What do Orthodox Christians mean specifically (not generally) by Tradition?


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The Orthodox church makes tradition a priority. They believe in what's called the Apostolic Tradition. This portion of theology focuses on the parts of the New Testament that the Apostles actually lived, saw, and witnessed. The church notes that the bishops who came after the Apostles followed their teachings directly, and that those who didn't do so were cut off from the church.

The Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Trinity lives only in the church. They believe this because that's where the truth recorded by the Apostles has been sustained from the very beginning of the religion. The church believes that the Holy Trinity can't exist outside of the confines of the church because there is neither scripture, nor tradition there.

The Orthodox Church also follows what they call the Patristic Tradition. This view says that tradition, as a historical event, begins with the Apostles's preachings. However, that tradition is kept, treasured, and interpreted by the Holy Fathers, who are the successors of the Apostles.

These beliefs underscore just how important tradition is in the Orthodox church. It serves as the basis of the entire church, and furthermore of their entire faith. The Orthodox church is distinguishable from other branches of Christianity due to this intense focus on tradition.

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