Monday, July 8, 2013

Early Church Fathers on Tradition

The Early Church Fathers on various topics: This was a 3700 hour project which included going through 22896 pages of the 38 volume set called Ante Nicene, Nicene, Post Nicene Fathers. I compiled 255 pages of quotes showing that the Early Church was always and completely Catholic. All of these quotes can be verified and found from the source which is free online.

Papias Fragment 6 [90-140 AD]
"Papias [A.D. 120], who is now mentioned by us, affirms that he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, and he, moreover, asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John. Accordingly, he mentions them frequently by name, and in his writings gives their traditions [concerning Jesus]. . . . [There are] other passages of his in which he relates some miraculous deeds, stating that he acquired the knowledge of them from tradition"

Justin Martyr [103-176] First Apology Ch 10

But we have received by tradition that God does not need the material offerings which men can give, seeing, indeed, that He Himself is the provider of all things.
Irenaeus of Lyons Against Heresies Book 5 ch 20.1 (120-180 ad)
But the path of those belonging to the Church circumscribes the whole world, as possessing the sure tradition from the apostles
Irenaeus of Lyons Against Heresies Book 3 ch 21.3 (120-180 ad)
for our Lord was bern about the forty-first year of the reign of Augustus; but Ptolemy was much earlier, under whom the Scriptures were interpreted; -- [since these things are so, I say,] truly these men are proved to be impudent and presumptuous, who would now show a desire to make different translations, when we refute them out of these Scriptures, and shut them up to a belief in the advent of the Son of God. But our faith is stedfast, unfeigned, and the only true one, having clear proof from these Scriptures, which were interpreted in the way I have related; and the preaching of the Church is without interpolation. For the apostles, since they are of more ancient date than all these [heretics], agree with this aforesaid translation; and the translation harmonizes with the tradition of the apostles. For Peter, and John, and Matthew, and Paul, and the rest successively, as well as their followers, did set forth all prophetical
Irenaeus of Lyons Book 1 ch 21.1 (120-180 ad)
It happens that their tradition respecting redemption is invisible and incomprehensible, as being the mother of things which are incomprehensible and invisible; and on this account, since it is fluctuating, it is impossible simply and all at once to make known its nature, for every one of them hands it down just as his own inclination prompts.
Irenaeus of Lyons Book 2 ch 9 (120-180 ad)
For even creation reveals Him who formed it, and the very work made suggests Him who made it, and the world manifests Him who ordered it. The Catholic Church, moreover, through the whole world, has received this tradition from the apostles.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book III Ch 2.2 [120-180 AD]
 But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book III, ch 3.1 [120-180 AD]
"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about"
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses book 3 ch 3.3 [120-180 AD]
.Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority -- that is, the faithful everywhere -- inasmuch as the Apostolic Tradition has been preserved continuously by those who are everywhere. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric.…
To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sorer having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book III Ch 4.1-2 [120-180 AD]
The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles.
"That is why it is surely necessary to avoid them [heretics], while cherishing with the utmost diligence the things pertaining to the Church, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth. . . . What if the apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?" (ibid., 3:4:1).
2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.
Clement of Alexandria The Stromata Book 7 ch 8 [150-215 AD]
They say in the traditions that Matthew the apostle constantly said, that "if the neighbour of an elect man sin, the elect man has sinned. For had he conducted himself as the Word prescribes, his neighbour also would have been filled with such reverence for the life he led as not to sin."
Clement of Alexandria Stromata Book 7 ch 18 (150-215 ad)
These points, then, having been formerly thoroughly treated, and the department of ethics having been sketched summarily in a fragmentary way, as we promised; and having here and there interspersed the dogmas which are the germs of true knowledge, so that the discovery of the sacred traditions may not be easy to any one of the uninitiated, let us proceed to what we promised.
Clement of Alexandria Stromata Book 7 ch 16 (150-215 ad)
And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teachings, in order to establish the heresy.
Clement of Alexandria Stromata book 6 ch 15 (150-215 ad)
The liars, then, in reality are not those who for the sake of the scheme of salvation conform, nor those who err in minute points, but those who are wrong in essentials, and reject the Lord and as far as in them lies deprive the Lord of the true teaching; who do not quote or deliver the Scriptures in a manner worthy of God and of the Lord; for the deposit rendered to God, according to the teaching of the Lord by His apostles, is the understanding and the practice of the godly tradition.
Clement of Alexandria  Stromata book 1 ch 1 (150-215 ad)
Well, they preserving the tradition of the blessed doctrine derived directly from the holy apostles, Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the father (but few were like the fathers), came by God's will to us also to deposit those ancestral and apostolic seeds. And well I know that they will exult; I do not mean delighted with this tribute, but solely on account of the preservation of the truth, according as they delivered it. For such a sketch as this, will, I think, be agreeable to a soul desirous of preserving from escape the blessed tradition.
Clement of Alexandria  Stromata book 7 ch 15 (150-215 ad)
And those have a craving for glory who voluntarily evade, by arguments of a diverse sort, the things delivered by the blessed apostles and teachers, which are wedded to inspired words; opposing the divine tradition by human teach ings, in order to establish the heresy
Tertullian The Chaplet ch 3 (160-240 ad)
If no passage of Scripture has prescribed it, assuredly custom, which without doubt flowed from tradition, has confirmed it. For how can anything come into use, if it has not first been handed down? Even in pleading tradition, written authority, you say, must be demanded. Let us inquire, therefore, whether tradition, unless it be written, should not be admitted. Certainly we shall say that it ought not to be admitted, if no cases of other practices which, without any written instrument, we maintain on the ground of tradition alone, and the countenance thereafter of custom, affords us any precedent.
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 20 (160- 240 ad)
They then in like manner rounded churches in every city, from which all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine, and are every day deriving them, that they may become churches. Indeed, it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches.
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 21 (160- 240 ad)
All doctrine true which comes through the Church from the apostles, who were taught by God through Christ. All opinion which has no such divine origin and apostolic tradition to show, is ipso facto false. From this, therefore, do we draw up our rule. Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed; for "no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Nor does the Son seem to have revealed Him to any other than the apostles, whom He sent forth to preach--that, of course, which He revealed to them. Now, what that was which they preached--in other words, what it was which Christ revealed to them--can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles rounded in person, by declaring the gospel to them directly themselves, both rivet race, as the phrase is, and subsequently by their epistles. If, then, these things are so, it is in the same degree manifest that all doctrine which agrees with the apostolic churches--those moulds and original sources of the faith must be reckoned for truth, as undoubtedly containing that which the (said) churches received from the apostles, the apostles from Christ, Christ from God. Whereas all doctrine must be prejudged as false which savours of contrariety to the truth of the churches and apostles of Christ and God. It remains, then, that we demonstrate whether this doctrine of ours, of which we have now given the rule, has its origin in the tradition of the apostles, and whether all other doctrines do not ipso facto proceed from falsehood. We hold communion with the apostolic churches because our doctrine is in no respect different from theirs. This is our witness of truth.
Tertullian The Prescription against Heretics ch 28 [160-240 AD]
The one tradition of the faith, which is substantially alike in the churches everywhere, a good proof that the transmission has been true and honest in the main...... No casualty distributed among many men issues in one and the same result. Error of doctrine in the churches must necessarily have produced various issues. When, however, that which is deposited among many is found to be one and the same, it is not the result of error, but of tradition. Can any one, then, be reckless enough to say that they were in error who handed on the tradition?
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 5 ch 19(160-240 ad)
For if, even at that time, the tradition of the gospel had spread everywhere, how much more now!
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 4 ch 5 (160-240 ad)
By the rule of antiquity, the Catholic Gospels are found to be true, including the real St. Luke's. Marcion's only a mutilated edition. The heretic's weakness and inconsistency in ignoring the other Gospels. [+] On the whole, then, if that is evidently more true which is earlier, if that is earlier which is from the very beginning, if that is from the beginning which has the apostles for its authors, then it will certainly be quite as evident, that that comes down from the apostles, which has been kept as a sacred deposit in the churches of the apostles.
Tertullian Against Marcion book 4 ch 5 [160-240 AD]
Such are the summary arguments which we use, when we take up arms against heretics for the faith of the gospel, maintaining both that order of periods, which rules that a late date is the mark of forgers, and that authority of churches which lends support to the tradition of the apostles; because truth must needs precede the forgery, and proceed straight from those by whom it has been handed on.
Tertullian Ad Nationes Book 2 ch 1 (160-240 ad)
It is therefore against these things that our contest lies--against the institutions of our ancestors, against the authority of tradition, the laws of our governors, and the reasonings of the wise; against antiquity, custom, submission; against precedents, prodigies, miracles,--all which things have had their part in consolidating that spurious system of your gods.
Origen Commentary on the Gospel of John book 6 ch 17 (185-254 ad)
And we will begin with Matthew, who is reported by tradition to have published his Gospel before the others, to the Hebrews, those, namely, of the circumcision who believed
Origen De Principiis Book 4 par 8 [185-254 AD]
through His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, what appears to us, who observe things by a right way of understanding, to be the standard and discipline delivered to the apostles by Jesus Christ, and which they handed down in succession to their posterity, the teachers of the holy Church.
Cyprian of Carthage Treatise 12 par 86 (200-270 ad)
That a schism must not be made, even although he who withdraws should remain in one faith, and in the same tradition.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 75 par 3 (200-270 ad)
Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 67 par 5 (200-270 ad)
For which reason you must diligently observe and keep the practice delivered from divine tradition and apostolic observance, which is also maintained among us, and almost throughout all the provinces; that for the proper celebration of ordinations all the neighbouring bishops of the same province should assemble with that people for which a prelate is ordained.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 62 par 1 (200-270 ad)
In which portion we find that the cup which the Lord offered was mixed, and that that was wine which He called His blood. Whence it appears that the blood of Christ is not offered if there be no wine in the cup, nor the Lord's sacrifice celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our oblation and sacrifice respond to His passion. But how shall we drink the new wine of the fruit of the vine with Christ in the kingdom of His Father, if in the sacrifice of God the Father and of Christ we do not offer wine, nor mix the cup of the Lord by the Lord's own tradition?
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 62 par 1 (200-270ad)
Although I know, dearest brother, that very many of the bishops who are set over the churches of the Lord by divine condescension, throughout the whole world, maintain the plan of evangelical truth, and of the tradition of the Lord, and do not by human and novel institution depart from that which Christ our Master both prescribed and did; yet since some, either by ignorance or simplicity in sanctifying the cup of the Lord, and in ministering to the people, do not do that which Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, the founder and teacher of this sacrifice, did and taught
Novatian Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch 30 (220- 270ad)
But because heretics, ever struggling against the truth, are accustomed to prolong the controversy of pure tradition and Catholic faith, being offended against Christ; because He is, moreover, asserted to be God by the Scriptures also, and this is believed to be so by us; we must rightly--that every heretical calumny may be removed from our faith--contend, concerning the fact that Christ is God also,
Eusebius of Caesarea Life of Constantine book 3 ch 61 (265-340 ad)
Now to abide by that which appears at the same time pleasing to God, and accordant with apostolical tradition, is a proof of true piety.
Eusebius of Caesarea Life of Constantine book 3 ch 62 (265-340 ad)
It was right, therefore, to intimate to your Prudences, that in proposing these men and any others whom you may deem worthy the episcopal dignity, you should decide this question in a manner conformable to the tradition of the apostles. For in that case, your Prudences will be able, according to the rule of the Church and apostolic tradition, to direct this election in the manner which true ecclesiastical discipline shall prescribe.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 3 (265-340 ad)
Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 3 ch 28 (265-340 ad)
And as he [Polycarp] made the journey through Asia under the strictest military surveillance, he fortified the parishes in the various cities where he stopped by oral homilies and exhortations, and warned them above all to be especially on their guard against the heresies that were then beginning to prevail, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition of the apostles. Moreover, he thought it necessary to attest that tradition in writing, and to give it a fixed form for the sake of greater security. So when he came to Smyrna, where Polycarp was, he wrote an epistle to the church of Ephesus, in which he mentions Onesimus, its pastor; and another to the church of Magnesia, situated upon the Maeander, in which he makes mention again of a bishop Damas; and finally one to the church of Tralles, whose bishop, he states, was at that time Polybius. In addition to these he wrote also to the church of Rome, entreating them not to secure his release from martyrdom, and thus rob him of his earnest hope. (he writes to others fixing tradition but to Rome he doesn’t)
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 3 ch 28 (265-340 ad)
And as he made the journey through Asia under the strictest military surveillance, he fortified the parishes in the various cities where he stopped by oral homilies and exhortations, and warned them above all to be especially on their guard against the heresies that were then beginning to prevail, and exhorted them to hold fast to the tradition of the apostle
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 3 ch 28 (265-340 ad)
But it is fitting to subjoin to the words of Papias which have been quoted, other passages from his works in which he related some other wonderful events which he claims to have received from tradition.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 6 (265-340 ad)
"Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History Book IV [265-340 AD]
"At that time [A.D. 150] there flourished in the Church Hegesippus, whom we know from what has gone before, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and another bishop, Pinytus of Crete, and besides these, Philip, and Apollinarius, and Melito, and Musanus, and Modestus, and, finally, Irenaeus. From them has come down to us in writing, the sound and orthodox faith received from apostolic tradition"
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 4 (265-340 ad)
He records in five books the true tradition of apostolic doctrine in a most simple style, and he indicates the time in which he flourished when he writes as follows concerning those that first set up idols: "To whom they erected cenotaphs and temples, as is done to the present day
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 4 (265-340 ad)
In the eighth year of the above-mentioned reign Soter succeeded Anicetus as bishop of the church of Rome, after the latter had held office eleven years in all. But when Celadion had presided over the church of Alexandria for fourteen years tie was succeeded by Agrippinus. [+] At that time also in the church of Antioch, was well known as the sixth from the apostles. For Cornelius, who succeeded Hero, was the fourth, and after him Eros, the fifth in order, had held the office of bishop. [+] AT that time there flourished in the Church Hegesippus, whom we know from what has gone before, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and another bishop, Pinytus of Crete, and besides these, Philip, and Apolinarius, and Melito, and Musanus, and Modestus, and finally, Irenaeus. From them has come down to us in writing, the sound and orthodox faith received from apostolic tradition
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 1 ch1 (265-340 ad)
The plan of the work. It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.
Lactantius Divine Institutes book 4 (290-350 ad)
But some, enticed by the prediction of false prophets, concerning whom both the true prophets and he himself had foretold, fell away from the knowledge of God, and left the true tradition.
Athanasius De Synodis Part 3 par 54 (296-373)
What then I have learned myself, and have heard men of judgment say, I have written in few words; but do you, remaining on the foundation of the Apostles, and holding fast the traditions of the Fathers, pray that now at length all strife and rivalry may cease, and the futile questions of the heretics may be condemned,
Athanasius Apologia Contra Arianos pt 1 ch 2.35 (296-373 ad)
Not so have the constitutions[4] of Paul, not so have the traditions of the Fathers directed; this is another form of procedure, a novel practice.
Athanasius De Synodis pt 1 par 7 (296-373 ad)
Having therefore no reason on their side, but being in difficulty whichever way they turn, in spite of their pretences, they have nothing left but to say; 'Forasmuch as we contradict our predecessors, and transgress the traditions of the Fathers, therefore we have thought good that a Council should meet(5);
Athanasius De Synodis pt 3 par 54 (296-373 ad)
What then I have learned myself, and have heard men of judgment say, I have written in few words; but do you, remaining on the foundation of the Apostles, and holding fast the traditions of the Fathers, pray that now at length all strife and rivalry may cease, and the futile questions of the heretics may be condemned, and all logomachy(1); and the guilty and murderous heresy of the Arians may disappear, and the truth may shine again in the hearts of all, so that all every where may 'say the same thing'(1 Cor. i. 10), and think the same thing
Athanasius Letter 29 [296-373 AD]
"But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able"
Athanasius Letter 51 (296-373 ad)
Accordingly we too, according to your confession of faith, desire to hold the Apostolic tradition, and to live according to the commands of the divine law, that we may be found along with you in that band in which now Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs are rejoicing.
Athanasius Letter 60 par 6 (296-373)
Behold the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is being interpreted God with us(7).' But what does that mean, if not that God has come in the Flesh? While the Apostolic tradition teaches in the words of blessed Peter, 'Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the Flesh;' and in what Paul writes, 'Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, and zealous of good works
Athanasius Apologia Contra Arianos Part 1 par 30 (296-373)
For what canon of the Church, or what Apostolical tradition warrants this, that when a Church was at peace, and so many Bishops were in unanimity with Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria, Gregory should be sent thither, a stranger to the city, not having been baptized there, nor known to the general body, and desired neither by Presbyters, nor Bishops, nor Laity--that he should be appointed at Antioch, and sent to Alexandria, accompanied not by presbyters, nor by deacons of the city, nor by bishops of Egypt, but by soldiers? for they who came hither complained that this was the case.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 23 par 23 (315-386 ad)
Hold fast these traditions undefiled and, keep yourselves free from offence. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries.
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 2 ch 9 (325-386 ad)
In the tradition of the faith delivered by the Truth we are taught to believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If it were right to believe that the Son was created, how was it that the Truth in delivering to us this mystery bade us believe in the Son, and not in the creature?
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 4 ch 5 (325-386 ad)
for it is enough for proof of our statement, that the tradition has come down to us from our fathers, handled on, like some inheritance, by succession from the apostles and the saints who came after them.
Gregory of Nyssa On Virginity ch 11 (325-386 ad)
But each may gather in abundance for himself suggestions towards this end out of either Covenant in the inspired writings; the Prophets and the Law are full of them; and also the Gospel and the Traditions of the Apostles
Gregory of Nyssa On the Soul and Resurrection (325-386 ad)
If on the other hand any one will accept a discussion which is in a naked unsyllogistic form, we will speak upon these points by making our study of them so far as we can follow the chain(7) of Scriptural tradition.
Basil Letter de Spiritu Sancto ch 7.16 (329-379 ad) (uses tradition 23 times in his writings)
It is also quite untrue to allege that the phrase "with whom" is unfamiliar in the usage of the devout. All those whose soundness of character leads them to hold the dignity of antiquity to be more honourable than mere new-fangled novelty, and who have preserved the tradition of their fathers unadulterated, alike in town and in country, have employed this phrase.
Basil Letter 261 par 2 (329-379 ad)
These, brethren, are the mysteries of the Church; these are the traditions of the Fathers. Every man who fears the Lord, and is awaiting God's judgment, I charge not to be carried away by various doctrines. If any one teaches a different doctrine, and refuses to accede to the sound words of the faith, rejecting the oracles of the Spirit, and making his own teaching of more authority than the lessons of the Gospels, of such an one beware.
Basil Letter de Spiritu Sancto ch 27.66 (329-379 ad)
Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching.
Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of the chrism, and besides this the catechumen who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition?

Basil Letter de Spiritu Sancto ch 27.66 (329-379 ad)
Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us "in a mystery" by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these m relation to true religion have the same force.
Basil the Great De Spiritu Sancto ch 27.66 [329-379 AD]
"Of the dogmas and messages preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety, both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is
even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce [Christian] message to a mere term"
Tyrannius Rufinus Commentary on the Apostles Creed par 48 (340-410 ad)
and how not only the sacred oracles but also the example of Lord and Saviour Himself, and the conclusions of natural reason, confirm the truth of the resurrection of our flesh;--if, I say, we have intelligently followed these in succession in accordance with the rule of the tradition hereinbefore expounded
Tyrannius Rufinus Commentary on the Apostles Creed par 2 (340-410 ad)
Our forefathers have handed down to us the tradition, that, after the Lord's ascension, when, through the coming of the Holy Ghost, tongues of flame had settled upon each of the Apostles, that they might speak diverse languages, so that no race however foreign, no tongue however barbarous, might be inaccessible to them and beyond their reach, they were commanded by the Lord to go severally to the several nations to preach the word of God.
Tyrannius Rufinus Commentary on the Apostles Creed par 2 (340-410 ad)
Our forefathers have handed down to us the tradition, that, after the Lord's ascension, when, through the coming of the Holy Ghost, tongues of flame had settled upon each of the Apostles, that they might speak diverse languages, so that no race however foreign, no tongue however barbarous, might be inaccessible to them and beyond their reach,
Council of Ganga epilogue (343 ad)
we wish that all things which have been delivered by the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolical traditions, may be observed in the Church
John Chrysostom Homily 8 on Second Timothy (347-407 ad)
Ver. 8. "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth."
Who are these? The magicians in the time of Moses. But how is it their names are nowhere else introduced? Either they were handed down by tradition, or it is probable that Paul knew them by inspiration.
John Chrysostom Homily 26 on First Corinthians (347-407 ad)
Wherefore he saith, "That ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you." It appears then that he used at that time to deliver many things also not in writing, which he shows too in many other places. But at that time he only delivered them, whereas now he adds an explanation of their reason: thus both rendering the one sort, the obedient, more steadfast, and pulling down the others' pride, who oppose themselves.
Jerome Letter 71 par 6 (347-420 ad)
In such matters each province may follow its own inclinations, and the traditions which have been handed down should be regarded as apostolic laws
Jerome Letter 41 par 3 (347-420 ad)
We, according to the apostolic tradition yearly; whereas they keep three in the year as though three saviours had suffered. I do not mean, of course, that it is unlawful to fast at other times through the year--always excepting Pentecost--only that while in Lent it is a duty of obligation, at other seasons it is a matter of choice.
Jerome Letter 146 par 2 (347-420 ad)
In fact as if to tell us that the traditions handed down by the apostles were taken by them from the old testament, bishops, presbyters and deacons occupy in the church the same positions as those which were occupied by Aaron, his sons, and the Levites in the temple.
John Chrysostom Homily 45 on Acts ch 10 (347-407 ad)
For, "remember," he says, "the words of the Lord which he spake: It is more blessed to give than to receive." (v. 35.) And where said He this? Perhaps the Apostles delivered it by unwritten tradition; or else it is plain from recorded sayings, from) which one could infer it.
John Chrysostom Homily 4 on Second Thessalonians [347-407 AD]
"[Paul commands,] 'Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' [2 Thess. 2:15]. From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there is much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further"
John Chrysostom Homily 1 on Acts ch 1 (347-407 ad)
And why then did he not relate every thing, seeing he was with Paul to the end? We may answer, that what is here written, was sufficient for those who would attend, and that the sacred writers ever addressed themselves to the matter of immediate importance, whatever it might be at the time it was no object with them to be writers of books: in fact, there are many things which they have delivered by unwritten tradition.
Canons of the Thirteen Holy Fathers cannon 62
"It is needful also to make use of tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy apostles handed down some things in the scriptures, other things in tradition"
John Cassian Conference 10 ch 2 (360-435 ad)
IN the country of Egypt this custom is by ancient tradition observed that--when Epiphany is past, which the priests of that province regard as the time, both of our Lord's baptism and also of His birth in the flesh, and so celebrate the commemoration of either mystery not separately as in the Western provinces but on the single festival of this day,(1)--letters are sent from the Bishop of Alexandria through all the Churches of Egypt, by which the beginning of Lent, and the day of Easter are pointed out not only in all the cities but also in all the monasteries.
Augustine on the Holy Trinity Book 4 ch 6.10 (354-430 ad)
But those reasons which I have here given, I have either gathered from the authority of the church, according to the tradition of our forefathers, or from the testimony of the divine Scriptures, or from the nature itself of numbers and of similitudes. No sober person will decide against reason, no Christian against the Scriptures, no peaceable person against the church.
Augustine of Hippo, St [354-430 AD] Letter 54 ch 1
"But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the apostles themselves or by plenary [ecumenical] councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church"
Augustine Reply to Faustus the Manichean Book 28 par 2 (354-430 ad)
I ask you to believe the book which I quote to have been written by Matthew, since it has been handed down from the days of Matthew in the Church, without any break in the connection between that time and the present. The question then is, whether we are to believe the statements of an apostle who was in the company of Christ while He was on earth, or of a man away in Persia, born long after Christ. But perhaps you will quote some other book bearing the name of an apostle known to have been chosen by Christ; and you will find there that Christ was not born of Mary. Since, then, one of the books must be false, the question in this case is, whether we are to yield our belief to a book acknowledged and approved as handed down from the beginning in the Church founded by Christ Himself, and maintained through the apostles and their successors in an unbroken connection all over the world to the present day; or to a book which this Church condemns as unknown
Sozomen Ecclesial History Book 3 Ch 5 (375-477 ad)
Since they were the testers of his faith, they had readily received him; and they believed in the faith which had from the beginning been handed down by tradition.
Theodoret Letter 118 (393-457 ad)
They have introduced a novel and bastard doctrine, diametrically contrary to the tradition of the apostles, and are openly at war with them that hold to the ancient instruction.
Theodoret Ecclesial History book 2 ch 6 (393-457 ad)
We have been taught, and we hold the catholic and apostolic tradition and faith and confession which teach, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost have one essence, which is termed substance(19) by the heretics.
Council of Chalcedon under Pius IV canon 8 (451 ad)
Clerics in charge of almshouses and monasteries and martyrs' shrines are, in accordance with the tradition of the holy fathers, to remain under the jurisdiction of the bishop in each city.
Council of Chalcedon session 1 (451 ad)
Paschasinus the most reverend bishop, holding the place of the Apostolic See, said: We cannot go counter to the decrees of the most blessed and apostolic bishop ["Pope" for "bishop" in the Latin], who governs the Apostolic See, nor against the ecclesiastical canons nor the patristic traditions.
Gregory the Great Letters Book 9 letter 12 (540-604 ad)
it is said to be derived from the Church of Jerusalem by the tradition of the blessed Jerome in the time of pope Damasus of blessed memory; and accordingly in this matter we have rather curtailed the former usage which had been handed down to us here from the Greeks.
John of Damascus Exposition of the Faith book 3 ch 12 (676-749 ad)
So, then, in expectation of His coming we worship towards the East. But this tradition of the apostles is unwritten. For much that has been handed down to us by tradition is unwritten.
Constantinople/Trullo/Quinisext canon 32 (692 ad)
For since there was an ancient and wicked heresy of the Hydroparastatae (i.e., of those who offered water), who instead of wine used water in their sacrifice, this divine, confuting the detestable teaching of such a heresy, and showing that it is directly opposed to Apostolic tradition, asserted that which has just been quoted.



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