Christian tradition

Christian tradition is a collection of traditions consisting of practices or beliefs associated with Christianity. These ecclesiastical traditions have more or less authority based on the nature of the practices or beliefs and on the group in question.

Many churches have traditional practices, such as particular patterns of worship or rites, that developed over time. Deviations from such patterns are sometimes considered unacceptable or heretical. Similarly, traditions can be stories or history that are or were widely accepted without being part of Christian doctrine, e.g., the crucifixion of Saint Peter or the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in India, which are widely believed to have happened but are not recorded in scripture. Similarly the names of the Magi who visited Jesus at his birth are thought to have been invented much later than the events; they are not considered authentic or obligatory, but can be considered a tradition.

Tradition also includes historic teaching of the recognized church authorities, such as Church Councils and ecclesiastical officials (e.g., the Pope, Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop of Canterbury, etc.), and includes the teaching of significant individuals like the Church Fathers, the Protestant Reformers, and the founders of denominations. Many creeds, confessions of faith, and catechisms generated by these bodies, and individuals are also part of the traditions of various bodies.

Tradition and ecclesial traditions

The Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican churches distinguish between what is called Apostolic or sacred tradition and ecclesiastical traditions. In the course of time ecclesial traditions develop in theology, discipline, liturgy, and devotions. These the Church may retain, modify or even abandon.[1] Apostolic tradition, on the other hand, is the teaching that was handed down by the Apostles by word of mouth, by their example and "by the institutions they established", among which is the apostolic succession of the bishops: "this living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition".[2] "And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God, which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit."[3]

In his book, James F. Keenan reports studies by some Catholic academics. A study by Bernard Hoose states that claims to a continuous teaching by the Church on matters of sexuality, life and death and crime and punishment are "simply not true". After examining seven medieval text about homosexuality, Mark Jordan argues that, "far from being consistent, any attempt to make a connection among the texts proved impossible". He calls the tradition's teaching of the Church "incoherent". Karl-Wilhelm Merks considers that tradition itself is "not the truth guarantor of any particular teaching." Keenan, however, says that studies of "manualists" such as John T. Noonan Jr. has demonstrated that, "despite claims to the contrary, manualists were co-operators in the necessary historical development of the moral tradition." Noonan, according to Keenan, has provided a new way of viewing at "areas where the Church not only changed, but shamefully did not".[4]

Branches

In the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy, sacred tradition, but not "ecclesial traditions", is considered official doctrine and of equal authoritative weight to the Bible. Among conservative Protestants, the Bible itself is the only final authority (see sola scriptura and prima scriptura), but tradition still plays an important supporting role. All three groups generally accept the traditional developments on the doctrine of the Trinity, for instance, and set bounds of orthodoxy and heresy based on that tradition. They also have developed creedal and confessional statements which summarize and develop their understanding of biblical teaching.

See also

References

  1. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 83 Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 76-78 Archived August 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 80 Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ James F. Keenan (17 January 2010). A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences. A&C Black. p. 45-46. ISBN 978-0-8264-2929-2.

Bibliography

  • Baum, Wilhelm; Winkler, Dietmar W. (2003). The Church of the East: A Concise History. London-New York: Routledge-Curzon.
  • Hotchkiss, Gregory K. The Middle Way: Reflections on Scripture and Tradition, in series, Reformed Episcopal Pamphlets, no. 3. Media, Penn.: Reformed Episcopal Publication Society, 1985. 27 p. N.B.: Place of publication also given as Philadelphia, Penn.; the approach to the issue is from an evangelical Anglican (Reformed Episcopal Church) orientation. Without ISBN
Adelphopoiesis

Adelphopoiesis, or adelphopoiia from the Greek ἀδελφοποίησις, derived from ἀδελφός (adelphos) "brother" and ποιέω (poieō) "I make", literally "brother-making" is a ceremony practiced historically in Christian tradition to unite together two people of the same sex (normally men) in a church-recognized relationship analogous to siblinghood.Such ceremonies can be found in the history of the Catholic Church until the 14th century and in the Eastern Orthodox Church until the early 20th century. Documented in Byzantine manuscripts from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries, prayers established participants as "'spiritual brothers' (pneumatikous adelphous) and contained references to sainted pairs, including most notably SS Sergius and Bacchus as well SS Cosmas and Damian, who were famous for their friendship."In the late twentieth century, the Christian tradition gained notoriety as the focus of controversy involving advocates and opponents of secular and religious legalization of same-sex relationships.

Beelzebub

Beelzebub or Beelzebul ( bee-EL-zi-bub or BEEL-zi-bub; Hebrew: בַּעַל זְבוּב Baʿal Zəvûv) is a name derived from a Philistine god, formerly worshipped in Ekron, and later adopted by some Abrahamic religions as a major demon. The name Beelzebub is associated with the Canaanite god Baal.

In theological sources, predominantly Christian, Beelzebub is sometimes another name for the Devil, similar to Satan. He is known in demonology as one of the seven princes of Hell. The Dictionnaire Infernal describes Beelzebub as a being capable of flying, known as the "Lord of the Flyers", or the "Lord of the Flies".

Belphegor

In demonology, Belphegor (or Beelphegor, Hebrew: בַּעַל-פְּעוֹר‎ baʿal-pəʿōr - Lord of the Gap) is a demon, and one of the seven princes of Hell, who helps people make discoveries. He seduces people by suggesting to them ingenious inventions that will make them rich.

Bishop and witch-hunter Peter Binsfeld believed that Belphegor tempts by means of laziness. Also, according to Peter Binsfeld's Binsfeld's Classification of Demons, Belphegor is the chief demon of the deadly sin known as Sloth in Christian tradition.

Dorcas

Dorcas (Greek: Δορκάς, Dorkás; Aramaic: טביתא‎ Ṭabītā) was a disciple who lived in Joppa, referenced in the Acts of the Apostles (9:36–42) in the New Testament. Her name in the Textus Receptus is "Ταβιθά" (Tabitha).In October 25he Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Tabitha the Widow, raised from the dead by the Apostle Peter.

Acts recounts that when she died, she was mourned by "all the widows...crying and showing (Peter) the robes and other clothing that she had made while she was still with them" (Acts 9:39). The Greek construct used in this passage indicates that the widows were the recipients of her charity, but she may also have been a widow herself. It is likely that she was a woman of some means, given her ability to help the poor. The disciples present called upon Peter, who came from nearby Lydda to the place where her body was being laid out for burial, and raised her from the dead.This narrative concerning Tabitha/Dorcas indicates her prominence in the community at Joppa. This might also be indicated by the fact that Peter took the trouble to come to her from a neighbouring city, when requested by the community members.

The name Dorcas is a Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha, meaning "gazelle". One species of gazelle is now known as the dorcas gazelle.

Hermitage (religious retreat)

Although today's meaning is usually a place where a hermit lives in seclusion from the world, hermitage was more commonly used to mean a building or settlement where a person or a group of people lived religiously, in seclusion. When included in the name of continental European properties or churches, any meaning is often imprecise, and may refer to some distant period of the history of what is today a property that is either a normal parish church, or ceased to have any religious function some time ago. Secondary churches or establishments run from a monastery were often called "hermitages".

In the 18th century, some owners of English country houses equipped their gardens with a "hermitage", sometimes a Gothic ruin, but sometimes, as at Painshill Park, a romantic hut which a "hermit" was recruited to occupy. The so-called Ermita de San Pelayo y San Isidoro is the ruins of a Romanesque church from Ávila, Spain, that eventually ended several hundred miles away, as a garden feature in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid.

Hymnwriter

A hymn writer (or hymnwriter or hymnist or hymnographer) is someone who writes the text, music or both of hymns. In the Judeo-Christian tradition the composition of hymns dates back to before the time of David who composed many of the Psalms. The term hymnodist, in the USA more than in other regions, broadens the scope to include the study of hymns.

Jason of Thessalonica

Jason of Thessalonica was a Jewish convert and early Christian believer mentioned in the New Testament in Acts 17:5-9 and Romans 16:21. According to tradition, Jason is numbered among the Seventy Disciples.Jason is venerated as a saint in Catholic and Orthodox traditions. His feast day is July 12 in the Roman Catholic Church, April 28 in the Slavic Christian tradition, and April 29 in the Greek Christian tradition. His feast is celebrated on the 3rd of Pashons in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Finally, he is commemorated on January 4 among the Seventy Apostles.

Judeo-Christian

Judeo-Christian is a term that groups Judaism and Christianity, either in reference to Christianity's derivation from Judaism, both religions' common use of the Torah, or due to perceived parallels or commonalities shared values between those two religions, which has contained as part of Western culture.

The term became prevalent towards the middle of the 20th century in the United States to link broader principles of Judeo-Christian ethics such as the dignity of human life, adherence to the Abrahamic covenant, common decency, and support of traditional family values.The concept of "Judeo-Christian values" in an ethical (rather than theological or liturgical) sense was used by George Orwell in 1939, with the phrase "the Judaeo-Christian scheme of morals." It has become part of the American civil religion since the 1940s.

The related term "Abrahamic religions" includes Bahá'ísm, Islam, Druze etc. as well as Judaism and Christianity.

List of Christian martyrs

This is a list of reputed martyrs of Christianity. The list can never be fully complete, and it includes only notable people with Wikipedia articles. Not all Christian denominations accept every figure on this list as a martyr or Christian; see the linked articles for fuller discussion. In many denominations of Christianity, martyrdom is considered a direct path to sainthood and many names on this list are recognized as saints in one or more denominations.

Matthew 19

Matthew 19 is the nineteenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Matthew composed this Gospel. Jesus continues his final journey to Jerusalem ministering through Perea. The narrative can be divided into the following subsections:

Leaving Galilee and entering the region of Judea beyond the Jordan (19:1–2)

Teaching about divorce (19:3–9)

On Celibacy (19:10-12)

Little Children Blessed (19:13-15)

Jesus and the rich young man (19:16–30)

Matthew 24

Matthew 24 is the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the Olivet Discourse spoken by Jesus Christ and his prediction of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Matthew the Apostle composed this Gospel.

Parmenas

Parmenas was one of the Seven Deacons. He is believed to have preached the gospel in Asia Minor. Parmenas suffered martyrdom in 98, under the persecution of Trajan.Christian tradition identifies him as the Bishop of Soli. Some take this to be Soli, Cyprus, while others interpret it as Soli, Cilicia.

Passover (Christian holiday)

Some Christians observe a form of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The practice is found among Assemblies of Yahweh, Messianic Jews, and some congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day). It is often linked to the Christian holiday and festival of Easter. Often, only an abbreviated seder is celebrated to explain the meaning in a time-limited ceremony. The redemption from the bondage of sin through the sacrifice of Christ is celebrated, a parallel of the Jewish Passover's celebration of redemption from bondage in the land of Egypt.Christian Passover ceremonies are held on the evening corresponding to 14 Nisan (e.g. April 5, 2012) or 15 Nisan, depending whether the particular church uses a quartodeciman or quintodeciman application. In other cases, the holiday is observed according to the Jewish calendar on 15 Nisan, which is also used by Samaritans.

Pontius Pilate's wife

Pontius Pilate's wife, otherwise unnamed in the Bible, appears in a single verse of the Gospel of Matthew, where she tries to persuade her husband not to condemn Jesus to death.

She is named as Procla or Procula in early Christian tradition (later also Percula, Claudia, Claudia Procula or Claudia Procles). She is considered a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. She is first named as Claudia in 1619, in the chronicle of Pseudo-Dexter.

Saint Thomas Christians

The Saint Thomas Christians, also called Syrian Christians of India, Nasrani or Malankara Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila, are an ethnoreligious community of Malayali Syriac Christians from Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The terms Syrian or Syriac relate not to their ethnicity but to their historical, religious, and liturgical connection to Syriac Christianity. The term Nasrani was derived from Semitic languages like Syriac (نصرانی) and Arabic (نصارى) and refers to Christians in general.

Historically, this community was organised as the Province of India of the Church of the East in the 8th century, served by Nestorian bishops and a local dynastic Archdeacon. The Church of the East eventually declined in the 16th century due to outside influences like the Islamic invasion and the influence of the Catholic Church. The Schism of 1552 split the Church of the East into two factions, the independent Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church which is in full communion with Rome. Both the factions follow the East Syriac Liturgy of the historic Church of the East.

In the 16th century the overtures of the Portuguese padroado to bring the Saint Thomas Christians into the Catholic Church led to the first of several rifts in the community. The majority of Nasranis joined in formal communion with Rome, to form the Syro-Malabar Church which is distinct and separate from the Western Latin Church but is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The remaining group entered into a new communion with the Syriac Orthodox Church, to form an Oriental Orthodox (Malankara) Church. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church follows the East Syriac Liturgy of the historic Church of the East, traditionally attributed to Saints Addai and Mari which dates back to 3rd-century Edessa. The Malankara Church follows the West Syriac Liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church, traditionally attributed to Saint James, and is an ancient rite of the Early Christian Church of Jerusalem. Since that time further splits have occurred, and the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several different Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Protestant, and independent bodies, each with their own liturgies and traditions.The Eastern Catholic faction is in full communion with the Holy See in Rome. This includes the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. The Syro-Malankara Church were a minority faction within the Oriental Orthodox faction that joined in communion with Rome in 1930 under Bishop Mar Ivanios. The Oriental Orthodox faction includes the Malankara Orthodox Church and the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. The Malankara Orthodox Church is headed by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan in Kottayam, India. Whereas the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church and is headed by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus, Syria. Independents include the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church and the Chaldean Syrian Church of India. The Marthoma Syrian Church were a part of the Malankara Church that went through a reformation movement under Abraham Malpan due to influence of British Anglican missionaries in the 1800s. The Mar Thoma Church follows a reformed variant of the liturgical West Syriac Rite. The Chaldean Syrian Church is an archbishopric of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq. They were a minority faction within the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, who split off and joined with the Church of the East Bishop during the 1700s.Saint Thomas Christians represent a multi-ethnic group. Their culture is largely derived from East Syriac, Hindu, Jewish, and West Syriac influences, blended with local customs and later elements derived from indigenous Indian and European colonial contacts. Their language is Malayalam, the language of Kerala, and Syriac is used for liturgical purposes. The Saint Thomas Christians are classified as a Forward caste by the Government of India under its system of positive discrimination.

Western Christianity

Western Christianity is the Latin Church, and Protestantism, together with the offshoots of these such as independent Catholicism and Restorationist churches taken together. The large majority of the world's 2.4 billion Christians are Western Christians (about 2 billion – 1.2 billion Latin Catholic / 800 million Protestant). The original and still major part, the Latin Church, developed under the bishop of Rome (the Patriarch of the West) in the former Western Roman Empire in Antiquity. Out of the Latin Church emerged a wide variety of independent Protestant denominations, including Lutheranism and Anglicanism, starting from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, as did Independent Catholicism in the 19th century. Thus, the term "Western Christianity" does not describe a single communion or religious denomination, but is applied to distinguish all these denominations collectively from Eastern Christianity.

The establishment of the distinct Latin Church, a particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church (in contrast to the Eastern Catholic Churches, also in full communion with the Pope in Rome) coincided with the consolidation of the Holy See in Rome, where the bishop claimed a particular role since Antiquity. The terms "Western" and "Eastern" in this regard originated with geographical divisions mirroring the cultural divide between the Hellenistic east and Latin West, and the political divide between the Western and Eastern Roman empires. During the Middle Ages adherents of the Latin Church, irrespective of ethnicity, commonly referred to themselves as "Latins" to distinguish themselves from Eastern Christians.With the expansion of European colonialism from the Early Modern era, the Latin Church, in time along with its Protestant secessions, spread throughout the Americas, much of the Philippines, Southern Africa, pockets of West Africa, and throughout Australia, and New Zealand. Thus, when used for historical periods after the 16th century, the term "Western Christianity" does not refer to a particular geographical area, but is rather used as a collective term for the Latin Church, the Protestant denominations, and Independent Catholicism that trace their lineage to the original Latin Church in Western Europe.

Today, the geographical distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity is not nearly as absolute as in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, due to the spread of Christian missionaries, migrations, and globalisation. The adjectives "Western Christianity" and "Eastern Christianity" are typically used to refer to historical origins and differences in theology and liturgy, rather than present geographical locations.

While the Latin Church maintain the Latin liturgical rites, Protestant denominations and Independent Catholicism retain a wide variety of liturgical practices.

Witching hour (supernatural)

In folklore, the witching hour or devil's hour is a time of night associated with supernatural events. Creatures such as witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful. Black magic is thought to be most effective at this time. In the Western Christian tradition, the hour between 3 and 4 a.m. was considered a period of peak supernatural activity, due to the absence of prayers in the canonical hours during this period. Women caught outside without sufficient reason during this time were sometimes executed on suspicion of witchcraft. The phrase "witching hour" was first recorded in 1835.Psychological literature suggests that apparitional experiences and sensed presences are most common between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m., corresponding with a 3 a.m. peak in the amount of melatonin in the body.More recently, the hours between midnight and 2 a.m. have been considered the witching hour.The term may be used colloquially to refer to any period of bad luck, or in which something bad is seen as having a greater likelihood of occurring.

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