“1) The Catholic Church has always taught salvation by grace alone - just as St. Paul did.”
“...the Second Vatican Council confirms: ‘The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,’” (CCC 2068).
The specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation, (CCC, par. 2010).
If any one saith, that the justice [righteousness] received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 24).
What saith the scripture?
Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
“The Catholic Church was founded by Christ not 400 or 500 years after His ascension but when He was on earth with the Apostles.”
The Rock upon which the church is built is the confession of Jesus Christ. All Christians are stones, and priests and saints of the true church, which is Christs body, with Christ as the chief cornerstone.
1Pe 2:5-6 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (6) Wherefore 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.
Peter never, in any of his epistles, calls himself the Rock upon which the church is built, or refers to himself as anything more than an Apostle of Jesus Christ, just as Paul and the others called themselves. In fact, Paul even rebuked Peter when he was in error. Not as an inferior having respect for a Pope, but as an equal.
Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
This doctrine of Papal primacy, universal Bishop as the head of the church, is one that came later.
Ignatius, writing sometime before his death between 97 and 115AD, listed the highest tier of the church as the Bishop. He never mentions any higher tiers.
Pope Gregory the first, more than 400 years later, who asserted Peter was the First of the Apostles, nevertheless denied the title of the Universal Bishop (though the one who came right after him petitioned the Emperor that he should take the title), and asserted that the See of Peter was made up of three locations.
But I confidently say, that whosoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires to be called so, in his pride is the forerunner of antichrist, because in his pride he prefers himself to the rest. And he is conducted to error with a similar pride; for as that wicked one wishes to appear a God above all men, so whosoever he is who alone desires to be called a bishop, extols himself above all other bishops. To Mauritius Augustus.
St. Peters Primacy descended to three Bishopricks, Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome.
Whereas there were many apostles, yet for the principality itself, one only see of the apostles prevailed, in authority, which is of one, but in three places. For he elevated the see in which he condescended to rest, and to finish his present life. He decorated the see, to which he sent his disciple the evangelist, and he established the see, in which, although he intended to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since there fore the see is of one and is one, over which three bishops preside by divine authority, whatsoever good I hear of you, I ascribe to myself. And if you hear any good of me, number it among your merits, be- cause we are all one in him who says, that all should be one, as thou, O Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us. In the Eulogy to the Bishop of Alexandria
Theodoret references the same belief when he places the throne of Peter under the Bishop of Antioch:
Dioscorus, however, refuses to abide by these decisions; he is turning the See of the blessed Mark upside down; and these things he does though he perfectly well knows that the Antiochene (of Antioch) metropolis possesses the throne of the great Peter, who was teacher of the blessed Mark, and first and coryphæus (head of the choir) of the chorus of the apostles. Theodoret - Letter LXXXVI - To Flavianus, Bishop of Constantinople.
I read your post. Here are the problems with it:
1) You originally wrote this, “Where does it say it is the Roman tradition, that teaches that Paul was all wrong about salvation by grace...”
I corrected you with this comment: “1) The Catholic Church has always taught salvation by grace alone - just as St. Paul did.”
Now, you’re posting this: “What saith the scripture? Eph_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
First you said the Catholic Church “teaches that Paul was all wrong about salvation by grace...” Now you just completely avoid the “salvation by grace” issue and are now focusing on faith. Why? Either your original comment was right or wrong. Which is it? Clearly you were wrong. Trying to change to another issue doesn’t change that.
2) You also wrote:
“The Rock upon which the church is built is the confession of Jesus Christ.”
Nope. Jesus said it was Peter. Even many Protestant scripture scholars admit this:
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) —
“...in 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 church...as 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)
3) You also wrote:
“Ignatius, writing sometime before his death between 97 and 115AD, listed the highest tier of the church as the Bishop. He never mentions any higher tiers.”
He didn’t have to. The pope is the bishop of Rome.
4) you also wrote:
“Pope Gregory the first, more than 400 years later, who asserted Peter was the First of the Apostles, nevertheless denied the title of the Universal Bishop (though the one who came right after him petitioned the Emperor that he should take the title), and asserted that the See of Peter was made up of three locations.”
What Pope St. Gregory I wrote was this:
“Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honour to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me. For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven Matthew 16:19. And again it is said to him, And when you are converted, strengthen your brethren (xxii. 32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me? Feed my sheep John 21:17. Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as You, Father, art in me, and I in you that they also may be one in us John 17:21. Moreover, in paying you the debt of salutation which is due to you, I declare to you that I exult with great joy from knowing that you labour assiduously against the barkings of heretics; and I implore Almighty God that He would aid your Blessedness with His protection, so as through your tongue to uproot every root of bitterness from the bosom of holy Church, lest it should germinate again to the hindrance of many, and through it many should be defiled. For having received your talent you think on the injunction, Trade till I come Luke 19:13. I therefore, though unable to trade at all nevertheless rejoice with you in the gains of your trade, inasmuch as I know this, that if operation does not make me partaker, yet charity does make me a partaker in your labour. For I reckon that the good of a neighbour is common to one that stands idle, if he knows how to rejoice in common in the doings of the other.”
5) And about Theodoret and his views on the papacy, I’ll quote him as cited by Dolan in The See of Peter and the voice of Antiquity:
It will be much to our purpose to quote
here a few lines from a letter written by the
historian Theodoret to Leo I, witnessing his
appreciation of the special honor and juris-
diction attaching to the Chair of Peter.
Theodoret was bishop of Cyrus and his letter
begs the annulment by Leo, of certain decrees
of the Latrocinium. The letter has all the
more force, proceeding as it does from an
oriental source. “If Paul . . . hastened
to the great Peter in order that he might
carry from him the solution of difficulties to
those at Antioch . . . much more do we
men of little account, hasten to your Apos-
tolic See, in order to obtain from you a rem-
edy for the wounds of the churches. For
every reason is it fitting for you to hold the
first place, since your see is endowed with so
many special privileges. ... In these days
God has adorned the throne of the Apostles,
by placing on it your holiness, emitting as
you do the rays of orthodoxy.” He then pro-
ceeds with the narrative of his grievances,
namely the imputation of heresy and the loss
of his see, and ends by a fervid appeal to Leo for help. “I await the sentence of your
Apostolic See. I beseech and implore your
holiness to help me in my appeal to your fair
and righteous tribunal. Command me to
come to you, to prove that my teaching fol-
lows the footprints of the apostles. . . .
Do not spurn my prayer, I beg of you. Be-
fore all I implore you to tell me whether I
must bear this unrighteous decision or not.
I await your decision.” This testimony is
too eloquent to stand in need of either note
So, apparently you still have quite a bit of studying to do. Just remember, interpretations aside, you were objectively wrong when you said, that the Catholic Church or Roman tradition “teaches that Paul was all wrong about salvation by grace...”. You were wrong and will continue to be so. Changing the subject will not change the fact that you were wrong.