Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: Holy Tradition

Scripture, Tradition, and the Church. All three are inseparable, forming a Gestalt, a beautiful tapestry woven by the Holy Spirit. As such, the question "What is the Church?" cannot be separated from the question "What is Holy Tradition?".

Those of you interested in this topic should also consult the "Acquiring an Orthdox Mindset" sub pages, especially the page concerning Holy Tradition.


Book Review: Hierodeacon [now Father] Gregory, The Church, Tradition, Scripture, Truth, and Christian Life: Some Heresies of Evangelicalism and an Orthodox Response. Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1995. This book is a must read for inquiring Evangelical Protestants. An excellent companion to this book is Scripture and Tradition.

"On Holy Scripture," Ch. 2. from The Truth of Our Faith:: A Discourse from Holy Scripture on the Teachings of True Christianity, By Elder Cleopa of Romania (Uncut Mountain Press, November, 2000). See also: "On Holy Tradition," Ch. 3. from The Truth of Our Faith.

Some Selected Quotes from the Fathers on Tradition and the Authority of the Church: compiled by Patrick Barnes.

Excerpts from St. Vincent of Lerin's famous Commonitory : subtitled, For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against The Profane Novelties of All Heresies.

An Orthodox View of Sola Scriptura: by Fr. Deacon John Whiteford. This is a very thorough and lucid critique of one of the central "Reformation pillars." This article is also available in booklet form from any good Orthodox bookseller.

Which Came First, the Church or the New Testament?: by Fr. James Bernstein.

Holy Tradition: The Road That Leads Home, by the Rev. Dorraine Snogren (The True Vine, #5)

The Creed, by Fr. Theodore (Michael) Gelsinger.

All Scripture is Inspired by God...: Thoughts on the Old Testament Canon, by Joel Kalvesmaki

Dogmas and Opinions, by Fr. Michael Pomazansky. A discourse on the nature of Holy Tradition.

The Church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth, compiled from the writings of the Church Fathers by Patrick Barnes

Book Review: my letter to David Bercot regarding his book Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?

The Emergence of the New Testament Canon, by Daniel F. Lieuwen

Do Not Add to His Words: Thoughts on the New Testament Canon, by Joel Kalvesmaki

Recommended Books

Scripture and Tradition, by Archimandrite [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos and Archimandrite [now Bishop] Auxentios (Etna, CA: The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1994). This is arguably the best book on this subject available in the English language (perhaps in any language). Read the comments on the back cover by Fr. George florovsky: "The thoughts presented...[in several essays appearing in the present book]...are clear expositions of classical Patristic reasoning. They should certainly appear in print, and without a doubt they will be received as important contributions to the body of Orthodox literature."

Tradition and Traditions: An Historical Essay and a Theological Essay, by Yves M.-J. Congar (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967. I recommend this book with a little caution as it is by a Roman Catholic author, though one who was thoroughly versed in the Holy Fathers. It is very scholarly, and, if one can plow through it (it is over 500 pages, loaded with footnotes) the book is invaluable. Until I discovered the works by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies I would have said that this was the most important book I had read besides the Bible. The reason is because through Congar's masterful presentation I was able to see the inescapable relationship between the Bible, Tradition, and the Church. I intellectually ceased being a Protestant after reading this. However, having said all that, I would not recommend this to someone who was not thoroughly familiar with the Orthodox understanding of Holy Tradition, specifically as laid out by Fr. George Florovsky and the writers at the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies.

The Church, Tradition, Scripture, Truth, and Christian Life: Some Heresies of Evangelicalism and an Orthodox Response, by Hieromonk Gregory (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1995). This is a must read for all Evangelical Protestants. Read the book review.

Collected Works. vol. 1, Bible, Church, Tradition, by Florovsky, Georges (Belmont, MA: Nordland, 1972-79. This little gem is under 100 pages and a superb treatment of the Eastern Orthodox perspective on Tradition.