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Scripture and Tradition: What the Bible Really Says (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)

ISBN: 9781441249883



This book sheds new light on the historical tension between Scripture and Tradition in the Church. Prominent New Testament scholar Edith M. Humphrey, who understands the issue from both Protestant and Catholic/Orthodox perspectives, revisits this perennial point of tension. She demonstrates that the Bible itself reveals the importance of Tradition, exploring how the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles show Jesus and the apostles claiming the authority of Tradition as God’s Word, both written and spoken. Arguing that Scripture and Tradition are not in opposition but are necessarily and inextricably intertwined, Humphrey defends Tradition as God’s gift to the Church. She also works to dismantle rigid views of Sola Scriptura while holding a high view of Scripture’s authority.

With the Logos version, Scripture references appear instantly in your favorite translation on mouseover, so you can track with Humphrey’s examination of the emphasis of Tradition in Scripture. Read Scripture and Tradition with your mobile device or laptop to use it as a reference, wherever you are.

Resource Experts
  • Provides biblical arguments for the importance of Tradition
  • Explores the New Testament’s approach to Tradition
  • Establishes the connections between Scripture and Tradition in the Church today
  • Introduction
  • Lost in Translation?
  • Deadly Traditions: The Bible, the Rabbis, Jesus, and St. Paul
  • The Apostles, the Word, and the Letter
  • The Blessed Delivery: Receiving in Both Directions
  • Tradition as God's Personal Gift
  • Holy Tradition vs. Human Traditions: Discerning the Difference Today
  • Conclusion
In Scripture and Tradition, Edith Humphrey provides an intelligent and nuanced way forward, past the stifling oppositions that have dominated the discussions on Scripture and tradition in the recent past. Fusing personal reflection with an excellently articulated and accessible argument, Humphrey shows us how the narrative character of the Christian faith and life mandates that we live in tradition, rejecting the trappings of traditionalism. For as Jaroslav Pelikan noted many years ago, ‘Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.’

—George Kalantzis, associate professor of theology, Wheaton College; director, The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies

Edith Humphrey bridges the gap between the apostolic and postapostolic church by exploring the biblical foundations for Christian tradition. She invites readers to embrace the Bible’s own witness to tradition as an essential key to the entire life of the church. Elegantly written and exegetically compelling, this book reveals how ‘biblical’ tradition takes us beyond the impasse of the ‘Scripture versus tradition’ debates that have beleaguered Christianity since the Reformation.

—Bradley Nassif, professor of biblical and theological studies, North Park University

Edith Humphrey’s great gift for combining biblical scholarship with pastoral insight is charitably applied to one of the most significant stumbling blocks for Christian unity: the relation between Scripture and tradition. Her focus on Scripture’s own sense of tradition provides a way into the subject that will appeal especially to Protestants who share (and among whom she learned) her deep respect for Scripture. Yet these same readers may begin to discover that the tradition of which she speaks does not diminish but rather sustains, and is sustained by, that respect. What is therefore diminished is the stumbling block itself.

Douglas Farrow, professor of Christian thought, McGill University

  • Title: Scripture and Tradition: What the Bible Really Says
  • Author: Edith M. Humphrey
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 192

Dr. Edith M. Humphrey is the William F. Orr professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Prior to her service at PTS, she taught at several colleges and universities in Canada, and was professor of Scripture at Augustine College, Ottawa, Canada, from 1997–2002, where in her final year she served as dean. She earned her doctorate from McGill University in Montreal, where she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. The author of numerous articles on the literary and rhetorical study of the Bible, she has also written four books, including And I Turned to See the Voice: The Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament and Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit. Humphrey is a also coauthor of a series of theological workbooks for congregational use, entitled Wrestling with God.


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  1. Dave Crosby

    Dave Crosby