So far we’ve examined:
- one needs only the written Bible (Sola Scriptura)
- If you are saved, you should be able to simply read and understand the Bible. If you cannot understand it, this is a warning sign you may not be saved.
- The commandments in the NT are so easy, one does not require a Magisterium to understand it
- The RCC has no proof whatsoever for a Magisterium.
- The Bible was once delivered to the saints, and at the close of the canon in AD 95, anyone who adds to it is under a curse.
- The Roman Catholic views of the Bible
- The laity and the ownership/study/reading of the Bible
- The Magisterium refuted
- Salvation by faith alone vs. works
- infant baptism refuted
- baptismal regeneration refuted
- The Apocrypha was never quoted by the New Testament
- The Apocrypha was not considered scripture by anyone for at least 400 years – after all the official lists of the inspired canon had been done
- The apocrypha was never quoted by church fathers for at least 2 centuries after the time of Christ
- The Bible is only the 66 books of the bible
- Papal Infallibility is unScriptural
- Papal Infallibility places the Pope in the place of God, elevating him to being God’s “Equal”, a goal that Lucifer desired
- Papal Infallibility is also patently illogical, as Inerrant Word Ex Cathedra must also imply inerrant thought and inerrant action
The “Examined” list will grow much, much longer by the time we finish! In future posts, the Roman Catholic (and any regular readers this blog may have…) will probably have to skip down quite a ways to actuallly read the post! I encourage every reader to read the points we’ve settled. If the list seems long, then let me just point out – that says something about how unChristian and unBiblical Roman Catholicism is.
Today, we’re going to deal with the very office of the Pope itself. This one iss the easiest to deal with – and why it absolutely blows my mind that Rick Warren would congratulate RC’s with “We have a Pope!”. Perhaps Rick Warren, champion of Ecumenism, has a pope – I do not. It absolutely blows my mind that Rick Warren, who not only alleges to read and study the Bible to write his weekly sermons (Not just one Bible, but many mis-translations as well), has never noticed the unBiblical nature of Catholicism!
Roman tradition claims that Peter was the first Pope. This, I’m sure, would be news to Peter. A great deal is placed upon Matthew 16, where this is recorded:
18 And I say also 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. 19 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. Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV)
“You see? Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter!”
um… no. Let’s take a minute and examine this in context. This willl require some minor exegesis, the kind you learn in the first month of Homiletics class and Hermaneutics class. It’s a complicated rule of Biblical Hermaneutics called (forgive the complicated term ;-)) “Reading in context.”
You should remember this from 8th grade composition class, English Grammar… “Who what when where how why.” My seminary actually has a template they give out for sermon writing that has a spot for this…
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also 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. 19 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. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20 (KJV)
First we see the Lord (please don’t trivialize the Lord Jesus Christ by simply calling Him by first name) asking, “Who do men say that I am?” This is important. We understand the context of the passage. After hearing the answers, the Lord gets to the crux of the passage. “Who do ye say that I am?” Ye means the Apostles, those gathered around them.
Peter answers with an answer only a born again man could give. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The Lord’s answer is a play on words in Greek. “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah…” The Lord uses Peter’s Hebrew name, to remind him who he was. It would have been pronounced Shimon, Ben Yonah in Hebrew or Shimon, Bar-Yonah in Aramaic.
At this moment the Lord does something that prophecy never explicitly revealed to the prophets – He starts His Church. After this moment, he refers to Peter by his new name, a Greek one – Πέτρος Petros. Petros is a small rock. Strong’s points out that a Petros is a larger rock that a λίθος lithos, stone in Greek. However, the play on words done here is to show that Peter is not as big as the statement he just made. Petros is a smaller stone than a Petra, which was a large mass of rock, and of course would be familiar to the Hebrew listener also as referring to the city Petra, made completely of carved stone.
Thus the use Petra, referring to a stone building, ties in and supports the use of the phrase Kingdom of heaven used in 19. The Lord’s Church is started in verse 18 – not in Acts 2 – and is the focus of verse 19. A loose paraphrase of it could be “what you permit, you permit, and what you allow you allow.” the context here is not who gets into heaven, as we see the church started in verse 18.
Catch that? Verse 16 connect to 17, which connect to 18, and verse 19. Does this seem forced or far fetched? No. notice how verse 20 is connected to Peter’s proclamation in verse 16. If verses 16 and 20 are linked, then verses 17-19 are as well.
So what is the Petra, the rock? The confession that all men must make to be born again, a statement of the Lord Jesus Christ’s divinity. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is why the Lord would not permit them to tell anyone in verse 20 He was Jesus the Christ.
It is not an elevation of something greater, a new position. Peter was not being rewarded with allowing who goes into heaven and who does not. The Lord frequently used the phrase “The Kingdom of God” and “The Kingdom of Heaven” to refer to a gathering of born again believers. We have come to (rightly or wrongly, we won’t get into) calling this assembly of called out ones “The church”. Biblically, this is always addressed to a local assembly.
Notice that we see the local Church started in verse 18, and in 19 we see talk of binding and loosing. Adam Clarke writes,
That binding and loosing were terms in frequent use among the Jews, and that they meant bidding and forbidding, granting and refusing, declaring lawful or unlawful, etc., (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible)
With a clear understanding of what these verses mean, it’s often amusing to see Papal processions preceded by a Cardinal carrying a cartoonishly oversized key. Yes, that massive ornate gold key is the very key that opens the door to heaven, one supposes! In which case, Heaven would need it back, as there’s quite a crowd standing outside the door!
Having studied the Talmud for a few years, I can say indeed that Adam Clarke is correct in his application of Binding and Loosing.
So, Peter here is not pronounced Pope. Later, in John 21, Peter is made shepherd of the fist church.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17 (KJV)
Peter is made a pastor – nothing more. And eventually, as any cursory reading of Acts will show, is eventually outshined by Paul. Peter was the Apostle of the Jews, Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles. Techincally, Rome should be following Paul, as the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics are gentile in heritage.
Peter is never recorded in the Bible as going to Rome – Paul did. The Catholics technically should have made the claim to Paul, not Peter.
Peter was the pastor of the Jerusalem church. Paul started the church in Rome. Again, the Catholics probably should have tried claiming Paul there, again.
Turning to Romans 16, we see a list of people attending the Roman Church.
- Priscilla and Aquila
- Andronicus and Junia
- them which are of Aristobulus’ household
- the household of Narcissus
- Tryphena and Tryphosa
- his mother and mine.
- Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
- Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them
What name do you not see?
Peter. That would be very odd, if he was the Pope, and Arch-Bishop of Rome! That would be quite a slight. It is very probable that the persons left in charge of the Roman Church until the church could train its own pastor was either Aquila, or Rufus, as both were established Christians who’d spent time with the Apostles, and had learned sound doctrine from them.
There is no evidence whatsoever linking the Papal office to Peter at all. There is nothing in Scripture to suggest it. And according to the earliest Church Fathers, the first Pastor of the Roman church was Linus. Peter is not named being there. Tradition has Peter going to Rome long enough to be crucified upside down, but that’s the only mention of him there.
Mary Ann Collins, a former Nun novitiate, writes
Paul wrote five letters from a Roman prison (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, and Philemon). He never mentioned Peter. The man who stayed with Paul in Rome, to help him and encourage him, was Luke—not Peter. (Col_4:14; 2Ti_4:11) (Catholic Concerns – Where does the Road to Rome lead, E-Sword module)
There is no proof of Rome’s Claim to Peter bring the first Pope.