Inside Story: Making a Difference

Willem Hifikepunye
Courtesy of CG Adventist Mission

When I was a child, my family lived near the Adventist church in our town in northern Namibia. Mother took us to church, though we weren’t Adventists. I liked church. On Sabbath afternoon, we’d go to Himba villages to sing and talk to them about God. Then when I was 8 years old, we moved … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Study: Christ and Religious Tradition


Further Study: For more information on this week’s topic, read Ellen G. White, Tradition, pp. 395-398, Woes on the Pharisees, pp. 610-620, in The Desire of Ages. Also read Matthew 23. Let all who accept human authority, the customs of the church, or the traditions of the fathers, take heed to the warning conveyed in … [Click to read more …]

03: Christ and Religious Tradition – Hit the Mark

Escape (282x300)

So He [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: … [Click to read more …]

03: Christ and Religious Tradition – Thought Starters
Joyce Griffith

Image © Jeff Preston from

[Thought questions for Christ and Religious Tradition April 16, 2014] 1. Intro. We like to think that “other” churches teach the doctrines of men while “our” church believes in doctrines that are 100% from God. Is it possible for “our” church members today to prefer hand-me-down beliefs to the clear Word of God? Is it wrong to … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Excessive Righteousness

Image © Lars Justinen from

Matt. 5:20 Read Matthew 5:17-20. In the context of the week’s lesson, what are some of the ways that Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 5:20 could be understood? See also Rom. 10:3. If read in isolation, Matthew 5:20 could be seen as an invitation to out-Pharisee the Pharisees; that is, do what they do, only do it … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: The Precepts of Men

Pope John Paul

The substitution of the precepts of men for the commandments of God has not ceased. Even among Christians are found institutions and usages that have no better foundation than the traditions of the fathers. Such institutions, resting upon mere human authority, have supplanted those of divine appointment. Men cling to their traditions, and revere their … [Click to read more …]

03: Christ and Religious Tradition – Lesson Plan
Michael Fracker


Key Thought : While tradition has its place in the church, no human has the authority to create religious traditions and elevate them to the level of Divine law. [Lesson plan for Christ and Religious Tradition April 14, 2014] 1. Have a volunteer read Matthew 15:8,9. a. Ask class members to share a thought on … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Traditions of the Elders

Image © Jeff Preston from

As we saw, some of the rabbis paid so much attention to the rules and traditions created to assist in the keeping of the law of Moses that they failed to distinguish between the two. After a while, the words of the rabbis gained canonical status; people thought they were as binding as Scripture. In … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Human Commandments

Image © Jeff Preston from

Although the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat, their source of authority for religious instruction extended beyond the Old Testament. The law that the Pharisees utilized consisted of biblical interpretations of leading rabbis. These interpretations were not intended to replace the Scriptures but to complement them. At first they circulated orally; later the scribes … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Seat of Moses

Image © Jeff Preston from

While the scribes and Pharisees appear to be two separate groups who just happened to be lumped together, the scribes were likely a subset of the Pharisees (see Acts 23:9). The Pharisees became a visible group during the time of the Grecian Empire. They are believed to be the remnants of a pious Jewish sect, … [Click to read more …]