In some of the church's history, Scripture has been pitted against tradition and vice versa. Prominent New Testament scholar Edith 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.
Edith M. Humphrey (PhD, McGill University) is the William F. Orr Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of several books, including Grand Entrance: Worship on Earth as in Heaven and Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit, and of numerous articles on the literary and rhetorical study of the Bible.
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.'
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.
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.
professor of Christian thought, McGill University
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