The relationship between Scripture and tradition is a question as acute today as ever. The sixteenth century by no means settled the issue, decisive and significant though the problem was at that time. The theology of the Roman Catholic Church bristles currently with differences of opinion on this matter. One could mention several publications in which Roman Catholic thinkers are putting an emphasis on Holy Scripture that has been unheard of in their communion. The term “sufficiency” is being applied to the Bible by Roman writers, a term long a Reformation trademark.

This does not mean that tradition is being rejected. Tradition is, however, being called the living tradition, growing out of the full richness of Holy Scripture. It is not surprising, then, that the current Vatican Council had to face a consideration of the question. The strongly conservative theologians, who have spoken out against the more progressive ones at the council, prefer to speak of a twofold source of revelation: Scripture and tradition. They lean on Trent, whose fourth decree, it is said, places Scripture and tradition on a par as sources of revelation. But heated discussions have centered on this decree lately, and full oneness of mind is far from present.

The name of J. R. Geiselmann, a Roman scholar with many studies in the area of Scripture and tradition to his credit, figures prominently here. Along with him are figures such as Yves Congar and Peter Lengsfeld. Indeed, the question is being raised anew in many circles: are there two sources of revelation? That this question should be so persistent at present is related to the intense concern that Roman scholars have shown for the witness of the Bible in recent years. The Bible, according to Rome, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: