Saturday, January 31, 2015

Single Source of Revelation or Dual Source of Revelation?

What does the debate between the Reformers and the Roman Catholic Church have to do with the debate between Pro-Rabbinic Messianics and Anti-Rabbinic Messianics?  

After reading Mathison's article "Solo Scriptura:  The Difference a Vowel Makes", I'm beginning to think that these two debates actually have quite a lot in common.  The Reformers believed that there was only one source of revelation--that of Scripture.  The Roman Catholics, on the other hand, believed that Scripture and the "Church" were dual sources of revelation.  So the issue was about how many sources of revelation apply to Believers.

And isn't this the same debate when it comes to "Oral Torah"?  Did G-d give Israel an oral revelation besides the written revelation?  

Without further ado, here's the fascinating article by Mathison:



  1. I was not able to open the article, but do believe you are on to something here. The similarities are striking.

    Personally, as a former Presbyterian minister, I 'do battle' often with pastors as we debate/discuss Scripture, etc. It is amazing to me that even the 'Sola Scriptura' crowd reaches to tradition OFTEN! It is the 'church fathers' that get cited and quoted, even when the conclusion drawn through logic is clearly demonstrated contrary to Scripture.

    Helps me understand how tradition affects, to one degree or another, even the Anti-Rabbinic Messianics.

    Tradition has its place, but when it dictates doctrine, it is wrong!!

  2. So many interesting points raised here. This will take a series of posts to explore further. Thank you, brother.

    I have one initial thought: just as any legal system is made of 2 components--the LAW that imposes duties and the TRADITION by which the people consent to confer power to the institution which imposes those duties--almost any religious system has this same cooperation between law and tradition.

    Example: If I say I do not accept tradition but only Scripture then I contradict myself for I have a tradition regarding the canon of Scripture. This idea of "canon" is my tradition which is external to Scripture.

    Example 2: If I say I accept Scripture's teachings, what I'm really saying is that I accept my tradition's interpretation of Scriptural teachings (e.g. Protestant Tradition, Roman Catholic Tradition, One-Law Messianic Tradition, Hebrew Roots Tradition, etc, etc,).

    Law and Tradition are thus symbiotic.

    I'll try to unpack this in an upcoming post.

  3. Hovav Ben Avraham AvinuFebruary 1, 2015 at 6:09 PM

    I know maybe this is too far fetched, but a good analysis of the problem would take some ideas of heidegger or gadamer about tradition and interpretation.
    It is very silly to imagine that the text speaks for itself, we always bring something to the text, and I prefer to bring the rabbis than Luther and his company.

  4. I have literally been saying this for years, the debates are no different. It has always been an issue of authority.

  5. " and I prefer to bring the rabbis than Luther and his company."

    You are mixing apples and oranges, in light that some insist Rabbinic halacha is binding.