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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

List of Popes

Last week Candy wrote:

In AD 610 they set up their first pope - Pope Boniface III. Until then, there were NO POPES. This is pure history. For more information on this, and many other dates, click here.




So for true history buffs here is the complete list of popes and the dates of their pontificate- starting with St. Peter all the way to our beloved St. Benedict XVI!

Will Candy refute it? I doubt it. The link she gave is dead, but no doubt she won't try to refute this list.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: List of Popes: "
# St. Peter (32-67)
# St. Linus (67-76)
# St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
# St. Clement I (88-97)
# St. Evaristus (97-105)
# St. Alexander I (105-115)
# St. Sixtus I (115-125) Also called Xystus I
# St. Telesphorus (125-136)
# St. Hyginus (136-140)
# St. Pius I (140-155)
# St. Anicetus (155-166)
# St. Soter (166-175)
# St. Eleutherius (175-189)
# St. Victor I (189-199)
# St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
# St. Callistus I (217-22) Callistus and the following three popes were opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
# St. Urban I (222-30)
# St. Pontain (230-35)
# St. Anterus (235-36)
# St. Fabian (236-50)
# St. Cornelius (251-53) Opposed by Novatian, antipope (251)
# St. Lucius I (253-54)
# St. Stephen I (254-257)
# St. Sixtus II (257-258)
# St. Dionysius (260-268)
# St. Felix I (269-274)
# St. Eutychian (275-283)
# St. Caius (283-296) Also called Gaius
# St. Marcellinus (296-304)
# St. Marcellus I (308-309)
# St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
# St. Miltiades (311-14)
# St. Sylvester I (314-35)
# St. Marcus (336)
# St. Julius I (337-52)
# Liberius (352-66) Opposed by Felix II, antipope (355-365)
# St. Damasus I (366-83) Opposed by Ursicinus, antipope (366-367)
# St. Siricius (384-99)
# St. Anastasius I (399-401)
# St. Innocent I (401-17)
# St. Zosimus (417-18)
# St. Boniface I (418-22) Opposed by Eulalius, antipope (418-419)
# St. Celestine I (422-32)
# St. Sixtus III (432-40)
# St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
# St. Hilarius (461-68)
# St. Simplicius (468-83)
# St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
# St. Gelasius I (492-96)
# Anastasius II (496-98)
# St. Symmachus (498-514) Opposed by Laurentius, antipope (498-501)
# St. Hormisdas (514-23)
# St. John I (523-26)
# St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
# Boniface II (530-32) Opposed by Dioscorus, antipope (530)
# John II (533-35)
# St. Agapetus I (535-36) Also called Agapitus I
# St. Silverius (536-37)
# Vigilius (537-55)
# Pelagius I (556-61)
# John III (561-74)
# Benedict I (575-79)
# Pelagius II (579-90)
# St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
# Sabinian (604-606)
# Boniface III (607)
# St. Boniface IV (608-15)
# St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
# Boniface V (619-25)
# Honorius I (625-38)
# Severinus (640)
# John IV (640-42)
# Theodore I (642-49)
# St. Martin I (649-55)
# St. Eugene I (655-57)
# St. Vitalian (657-72)
# Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
# Donus (676-78)
# St. Agatho (678-81)
# St. Leo II (682-83)
# St. Benedict II (684-85)
# John V (685-86)
# Conon (686-87)
# St. Sergius I (687-701) Opposed by Theodore and Paschal, antipopes (687)
# John VI (701-05)
# John VII (705-07)
# Sisinnius (708)
# Constantine (708-15)
# St. Gregory II (715-31)
# St. Gregory III (731-41)
# St. Zachary (741-52)
# Stephen II (752) Because he died before being consecrated, many authoritative lists omit him
# Stephen III (752-57)
# St. Paul I (757-67)
# Stephen IV (767-72) Opposed by Constantine II (767) and Philip (768), antipopes (767)
# Adrian I (772-95)
# St. Leo III (795-816)
# Stephen V (816-17)
# St. Paschal I (817-24)
# Eugene II (824-27)
# Valentine (827)
# Gregory IV (827-44)
# Sergius II (844-47) Opposed by John, antipope (855)
# St. Leo IV (847-55)
# Benedict III (855-58) Opposed by Anastasius, antipope (855)
# St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
# Adrian II (867-72)
# John VIII (872-82)
# Marinus I (882-84)
# St. Adrian III (884-85)
# Stephen VI (885-91)
# Formosus (891-96)
# Boniface VI (896)
# Stephen VII (896-97)
# Romanus (897)
# Theodore II (897)
# John IX (898-900)
# Benedict IV (900-03)
# Leo V (903) Opposed by Christopher, antipope (903-904)
# Sergius III (904-11)
# Anastasius III (911-13)
# Lando (913-14)
# John X (914-28)
# Leo VI (928)
# Stephen VIII (929-31)
# John XI (931-35)
# Leo VII (936-39)
# Stephen IX (939-42)
# Marinus II (942-46)
# Agapetus II (946-55)
# John XII (955-63)
# Leo VIII (963-64)
# Benedict V (964)
# John XIII (965-72)
# Benedict VI (973-74)
# Benedict VII (974-83) Benedict and John XIV were opposed by Boniface VII, antipope (974; 984-985)
# John XIV (983-84)
# John XV (985-96)
# Gregory V (996-99) Opposed by John XVI, antipope (997-998)
# Sylvester II (999-1003)
# John XVII (1003)
# John XVIII (1003-09)
# Sergius IV (1009-12)
# Benedict VIII (1012-24) Opposed by Gregory, antipope (1012)
# John XIX (1024-32)
# Benedict IX (1032-45) He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice deposed and restored
# Sylvester III (1045) Considered by some to be an antipope
# Benedict IX (1045)
# Gregory VI (1045-46)
# Clement II (1046-47)
# Benedict IX (1047-48)
# Damasus II (1048)
# St. Leo IX (1049-54)
# Victor II (1055-57)
# Stephen X (1057-58)
# Nicholas II (1058-61) Opposed by Benedict X, antipope (1058)
# Alexander II (1061-73) Opposed by Honorius II, antipope (1061-1072)
# St. Gregory VII (1073-85) Gregory and the following three popes were opposed by Guibert ('Clement III'), antipope (1080-1100)
# Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
# Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
# Paschal II (1099-1118) Opposed by Theodoric (1100), Aleric (1102) and Maginulf ('Sylvester IV', 1105-1111), antipopes (1100)
# Gelasius II (1118-19) Opposed by Burdin ('Gregory VIII'), antipope (1118)
# Callistus II (1119-24)
# Honorius II (1124-30) Opposed by Celestine II, antipope (1124)
# Innocent II (1130-43) Opposed by Anacletus II (1130-1138) and Gregory Conti ('Victor IV') (1138), antipopes (1138)
# Celestine II (1143-44)
# Lucius II (1144-45)
# Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
# Anastasius IV (1153-54)
# Adrian IV (1154-59)
# Alexander III (1159-81) Opposed by Octavius ('Victor IV') (1159-1164), Pascal III (1165-1168), Callistus III (1168-1177) and Innocent III (1178-1180), antipopes
# Lucius III (1181-85)
# Urban III (1185-87)
# Gregory VIII (1187)
# Clement III (1187-91)
# Celestine III (1191-98)
# Innocent III (1198-1216)
# Honorius III (1216-27)
# Gregory IX (1227-41)
# Celestine IV (1241)
# Innocent IV (1243-54)
# Alexander IV (1254-61)
# Urban IV (1261-64)
# Clement IV (1265-68)
# Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
# Blessed Innocent V (1276)
# Adrian V (1276)
# John XXI (1276-77)
# Nicholas III (1277-80)
# Martin IV (1281-85)
# Honorius IV (1285-87)
# Nicholas IV (1288-92)
# St. Celestine V (1294)
# Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
# Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
# Clement V (1305-14)
# John XXII (1316-34) Opposed by Nicholas V, antipope (1328-1330)
# Benedict XII (1334-42)
# Clement VI (1342-52)
# Innocent VI (1352-62)
# Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
# Gregory XI (1370-78)
# Urban VI (1378-89) Opposed by Robert of Geneva ('Clement VII'), antipope (1378-1394)
# Boniface IX (1389-1404) Opposed by Robert of Geneva ('Clement VII') (1378-1394), Pedro de Luna ('Benedict XIII') (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa ('John XXIII') (1400-1415), antipopes
# Innocent VII (1404-06) Opposed by Pedro de Luna ('Benedict XIII') (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa ('John XXIII') (1400-1415), antipopes
# Gregory XII (1406-15) Opposed by Pedro de Luna ('Benedict XIII') (1394-1417), Baldassare Cossa ('John XXIII') (1400-1415), and Pietro Philarghi ('Alexander V') (1409-1410), antipopes
# Martin V (1417-31)
# Eugene IV (1431-47) Opposed by Amadeus of Savoy ('Felix V'), antipope (1439-1449)
# Nicholas V (1447-55)
# Callistus III (1455-58)
# Pius II (1458-64)
# Paul II (1464-71)
# Sixtus IV (1471-84)
# Innocent VIII (1484-92)
# Alexander VI (1492-1503)
# Pius III (1503)
# Julius II (1503-13)
# Leo X (1513-21)
# Adrian VI (1522-23)
# Clement VII (1523-34)
# Paul III (1534-49)
# Julius III (1550-55)
# Marcellus II (1555)
# Paul IV (1555-59)
# Pius IV (1559-65)
# St. Pius V (1566-72)
# Gregory XIII (1572-85)
# Sixtus V (1585-90)
# Urban VII (1590)
# Gregory XIV (1590-91)
# Innocent IX (1591)
# Clement VIII (1592-1605)
# Leo XI (1605)
# Paul V (1605-21)
# Gregory XV (1621-23)
# Urban VIII (1623-44)
# Innocent X (1644-55)
# Alexander VII (1655-67)
# Clement IX (1667-69)
# Clement X (1670-76)
# Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
# Alexander VIII (1689-91)
# Innocent XII (1691-1700)
# Clement XI (1700-21)
# Innocent XIII (1721-24)
# Benedict XIII (1724-30)
# Clement XII (1730-40)
# Benedict XIV (1740-58)
# Clement XIII (1758-69)
# Clement XIV (1769-74)
# Pius VI (1775-99)
# Pius VII (1800-23)
# Leo XII (1823-29)
# Pius VIII (1829-30)
# Gregory XVI (1831-46)
# Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
# Leo XIII (1878-1903)
# St. Pius X (1903-14)
# Benedict XV (1914-22) Biographies of Benedict XV and his successors will be added at a later date
# Pius XI (1922-39)
# Pius XII (1939-58)
# Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
# Paul VI (1963-78)
# John Paul I (1978)
# John Paul II (1978-2005)
# Benedict XVI (2005—)"




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62 comments:

Daughter of Wisdom said...

A grave a serious error is being committed here in this list of "popes." Historically speaking, none of the earlier bishops of Rome were popes, i.e. head of the whole Christian organization. The early churches were autonomous entities, each with their own bishops. That is the historical and Biblical evidence. Also, there is no evidence that Peter was ever a bishop of any church.

I know you want to promote the historicity of your church, but claims need to be based upon facts. The above list however does not detract from the fact that there was a long lineage of bishops from the church in Rome from earliest times to present.

Peace.

Dr MikeyMike said...

Uhm.

You are saying we need to be based in facts, but you offer nothing to back up your own claims. For someone so vested in western/church history, you frequently go against what is common knowledge in unbiased academic circles.

Traditionally, the Pope -is- the Bishop of Rome. Peter is the exception, though I admit that I am a little lacking in the finer details of his ministry. He didn't really need to be a Bishop of any Church, considering that Jesus said he would build his Church upon him.

I am sure the other fine ladies here can fill in the gaps that I have left.

Barbara C. said...

Candy is obviously wrong just in the mere fact that she says Boniface "III" was the first pope. Hello, does she think he was called that so no one would confuse him with his father and grandfather?

He was called Boniface "III" to distinguish him from Boniface I (418-422) and Boniface II (530-532). So obviously the popes pre-date AD 610.

Kelly said...

The list of dates that she linked to also references Pope Gregory instituting the first Mass BEFORE it claims that Pope Boniface III is the first Pope. That list is really hilarious!

Elena said...

OK DOW, I'll bite - where's your "historical" evidence?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Okay, I'll provide several links to NewAdvent.org.

Bishops of Jerusalem

Bishops of Antioch

Bishops of Alexandria (Egypt)

These are just a few of the many cities with Christian churches. Sorry that I could not find handy lists, but if you read the texts, you will see the names and dates given.

Hope this helps!

Peace and Blessings.

Dr MikeyMike said...

I don't understand what those links are supposed to prove. Are you trying to say that because other locations had bishops, these bishops were not in communion with the Church in Rome? Hate to say this, but they are all members of the same faith.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Those bishops were all autonomous. Each locale had their own bishops who were autonomous. Rome was just one of many espicopates.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

The polity of the ancient Christian church was congregational. No one church had jurisdiction over another church, even though the Jerusalem church played a large role, as being the 'mother church' from which the apostles came, and their first bishop was none other than James the Just, the brother of Jesus. Churches communicated with other on matters of faith, but administration was left entirely up to the local bishops. The bond that 'glued' those churches together was their shared faith in Christ, as head of the Church.

Dr MikeyMike said...

So back this up.

Dr MikeyMike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr MikeyMike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr MikeyMike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

"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).

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly,

Thanks for the quotes. These quotes show the power struggles that later developed within the churches.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Dr. Mike said:

"Back this up"
----------------------------------

Below is a quote taken from newadvent.org about the church in Jerusalem being the 'mother church.'

"During the first Christian centuries the church at this place was the centre of Christianity in Jerusalem, "Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches" (Intercession in "St. James' Liturgy", ed. Brightman, p. 54). Certainly no spot in Christendom can be more venerable than the place of the Last Supper, which became the first Christian church." (quote taken from newadvent.org).

There are lots more quotes to prove all my points but you can readily research this on the newadvent website, and also look in the Bible. Acts 14 and 15 provide a great deal of information about the establishment of different churches. Revelation 2 and 3 contains seven letters to seven churches in Asia minor. These letters were addressed to "the angel" of the respective churches, which is symbolism for the bishop of those churches. Each church had unique problems which Christ addressed with the bishops individually. He did not hold one church responsible for the sins of another church, but each church was to stand on their own merits and convictions. Reading those letters will open your eyes to the polity of the early churches.

Peace.

Paul said...

"The first ecumenical council of Nice, in 325, as yet knew nothing of five patriarchs, but only the three metropolitans above named, confirming them in their traditional rights.504 In the much-canvassed sixth canon, probably on occasion of the Meletian schism in Egypt, and the attacks connected with it on the rights of the bishop of Alexandria, that council declared as follows:

"The ancient custom, which has obtained in Egypt, Libya, and the Pentapolis, shall continue in force, viz.: that the bishop of Alexandria have rule over all these [provinces], since this also is customary with the bishop of Rome [that is, not in Egypt, but with reference to his own diocese]. Likewise also at Antioch and in the other eparchies, the churches shall retain their prerogatives. Now, it is perfectly clear, that, if any one has been made bishop without the consent of the metropolitan, the great council does not allow him to be bishop."505

The Nicene fathers passed this canon not as introducing anything new, but merely as confirming an existing relation on the basis of church tradition; and that, with special reference to Alexandria, on account of the troubles existing there. Rome was named only for illustration; and Antioch and all the other eparchies or provinces were secured their admitted rights.506 The bishoprics of Alexandria, Rome, and Antioch were placed substantially on equal footing, yet in such tone, that Antioch, as the third capital of the Roman empire, already stands as a stepping stone to the ordinary metropolitans. By the "other eparchies" of the canon are to be understood either all provinces, and therefore all metropolitan districts, or more probably, as in the second canon of the first council of Constantinople, only the three eparchates of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Ephesus, and Asia Minor, and Heraclea in Thrace, which, after Constantine’s division of the East, possessed similar prerogatives, but were subsequently overshadowed and absorbed by Constantinople. In any case, however, this addition proves that at that time the rights and dignity of the patriarchs were not yet strictly distinguished from those of the other metropolitans. The bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch here appear in relation to the other bishops simply as primi inter pares, or as metropolitans of the first rank, in whom the highest political eminence was joined with the highest ecclesiastical. Next to them, in the second rank, come the bishops of Ephesus in the Asiatic diocese of the empire, of Neo-Caesarea in the Pontic, and of Heraclea in the Thracian; while Constantinople, which was not founded till five years later, is wholly unnoticed in the Nicene council, and Jerusalem is mentioned only under the name of Aelia.
source:
Schaff

Paul said...

"The word "pope" was not used exclusively of the bishop of Rome until the ninth century, and it is likely that in the earliest Roman community a college of presbyters rather than a single bishop provided the leadership."
Joseph F. Kelly
The Concise Dictionary of Early Christianity (The Liturgical Press, 1992), p. 2.

Paul said...

In writing to Cyprian, Bishop Of Carthage. The Priests and Deacons fo Rome address him as:
"Most blessed and most glorious Pope, we bid you ever heartily farewell in the Lord".
And:
"We have learnt....that the blessed Pope Cyprian has, for a certain reason retired."
The primitive saints and the see of Rome
By Frederick William Puller
P. 51

Paul said...

"In the late 2nd or early 3rd cent. the tradition identified Peter as the first bishop of Rome. This was a natural development once the monarchical episcopate, i.e., government of the local church by a single bishop as distinct from a group of presbyter-bishops, finally emerged in Rome in the mid-2nd cent."
J.N.D Kelly
The Oxford Dictionary of Popes
P.6

Paul said...

Regarding Clement, many of the claims about the early papacy were influenced by the Liber Pontificalis.
Liber Pontificalis

This was one of several forged documents.
Forgeries and the Papacy

Paul said...

Here's an example of some of the false claims regarding Clement found in the Liber Pontificalis:

"The claim that he died a martyr, supported by LP and the canon of the mass, should be rejected in view of the silence of the earliest authorities; the story, too, that he was banished to the Crimea, successfully preached the gospel there, and was killed by being drowned with an anchor around his neck, is without foundation. Almost the only reliable information that survives about him is that he was responsible for, probably author of, the so-called First Epistle of Clement, the most import ant 1st cent. Christian document outside the N.T. It was a letter of remonstrance addressed c.96 to the church at Corinth (where fierce dissensions had broken out and some presbyters had been deposed) which Clement probably drafted as the leading presbyter-bishop. After setting out the principle on which the orderly succession of bishops and deacons rests and tracing it back to Jesus Christ, it called for the reinstatement of the extruded presbyters. The letter is the earliest example of the intervention, fraternal but authoritative, of the Roman church, though not of the pope personally, in the affairs of another Church. Widely read in Christian antiquity, it was sometimes treated as part of the NT canon.

While Clement's position as a leading presbyter and spokesman of the Christian community at Rome is assured, his letter suggests that the monarchical episcopate had not yet emerged there, and it is therefore impossible to form any precise conception of his constitutional role."
J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, (1986), (p. 8).

Paul said...

As James White points out regarding Kelly's assessment:
"A few things should be noted. First, Kelly recognizes that we are not even certain when the letter was written, nor that Clement himself wrote it. Secondly, he points out that the letter indicates a plurality of elders, not a monarchical episcopate, existing in Rome at this time. Thirdly, and very importantly, he points out that the letter remonstrating with the Corinthians is not a papal letter, but a letter from the church at Rome."

Paul said...

J.B. Lightfoot compares and contrasts Clement with Victor.

"There is all the difference in the world between the attitude of Rome towards other churches at the close of the first century, when the Romans as a community remonstrate on terms of equality with the Corinthians on their irregularities, strong only in the righteousness of their cause, and feeling as they had a right to feel, that these counsels of peace were the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and its attitude at the close of the second century, when Victor the bishop excommunicates the Churches of Asia Minor for clinging to a usage in regard to the celebration of Easter which had been handed down to them from the Apostles, and thus foments instead of healing dissensions....Even this second stage has carried the power of Rome only a very small step in advance towards the assumptions of a Hildebrand or an Innocent or a Boniface, or even of a Leo: but it is nevertheless a decided step. The substitution of the bishop of Rome for the Church of Rome is an all important point. The later Roman theory supposes that the Church of Rome derives all its authority from the bishop of Rome, as the successor of S. Peter. History inverts this relation and shows that, as a matter of fact, the power of the bishop of Rome was built upon the power of the Church of Rome" (The Apostolic Fathers Vol 1:70).

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your quotes. As usual, your scholarship is astounding!

What these quotes prove is that the local churches were run by bishops and a board of presbyters (elders). That is EXACTLY what is presented in the Bible. In addition, the Bible also talks about Deacons, whose function was to serve the needs of the congregants.

The papacy as it stands today is a far cry from the humble episcopalian/overseer position of the early church. The monarchial nature of the papacy had developed over the centuries to be a combination of both ecclesiastical and worldly power, whereas the bishops of the early churches were ambassadors for the eternal (invisible)kingdom of Christ.



Peace.

Elena said...

Nonetheless, the early church fathers (remember those guys?) viewed it this way:

Cyprian of Carthage


"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. ... ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).

"Cornelius was made bishop by the decision of God and of his Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the applause of the people then present, by the college of venerable priests and good men, at a time when no one had been made [bishop] before him—when the place of [Pope] Fabian, which is the place of Peter, the dignity of the sacerdotal chair, was vacant. Since it has been occupied both at the will of God and with the ratified consent of all of us, whoever now wishes to become bishop must do so outside. For he cannot have ecclesiastical rank who does not hold to the unity of the Church" (Letters 55:[52]):8 [A.D. 253]).

"With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source" (ibid., 59:14).

Elena said...

Eusebius of Caesarea


"Paul testifies that Crescens was sent to Gaul [2 Tim. 4:10], but Linus, whom he mentions in the Second Epistle to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21] as his companion at Rome, was Peter’s successor in the episcopate of the church there, as has already been shown. Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome, was, as Paul testifies, his co-laborer and fellow-soldier [Phil. 4:3]" (Church History 3:4:9–10 [A.D. 312]).



Pope Julius I


"[The] judgment [against Athanasius] ought to have been made, not as it was, but according to the ecclesiastical canon. . . . Are you ignorant that the custom has been to write first to us and then for a just decision to be passed from this place [Rome]? If, then, any such suspicion rested upon the bishop there [Athanasius of Alexandria], notice of it ought to have been written to the church here. But now, after having done as they pleased, they want to obtain our concurrence, although we never condemned him. Not thus are the constitutions of Paul, not thus the traditions of the Fathers. This is another form of procedure, and a novel practice. . . . What I write about this is for the common good. For what we have heard from the blessed apostle Peter, these things I signify to you" (Letter on Behalf of Athanasius [A.D. 341], contained in Athanasius, Apology Against the Arians 20–35).



Council of Sardica


"[I]f any bishop loses the judgment in some case [decided by his fellow bishops] and still believes that he has not a bad but a good case, in order that the case may be judged anew . . . let us honor the memory of the apostle Peter by having those who have given the judgment write to Julius, bishop of Rome, so that if it seem proper he may himself send arbiters and the judgment may be made again by the bishops of a neighboring province" (Canon 3 [A.D. 342]).



Optatus


"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).



Epiphanius of Salamis


"At Rome the first apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 [A.D. 375]).



Pope Damasus I


"Likewise it is decreed: . . . [W]e have considered that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see [today], therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).

Elena said...

Jerome


"[Pope] Stephen . . . was the blessed Peter’s twenty-second successor in the See of Rome" (Against the Luciferians 23 [A.D. 383]).

"Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says ‘With Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the book of life,’ the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle" (Lives of Illustrious Men 15 [A.D. 396]).

"Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord . . . I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church [Rome] whose faith has been praised by Paul [Rom. 1:8]. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. . . . Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact" (Letters 15:1 [A.D. 396]).

...

"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails" (ibid., 15:2).

"The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, ‘He that is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!’ . . . Therefore, I implore your blessedness [Pope Damasus I] . . . tell me by letter with whom it is that I should communicate in Syria" (ibid., 16:2).



Ambrose of Milan


"[T]hey [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven [by the sacrament of confession] even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven’[Matt. 16:19]" (Penance 1:7:33 [A.D. 388]).



Augustine


"If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?" (Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]).

"If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church’ . . . [Matt. 16:18]. Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement, Clement by Anacletus, Anacletus by Evaristus . . . " (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).

Elena said...

Council of Ephesus


"Philip the 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 Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod’" (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).



Pope Leo I


"As for the resolution of the bishops which is contrary to the Nicene decree, in union with your faithful piety, I declare it to be invalid and annul it by the authority of the holy apostle Peter" (Letters 110 [A.D. 445]).

"Whereupon the blessed Peter, as inspired by God, and about to benefit all nations by his confession, said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Not undeservedly, therefore, was he pronounced blessed by the Lord, and derived from the original Rock that solidity which belonged both to his virtue and to his name [Peter]" (The Tome of Leo [A.D. 449]).



Peter Chrysologus


"We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope of the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the bishop of Rome" (Letters 25:2 [A.D. 449]).



Council of Chalcedon


"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of 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! . . . This is the true faith! Those of us who are orthodox thus believe! This is the faith of the Fathers!’" (Acts of the Council, session 2 [A.D. 451]).

Elena said...

Notes from Professor Scott Hahn
Papal Primacy and Succession

Now that's going to be our starting point and I'm going to take the liberty here, if you will permit me, of summarizing what I've said on that tape - not because I assume you have listened to the tape or you will, but because you can, if you are so interested. And I don't want to go into an hour's worth of detail just on one passage when there are other important passages to cover as well. But those three ideas are closely associated with the very important passage that we find in the first gospel, the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 17 through 19.

Let me read that passage and then I will back up and consider those three aspects. Let's drop back to verse 13, "Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, 'Who do men say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets'." Rather impressive testimony because these people constitute the Old Testament Hall of Fame of Saints, here. "He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'" And as is characteristic throughout Matthew's gospel, Peter steps forward, or I should say, speaks up. Peter is the only one to walk on water. Peter is the one who often speaks up, representative of the twelve disciples. Verse 16, "Peter replied, 'You are the Christ,' -- the Christos, the Anointed One in Greek or the Messiah in Hebrew, 'the Son of the Living God. You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven, and I tell you, you are Peter (Petra) and on this Rock (Petros), I will build my Church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.'" And then He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ.

Elena said...

Now, let me just get a little personal here. Six or seven years ago, a couple years before I became a Catholic, I had been studying the doctrine of the Covenant. I came to an understanding of the Covenant as a family, and with this insight I began to discover all kinds of exciting truths, novel innovations, new discoveries that I thought were really undiscovered before. Then as I began to dig deeper into these libraries, I noticed that time and time again, Catholic scholars -- I mean not just recently but going all the way back to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Centuries, in the Middle Ages -- the saints and the Doctors of the Church were consistently coming up with all of my brand new discoveries and teaching them with a kind of ho-hum attitude like, "You all know such and such."

That really, at first it provoked me. Then it scared me and then it led me to dig deeper and deeper into Catholic sources to see how many of my discoveries they may have found in practically every one of them, except the ones that were false. The Pope, though, was a different matter. For me, the idea of a Pope who claims primacy and succession and infallibility was a presumption, an arrogant presumption that no man should make.
continued

Elena said...

But then one day, as I was working through the Gospel of Matthew, because that stresses, that gospel builds on the Old Testament more than any other and especially the idea of David's kingdom. That really seems to be the central thrust of Matthew's gospel, that Jesus is the Son of David and He is establishing the Kingdom of David. That's how Matthew introduces Jesus. He is the only one of the four gospel writers who traces His genealogy right back to David, and he says, "Jesus, the Son of David" at the very start of Matthew. That's a common and prominent theme throughout the gospel.

So I wanted to dig deep and see what I found in this particular passage, and on the basis of that discovery, or I should say, on the basis of that study, I made some discoveries. First of all, I discovered that when you read in verse 17, "Jesus answered, 'And blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church,' " I discovered that all the evidence points to the fact that Peter is the "rock."

Now you might say, "That's as plain as the nose on your face. What's the excitement of that discovery?" Well, non-Catholics frequently claim that it's Peter's faith that Jesus is speaking of, or Peter's confession that Jesus is speaking of when He says, "this rock." Or other Protestants object and say, "No, Jesus says, 'And you are petros.'" You are petros, you are rock, and on this petra, the Greek word for large rock, "I will build my Church." So some Protestants object to the Catholic view and say, "What Jesus is really saying is. 'You're a little pebble and on this rock, namely Christ, the Rock, (1 Corinthians, 10:4 and so on) I will build my Church.'"

Now the closer I studied the more I realized that those positions were untenable, simply untenable. And I'm going to share in a few minutes the fact that most conservative anti-Catholic Protestant scholars today will admit that readily and candidly. The more I dug, the more I found that the evidence pointed to the fact that Jesus was speaking of Peter. Peter is the Rock. Peter just said, "You are the Christos," so Jesus says, "You are the Petros." There is a little parallelism there. "You are the Son of the Living God" and "You are the son of Jonah, Simon Bar-Jonah; you are the Petros."

Now people could say, "Wait a second. There is a distinction in the Greek language between petros," Peter's name and petra. Petros can mean stone, whereas petra can often mean "big rock." The problem with that is two-fold. First of all, Jesus probably didn't speak Greek when He was with the disciples. I mean that is held by 99.9 percent of all scholars. It's overwhelmingly unlikely that Jesus in His normal conversations spoke Greek. What's almost certain is that He spoke Aramaic and in the Aramaic there is only one word that could possibly be used and Kouman and other scholars have pointed to the fact that if Jesus spoke Aramaic, He only could have said, "You are Cephus, and on this Cephus I build my Church." So given our knowledge of the Aramaic language, there is no possibility for Jesus to have made the distinction between "little stone" and "big rock." The Aramaic language doesn't allow it.

continued

Elena said...

Well, somebody could say, "The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to use two different words. Well, that's true, because "petra" is the word in Greek that is normally used for "large rock," but - I should say petra is the Greek word that means "large rock" but it's in the feminine form. In other words, the gender of this Greek word, petra, large rock, is feminine. You do not apply a feminine form of the word in order to name a male. You adopt it by giving the masculine form. In other words what Matthew was doing, guided by the Holy Spirit, is something that was rather obvious and practically necessary. That was to take the Greek from Jesus' saying and start by saying, "I will build my Church on this massive stone, this 'petra' in the feminine but then to show that Peter gets the name, "Rock" in its proper masculine form.

You wouldn't name him Josephine or Rockina or, you know, something like that. You give him the masculine form of the word. I should also add that there is absolutely no archeological evidence from antiquity for anybody having been named Peter before Simon. In other words, Jesus was taking a word that had never been used as far as all the many records we have are concerned, never was used to designate an individual person and Jesus gives that name, gives that word to Simon.

Again, I suggest the fact that Simon is the Rock. I should say a few things along these lines because I mentioned that I have these Protestant quotes. I have note cards that I actually put together when I was preparing a paper for a graduate seminar on the subject. I was still a Protestant minister, and I was taking a graduate seminar on the Gospel of Matthew and the professor was a Protestant. He was a Lutheran and he knew what I wanted to do for my project and so I presented this paper, "Peter and the Keys" and I worked at it because I knew that he might not be open to my conclusions, that I knew what my conclusions were going to be at the end of my research. They were rather Catholic, neither Presbyterian nor Lutheran.

Elena said...

So, I worked and worked and I put these notecards together and when I made the presentation -- I should add, this was a very interesting experience because all the other students who presented papers, the professor encouraged the rest of the students to interact with the presenter. And he seldom, if ever asked questions in interacting. He wanted the students to get involved. But when it came to presenting a 30-page paper presenting the evidence that Peter is the Rock and that the keys denote succession and that the Catholic position is right, not one student spoke up for the entire two and one-half hour seminar. He did all the talking and we even went over. I ended up leaving the classroom like forty-five minutes after the seminar was supposed to end. It was the most grueling cross- examination I'd ever undergone, and I might add, I had intestinal digestive problems for about a week afterwards because of how nerve- wracking it was.

But at the end of the whole ordeal he said, "I think your paper is flawless. The only fault that I found is that you have the middle initial on one person's name in one of your footnotes wrong!" He said, "I think your arguments are persuasive, too. I'm just grateful that I don't think that Matthew is historically reliable, so I don't have to follow the conclusions." I'm glad you said that, you know, and not me.

Elena said...

Protestants are often ready to admit the fact that Peter is the Rock and that the keys of succession are given to him to imply an office that will be filled by successors. For instance, one of the top evangelical New Testament scholars in the world, R.T. France says this in his commentary on Matthew, "Verses 17 through 19 are addressed to Peter and have been regarded by some as a late addition to support an early claim to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. Whether or not they give any such support, there is no textual evidence for their addition to the gospel after its original composition, and the strongly Semitic or Jewish character of the language throughout these verses point to a relatively early origin in a Palestinian environment." What is France saying? Well, many scholars have suggested that Jesus could not have given this gift to Peter. Jesus could not have given this original saying. Why? Because many scholars don't believe that Jesus foresaw the building of the Church. They think that all of these sayings of Jesus concerning the Church were added later by the Church to support whatever had happened to the Church.

Elena said...

Dr. France says, "That's just not tenable." When you study this you realize that all of the evidence in the text shows that this is one of the original sayings of Jesus. He goes on to say, "Jesus' beatitude of Peter or His blessing is given to Peter alone. The other disciples may have shared his insight but Peter, characteristically expressed it. Matthew often illustrates Peter's place at the head of the disciples' group. He was the spokesman, the pioneer, the natural leader." He goes on to talk about how Peter is referenced to the Rock. France says, "It describes not so much Peter's character, that is the Rock. He did not prove to be rock-like in terms of stability or reliability but rather the name Rock or Peter points to his function as the foundation stone of Jesus' Church."

This is a non-Catholic. This is an Evangelical Protestant who has absolutely no interest in supporting the Church's claims but he says, "The term Peter, Rock, points to Simon and not his character because he could be very unstable, but rather his official function as the foundation stone of Jesus' Church. The word-play is unmistakable." He says, "It is only Protestant over-reaction to the Roman Catholic claim, of course, which has no foundation in the text, that what is here said of Peter applies also to the later Bishops of Rome." In other words France is saying, "We can't apply this to the Popes, the later Bishops of Rome." I'll overthrow that opinion in a few minutes, I think, but France is very candid in saying, "Look, it's only because we Protestants have over-reacted to the Catholic Church that we are not frank and sincere in admitting the fact that Peter is the Rock. He is the foundation stone upon which Jesus is going to build the Church."


One of the greatest Protestant Biblical scholars of the century supports this -- W. F. Albright, in his Anchor Bible Commentary on Matthew. I opened it up. I was surprised to see, "Peter as the Rock will be the foundation of the future community, the church. Jesus here uses Aramaic and so only the Aramaic word which would serve His purpose. In view of the background in verse 19, one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see this rock as the faith or the confession of Peter." In other words, Professor Albright is admitting as a Protestant that there is a bias in Protestant anti- Catholic interpreters who try to make Jesus' reference to the rock point only to Peter's faith or confession. "To deny the pre-eminent position of Peter," Albright says, "among the disciples or in the early Christian community is a denial of the evidence. 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. Precisely because Peter is pre-eminent and is the foundation stone of the Church that his mistakes are in a sense so important, but his mistakes never correspond to his teachings as the Prince of the Apostles." We will see."

Albright goes on in his commentary to speak about the keys of the kingdom that Jesus entrusted to Peter. Here's what he says, "Isaiah 22, verse 15, undoubtedly lies behind this saying of Jesus. The keys are the symbol of authority and Father Roland DeVoe rightly sees here the same authority vested in the vicar, the master of the house, the chamberlain of the royal household in ancient Israel. In Isaiah 22 Eliakim is described as having the same authority."

Now let's just stop here and ask, "What is he talking about?" I think it's simple. Albright is saying that Jesus in giving to Peter not only a new name, Rock, but in entrusting to Simon the keys of the kingdom, He is borrowing a phrase from Isaiah 22. He's quoting a verse in the Old Testament that was extremely well known. This, for me, was the breakthrough. This discovery was the most important discovery of all. Let's go back to Isaiah 22 and see what Jesus was doing when He entrusted to Peter the keys of the kingdom.

Elena said...

It was the point that the defenders of the Catholic faith in the 16th and 17th Centuries were very aware of, but for some reason amnesia has set in upon many defenders and interpreters not aware of how crucial this particular passage is. In Isaiah 22 beginning back in verses 19 and 20, we have some very interesting background. This is where Jesus goes for a quotation to cite this passage.

Elena said...

Let me go back and try to simplify this even further. I'll read the quote. Albright says, "In commenting upon Matthew 16 and Jesus giving to Peter the keys of the kingdom, Isaiah 22:15 and following undoubtedly lies behind this saying." Albright, a Protestant, non- Catholic insists that it's undoubtable that Jesus is citing Isaiah 22, "The keys are the symbol of authority and DeVoe rightly sees here the same authority as that vested in the vicar, the master of the house, the chamberlain of the royal household of ancient Israel." In other words, the Prime Minister's office.

Other Protestant scholars admit it too, that when Jesus gives to Peter the keys of the kingdom, Peter is receiving the Prime Minister's office, which means dynastic authority from the Son of David, Jesus, the King of Israel, but also an office where there will be dynastic succession. When I discovered that, it was like the blinders fell off. Within a few weeks I had gotten together with the leading Protestant theologians in the world, one of the most reputable anti- Catholic Protestant theologians and spent ten hours with him and then in a Mercedes we drove two hours and I presented this case, and his only comment was, "That's clever." But he said, "You don't have to follow the Pope because of that." I said, "Why not?" And he said, "Well, I'm going to have to think about it." He said, "I've never heard that argument before." And I said, "It' s one of the basic arguments that Cajeton used against the Protestants in the 16th Century and Cajeton was one of the most well-known defenders of the Catholic faith and you've never heard of him before?" I said, "I had never heard of it before until I discovered it on my own and then found it in all these other people." And he said, "That's clever." Clever, perhaps. True, definitely; enlightening, illuminating, very interesting.

He goes on to say some other things. "It is of considerable importance," Albright says, "that in other contexts, when the disciplinary affairs of the community are discussed, the symbol of the keys is absent, since the saying applies in these instances to a wider circle. The role of Peter as steward of the kingdom is further explained as being the exercise of administrative authority as was the case of the Old Testament chamberlain who held the keys."

Now, what he means there is that nowhere else, when other Apostles are exercising Church authority are the keys ever mentioned. In Matthew 18, the Apostles get the power to bind and loose, like Peter got in Matthew 16, but with absolutely no mention of the keys. That fits perfectly into this model because in the king's cabinet, all the ministers can bind and loose, but the Prime Minister who holds the keys can bind what they have loosed or loose what they have bound. He has, in a sense, the final say. He has, in himself, the authority of the court of final appeal and even Protestants can see this.

Elena said...

Also from Hahn

This has led an Evangelical Protestant German scholar, Gerhardt Meier, who wrote a famous book that conservative Protestants frequently refer to, "The End of the Historical Critical Method". In his article, "The Church and the Gospel of Matthew," Gerhardt Meier says on pages 58 through 60, "Nowadays, a broad consensus has emerged which, in accordance with the words of the text applies the promise to Peter as a person." This is a Protestant speaking now. "On this point liberal and conservative theologians agree," and he names several Protestant theologians from the liberal to the conservative side. "Matthew 16:18 ought not to be interpreted as a local church. The church in Matthew 16:18 is the universal entity, namely the people of God. There is an increasing consensus now that this verse concerning the power of the keys is talking about the authority to teach and to discipline, including even to absolve sins." Professor Gerhardt Meier is a Protestant with no interest in supporting the Catholic claim but, as an honest scholar, admits that Peter is the one that Jesus is giving His power to. "Peter is the rock and the keys signify, not only disciplinary power to teach, but even to absolve sins. With all due respect to the Protestant Reformers, we must admit that the promise in Matthew 16-18 is directed to Peter and not to a Peter-like faith. As Evangelical theologians, especially, we ought to look at ourselves dispassionately and acknowledge that we often tend unjustifiably toward an individualistic conception of faith. To recognize the authenticity of Matthew 16:17 and following demands that we develop a Biblically based ecclesiology or doctrine of the church."

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"This is a non-Catholic. This is an Evangelical Protestant who has absolutely no interest in supporting the Church's claims but he says, "The term Peter, Rock, points to Simon and not his character because he could be very unstable, but rather his official function as the foundation stone of Jesus' Church. The word-play is unmistakable."He says, "It is only Protestant over-reaction to the Roman Catholic claim, of course, which has no foundation in the text, that what is here said of Peter applies also to the later Bishops of Rome." In other words France is saying, "We can't apply this to the Popes, the later Bishops of Rome." I'll overthrow that opinion in a few minutes, I think, but France is very candid in saying, "Look, it's only because we Protestants have over-reacted to the Catholic Church that we are not frank and sincere in admitting the fact that Peter is the Rock. He is the foundation stone upon which Jesus is going to build the Church."
----------------
This is an extremely important point. The ECF's that claimed that "this rock" refers to the person of Peter do not associate his succession with the Bishop of Rome exclusively. This is also true of the Reformed Scholars ie. William Hendrickson, Edmund Clowney and D.A Carson that also conclude that "this rock" is referring to the person of Peter.

Elena said...

On the contrary Paul I think it is spot on, although it might seem "extreme" from your perspective.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. ... ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251])
------------------

Cyprian clearly says that Peter is the rock. If his comments were restricted to the above citation
it would lend credence to the idea that he was a proponent of papal primacy. However
Cyprian’s comments continue on from the statements given above. His additional statements
prove conclusively that although he states that Peter is the rock he does not mean this in a pro
Roman sense. His view is that Peter is a symbol of unity, a figurative representative of the
bishops of the Church. Cyprian viewed all the apostles as being equal with one another. He
believed the words to Peter in Matthew 16 to be representative of the ordination of all Bishops
so that the Church is founded, not upon one Bishop in one see, but upon all equally in
collegiality. Peter, then, is a representative figure of the episcopate as a whole
. His view is
clearly stated in these words:

Paul said...

"Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal
fellowship both of honour and power; but a commencement is made from unity, that
the Church may be set before as one; which one Church, in the Song of Songs, doth
the Holy Spirit design and name in the Person of our Lord: My dove, My spotless
one, is but one; she is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her" (Cant. 9:6)
(A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: Parker, 1844), Cyprian, On The
Unity of the Church 3, p. 133).

"Our Lord whose precepts and warnings we ought to observe, determining the honour
of a Bishop and the ordering of His own Church, speaks in the Gospel and says to
Peter, I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church; and
the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the
kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Thence the ordination of Bishops, and the ordering of the Church, runs down
along the course of time and line of succession, so that the Church is settled upon her
Bishops; and every act of the Church is regulated by these same Prelates (A Library of
the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church" (Oxford: Parker, 1844), The Epistles of S. Cyprian, Ep.
33.1).

Elena said...

Paul I think your source is severely misinterpreting Cyprian.

Nonetheless, the historical view is that we can trace the papacy back to Peter and it withstands challenges pretty well. Candy was simply wrong.

Paul said...

"Paul I think your source is severely misinterpreting Cyprian."
---------------
Fine, and I think your sources deliberately avoid Cyprian in context.

"Nonetheless, the historical view is that we can trace the papacy back to Peter and it withstands challenges pretty well. Candy was simply wrong."
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Actually, Cyprian shows us that the modern view of "the papacy" was not historical at all.
True, Candy may be wrong about when the Bishop of Rome was viewed as having a primacy over the universal church and by whom. However, Cyprian and his predecessor Tertullian certainly did not view the Bishop of Rome as the exclusive successor of Peter nor the sole occupant of the cathedra Petri.

Elena said...

If that makes you feel better on some level Paul I won't fight you on it. Catholic theology doesn't rest on the opinion of one or even two people, as great as they may be, ever.

Paul said...

"If that makes you feel better on some level Paul I won't fight you on it. Catholic theology doesn't rest on the opinion of one or even two people, as great as they may be, ever."
---------------------
Catholic theology doesn't rest on the opinion of one or even two people

Elena, one or two people?

You would be hard pressed to find one or two people in the early church that agreed with latter Rome regarding it's claims to Petrine Primacy.
Tertullian mocked "Pope" Victor for usurping an authority that did not exist.
Tertullian and "Pontifex Maximus"

Elena said...

"You would be hard pressed to find one or two people in the early church that agreed with latter Rome regarding it's claims to Petrine Primacy."

Says you. And since we can't go back to the early church I guess we'll have to take that for what it's worth.

Paul said...

"Says you. And since we can't go back to the early church I guess we'll have to take that for what it's worth."
-----------------
No, we can't go back to the early church. And what we do have from the early witnesses, when read in context do not support the claims of Trent, Vatican I or Satis Cognitum.

Elena said...

In your opinion. Other scholars including even Protestant scholars see it differently.

Jennie said...

Elena,
about Scott Hahn's idea of the covenant; I had just read the first few chapters of Hahn's book, Rome Sweet Home, online a few days ago, and I have a couple of comments about what he said about Christianity being a covenant and a family.
First of all, I don't know why that's a surprise to a protestant, or maybe I should say it's not a surprise to protestants who have a good understanding of scripture. I'm sure many haven't given it a thought. This is something I and many have understood for a long time and don't see any conflict with covenant and protestant theology. So I don't see the conflict that Hahn saw in protestantism and the covenant or why this would lead him to catholicism.
Secondly, the idea of the Church as a family with God as our Father, and which grows as a family grows and spreads, is not foreign or in conflict with the biblical understanding of the church that protestants have. The idea of a papacy is more in line with a monarchy than a family. I don't know any families that have one single head that always has a successor over thousands and millions of their descendants. Each family has many children and who in turn become fathers and mothers, the fathers being the heads of the families, and Christ being their head if they are Christians. The Church works the same way.

Elena said...

Catholics see the Pope as a father figure, and the succession is like a great great grandfather, great grandfather, grandfather, father etc. That is how Catholics think of it. Your perspective again as an outsider, anti-Catholic is probably different.

Also keep reading Surprised by the Truth. It wasn't covenant that converted Hahn but he found Sola Fide and Sola scriptura untenable.

Incidentally, Hahn has a doctorate - I think that qualifies him as much as any as having an understanding of scripture.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Elena quoted:

"Philip the 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 Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod’" (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).
----------------------------------

This sounds like Peter is still ruling, but from heaven through the Pope. Are you claiming that the spirit of Peter lives on?

Jennie said...

Elena,
I don't know if you want me to go into the Hahn book on this thread; If not I may do a post on it later.
I only got to read part of it, as I said, since it was a preview online. I may get the book and finish it pretty soon.
I felt like Hahn's treatment of sola fide according to the reformers was not an accurate representation of what they really taught. He implied they taught 'faith alone' as if works never play a part in the christian life at all; he quoted Luther as saying, in a sermon I think, that because of grace he could commit adultery repeatedly; I don't remember the exact words. But Luther said many things, I assume, which may give a better explanation of salvation by grace through faith apart from works. 'Sola fide' doesn't mean that faith is alone, but that salvation is not 'by works apart from faith', but 'by faith apart from works'. Faith is first, and then works. Don't forget there are 5 solas, so they work together: Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria, Solo Christo, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide. So maybe they are misnamed. However the reformers stated them in reaction against concerns about Roman Catholic teachings and practices, so the 'alone' part is to stress that we are not saved BY works, but for works after justification.
Of course I also disagree with Hahn's view that 'sola scriptura' is unscriptural. I think that it's a case of Catholics not being able to see the forest for the trees; scripture is full of the idea that it is the very word of God, and that no other word is equal to it.

Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elena said...

You're right - I don't want to get off topic to discuss Scott Hahn's book.

He wrote from his perspective as a Protestant Christian, which I have learned over the years - varies - widely.

Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Incidentally, Hahn has a doctorate - I think that qualifies him as much as any as having an understanding of scripture."
---------------------
I am re-listening to James White completely demolish "anti-Evangelical" scholar Dr. Hahn. White did a broadcast in which he played a Catholic Answers program in which Hahn exegeted a portion of Hebrews. It is no wonder that Hahn has refused to debate White for almost 20 years.

Jennie said...

Paul,
Is the recording you're listening to of White and Hahn availble online?

Paul said...

Jennie,
It's not available on-line. I have a tape of it. I can convert it to MP3 and send it to you. Will your exchangedlife address work?

Jennie said...

Yes, that address should be fine; thanks Paul.

Elena said...

More on the Hahn vs. White potential (or not)debate.

And as usual since you can't stay on topic, I'm closing this one.