Skip to comments.Was Peter a Pope?
Posted on 12/13/2013 11:31:40 AM PST by Gamecock
Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes.
Question: Jesus installed Peter as the chief steward or prime minister under the King of kings by giving him the keys to the kingdom. As can be seen from Isaiah 22:22, kings appointed a chief steward to serve under them in a position of great authority to rule over the inhabitants of the kingdom. Jesus quotes almost verbatim from this passage in Isaiah, and so it is clear what he has in mind. Christ appointed Peter to lead them and guide the flock (John 21:15-17).
Answer: Christ gave Peter authority in the church and he was certainly a prominent leader. Peter is consistently mentioned first in the list of the apostles; he is often their spokesman; and he had the privilege of first preaching the Gospel to the Jews at Pentecost and then to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house.
Peter was prominent, yet that is not sufficient to prove that he was pope. The bishop of New York is more prominent than the bishop of Malta, yet the former does not exercise authority over the latter. Prominence is different from primacy and predominance.
To prove the papacy, you must show that Peter was the head of the apostles and that he exercised full, immediate and universal power in the Church. For that is exactly what is claimed by Rome:
"The office uniquely committed by the Lord to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, abides in the Bishop of the Church of Rome. He is the head of the College of Bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the Pastor of the universal Church here on earth. Consequently, by virtue of his office, he has supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power" (The canon law, 331).
It is evident that Christ gave authority to the apostle Peter. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19). At issue is whether this authority was unique to Peter. Evidently it was not, for soon afterwards Jesus gave exactly the same authority to all the apostles, "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 18:18). Hence Peter had an authority similar to the other apostles, and not an authority over them.
The apostles did not understand Jesus' words in Matthew 16 as Roman Catholics interpret them. If He made him 'chief steward' and 'prime minister' and 'the head of the college of bishops', why is it that even up to the day before Christ suffered, they were still arguing among themselves who should be considered the greatest? (Luke 22:24-26). Jesus' reply is very significant. He did not remind them what He told Peter at Caesarea Philippi, but simply scolded them for their pagan-like reasoning. "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them...but not so among you." Peter knew nothing of the "supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power" over the other apostles and the church. Ironically, later on in history, the bishops of Rome - who were supposedly the successors of Peter - strove and fought to gain lordship over the universal church.
Again, it is true that Jesus commissioned Peter to feed the sheep (John 21:15-17). However, this was not a unique office committed to Peter alone. The apostle Paul tells the elders of Ephesus, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). The apostle Peter himself says, "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away." (1 Peter 5:1-4). The elders are called to feed the sheep too.
You refer to Isaiah 22:22. "The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open." As a matter of fact this verse is quoted "almost verbatim" in the New Testament, specifically in Revelation 3:7 and not in Matthew 16. "These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" The key of the house of David is in the hand of Christ, not Peter!
Rome would make Peter the "supreme pastor" or chief shepherd of the church (Catechism, para. 857). Peter himself would never usurp the title of His Master. Jesus Christ alone is "the Chief Shepherd" of the church (1 Peter 5:4).
He was a Jew.
What about James as the first head of the church?
Yes, he was the first pope
These are weak arguments ex post facto.
And so was Christ. Peter was the first Pope.
Now that is funny.
I always thought so.
According to Eusebius (the earliest catholic church historian) the first Bishop of Rome was Linus and Peter was never Bishop of Rome.
Was Peter a Pope?
Maybe, maybe not... but he was jewish, married, not too smart and liked to fish..
Some say he started a religion/business in Rome...
and somebody stole his business from him.. which is just a rumor..
would make a good novel, really..
I fact, it was Paul who was given the responsibility of taking the gospel to the Gentile nations. Peter never stepped foot in Rome, as far as I know. However, we will never convince the Catholics that Peter was NOT the first pope - this is something they will have to seek out for themselves,and that means reading the Bible for themselves - not taking anyone’s word at face value - regardless of whether it is a Catholic or Protestant.
If Peter was the first Pope, who was the second?
"Upon this rock I will build my church."
“Bishop of Rome” isn’t the title authority of the Pope, That’s simply the headquarter location of his diocese. The key to Peter is just that... the Keys. It’s Peter’s primacy and succession that matters.
Not that he knew. All of the Apostles would likely have been horrified at the thought of being part of the State Religion of Rome, which was pagan and completely against them.
Ping for later
Didn’t the apostles get into an argument over who was greatest and were told that the least of you will be the greatest?
Paul as the leader of the Gentile church.
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as 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:)
And 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.
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And 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.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The context of this passage IS NOT Peter.
The context of the passage IS THE QUESTION Jesus asked. "Who do you say I am?"
The word used for Peter is different than the word used for rock. The word used for Peter Πέτρος best translates stone, where the word used for rock πέτρᾳ means large rock outcropping or large mass of rock.
Jesus wasn't signifying that Peter was the foundation of the church, But WHAT Peter testified to. "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.In verse 14, they were giving answers all over the board. Peter gives a very unambiguous answer.
THOU ART THE CHRIST
THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.
THAT is the foundation of the church. Anybody who says Jesus never claimed to be God or Messiah, needs to read that. Paul said it. Christ confirmed it.
AH! The gentile leader. That’s not a clincher for me.
I dug this up on the www.
I am by far not a biblical scholar, so I defer to others. But I still have the question.
It seems clear that Paul won the argument about preaching the gospel to the gentiles and that gentiles did not have to become jews first. And that peter was in Rome.
I am merely saying that if the church or you or someone wants to draw a direct line from Jesus to the list of popes that perhaps James was next after Jesus. Didn’t Paul show this when he went to James and the apostles. Wasn’t he showing this respect?
Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE), Archbishop under Constantine, tells us in his “Ecclesiastical History” that James was “The lord’s brother, who had been elected by the Apostles to the episcopal throne at Jerusalem,” - “Ecclesiastical History” 2.23
Knowing Jesus would soon depart from them, his Disciples, according to the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, (buried and preserved in Nag Hammadi, Egypt), asked him who would lead them, “And Jesus said to them, ‘In the place you are to go, go to James the Righteous, for whose sake Heaven and Earth came into existence.’”
Perhaps we are just arguing semantics.
The disciples were called “brethren”. There was no boss.
It makes for a “clean” and simple story Catholics can repeat. The Scriptures and history do not support the myth.
Besides, you mention Gal.2:9 When 2 verses later, Paul opposed Peter
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
So Jesus is just a Prime Minister?:
Revelation 3:7 speaks of Jesus as the "holder of the key of David." Some argue this means he fulfills the role Eliakim foreshadowed in Isaiah 22:20-23. They claim this excludes a prophetic application of this text to Peter by Christ in Matthew 16:18-19.
There's a problem with this argument. In Isaiah 22 Eliakim is master of the palace--the king isn't. Eliakim possesses the key of the kingdom not as its owner, but as one deputed to oversee the king's affairs. If we apply this to Christ, then we must conclude he's not the true messianic king, merely his prime minister, the Messiah's chief representative!
Although Jesus is called the "holder of the key of David" in Revelation 3:7, he doesn't hold it as Eliakim did. As the son of David, Jesus is the heir to the throne of his ancestor (Lk 1:32-33). He really is the king, not the master of the king's palace, as was Eliakim. As king, Jesus is free to bestow the keys of his kingdom on whomever he wishes--without losing the authority those keys represent.
It's the Catholic position that this is precisely what Jesus does in Matthew 16:18-19. Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah, which means, among other things, acknowledging his kingship. Christ then shows his kingly authority by bestowing on Peter something only the king could give--the keys of the kingdom of heaven--thus making Peter the messianic equivalent of Eliakim.
I Cor 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I Cor 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
In Matt 18:18 Jesus commissions the apostles together all equally not with Peter in a superior position.
Some might argue that this authority could only be bestowed after Jesus rose which he did in John 21:15-17.
In Matt 10 the 12 are sent out and in verse 10:2 Peter is mentioned first and some people would claim because he is first in primacy.
St Peter is my Hero right after Jesus but i agree with the thread.
It seems we’ve covered this subject before (numerous times) with each side declaring themselves wise and correct. The Bible being the only source worthy to decide such, we find Paul didn’t feel Peter superior to him in anyway. Nobody addresses Peter as Pope. No mention that Peter ever graced the streets of Rome. It really boils down to if you think Christ is The Rock (of Ages) or Peter is. Is Christ the foundation to your church or Peter is. Catholicism is based on ambiguous verses that are stretched to the nth degree to make their case instead of clear and concise verses. So it’s a matter of faith.
wow a common sense answer hope you have your flame suit on the romans will skewer you
The Bible does not mention Peter being in Rome. However, early Church historians Tertullian and Origen report Peter was executed in Rome.
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.... :-(
And to what did they turn? Peter or James’ Legalism?
If peter was in Rome , paul didn’t mention him at all in his salutations in romans 16..and wouldnt that have been when the papacy started?
And I did read that there was evidence of a tomb of early believers found in/near Jerusalem with names we would find in the new testament... simon bar yonah was one, same name messiah used in Mathew 16:17 with peter..the coffins had crosses and names from the early church. didn’t the Vatican put bones on display noting they were his? I may have to go and find that again about the archaeological findings... it was like a who who in the new testament in acts with even the obscure saphira coffin mentioned...
They turned to the gospel of the kingdom, which was given to Israel. Instead of holding tight to that which was first delivered unto them, the gospel of the grace of God. They are not the same.
I’m not getting your point. What am I supposed to be seeing?
I fact, it was Paul who was given the responsibility of taking the gospel to the Gentile nations.
The gentiles also first heard the Gospel from Peter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
People have a tendency to under estimate what Peter and the other apostles did because of the lack of letters.
Peter and John were both aged men when they wrote their letters, so i think they were most likely very busy for many years.
"And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, PERCEIVED THE GRACE THAT WAS GIVEN UNTO ME (Paul), they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that WE should go to the heathen, and THEY UNTO THE CIRCUMCISION." (Gal. 2:9).
"And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem.; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, EXCEPT THE APOSTLES." (Acts 8:1). "Therefore, THEY THAT WERE SCATTERED ABROAD WENT EVERYWHERE preaching the word." (Acts 8:4). But we know that Peter was not one of THEM; he remained in Jerusalem with the other apostles, as v.1 tells us. Preaching to the circumcision only, as Gal. 2:9 tells us.
The point is that Paul preached freedom from the law of Moses while James and Peter continued to preach it.
Look at the problems Peter had (with James) when he went to Cornelius and back to Jerusalem. He went to (GASP), GENTILES!
Look also at the preaching Peter did to Cornelius and how it differed from his earlier teachings.
Then look at Paul’s exchange with James during his two trips to Jerusalem, and how James talked Paul into taking SACRIFICES into the TEMPLE.
Then the Jews mistook the Jews with Paul to be Gentiles. Then Paul’s speech to the crowd.
Here is a web posting that detailed findings of those coffins of early believers....
Interesting. When was Paul saved? Acts, Chapter 9. To whom was the gospel of the grace of God given? Paul. When Peter went to Cornelius’ house, Acts, Chapter 10, on God’s timeline, was the gospel of the grace of God already on the scene? Have you ever wondered why Peter was sent to Cornelius in the first place? And how his conversion intersects with Peter and his kingdom message, and Paul and his grace message?
A Jew, but not a Marxist.
“Ah, no. He was a Jew.”
The two were not mutually exclusive at the time.
“When was Paul saved?”
“The Bible actually speaks of three tenses when it comes to salvation: we have been saved (in the past: Eph. 2:5,8, 2 Tim. 1:9, Tit. 3:5), we also will ultimately be saved (in the future: Rom, 5:91 Thess. 5:9-10, 1 Pet. 1:5), and we are being saved now (in the present: 1 Cor. 1:18, 15:1-2, 2 Cor. 2:15).”
A Catholic did not write that by the way. A Protestant did: http://www.fundamentallyreformed.com/2011/01/18/salvation-in-the-present-tense/
So the putative “Father of Church History” was an anti-Catholic bigot. Who knew?
Interesting. When was Paul saved? Acts, Chapter 9.
Also there were Christians at Rome called Babylon before Paul ever got there.
Whats more i have no inclination to say what Peter said is untrue.
It has been said that Luke wrote acts, since he could not have been every where at once it must have came from at least a few different sources so probably not necessarily the order of the chapters.
Actually, archeology proves that Iraq was Bablyon of the Bible. The Bible always distinguished Rome. I’m not going to argue with Catholics who refuse to see anything except what they want to see, and who refuse to seek out the truth for themselves rather than being spoon fed what their church teaches. The Bible NEVER sets up a hierachy such as seen at the Vatican. If you want to refer to Rome as being called Babylon - then I guess you can say that the Catholic Church is the false religion of Revelation - mystery Babylon?
The city of Babylon was the capital of the ancient land of Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia. It was situated on the Euphrates River about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad, just north of what is now the modern Iraqi town of al-Hillah.
The tremendous wealth and power of this city, along with its monumental size and appearance, were certainly considered a Biblical myth, that is, until its foundations were unearthed and its riches substantiated during the 19th century. Archaeologists stood in awe as their discoveries revealed that certain stories in the Bible were an actual situation that had happened in time.
They were all given the keys...The binding/losing...remitting/retaining...
You'll have to do better than early day bloggers to impress me.
To know how many had keys, first determine how many gates there are.