the importance of an oral tradition

The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ;
Jesus Christ [has done so] from God.
Having, therefore, received their orders…
and thus preaching through countries and cities,
they appointed the firstfruits [of their labours],
having first proven them by the Spirit,
to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe.
Is it any surprise if those in Christ who were entrusted with such a duty by
God appointed those [ministers] before mentioned,
when the blessed Moses also…noted down in the sacred books all the injunctions
which were given him, and when the other prophets also followed him,
bearing witness with one consent to the ordinances which he had appointed?

Clement of Rome


(Trajan’s Market complex, Rome, Italy / Julie Cook / 2018)

Only 1 out of 10 in the Roman Empire was literate.
9 out of 10 were illiterate and couldn’t read!
To build the Church upon a book would’ve been a stupid idea if that was all that there was.
We’re already now into the fourth and fifth century and nobody had this book to even read.
Where did they hear it?
In the Mass.
Think about this: if you were in these first generations and you didn’t have this book,
think about how you would listen to the readings at Mass differently than you do today!
Those were words of gold for you because you couldn’t read them for yourself.
You would listen and you would memorize what you were hearing because you might
never hear those words again in your life.

Steve Ray
from Finding the Fullness of Faith

12 comments on “the importance of an oral tradition

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    😁🍪

  2. oneta hayes says:

    And the priest/minister did not have a copy machine or computer for making sermon notes for everyone! 😀

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    I think it is amazing to see oral tradition; of course I also think we need to discern what is reliable and unreliable oral tradition. And studying more about oral tradition and the medium of oral tradition makes me appreciate the vehicle of writing (Scripture and early patristics)

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