Paradosis: Teaching or Tradition?


by John Greene

It’s annoying really – why so many intelligent people continually and intentionally misrepresent the meaning of things, even down to a word. Make no mistake, there is always a reason, and you shouldn’t be surprised. The world today is a classic example of cultural and political stretching, pulling, subterfuge and charming for purpose. Whether you believe it or not, it is usually at your expense. So it is within the halls of ‘scholarship’ regarding scripture. It is bathed in tradition, tradition that may seem warm and safe. Within that tradition, you do as you are told and agree to get along. (“Leaders & the Antichrist Spirit of Wisdom“; “Leadership & the Universal Authority of Messiah“; “Leadership & Highly Effective People“; “The Art of Self-Deception“)

beliefThen, some of us actually grow up, shocked and changed forever by personal discovery, unable to simply agree with deception that we used to accept as reality. In my discovery, there is reason for the deception, even when a deception can be casually explained away by so many. Rest assured, much of this deception, and the tradition of trust that follows it, has been going on for a very long time. Those with substantial worldly pedigrees will tell you their worldly opinion, usually founded on the same lies. “Why does it matter if the message of scripture is essentially unchanged?” Despite what the multitude will tell you, words have meaning – even old words that are no longer used. Translations of words matter even more, a world full of possible deception for a purpose – and the lives of multitudes can hang in the balance. I write about this a lot. Oh, but “His grace covers all” many will proclaim, that this ‘cheap grace‘ is ready for those that will accept it! After all is said and done, Elohim’s [‘God’, YHWH] truth is truth if you are willing to believe what He tells you in scripture. Man attempts to change that truth at his peril – and yours. (“Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“; “Being Renewed: Putting Down Deception“; “Incentives of Deception“; “Culture: Prompting Falsehood Through the Lie“; “The Modern Life Culture Crisis“)

jesus-teachingAll you need to do is to put the word ‘paradosis’ [G3862] into your favorite search engine to find a hint at the truth. More modern definitions emphasize teaching. More classical definitions emphasize tradition. But don’t be fooled. Teaching and tradition are not the same, either in the old world or this one. By emphasizing tradition instead of teaching, religion is able to sell you on the machinations of the past, usually their past. They would have you believe that tradition is ordinance, law – unchangeable. That is exactly why you should do it their way, they will reason with you. This is the reasoning of the world, not the reasoning of either Father, Son or Holy Spirit [Dedicated, Set Apart Spirit]. The traditions and fables of man are not the righteousness of the Heavenly Father, nor will they ever be. You are embroiled in a great battle between two wisdoms – the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of your Creator. Which one you obey is your choice. (“Disciples: His Showbread Walking Out His Righteousness“; “The Great Apostasy of Unrighteousness“; “The Challenge of Living in Righteousness“; “Your Master & Your Obedience“; “YHWH: The Choice to Stay Loyal“)

The foundation of tradition for most modern translations, the King James Version of the Bible lays out and continues the deception of clever translation:


“Then accordingly brothers, persevere and hold the precepts which you were taught, whether by the Word [Torah and the prophets] or whether through our message.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:15, direct translation

Bible knowledgeWhat’s the difference? For example, in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, most English translations indicate that the Thessalonian gathering was to stand firm, holding to the traditions taught by traveling elders, in spoken word or letter. (1 Corinthians 11:2, 23, 15:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:6) When reading the verses in the box above, simply substitute the word ‘teaching’ in place of tradition, traditions or ordinance. That is what the Bible writers are talking about – teaching, not tradition. You can teach tradition of the past, but you can’t tradition teaching, nor was tradition always the minds of those speaking through scripture. At that time in the first century, ‘Christianity’ was new, learning from what Yahshua [Jesus] said apart and about Judaism, the Torah and the Prophets. Disciples of the Messiah were not so well established that they taught ‘traditions’, nor were they simply teaching Jewish ‘traditions’. During this time, many of the various sects of the Jews were rebelling, evaluating, discerning and teaching, not simply spouting rituals and traditions of the past. The first century was a time of unrest and rebellion in Judea. Traditions alone were not what many living during this period of unrest in Jerusalem and Judea were after (apart from the Saduccees that operated the Temple). They were concerned what they were living. (“Ongoing Corruption of Christianity“; “Third Century Corruption of Christianity“; “Religion, Politics, Power & Financial Corruption“; “Frenzy, Fear & Power“; “Following the Right Jesus“; “Disciples & the Occult of the World“; “Playing It Safe With Another Gospel“)

The brothers had an ongoing battle against the world in the midst of them, as disciples or ‘taught ones’ do now. Paul wanted the brothers and sisters to get the word out, and to take his message to heart.

“Now, transmit a message brothers in the Authority of our Master Yahshua Messiah. Set yourself fast, away from every brother that walks disorderly and not according to the teaching that was received from us.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:6, direct translation

While the usage of the word tradition can fit (Colossians 2:8; Galatians 1:14), expressing ‘paradosis’ as living teaching makes the meaning more clear, defined and alive – exactly what is being argued or discussed in scripture. Whether teaching is of the Christian elders, the Jews or the world, what is being discussed is active living through teaching rather than a body of law. Tradition or ordinance are words easily used as a clever ruse by any authority to substantially further their authority, which is exactly what has happened through history. (“Breaking Strongholds of False Authority“; “Disciples of Messiah & the Authority of Man“; “Authority: The Real Meaning of Romans 13“)

All of this appears to be the same when you look at when Yahshua [Jesus] was reprimanding the Pharisees. (Matthew 15:2-3, 6; Mark 7:3, 5, 8-9, 13) Yes, He was discussing their teaching and their active involvement in that time and place, but in this case more information actually exists. When I translate using the available original Greek, I use the same the same contextual technique that I use for original Hebrew. To my knowledge, I am the only one that does this. In this way, you are able to see actual sentence context over traditional translation. Then, you are able to plug this in to complete context of the surrounding text, and then to overall Biblical context. Now having said that, extant copies of Matthew that are in Hebrew give a clearer idea of the teaching that Yahshua [Jesus] was confronting the Pharisees with.

“The Pharisees and sages sit upon the seat of Moses. Therefore, all that he [Moses] says to you, diligently do, but according to their reforms that change Torah and their teachings do not do, because they talk, but they do not do” – Matthew 23:2-3, translation from Hebrew Matthew

In this case, Yahshua [Jesus] was challenging the changes the Pharisees were making to the Torah through their “oral Torah” or takanot, which is now immortalized in text starting with the Mishnah. He challenged their takanot, which was both teaching and tradition. The Pharisees were so bent on the supremacy of their teachings, that not even Elohim could challenge them. Who does this sound like today? (“Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“)

“Discern, that no man leads you after himself through seductive and deceptive reasoning, empty delusion after the teachings of men, after the orderly arrangements of the orderly arrangement of man, and not after Messiah.” – Colossians 2:8, direct translation

“Then Yahshua said, addressing those Judeans that trusted Him, ‘When you continue in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you know the truth, and the truth makes you free.” – John 8:31-32, direct translation

“For YAHWEH so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, HRB
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your righteousness. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. May it be as you have promised!
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The name Yahshua [Y’shua] is an original language name for Jesus.
He is often referred to simply as the Messiah or Master.
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