too followed the sense of Scripture, and started from the evidence which, a few sentences back, I deduced from Scripture and laid before you.”