Tradition—found thirteen times in thirteen verses, all in the New Testament

Variations: tradition, traditions

First usage: Matthew 15:2 (tradition)

Last usage: 1 Peter 1:18 (tradition)

Defined: a belief or practice handed down from one generation to the next

Interesting fact: Though we do not know all the traditions that consumed the Jews during the earthly ministry of Christ, we are informed that they included the washing of hands before eating bread (Mark 7:2-5) and the washing of cups, pots, brasen vessels, and tables (Mark 7:4, 8). Sadly, the Lord additionally reproved the Jews concerning the “many other such like things ye do” (Mark 7:8).

Bible study tip: In Bible study as well as in life, many things are neutral (neither righteous nor sinful) in and of themselves. Yet, things like traditions and religion are almost always identified by conservative Christianity as referring to something evil. However, scripture testifies that there exists traditions which should be cause for believers to beware (Colossians 2:8) and other traditions which believers should firmly hold (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Sunday, Day 337—Church Day (no devotional)

Monday, Day 338—What Is a Tradition?

Tuesday, Day 339—When Tradition and Scripture Conflict

Wednesday, Day 340—Church Night (no devotional)

Thursday, Day 341—Commandments That Turn

Friday, Day 342—Whose Tradition Is It?

Saturday, Day 343—Hold the Tradition


Day 337: Church Day

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.


Day 338: (Monday)

What Is a Tradition?

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Introductory Thoughts

It is difficult to find one who has a scriptural balance concerning tradition. Some see every so-called tradition as a direct violation of scripture, while others see traditions as equal to or superior to scripture. Scripturally speaking, both views are fundamentally flawed. In a basic sense, traditions are anything that men “have been taught” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). It involves a teaching that has been “delivered” (Mark 7:13) and “received” (2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Peter 1:18). At times, tradition is scripture or, in the least, scriptural (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:6), while at other times, tradition is ungodly and makes “the word of God of none effect” (Mark 7:13).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God does not tell the New Testament church believers to celebrate holidays. These days are traditions which man can choose to celebrate in a good way or in a bad way. How do you celebrate holidays? Do you do so to the glory of God or for personal gain?
  • (For everyone): What are some traditions you hold dear? Are those traditions scriptural or, at least, complimentary to the scripture? Do you hold any traditions that cannot be supported by scripture or perhaps are even unscriptural?
  • Name an unscriptural tradition. Do you know someone who holds this tradition? How could you help them know the truth?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to teach you scriptural traditions.
  • Ask the Lord to help you consider the nature of your traditions.