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Did Peter Have a Successor?
The Evangelization Station ^ | John Lee and Frank Bompas.

Posted on 05/08/2010 7:15:00 AM PDT by GonzoII

Did Peter Have a Successor?

The affectionate title “Pope”, by which Catholics refer to the Bishop of Rome, is not found in the Bible. But then neither are the words “Trinity” and “Incarnation”. The bishops heading all the great ancient patriarchates of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, are each known as “Pope” to their flocks; the title is not applied to the bishop of Rome only.

The word “pope” comes from the Greek "pappas" meaning “father” and is a scriptural custom started by the apostle Paul: “Even if you have countless guides in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ through the gospel” (1 Cor 4:14-15). Stephen addressed the Jewish leaders as “my fathers” in Acts 6:12-15, 7:1-2. In 1 Jn 1:12, the apostle John addresses his “dear children”, obviously alluding to himself as “father”, while in verse 13 he states: “I write to you, fathers”.

The Bishop of Rome (the Pope) has several official titles among which are “Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church” and “Servant of the Servants of God”.

The place of Peter in the early Church.

Peter had a pre-eminent position among the disciples of Jesus in the early Church. He is spokesman at climactic moments such as when Jesus walked on the water (Mt 14:28-32). He is always named first (Mk 3:16-19), and sometimes the twelve are referred to as “Peter and his companions” (Mk 16:17). He is the first witness to Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor 15:5), and Peter’s new name “Cephas” (rock) has significance (Gal 15:5).

In Acts Peter is the first to proclaim the gospel (Acts 2:14-40), and gives many of the major speeches (Acts 3:12-26).

See also Acts 4:8-12, 5:3-9, 29-32, 8:20-23, 10:34-43, 11:4-18, 15:7-11. The first miracle after Pentecost is worked through Peter’s command (Acts 9:34, 38-41, 5:15). Peter was the first to receive God’s revelation that the gospel was to go to the gentiles (Acts 10:9-48) and he was the first to command baptism to the gentiles (Acts 10:46-48).

Jesus’ words that Satan would sift Peter’s faith as wheat but that afterwards he would turn again and “strengthen his brethren” (Lk 22:31-32) were fulfilled.

In Jn 21:15-19 Jesus’ threefold question “do you love me?” is a reversal of Peter’s threefold denial. Jesus commands that he feed the sheep and the lambs and explains that the shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11). These words clearly mean that Peter is commissioned to care for Jesus’ flock after he departs.

Peter, the rock

There is the well-known statement to Peter in Mt 16:18-19 that he will build his church on the “rock”. This passage, which has been used by anti-Catholic apologists to disprove the Catholic understanding of the text, is not the entire basis for Catholic understanding of Peter’s role in the Church. It simply states what all the other New Testament evidence implies:

“... And I tell you, you are Peter (Petros) and upon this rock (taute, petra) I will build my church and the gates of sheol will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18-19).

Is the “rock” Peter or Peter’s faith or God, as in so many Old Testament passages? Jesus gives Simon a new name: “Petros” in Greek. But in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon’s new name is “Kepha”. Anti-Catholics use the most astonishing verbal gymnastics to prove that because of the slightly different form of the word (petros and petra) in Greek, the language in which the gospel was written, occasioned by a gender-change, Peter is a “pebble” or a “chip of rock” and Jesus is the Rock (Petros).

However in the original Aramaic in which Jesus spoke these words, the statement is “You are the ‘Kepha’ and upon this (Taute) ‘Kepha’ I will build my Church”. The word “taute” (this) immediately after calling Peter “Rock” emphasizes that Peter is the rock that Jesus is talking about.

The new name given to Simon, in the context of biblical culture, is extremely important: Abram to Abraham (Gen 17:5), Jacob to Israel (Gen 32:28), Eliakim to Joakim (2 Kings 23:34). Daniel, Ananias, Misael and Azarias are changed to Baltassar, Sidrach, Misach and Abdenago (Dan 1:6-8).

Furthermore the words of Mt 16:18 were spoken at Caesarea Phillippi near the present day Arab town of Banias and at the base of a huge rock slab near what is left of one of the springs that fed the Jordan.

The keys of the kingdom

Note the “keys” in Mt 16:19. Keys were the hallmark of authority. Also, Jesus addressing Peter as “Blessed are you ...” (Mt 16:13) gives the passage the aura of the most important statement he would make to Peter (or to anyone for that matter). Note too how in Isaiah 22:22, Isaiah places “the key of the house of David on the shoulder of Eliakim”.

Eliakim was the new “prime minister” of Israel under the king “alone”. The key has two aspects: the power to rule, authority and permanence – intergenerational succession. He was to have successors. Peter is to be the chief ruler in the New Israel (as Paul calls the Church) under the king, Christ. As in Isaiah, there may have been unworthy persons in possession of the keys, but the position is greater and more permanent than any one person. Just as when Judas hanged himself, a successor was chosen in Acts (Mathias), so the pattern was set for the other apostles, headed by Peter who were all to have successors throughout human history.

The authority of Rome

If one looks at the list of bishops in history of the most ancient sees, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople. Rome emerges, as the only bishopric of the ancient Sees which never taught heresy. The other three all fell at some time or other to Arianism, Monophysitism, Monotheletism, and Nestorianism. Was Peter in Rome, some ask? Peter’s First Letter, addressed to Christians in Asia Minor (c 67 AD), was written in Rome, which is identified by Peter as “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13), for obvious reasons during the reign of Nero. Anti-Catholic apologists such as Loraine Boettner try to prove Peter never was in Rome and that his letters were written from ancient Babylon. He is oblivious to the fact that Babylon is a code name for Rome, used more than six times in the Book of Revelation. In addition, Babylon at that time had been reduced to a backwater of inconsequential importance. Peter’s presence in Rome is mentioned in extra-Biblical writings such as the Sibylline Oracles, the Apocalypse of Baruch and 4 Esdras. Eusebius Pamphilius, writing in 303 AD, attests to Peter’s two letters having been written in Rome, referring figuratively to the city as “Babylon”.

Among the graffiti on the walls surrounding what was long believed to be the actual burial place of Peter under the high altar of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, are inscriptions such as “Peter within” in Greek, together with cryptograms of the Key. In 1968 Pope Paul VI officially announced that the bones of the Prince of Apostles had been conclusively identified under the Basilica. The discovery is discussed in detail in John Evangelist Walsh’s book “The Bones of St Peter”.

265 popes

There have been 265 popes in history. Peter was pope for 25 years and was martyred by crucifixion upside-down in 67 AD by Nero. His successor was Linus, followed by Anacletus, Clement I (96 AD) and so down through the centuries to Pope Benedict XVI (2005 - ). There have been some saints and some scoundrels (especially during the Dark Ages), but even Peter denied his Lord three times before “turning back” (Lk 22:31).

Consider the at most six “bad” popes out of a total of 265, which is not as big a proportion (1 in 44) when compared to the one bad apostle (Judas) from among the twelve men chosen by the Master. Acknowledging that some popes were bona fide scoundrels, no pope in all of history ever taught heresy.

Some anti-Catholics claim that the Emperor Constantine (274-337 AD) was the first pope and the “founder” of the Catholic Church. But the illustrious St Ignatius of Antioch ((25-110 AD), who was a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna (60-155 AD), and knew the apostle John, wrote: “where the bishop is …. there is the Catholic Church.”

Despite all his faults, Constantine legitimized Christianity and made Sunday a public holiday. He presided at the first general Council of the Church at Nicaea in 325 AD. He did much, together with his mother, Helena, to preserve the holy places in Palestine, Rome and elsewhere. He was, however, not eligible to become pope since he was only baptized on his deathbed.

The pope who promulgated the directives of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, at which Constantine presided, was Pope Sylvester I. He was the 33rd successor of St Peter, the first bishop of Rome and pope. Peter was martyred c. 67 AD and was the first universal pastor of Christ’s Church (see Mt 16:19-19, the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

Papal infallibility, not impeccability

Christ guaranteed that the faith would never suffer corruption and error. He gave the Church the charism of infallibility (Mt 16:18-19), in which the pope is the official “spokesman” together with the bishops in union with him. The gift has no connection with the Pope’s “impeccability” (personal holiness, or lack of it). It is exercised when the Pope officially (“ex cathedra”) clarifies or defines an aspect of faith or morals of Catholic Christianity, which has been part of the “deposit of faith” from the very beginning of Christianity. He makes use of this charism very rarely, and only when a belief is not clear, is under attack or is a cause of confusion to the faithful. For example, the dogma of the Assumption of Mary was defined in 1950. It was not “sucked out of thin air” on that date; it has been a belief of the Church since apostolic times, but was “defined” by Pope Pius XII in 1950 after consultation with all the bishops of the Catholic Church.

Universal leadership of the Pope

From earliest times, saints and scholars have witnessed to the Pope’s universal leadership and Popes have exercised this charism.

· In 96 AD Pope Clement sent a strong letter to the church at Corinth resolving a dispute there. It would be unheard of for a bishop to interfere in the affairs of another bishopric were he not recognized as universal pastor, with authority.

· On his way to martyrdom in Rome in 110 AD, Ignatius of Antioch wrote praising the Church of Rome “stamped with the Father’s name”.

· In 150 AD Polycarp of Smyrna conferred with Pope Anacletus on the date for the celebration of Easter.

· In the late 2nd century Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons refuted “false teachers not in harmony with the Church of Rome.”

· In 250 AD St Cyprian of Carthage questioned whether one still held the faith if one was not united with Peter.

· In the 4th century, Ambrose of Milan wrote, “Where Peter is, there is the Church”. Augustine, Jerome, Leo and Gregory I expressed similar sentiments.

Written and compiled by John Lee and Frank Bompas.

Printed with ecclesiastical approval.
The Evangelization Station
P.O. Box 267
Angels Camp, California 95222, USA
Telephone: 209-728-5598
Pamphlet 093

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; pope; stpeter

The List of Popes

  1. St. Peter (32-67)
  2. St. Linus (67-76)
  3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
  4. St. Clement I (88-97)
  5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
  6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
  7. St. Sixtus I (115-125) -- also called Xystus I
  8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
  9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
  10. St. Pius I (140-155)
  11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
  12. St. Soter (166-175)
  13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
  14. St. Victor I (189-199)
  15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
  16. St. Callistus I (217-22)
  17. St. Urban I (222-30)
  18. St. Pontain (230-35)
  19. St. Anterus (235-36)
  20. St. Fabian (236-50)
  21. St. Cornelius (251-53)
  22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
  23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
  24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
  25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
  26. St. Felix I (269-274)
  27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
  28. St. Caius (283-296) -- also called Gaius
  29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
  30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
  31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
  32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
  33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
  34. St. Marcus (336)
  35. St. Julius I (337-52)
  36. Liberius (352-66)
  37. St. Damasus I (366-83)
  38. St. Siricius (384-99)
  39. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
  40. St. Innocent I (401-17)
  41. St. Zosimus (417-18)
  42. St. Boniface I (418-22)
  43. St. Celestine I (422-32)
  44. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
  45. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
  46. St. Hilarius (461-68)
  47. St. Simplicius (468-83)
  48. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
  49. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
  50. Anastasius II (496-98)
  51. St. Symmachus (498-514)
  52. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
  53. St. John I (523-26)
  54. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
  55. Boniface II (530-32)
  56. John II (533-35)
  57. St. Agapetus I (535-36) -- also called Agapitus I
  58. St. Silverius (536-37)
  59. Vigilius (537-55)
  60. Pelagius I (556-61)
  61. John III (561-74)
  62. Benedict I (575-79)
  63. Pelagius II (579-90)
  64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
  65. Sabinian (604-606)
  66. Boniface III (607)
  67. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
  68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
  69. Boniface V (619-25)
  70. Honorius I (625-38)
  71. Severinus (640)
  72. John IV (640-42)
  73. Theodore I (642-49)
  74. St. Martin I (649-55)
  75. St. Eugene I (655-57)
  76. St. Vitalian (657-72)
  77. Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
  78. Donus (676-78)
  79. St. Agatho (678-81)
  80. St. Leo II (682-83)
  81. St. Benedict II (684-85)
  82. John V (685-86)
  83. Conon (686-87)
  84. St. Sergius I (687-701)
  85. John VI (701-05)
  86. John VII (705-07)
  87. Sisinnius (708)
  88. Constantine (708-15)
  89. St. Gregory II (715-31)
  90. St. Gregory III (731-41)
  91. St. Zachary (741-52)
  92. Stephen II (752)
  93. Stephen III (752-57)
  94. St. Paul I (757-67)
  95. Stephen IV (767-72)
  96. Adrian I (772-95)
  97. St. Leo III (795-816)
  98. Stephen V (816-17)
  99. St. Paschal I (817-24)
  100. Eugene II (824-27)
  101. Valentine (827)
  102. Gregory IV (827-44)
  103. Sergius II (844-47)
  104. St. Leo IV (847-55)
  105. Benedict III (855-58)
  106. St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
  107. Adrian II (867-72)
  108. John VIII (872-82)
  109. Marinus I (882-84)
  110. St. Adrian III (884-85)
  111. Stephen VI (885-91)
  112. Formosus (891-96)
  113. Boniface VI (896)
  114. Stephen VII (896-97)
  115. Romanus (897)
  116. Theodore II (897)
  117. John IX (898-900)
  118. Benedict IV (900-03)
  119. Leo V (903)
  120. Sergius III (904-11)
  121. Anastasius III (911-13)
  122. Lando (913-14)
  123. John X (914-28)
  124. Leo VI (928)
  125. Stephen VIII (929-31)
  126. John XI (931-35)
  127. Leo VII (936-39)
  128. Stephen IX (939-42)
  129. Marinus II (942-46)
  130. Agapetus II (946-55)
  131. John XII (955-63)
  132. Leo VIII (963-64)
  133. Benedict V (964)
  134. John XIII (965-72)
  135. Benedict VI (973-74)
  136. Benedict VII (974-83)
  137. John XIV (983-84)
  138. John XV (985-96)
  139. Gregory V (996-99)
  140. Sylvester II (999-1003)
  141. John XVII (1003)
  142. John XVIII (1003-09)
  143. Sergius IV (1009-12)
  144. Benedict VIII (1012-24)
  145. John XIX (1024-32)
  146. Benedict IX (1032-45)
  147. Sylvester III (1045)
  148. Benedict IX (1045)
  149. Gregory VI (1045-46)
  150. Clement II (1046-47)
  151. Benedict IX (1047-48)
  152. Damasus II (1048)
  153. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
  154. Victor II (1055-57)
  155. Stephen X (1057-58)
  156. Nicholas II (1058-61)
  157. Alexander II (1061-73)
  158. St. Gregory VII (1073-85)
  159. Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
  160. Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
  161. Paschal II (1099-1118)
  162. Gelasius II (1118-19)
  163. Callistus II (1119-24)
  164. Honorius II (1124-30)
  165. Innocent II (1130-43)
  166. Celestine II (1143-44)
  167. Lucius II (1144-45)
  168. Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
  169. Anastasius IV (1153-54)
  170. Adrian IV (1154-59)
  171. Alexander III (1159-81)
  172. Lucius III (1181-85)
  173. Urban III (1185-87)
  174. Gregory VIII (1187)
  175. Clement III (1187-91)
  176. Celestine III (1191-98)
  177. Innocent III (1198-1216)
  178. Honorius III (1216-27)
  179. Gregory IX (1227-41)
  180. Celestine IV (1241)
  181. Innocent IV (1243-54)
  182. Alexander IV (1254-61)
  183. Urban IV (1261-64)
  184. Clement IV (1265-68)
  185. Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
  186. Blessed Innocent V (1276)
  187. Adrian V (1276)
  188. John XXI (1276-77)
  189. Nicholas III (1277-80)
  190. Martin IV (1281-85)
  191. Honorius IV (1285-87)
  192. Nicholas IV (1288-92)
  193. St. Celestine V (1294)
  194. Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
  195. Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
  196. Clement V (1305-14)
  197. John XXII (1316-34)
  198. Benedict XII (1334-42)
  199. Clement VI (1342-52)
  200. Innocent VI (1352-62)
  201. Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
  202. Gregory XI (1370-78)
  203. Urban VI (1378-89)
  204. Boniface IX (1389-1404)
  205. Innocent VII (1404-06)
  206. Gregory XII (1406-15)
  207. Martin V (1417-31)
  208. Eugene IV (1431-47)
  209. Nicholas V (1447-55)
  210. Callistus III (1455-58)
  211. Pius II (1458-64)
  212. Paul II (1464-71)
  213. Sixtus IV (1471-84)
  214. Innocent VIII (1484-92)
  215. Alexander VI (1492-1503)
  216. Pius III (1503)
  217. Julius II (1503-13)
  218. Leo X (1513-21)
  219. Adrian VI (1522-23)
  220. Clement VII (1523-34)
  221. Paul III (1534-49)
  222. Julius III (1550-55)
  223. Marcellus II (1555)
  224. Paul IV (1555-59)
  225. Pius IV (1559-65)
  226. St. Pius V (1566-72)
  227. Gregory XIII (1572-85)
  228. Sixtus V (1585-90)
  229. Urban VII (1590)
  230. Gregory XIV (1590-91)
  231. Innocent IX (1591)
  232. Clement VIII (1592-1605)
  233. Leo XI (1605)
  234. Paul V (1605-21)
  235. Gregory XV (1621-23)
  236. Urban VIII (1623-44)
  237. Innocent X (1644-55)
  238. Alexander VII (1655-67)
  239. Clement IX (1667-69)
  240. Clement X (1670-76)
  241. Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
  242. Alexander VIII (1689-91)
  243. Innocent XII (1691-1700)
  244. Clement XI (1700-21)
  245. Innocent XIII (1721-24)
  246. Benedict XIII (1724-30)
  247. Clement XII (1730-40)
  248. Benedict XIV (1740-58)
  249. Clement XIII (1758-69)
  250. Clement XIV (1769-74)
  251. Pius VI (1775-99)
  252. Pius VII (1800-23)
  253. Leo XII (1823-29)
  254. Pius VIII (1829-30)
  255. Gregory XVI (1831-46)
  256. Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
  257. Leo XIII (1878-1903)
  258. St. Pius X (1903-14)
  259. Benedict XV (1914-22)
  260. Pius XI (1922-39)
  261. Pius XII (1939-58)
  262. Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
  263. Paul VI (1963-78)
  264. John Paul I (1978)
  265. John Paul II (1978-2005)

1 posted on 05/08/2010 7:15:01 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

Don’t you know our modern image of Popes was invented by Coca Cola in the late nineteenth century?


2 posted on 05/08/2010 7:34:39 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: GonzoII
Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

No special mention of Peter?

If Peter is the rock, why is he not also Satan? Matthew 16:23 He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."

The story of Peter's confession is told in three of the Gospels (see Mark 8, Luke 9). Only one telling mentioned the rock and keys. So is the important thing to remember the confession or the keys?

In Matthew 7 (before Peter's confession), Jesus has already explained the concept of the rock to the Apostles. They would have remembered the lesson of building on the rock and they would not have assumed the rock was Peter.

We can see this is true because in Mark 9:34b (after Peter's confession) "they had argued with one another about who was the greatest." This was after the keys and rock comment. The Apostles understood the concept of the rock and it was not Peter.

Using rationalizations for earthly power is a perversion of the Gospel. Reading the creeds, not one mentions Peter or the office of Pope. No where is the Bible does it mention a Successor, or even the possibility of a successor. Human rationalizations for why there has to be a successor mean nothing.

3 posted on 05/08/2010 8:24:50 AM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: GonzoII
There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ..

The first church council was overseen by James not Peter

Peter called himself an elder, not a bishop or pope

Paul refereed to the pillars (leadership) of the church as James, John and Peter

There is nothing to indicate peter was ever pope or that there is "apostolic succession " in any way

This is a fable made up out of whole cloth

4 posted on 05/08/2010 8:36:09 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Tao Yin
"No special mention of Peter?"

Christ already took care of that.

"Thou art Peter and upon this rock..."

5 posted on 05/08/2010 8:38:10 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Just a few observations:

1)In Matt. 23:9 Jesus says that we should call no man father is this because God is our spiritual father?

2)In Matt. 21:42 Jesus refers to himself as the stone that the builders rejected. This stone became the head of the corner, the beginning. Why would Jesus refer to Peter as the rock when Jesus says he, himself is the rock?

3)Acts 2:14-40 the scripture states the Peter stood up with the other 11, because of all the languages spoken there, one should consider that the other 11 spoke the same message just in other languages (Gods Spirit working through the apostles rather through the ears of those listening).

4)Regarding the keys, Jesus begins in Matt. 16:13-20 addressing all of the disciples, and ends the same way. That puts the focus on vs 18. Was Jesus talking to Peter or all of the disciples.

5)As for selecting a successor for Judas, Peter quotes a prophecy that Judas was to have a successor, but he goes on to set qualifications for successor-ship. The man had to be with them since the baptism of John all the way until the resurrection which they had to have personally witnessed. They only found 2 that fit the qualifications out of the 120 that were there. To be an apostolic successor meant you filled 2 requirements a)to fulfill prophecy, b)you followed Jesus for two years, how can there any longer be a qualified successor?

6 posted on 05/08/2010 8:44:44 AM PDT by inkdude
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To: Tao Yin

50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy

[written in 1994 and published on pp. 233-238 of my book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism]

See the related paper, Reply to a Critique of my 50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy, for a fuller explanation of exactly what I think these biblical evidences prove, and how I view them in terms of logical force (i.e., what I would claim for them), especially when considered individually.


The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn’t departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

2. Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .”

The “power of the keys” has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is “over a house” (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

3. Matthew 16:19 “. . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

“Binding” and “loosing” were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to “forbid” and “permit” with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to “condemn” or “place under the ban” or “acquit.” Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit’s leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the
Church. “Binding and loosing” represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

4. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (”Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2).

8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

10. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).

15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).

16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6).

17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mk 16:7).

18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The “bark” (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (Jn 21:7).

20. Peter’s words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).

21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).

22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to “preach the gospel” in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).

23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).

24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11)!

25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).

26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).

27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).

28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).

29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).

30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison - Acts 12:1-17).

31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers “earnest prayer” for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).

32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).

33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (”Simon”), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).

34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).

35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5; 12:41; Jn 6:67 ff.).

36. Peter’s name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James and John - Mt 17:1; 26:37,40; Mk 5:37; 14:37).

37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1 ff., Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24 ff.).

38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).

39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!

40. Peter’s proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the “House of Israel” (2:36) - an example of “binding and loosing.”

41. Peter was the first “charismatic”, having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).

42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).

44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).

45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called “visitation of the churches” (Acts 9:32-38,43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn’t traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.

46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.

47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or “elders.”

48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Pet 1:16-21).

49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet 3:15-16).

50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

In conclusion, it strains credulity to think that God would present St. Peter with such prominence in the Bible, without some meaning and import for later Christian history; in particular, Church government. The papacy is the most plausible (we believe actual) fulfillment of this.

by Dave Armstrong

7 posted on 05/08/2010 8:48:13 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: RnMomof7
"There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ.."

Regarding the word "pope" you can reread the post and here's some history for you:

II. Primacy of Peter’s Apostolic See

"The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth ... But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Clement of Rome, Pope, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

"Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love..." Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110).

"There is extant also another epistle written by Dionysius to the Romans, and addressed to Soter, who was bishop at that time. We cannot do better than to subjoin some passages from this epistle…In this same epistle he makes mention also of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, showing that it had been the custom from the beginning to read it in the church. His words are as follows: To-day we have passed the Lord's holy day, in which we have read your epistle. From it, whenever we read it, we shall always be able to draw advice, as also from the former epistle, which was written to us through Clement.' Dionysius of Corinth, To Pope Soter (A.D. 171).

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2 (A.D. 180).

"A question of no small importance arose at that time. For the parishes of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should be observed as the feast of the Saviour's Passover. It was therefore necessary to end their fast on that day, whatever day of the week it should happen to be. But it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this time, as they observed the practice which, from apostolic tradition, has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the resurrection of our Saviour...Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicated.” Pope Victor & Easter (c. A.D. 195).

"And he says to him again after the resurrection, 'Feed my sheep.' It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness. No doubt the others were all that Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, and it is (thus) made clear that there is but one flock which is to be fed by all the apostles in common accord. If a man does not hold fast to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church? This unity firmly should we hold and maintain, especially we bishops, presiding in the Church, in order that we may approve the episcopate itself to be the one and undivided." Cyprian, The Unity of the Church, 4-5 (A.D. 251-256).

"After such things as these, moreover, they still dare--a false bishop having been appointed for them by, heretics--to set sail and to bear letters from schismatic and profane persons to the throne of Peter, and to the chief church whence priestly unity takes its source; and not to consider that these were the Romans whose faith was praised in the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness could have no access." Cyprian, To Cornelius, Epistle 54/59:14 (A.D. 252).

”The reason for your absence was both honorable and imperative, that the schismatic wolves might not rob and plunder by stealth nor the heretical dogs bark madly in the rapid fury nor the very serpent, the devil, discharge his blasphemous venom. So it seems to us right and altogether fitting that priests of the Lord from each and every province should report to their head, that is, to the See of Peter, the Apostle." Council of Sardica, To Pope Julius (A.D. 342).

"And this case likewise is to be provided for, that if in any province a bishop has some matter against his brother and fellow-bishop, neither of the two should call in as arbiters bishops from another province. But if perchance sentence be given against a bishop in any matter and he supposes his case to be not unsound but good, in order that the question may be reopened, let us, if it seem good to your charity, honour the memory of Peter the Apostle, and let those who gave judgment write to Julius, the bishop of Rome, so that, if necessary, the case may be retried by the bishops of the neighbouring provinces and let him appoint arbiters; but if it cannot be shown that his case is of such a sort as to need a new trial, let the judgment once given not be annulled, but stand good as before." Council of Sardica, Canon III (A.D. 343-344).

"Bishop Gaudentius said: If it seems good to you, it is necessary to add to this decision full of sincere charity which thou hast pronounced, that if any bishop be deposed by the sentence of these neighbouring bishops, and assert that he has fresh matter in defense, a new bishop be not settled in his see, unless the bishop of Rome judge and render a decision as to this." Council of Sardica, Canon IV (A.D. 343-344).

"Bishop Hosius said: Decreed, that if any bishop is accused, and the bishops of the same region assemble and depose him from his office, and he appealing, so to speak, takes refuge with the most blessed bishop of the Roman church, and he be willing to give him a hearing, and think it right to renew the examination of his case, let him be pleased to write to those fellow-bishops who are nearest the province that they may examine the particulars with care and accuracy and give their votes on the matter in accordance with the word of truth. And if any one require that his case be heard yet again, and at his request it seem good to move the bishop of Rome to send presbyters a latere, let it be in the power of that bishop, according as he judges it to be good and decides it to be right that some be sent to be judges with the bishops and invested with his authority by whom they were sent.” Council of Sardica, Canon V (A.D. 343-344).

"Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church. Word should have been written of it to us all, that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons…For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Athanasius, Pope Julius to the Eusebians, Defense Against the Arians, 35 (A.D. 347).

"For Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, having written also against those who said that the Son of God was a creature and a created thing, it is manifest that not now for the first time but from of old the heresy of the Arian adversaries of Christ has been anathematised by all. And Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, making his defense concerning the letter he had written, appears in his turn as neither thinking as they allege, nor having held the Arian error at all." Athanasius, Dionysius of Rome, 13 (A.D. 352).

"You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat…in which Chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one." Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 2:2-3 (c. A.D. 367).

"For the good of unity Blessed Peter deserved to be preferred before the rest, and alone received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that he might communicate them to the rest." Optatus of Mileve, The Schism of Donatists, 7:3 (c.A.D. 367).

"No prejudice could arise from the number of bishops gathered at Ariminum, since it is well known that neither the bishop of the Romans, whose opinion ought before all others to have been waited for, nor Vincentius, whose stainless episcopate had lasted so many years, nor the rest, gave in their adhesion to such doctrines. And this is the more significant, since, as has been already said, the very men who seemed to be tricked into surrender, themselves, in their wiser moments, testified their disapproval." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], About Council at Arminum, Epistle 1 (A.D. 371).

"…I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church whose faith has been praised by Paul…The fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, bears fruit an hundredfold…My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.” Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2 (A.D. 375).

"But he was not so eager as to lay aside caution. He called the bishop to him, and esteeming that there can be no true thankfulness except it spring from true faith, he enquired whether he agreed with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church?" Ambrose, The death of his brother Satyrus, 1:47 (A.D. 378).

"Your grace must be besought not to permit any disturbance of the Roman Church, the head of the whole Roman World and of the most holy faith of the Apostles, for from thence flow out to all (churches) the bonds of sacred communion." Ambrose, To Emperor Gratian, Epistle 11:4 (A.D. 381).

"To your inquiry we do not deny a legal reply, because we, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon the whole body, out of consideration for our office do not have the liberty to dissimulate, nor to remain silent. We carry the weight of all who are burdened; nay rather the blessed apostle Peter bears these in us, who, as we trust, protects us in all matters of his administration, and guards his heirs." Pope Sircius [regn. A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, Epistle 1 (A.D. 385).

"Or rather, if we hear him here, we shall certainly see him hereafter, if not as standing near him, yet see him we certainly shall, glistening near the Throne of the king. Where the Cherubim sing the glory, where the Seraphim are flying, there shall we see Paul, with Peter, and as a chief and leader of the choir of the Saints, and shall enjoy his generous love. For if when here he loved men so, that when he had the choice of departing and being with Christ, he chose to be here...” John Chrysostom, Epistle to the Romans, Homily 32:24 (c. A.D. 391).

"Number the bishops from the See of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who has succeeded whom. That is the rock against which the gates of hell do not prevail" Augustine, Psalm against the Party of Donatus, 18 (A.D. 393).

"I am held in the communion of the Catholic Church by...and by the succession of bishops from the very seat of Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection commended His sheep to be fed up to the present episcopate." Augustine, Against the Letter of Mani, 5 (A.D. 395).

“Carthage was also near the countries over the sea, and distinguished by illustrious renown, so that it had a bishop of more than ordinary influence, who could afford to disregard a number of conspiring enemies because he saw himself joined by letters of communion to the Roman Church, in which the supremacy of an apostolic chair has always flourished.” Augustine, To Glorius, Epistle 43:7 (A.D. 397).

"The chair of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today." Augustine, Against the Letters of Petillian, 2:51 (A.D. 402).

“In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated with all solicitude by bishops, and especially by a true and just and Catholic Council, by preserving, as you have done, the example of ancient tradition, and by being mindful of ecclesiastical discipline, you have truly strengthened the vigour of our religion, no less now in consulting us than before in passing sentence. For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow the Apostle from the very episcopate and whole authority of this name is derived. Following in his footsteps, we know how to condemn the evil and to approve the good.” Pope Innocent [regn A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, Epistle 29 (A.D. 417).

"Although the tradition of the Fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgments...For (Peter) himself has care over all the Churches, and above all that in which he sat nor does he suffer any of its privileges or decisions to be shaken" Pope Zosimus [regn A.D. 417-418 ],To Aurelius and the Council of Carthage, Epistle 12 (A.D. 418).

"For it has never been allowed to discuss again what has once been decided by the Apostolic See." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus Bishop of Thessalonica, Epistle 13 (A.D. 422).

"The rising pestilence was first cut short by Rome, the see of Peter, which having become the head to the world of the pastoral office, holds by religion whatever it holds not by arms." Prosper of Aquitaine, Song on the Enemies of Grace, 1 (A.D. 429).

"Joining to yourself, therefore, the sovereign of our See, and assuming our place with authority, you will execute this sentence with accurate rigour: that within ten days, counted from the day of your notice, he shall condemn his [Nestorius'] false teachings in a written confession." Pope Celestine [regn. A.D. 422-432], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 11 (A.D. 430).

"The Holy Synod said: 'Since most impious Nestorius will not obey our citation, and has not received the most holy and God-fearing bishops whom we sent to him, we have necessarily betaken ourselves to the examination of his impieties; and having apprehended from his letters, and from his writings, and from his recent sayings in this metropolis, which have been reported, that his opinions and teachings are impious, we being necessarily compelled thereto by the canons and by the letter of our most holy father and colleague, Celestine, bishop of the Roman Church, with many tears, have arrived at the following sentence against him:--'Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been blasphemed by him, defines by this present most holy synod that the same Nestorius is deprived of episcopal dignity and of all sacredotal intercourse." Council of Ephesus, Session I (A.D. 431).

"Philip, presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See, said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: Our holy and most blessed Pope Celestine the bishop is according to due order his successor and holds his place...Accordingly the decision of all churches is firm, for the priests of the eastern and western churches are present...Wherefore Nestorius knows that he is alienated from the communion of the priests of the Catholic Church." Council of Ephesus, Session III (A.D. 431).

"Peter in his successors has delivered what he received." Pope Sixtus III [regn. A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch, Epistle 6 (A.D. 433).

"For he [Pope Sixtus] wrote what was in accord with the holy synod [Council of Ephesus], and confirmed all of its acts, an is agreement with us." Cyril of Alexandria, To Acacius of Meletine, Epistle 40 (A.D. 434).

“Once on a time then, Agrippinus, bishop of Carthage, of venerable memory, held the doctrine--and he was the first who held it --that Baptism ought to be repeated, contrary to the divine canon, contrary to the rule of the universal Church, contrary to the customs and institutions of our ancestors. This innovation drew after it such an amount of evil, that it not only gave an example of sacrilege to heretics of all sorts, but proved an occasion of error to certain Catholics even. When then all men protested against the novelty, and the priesthood everywhere, each as his zeal prompted him, opposed it, Pope Stephen of blessed memory, Prelate of the Apostolic See, in conjunction indeed with his colleagues but yet himself the foremost, withstood it, thinking it right, I doubt not, that as he exceeded all others in the authority of his place, so he should also in the devotion of his faith. In fine, in an epistle sent at the time to Africa, he laid down this rule: Let there be no innovation--nothing but what has been handed down.’” Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith, 6 (A.D. 434).

"And since these heretics were trying to bring the Apostolic See round their view, African councils of holy bishops also did their best to persuade the holy Pope of the city (first the venerable Innocent, and afterwards his successor Zosimus) that this heresy was to be abhorred and condemned by Catholic faith. And these bishops so great a See successively branded them, and cut them off from the members of the Church, giving letters to the African Churches in the West, and to the Churches of the East, and declared that they were to be anathematised and avoided by all Catholics. The judgment pronounced upon them by the Catholic Church of God was heard and followed also by the most pious Emperor Ho they had wandered, and are yet returning, as the truth of the right faith becomes known against this detestable error." Possidius, Life of Augustine, 18 (A.D. 437).

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [the Tome of Pope Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo [regn. A.D. 440-461]. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe. This is the faith of the fathers. Why were not these things read at Ephesus [i.e. at the heretical synod held there]? These are the things Dioscorus hid away." Council of Chalcedon, Session II (A.D. 451).

"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties." Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451).

"The great and holy and universal the metropolis of the most holy and blessed archbishop of Rome, Leo...being set as the mouthpiece unto all of the blessed Peter, and imparting the blessedness of his Faith unto all...and besides all this he [Dioscorus] stretched forth his fury even against him who had been charged with the custody of the vine by the Savior, we mean of course your holiness..." Pope Leo the Great, Chalcdeon to Pope Leo, Epistle 98:1-2 (A.D. 451).

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).

“For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter...The dispensation of Truth therefore abides, and the blessed Peter persevering in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ. And still to-day he more fully and effectually performs what is entrusted to him, and carries out every part of his duty and charge in Him and with Him, through Whom he has been glorified. And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his See.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).



III. Peter’s Successors Claim Authority over the Church

"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth....If anyone disobey the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Pope Clement of Rome [regn. c A.D.91-101], 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, 1,59:1 (c. A.D. 96).

"Thereupon Victor, who presided over the church at Rome, immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate..." Pope Victor I [regn. A.D. 189-198], in Eusebius EH, 24:9 (A.D. 192).

"Stephen, that he who so boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid...Stephen, who announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter." Pope Stephen I [regn. A.D. 254-257], Firmilian to Cyprian, Epistle 74/75:17 (A.D. 256).

"I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter s, that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us." Pope Julius [regn. A.D. 337-352], To the Eusebians, fragment in Athanasius' Against the Arians, 2:35 (c. A.D. 345).

"Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons." Pope Damasus [regn. A.D. 366-384], To the Eastern Bishops, fragment in Theodoret's EH, 5:10 (c. A.D. 372).

"We bear the burdens of all who are heavy laden; nay, rather, the blessed apostle Peter bears them in us and protects and watches over us, his heirs, as we trust, in all the care of his ministry....Now let all your priests observe the rule here given, unless they wish to be plucked from the solid, apostolic rock upon which Christ built the universal Church....I think, dearest brother, disposed of all the questions which were contained in your letter of inquiry and have, I believe, returned adequate answers to each of the cases you reported by our son, the priest Basianus, to the Roman Church as to the head of your body....And whereas no priest of the Lord is free to be ignorant of the statutes of the Apostolic See and the venerable provisions of the canons." Pope Sircius [regn. c A.D. 384-399], To Himerius, bishop of Tarragona (Spain), 1,3,20 (c. A.D. 392).

"Care shall not be lacking on my part to guard the faith of the Gospel as regards my peoples, and to visit by letter, as far as I am able, the parts of my body throughout the divers regions of the earth." Pope Anastasius [regn. A.D. 399-401], Epistle 1 (c. A.D. 400).

"In making inquiry with respect to those things that should be treated ... by bishops ... as you have done, the example of ancient tradition ... For you decided that it was proper to refer to our judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic See, since all we who are set in this place, desire to follow that Apostle from whom the very episcopate and whole authority of this named derived ... that whatsoever is done, even though it be in distant provinces, should not be ended without being brought to the knowledge of this See, that by its authority the whole just pronouncement should be strengthened, and that from it all other Churches (like waters flowing from their natal source and flowing through the different regions of the world, the pure streams of one incorrupt head) also show your solicitude for the well being of all, and that you ask for a decree that shall profit all the Churches of the world at once." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Carthage, 1,2 (A.D. 417).

"It is therefore with due care and propriety that you consult the secrets of the Apostolic office that office, I mean, to which belongs, besides the things which are without, the care of all the Churches...Especially as often as a question of faith is discussed, I think that all our brothers and fellow bishops should refer to none other than to Peter, the author of their name and office." Pope Innocent I [regn. A.D. 401-417], To the Council of Mileve, 2 (A.D. 417).

"Although the tradition of the fathers has attributed to the Apostolic See so great authority that none would dare to contest its judgment, and has preserved this ever in its canons and rules, and current ecclesiastical discipline in its laws still pays the reverence which it ought to the name of Peter...For he himself has care over all the churches, and above all of that which he sat...Since, then Peter is the head of so great authority, and has confirmed the suffrages of our forefathers since his time...and as bishops you are bound to know it; yet; though such was our authority that none could reconsider our decision." Pope Zosimus [regn. A.D. 417-418], To the Council of Carthage (c. A.D. 418).

"For it has never been lawful to reconsider what has once been settled by the apostolic see." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To Rufus bishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 420).

"The universal ordering of the Church at its birth took its origin from the office of blessed Peter, in which is found both directing power and its supreme authority. From him as from a source, at the time when our religion was in the stage of growth, all churches received their common order. This much is shown by the injunctions of the council of Nicea, since it did not venture to make a decree in his regard, recognizing that nothing could be added to his dignity: in fact it knew that all had been assigned to him by the word of the Lord. So it is clear that this church is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion, since he ceases to belong to its fellowship." Pope Boniface [regn. A.D. 418-422], To the bishops of Thessaly (c. A.D. 420).

"None has ever been so rash as to oppose the apostolic primacy, the judgment of which may not be revised; none rebels against it, unless he would judge in his turn." Pope Boniface [regn A.D. 418-422], To Rufus and bishops of Macedonia (c. A.D. 420).

"Wherefore, assuming to yourself the authority of our see and using our stead and place with power, you will deliver this sentence with utmost severity." Pope Celestine [regn A.D. 422-427], To Cyril of Alexandria, Epistle 1 1 (A.D. 430).

"The blessed apostle Peter, in his successors, has handed down what he received. Who would be willing to separate himself from the doctrine of whom the Master himself instructed first among the apostles?" Pope Sixtus III, [regn A.D. 432-440], To John of Antioch (A.D. 433).

"But this mysterious function the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Epistle 10 (A.D 445).

"And so he too rejoices over your good feeling and welcomes your respect for the Lord’s own institution as shown towards the partners of His honour, commending the well ordered love of the whole Church, which ever finds Peter in Peter's See, and from affection for so great a shepherd grows not lukewarm even over so inferior a successor as myself." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 2 (A.D ante 461).

"'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and every tongue which confesses the Lord, accepts the instruction his voice conveys. This Faith conquers the devil, and breaks the bonds of his prisoners. It uproots us from this earth and plants us in heaven, and the gates of Hades cannot prevail against it. For with such solidity is it endued by God that the depravity of heretics cannot mar it nor the unbelief of the heathen overcome it." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 3:2-3 (A.D ante 461).

"Who does not cease to preside in his see, who will doubt that he rules in every part of the world." Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D.440-461], Sermon 5 (A.D ante 461).



Copyright 2001 - 2007 © by John Salza. All Rights Reserved.

8 posted on 05/08/2010 8:48:38 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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There was no reference of a pope or Peter as pope for 300 years after Christ..

Yes there is. On the walls of the catecombs at San Calista. I saw the papal crests myself carved into the rock.

9 posted on 05/08/2010 8:59:10 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: papertyger
Truth Handling and Teaching Authority

Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Truth Handling and Teaching Authority
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Peter: A Biblical Portrait
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Matthew Chapter 16, Verse 18: The Primacy of Peter
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Truth Handling: Infallibility
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishop of Rome
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, First and Second Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventh and Eighth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Ninth and Tenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Infallibility: The Magisterium, Vatican Council II, The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 25

10 posted on 05/08/2010 9:35:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: GonzoII

John Salza a great site. Thanks for posts!

11 posted on 05/08/2010 9:37:15 AM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
"John Salza a great site."

It sure're welcome!

12 posted on 05/08/2010 9:44:18 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Notice your quotes BEFORE 250 (according to your quotes) do not call Peter Bishop of Rome or pope..

Catholic Answers states, "Admittedly, the Bible nowhere explicitly says Peter was in Rome; but, on the other hand, it doesn't say he wasn't. Just as the New Testament never says, 'Peter then went to Rome,' it never says, 'Peter did not go to Rome.' In fact, very little is said about where he, or any of the apostles other than Paul, went in the years after the Ascension. For the most part, we have to rely on books other than the New Testament for information about what happened to the apostles, Peter included, in later years."

If we relied on the scripture we would know that Paul was called by God to be the apostle to the GENTILES and Peter was called to be the apostle to the JEWS.

If indeed Peter was a missionary or a Bishop in Rome he was being disobedient to Gods call to him.. The historical information given by the Bible documents Peter's ministry in Palestine and Syria

When Paul wrote to Rome, there was no indication of Peters presence there or as some historians may say that Peter and Paul were there at the same time .

Pauls letter to Rome has been dated at around 58AD, following Catholic tradition, Peter would have been "bishop" there for almost 20 years by that time

Paul never hints in Romans that he knows that Peter has worked in Rome or founded the Christian church there before his planned visit (cf. 15:20-23). If he refers indirectly to Peter as among the 'superfine apostles' who worked in Corinth (2 Cor 11:4-5), he says nothing like that about Rome in this letter. Hence the beginnings of the Roman Christian community remain shrouded in mystery. Compare 1 Thess 3:2-5; 1 Cor 3:5-9; and Col 1:7 and 4:12-13 for more or less clear references to founding apostles of other locales. Hence there is no reason to think that Peter spent any major portion of time in Rome before Paul wrote his letter, or that he was the founder of the Roman church or the missionary who first brought Christianity to Rome. For it seems highly unlikely that Luke, if he knew that Peter had gone to Rome and evangelized that city, would have omitted all mention of it in Acts." [Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 30].

Peter never claimed any title but elder ...

Although Catholic tradition, beginning in the late second and early third centuries, regards Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and, therefore, as the first pope, there is no evidence that Peter was involved in the initial establishment of the Christian community in Rome (indeed, what evidence there is would seem to point in the opposite direction) or that he served as Rome's first bishop.--Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997, p.25(Catholic educator and Church historian)

13 posted on 05/08/2010 11:55:28 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: GonzoII

Here’s More PRO PAPACY
Regarding the authority of Peter as the Pope — what about the incident where Paul rebuked him?

Here’s how this objection has been dealt with by three Catholic sources and a Protestant reference dictionary:

Bertrand Conway

St. Paul’s rebuke of St. Peter [Gal 2:11), instead of implying a denial of his supremacy, implies just the opposite. He tells us that the example of St. Peter `compelled’ the Gentiles to live as the Jews. St. Paul’s example had not the same compelling power.

The duty of fraternal correction (Matt 18:15) may often require an inferior to rebuke a superior in defence of justice and truth. St. Bernard, St. Thomas of Canterbury and St. Catherine of Siena have rebuked Popes, while fully acknowledging their supreme authority . . .

The rebuke, however, did not refer to the doctrine, but to the conduct of St. Peter . . . St. Peter had not changed the views he had himself set forth at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:10). But at Antioch he withdrew from the table of the Gentiles, because he feared giving offence to the Jewish converts. They at once mistook his kindliness for an approval of the false teaching of certain Judaizers, who wished to make the Mosaic law obligatory upon all Christians. His action was most imprudent, and calculated to do harm because of his great influence and authority. St. Paul, therefore, had a perfect right to uphold the Gospel liberty by a direct appeal to St. Peter’s own example and teaching.

(The Question Box, New York: Paulist Press, 1929, 152-153)

Leslie Rumble and Charles Carty

No doctrinal error was involved in this particular case . . . To cease from doing a lawful thing for fear lest others be scandalized is not a matter of doctrine. It is a question of prudence or imprudence. St. Paul did not act as if he were St. Peter’s superior. Nor did he boast. To show the urgency of the matter, he practically said, `I had to resist even Peter - to whom chief authority belongs.’ And his words derive their full significance only from the fact that St. Peter was head of the Apostles.

(Radio Replies, St. Paul, Minnesota: Radio Replies Press, 1940 vol. 1, 82-83)

St. Paul wrote to the Galatians (1:18), that he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed there fifteen days with him. Why to Peter rather than to any other of the Apostles? And why does he add that, having gone to Jerusalem, he also saw James? He does not say that he went to see such Apostles as were at Jerusalem, or that he went to see James, and also happened to see Peter whilst there.

(Ibid., vol. 1, 82)

Karl Keating or Patrick Madrid

Notice that in the preceding ten verses (Gal 2:1-10) Paul goes to great lengths to assure his readers that he and Peter saw eye to eye on this issue.

(Notice, by the way, that throughout these chapters Paul refers to Simon Peter as `Cephas’ - the transliteration of the Aramaic `Rock’ - in recognition of the unshakeable doctrinal steadfastness conferred upon Peter by our Lord in Matthew 16:18).

The problem at Antioch arose when Peter acted in a manner inconsistent with his creed. It was not a matter of doctrinal error, but hypocrisy (the very Greek word Paul uses in verse 13), which means not practicing what one preaches . . .

There is therefore nothing in the passage that undermines the doctrine of papal infallibility . . .

If one were to reply that we teach by our behavior, we would agree, but `teaching’ in that broad sense has never been included in the claims the Catholic Church makes for papal infallibility.
(This Rock, July, 1990, 28)

New Bible Dictionary

This defection was roundly denounced by Paul; but there is no hint of any theological difference between them, and Paul’s complaint is rather the incompatibility of Peter’s practice with his theory. The old theory . . . of persistent rivalry between Paul and Peter, has little basis in the documents . . . Despite this lapse, the Gentile mission had no truer friend than Peter . . . At the Jerusalem Council [he] is recorded as the first to urge the full acceptance of the Gentiles on faith alone (Acts 15:7 ff.).

(J.D. Douglas, editor, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1962, 973)
I made the following comment in my book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (p. 231):
If St. Peter were guilty in this instance of hypocrisy (which appears to be the case), this is no disproof whatsoever of the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility, since that teaching does not extend to behavior and applies only to decrees on Faith and morals which are intended to bind all the faithful to a certain doctrinal standpoint. Granted, hypocrisy and bad example are not conducive to the successful propagation of a viewpoint, yet one must critique an idea according to its actual content. Thus, the attempt to undermine papal infallibility by means of this scriptural passage fails, due to misunderstanding of the Catholic claims for the Pope’s divinely appointed charism (in other words, it is a “straw man” argument).
In another paper on this general topic of the relation of Peter to Paul (way back in 1998), I wrote:

Peter was rebuked for hypocritical practices, as you correctly note. This has no bearing on his office, nor Paul’s position relative to it. Catholics have a long history of laymen rebuking decadent popes, while remaining faithful to the Church (e.g., St. Bernard, St. Francis, St. Catherine of Siena). Peter was inconsistent with his own doctrine — hence the hypocrisy which Paul rebuked — otherwise the charge makes no sense at all. Upon reading Galatians 2:11-14, one sees the word “hypocrisy” or “insincerity” or “dissimulation,” according to various translations (NRSV, RSV, and KJV, respectively).

The word “dissimulation” in Gal 2:13 in the KJV is the Greek hupokrisis (Strong’s word #5272) - from which is derived the English “hypocrisy.” It is translated as “hypocrisy” in the KJV at Mt 23:28, Mk 12:15, Lk 12:1, 1 Tim 4:2, 1 Pet 2:1. The cognate hupokritees is often applied by Jesus to the Pharisees (e.g., Mt 6:2,5,16, 7:5, 15:7, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-15,23,25,27,29, Mk 7:6, Lk 11:44). We all know what “hypocrite” means. This is what Peter was rebuked by Paul for.

I find it very interesting that Jesus, while He often scathingly rebuked the Pharisees, nevertheless says:

The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.

(Matthew 23:2-3; NRSV)
Pharisees had the teaching authority at that time, but were hypocritical in not following their own teaching. Yet Jesus (somewhat surprisingly) said to follow them as authorities anyway, because they sat on “Moses’ seat” (i.e., they preserved the ongoing Tradition). Likewise, with Peter as the first pope, and likewise with all popes. We are obligated to obey them. If this was true even with regard to the thoroughly arrogant and spiritually warped Pharisees, according to Jesus’ own injunction, how much more so in the case of popes — an office expressly designated by our Lord to lead the Church?

Are popes perfect? Obviously not. Peter wasn’t (he denied Christ). Others have faltered in various ways. This is impeccability, which the Church doesn’t teach. But this notion that popes’ teaching can be dissented from is pure Protestantism and private judgment. They can indeed be rebuked for lapses of duty, cowardly behavior, etc.

Note also how the Apostle Paul respects the authority of the high priest, who wasn’t even a Christian. In the account of his “trial” before the chief priests (Acts 23:1-5), Paul was ordered by the high priest Ananias to be struck on the mouth. Paul immediately lashed out at him, saying, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! . . . “ (similar to Jesus’ denunciations of the Pharisees). But when informed that he was the high priest, Paul appealed to his ignorance of that fact, desists, and says, “. . . for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.’ “

In other words, he respected the leader, though not even a Christian, and far less an authority — in one sense — on spiritual matters than St. Paul. Then in 23:6 he calls himself a Pharisee, and many Pharisees defend him in 23:9. The whole point is that obedience to divinely-appointed leaders is not an option for the Catholic. Paul wouldn’t even speak ill of the high priest. He calls us to imitate him elsewhere.

Also, [this Protestant pastor] feels that Paul is MUCH more important than Peter. Is he?

I think this is like asking whether a mother is MUCH more important than a father, or protein MUCH more important than carbohydrates, or one blade of a pair of scissors MUCH more important than the other. In other words, the question itself doesn’t even make sense, and is a bit foolish. Obviously, God had plans for both men in His Church.

Paul is extremely important; no one denies that; much less the Catholic Church. However, Peter has been greatly underemphasized by Protestants (probably mostly because of his association with the papacy in Catholic thinking, as the first pope or prototype). Scripture has quite a bit about the great authority of Peter. I have done a quick summary of this biblical data:

14 posted on 05/08/2010 12:37:43 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: GonzoII
"The affectionate title “Pope”, by which Catholics refer to the Bishop of Rome, is not found in the Bible. "

That's correct and the concept isn't found in there either. The rock God refers to is Peter's faith, not Peter.

15 posted on 05/08/2010 12:44:07 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

1. Matthew 16:18: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who “builds.” The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

16 posted on 05/08/2010 12:48:26 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
St. Paul wrote to the Galatians (1:18), that he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed there fifteen days with him. Why to Peter rather than to any other of the Apostles? And why does he add that, having gone to Jerusalem, he also saw James? He does not say that he went to see such Apostles as were at Jerusalem, or that he went to see James, and also happened to see Peter whilst there.

gal2 7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter was apostle to the jews, not the gentiles.. not the Romans in other-words

17 posted on 05/08/2010 12:49:28 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: johngrace
"The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ."

No. there is nothing that distinguishes Peter from anyone else, other than his faith. God pointed to Peter's faith, because He was teaching the fact that the church is built on faith, not bodies. Churches that build with bodies are empty.

"Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy)."

First, doctrine is nothing, but a declaration of some claim arrived at through some committee's democratic process. That process is not a logical opperation and does not in any way indicate truth. Appealing to democratic process, which is nothing more than bandwagon propaganda, is really all one has to support the claim that god chose to build His Church on bodies.

When one builds their church on bodies, the church is empty, desolate and w/o foundation.

18 posted on 05/08/2010 1:09:14 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: RnMomof7

Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he (”Cephas”) is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8). Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. “Babylon” (1 Pet 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.

19 posted on 05/08/2010 1:12:48 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace; GonzoII
Did Peter Have a Successor?
St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome
Heart of the Church (St. Peter in Words and Stone)
A Saint for the Rest of Us
On This Rock

St. Peter and Rome
Did the Apostle Peter Ever Visit Rome?
Occasionally Naive and Fearful, Yet Honest and Capable of Repentance (Profile of St. Peter)
Saint Peter As Seen by His Successor (extraordinary document from B16 on his preaching and papacy)
Peter, Witness of the Resurrection (Papal preparations for Easter 2006)
The Fraternal Society of St. Peter on EWTN
Saint Peter and the Vatican, the Legacy of the Popes
Saint Peter and The Vatican - Legacy of the Popes

20 posted on 05/08/2010 1:18:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: spunkets

FIRST CAME THE CHURCH THEN THE BIBLE. THE POPES AND COUNCILS PRODUCED WHAT YOU QUOTE. THAT COMMITEE FIGURED THIS OUT FOR YOU-In order for Protestants to exercise the principles of sola Scriptura they first have to accept the antecedent premise of what books constitute Scripture - in particular, the New Testament books. This is not as simple as it may seem at first, accustomed as we are to accepting without question the New Testament as we have it today. Although indeed there was, roughly speaking, a broad consensus in the early Church as to what books were scriptural, there still existed enough divergence of opinion to reasonably cast doubt on the Protestant concepts of the Bible’s self-authenticating nature, and the self-interpreting maxim of perspicuity. The following overview of the history of acceptance of biblical books (and also non-biblical ones as Scripture) will help the reader to avoid over-generalizing or over-simplifying the complicated historical process by which we obtained our present Bible.
A Visual Diagram of the History of the New Testament Canon

Explanation of Symbols:

* Book accepted (or quoted)
? Book personally disputed or mentioned as disputed
x Book rejected, unknown, or not cited

New Testament Period (c.35-90)

In this period there is little formal sense of a Canon of Scripture

Apostolic Fathers (90-160)


Summary: The New Testament is still not clearly distinguished qualitatively from other Christian writings

Gospels Generally accepted by 130
Justin Martyr’s “Gospels” contain apocryphal material
Polycarp first uses all four Gospels now in Scripture
Acts Scarcely known or quoted
Pauline Corpus Generally accepted by 130, yet quotations are rarely introduced as scriptural
Philippians, 1 Timothy: x Justin Martyr
2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon: x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
Hebrews Not considered canonical
? Clement of Rome
x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
James Not considered canonical; not even quoted
x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
1 Peter Not considered canonical
2 Peter Not considered canonical, nor cited
1, 2, 3 John Not considered canonical
x Justin Martyr
1 John ? Polycarp / 3 John x Polycarp
Jude Not considered canonical
x Polycarp, Justin Martyr
Revelation Not canonical
x Polycarp


Irenaeus to Origen (160-250)


Summary: Awareness of a Canon begins towards the end of the 2nd century

Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria first use phrase New Testament
Gospels Accepted
Acts Gradually accepted
Pauline Corpus Accepted with some exceptions:
2 Timothy: x Clement of Alexandria
Philemon: x Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
Hebrews Not canonical before the 4th century in the West.
? Origen
* First accepted by Clement of Alexandria
James Not canonical
? First mentioned by Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
1 Peter Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria
2 Peter Not canonical
? First mentioned by Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
1 John Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Irenaeus
x Origen
2 John Not canonical
? Origen
x Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
3 John Not canonical
? Origen
x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria
Jude Gradual acceptance
* Clement of Alexandria
x Origen
Revelation Gradual acceptance
* First accepted by Clement of Alexandria
x Barococcio Canon, c.206
Epistle of Barnabas * Clement of Alexandria, Origen
Shepherd of Hermas * Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Clement of Alexandria
The Didache * Clement of Alexandria, Origen
The Apocalypse of Peter * Clement of Alexandria
The Acts of Paul * Origen
* Appears in Greek, Latin (5), Syriac, Armenian, & Arabic translations
Gospel of Hebrews * Clement of Alexandria

Muratorian Canon (c.190)

Excludes Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter
Includes The Apocalypse of Peter, Wisdom of Solomon

Origen to Nicaea (250-325)


Summary: The Catholic epistles and Revelation are still being disputed

Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus Accepted
Hebrews * Accepted in the East
x, ? Still disputed in the West
James x, ? Still disputed in the East
x Not accepted in the West
1 Peter Fairly well accepted
2 Peter Still disputed
1 John Fairly well accepted
2, 3 John, Jude Still disputed
Revelation Disputed, especially in the East
x Dionysius


Council of Nicaea (325)

Questions canonicity of James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude


From 325 to the Council of Carthage (397)


Summary: Athanasius first lists our present 27 New Testament books as such in 367. Disputes still persist concerning several books, almost right up until 397, when the Canon is authoritatively closed

Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus, 1 Peter, 1 John Accepted
Hebrews Eventually accepted in the West
James Slow acceptance
Not even quoted in the West until around 350!
2 Peter Eventually accepted
2, 3 John, Jude Eventually accepted
Revelation Eventually accepted
x Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianz
Epistle of Barnabas * Codex Sinaiticus - late 4th century
Shepherd of Hermas * Codex Sinaiticus - late 4th century
Used as a textbook for catechumens according to Athanasius
1 Clement, 2 Clement * Codex Alexandrinus - early 5th century (!)

Protestants do, of course, accept the traditional Canon of the New Testament (albeit somewhat inconsistently and with partial reluctance - Luther questioned the full canonicity of James, Revelation and other books). By doing so, they necessarily acknowledged the authority of the Catholic Church. If they had not, it is likely that Protestantism would have gone the way of all the old heresies of the first millennium of the Church Age - degenerating into insignificant, bizarre cults and disappearing into the putrid backwaters of history.

21 posted on 05/08/2010 1:54:37 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
Peter was sent to the jews by God..are you telling me that he went against the ministry God gave Him?

It is believed by scholars that Peter had his primary ministry in Syria ...

Can you find a NON CATHOLIC historian that really believes that Babylon was a "code" for Rome?

Paul was unafraid to go to Rome so why should Peter have to lie about it?

"The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" (Gal. 2:7-8).

It was Paul not Peter that wrote doctrinal letters to the Romans and Ephesian Church

PETER is NOWHERE called the Apostle to the Gentiles! This would have kept him from going to Rome to become the head of a Gentile church.

It is Paul that wanted to build the church at Rome. That fact proved that Peter was not the "bishop " of Rome. As Paul told us he would not build on another foundation.

"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, LEST I SHOULD BUILD UPON ANOTHER MAN’S FOUNDATION" (Rom. 15:20).

When Paul wrote to the church at Rome Peters name is no where listed

Around 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at Jerusalem (Acts 12:3, 4). In 49 A.D., he was still in Jerusalem, this time attending the Jerusalem Council. About 51 A.D., he was in Antioch of Syria where he got into differences with Paul because he wouldn't sit or eat with Gentiles.

66 A.D., we find him in the city of Babylon among the Jews (I Pet. 5:13). Peter was the Apostle to the CIRCUMCISED.vHistory shows that there were as many Jews in the Mesopotamian areas in Christ’s time as there were in Palestine.

Peter was an obedient apostle Of Christ and he carried out with honor the work the Lord had ordained for him to do , and that work never included being a bishop to a gentile church

22 posted on 05/08/2010 1:55:20 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: johngrace

First is God and He is logical. The matter in contention is whether God would found his Church on a body, or whether He founded it on the observations, deliberations and decisions of a sentient rational being - that being faith. God's Church is based on the solid faith of each and all of it's individual members, not the body of one of them that's chosen by a few of them.


What I quoted was God's Word that's contained in the Gospels. No pope and no council produced any of the 4 Gospels. They simply recognized the work, as I have.


I am made in the image and likeness of God. I need no committee of similarly endowed individuals to read and understand things for me, in my name, or on my behalf. I also note that God provided none in the beginning, or at any time since then.

"Protestants do, of course, accept the traditional Canon of the New Testament... Sola Scriptura...

I also do not subscribe to sola Scriptura. It is simply an illogical limitation on knowing and understanding reality.

I do not accept the Canon of the Gospels, because they have been annointed as such. I believe them, because I have read them and have concluded that they are a first hand account of God in person having come and taught us who He is. I do not believe that God came to teach any self annointed group of folks about Himself, or that He gave them special powers, keys, ect... The keys to the kingdom belong to each individual, not some group of self appointed specialists.

23 posted on 05/08/2010 2:30:46 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: RnMomof7

“It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon.”

Consider now the other New Testament citations: “Another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion’” (Rev. 14:8). “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath” (Rev. 16:19). “[A]nd on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations’” (Rev. 17:5). “And he called out with a mighty voice, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great’” (Rev. 18:2). “[T]hey will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, ‘Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come’” (Rev. 18:10). “So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence” (Rev. 18:21).

These references can’t be to the one-time capital of the Babylonian empire. That Babylon had been reduced to an inconsequential village by the march of years, military defeat, and political subjugation; it was no longer a “great city.” It played no important part in the recent history of the ancient world. From the New Testament perspective, the only candidates for the “great city” mentioned in Revelation are Rome and Jerusalem.

. . . The authorities knew that Peter was a leader of the Church, and the Church, under Roman law, was considered organized atheism. (The worship of any gods other than the Roman was considered atheism.) Peter would do himself, not to mention those with him, no service by advertising his presence in the capital—after all, mail service from Rome was then even worse than it is today, and letters were routinely read by Roman officials. Peter was a wanted man, as were all Christian leaders. Why encourage a manhunt? We also know that the apostles sometimes referred to cities under symbolic names (cf. Rev. 11:8).
Even the thoroughly Protestant Bible Knowledge Commentary (p. 857) thinks the “Babylon = Rome” explanation for 1 Peter 5:13 quite plausible. Bible scholar Reinhard Feldmeier takes the same position (The First Letter of Peter, Baylor University Press, 2008, pp. 41-42). A. T. Robertson, in Word Pictures in the New Testament (introduction for 1st Peter) agrees:
So we can think of Rome as the place of writing and that Peter uses “Babylon” to hide his actual location from Nero.
Many other Protestant commentators could be brought forth in favor of this opinion. It’s not just a Catholic argument. It is a legitimate exegetical opinion, regardless of affiliation. See also:
Was Peter the First Bishop of Rome?, Oswald Sobrino

The Bishop of Rome is Peter’s Successor, Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 27 January 1993

Peter’s Roman Residency (Catholic Answers)

St. Peter in Rome (Radio Replies)

Was St. Peter Ever in Rome? Refuting a Persistent Protestant Prejudice, Phil Porvazni by Dave Armstrong

24 posted on 05/08/2010 2:32:18 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: spunkets

So it dropped out of the sky. And we all say eureka.

25 posted on 05/08/2010 2:34:53 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
"So it dropped out of the sky. And we all say eureka."

Way to change the subject. The Church never was one regarding the concept of pope claimed by Rome. They were one regarding the four Gospels though.

26 posted on 05/08/2010 2:42:30 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: johngrace; RnMomof7

“The authorities knew that Peter was a leader of the Church, and the Church, under Roman law, was considered organized atheism. (The worship of any gods other than the Roman was considered atheism.) Peter would do himself, not to mention those with him, no service by advertising his presence in the capital—”

That is wrong. With the edict of Gallio at Corinth (Acts 18:14-14) Christianity was declared to be just another religion and in fact prospered under Caludius and Nero until the fire at Rome. That is one of the reasons for Paul’s admonition to the churches at Rome to be subject to “higher powers” so as not to disturb the peace as had the Jews under Claudius that led to their exile in 49 A.D..

27 posted on 05/08/2010 3:01:30 PM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: johngrace
“It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself;

LOL by who? Catholic historians that have a vested (or vestment) issue in making Peter at he Bishop of Rome?? The time line does not work out when correlated to Acts, scripture tells us that was NOT Peters ministry , there is NO HARD historical evidence ,History also informs us of the sharp debates between Ultramontanism and Gallicanism; also from the Councils of Constance, Basle, Florence, Pisa (the time of the antipopes) it becomes evident that the Roman church was undecided who held the supremacy, whether it was the pope or an ecumenical council. that he was ever bishop of Rome but the church says so it MUST BE SO ...

Sola Ecclesia Romanus
Only the Church of Rome is the Rule of Faith

28 posted on 05/08/2010 4:00:19 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

Of course go by the 1st church of your own decision on your own translation 5,000.000 ways to Sunday. Enjoy!

29 posted on 05/08/2010 4:09:27 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: johngrace
Of course go by the 1st church of your own decision on your own translation 5,000.000 ways to Sunday. Enjoy!

LOL...John, look for sources outside the RC church to validate your position and then we can take them seriously

Nevertheless, there is a point which would perhaps seem inconsistent with facts were I to place the translation of it in this work, but which I do not consider to involve an impossibility. It is this. Linus and Cletus were Bishops of the city of Rome before Clement. How then, some men ask, can Clement in his letter to James say that Peter passed over to him his position as a church-teacher? The explanation of this point, as I understand, is as follows. Linus and Cletus were, no doubt, Bishops in the city of Rome before Clement, but this was in Peter's life-time; that is, they took charge of the episcopal work, while he discharged the duties of the apostolate. He is known to have done the same thing at Caesarea; for there, though be was himself on the spot, yet he had at his side Zacchaeus whom he had ordained as Bishop. Thus we may see how both things may be true; namely how they stand as predecessors of Clement in the list of Bishops, and yet how Clement after the death of Peter became his successor in the teacher's chair.--The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol 3, Ed. Philip Schaff, St. Jerome, writing in the "Preface to The Books of Recognitions of St. Clement" (Addressed to Bishop Gaudentius), p. 1136, AGES Software, Albany, OR USA Version 2.0 © 1997)
Jerome refers to Peter as "church-teacher" not pope or Bishop.. Peter was an elder (teacher)

30 posted on 05/08/2010 4:48:05 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: blue-duncan
That is wrong. With the edict of Gallio at Corinth (Acts 18:14-14) Christianity was declared to be just another religion and in fact prospered under Caludius and Nero until the fire at Rome. That is one of the reasons for Paul’s admonition to the churches at Rome to be subject to “higher powers” so as not to disturb the peace as had the Jews under Claudius that led to their exile in 49 A.D..

Excellent observation

31 posted on 05/08/2010 4:49:17 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: GonzoII; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

32 posted on 05/08/2010 4:50:23 PM PDT by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: spunkets; johngrace
"The rock God refers to is Peter's faith, not Peter."

Evangelicals and other Protestants are conceding that Peter is the rock.


D.A. Carson (Protestant Evangelical) --

"Although it is true that petros and petra can mean 'stone' and 'rock' respectively in earlier Greek, the distinction is largely confined to poetry. Moreover, the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; and most probably kepha was used in both clauses ('you are kepha' and 'on this kepha'), since the word was used both for a name and for a 'rock.' The Peshitta (written in Syriac, a language cognate with Aramaic) makes no distinction between the words in the two clauses. The Greek makes the distinction between petros and petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, and in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name." (Carson, The Expositor's Bible Commentary [Zondervan, 1984], volume 8, page 368, as cited in Butler/Dahlgren/Hess, page 17-18)

"The word Peter petros, meaning 'rock,' (Gk 4377) is masculine, and in Jesus' follow-up statement he uses the feminine word petra (Gk 4376). On the basis of this change, many have attempted to avoid identifying Peter as the rock on which Jesus builds his church yet if it were not for Protestant reactions against extremes of Roman Catholic interpretations, it is doubtful whether many would have taken 'rock' to be anything or anyone other than Peter." (Carson, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary [Zondervan, 1994], volume 2, page 78, as cited in Butler/Dahlgren/Hess, page 18)

R.T. France (Anglican/Protestant Evangelical) --

"The name Peter means 'Rock', and Jesus played on this meaning to designate Peter as the foundation of the new people of God. His leadership would involve the authority of the steward, whose keys symbolized his responsibility to regulate the affairs of the household. Peter would exercise his leadership by his authority to declare what is and is not permissible in the kingdom of heaven (to bind and to loose have this meaning in rabbinic writings)....It is sometimes suggested that because the word for 'rock' (petra) differs from the name Petros, the 'rock' referred to is not Peter himself but the confession he has just made of Jesus as Messiah. In Aramaic, however, the same term kefa would appear in both places; the change in Greek is due to the fact that petra, the normal word for rock, is feminine in gender, and therefore not suitable as a name for Simon! The echo of Peter's name remains obvious, even in Greek; he is the rock, in the sense outlined above." (France, New Bible Commentary with consulting editors Carson, France, Motyer, Wenham [Intervarsity Press, 1994], page 925, 926)

Oscar Cullmann (Lutheran) from Kittel's Greek standard Theological Dictionary of the New Testament --

"The obvious pun which has made its way into the Gk. text as well suggests a material identity between petra and petros, the more so as it is impossible to differentiate strictly between the meanings of the two words. On the other hand, only the fairly assured Aramaic original of the saying enables us to assert with confidence the formal and material identity between petra and petros: petra = Kepha = petros....Since Peter, the rock of the Church, is thus given by Christ Himself, the master of the house (Is. 22:22; Rev. 3:7), the keys of the kingdom of heaven, he is the human mediator of the resurrection, and he has the task of admitting the people of God into the kingdom of the resurrection...The idea of the Reformers that He is referring to the faith of Peter is quite inconceivable in view of the probably different setting of the story...For there is no reference here to the faith of Peter. Rather, the parallelism of 'thou art Rock' and 'on this rock I will build' shows that the second rock can only be the same as the first. It is thus evident that Jesus is referring to Peter, to whom He has given the name Rock. He appoints Peter, the impulsive, enthusiastic, but not persevering man in the circle, to be the foundation of His ecclesia. To this extent Roman Catholic exegesis is right and all Protestant attempts to evade this interpretation are to be rejected." (Cullmann, article on "Rock" (petros, petra) trans. and ed. by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [Eerdmans Publishing, 1968], volume 6, page 98, 107, 108)

Herman Ridderbos (Protestant Evangelical) --

"It is well known that the Greek word (petra) translated 'rock' here is different from the proper name Peter. The slight difference between them has no special importance, however. The most likely explanation for the change from petros ('Peter') to petra is that petra was the normal word for 'rock.' Because the feminine ending of this noun made it unsuitable as a man's name, however, Simon was not called petra but petros. The word petros was not an exact synonym of petra; it literally meant 'stone.' Jesus therefore had to switch to the word petra when He turned from Peter's name to what it meant for the Church. There is no good reason to think that Jesus switched from petros to petra to show that He was not speaking of the man Peter but of his confession as the foundation of the Church. The words 'on this rock [petra]' indeed refer to Peter. Because of the revelation that he had received and the confession that it motivated in him, Peter was appointed by Jesus to lay the foundation of the future church." (Ridderbos, Bible Student's Commentary: Matthew [Zondervan, 1987], page 303 as cited in Butler/Dahlgren/Hess, page 35-36)

Craig Blomberg (Protestant Evangelical) --

"Acknowledging Jesus as The Christ illustrates the appropriateness of Simon's nickname 'Peter' (Petros=rock). This is not the first time Simon has been called Peter (cf. John 1:42 [wherein he is called Cephas]), but it is certainly the most famous. Jesus' declaration, 'You are Peter,' parallels Peter's confession, 'You are the Christ,' as if to say, 'Since you can tell me who I am, I will tell you who you are.' The expression 'this rock' almost certainly refers to Peter, following immediately after his name, just as the words following 'the Christ' in v. 16 applied to Jesus. The play on words in the Greek between Peter's name (Petros) and the word 'rock' (petra) makes sense only if Peter is the rock and if Jesus is about to explain the significance of this identification." (Blomberg, The New American Commentary: Matthew [Broadman, 1992], page 251-252, as cited in Butler/Dahlgren/Hess, page 31-32)

William F. Albright and C.S. Mann (from The Anchor Bible series) --

"Rock (Aram. Kepha). This is not a name, but an appellation and a play on words. There is no evidence of Peter or Kephas as a name before Christian times. On building on a rock, or from a rock, cf. Isa 51:1ff; Matt 7:24f. Peter as Rock will be the foundation of the future community (cf. I will build). Jesus, not quoting the OT, here uses Aramaic, not Hebrew, and so uses the only Aramaic word which would serve his purpose. In view of the background of vs. 19 (see below), one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see this rock as meaning the faith, or the Messianic confession, of Peter. To deny the pre-eminent position of Peter among the disciples or in the early Christian community is a denial of the evidence. Cf. in this gospel 10:2; 14:28-31; 15:15. The interest in Peter's failures and vacillations does not detract from this pre-eminence; rather, it emphasizes it. Had Peter been a lesser figure his behavior would have been of far less consequence (cf. Gal 2:11ff)." (Albright/Mann, The Anchor Bible: Matthew [Doubleday, 1971], page 195)

Craig S. Keener (Protestant Evangelical) --

"'You are Peter,' Jesus says (16:18), paralleling Peter's 'You are the Christ' (16:16). He then plays on Simon's nickname, 'Peter,' which is roughly the English 'Rocky': Peter is 'rocky,' and on this rock Jesus would build his church (16:18)....Protestants...have sometimes argued that Peter's name in Greek (petros) differs from the Greek term for rock used here (petra)....But by Jesus' day the terms were usually interchangeable, and the original Aramaic form of Peter's nickname that Jesus probably used (kephas) means simply 'rock.' Further, Jesus does not say, 'You are Peter, but on this rock I will build my church'....the copulative kai almost always means 'and'.... Jesus' teaching is the ultimate foundation for disciples (7:24-27; cf. 1 Cor 3:11), but here Peter functions as the foundation rock as the apostles and prophets do in Ephesians 2:20-21....Jesus does not simply assign this role arbitrarily to Peter, however; Peter is the 'rock' because he is the one who confessed Jesus as the Christ in this context (16:15-16)...." (Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew [Eerdmans, 1999], page 426-427)

Francis Wright Beare (Presbyterian/Reformed) --

"The play on words -- 'Peter', this 'rock' -- requires a change in Greek from petros (properly, 'stone') to petra. In Aramaic, the two words would be identical -- Kepha the name given to Peter, transliterated into Greek as Kephas (Gal. 2:9), and kepha, 'rock'. The symbol itself is Hebraic: Abraham is the 'rock' from which Israel was hewn, and in a rabbinic midrash, God finds in him a rock on which he can base and build the world..." (Beare, The Gospel According to Matthew [Harper and Row, 1981], page 355)

Eduard Schweizer (Presbyterian/Reformed) --

"The 'rock' is Peter himself, not his confession. Only on this interpretation does the pun make sense." (Schweizer, The Good News According to Matthew [John Knox Press, 1975], page 341)

Ivor H. Jones (Methodist) --

" 16.18 Peter is the rock on which the new community could be built, as Abraham was described in rabbinic writings as the rock on which God could erect a new world to replace the old....The arguments have raged across the centuries over the phrase 'on this rock' : does it mean on Peter, or on Peter's confession? But the text is clear: Peter was divinely inspired and this was the reason for his new function and the basis of his authorization. His function was to provide for Jesus Christ the beginnings of a stronghold, a people of God, to stand against all the powers of evil and death...They are God's people, the the church they represent God's sovereign power over evil (18.18b) and rely upon a new kind of divine authorization...This authorization is given to Peter; so Peter is not only a stronghold against evil; he also is responsible for giving the community shape and direction." (Jones, The Gospel of Matthew [London: Epworth Press, 1994], page 99)

M. Eugene Boring (Disciples of Christ) --

"16:18, Peter as Rock. Peter is the foundation rock on which Jesus builds the new community. The name 'Peter' means 'stone' or 'rock' (Aramaic Kepha Cepha; Greek petros).... There are no documented instances of anyone's ever being named 'rock' in Aramaic or Greek prior to Simon. Thus English translations should render the word 'stone' or 'rock,' not 'Peter,' which gives the false impression that the word represented a common name and causes the contemporary reader to miss the word play of the passage: 'You are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church.' Peter is here pictured as the foundation of the church....On the basis of Isa 51:1-2 (cf. Matt 3:9), some scholars have seen Peter as here paralleled to Abraham; just as Abram stood at the beginning of the people of God, had his name changed, and was called a rock, so also Peter stands at the beginning of the new people of God and receives the Abrahamic name 'rock' to signify this." (The New Interpreter's Bible [Abingdon Press, 1995], volume 8, page 345)

Thomas G. Long (Presbyterian/Reformed) --

"Since, in the original Greek, Petros and petra both mean 'rock,' it is easy to spot this statement as a pun, a play on words: 'Your name is "Rock," and on this "rock" I will build my church.' Jesus' meaning is plain: Peter is the rock, the foundation, upon which he is going to erect his church...Jesus spoke Aramaic, however, not Greek. In Aramaic, the words for 'Peter' and 'rock' are the same (Kepha)...the most plausible interpretation of the passage is that Jesus is, indeed, pointing to Peter as the foundation stone, the principal leader, of this new people of God...there is much evidence that he also played a primary leadership role in the early Christian church....For the church, the new people of God, Peter was, indeed, the 'rock,' corresponding to Abraham of old, who was 'the rock from which you were hewn' (Isa. 51:1)." (Long, Matthew [Westminster John Knox Press, 1997], page 185, 186)

Richard B. Gardner (Brethren/Mennonite) --

"The key question here is whether the rock foundation of the church is Peter himself, or something to be distinguished from Peter. If the latter, Jesus could be speaking of Peter's faith, or of the revelation Peter received. It is more likely, however, that the rock on which Jesus promises to build the church is in fact Peter himself, Peter the first disciple (cf. 4:18; 10:2), who represents the whole group of disciples from which the church will be formed. At least four considerations support this view...." (Gardner, Believers Church Bible Commentary: Matthew [Herald Press, 1991], 247)


(A) Peter is the Rock, the foundation stone of Jesus' Church, the Church would be built on Peter personally;

(B) Peter's name means Rock (petros or petra in Greek, Kepha or Cephas in Aramaic);

(C) The slight distinction in meaning for the Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) was largely confined to poetry before the time of Jesus and therefore has no special importance;

(D) The Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) by Jesus' day were interchangeable in meaning;

(E) The underlying Aramaic Kepha-kepha of Jesus' words makes the Rock-rock identification certain;

(F) The Greek word petra, being a feminine noun, could not be used for a man's name, so Petros was used;

(G) Only because of past "Protestant bias" was the Peter is Rock identification denied;

(H) The pun or play on words makes sense only if Peter is the Rock;

(I) Jesus says "and on this rock" not "but on this rock" -- the referent is therefore Peter personally;

(J) Verse 19 and the immediate context (singular "you") shows Peter is the Rock of verse 18;

(K) Peter's revelation and confession of Jesus as the Christ parallels Jesus' declaration and identification of Peter as the Rock;

(L) Peter is paralleled to Abraham who also had his name changed, was a Father to God's people, and was called the Rock (Isaiah 51:1-2; cf. Gen 17:5ff).

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33 posted on 05/08/2010 9:09:16 PM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Rock refers to the belief in the truth of what God taught. Belief in what God taught is the faith. In God's own words:

Matt 7:24-25,
`Therefore, every one who doth hear of me these words, and doth do them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain did descend, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell not, for it had been founded on the rock.

I have no use for anything anyone says that contradicts the words of God Himself.

34 posted on 05/08/2010 11:01:58 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: GonzoII
How about some Augustine?

...Why have I wanted to make this little introduction? In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter's confession. What is Peter's confession? 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' There's the rock for you, there's the foundation, there's where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer. Sermons, Volume III/6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327.

Although Catholic tradition, beginning in the late second and early third centuries, regards Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and, therefore, as the first pope, there is no evidence that Peter was involved in the initial establishment of the Christian community in Rome (indeed, what evidence there is would seem to point in the opposite direction) or that he served as Rome's first bishop.--Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997, p.25

Because it was not until the late second or early third century that Catholic tradition came to regard Peter as the first Bishop or Rome, it was Linus, not Peter, who was considered in the earliest succession lists to be the first pope.--Richard P. McBrien, Op. cit., p.33)

The apostles did not understand that Peter was to be pope.."Mark:9 33And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

The Church is built on Christ , He is the corner stone..THAT is why the confession of Peter is said to be the rock

Mat 16:"13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

From Peter:

1 Pet 2; 4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Peter knew that ROCK WAS CHRIST

35 posted on 05/09/2010 10:09:19 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7

First of all Happy Mother’s day to You! May God bless you and Guide! That said. Any body can have a view but personally to me thats putting more into it. Anyway this might Help:
Protestant Exegesis Profoundly Affected Historically By Polemical Overreactions to Catholic Positions (Example of Matthew 16:18: Peter as the “Rock”)

D. A. Carson: Eminent Protestant Exegete

[ source ]

Matthew 16:18 (RSV) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.

This curious phenomenon was one of the central themes of my book, The Catholic Verses (2004). I wrote in its Introduction:
No one comes to the Bible as a completely impartial and objective “observer” or reader. We all approach it, whether consciously or unconsciously, with some sort of preexisting theology, or at least a disposition towards a certain viewpoint. It is impossible not to do this. It is part of the very nature of the thinking process. . . .

I shall contend throughout this book that - far too often - Protestants do not take all of Scripture into account, and that they are guilty of eisegesis (reading into Scripture one’s own presuppositions), or seriously erroneous exegesis, at least as often as Catholics are, if not more frequently. . . .

I hasten to add - and emphasize to the greatest degree - that these tendencies of bias and subjectivism and subconscious influence of denominational traditions do not necessarily entail a deliberate attempt to ignore or to twist Scripture. Every serious student of the Bible comes to the biblical text with a theological framework, in order to interpret it and make sense of it in its entirety. This is proper and right, and no one should have any objection to it. . . .

. . . without questioning (at all) the sincerity or integrity of Protestants, I shall now proceed to offer a critique of common Protestant attempts to ignore, explain away, rationalize, wish away, over-polemicize, minimize, de-emphasize, evade clear consequences of, or special plead with regard to “the Catholic Verses”: 95 biblical passages.
In Chapter Four, on the papacy, I commented specifically on historic Protestant exegesis of Matthew 16:18-19:
Many Protestants are uncomfortable with Matthew 16:18-19, first because of its extraordinary implications for St. Peter’s preeminence as the supreme earthly head of the Church, or Pope; which he was appointed by our Lord Jesus himself. The Church, according to Jesus (and in the Catholic view), is built upon Peter. In the figure and leadership of Peter in the Bible, the Catholic Church sees a primitive (later highly developed) model for Church government and papal headship.

(pp. 55-56)

Historically, the standard polemical response of Protestants to the phraseology of rock was to contend that it referred only to Peter’s faith, not Peter himself. In that way, the institutional element of the charge from the Lord to St. Peter is avoided. If faith is the exclusive key to the meaning, then Peter can be viewed as merely a representative of a general principle, rather than unique in the sense of institutional, concrete leadership and jurisdiction.

(p. 56)

Somewhat surprisingly, the consensus among Protestant commentators today (including such eminent scholars such as R. T. France, D. A. Carson, William Hendriksen, Gerhard Maier, and Craig L. Blomberg), is that rock indeed refers to Peter himself, not his faith. They try to evade any further “Catholic” implication, though, by denying the notion of papal succession — that Peter as rock applies to Peter alone.

(pp. 57-58)

Here we are concerned with St. Peter as the proclaimed leader of the Church. The finer points and particulars of such an office require another discussion entirely. Scarcely any biblical passages contain a fully developed doctrine. That is as true of the papacy and ecclesiology as it is of any Christian theological construct.

(p. 58)
Situations like this usually arise when the Catholic exegetical argument is (quite arguably) superior to any Protestant alternative, and when (as in the present instance) the basic Catholic contention has become the consensus position of prominent biblical commentators across the board:
Though in the past some authorities have considered that the term rock refers to Jesus himself or to Peter’s faith, the consensus of the great majority of scholars today is that the most obvious and traditional understanding should be construed, namely, that rock refers to the person of Peter.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1985 edition, “Peter,” Micropedia, vol. 9, 330-333. D. W. O’Connor, the author of the article, is himself Protestant and author of Peter in Rome: The Literary, Liturgical and Archaeological Evidence [1969] )
Catholics have been contending all along that Peter himself was the “rock”: not his confession of faith; nor Jesus Himself. Now it is widely accepted that this is indeed what the passage teaches. But for centuries, many (most?) Protestant commentators denied this, and it looks they did so primarily due to mere polemical reaction against the Catholic claim and Catholic dogmatic beliefs about the papacy, in part built upon this passage.

This is not just my opinion, but that of several prominent Protestant exegetes, past and present, as I will now demonstrate. These eminent Bible scholars maintain that the passage is very clear, and was only interpreted otherwise out of polemical reaction to the Catholic exegesis. If this can occur (rather strikingly) with regard to Matthew 16:18, who knows how prevalent the same tendency has been elsewhere in Protestant exegesis, wherever issues arise that are key to the Protestant-Catholic dispute?

Ironically, while Catholics are routinely accused of eisegesis, it looks like Protestants have committed quite a bit of it themselves, in their rush to distance themselves from Catholic exegetical viewpoints. To “prove” that a passage has no “Catholic” implications whatsoever, many Protestant commentators have been quite willing to special plead and engage in outright eisegesis. I provided dozens of examples of this in The Catholic Verses. Here I need only cite Protestants chastising fellow Protestant commentators, to prove my point that it occurred:
Another interpretation is, that the word rock refers to Peter himself. This is the obvious meaning of the passage; and had it not been that the church of Rome has abused it, and applied it to what was never intended, no other would have been sought for.

(Presbyterian Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, Philadelphia: 1832; see larger excerpt)

* * * * *

The application of the promise to St. Peter has been elaborately impugned by Dr. Wordsworth. His zeal to appropriate the rock to Christ has somewhat overshot itself. In arguing that the term can apply to none but God, he will find it difficult surely to deny all reference to a rock in the name Peter. To me, it is equally difficult, nay, impossible, to deny all reference, in “upon this rock,” to the preceding word Peter. Let us keep to the plain straightforward sense of Scripture, however that sense may have been misused by Rome.

(Anglican Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, four volumes, London: Rivingtons, 1868; reprinted by Baker Publishing Group, 1983, Vol. 1, p. 319; see larger excerpt)

* * * * *

As Peter means rock, the natural interpretation is that ‘upon this rock’ means upon thee. No other explanation would probably at the present day be attempted, but for the fact that the obvious meaning has been abused by Papists to the support of their theory. But we must not allow the abuse of a truth to turn us away from its use; nor must the convenience of religious controversy determine our interpretation of Scripture teaching.

(p. 355)

The Protestant reluctance to admit that the rock means Peter really plays into the hands of the Romish controversialists. It favors the impression that conceding that point would be conceding all that the Romanist claims . . . Now to take Peter as the rock is certainly the most natural and obvious meaning. And to make this the life or death issue is to give the Romanist a serious polemical advantage. In general, it is a great principle of Biblical interpretation to take the most obvious meaning of any phrase, unless it would thus yield a sense hopelessly in conflict with the unambiguous teaching of other passages.

(p. 357)

(Baptist John Albert Broadus, Commentary on Matthew, 1886; reprinted by Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Classics, 1990; see larger excerpt)

* * * * *

In view of the background of verse 19 . . . one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see this rock as meaning the faith, or the Messianic confession of Peter.

(Methodist William F. Albright, and C.S. Mann, Anchor Bible, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1971, Vol. 26, 195, 197-198)

* * * * *

Attempts to interpret the “rock” as something other than Peter in person (e.g., his faith, the truth revealed to him) are due to Protestant bias, and introduce to the statement a degree of subtlety which is highly unlikely.

(Presbyterian David Hill, “The Gospel of Matthew,” in Ronald E. Clements and Matthew Black, editors, The New Century Bible Commentary: London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1972, 261)

* * * * *

On the basis of the distinction between ‘petros’ . . . and ‘petra’ . . . , many have attempted to avoid identifying Peter as the rock on which Jesus builds his church. Peter is a mere ‘stone,’ it is alleged; but Jesus himself is the ‘rock’ . . . Others adopt some other distinction . . . Yet if it were not for Protestant reactions against extremes of Roman Catholic interpretation, it is doubtful whether many would have taken ‘rock’ to be anything or anyone other than Peter . . .

(Baptist D. A. Carson; in Frank E. Gaebelein, general editor, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1984, vol. 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke [Matthew: D. A. Carson], 368)

R. T. France [ source ]

It is only Protestant overreaction to the Roman Catholic claim . . . that what is here said of Peter applies also to the later bishops of Rome, that has led some to claim that the ‘rock’ here is not Peter at all but the faith which he has just confessed. The word-play, and the whole structure of the passage, demands that this verse is every bit as much Jesus’ declaration about Peter as v.16 was Peter’s declaration about Jesus . . . It is to Peter, not to his confession, that the rock metaphor is applied . . . Peter is to be the foundation-stone of Jesus’ new community . . . which will last forever.

(Anglican R. T. France; in Leon Morris, general editor, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press / Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1985, Vol. 1: Matthew, 254, 256)

* * * * *

The frequent attempts that have been made, largely in the past, to deny this in favor of the view that the confession itself is the rock (e.g., most recently Caragounis) seem to be largely motivated by Protestant prejudice against a passage that is used by the Roman Catholics to justify the papacy.

(Presbyterian Donald A. Hagner, “Matthew 14-28,” in David A. Hubbard and others, editors, World Biblical Commentary, vol. 33b; Dallas: Word Books, 1995, 470)
See also the excellent, copiously documented article by fellow Catholic apologist Nicholas Hardesty: Protestant Scholars on Mt 16:16-19.
by Dave Armstrong

36 posted on 05/09/2010 11:24:48 AM PDT by johngrace
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