2 YEARS LATER: Saint Peter Servant of His Brothers

Saint Peter, Servant of his Brothers


Canterbury Tales offers a good summary of why Catholics were so excited to greet their Holy Father in the faith last week, and why our allegiance follows him- as the inheritor of the Petrine ministry which Christ instituted for the Church- back to Rome:

“An investigation of the New Testament reveals that Peter is not just another apostle. Nor is he merely prima inter pares – first among equals. Rather, he is deeply conformed to the work and mission of Christ. He is, as we say, the vicar of Christ.

Peter’s name is mentioned 195 times in the New Testament – more than all the other Apostles combined.”

Mt 16:18 – Jesus: “on this rock (Peter) I will build my Church.”
Mt 16:19 – Jesus: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom…whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven.”
Lk 22:32 – Jesus: Peter’s faith will strengthen his brethren
Jn 21:17 – Jesus: Peter is Christ’s chief shepherd who “feeds the sheep.”

Lk 24:34 – Peter is first apostle to see resurrected Christ
Mk 16:7 – angel sent to announce resurrection to Peter
Acts 1:13-26 – Peter oversees the election of Matthias
Acts 2:14 – Peter preaches the first apostolic sermon
Acts 3:6-7 – Peter performs the first apostolic miracle
Acts 8:21 – Peter excommunicates the first heretic
Acts 10:44-46 – Peter baptizes the first Gentile
Acts 15:7 – Peter presides over the first apostolic council
Acts 15:19 – Peter pronounces the first apostolic dogma
Gal 1:18 – Paul submits himself to Peter after his conversion

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10 Responses to 2 YEARS LATER: Saint Peter Servant of His Brothers

  1. Constantine says:

    “An investigation of the New Testament reveals that Peter is not just another apostle. Nor is he merely prima inter pares – first among equals. Rather, he is deeply conformed to the work and mission of Christ. He is, as we say, the vicar of Christ.

    Maybe you could explain why an archbishop of the Church would disagree with this.

    “Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, in his speech prepared for, but not delivered in, the Vatican Council, and published at Naples in 1870, declares that Roman Catholics cannot establish the Petrine privilege from Scripture, because of the clause in the Creed of Pius IV, binding them to interpret Scripture only according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers. And he adds that there are five different patristic interpretations of St. Matt. 16:18: (1) That St. Peter is the Rock, taught by seventeen Fathers; (2) that the whole Apostolic College is the Rock, represented by Peter as its chief, taught by eight; (3) that St. Peter’s faith is the Rock, taught by forty-four; (4) that Christ is the Rock, taught by sixteen; (5) that the Rock is the whole body of the faithful. Several who teach (x) and (2) also teach (3) and (4), and so the Archbishop sums up thus: “If we are bound to follow the greater number of Fathers in this matter, then we must hold for certain that the word Petra means not Peter professing the faith, but the faith professed by Peter”. – Friedrich, Docum. ad illust. Conc. Vat. I. pp. 185-246.”

    Who should we believe, Taylor Marshall or a member of the Roman Magisterium?

  2. thefrenchchick says:

    Since you ask, I’ll go with Taylor Marshall. Since the summary given by Marshall agrees with the teachings of the two bishops, two arch-bishops, and all of the priests that have instructed me in my faith.

    There have been dissenting clergy and Roman Magisterium throughout the history of the Catholic church. Why would I believe any of them?

  3. Agent99 says:

    Oooh, Anonymous, that was so witty and compelling. \

    And Constantine — one archbishop does not a Magisterium make. As thefrenchchick pointed out, there have always been dissenters. So what?

    Do you honestly believe that official Magisterial Catholic Teaching states that the popes are NOT the successors of Peter and the Rock of the Church?

    Next you will be telling us that you believe the Strossmayer forgery, too. ;)

    BTW, are you aware that the same Fathers who identified the Rock with Peter’s confession ALSO identified it with Peter himself? (E.g., Chrysostom, among many.) That’s because they saw Peter and his confession as inseparable. But they virtually always saw the primary meaning of Rock as Peter himself. The very syntax of the Scriptural passage demands this interpretation. Nowhere in this passage does Jesus say, “And upon your confession of faith I will build My Church.” Nowhere. You have to twist the syntax into a pretzel to get it to yield such an interpretation.

    It never fails to amaze me when these old canards are trotted out and presented as if they were slam-dunks. If it were that easy to overturn Catholic claims, our Church would not have survived two years, let alone 2000.

  4. Constantine says:

    Hey Frenchchick,

    Thanks for your note.

    It’s curious though that your decision is entirely a private one (i.e.I’ll go with Taylor Marshall) and doesn’t address why an Archbishop of the Church disagrees. And it is surely wrong to refer to Archbishop Kendrick as a “dissenter”. You can verify for yourself, but he was a seminary professor in Philadelphia(a seminary with his name is still existent in the archdiocese of St. Louis, MO, USA) and was personally chosen by the pope to be bishop, and then archbishop of St. Louis. The same Pope personally invited him to attend Vatican I where the paper I mentioned was published. He was not a dissenter but rather chosen by the pope.

    As to Mr. Marshall, who I’m sure is a fine gentleman, his judgement should be considered suspect. Look no farther, please than his interpretations of the Biblical passages he cites. To wit:

    Mr. Marshall: Acts 10:44-46 – Peter baptizes the first Gentile

    Come now, friends. Two chapters earlier (in Acts 8), Phillip baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch. Marshall is clearly wrong.

    Mr. Marshall: Acts 8:21 – Peter excommunicates the first heretic

    Simon was not a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church and could not, therefore, have been a heretic, according to the Roman definition. In fact, there is no record that Simon Magus was ever baptized by anyone. Simon, was therefore by definition not a heretic and could not be excommunicated since he was not a member of the church.

    Mr. Marshall: Mt 16:18 – Jesus: “on this rock (Peter) I will build my Church.”

    My earlier post shows why Catholics are forbidden, by the Magisterium, from believing Peter is “the rock”. If Romanists hold this position, they must also acclaim Matthew 16:23 wherein Christ referst to Peter as Satan.

    A European professor of Catholic theology puts it this way:
    “The study of the history of the Roman primacy has shown that Catholics must resign themselves to the fact that the New Testament does not support claims for Peter’s position of primacy, nor for succession to that position, nor for papal infallibility…Consequently, no historical foundation exists in the New Testament to justify the papal primacy. The concept of this primacy is, rather, a theological justification of a factual situation which had come about earlier and for other reasons.” ”

    Ohlig, Karl-Heinz. Why We Need the Pope: The Necessity and Limitations of Papal Primacy. Trans. Dr. Robert C. Ware. St. Meinrad, Indiana, USA. Abbey Press, 1975. Trans. of Braucht die Kirche einen Papst?. Germany, 1973.

    (Please note that this book was published by a Catholic publishing house.)
    All of the rest of Mr. Marshall’s quotes are likewise in error but the point has been made.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you from your deception.

    Peace.

  5. Constantine says:

    Dear Agent99,

    (Do you know a guy with a shoe phone? :)

    You say: one archbishop does not a Magisterium make.

    Fair enough. But this archbishop had the full support of the pope and he was a member in “full communion” with the Magisterium. You can find one example here, if you like:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F07EEDC133AE533A25752C0A9649D94609ED7CF

    Agent99: Do you honestly believe that official Magisterial Catholic Teaching states that the popes are NOT the successors of Peter and the Rock of the Church?

    No, I certainly don’t. In fact, Vatican I states explicity that anyone who believes such is under anathema. What I do believe, is that there is absolutely no historical or theological evidence for the claim that a) Peter was ever a bishop in Rome, b) or that the unbroken succession claimed by Vatican I is true. So I believe that the “Magisterial Catholic Teaching”, to which you hold, is entirely modern, does not hold with Tradition and is in error.

    So my question to you is, why do you believe, under pain of eternal damnation, that which is not possibly true? I’m not trying to be glib, here A99. I am asking you that in all seriousness. Eternity is at stake.

    Agent99, again: BTW, are you aware that the same Fathers who identified the Rock with Peter’s confession ALSO identified it with Peter himself? (E.g., Chrysostom, among many.) That’s because they saw Peter and his confession as inseparable.

    Are you also aware, A99, that nearly 70% of the Early Church Fathers, among them Augustine, didn’t believe that the “Rock” was Peter? So why do you follow even the smaller group who believe as you do? But the real point is that Catholic teaching prohibits you from believing Peter is the rock for the reasons Archbishop Kennrick cited, and which you have not refuted.

    But even more importantly, is that the Apostles didn’t believe Peter was a “pope”. Read Acts 8:14 and ask yourself under what possible scenario any one beneath the pope today could “send him out”.

    More importantly, still, Peter didn’t believe it. Read Acts 10:26. When Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet, Peter told him to get up because “I am just a man.” How could Peter have been so wrong if he was Pope? Couldn’t Christ protect even the first pope from error?

    And then ask yourself why Peter disappears entirely from the second half of the Book of Acts while the Apostle Paul is in the ascendancy? If Peter was so important to the Church, wouldn’t the writer of Acts have continued his story throughout?

    So I think you are twisting the “syntax” (I think you meant “context”), my friend. The Church until 1870 did not believe in a “primacy of jurisdiction” for the Pope of Rome. We shouldn’t either.

    God says, “I will not share my glory with another.” (Isaiah 48:11)

    Say hi to Maxwell Smart for me, and until next time,
    Peace, A99.

  6. aboriente says:

    Constantine,

    Sorry for the delayed response on this thread, but you are just wrong. I don’t want to argue about it, and I don’t have much time lately, so I might not get a chance to see any reply, but just wanted to point out one thing as a clear example. You say:

    ‘The Church until 1870 did not believe in a “primacy of jurisdiction” for the Pope of Rome. We shouldn’t either.’

    This is definitely not the truth as the canons and liturgy of the Church of the East, ancient as they are, plainly speak otherwise. If anything, Mar Abdisho’s canons in the 13th century already hold the primacy of the patriarch of Rome over all other patriarchs, and state his prerogatives plainly. And this is stated based on the teaching that was handed unto the Church from the West, when Mar Marutha came to the Church of the East.

    Peace

  7. Dirty Harry says:

    ON THIS ROCK………..

    Josephus (Josephus: Jewish Antiquities, Vol. iv, Bk iv, bk iii.36) says, “a river was to flow for them out of the rock” (petra).” In the New Testament petra signifies a great rock or mass of rock (e.g., Matt. 7:24 f.- Mark 15:46; Luke 6:48; 8:6, 13). An awareness of the distinction between petros and petra clears away difficulties of interpretation in Matthew 16:18. Some expositors, faced with a problem in verses 17-19 have questioned the genuineness of the passage. But such an approach does not come to grips with the main issue. There is no textual evidence that the verses in question are an interpolation, hence no reason for doubting their authenticity. An understanding of the distinction generally observed in Koine Greek between petra, a massive rock, and petros, a detached rock or stone, makes the words of Jesus clear.

    If it be argued that Jesus probably spoke Aramaic in the conversation with Peter, and that Aramaic makes no such distinction between the terms, it can be stated that the writer of the New Testament account understood a distinction and expressed it by the two different words.

    There are several strong arguments which show that Peter (petros) and the rock (petra) upon which the church is built are not identical. All the pronouns in Matthew 16:18 are emphatic, contrasting the person of Peter with the mighty rock which is the foundation of the church. The different genders (petros, masculine; and petra, feminine) emphasize a distinction in the references. Since petra is used metaphorically several times to indicate Christ (Rom. 9: 33; I Cor. 10: 4; I Pet. 2:8), it is in harmony with the Scriptures to take it thus in Matthew 16:18. In this light Jesus means that he is the foundation of the church. He speaks of himself as the builder, and uses the expression “my church.”

    So the New Testament ekklesia is built upon Christ’s deity and Saviorhood, upon the efficacy of his blood, and upon the immutability and objectivity of truth. It is obvious that no human being could be the support of such a structure. Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as the foundation (1 Cor. 3:11). The church is the creative work of God. Actually Peter’s confession was impossible apart from the divine revelation upon which his proclamation was based. Jesus makes this point clear in Matthew 16:17. This revelation was not disclosed to Peter only. It was also the experience of the other disciples, and it is the impetus which makes possible the confession of any and all believers now as then. The church is based upon the truth which Peter confessed, that is, upon the reality that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    In verse 18 our Lord is also in effect saying to Simon, “The power of the gospel which has transformed you into a man of dependable character [implied in petros] will likewise change other persons, and as a result of this redemption the church is built.”
    Thus we see that the church never produces salvation; salvation produces the church. There is a sense in which the inspired writings and work of all the apostles and prophets have their place in the divine plan of the church of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). In fact, all believers are living stones (lithoi) in God’s temple (1 Pet. 2:5). But Peter has no special position or prerogative above the other apostles. Nowhere in the New Testament is any supremacy assigned to him.”

    EARLY CHURCH WRITINGS WHICH INDICATE THAT THE ROCK FOUNDATION IN MT 16:18 IS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF

    (1) [Pope John Paul II
    http://home.att.net/~kguin/books3.html#anchor51660 ]:

    “Every time you wear these palliums, remember, dear brothers, that as pastors we are called to safeguard the purity of the Gospel and the unity of the Church of Christ, founded on the ‘rock’ of Peter’s faith.”

    (2) [Theodoret Bishop of Cyr [Cyrus] (396-466)
    Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), Volume III, Theodoret, Epistle 146, To John the Economus, p. 318]:

    “Let no one then foolishly suppose that the Christ is any other than the only begotten Son. Let us not imagine ourselves wiser than the gift of the Spirit. Let us hear the words of the great Peter, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Let us hear the Lord Christ confirming this confession, for ‘On this rock,’ He says, ‘I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.’ Wherefore too the wise Paul, most excellent master builder of the churches, fixed no other foundation than this. ‘I,’ he says, ‘as a wise master builder have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ How then can they think of any other foundation, when they are bidden not to fix a foundation, but to build on that which is laid? The divine writer recognises Christ as the foundation, and glories in this title…”

    (3) [Hilary of Poitiers (ca. 315-367/368)
    (On The Trinity, Book VI, 36, 37). ]:

    “And this is the rock of confession whereon the Church is built. But the perceptive faculties of flesh and blood cannot attain to the recognition and confession of this truth. It is a mystery, Divinely revealed, that Christ must be not only named, but believed, the Son of God. This faith it is which is the foundation of the Church; through this faith the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. This is the faith which has the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatsoever this faith shall have loosed or bound on earth shall be loosed or bound in heaven. (…) The very reason why he is blessed is that he confessed the Son of God. This is the Father’s revelation, this the foundation of the Church, this the assurance of her permanence. Hence has she the keys of the kingdom of heaven, hence judgment in heaven and judgment on earth.”

    [Hilary of Poitiers cont.
    On The Trinity, Book II, 23). (Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), [cf. Book VI.20]:

    “Thus our one immovable foundation, our one blissful rock of faith, is the confession from Peter’s mouth, Thou art the Son of the living God.”

    (4) [Augustine of Hippo (354-430) (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume VI, St. Augustin, Sermon XXVI, 1-3, pp. 340-341).]:

    “But whom say ye that I am? Peter answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, The Son of the living God.’ One for many gave the answer, Unity in many. Then said the Lord to him, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.’ Then He added, ‘and I say unto thee.’ As if He had said, ‘Because thou hast said unto Me, “Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God;” I also say unto thee, “Thou art Peter.” ‘ For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. ‘Therefore,’ he saith, ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock’ which Thou hast confessed, upon this rock which Thou hast acknowledged, saying, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;’ that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, ‘will I build My Church.’ I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon Thee. For men who wished to be built upon men, said, ‘I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas,’ who is Peter. But others who did not wish to built upon Peter, but upon the Rock, said, ‘But I am of Christ.’ And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, ‘Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?’ And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter. This same Peter therefore who had been by the Rock pronounced ‘blessed,’ bearing the figure of the Church….”

    (5) [Jerome (ca. 347-419)
    (Commentary on Matthew, 7.25, M.P.L., Vol. 26, Col. 51.) ]:

    “The one foundation which the apostolic architect laid is our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this stable and firm foundation, which has itself been laid on solid ground, the Church of Christ is built…For the Church was founded upon a rock…upon this rock the Lord established his Church; and the apostle Peter received his name from this rock (Mt. 16.18).”

    (6) [Cyril of Alexandria (died 444)
    (Commentary on Isaiah, IV, 2, M.P.G., Vol. 70, Col. 940). John Damascene (ca. 645-749)]:
    “But why do we say that they are ‘foundations of the earth’? For Christ is the foundation and unshakable base of all things Christ who restrains and holds together all things, that they may be very firm. Upon him also we all are built, a spiritual household, put together by the Holy Spirit into a holy temple in which he himself dwells; for by our faith he lives in our hearts. But the next foundations, those nearer to us, can be understood to be the apostles and evangelists, those eyewitnesses and ministers of the word who have arisen for the strengthening of the faith. For when we recognize that their own traditions must be followed, we serve a faith which is true and does not deviate from Christ. For when he wisely and blamelessly confessed his faith to Jesus saying, ‘You are Christ, Son of the living God,’ Jesus said to divine Peter: ‘You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ Now by the word ‘rock’, Jesus indicated, I think, the immoveable faith of the disciple. Likewise, the psalmist says: ‘Its foundations are the holy mountains.’ Very truly should the holy apostles and evangelists be compared to holy mountains for their understanding was laid down like a foundation for posterity, so that those who had been caught in their nets would not fall into a false faith.”

    [Cyril of Alexandria, cont.
    (Homily on the Transfiguration, M.P.G., Vol. 96, Col. 554-555).]:

    “This is that firm and immovable faith upon which, as upon the rock whose surname you bear, the Church is founded. Against this the gates of hell, the mouths of heretics, the machines of demons for they will attack will not prevail. They will take up arms but they will not conquer.”

    PETER CLAIMED NO MORE FOR HIMSELF THAN APOSTLESHIP

    (1) [1 Peter 1:1]:

    “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world…”

    …an elder by office…

    Note Peter’s salutation to the believers above: “an elder by office”

    (2) [1 Peter 5:1]:

    “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed”

    SCRIPTURE INDICATES THAT PETER WAS NOT THE SUPREME AND UNIQUE CHURCH LEADER OF THE EARLY CHURCH

    (1) [Galatians 2:1-2, 8-9]:

    (v. 1) “Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.

    (v. 2) I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.”

    (v. 8) “For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.

    (v. 9) James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.”

    [Notice that James, Peter and John are reputed to be pillars of the church, and Paul's ministry to the Gentiles to be on a par with Peter's as an apostle to the Jews and not as a supreme leader of the church. There is no reference to any one of them as a supreme authority in the church. Notice also that James' name appears first in the list of the pillars of the early church]

    (2) [Galatians 2:11-14]:

    (v. 11) ”’When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.

    (v. 12) Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

    (v. 13) The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

    (v. 14) When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” ”’

    [Note that if Peter were the supreme leader of the church, it certainly was not evident in this passage with Peter being openly rebuked by Paul on a serious matter of Peter sinning.]

    THE GATES OF HADES WILL NOT OVERCOME DEATH OF THOSE OF THE CHURCH

    [The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1984, p. 370]:

    “The gates of Hades will not overcome it. [Focusing] on “Hades” and, turning to Revelation 1:18 … means death will not prevent Messiah’s people from rising at the last day…. “Gates of Hades” or very similar expressions are found in canonical literature, (Job 17:16; 38:17; Pss 9:13; 107:18; Isaiah 38:10), noncanonical Jewish literature (Wisd Sol 16:13; 3 Macc 5:51; Pss Sol 16:2), and pagan literature (Homer Iliad 9. 312; Odyssey 11.277; Aeschylus Agam. 1291; Euripedes Hecuba 1), and seem to refer to death and dying. Hence RSV: “The powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

    [The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, USA, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds, 1988, p. 56]:

    “Building His church was a yet-future work of Jesus Christ, for He had not yet started the process. He said, “I will build [future tense] My church,” but His program for the nation Israel had to be concluded before another program could be set in motion. This is probably why Jesus said not even the gates of Hades would overcome this program. Jews would understand Hades’ gates to refer to physical death. Jesus was thus telling the disciples His death would not prevent His work of building the church. Later (Matt 16:21) He spoke of His imminent death. He was therefore anticipating His death and His victory over death through the Resurrection.”

    [Matthew 16:18-19]:

    (v. 18) “And I tell you that you are Peter, [= "petros"] and on this rock [= "petra"] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    (v. 19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

    (A) THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM = THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL ITSELF NOT SOME KIND OF PAPAL AUTHORITY

    “I will give you the keys of the kingdom” =

    These are not the keys of the Church [as some maintain] but of the kingdom of heaven in the sense of ch. 13, i.e., the sphere of Christian profession. [i.e., the message of the gospel itself - of the fact that a moment of faith alone in Christ alone will result in a guaranteed entrance into the kingdom of heaven, (Eph 1:13-14)]. A key is a badge of power or authority (cp. Isaiah 22:22; Rev 3:7). The apostolic history explains and limits this trust, for it was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to Israel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 3:38-42) and to Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:34-48). There was no assumption by Peter of any other authority.

    (1) [Acts 15:7-11]:

    (v. 7) “After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

    (v. 8) God, Who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us.

    (v. 9) He made no distinction between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith.

    (v. 10) Now then. why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

    (v. 11) No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’ ”

    In the council James, not Peter, seems to have presided…

    (2) [Acts 15:13-19]:

    (v. 13) ”’When they finished, James spoke up: ‘Brothers, listen to me.

    (v. 14) “Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.

    (v. 15) The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

    (v. 16) ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,

    (v. 17) that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear My name, says the Lord, Who does these things’

    (v. 18) that have been known for ages.

    (v. 19) It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” ”’

    Notice that James is the one making the pronouncement, not Peter.

    3) [Compare Gal 2:11-14]:

    This passage indicates that Peter had no type of papal authority over Paul either and it demonstrates that he also had a lack of infallibility in spiritual matters too:

    [Galatians 2:11-14]:

    (v. 11) “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.

    (v. 12) Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

    (v. 13) The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

    (v. 14) When I say that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, ‘You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?’ ”

    (B) THE KEYS OF DEATH & DEPARTED SPIRITS ARE HELD BY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE AND ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM

    (1) [Rev 1:18]:

    “I [Jesus Christ, (vv. 12-17)] am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’ ”

    (v. 18) “And I tell you that you are Peter, [= "petros"] and on this rock [= "petra"] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

    (v. 19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

    “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” =

    (C) WHATEVER YOU BIND ON EARTH RE: THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, THE GOSPEL OF ETERNAL LIFE, SHALL HAVE BEEN ALREADY BOUND IN HEAVEN – THUS NO EVIDENCE FOR PRIESTLY ABSOLUTION ONLY FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION

    kai ..ho …ean ..dEsEs ………..epi tEs gEs …estai dedemenon

    and what ever you will bind on .the earth will ..have been bound

    kai ..ho ….ean .lusEs …………..epi tEs gEs ..estai lelumenon =

    and what ever you will loose on .the earth will .have been loosed

    estai = will, future, middle voice, indicative mood

    dedemenon = perfect tense, passive mood, participle, nominative, singular, neuter = have been bound

    lelumenon = perfect tense, passive mood, participle, nominative, singular, neuter = have been loosed

    [Expositors, Ibid., pp. 370-374]:

    “The periphrastic future perfect in 16:19 becomes “whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (similarly for 18:18). Thus… there is no evidence for… priestly absolution in the NT…

    The church on earth carries out heaven’s decisions, not heaven ratifying the church’s decisions…

    Lyo [to loose] has a full range of forms, and it is difficult to see why Matthew did not use either the future or the present participle in a periphrastic future if that was all he meant. This result spills over onto [the verb to bind] since the two verbs are so tightly linked in these verses… …they must therefore be rendered ‘shall have been bound/loosed”

    [Note that if a binding/loosing on earth is meant to result in a binding/loosing in heaven then the future or present participle would have served better.]

    Formally ho ean [= "what ever"] is neuter… It is better to take the binding and loosing in Matthew 16:19 to refer to persons, not rules. The neuter hosa ean [= "what ever] occurs in 18:18 where the context demands that persons are meant. Indeed, Greek often uses the neuter of people for classes or categories rather than for individuals. The context of v. 19 supports this; for the keys in the preceding clause speak of permission for entering the kingdom or being excluded from it, not rules of conduct under heaven’s rule…

    [So the salvation of individuals is in view who have already been declared in Scripture as destined for heaven and await such declaration on earth as a result of God's sovereign predestination and election]

    The periphrastic future perfects are then perfectly natural: Peter accomplishes this binding and loosing by proclaiming a gospel that has already been given and by making personal application on that basis… Whatever he binds or looses will have been bound or loosed, so long as he adheres to that divinely disclosed gospel. He has no direct pipeline to heaven, still less do his decisions force heaven to comply; but he may be authoritative in binding and loosing because heaven has acted first (cf. Acts 18:9-10). Those he ushers in or excludes have already been bound or loosed by God according tothe gospel already revealed and which Peter, by confessing Jesus as the Messiah, has most clearly grasped.”

    (D) THE POWER OF LOOSING AND BINDING IS AVAILABLE TO ALL BELIEVERS AND NOT JUST LIMITED TO A FEW

    [Expositors Bible Commentary, Vol 8, Frank E Gaebelein, GeneralEd., Zondervan Publishing, 1984, p. 373-4]:

    “Does this promise apply to Peter only, to the apostolic band, or to the church at large? The interpretation given so far broadly fits a major theme of Matthew’s Gospel: the disciples were called to be fishers of men (4:19), to be salt (5:13) and light (5:14-16), to preach the good news of the kingdom (10:6-42), and, after the Resurrection, to disciple the nations and teach them all that Jesus commanded (28:18-20). Within this framework Matthew 16:18-19 fits very well. Unlike the messianic kingdom expected by so many Jews, which would come climactically without any agreement or action taken by men, Jesus announces something different. In full Christian perspective the kingdom will be consummated in sudden, apocalyptic fashion at the Parousia [Second Coming], when God’s actions are final and quite independent of human means. But now the keys of the kingdom are confided to men. They must proclaim the Good News, forbid entrance, urge conversion. They constitute a small minority in a big world; their mission will be to function as the eshatological ekklesia, the people of God Jesus is building within this world. Inevitably the assignment involves them in using the keys to bind and lose…

    Peter stands with the other disciples as fishers of men, as recipients of the Great Commission (notice in v. 20 that Jesus warns all His disciples, not just Peter, to tell no one)… notions of hierarchy or sacerdotalism are simply irrelevant to the text.
    Confirmation that this is the way 16:19 is to be taken comes at 18:18:

    (1) [Compare Mt 18:18]:

    “[Jesus said] ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you [believers in general as the context of the passage indicates, (vv. 3-20)] bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.”

    [Notice both key verbs in the result clauses are perfect participles as in 16:19 = "have been bound/loosed"]

    “If the church, Messiah’s eschatological people already gathered now, has to exercise the ministry of the keys, if it must bind and loose, then clearly one aspect of that will be the discipline of those who profess to constitute it. Thus the two passages are tightly joined: 18:18 is a special application of 16:19. Again, if we may judge from Paul’s ministry, this discipline is a special function of apostles, but also of elders and even of the whole church (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 2:15; 3:10-11)…
    It appears, then, that the text is not interested in whether Peter’s (or the church’s) decisions are infallible. Its concern is with the role Jesus’ disciples must play within this new phase of redemptive history.”

    (E) THE POWER OF DECLARING SINS FORGIVEN AND NOT FORGIVEN IS AVAILABLE TO ALL BELIEVERS AND NOT JUST A FEW

    (1) [Compare John 20:19, 22-23]:

    (v. 19) “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ ”

    (v. 22) “And with that He [Jesus Christ] breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.

    (v. 23) If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    (a) FORGIVENESS OF SINS BEFORE GOD RE: ETERNAL LIFE IS IN VIEW

    Our Lord is saying in John 20:23 that you as a believer may now announce that one’s sins are forgiven as a result of one having trusted alone in Christ alone for such forgiveness. And the opposite is also true: that the believer may now announce that one’s sins are not forgiven if they have not yet trusted in Christ alone for that, (Acts 10:43)

    (b) MAN’S FORGIVENESS OF FELLOW MAN IS NOT IN VIEW IN JOHN 20:23:

    Note that man’s forgiveness of fellow man’s sins toward man is not in view because the opportunity to declare a fellow man forgiven of sins toward another man is not new and our Lord’s declaration in John 20:23 re: forgiveness is new.

    (i) [Compare Gen 50:16-17]:

    (v. 16) ”’So they [Joseph's brothers] sent word to Joseph saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died:

    (v. 17) ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly,’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.”’

    (ii) [Compare Exodus 10:16-17]:

    (v. 16) “Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.

    (v. 17) Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the LORD your God to take this deadly plague away from me.’ ”

    (c) FORGIVENESS OF SINS BEFORE GOD RE: ETERNAL LIFE WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE TO OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS – THEIR SINS WERE “PASSED OVER” UNTIL THE CROSS, THEN THEY WERE FORGIVEN

    Our Lord’s announcement of this unique capacity heretofore not available in history to believers, i.e., to pronounce one’s sins forgiven or not forgiven relative to God and eternal life comes as a direct result of our Lord’s having paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world on the cross, (1 John 2:2). Recall that before the cross, sins of the believer before God relative to eternal life were covered by the promise of God’s future sacrifice for them. They were not yet forgiven. So those who were saints during the ages before the cross times were promised forgiveness of sins having their sins actually “passed over” (Romans 3:25), resting on God’s promise of a future sacrifice to make provision for them. Those saints were never actually pronounced forgiven, even those departed saints who resided in Paradise in Hades, until our Lord paid the price for their sins whence they could then be brought legally into heaven into the presence of God.

    (i) [Compare Romans 3:25]:

    “Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed”

    “forbearance” = “anoche” =

    [Vine's Expository Dictionary]:

    “a holding back…denotes forbearance, a delay of punishment….in the latter passage [Ro 3:25] His forbearance is the ground not of His forgiveness, but of His pretermission [suspension of the punishment] of sins, His withholding punishment. [In this passage] it is connected with the passing over of sins in times past [the times of human history in the past before our Lord died on the cross for sins and thereby paid the penalty for all sins past, present and future.] …..[In this passage] it is connected with the passing over of sins in times past, previous to the atoning work of Christ, [Cp Heb 9:9-15].”

    (d) PETER DEMONSTRATES THE BELIEVERS’ AUTHORITY TO DECLARE SINS FORGIVEN

    (i) [Acts 10:43]:

    “[Peter said, (v. 34)] ‘All the prophets testify about Him [Jesus Christ, (v. 38)] that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.’ ”

    An illustration of Peter’s use of this authority as related to forgiveness [and pronouncing one forgiven] (John 20:23) is given in Acts 10:43.

    (ii) [Compare Acts 13:38-39]:

    (v. 38) “Therefore, my brothers [Paul says, (v. 16)] I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

    (v. 39) Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.’ ”

    Verses 22 & 23 [of John 20] do not refer only to the original disciples because, according to Luke 24:33, there were others with them [the apostles] on this occasion [whom our Lord was thus addressing]:

    (iii) [Luke 24:33, 36]:

    (v. 33) “They [the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, (vv. 13-30)], got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together.”

    (v. 36) “While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ “

  8. LilyAlisons says:

    Bonjour, Polite to join you, I am alise

  9. Leonardo says:

    The Bones of Peter

    Simon Peter is addressed by our Lord Jesus in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew in these words: “And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 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, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Because of this passage, there is a vast system of religion built upon Simon Peter. Three things in this ecclesiastical system are avowed about him.

    1. That Peter ruled the church.

    2. That Peter ruled the church in Rome.

    Jerome (d. 240 A.D.) declared that Peter, after being first bishop at Antioch, and after laboring in Pontus, Galatia, Asia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia, went to Rome in the second year of Claudius (about 42 A.D.) to oppose Simon Magus, and was bishop of that church for 25 years, finally being crucified head downward in the last year of Nero’s reign (67 A.D.) and was buried on the Vatican hill.

    3. That Peter’s tomb and his bones are under the high altar of St. Peter’s church in Rome.

    There is no intimation in the Scriptures that the words of our Saviour addressed to Simon Peter made him ruler and head of the church. In the Greek there is a play upon his name – “Thou art Petros (a stone) and upon this petra (a stratum of stone) I will build my church.” First Peter 2:5 says, “Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.” First Corinthians 3:11 says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus.” The meaning is self-evident. The foundation, “the petra,” upon which Christ will build His church is His deity, which Simon Peter has just confessed upon a revelation from the Father. The stones out of which Christ will erect His church are believing disciples, one of whom is Peter himself.

    The keys of the kingdom here given to Peter as a representative disciple, with the authority of binding and loosing, are given to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 and in John 20:23.

    Peter in the Early Churches

    Was Peter ever the ruler of the church? Of any church any time, any place? Not that anybody knows of. The pastor and leader of the church at Jerusalem was James, the Lord’s brother (Acts 12:17; 15: 13-21; 21:18; Gal 2:9.) This Scriptural account of James is confirmed by Josephus in his Antiquities XX, 9,1, where James’ martyrdom is described. Josephus never heard of Simon Peter, but the Jewish historian knows all about the faithful pastor and leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem.

    Notice in Acts 8:14 that Peter is “sent” by the apostles along with John to Samaria. Peter is not doing the sending; somebody else is.

    Notice in Acts 15:14-21 that at the Jerusalem conference, after Peter made his speech and Paul and Barnabas made their speeches, it is James who delivers the final verdict.

    Was Peter Ever in Rome?

    The second avowal of the Roman hierarchy concerning Peter is that he was bishop at Rome from 42 A.D. to 67 A.D, when he was crucified under Nero. If Peter was in Rome during those years, then the New Testament cannot be relied upon. There is not the faintest, slightest historical foundation for the fiction that Peter ever saw the city of Rome.

    1. Paul was converted about 37 A.D. He says in the first chapter of Galatians (Gal. 1:13-18) that after his conversion he went into Arabia, “then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” This takes us to 40 A.D., and Peter is still in Jerusalem.

    2. Sometime during those days Peter made his missionary journey through the western part of Judea, to Lydda, to Joppa, to Caesarea, and back to Jerusalem (Acts 9, 10, 11). Then came the imprisonment under Herod Agrippa I and the miraculous deliverance by the angel of the Lord (Acts 12). Peter then “went down from Judea to Caesarea and there abode” (Acts 12:19). Herod Agrippa died not long after these events (Acts 12:20-23). Josephus says that the death of Agrippa occurred in the fourth year of the reign of Claudius. This would be about 45 A.D., and Peter is still in Palestine.

    3. Paul writes in the second chapter of Galatians that fourteen years after his first visit to Jerusalem to visit Simon Peter he went again to see him. The first journey was 40 A.D.; fourteen years later brings us to 54 A.D., and Peter is still in Palestine.

    4. Peter returns the visit and goes to Antioch where Paul is working. This occasioned the famous interview between the two recorded in Galatians 2:11-14. Peter is still in the Orient, not in Rome.

    5. After 54 A.D., and after the Antioch visit, the Apostle Peter makes an extensive missionary journey or journeys throughout the Roman provinces of the East. On these missionary tours Peter takes his wife (I Cor. 9:5). They labor in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. So vast a work and so great a territory must have consumed several years. This would take us, therefore, to at least 60 A.D., and Peter and his wife are still not in Rome but in the East.

    6. In about 58 A.D. Paul wrote a letter to the church at Rome. In the last chapter of that epistle, Paul salutes twenty-seven persons, but he never mentions Simon Peter. If Peter where “governing” the church at Rome, it is most strange that Paul should never refer to him.

    Romans 1:13 shows that the church at Rome was a Gentile church. At the Jerusalem conference (Gal. 2:9), it was agreed that Peter should go to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles.

    The gospel ministry of Paul was motivated by a great principle which he clearly repeats in Romans 15:20: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation.” A like avowal is made in I Corinthians 10:15,16. Where no other apostle has been, there Paul wanted to go. Having written this plainly to the people at Rome, his desire to go to the Roman city would be inexplicable if Peter were already there, or had been there for years.

    7. Paul’s first Roman imprisonment took place about 60 A.D. to 64 A.D. from his prison the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote four letters – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. In these letters he mentions many of his fellow Christians who are in the city, but he never once refers to Simon Peter.

    8. Paul’s second Roman imprisonment brought him martyrdom. This occurred about 67 A.D. Just before he died Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, our “II Timothy.” In that final letter the apostle mentions many people but plainly says that “only Luke is with me.” There is never a reference to Peter.

    We have gone throughout those years of 42 A.D. to 67 A.D., the years Peter is supposed to have been the prince and bishop and ruler of the church at Rome. There is not a suggestion anywhere that such a thing was true. Rather the New Testament clearly and plainly denies the fiction.

    Babylon and Rome

    In I Peter 5:13, Peter says, “The church that is at Babylon saluteth you.” Some suppose “Babylon” is a cryptic word for Rome.

    There is no evidence that Rome was ever called “Babylon” until after the Book of the Revelation was written. The Revelation was written about 95 A.D., many years after the death of Simon Peter. If I Peter 5:13 refers to Rome, then Simon Peter did not write the letter and we have a forgery in the Bible.

    Peter’s method and manner of writing are in no sense apocalyptic. He is direct and matter-of-fact. That this man Peter, plain of speech almost to bluntness, should interject into the midst of his personal explanations and final salutations such a mystical epithet, with no hint of what he means by it, is beyond credulity. Peter says the elect in Babylon send greetings to the Jews of the Dispersion in Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. “Babylon” is no more cryptic than “Pontus,” “Asia,” or the rest. He means what he says. His “Babylon” is the Babylon on the Euphrates. It is a part of that eastern world where Peter lived his life and did his work.

    Babylon in the time of Simon Peter was no longer a great world capital, but it was still inhabited by a colony of people, mostly Jews. Among those Hebrew friends he won many to Christ, and those Jewish Christians sent greetings to their fellow-Jewish Christians in Asia Minor where Peter had previously done a blessed missionary work.

    Unbiased historians and the Scriptural records indicate that Peter died and was buried either in Mesopotamia or Asia Minor. The Pope of Rome will be able to find plenty of bones beneath the Vatican hills, where Christians by the thousands were murdered and buried by pagan and papal persecutors back when Rome ruled the world. But these bones prove nothing except that the Roman hierarchy is frantic in its efforts to find something that will give a semblance of justification to their false claims that Peter was connected with the papal system.

    Peter was never in Rome. Nor was he ruler over any church. Nor did he have any keys to give to anybody else to hand down to others. He was a stone, one out of many with which God is building His spiritual house in earth and in heaven.

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