Because I am reading “Biblical Church” by Beresford Job I am really coming to an understanding how the evolution of man’s thoughts on scripture has given rise to man’s traditions getting in the way. For example, have you ever wondered why the Roman Catholic Church believe in ‘transubstantiation’?
In AD 250 Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage wrote:
If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is Himself the High Priest of God the Father, and first offered Himself as a sacrifice to the Father, and commanded this to be done in remembrance of Himself, then assuredly the priest acts truly in Christ’s stead, when he reproduces what Christ did, and he then offers a true and complete sacrifice to God the Father, if he begins to offer as he sees Christ Himself has offered.
This is just the beginning and as time goes one traditions are built on other traditions so much so that the very Word of God is lost. This to me, is adding and taking away from scripture. We must be careful so that we don’t do the same.
The other thing that I have learnt is that these writings of the early Church fathers were made originally because they didn’t have the NT as we have it. And there was a lot of gnostic teaching going around so these men set up a system of authority so that the early Church could counteract against gnostic teaching. Some of the gnostic teaching was that Jesus was an apparition, or that He was not fully God and fully man. And a lot more was going going around in this time of Church history. Here is how Beresford Job introduced this chapter in his book and if you’re interested you can listen to him speak about it too!
These studies now move uncomfortably close to home as, having demonstrated the serious error of Israel’s tradition of the elders, Beresford proceeds to show how Christian version emerged. We are introduced to the Early Church Fathers through their own writings, and the uniqueness of their position, that they did not then have the fully compiled New Testament as did the church later on, is explained. Quite understandably in such circumstances wrong teachings began to appear, but the real problem was that they were not corrected once the church did have the entire New Testament at its disposal. And it is precisely those teachings which the Early Church Fathers got wrong that are such a big problem today, because rather than being phased out not only were they retained, they were actually given authoritative and inspired status to boot. By testing the writings of the Fathers against the New Testament, Beresford reveals and explains their foundational error which inevitably became the seed-bed in which their other errors naturally grew. [source]
To read another review on this see HERE.