Follow Traditions or Not? What Does Christ Say?

In Mark 7:8–9, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees saying, “You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men. And he said unto them, Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”

Are we to keep the traditions or not? Second Thessalonians 2:15 says, “So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours” (cf. 2 Thess 3:6–15).

The verb form of tradition is also in Jude 3. Jude 3 states, “Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.”

The Scriptures above teach Christians to keep the traditions of God. Those things delivered by the Apostles and prophets. At the same time, there are many traditions that Christians should not keep.

If believers reject the commands of God because of the traditions of men including one’s own traditions, then these are like these Pharisees of which the Scriptures describe, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6).

Where is the heart of the believer? What traditions has the Christian made that keep that person from God? Have believers replaced assembling with the saints, prayer, and reading the Scriptures with other activities of men? Jesus observed in Mark 7:7, “But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.” Believers may practice the traditions of men that do not make void God’s commands, but they cannot teach any tradition of man as doctrine. The Christian’s foundation must remain Jesus Christ and His words.

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]
This entry was posted in Christ, Christian, Church of Christ and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Follow Traditions or Not? What Does Christ Say?

  1. Scott says:

    Gordy was replied to by e-mail.


  2. Gordy! says:

    What about people like me? You know greek. I don’t. You, by default, know more about the Bible, so how can someone like me get this much information from the Scriptures? This question is mainly aimed at the previous blog. Do I make sense here?


  3. Scott says:

    No. You’re right this would be commands and examples plus principles. Second Thessalonians 3:4 refers to “the things which we command” which clearly are the traditions of God. I would also refer back to the Scriptures above like Jude 3, which presents that the Faith was delivered or in other words, the Faith made up of commands are the traditions.


  4. Braden says:

    Good blog. I agree 100%. But I must ask, what is a tradition of God? Does it differ in any way from a commandment or example given by God?


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