Skip to comments.11 Reasons the Authority of Christianity Is Centered on St. Peter and Rome
Posted on 01/06/2013 3:56:49 PM PST by NYer
Bl. John Henry Newman said it best: “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.” History paints an overwhelming picture of St. Peter’s apostolic ministry in Rome and this is confirmed by a multitude of different sources within the Early Church. Catholic Encyclopedia states, “In opposition to this distinct and unanimous testimony of early Christendom, some few Protestant historians have attempted in recent times to set aside the residence and death of Peter at Rome as legendary. These attempts have resulted in complete failure.” Protestantism as a whole seeks to divorce Christianity from history by rending Gospel message out of its historical context as captured by our Early Church Fathers. One such target of these heresies is to devalue St. Peter and to twist the authority of Rome into a historical mishap within Christianity. To wit, the belief has as its end the ultimate end of all Catholic and Protestant dialogue – who has authority in Christianity?
Why is it important to defend the tradition of St. Peter and Rome?
The importance of establishing St. Peter’s ministry in Rome may be boiled down to authority and more specifically the historic existence and continuance of the Office of Vicar held by St. Peter. To understand why St. Peter was important and what authority was given to him by Christ SPL has composed two lists – 10 Biblical Reasons Christ Founded the Papacy and 13 Reasons St. Peter Was the Prince of the Apostles.
The rest of the list is cited from the Catholic Encyclopedia on St. Peter and represents only a small fraction of the evidence set therein.
It is an indisputably established historical fact that St. Peter laboured in Rome during the last portion of his life, and there ended his earthly course by martyrdom. As to the duration of his Apostolic activity in the Roman capital, the continuity or otherwise of his residence there, the details and success of his labours, and the chronology of his arrival and death, all these questions are uncertain, and can be solved only on hypotheses more or less well-founded. The essential fact is that Peter died at Rome: this constitutes the historical foundation of the claim of the Bishops of Rome to the Apostolic Primacy of Peter.
St. Peter’s residence and death in Rome are established beyond contention as historical facts by a series of distinct testimonies extending from the end of the first to the end of the second centuries, and issuing from several lands.
That the manner, and therefore the place of his death, must have been known in widely extended Christian circles at the end of the first century is clear from the remark introduced into the Gospel of St. John concerning Christ’s prophecy that Peter was bound to Him and would be led whither he would not “And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God” (John 21:18-19, see above). Such a remark presupposes in the readers of the Fourth Gospel a knowledge of the death of Peter.
St. Peter’s First Epistle was written almost undoubtedly from Rome, since the salutation at the end reads: “The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark” (5:13). Babylon must here be identified with the Roman capital; since Babylon on the Euphrates, which lay in ruins, or New Babylon (Seleucia) on the Tigris, or the Egyptian Babylon near Memphis, or Jerusalem cannot be meant, the reference must be to Rome, the only city which is called Babylon elsewhere in ancient Christian literature (Revelation 17:5; 18:10; “Oracula Sibyl.”, V, verses 143 and 159, ed. Geffcken, Leipzig, 1902, 111).
From Bishop Papias of Hierapolis and Clement of Alexandria, who both appeal to the testimony of the old presbyters (i.e., the disciples of the Apostles), we learn that Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome at the request of the Roman Christians, who desired a written memorial of the doctrine preached to them by St. Peter and his disciples (Eusebius, Church History II.15, 3.40, 6.14); this is confirmed by Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1). In connection with this information concerning the Gospel of St. Mark, Eusebius, relying perhaps on an earlier source, says that Peter described Rome figuratively as Babylon in his First Epistle.
Another testimony concerning the martyrdom of Peter and Paul is supplied by Clement of Rome in his Epistle to the Corinthians (written about A.D. 95-97), wherein he says (chapter 5):
“Through zeal and cunning the greatest and most righteous supports [of the Church] have suffered persecution and been warred to death. Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles St. Peter, who in consequence of unjust zeal, suffered not one or two, but numerous miseries, and, having thus given testimony (martyresas), has entered the merited place of glory”.
He then mentions Paul and a number of elect, who were assembled with the others and suffered martyrdom “among us” (en hemin, i.e., among the Romans, the meaning that the expression also bears in chapter 4). He is speaking undoubtedly, as the whole passage proves, of the Neronian persecution, and thus refers the martyrdom of Peter and Paul to that epoch.
In his letter written at the beginning of the second century (before 117), while being brought to Rome for martyrdom, the venerable Bishop Ignatius of Antioch endeavours by every means to restrain the Roman Christians from striving for his pardon, remarking: “I issue you no commands, like Peter and Paul: they were Apostles, while I am but a captive” (Epistle to the Romans 4). The meaning of this remark must be that the two Apostles laboured personally in Rome, and with Apostolic authority preached the Gospel there.
Bishop Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to the Roman Church in the time of Pope Soter (165-74), says:
“You have therefore by your urgent exhortation bound close together the sowing of Peter and Paul at Rome and Corinth. For both planted the seed of the Gospel also in Corinth, and together instructed us, just as they likewise taught in the same place in Italy and at the same time suffered martyrdom” (in Eusebius, Church History II.25).
Irenaeus of Lyons, a native of Asia Minor and a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna (a disciple of St. John), passed a considerable time in Rome shortly after the middle of the second century, and then proceeded to Lyons, where he became bishop in 177; he described the Roman Church as the most prominent and chief preserver of the Apostolic tradition, as “the greatest and most ancient church, known by all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul” (Against Heresies 3.3; cf. 3.1). He thus makes use of the universally known and recognized fact of the Apostolic activity of Peter and Paul in Rome, to find therein a proof from tradition against the heretics.
In his “Hypotyposes” (Eusebius, Church History IV.14), Clement of Alexandria, teacher in the catechetical school of that city from about 190, says on the strength of the tradition of the presbyters: “After Peter had announced the Word of God in Rome and preached the Gospel in the spirit of God, the multitude of hearers requested Mark, who had long accompanied Peter on all his journeys, to write down what the Apostles had preached to them” (see above).
Like Irenaeus, Tertullian appeals, in his writings against heretics, to the proof afforded by the Apostolic labours of Peter and Paul in Rome of the truth of ecclesiastical tradition. In De Præscriptione 36, he says:
“If thou art near Italy, thou hast Rome where authority is ever within reach. How fortunate is this Church for which the Apostles have poured out their whole teaching with their blood, where Peter has emulated the Passion of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John.”
In Scorpiace 15, he also speaks of Peter’s crucifixion. “The budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross”. As an illustration that it was immaterial with what water baptism is administered, he states in his book (On Baptism 5) that there is “no difference between that with which John baptized in the Jordan and that with which Peter baptized in the Tiber”; and against Marcion he appeals to the testimony of the Roman Christians, “to whom Peter and Paul have bequeathed the Gospel sealed with their blood” (Against Marcion 4.5).
The Roman, Caius, who lived in Rome in the time of Pope Zephyrinus (198-217), wrote in his “Dialogue with Proclus” (in Eusebius, Church History II.25) directed against the Montanists: “But I can show the trophies of the Apostles. If you care to go to the Vatican or to the road to Ostia, thou shalt find the trophies of those who have founded this Church”.
By the trophies (tropaia) Eusebius understands the graves of the Apostles, but his view is opposed by modern investigators who believe that the place of execution is meant. For our purpose it is immaterial which opinion is correct, as the testimony retains its full value in either case. At any rate the place of execution and burial of both were close together; St. Peter, who was executed on the Vatican, received also his burial there. Eusebius also refers to “the inscription of the names of Peter and Paul, which have been preserved to the present day on the burial-places there” (i.e. at Rome).
There thus existed in Rome an ancient epigraphic memorial commemorating the death of the Apostles. The obscure notice in the Muratorian Fragment (“Lucas optime theofile conprindit quia sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicuti et semote passionem petri evidenter declarat”, ed. Preuschen, Tübingen, 1910, p. 29) also presupposes an ancient definite tradition concerning Peter’s death in Rome.
The apocryphal Acts of St. Peter and the Acts of Sts. Peter and Paul likewise belong to the series of testimonies of the death of the two Apostles in Rome.
its just that many of those born-again groups are, well, Jesse Duplantis - its a bit difficult to hold with him, right?
Did you just paint ME with your broad brush?
Given this background information Christ tells Nicodemus something that He knows that Nicodemus has not been taught. Giving the implication the teaching is not new, as per the question of Nicodemus “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?.....”
I have no clue who is the first one that decided they would fix the Words Christ spoke to Nicodemus, but the words ‘born again’ are not the words or the message or the instruction Christ was giving to Nicodemus or to Christians.
Christ is telling any and all the first requirement to SEE the kingdom of God... Except a man/woman be born *from above*, he/she cannot SEE the kingdom of God.
Those of Genesis 6 and Jude refused to be born of woman and journey through this flesh age, and they have already been sentenced to death. But, that sentence has yet to be fulfilled.
You do realise that it was editor-surveyer was the one saying it was written only in Hebrew, right?
Now go back and realize how all of your beliefs are based on incomplete reading....
Now you are the one categorising. And no, the term "Protestant" has been flexed too much over the years. Even some born-agains and non-trinitarians would claim to be Protestant and many Protestants would reject those claims.
So the very "p" term is redundant.
again, you look at the news article, whereas I gave you the link to the actual text which states that Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church and "Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation" -- ergo, your earlier post based on a headline is wrong.
Actually you don't even have any proof that the original was in any language other than in Koine Greek or Aramaic
In the New testament the words used are mostly Aramaic, not Hebrew
example: Matthew 27:46 eli eli lema sabachthani is ARAMAIC, not Hebrew as in Psalm 22:1 eli eli lama azavtani
editor; Yeshua humorously called Peter hard pebble, a name that he had been called all of his life because it was the nature of his personality.
"all of his life" -- really, you know that hidden knowledge that the rest of humanity didn't know? Where did you find the evidence that he was called that "all of his life"?
and, "hard pebble" -- where do you keep coming up with so many errors? over and over again
Petros in Koine Greek (which is the greek of the time of Christ and the greek of the New Testament) was a synonym of Petra
Only in ancient (500 BC + ) Greek was petros meaning "small rock"
In Koine Greek pebble is translated as "lithos"
What dispute — Iscool stated once that He was Catholic converting to being a Baptist, then recanted that, then other statements about being other things. Puts the entire veracity of the poster’s statements in doubts, right?
the English term “priest” is simply a contraction of the Greek word presbuteros (presbyster/elder) — these have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:1415).
That may be true about your sect, but not Christianity as a whole.
The Catholic Church is in agreement with Luke that Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter.
Your claim, however, is in opposition to the truth of Scripture.
Cynical bear: Trying to carry over the Old Testament meaning of priest
The Bible: Exodus 19:6 and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
and 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God
Sorry, the Bible contradicts what you are saying
The Church holds that, just as with the ancient Israelites, we are all a "nation of priests" and just as the ancient Israelites had ministerial priests set aside (Levites), so too do we have in the Church
The same structure -- with the difference that the High Priest is eternal Jesus Christ who is present at each Eucharist, each Mass
the Israelites abdicated their role as a nation of priests with their little foray into gold-calf making. -- sorry, that doesn't hold as we read in Exodus 16 how Aaron and Moses preach to the Israelites
Even in Exodus 19 with the pronouncement of you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. -- these come from God through Moses and in Exodus 19:22 you read And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them.
This was before Moses went up into Mt. Sinai
during the Eucharist, Christ IS present as the High Priest
Christ is the High Priest and we are all His priestly nation -- whether lay priests or ministerial priests
The High Priest, Jesus Christ is the High Priest and the one-time Sacrifice -- note, this is a participation in the One-Time sacrifice which as seen in the words of the Apocalypse of St. John of Patmos, as seen in Heaven is the Lamb standing proudly with the blood of Christ in the Eucharist
So, just as in the OT the Israelites/we are all a nation of priest yet they/we had a ministerial priesthood, who, while part of the priesthood had additional, ministerial duties
And this is apparent in the roles of the elders (Presbuteros), bishops etc. in the New Testament -- NOTE: the English term "priest" is simply a contraction of the Greek word presbuteros (presbyster/elder) -- these have the responsibility of teaching, governing, and providing the sacraments in a given congregation (1 Tim. 5:17; Jas. 5:1415).
sorry, but that is incorrect. The recorded history of the Church goes back to the Apostles.
Note also that Jewish canon was not closed until the Council of Jamnia in circa 90 AD. This removed many of the words from the Septuagint that were used by Christians as scriptural proof, which is why preaching Christianity from modern-day Jewish scripture is refutable by our Jewish friends. From the Septuagint, not so much.
Nice self portrait!
Yes, that did work out very well, thanks to God's grace alone His Church has won many to the Faith of Christ -- Germanics, Slavs, Baltics, Nordics, Naiman, Keralites etc. -- truly fulfilling the prophecy that God's praises will be sung from east to west.
there's plenty of this to go around.
God did it and would have anyway without the Catholic church. The Catholic church is simply taking credit for it.
"Where would God be without the church..." ..... my foot...
If you like it so much; why did I have to post it for you?
The authority of the Catholic church is not universally accepted.