I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. (Rev 22:18 NIV)
Truly if you try to explain the Scriptures through the traditional father’s oral history that’s moving away from the light and into darkness. The Scriptures are much clearer than the fathers in their context and details. The Scriptures originate over centuries and from very different authors, yet from Moses to John it’s the one harmonious God speech – even if you can’t find any other father, who remains true to himself in this way.
Reading the Bible (Löhe writes: German Bible = Luther’s translation WW) you can come to inner consent with the prophets and apostles, yes with God and his servants. However who and how many could be expected to find this agreement by researching the fathers? That would be like expecting a homesick child that is only a few miles away from home to travel there not directly by via the various continents. We should not lead our poor people into the desert if we could lead them to green pastures and quite waters. Helpful traditions have mostly passed away. Guilty are weak lips that have been skewed the message of holy lips beyond recognition – sometimes even with blatant lies. However the word remains. Lucid and clear, unambiguous and firm it shines into the night of this world. There everybody finds the truth, poor laity and pious theologian. One confirms the age-old, golden treasure to the other. All that simply read it – humble and prayerfully – are enlightened by it, satisfied and sanctified. All faithful readers and prayers (Beter) confess that the scriptures do not require tradition to explain the dark passages, just as the Church does not need any other light besides that of scripture for its gathering and its sojourning towards Zion. God has given it this light of scripture, which does not require the light of the fathers, but loves these as they are children of the same light. (Translation of a devotion by Pastor Wilhelm Löhe for the 12th January from the “Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!” edited by A. Schuster and published by the Freimund-Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949. Pg. 53)
May glorious truths that we have heard, the bright sword of your mighty word, spurn Satan that your Church be strong, bold, unified in act and song.
Stay with us, Lord, and keep us true; preserve our faith our whole life through – your word alone our heart’s defense, the Church’s glorious confidence. (Nikolaus Selnecker 1532-92)