Bread From Heaven:Peter never claimed “to be the first pope” as such. Jesus proclaimed him as such in
Mt. 16:19 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 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.”
Jesus gave all the apostles the authority to bind and loose
Mt 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
but he only gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom. This promise finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.
Even Protestant scholars will acknowledge that Peter seemed have been designated with more authority that the other apostles by Jesus and based on NT evidence. But then they will contend that this authority was not passed on to another via apostolic succession. But I ask, why would Jesus designate an authoritative leader for His Church that would only last for the remainder of Peter’s short life? If the Church needed leadership in the first century, where many knew Jesus personally and knew the apostles and those who were taught by them, why would later generations not need this same authority and sure guide to the truth?
Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
We see this verse also as indicating a special office for Peter in having responsibility to strengthen the other apostles.
John 21:15-1715 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Here is the well known passage of Jesus reinstating Peter after his betrayal. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confers upon Peter the office of Shepherd of the Church. Of course the other apostles were also shepherds. But He does not specifically confer this office on the others.
But in every list of the apostles, except one, Peter is first. And when Peter and John race to the empty tomb, John beats him there, but waits until Peter arrives and then enters after him. I know these are not the kind of proofs you would like to see but these are the scriptural indications of Peter’s primacy. Matt 16 is the main proof.
But we also have in Acts 15 the first Church Council: A dispute arose between Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity regarding the necessity of circumcision. So, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to have the dispute settled. This is the first council of the Church. It is discussed with much passion. Finally, Peter stood up and proclaimed his decision that circumcision was not necessary. End of discussion.
No wonder all were silent. This was astounding!!! Peter, had decreed that the ancient Mosaic law of circumcision was no longer binding, removed the dietary laws of the Old Covenant. But no one challenged him. Why? Because everyone knew Jesus had appointed him as the chief of the apostles.
Then Paul and Barnabas related what signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles. Then, after this James, takes the decision of Peter and makes it specific and gives detail regarding how it is to be followed by the Church.
We know from Church History that St. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem and as Acts 21:15-25 describes, he was concerned for Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who felt their ancient customs threatened by the great number of Gentile converts. This background explains why St. James made the later remarks at the council and asked Gentiles to respect certain Jewish practices.
This is exactly how things are still done today. Bishops will request minor changes to Church law that are necessary for the culture they are shepherding. There are differences between cultures and what works in Rome may not correlate to Africa, for instance.
There is nothing in Scripture alone that explicitly authorizes Peter to do this. There are implications but nothing clear and unequivocal. That is because the Christians in the infant Church were NOT Sola Scriptura. But the Jews were.
Paul submits his teaching to him and the other apostles in Jerusalem in
Galations 2:1-2 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
Then of course there is historical evidence. Which I guess you will reject since it is not in scripture just like I did when I was first presented with this evidence. But I was hot on the trail of Pope Honorius and papal FALLIBILITY.
Honorius was declared a heretic by a later Pope. In my reading, as the Church and heretics battled over the current heresy (I can’t remember which one it was) I noticed a very curious thing. The heretics were all making attempts to get the approval of the Bishop of Rome and no other Bishop. This indicated to me that they knew that if they could get the stamp of approval for their beliefs from this bishop,they would triumph over those where calling them heretics. It was even more convincing to me b/c I stumbled on it and was not even looking for historical evidence of Papal primacy.
In Corinth, the people deposed their Church leaders, and some appealed to the Bishop of Rome, despite the fact that St. John was still living and closer to Corinth than Rome. We have Pope Clement’s response
Sonya: ” or any proof of linus being his successor?
Bread From Heaven: Linus was Peter’s successor according St. Irenaeus, writing between 175 and 190, not many years after his Roman sojourn, enumerates the series from Peter to Eleutherius (Against Heresies III.3.3; and Eusebius, Church HistoryCh 6). His object, as we have already seen, was to establish the orthodoxy of the traditional doctrine, as opposed to heretical novelties, by showing that the bishop was the natural inheritor of the Apostolic teaching. He gives us the names alone, not the length of the various episcopates.