Pages

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Primacy of Peter

A few weeks back, I said that I would put up a blog post with a Biblical argument for the primacy of Peter. We haven't covered this topic yet, so I thought it was time to check this one off of the list.

Peter is mentioned more than the other apostles. Actually, he is mentioned 155 times alone, whereas the other apostles are mentioned a combined 130 times.

When the apostles are named, Peter is almost always mentioned first. (Mark 1:36; 3:16; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:3)

Peter is the first to confess the divinity of Christ. (Matt. 16:16, Mark 8:29; John 6:69)

Only Peter walks on water. (Matt. 14:28-29)

Jesus says that Satan as sought the apostles, but He prays for Peter alone, that his faith not fail so that he could confirm his brethren. (Luke 22:31-32)

Only Peter's death is foretold by Jesus. (John 13:36; 21:18)

Only Peter is told that he has received a divine revelation. (Matt. 16:17)

The tax collector approaches Peter as the representative for Jesus to collect the temple tax. (Matt. 17:24-25)

Peter usually acts as spokesman for the apostles. (Matt. 18:21, Mark 10:28, Mark 11:21 among others)

Peter is the only one who speaks at the Transfiguration, and is again mentioned first going up the mountain. (Luke 9:28;33)

Only Peter is given the keys, the sign of authority. (Matt. 16:19)

Although John arrives at the tomb first, he waits to let Peter enter first. (Luke 24:12, John 20:4-6)

Peter is confirmed as leader of the apostles when the angel says that Jesus was resurrected. (Mark 16:7)

Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep. (John 21:15-17)

Peter is the one who says that a successor to Judas must be chosen. (Acts 1:15)

Peter gives the first preaching (Acts 2:38) of the early Church, and also performs the first healing (Acts 3:6-7). Only Peter's shadow is mentioned as healing. (Acts 5:15)

Peter is shown exercising authority in the early Church. (Acts 5:3 and Acts 8:20-23)

When the first council of Jerusalem is held to debate the issue of circumcision for the gentile, there is much disputing, however, when Peter speaks, then the multitude is silent (Acts 15:12). Barnabas and Paul speak in support of what Peter has declared (Acts 15:12). Finally, James says that he agrees with Peter and provides Scriptural support for what Peter declared (Acts 15:13-14).

Paul visits Peter before beginning his ministry. (Gal.1:18)

Paul also mentions Peter as having seen Jesus first after his Resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:4-8)

Peter is the only apostle to have his name changed. St. Francis de Sales writes:

When Our Lord imposes a name upon men he always bestows some particular grace according to the name which he gives them. If he changes the name of that great father of believer, and of Abram makes him Abraham, also of a high father he makes him father of many, giving the reason at the same time (Gen 17:5) . . . The imposition of the name in the case of Saint Peter is no small argument of the particular excellence of his charge, according to the very reason which Our ¬ord appended: Thou art Peter, etc.

But What name does he give him? A name full of majesty, not common, not trivial, but one expressive of superiority and authority, like unto that of Abraham himself. For if Abraham was thus called because he was to be the father of many nations, Saint Peter has received this name because upon him as upon a firm rock was to be founded the multitude of Christians.

Our Lord himself is by excellence called the rock, because he is the foundation of the Church, and the corner-stone, the support, and the firmness, of this spiritual edifice: and he has declared that on Saint Peter should his Church be built, and that he would establish him in the faith: Confirm thy brethren. (Luke 22:32)

St. Frances de Sales has an excellent letter on Jesus versus Peter as the foundation of the church. Since that point was discussed extensively in a previous comments section, I am planning to type it up in its entirety and post it as a follow-up in the next day or two.

For other Pope related questions, see our previous post, Papal Ponderings.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

130 comments:

Kelly said...

Subbing for comments.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Peter is certainly important among the apostles; he is a spokesman for the apostles and he is singled out by Jesus many times. The question is for what purpose is he singled out?
First of all, a few of the assertions in your post seem inaccurate.
Paul's name is mentioned about 179 times in the NT and I count Peter's name mentioned in about 168 verses, sometimes more than once in each verse. The other apostles are mentioned much less as you said.

Peter is not the only one whose name was changed. Paul's name was also changed, from Saul to Paul.
It also seems that Levi's name was changed to Matthew, meaning 'gift of God.'

Anyway, this doesn't change the fact that Peter is a leader before and after Pentecost. The objections I have are to the reasons that Roman Catholics stress this importance.
First of all, Peter was not seen Biblically or historically as the bishop of Rome, so there is no reason for the future bishops of Rome to be seen as his successors.
Secondly, there is no reason Biblically to think that there would be a single continuous successor to Peter. All of the Apostles are called foundation stones for the church, built upon the one cornerstone of Christ Himself. There is no question that Christ is this cornerstone, and the scriptures, including Peter himself speak of all twelve apostles as the foundation stones. They were not bishops, but they appointed bishops who all in turn appointed others. The whole church, all the future bishops and members are stones built upon this foundation. There is no single succession. There are many branches of descendants just like in an earthly family. Jesus is our Head and Father. He says not to call any man father, as in spiritual father.

Jennie said...

St. Frances de Sales has an excellent letter on Jesus versus Peter as the foundation of the church.

Also, I'm wondering how there can be any question that Jesus is THE foundation of the church, and the Apostles are built upon Him, and then the rest of the church.

Kelly said...

I have not personally counted the number of names, but got the figure from a different website. I apologize if it is incorrect.

Paul and Saul are different forms of the same name. Saul would have been used among the Israelites, and he would have switched to Paul, the Greek form, when he began his ministry to the gentiles.

It is possible that Levi/Matthew is similar. Certainly, Matthew is a Greek name, and Levi an Israelite name. But there is no explicit episode of either Paul or Matthew having their name changed by God.

If Judas needed a successor, then why wouldn't Peter need one? We know that Peter was in Rome, because he wrote from Babylon, which is early Christian code for Rome.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
It looks like your source was not counting Paul. The numbers for Peter are not that far off from mine. He may not have counted the times where his name is mentioned more than once in a verse.
You are right about Paul's name and Matthew's. I had it in my head that Jesus had changed Paul's name, but I must have been thinking of something I heard once about the meanings of the names.
Judas did not need a successor so much as a replacement because he did not endure. We don't see the Apostles appointing successors to their office in scripture. They appointed elders, which were the same as bishops at that time. Other elders, like Timothy also appointed elders or bishops.

I don't know if there is agreement on the 'babylon' thing. It does seem likely that he was using this as a code for Rome. However, the Apostles were never bishops established in one city. They were always over all the church as a group no matter where they were. That is why James the brother of Jesus was in charge at the council of Jerusalem. He seems to have been the head bishop there. So if Peter was in Rome, it seems to have been a short time and maybe he was there like Paul as a prisoner, and then died there. He may have appointed bishops while there, but it's my understanding that there was more than one there at a time, over several churches. There is no historical reason to think a bishop of Rome then was considered a successor of Peter as Apostle, or that any Apostle had a successor. They were the foundation, and there were no more after that. That's what I see in scripture and in history.

Jennie said...

Here's a chapter from Schaff's History of the Christian Church, Vol. 1 about the organization of the early church.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc1.i.X.61.html

Barbara C. said...

Kelly's source may have only been counting mention of the original Twelve. Paul would not have been counted in that context, since Paul never met Jesus during his time on earth that we know of.

It's true that there were more than one bishop in each city...and the Catholic Church this is still often the case today. There is usually one primary bishop over a diocese and then what are known as auxiliary bishops.

Jennie said...

Here's a chapter from Vol. 2 of Schaff's work which speks of the same subject in the following century.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc2.v.vi.i.html

Jennie said...

If you click on 'next' at the top of the page I linked to in my last comment, Schaff has a chapter on 'clergy and laity' in which he compares the Apostolic age practices to what developed in the next century.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
My point is that the idea of bishops as being over other elders developed gradually and was not the original way in the Apostolic times; and that bishops were not the successors of the Apostles in the sense that they became Apostles, but only in the sense that when the Apostles were gone, the bishops naturally filled the void as being visible leaders that the people would look to for guidance. The bishops were not inspired and infallible, as we see in looking at how the Fathers sometimes disagree and make mistakes in their writings, while the NT writers did not.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
Paul would not have been counted in that context, since Paul never met Jesus during his time on earth that we know of.

Yes, but Paul was definitely an Apostle, appointed by Christ Himself; and Paul did see Christ face to face, though after the Ascension. Paul is equal to Peter in Scripture.

Jennie said...

After reading that last part, 'clergy and laity', it occurs to me that since, as Schaff says, the work of the teaching ministers is to raise the born-again people to the position which IS theirs, of priesthood and kingship in the body of Christ, then the Roman Catholic system which has been in effect for hundreds of years has done the opposite: it has made a fixed priesthood with a monarchical hierarchy that does not do it's job to raise the people to maturity in the priesthood of the believer. It is also doubtful whether it has been effective in passing on the true gospel that truly regenerates.

Kelly said...

My point is that the idea of bishops as being over other elders developed gradually and was not the original way in the Apostolic times;

In the Catholic church, we speak of the "unfolding" of doctrine. From Fr. John Hardin's Modern Catholic Dictionary.Growth in the Church's understanding of the truths of divine revelation. Also called dogmatic progress or dogmatic development, it is the gradual unfolding of the meaning of what God has revealed. Always presumed is that the substantial truth of a revealed mystery remains unchanged. What changes is the subjective grasp of the revealed truth.

All that to say, you do not need to prove that the modern papacy existed in the earliest days of the Church. We know that it did not. But the seeds were there, and it was Jesus' intention that it be established in the way that it was.

The bishops were not inspired and infallible

We do not consider our bishops today to be inspired and infallible. Unless they speak in union with the Pope in an area of faith and morals.

Paul was definitely an Apostle, appointed by Christ Himself; and Paul did see Christ face to face, though after the Ascension. Paul is equal to Peter in Scripture.

Paul was Apostle to the Gentiles, appointed by Christ himself. However, he is not numbered among the Twelve, as they are referred to in Scripture. The question of Peter versus Paul is an interesting one, but do not fixate on whose name is mentioned more times. It is probably the most minor point on my list.

I would agree that Paul is greater than the other eleven, but there are many points in my article which Peter has but Paul lacks. It is not recorded that Paul had his named changed by Jesus. Jesus did not prophesy his death. He was not given the keys to the kingdom. Just go down the list.

Roman Catholic system which has been in effect for hundreds of years has done the opposite: it has made a fixed priesthood with a monarchical hierarchy that does not do it's job to raise the people to maturity in the priesthood of the believer.

From the CCC:

1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood." By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light." Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.[Italics in the original]

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father." The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood."

I would go so far as to say that in this day and age, the priesthood of all believers is over-emphasized to the point of diminishing the ordained priesthood, but that's in-house talk.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
But the seeds were there, and it was Jesus' intention that it be established in the way that it was.

Who says?
The papacy says that the papacy was Jesus' intention?
Sounds kind of like congress voting itself it's own raise.
Scripture is the rule, not the hierarchy. Men can be corrupted. God's word doesn't change.

Kelly said...

Jesus established the Church. Who am I to argue with his plan?

I noticed you skipped a whole lot of my response. Nothing else to add as far as the rest?

Laundry calls . . .

Jennie said...

1268 The baptized have become "living stones" to be "built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood." By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light." Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.[Italics in the original]

The catechism says alot of things; has the Church actually effectively done this? That's the question.

Jennie said...

We do not consider our bishops today to be inspired and infallible. Unless they speak in union with the Pope in an area of faith and morals.
I would include the Bishop of Rome in that description that I gave earlier; that the bishops are not infallible and are not biblically Apostles.

Jennie said...

He was not given the keys to the kingdom.
It is arguable that all the Apostles including Paul were given the keys, and that Peter represents all the church when Jesus gave the keys. The keys to the kingdom is the gospel which all believers can share.

Jennie said...

My reason for saying that Paul was equally important is to show that importance does not prove that a succession was intended, nor that a Roman succession was intended.

Jennie said...

I should add that the monarchical papacy, and even the system of a layered episcopate, has no scriptural basis; and though the layered episcopate may have been inevitable because of the physical growth of the church along with the loss of widespread spiritual gifts, it was a worldly innovation rather than a spiritual development. The papacy especially was only a natural development up to a point, because of the primacy of the city of Rome; after a certain point it was forced by a succession of men who had tasted power and wanted more and more of it. The evil that it has brought has far outweighed any good that might have come of it, because so many of the men that held the papacy have been unregenerate men. When the Roman bishop began to assert himself strongly to say that he ruled the entire church, half of the 'catholic' church opposed the idea of a Roman papacy and a church ruled by one man: the eastern church rightly opposed the papacy.

Jennie said...

Also the 'keys to the kingdom' (the gospel) was established by the Apostles and a few others like Luke, James, and Jude, by the Holy Spirit Himself in the form of inspired scripture during their lifetime. When these men were gone, the word remained; the keys were passed on to those who in turn were born again and commissioned to preach and teach the word and make disciples of all nations.

Kelly said...

My reason for saying that Paul was equally important is to show that importance does not prove that a succession was intended, nor that a Roman succession was intended.

I'm glad you're honest in admitting that you are elevating Paul because don't want to admit in apostolic succession.

The evil that it has brought has far outweighed any good that might have come of it, because so many of the men that held the papacy have been unregenerate men.

Yeah, yeah, evil Catholic Church leading millions to their eternal damnation. I hear you.

Well, the primacy of Peter as shown by Scripture, that's the point of my post. As I read you, you are conceding the primacy of Peter of the twelve apostles, but not anything else, which is not unexpected.

Nice chatting with you.

Kelly said...

Can you show me other instances in Scripture where keys are a metaphor for the Gospel?

Kelly said...

I've been thinking some more, and can you just spell the whole verse out for me, Jennie? Like this:

Thou art petra (Peter) and on this petros (Jesus?) I will establish my (invisible) church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. I will give you (singular, but you think it means plural?) the keys to the kingdom of heaven (the Gospel); whatever you (singular, but you think it means plural?) bind on earth shall be . . . (rest of passage refers to being being bound by being saved or being loosed by rejecting the Gospel?)

Elena said...

Kelly, this brought a number of thoughts to my mind.

I remember 20+ years ago when I was a new employee at a brand spanking new HMO. And sure we had a CEO and some department heads, but the supervisors and procedures etc. came about as time went on. We didn't hit the ground running with everything in place and that was a late 20th century organization! So I think the same certainly holds true for the church.

Secondly, one of the things I love about the Catholic church is apostolic succession and it is one of the reasons I remain Catholic. How cool is it to be able to trace a Bishops line back to the 12!

Great article on that too here.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Even if the verse is interpreted as you believe, this has nothing to do with a succession and nothing to do with Rome.
But I don't believe the passage is correctly interpreted by the Roman Catholic Church. I have a post about this recently called 'Who is the Rock?' which would show you what I believe.

You have the Petra and the petros backwards, I think. Also Jesus used the same phrase about binding and loosing to all the Apostles 2 chapters later. I don't know if the 'you' there was singular or plural, but you might check it.

Matt. 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 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.”
This passage, as I said in my post referred to above, when combined with other clear Biblical passages affirms that Jesus is the Rock upon which the Apostles as foundation stones are built upon which in turn the rest of the stones are built. All of scripture affirms Christ as Petra and other scriptures equally assign the Apostles collectively as foundation stones upon Him. Unclear passages must be interpreted in light of the multiple clear ones.
I believe this passage is also saying that Jesus is the Rock before which the gates of death shall not prevail, and since (or if) the church is built upon Him, it joins Him in this.

Jennie said...

Elena,
what happened to the 'unbroken' succession when there were undeniably evil men in the office? There is no unbroken succession of Godly men.

Elena said...

Even Jesus chose Judas Jennie. And all men are human. The success doesn't break just because an evil man gets in it. The line bends, but doesn't break.

Jennie said...

Elena,
the RCC claims authority based on an unbroken Apostolic succession and holds it against protestants that they don't have this; there is no such thing in reality in the RCC. There is no basis in scripture for thinking there is supposed to be such a thing.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I said
The evil that it has brought has far outweighed any good that might have come of it, because so many of the men that held the papacy have been unregenerate men.

You answered
Yeah, yeah, evil Catholic Church leading millions to their eternal damnation. I hear you.

That's not specifically what I was referring to; I was thinking of the persecution and death of many believers over many centuries, the wars for power, and the subversion of freedom of conscience and liberty of the people under the control of the Pope. Measuring this against the fact that the gospel for which our Lord suffered and died is perverted by the RCC, the papacy has been one of the greatest evils of history.

Dr MikeyMike said...

That's not specifically what I was referring to; I was thinking of the persecution and death of many believers over many centuries, the wars for power, and the subversion of freedom of conscience and liberty of the people under the control of the Pope. Measuring this against the fact that the gospel for which our Lord suffered and died is perverted by the RCC, the papacy has been one of the greatest evils of history.

Tell us how you really feel about Catholics!


Because, you know, no other Christian denomination has ever persecuted other Christians, stoked wars for power, perveted the gospels to sing their tune, or suppressed scientific thought or consciousness.

Elena said...

1. It is fruitless to go with the "not in scripture" argument jennie, because Catholics are not sola scriptura and we aren't going to be held hostage to those handcuffs.

2. There are plenty of examples in scripture of laying on of hands and anointing the next leader to carry on.

Just because something doesn't fit your very very narrow paradigm of scripture doesn't mean it's not right.

Incidentally, Anglicans and some Lutherans and Eastern churches also claim apostolic succession.

Elena said...

You have the Petra and the petros backwards, I think.

Jennie, Kelly has her degree in this stuff...I'm just sayin.

Jennie said...

Dr. M.M.,
Tell us how you really feel about Catholics!
I'm not talking about individual Catholics, but about the hierarchy. Heirarchies are wordly governments which are always referred to in prophetic scripture as beasts. This is because they trample people underfoot and allow no liberty of conscience. They coerce people and control people.

Because, you know, no other Christian denomination has ever persecuted other Christians, stoked wars for power, perveted the gospels to sing their tune, or suppressed scientific thought or consciousness.

Some have done these things, and they were wrong, but that doesn't excuse anyone else. None has done it to anything close to the extent of the papacy.

Jennie said...

Elena,
You have the Petra and the petros backwards, I think.

Jennie, Kelly has her degree in this stuff...I'm just sayin.


I think I'm correct. Jesus called Peter 'Petros' and then said 'upon this Petra' I will build my kingdom.

Elena said...

I'm not talking about individual Catholics, but about the hierarchy.

Yea Dr. Mike - it's sort of like support the troops but not their mission!

Elena said...

Some have done these things, and they were wrong, but that doesn't excuse anyone else. None has done it to anything close to the extent of the papacy.

I'm guessing there might be some Muslim historians that might take exception with that statement.

Jennie said...

Elena,
1. It is fruitless to go with the "not in scripture" argument jennie, because Catholics are not sola scriptura and we aren't going to be held hostage to those handcuffs.

They aren't handcuffs, Elena; the rule of scripture is there to protect us from error and to give us freedom by the truth, as Jesus said: 'the truth shall make you free.'
You don't call the RC doctrine that catholics must submit their conscience and intelligence to the RC magisterium and dogmas a 'handcuff'?

Jennie said...

Elena,
I'm guessing there might be some Muslim historians that might take exception with that statement.
Please clarify. I was talking about Christian denominations in that statement, by the way.

Elena said...

They aren't handcuffs, Elena;

They are the way ya'll use them. The scriptures were never meant to be misused this way.


the rule of scripture is there to protect us from error and to give us freedom by the truth, as Jesus said: 'the truth shall make you free.'

Which apparently is why there are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations all depending on the rule of scripture and each sure they are protected from error... year right.

Jesus knew that he had to leave His leader on earth to keep men true to His teachings, and that is why he left with the Pope and the apostles, and the Catholic Church.

You don't call the RC doctrine that catholics must submit their conscience and intelligence to the RC magisterium and dogmas a 'handcuff'?

Nope. that's freedom and it was my conscience and intelligence that confirmed it for me.


Your mileage of course may vary.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Which apparently is why there are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations all depending on the rule of scripture and each sure they are protected from error... year right.
That number has nothing to do with protestantism or 'sola scriptura'. The number from that source that RC apologists are using includes RC groups, orthodox groups, protestant groups of all kinds, spiritists, Jehovahs witnesses, Mormons, etc, etc. It would be more accurate to lump the very few actual 'sola scriptura' denominations together against all the many 'sola ecclesia' groups who don't hold to the final rule of scripture. That would place the RCC in with the JHs and Mormons who have added their own rules to scripture and whose hierarchies tell them what to think so they can't understand scripture for themselves.

Jennie said...

Nope. that's freedom and it was my conscience and intelligence that confirmed it for me.
So you used your private interpretation to decide that RC doctrines are correct, just as I used my private interpretation to decide scripture is the final rule.

Jennie said...

They are the way ya'll use them. The scriptures were never meant to be misused this way.

What way might that be? As a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path?

Elena said...

That number has nothing to do with protestantism or 'sola scriptura'.

It has everything to do with it. If scripture is so self-explanatory, so crystal clear, protecting all from error then one would think that everyone could be on the same page. But the truth is the Protestants started splintering from each other pretty much from the beginning.


The number from that source that RC apologists are using

Well I didn't specify a number because no Protestant has ever given me a clear cut answer to how many divisions there are. I'm pretty comfortable alluding to the vague "tens of thousands."

I'm not a Mormon apologist but it seems historically they certainly are a product of the Reformation in that they would never have come to be if the Reformation never happened. Claim them, don't claim them whatever... doesn't matter to me but it seems to me they get treated like the bastard children of Protestantism and that's all I have to say about that.

Elena said...

Me: Nope. that's freedom and it was my conscience and intelligence that confirmed it for me.


Jennie: So you used your private interpretation to decide that RC doctrines are correct,

How you get private interpretation from conscience and intelligence is beyond me. I didn't write that at all.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Mormonism was started by a man who was into the occult and listened to lying demons, writing a book full of lies and only using the Bible so they can call themselves Christian. It has nothing to do with 'sola scriptura' as they have added to scripture and don't believe Jesus is God. That's ridiculous to call them protestant and a result of 'sola scriptura' when it is the opposite of it.

Jennie said...

Jennie: So you used your private interpretation to decide that RC doctrines are correct,

How you get private interpretation from conscience and intelligence is beyond me. I didn't write that at all.


Well, didn't you use your private judgment to look at RC doctrines just like I use mine to look at the Bible? Just like you blame protestants for doing and saying it causes divisions?

Dr MikeyMike said...

I'm not talking about individual Catholics, but about the hierarchy. Heirarchies are wordly governments which are always referred to in prophetic scripture as beasts. This is because they trample people underfoot and allow no liberty of conscience. They coerce people and control people.

The Vatican is hardly a worldly government nowadays, but I am sure you'll find some conspiracy theory that links it to some government atrocities somehow. I also find it ironic that you say these things about the Church suppressing liberty, freedom, and liberal thought yet I and many have always enjoyed this. The Church encourages such forums. Not to mention the large sums of money that the Church donates to scientific organizations yearly. Didn't the Vatican even build its own giant telescope recently? I also find it interesting how you think its atrocities are some of the worst, even after comparing it to worldly governments. I suppose it was the Church that started both World Wars, the Civil War, and events in Vietnam.

Some have done these things, and they were wrong, but that doesn't excuse anyone else. None has done it to anything close to the extent of the papacy.

Yet you don't hold the other organizations accountable in your talks. It's always the evil Papacy this, the evil Papacy that. Did the Papacy create the Holocaust? Did the Papacy endorse the Armenian genocides? Hardly. The Papacy was actually one of the first "worldly organizations" (or 'Babylonian Beast', if you prefer) that condemned anti-Semitism to a degree. It also condemned witchhunts (which statistically were more wide-spread in Protestant Germany) while after denouncing the writers of the 'Malleus Malificarum(sp?)'. A lot of people point to the Spanish Inquisition as a source of Catholic badness, yet contemporary scholars are beginning to revisit these accounts and discredit them and their sources.

But please go on condeming the Vatican with your pseudo-history. It only makes you look more fringe.

Elena said...

Just like you blame protestants for doing and saying it causes divisions?

I don't give two hoots and a holler what Protestants do or how many times they divide. Just don't tell me that sola scriptura is all that and a bag of chips because clearly - it's not!

Kelly said...

You have the Petra and the petros backwards, I think.

It's very possible that I made a mistake when I was typing it up. I don't claim infallibility until after the kids are in bed. ;)

what happened to the 'unbroken' succession when there were undeniably evil men in the office? There is no unbroken succession of Godly men.

This is falling back into Donatism. Just because some Popes were bad men, does not mean that they were not validly ordained. Child molester priests who have been laicized are still validly ordained, they are just prohibited from using their ordaination to dispense the sacraments.

You are once again mistaking the office for the person. Have you ever read the lives of some of the prophets and kings in the Old Testament?

That's not specifically what I was referring to; I was thinking of the persecution and death of blah blah blah.

I wasn't being specific. I was being facetious.

But to get back to a more substantial point, can you please tell me more about this key=gospel idea. Can you please show me how this is a consistent theme in the Bible?

I was hoping you could give me the cliffnotes version of Matthew 16, following the example I tried to give. I will try to go by your blog and read the post you mentioned, but I'm not promising anything.

Elena said...

Mormonism was started by a man who was into the occult and listened to lying demons, writing a book full of lies and only using the Bible so they can call themselves Christian.

Smith grew up Protestant.

Jennie said...

Dr. M.M.,
I also find it ironic that you say these things about the Church suppressing liberty, freedom, and liberal thought yet I and many have always enjoyed this.
You and I are blessed to live in the United States. Yet, the founding fathers considered the papacy an enemy of liberty and prevented RCs from holding office back then. The FFs believed from experience that the RCs allegiance was to the Pope above their nation. I don't know how individual U.S. Catholics today think about this allegiance, but the FFs feared the papacy back then because of how it had ruled over nations and kings for centuries and demanded total allegiance from its adherents.

Jennie said...

Smith grew up Protestant.

There are many people who are raised in a church that don't get any good out of it and are not Christians at all. He was involved in occultism as well as being raised protestant. He opened himself up to demonic activity in occultism and listened to lying spirits.

Elena said...

There are many people who are raised in a church that don't get any good out of it and are not Christians at all

Not the point. No reformation, no Protestantism, no Mormon church... deal with it jennie

Jennie said...

I should have said some state constitutions prevented RCs from holding office back in the eighteenth century. I don't know about the federal govt.

Jennie said...

No Roman Catholic Church, no reformation, no protestantism, no mormonism. How about that? It gets ridiculous if you think about it.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
But to get back to a more substantial point, can you please tell me more about this key=gospel idea. Can you please show me how this is a consistent theme in the Bible?

There are not very many places in scripture that speak of keys. I did a search and will look at the passages and get back to you on those.
I believe it is obvious though that the keys of the kingdom of heaven is the gospel because it opens the door for people to enter the kingdom.

Kelly said...

Yet, the founding fathers considered the papacy an enemy of liberty and prevented RCs from holding office back then. The FFs believed from experience that the RCs allegiance was to the Pope above their nation.

Yes, and they also did not consider "all men are created equal" to apply to those who were black or native american. It is a shame that their ignorance of Catholicism let them to this prejudice.

I believe it is obvious though that the keys of the kingdom of heaven is the gospel because it opens the door for people to enter the kingdom

Clearly, what you believe is obvious and what I believe is obvious are two different things. You aren't allowing the obvious interpretation because you have already ruled it out as obviously wrong.

Kelly said...

When I was checking on the Greek singular and plural in Matthew 16, I ran across this website, and I found this pastor's interpretation interesting:

Notice what Jesus says about Peter's insight and future role as a result of his insightful reply in Matthew 16:17-19:

* Peter received this revelation from God.
* Jesus will build his church upon this revelatory word.
* The gates of Hell shall not prevail against this church.
* Peter will receive "keys" which will enable him to "bind" and "loose."

So, what is this that Christ has promised Peter. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty, but it would appear that Peter's actions in the Book of Acts were empowered as a result of this declaration by Jesus. Specifically, when the Jews received the Word along with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2, see notes), who moderated? And when the Samaritans (half-breed Jews) received the same for the first time in Acts 8:9-25 (see notes), who was summoned to moderate? And when the Gentiles, in Acts 10:24-48 (see notes), likewise, received the Word along with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, who also moderated that event? If you said Peter in answer to all three questions, you are correct. It appears that on all three occasions Peter was exercising the "keys" which had been presented to him in this passage of scripture. As a result, three separate categories of people, Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles (that's everybody) were formally inducted into the newly-founded church, the Body of Christ. Those are some pretty powerful keys, wouldn't you say? There can be no question; Peter was set apart for special service on this occasion.

Some have suggested that Jesus was speaking collectively to all of the disciples when he made these statements. In other words, they claim that Jesus was designating apostolic authority here. However, the Greek wording is very clear here. While in English usage "you" or "thee" can be used as either a singular or plural second person pronoun, not so in Greek. All references in verses 17-19 using the second person personal pronoun are singular and refer only to Peter and Peter alone. The same is the case with the person and number of the Greek verbs used in those verses. Therefore, this was not a general commissioning to all of the disciples, but comments directed only to Peter, distinct from other general commissioning statements elsewhere directed to all of the Apostles. That much is certain.

Incidentally, for those who might wonder, this conversation between Jesus and his disciples obviously took place in Greek, not Aramaic or Hebrew. The special play on words between the Greek name assigned to Peter ("petros") and its similarity to the Greek word for "rock" ("petra") is key in Matthew 16:18, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." The differentiation of this sentence would have made no sense spoken in Aramaic or Hebrew. The "rock" (Greek: "petra") is not Peter himself, but rather the revelation given by Peter in verse 16, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." However, it should be noted that Peter's Greek name ("Petros") is a translation from the equivalent Aramaic word for "rock" as is seen in John 1:42 when Jesus says to him, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." However, the difference between the proper masculine Greek name ("Petros") and the feminine word for rock ("petra") is only a relational play on words in the Greek language. If such a play on words had been spoken between Jesus and Peter in Aramaic, Matthew surely would have given us the Aramaic equivalents in this passage.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Pardon me if you will.....
I think someone was asking about the meaning of 'key'? Look at Matthew 23:13.

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

Compare that to the parallel passage in Luke 11:52.

"Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."

Therefore the 'key' to the kingdom of heaven is knowledge.

Peace.

Barbara C. said...

I can't believe we're using the "Founding Fathers" as the judges of Catholicism. "Well, the Founding Fathers were anti-Catholic, so it must be justified." Whose being held up as infallible now? Thomas "Bible-mutilator" Jefferson?

Jennie, can't help it though. The name of her blog is "Pilgrim's Daughter". She takes great pride in her Pilgrim heritage, and the Pilgrim's were vehemently anti-Catholic. She gets it honest.
The dirty little secret of the pilgrims was that they wanted religious freedom...but only for themselves.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Jesus knew that he had to leave His leader on earth to keep men true to His teachings, and that is why he left with the Pope and the apostles, and the Catholic Church."
---------------
Elena,
Christ did leave His Leader on earth.
His name is:
"The Holy Spirit"
The true Vicar of Christ.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Not the point. No reformation, no Protestantism, no Mormon church... deal with it jennie."
---------------
That's as logical as :
No Roman Catholic Church,
No disillusioned seminary student named Adolf,
No disillusioned seminary student, no Nazism.

Barbara C. said...

"The FFs believed from experience that the RCs allegiance was to the Pope above their nation. I don't know how individual U.S. Catholics today think about this allegiance, but the FFs feared the papacy back then because of how it had ruled over nations and kings for centuries and demanded total allegiance from its adherents."

First of all Jennie, is your first allegiance to God or your nation? You gotta serve somebody as Dylan once sang. So are you going to condemn someone because they put their faith first?

So like most people of faith, Catholics must navigate between the tenants of their faith and the realities of living in a multi-cultural society.

Secondly, I think you are confusing the Pope with a dictator. The Pope works in conjunction with the Magisterium. He's the person where the buck stops, though. He makes the final decision as to what is correct understanding of faith and application of practice. He is the head of the household so to speak.

Third, the reason the Church ruled was partly because it WAS the only Christian Church until the East/West split and partly because it was the only thing that held Western Civilization together after the fall of the Roman Empire. Western Civilization and Christianity (Catholicism) were one and the same. It wasn't because of the Iron Hand of the Popes.

Fourth, the FFs feared Catholicism because it is not a democracy. It is indeed a monarchy with Christ being our King and the Pope and Magisterium being His stewards. Even today this is a shocking idea, in America especially.

And a large problem with sola scriptura is that many sincere individuals can read the Bible and come to widely varying interpretations depending on their understanding of history, language, and Jewish context, as well as the limits and prejudices of their own upbringing. So you can have two sola scripture churches on same street with varying beliefs. And when you add in American democracy, most of them probably took a vote amongst themselves to decide what is true, the educated and uneducated, the sincere and insincere alike.

Paul said...

Barbara C wrote:
"And a large problem with sola scriptura is that many sincere individuals can read the Bible and come to widely varying interpretations depending on their understanding of history, language, and Jewish context, as well as the limits and prejudices of their own upbringing."
---------------
This problem is not unique.
It can also be seen among Roman Catholic's regarding Scripture as well as the Catechism.
Since very few if any Bible passages have been infallibly interpreted by the magisterium. That's why claiming to have an Infallible Magisterium to interpret the Scriptures as well as Sacred Tradition is really useless to the private interpreter of the Infallible interpretation.
Incidentally, many of the ECF's believed in the perspicuity of Scripture. This was not first introduced by the Reformers.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
I can't believe we're using the "Founding Fathers" as the judges of Catholicism. "Well, the Founding Fathers were anti-Catholic, so it must be justified."
That's not the point I was trying to make. The founding fathers had reason to fear the political aims of the papacy, which had shown itself to be the enemy of liberty for hundreds of years and many of them had recent ancestors who had escaped the lack of religious freedom of Europe. They did not want to welcome the same thing here. In this time in this country we don't have any personal conception of this fear.

Elena said...

Oh nice Paul - you're comparing Naziism with Mormonism. And this is why I dislike talking with both of you and why Kelly - this thread should have shut down about four hours ago.

Paul said...

Kelly wrote:
"All that to say, you do not need to prove that the modern papacy existed in the earliest days of the Church. We know that it did not. But the seeds were there, and it was Jesus' intention that it be established in the way that it was."
----------
Kelly,
This is what Cardinal Newman was forced to Theorize in his Development Hypothesis:
"It will be said that all this is a theory. Certainly it is: it is a theory to account for facts as they lie in the history, to account for so much being told us about the Papal authority in early times, and not more; a theory to reconcile what is and what is not recorded about it; and, which is the principal point, a theory to connect the words and acts of the Ante-nicene Church with that antecedent probability of a monarchical principle in the Divine Scheme, and that actual exemplification of it in the fourth century, which forms their presumptive interpretation. All depends on the strength of that presumption. Supposing there be otherwise good reason for saying that the Papal Supremacy is part of Christianity, there is nothing in the early history of the Church to contradict it"
(An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 154 of the London:1878 edition)


And yet, this is not what Vatican I claimed.
Nor did Satis Cognitum.

They used terms and descriptions like ever, always etc.
In fact Cardinal Newman was so opposed to the claims that he saw coming before the council that he prayed there would be an upraising or a supernatural intervention that would prevent the council. He knew that what was about to become dogma was based on unhistorical claims.

Jennie said...

She takes great pride in her Pilgrim heritage, and the Pilgrim's were vehemently anti-Catholic. She gets it honest.
The dirty little secret of the pilgrims was that they wanted religious freedom...but only for themselves.

You don't think, since they were escaping persecution by the Church of England, which they considered to be much the same as the Catholic Church, that they had reason to be anti-catholic? They had personal experience of this and had lost much because of it. Certainly they wanted religious freedom, but to them there was only one religion that made men free, and that is Biblical faith. I don't advocate denying rights to anyone, and I'm glad we all have religious freedom here, but I understand why they believed the way they did at the time.

Paul said...

Elena,
you are over-reacting.
I was merely pointing out a flaw in your logic.
I have never compared Nazism with Mormonism nor the RCC. You get way too emotional when you are challenged. And you seem to want to shut discussions down whenever things get difficult as well.

Kelly said...

And this is why I dislike talking with both of you and why Kelly - this thread should have shut down about four hours ago.

You can certainly close it down if you wish. I prefer to just drop from the discussion when it gets too trivial or out of hand. Eventually, they'll get tired of talking to themselves. :)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

America! Land of the brave, home of the free.

Former 'heretics' ran away from persecution and founded a land, and granted religious freedom to all, including former persecutors.

Constitution protects us from having a state church or state religion. State church or state religion=persecution.


I will tell you a parable. People have found their way around the church - state issue. They are now using the political forum as a means of indoctrinating the rest of us with their beliefs, whether good or bad, moral or immoral. Diverse beliefs are being put upon the unsuspecting from political forums. Many will be persecuted for their moral beliefs because it opposes the beliefs of others. I say nothing more. Whoever understands let him understand.

Peace.

Elena said...

Elena,
you are over-reacting.


I don't think so. Saying that whenever I see certain names responding to a thread makes me nauseous might be over reacting.

However I guess it shouldn't surprise me that you would eventually succumb to Godwin's Rule - typical actually.

Elena said...

You get way too emotional when you are challenged.

How would you know? I haven't seen any serious challenges in this forum yet.

Inane arguments however drive me nuts. If I want to talk in circles or have ridiculous arguments over nothing - well I have teenagers for that.

Elena said...

And you seem to want to shut discussions down whenever things get difficult as well.

I shut them down when they wander way off topic - you know like when comparisons are made between the Mormons and the Nazi's on a thread about the Primacy of St. Peter with a dash of Thomas Jefferson thrown in for good measure. Eegads my finger quivers over the close out button!

Jennie said...

Kelly,
here are the verses with the word key or keys in them which were in any way relevant. There were three others which were not relevant: two about the key to the bottomless pit in Rev. and one in Judges about a literal key.

The first and the last passages both refer to Jesus, the Isaiah one being prophetic of Christ.
The Rev. 1:18 passage is about Jesus having the keys of Hades and Death. I'm not sure if that is helpful here.
The Luke 11:52 passage is helpful if you go back to verse 37 and read the whole passage. It's about the scribes and pharisees making up laws and traditions that keep themselves and others from actually obeying the law of God, which is fulfilled by loving God and loving your neighbor. They took away the key of knowledge which is true faith in God that brings this love and true obedience to the law. They twisted the law, God's word, to benefit themselves.

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.

Matthew 16:19
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.”

Luke 11:52
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”

Revelation 1:18
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Revelation 3:7
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘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”


I'm not sure that this really answers our question, though, about what precedent there is in scripture to say what the keys of the kingdom are.
We need to look up 'kingdom of heaven' and see what it says about how to enter. I think I know the answer, though. The gospel is the answer: that Jesus died and rose again to give us His righteousness and His life.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
getting back to your quotes from the pastor's website about Peter and the rock, etc.
I agreed with alot of what the pastor said, especially about Peter being the one who first introduced the gospel to the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles. This is true.
It's true that Jesus was speaking to Peter in the Mt. 16 passage, though it's arguable that He was not excluding the others and all the rest of the believers from this also, just giving Peter the leadership in it. I don't have any problem with this.
The thing is, that none of this has any bearing on whether there is a succession in this office that Peter is given, and no connection to Roman bishops whatsoever.
Certainly there is a succession of authority when the Apostles and elders appointed new elders and started new churches. This is not infallible Apostolic authority that is passed down. God's word became the infallible authority, along with the true 'Vicar of Christ' the Holy Spirit, as Paul earlier said in the thread here.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
I said
"The FFs believed from experience that the RCs allegiance was to the Pope above their nation. I don't know how individual U.S. Catholics today think about this allegiance, but the FFs feared the papacy back then because of how it had ruled over nations and kings for centuries and demanded total allegiance from its adherents."

You said
First of all Jennie, is your first allegiance to God or your nation? You gotta serve somebody as Dylan once sang. So are you going to condemn someone because they put their faith first?

My first allegiance is to God, but God doesn't ask me to attempt to gradually subvert the laws of the nation in order to bring the nation under the power of the Roman Catholic Church. The popes have done this, and other things, in order to gain political influence or political ends. God only asks me to obey His word and share the gospel no matter what the cost. He doesn't ask me to coerce anyone, but only to share the gospel.

Secondly, I think you are confusing the Pope with a dictator.
You don't seem to realize that for many years the popes WERE dictators and coerced people to convert or die. This is not the gospel. This is not how Jesus commanded His disciples to spread the gospel and make disciples.

Barbara C. said...

"You don't think, since they were escaping persecution by the Church of England, which they considered to be much the same as the Catholic Church, that they had reason to be anti-catholic?"

Anglicanism is usually referred to as "Catholic Light". What do you expect from a denomination that was created so Henry VIII could get a divorce? Guess who else was being persecuted in England at this time, though? Catholics. But I guess they deserved it.

When the Puritans came to America they were intent on founding a very strict theocracy...actually more strict than life under those tyrannical Popes you keep mentioning (or at least vaguely referring to in the pejorative). They renamed the days of the week, would not celebrate Christmas, and banned or persecuted those who did not step in line with their understanding of scripture, faith, or worship.

And apostolic succession and papal infallibility are not the same thing. Apostolic succession refers to the passing on of leadership and the gifts given to the apostles from ordained priests to ordained priests. There are even Lutheran priests who are considered valid Catholic priests if they can trace their line of ordination back to Luther himself (who was a valid priest).

Papal infallibility is not seen as a direct secession from Pope to Pope in the same way. The sitting Pope does not know who the next Pope will be and can not "pass it on". It is the understanding that Christ's steward (the first being Peter) on earth will not be allowed by God to lead His church into error when it comes to matters of faith and practice, despite the personal qualities or opinions of the man elected Pope. And this has held true for close to 2000 years.

Barbara C. said...

"You don't seem to realize that for many years the popes WERE dictators and coerced people to convert or die."

First of all, not the all of the Popes were ordering people to do such things. Many Christians in leadership positions (Catholic and Protestant alike) did these things to further their own private agendas. (Take Christopher Columbus for example.) If you're talking about the years leading up to the Protestant reformation there were many popes that were the political puppets of the various monarchies. While most of Europe was a Catholic Christian theocracy, the balance of political and religious power was way more complex than you are describing.

And "convert or die" was the norm for EVERYONE in those times. Why do you think England got so messed up with religious turmoil? Just like a slave whose Master became Christian in the first century was expected to convert without a choice, subjects of the king/queen were expected to follow the faith of the monarch even if it changed with every generation. This was business as usual even after the reformation. You think African slaves in America had "optional" conversion---or you going to blame that one on the Popes, too?

I agree that this is not how Jesus commanded his Apostles to spread the gospel and make disciples. Of course, I'm not sure he commanded his Apostles to go around criticizing each other who are doing their best to follow Jesus' commandments the best way they know how.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
Papal infallibility is not seen as a direct secession from Pope to Pope in the same way. The sitting Pope does not know who the next Pope will be and can not "pass it on". It is the understanding that Christ's steward (the first being Peter) on earth will not be allowed by God to lead His church into error when it comes to matters of faith and practice, despite the personal qualities or opinions of the man elected Pope. And this has held true for close to 2000 years.

I vehemently disagree with this statement, first of all that the pope is God's steward, but secondly that the popes have not led the church into error in faith and practice. Jesus and the Apostles warned that there would be false teachers and false apostles, wolves in sheep's clothing that would come in and lead many astray. Paul taught of a great apostasy, a great 'falling away' that would happen. There was never a guarantee that the church would not do this. There are promises that God preserves a remnant when this happens. The reformers and many along the way from the beginning, objected to practices and teachings that had begun to come in even immediately after the church began. The reformers documented many of these errors, and so of course did the Church Fathers before them, though both these groups had errors of their own as well.

Jennie said...

Barbara,
Guess who else was being persecuted in England at this time, though? Catholics. But I guess they deserved it.

When the Puritans came to America they were intent on founding a very strict theocracy...actually more strict than life under those tyrannical Popes you keep mentioning (or at least vaguely referring to in the pejorative). They renamed the days of the week, would not celebrate Christmas, and banned or persecuted those who did not step in line with their understanding of scripture, faith, or worship.


Nobody deserves persecution; or I should say, though we all may deserve punishment, none of us has the right to do it to anyone else.

About the Puritans, I think they had a right to a certain extent to impose order and try to protect their society, but I don't know that the extent they went to was good. Unfortunately, persecution and fear beget more persecution and fear. If no part of the church had begun to do this to others, it would not have propagated. The puritans feared a return of the former life if they allowed any in that practiced the Catholic religion. Sin begets sin; fear begets fear; persecution begets persecution in turn. It's not excusable, but this explains why these things happened.

Elena said...

Back to the significance of the keys:

The power of the "keys," in the Hebrew mind, had to do with administrative authority and ecclesiastical discipline...

Like the name "rock," this privilege was bestowed only upon St. Peter and no other disciple or Apostle. He was to become God's "vice-regent," so to speak.25
In the Old Testament, a steward was a man over a house (Genesis 43:19, 44:4, 1 Kings 4:6, 16:9, 18:3, 2 Kings 10:5, 15:5, 18:18, Isaiah 22:15). The steward was also called a "governor" in the Old Testament and has been described by commentators as a type of "prime minister."
In the New Testament, the two words often translated as "steward" are oikonomos (Luke 16:2-3, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, Titus 1:7, 1 Peter 4:10), and epitropos (Matthew 20:8, Galatians 4:2). Several Protestant commentaries and dictionaries take the position that Christ is clearly hearkening back to Isaiah 22:15-22 when He makes this pronouncement, and that it has something to do with delegated authority in the Church He is establishing (in the same context).26 He applies the same language to Himself in Revelation 3:7 (cf. Job 12:14), so that his commission to Peter may be interpreted as an assignment of powers to the recipient in His stead, as a sort of authoritative representative or ambassador.


Dave Armstrong, A Biblical Defense.

Elena said...

continued...

The "opening" and "shutting" (in Isaiah 22:2) appear to refer to a jurisdictional power which no one but the king (in the ancient kingdom of Judah) could override. Literally, it refers to the prime minister's prerogative to deny or allow entry to the palace, and access to the king. In Isaiah's time, this office was over three hundred years old, and is thought to have been derived by Solomon from the Egyptian model of palace functionary, or the Pharaoh's "vizier," who was second in command after the Pharaoh. This was exactly the office granted to Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 41:40-44, 45:8).27
The symbol of keys always represented authority in the Middle East. This standpoint comes down to us in our own culture when we observe mayors giving an honored visitor the "key to the city." The reputable Commentary on the Whole Bible (1864), by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, a Protestant work, expounds Isaiah 22:15,22 as follows:

[The steward is] the king's friend,or principal officer of the court (1 Kings 4:5; 18:3; 1 Chronicles 27:33, the king's counsellor) . . .
Keys are carried sometimes in the East hanging from the kerchief on the shoulder. But the phrase is rather figurative for sustaining the government on one's shoulders. Eliakim, as his name implies, is here plainly a type of the God-man Christ, the son of "David," of whom Isaiah (ch. 9:6) uses the same language as the former clause of this verse [and the government will be upon his shoulder].28
One can confidently conclude, therefore, that when Old Testament usage and the culture of the hearers is closely examined, the phrase keys of the kingdom of heaven must have great significance (for Peter and for the papacy) indeed, all the more so since Christ granted this honor only to St. Peter.

Elena said...

Incidentally, many of the ECF's believed in the perspicuity of Scripture.

Understandable when the scriptures reflect your culture and possibly even are written in your language.

Centuries later in an entirely different language with thousands of different translations - not so much.

Elena said...

My first allegiance is to God, but God doesn't ask me to attempt to gradually subvert the laws of the nation in order to bring the nation under the power of the Roman Catholic Church.

I guess we'll never see you protesting at an abortion clinic. And bringing a cup of water to Terry Schiavo would have been out of the question!

Elena said...

The catechism says alot of things; has the Church actually effectively done this? That's the question.

This is the type of stuff I find highly offensive. We can't discuss or debate whether the Church has reached the Jennie standard for effectiveness (although given that her own relatives have converted to Catholicism the church must have something!) We can't possibly measure a subjective standard. But on this blog we can tell you what the church teaches and I think that graciously you should just accept that.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Jesus refers to Himself in Rev. 3:7 as the One who opens and no one can shut and who shuts and no one can open, just as the Isaiah 22 passage says; so how can this now be interpreted as referring to Peter?
In the Matthew passage Jesus refers to binding and loosing, not opening and shutting. These are two different things. The Bible always uses the same language when a NT passage fulfills an OT one. You can't twist one passage to fit another just because you feel like it. Both Peter and the other apostles were told they would bind and loose. Jesus, as God, is the only one who 'opens and no one can shut'.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I guess we'll never see you protesting at an abortion clinic. And bringing a cup of water to Terry Schiavo would have been out of the question!
I don't make remarks judging your personal actions and motivations, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't either.
I know that Catholics do alot of good things. We aren't discussing individuals, but a system and the doctrines of that system.
I prayed constantly for weeks for Terri Schiavo, and our whole family was very angry and grieved over her suffering and death.

Jennie said...

Elena,
The 'steward' idea still doesn't show a single line of succession from Peter onward, and certainly doesn't have anything to do with Roman bishops being the only ones to succeed him.
Jesus speaks of stewardship in His parables, and all believers should take these passages of stewardship in His kingdom to heart; all believers are stewards of His truth and of His love and goodness, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Certainly those in authority, that teach and preach and lead are even more accountable in this. All pastors (bishops) are accountable as special stewards over the flock; and they should be bringing the entire flock into the fulness of the Christian life as priests and stewards as well.

The idea of a single successor is rife with opportunities for abuse, because men, as Jesus well knew, are too apt to be tempted by power. Peter was one of 12, and he never took authority over the others; sometimes others, like Paul, called him to account or showed authority to equal his, and he deferred to them when it was appropriate. He was a leader among leaders.

Elena said...


Jesus refers to Himself in Rev. 3:7 as the One who opens and no one can shut and who shuts and no one can open, just as the Isaiah 22 passage says; so how can this now be interpreted as referring to Peter?


Easy. Jesus can give his chief steward the keys to open and shut the door. That would be Peter.



In the Matthew passage Jesus refers to binding and loosing, not opening and shutting. These are two different things.

They are however, related.


The Bible always uses the same language when a NT passage fulfills an OT one. You can't twist one passage to fit another

You can however extrapolate and use information from one section to interpret another. I submit that that is what an informed educated historical and thorough interpretation would do.


.

Elena said...

I guess we'll never see you protesting at an abortion clinic. And bringing a cup of water to Terry Schiavo would have been out of the question!

"I don't make remarks judging your personal actions and motivations, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't either. "


The "you" of course was rhetorical. Nonetheless it is ridiculous in my opinion for a Christian to hold the position that being a Christian never means usurping the civil law. Christians have historically always worked against the established civil laws. Abortion and Terri Schiavo are two recent examples. The civil rights movement also comes to mind as does the abolition of slavery.

Elena said...

The 'steward' idea still doesn't show a single line of succession from Peter onward, and certainly doesn't have anything to do with Roman bishops being the only ones to succeed him.

So? This thread isn't supposed to be about apostolic succession. That is a different topic. It does however support the Primacy of Peter theme.

Elena said...

Peter was one of 12, and he never took authority over the others;

Our point however is that Peter didn't take his role - Jesus gave it to him.

Elena said...

I know that Catholics do alot of good things

Ah! A bone is thrown to the misinformed, misguided, lead astray and dense Catholics! Thanks Jennie :-)

Dr MikeyMike said...

I guess we can find time to do nice things when we are not assisting the papacy in its evil plot to suppress free thinking and overturn righteous governments.

Kelly said...

DOW wrote: Former 'heretics' ran away from persecution and founded a land, and granted religious freedom to all, including former persecutors.

Constitution protects us from having a state church or state religion. State church or state religion=persecution.


Except that this is not true. There was not religious freedom for all. All of the early colonies had established religions, and many of the first states did as well. There were religion tests for holding office. Brush up on your early American history.

Jennie wrote (in her bold): The thing is, that none of this has any bearing on whether there is a succession in this office that Peter is given, and no connection to Roman bishops whatsoever.

The thing is, Jennie, the topic is the primacy of Peter, not apostolic succession. Please re-read the post if necessary. Apostolic succession is its own topic.

Crying baby, brb.

Jennie said...

Nonetheless it is ridiculous in my opinion for a Christian to hold the position that being a Christian never means usurping the civil law. Christians have historically always worked against the established civil laws. Abortion and Terri Schiavo are two recent examples. The civil rights movement also comes to mind as does the abolition of slavery.

I hold the position that civil disobedience is right for a Christian if he is being told by the law to disobey God. Usurping laws or subverting the laws of a country in order to bring them into position to be in control by the pope is not the same thing as civil disobedience such as what Peter and John did when the sanhedrin ordered them to stop preaching in Jesus name.

The abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century was accomplished mainly by protestants in England and in the US, and was opposed by many Roman catholic bishops of the South. The pope was on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Kelly said...

Jennie wrote: Paul taught of a great apostasy, a great 'falling away' that would happen. There was never a guarantee that the church would not do this. There are promises that God preserves a remnant when this happens.

Sure, there was the great falling away from the Catholic Church by the reformers, but a faithful remnant remains. Jesus' promise the the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church has held true.

More from Jennie: Unfortunately, persecution and fear beget more persecution and fear. If no part of the church had begun to do this to others, it would not have propagated. The puritans feared a return of the former life if they allowed any in that practiced the Catholic religion. Sin begets sin; fear begets fear; persecution begets persecution in turn. It's not excusable, but this explains why these things happened.

I love it! If the any non-Catholic Christians also persecuted people, it was STILL the fault of the Catholic Church!

Please rest assured, that we can also let the Catholic Church off of the hook. You see, they were persecuted by the Romans. Persecution beget persecution, and that doesn't excuse it, but it explains why these things happen.

Elena has said everything I would have said on the issue of keys and stewards, so I won't repeat that.

Now, Tuesday is my busy day, so I probably won't be back until this evening. I will leave comments open until that time for any further thoughts on the subject of the primacy of Peter.

Jennie, earlier in the thread you seemed to agree that Peter was distinguished from the other 11 apostles, but your last comment indicates you feel they were all equals. Perhaps, you could summarize you position on this topic.

When I return this evening, I am going to close the comments. The next post will be the "guest post" by St. Frances de Sales on the subject of rock/cornerstone/foundation. I do not know if I will have time to put it up tonight, or if it will wait until tomorrow.

Play nice, guys!

Jennie said...

Jennie, earlier in the thread you seemed to agree that Peter was distinguished from the other 11 apostles, but your last comment indicates you feel they were all equals. Perhaps, you could summarize you position on this topic.

I believe that Peter, just like Paul, was given authority in certain areas, and certain responsibilities and privileges. Peter was given the responsibility and privilege of leading the way to preach the gospel to each of the main groups of people: Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. He administered severe discipline including death, such as to Ananias and Sapphira (of course, he was just giving the sentence the Holy Spirit determined). He also severely reprimanded Simon the magician. However, he was not considered by Paul to be in authority over him, but to be an equal. Peter did not express authority over the other apostles or over James of Jerusalem. So, I believe he had a special office among the Apostles, but was equal with them.

Jennie said...

Kelly and Elena,
I mentioned the succession issue because in my experience the primacy issue is raised in order to argue for the papacy. I'm just saying there's no logical, Biblical, or historical connection between Peter as Apostle and Roman bishops as his successors.

Elena said...

I hold the position that civil disobedience is right for a Christian if he is being told by the law to disobey God. Usurping laws or subverting the laws of a country in order to bring them into position to be in control by the pope is not the same thing as civil disobedience such as what Peter and John did when the sanhedrin ordered them to stop preaching in Jesus name.

I'm pondering for a minute who could do a better job - Pope Benedict or Barrack Obama? But enough day dreams...

Jennie, bring it up to the 21st century will you? Was the Papacy involved heavily in the politics of Europe - you betcha. We're not denying that. But the role has evolved and emerged as have the times for all cultures and countries. So can we please look at what has developed instead of what was?

Elena said...

The abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century was accomplished mainly by protestants in England and in the US, and was opposed by many Roman catholic bishops of the South. The pope was on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Abolition was also supported by Catholics in the North under the guidance of the Bishop of New York. Catholics and Protestants fought for both the North and the South.

Incidentally Pope Pius IX never signed a statement of support or otherwise supported the South. He did address Jefferson Davis as "The Honorable" which apparently led a lot of people to think they knew his mind. This address to Davis BTW was made while he was sitting in prison. The Pope also sent him a crown of thorns which he had woven personally.

And how this relates to the Primacy of Peter - no clue.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Sure, there was the great falling away from the Catholic Church by the reformers, but a faithful remnant remains. Jesus' promise the the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church has held true.

If the reformers were the ones who fell away, why did the Reformation happen after God's word became widely available in the common languages? It began when learned men found the true gospel in God's word and then translated the Word, under threat of death, so others could read and hear it too.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Elena said...

If the reformers were the ones who fell away, why did the Reformation happen after God's word became widely available in the common languages?

Because it was easier to twist it, turn it, make it say anything one wanted it to say as well as print propaganda tracts - and since the people could just "read it for themselves" (assuming they could read) it was much easier to spread error than it had been previously.

Jennie said...

And how this relates to the Primacy of Peter - no clue.
You brought up the slavery issue, along with Terri Schiavo, etc. I was just answering you.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Because it was easier to twist it, turn it, make it say anything one wanted it to say as well as print propaganda tracts - and since the people could just "read it for themselves" (assuming they could read) it was much easier to spread error than it had been previously.

So when people can read it for themselves, it's easier to twist the meaning of scripture or add to it then it is when only an elite few can read it and 'interpret' it for them, adding any doctrines they want and calling them 'oral tradition'? Don't forget the Bereans who were more noble because they even checked scripture when Paul preached to them.

Kelly said...

I mentioned the succession issue because in my experience the primacy issue is raised in order to argue for the papacy.

Of course I'm arguing for the papacy. But breaking things into individual points helps keep things on topic. Well, generally.

Plus, we can find more areas of specific agreement. I assume you would not deny something just because you fear I am going to try to trap you in some way later. Either something is true, or it isn't.

If the reformers were the ones who fell away, why did the Reformation happen after God's word became widely available in the common languages? It began when learned men found the true gospel in God's word and then translated the Word, under threat of death, so others could read and hear it too.

If Jesus wanted the Gospel spread to the whole world, why would it be allowed to die away after a generation and then be lost for 1500 years? Why let all of those generations (except for those few secret Christians) be damned to hell because they lived after Christ and before the Reformation?

Wouldn't it have been easier if God had just waited until the 1600's to have the Incarnation?

Just as an aside, there were Catholic Bibles printed in the vernacular in circulation before the Reformation. They were not prohibited.

Elena said...

You brought up the slavery issue, along with Terri Schiavo, etc. I was just answering you.

Which of course was in response to something you said first. This is why it is so important to stay on topic like a laser beam.

Elena said...

So when people can read it for themselves, it's easier to twist the meaning of scripture or add to it then it is when only an elite few can read it and 'interpret' it for them, adding any doctrines they want and calling them 'oral tradition'?

Yep. For example if someone has no clue about the culture during biblical times they will miss a lot of the meanings because they will simply be unfamiliar with them.

Not only that, it was easier for the printer to add, change, or rephrase things anyway he wanted.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Not only that, it was easier for the printer to add, change, or rephrase things anyway he wanted.

A protestant printer would have the utmost respect for the scripture and would have the integrity to leave it as it was written. The reformers had no reason to change anything but had interest in transmitting it as closely as humanly possible to the original intent. We also assume Godly men were assisted by the Holy Spirit in their endeavors to translate the scriptures.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
If Jesus wanted the Gospel spread to the whole world, why would it be allowed to die away after a generation and then be lost for 1500 years? Why let all of those generations (except for those few secret Christians) be damned to hell because they lived after Christ and before the Reformation?

I don't think that's an accurate representation of what happened, or of the protestant understanding of history. There were many people in and out of the Catholic, and later Roman Catholic and orthodox, church who trusted in Christ, and if they had some wrong beliefs, I believe God was and is merciful. The danger is, that if the gospel is not clear, many will miss it. It is important to be sure it is as clear as possible. I think there are many things that both protestants and catholics don't understand, but that God has reserved for Himself to know.

Elena said...

A protestant printer would have the utmost respect for the scripture and would have the integrity to leave it as it was written.

Maybe. OR maybe the publisher wanted one word or phrase emphasized over another, or maybe the publisher was loyal to Luther over Calvin and Zwingli. What we know for certain is that Luther and the other reforms did not have respect for the way the scriptures had been for over 1000 years and took out the deuterocanonical books and Luther even tried to add a word.

It's all a matter of perspective and this too is also way off topic.

Elena said...

I believe God was and is merciful. The danger is, that if the gospel is not clear, many will miss it.

You are making Kelly's point. It seems odd that in your paradigm God would allow multiple generations for centuries to be in such "danger."

Jennie said...

Elena,
God allowed the Israelites to be in disobedience to Him for very long periods of time, but there was always a remnant.
What about the heathen that didn't have God's word for many generations?
What about all the people who died in the flood? There are many things we don't understand.

Jennie said...

Elena,
What we know for certain is that Luther and the other reforms did not have respect for the way the scriptures had been for over 1000 years and took out the deuterocanonical books and Luther even tried to add a word.

I believe the deuterocanonical books were not considered officially a part of inspired scripture by the RCC until Trent. The Hebrew scriptures did not contain them. The reformers did not remove them from the canon.

Elena said...

God allowed the Israelites to be in disobedience to Him for very long periods of time, but there was always a remnant.

A remnant with a leader.

So the unsung leaders of the Pre-Protestant movement would have been?

Elena said...

I believe the deuterocanonical books were not considered officially a part of inspired scripture by the RCC until Trent

And you would be wrong.

But this too has nothing to do with the Primacy of Peter.

Jennie said...

Here's a link about Luther allegedly adding a word to scripture.
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/07/response-to-catholic-apologist-bob.html

Elena said...

Oh thank you for that link Jennie because it hands down proved MY POINT about the ability to mess with scripture easier once the printing press came on the scene. Particularly paragraph 3 where they talk about "implied" word. LOL!!

Jennie said...

I don't have anything more to say about Peter, unless I respond to someone else who has some more to say. I already answered Kelly about what I believe about Peter's primacy. If anyone wants to read my blog post on 'Who is the Rock?' it's on the front page of my blog.

Jennie said...

Particularly paragraph 3 where they talk about "implied" word. LOL!!
You know that often it is hard to get the exact meaning when translating from one language to another. The post stated that there were Catholic scholars who had translated it the same way earlier.

Elena said...

Ah then Kelly I think we're done. Your points pretty much stood up and the issue of the keys I think made it a slam dunk.

As a side note, that was one of the points that helped me in my re-conversion to my Catholic faith.

So thanks for posting this Kelly - please take the last word.

Jennie said...

Elena,
A remnant with a leader.

So the unsung leaders of the Pre-Protestant movement would have been?


Where does it say there has to be any leader but God for the remnant?

But just because you don't know about them doesn't mean there weren't any. Out of sight out of mind.

Elena said...

Where does it say there has to be any leader but God for the remnant?

That is the biblical model is it not?

So if we go with this a bit further... The Catholics DID have a leader, in fact leaders all over the world.

And the pre-Protestants did not.

I'm just sayin.

Elena said...

"Catholic scholars"


Joseph A. Fitzmyer! LOLOLOLOL

Barbara C. said...

I had a post earlier that didn't go through...

But I started looking for specific instances of the Catholic Church encouraging the flock to subvert their nations government in order to hand control over to the papacy. Not really sure that one exists.

I did come across a creatively edited little anti-Catholic video that uses almost the exact wording Jennie does from "The Founding Fathers...to subverting nations". Another excellent source of propaganda--I mean history-- she's using

Jennie said...

Elena,
It said Catholic scholars BEFORE LUTHER'S translation was done. NOT Joseph Fitzmyer.

Elena said...

The smoking gun.

Kelly said...

The reformers had no reason to change anything but had interest in transmitting it as closely as humanly possible to the original intent.

Oh, of course. No reformer would refer to the book of James as "an epistle of straw" or say that Revelation was neither apostolic nor prophetic. No wait, Luther did that . . .

I'm not going off on the Deuterocanonical rabbit trail at all.

I see you guys did an admirable job bringing the primacy thread to a close, so I'll close comments now.