Bishops and Popes

In light of a recent thread, and in light of OT typology, I have three questions.

  1. Was Judas Iscariot a bishop, or at least, (if he had not failed in his pursuit), would he have held the position of a bishop?

  2. Were the 12 not only Apostles, but also Bishops (episkop), and Priests (presbyter). ie are the terms mutually exclusive? Are they hierarchical, in the sense that one cannot be a bishop without being a priest, and one cannot be an Apostle (with a capital A) without being a bishop?

  3. With regard to the primacy of Peter, is there valid reason to see the “double portion” assigned to this office?

Its a chicken or the egg scenario…they where Apostles first, they became pRiests at the last supper, and probably bishops when the new religion started to grow. I’m sure someone here can provide a reliable timeline…

As far as Judas goes, it would depend on when hecleft the last supper. I think it was before the bread and wine part, so he never was ‘ordained’. At best he was a failed apostle.

You could think of the Apostles as seminarians whilst they were with Jesus and Bishops afterwards?

Peter as Pope.

I would like to add extra to my third question, the “double portion”. In the OT it is often regarded that there are 12 tribes of Israel. But there were not there were 13. Joseph became a double portion and became Ephraim and Manasseh. There were 12 Apostles sitting on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel, but there became a double portion, a 13th, Paul. So in Rome, the Church had Peter and Paul, a primacy and as a consequence a double portion. And when Constantine called for the council of Nicea, the Pope did not attend but he sent 2 legates to represent his voice, who were equal to not subservient to the Bishops in attendance.

Those are my thoughts which I have been thinking over the last few days. Discussion would be much appreciated.

Hi, Darryl!

…Judas was part of the Twelve, yet, it was prophesied that he would betray Jesus and that his Office could not remain vacant:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]15 One day Peter stood up to speak… 16 ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – 17 after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. 20 Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Let his camp be reduced to ruin, Let there be no one to live in it. And again: Let someone else take his office.21 ‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus… 22 someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’ …25 to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place’. …the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.

(Acts 1:15-26)
…so Judas was in deed part of the Twelve; though he excommunicated himself his Office could not remain void.

The Twelve (plus one: Saul) were Priests (Presbyters–Ministers) of Jesus Christ and Leaders (Bishops) of the Church. Generically all Believers are of the Priestly Kingdom of Christ and all are Called to Witness (are sent–apostles); however, Jesus Himself separated Twelve (plus one) to Lead the Church. As the Church grew and Unfolded and as the Twelve/Thirteen advanced in years and faced persecution and death they appointed their Successors–this Apostolic Succession would make certain that Jesus’ Word would not fail: ‘not even the gates of hades will prevail against the Church.’

…as for Cephas’ greater/double portion here’s what we have:

18 So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld*c] can never hold out against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.'20 Then he gave the disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

(St. Matthew 16:18-20)
Cephas alone receives the Keys of the Kingdom–Keys which he will share with the others later on.

31 ‘Simon, Simon! Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.’

(St. Luke 22:31-32)
Jesus could have easily said (done): ‘I have prayed for all of you…’ Yet, Jesus’ emphasis is that He Prayed for Simon, Cephas, so that he in turn strengthen the rest (keep them together in Fellowship).

This particular delegation to Cephas is continued/expanded:

15 After the meal Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs’. 16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep’. 17 Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

(St. John 21:15-17)
…and while there’s that thing about John being the Disciple loved by the Lord, there’s only one Disciple (as far as I have gathered) with whom Jesus cohabitated:

14 And going into Peter’s house Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. 16 That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.

(St. Matthew 8:14-17)

24 When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel*b] came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ 25 ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ 26 And when he replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. 27 However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’ (St. Matthew 17:24-27)
Maran atha!



That’s an excellent point. After Jesus, the Bible is primarily the story of Peter and Paul. Peter and Paul are mentioned almost 400 times, while the next nearest, John, is only mentioned 29 times. And the word “Apostles” only occurs about 65 times depending on your translation. And the Church of Rome was founded by Peter and Paul. And people have the audacity to speak so ill of her …

At the Council of Nicaea, the Pope had 3 legates - the two priests from Rome, and Bishop Hosius of Cordova. This is well documented in Bishop Hefele’s History of the Councils, Volume I. And he carefully documents how the Pope’s legates presided over the council. The Papal legates weren’t equal to the other bishops, they were superior to them. See the discussion begginning on Page 27:

Yes he was a bishop.

Peter in council, replacing Judas, in Acts 1:20… (link is operational)

“20 For it is written in the book of Psalms,‘Let his habitation become desolate,
and let there be no one to live in it’; and **His office ** ἐπισκοπὴν see description under section “c” bottom right of the page under “Thayers” ] let another take.’ 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”e] 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab′bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi′as. 24 And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi′as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.”

*]A bishop is a priest as well. A priest isn’t necessarily a bishop

*]The apostles were also priests and bishops



…is this offered as a free download from google books?

Maran atha!


Yes, I downloaded his entire series. Still working my way through it but it’s great reference material.



Thank you for the link and the info!

Maran atha!


A few thoughts:

  1. At first glance, I would say no. Judas did not make it to Jesus’s commission to the eleven at the ascension.

  2. Priests are servants of the church, and I love priests. Bishops are considered successors of the apostles, while priests are not. The apostles appointed bishops, and Peter is considered the first Bishop of Rome. I am not certain whether or not the title of bishop is applicable to the other apostles, but it feels like semantics.

  3. I am not certain what double portion means, but Peter is considered the first Bishop of Rome, transferring that office to Linus.

Judas was an apostle - there were no bishops . priests the Christian church had not yet begun Christ was still on earth until the crucifixion and the bible tells Judas hung himself just after when he realized what he had done - the church was not at any point that would give him a position other than he was one of the 12 apostles .

Just treating a very narrow topic here, regarding bishop/apostles and priests.

I normally think of it as a differentiation between the role of priest as in exercising the priesthood and the order of priests, as distinct from the order of bishops that we have today. Initially, there was no differentiation between priests and bishops. The bishops in the early church (starting with the apostles) were the priests. Only the order of deacons was distinct from the order of the bishop/apostles.

Much of life in the early church revolves round the liturgy and the liturgy was celebrated every Sunday. As the liturgy was also a sign of communion of the community (i.e., the church), there was initially only one liturgy in each town (which became particular churches), led by one of the Apostles. (there being only one bishop for each church is clear today when several bishops celebrate mass together but only the bishop of the diocese holds the crozier - indicating only one shepherd) The Apostles were the original bishops - which is why until today, bishops take the title of the main town in the diocese. In effect, Christianity was a religion of the city and the people of the surrounding countryside would come into town for the weekly mass and fellowship.

Rather quickly, the Church grew to requiring more liturgy centres in more towns, and the Apostles, individually or collectively, commissioned apostles who had personal knowledge of Jesus (i.e…, received their teachings from Jesus). In a way, you can say the Apostles evolved into apostles. Eventually of course, they started to commission those who had no personal knowledge of Jesus but the apostles vouched for them by the laying of hands and in this way, symbolically transmitting to them the teachings of Jesus - this becomes the Apostolic Succession, which is very important to us as it proves that the our current bishop teaches the same things that was taught by the Apostles and hence Jesus himself. Even Paul took great pains to state that he taught the same teachings as Peter did.

As the congregation got bigger, the bishop in the main town began to commission leaders to lead the liturgy in the smaller towns under him. The newer church (here, used in the sense of the assembly of the faithful rather than a building of worship) would be sponsored by the mother church in a relationship that would eventually become the archbishop-bishop kind of relationship which we today call suffragans.

Eventually though, the Church grew until a saturation point when all the towns had bishops. This was the situation in Italy before the reorganisation (I think in the 80s?) with every small town in Italy having a bishopric that traces its establishment in the early centuries of the Church. As the congregation for liturgy got bigger and bigger, the bishop (by now, very few of whom are apostolic) began to send delegates to conduct liturgical worship for those in the surrounding countryside, particularly for those who are not able to come into town for the weekly liturgy.

As these worship are sacrificial in nature, the delegates were all ordained as priests (in all religions, only priests conduct sacrifice - which is why Protestants who don’t believe in a sacrificial mass only have pastors, and not priests). These priests while having the authority to say mass, remain delegates of the bishop and the mass they say is an extension of that of the bishop. Which is why today, the bishop is always the chief liturgist in his diocese, he is responsible for every mass said in his diocese, no outside priest can say mass in his diocese without his permission, and all masses said in his diocese included a prayer for him.

Initially, the priest-delegate returns to the town after the liturgy but rather quickly, it became obvious that it makes more sense for him to extend his stay in the countryside to tend to the souls there. Eventually, the stay got longer and became more or less permanent and the priest-delegate becomes a pastor, hence the link between the words pastor and pastoral (=countryside).

Of course, the evolution from Apostles & deacons into the triple clerical order was not all that neat or uniform in all places but it was more or less underway in most places by the end of the first century for Ignatius to seemingly use the terms bishops and presbyters interchangeably and sometimes implying more than one bishop/presbyter in a community. (but deacons were always separate). By some 5 decades later, the separation of bishops and presbyter/priests was very clear.

While not everything happens everywhere in exactly the same way I described above, I still find this a very fascinating story which still have an impact on how certain practices take place in the Catholic Church today.

Acts 1:20 KJV] For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

v 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

I found this letter from Pope Adrian I to the Seventh Ecumenical Council that confirms your point that the Pope has inherited a double portion from Saints Peter and Paul:

“If the ancient orthodoxy be perfected and restored by your means in those regions, and the venerable icons be placed in their original state, you will be partakers with the Lord Constantine, Emperor of old, now in the Divine keeping, and the Empress Helena, who made conspicuous and confirmed the orthodox Faith, and exalted still more your holy mother, the Catholic and Roman and spiritual Church, and with the orthodox Emperors who ruled after them, and so your most pious and heaven-protected name likewise will be set forth as that of another Constantine and another Helena, being renowned and praised through the whole world, by whom the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is restored. And especially if you follow the tradition of the orthodox Faith of the Church of the holy Peter and Paul, the chief Apostles, and embrace their Vicar, as the Emperors who reigned before you of old both honoured their Vicar, and loved him with all their heart: and if your sacred majesty honour the most holy Roman Church of the chief Apostles, to whom was given power by God the Word himself to loose and to bind sins in heaven and earth. For they will extend their shield over your power, and all barbarous nations shall be put under your feet: and wherever you go they will make you conquerors.** For the holy and chief Apostles themselves, who set up the Catholic and orthodox Faith, have laid it down as a written law that all who after them are to be successors of their seats**, should hold their Faith and remain in it to the end.”


I noticed our Pope made an appearance in Lucifer’s Observatory for Huntingson’s disease this month. I’m just lost as to why anything would be held in that room at the Vatican. Does anyone know why this would be done or am I missing something.


Dan Buttars


The “twelve were appointed ‘that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and have authority to drive out demons’”, the Pope explained. “It is the most important group that Jesus chose, so ‘that they might be with him’, closer, and that ‘he might send them forth to preach’ the Gospel” and “to have the authority to drive out demons”, Mark adds. These very “twelve are the first bishops, the first group of bishops”.

These twelve “elected ones”, Francis pointed out, “were conscious of the importance of this election, such that after Jesus was assumed into heaven, Peter spoke to the others and explained to them that, in light of Judas’ betrayal, something had to be done”. Thus, those who had been with Jesus, from the Baptism of John until the ascension, chose “a witness ‘with us’ — Peter says — to the Resurrection”. This is how, the Pope continued, “Judas’ place is filled, it is taken by Matthias: Matthias was elected”.

Excerpt from

My friend, I notice this is your first post, welcome. I do not understand your question, but if it is about Lucifer, then I would answer this. Lucifer is not a negative concept, Lucifer is a positive concept. The only time Lucifer becomes a negative concept is when the positive concept falls from grace like a star falling. Jesus Christ himself is a Lucifer (Revelation 22:16) but He is not ever going to fall from grace, and in Revelation 2:28, we will be given that if we overcome.

Hi, Dan!

The best that I have come up with (can’t find the connection you’ve described above) is as follows:

“L.U.C.I.F.E.R., which stands for “Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research,” is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it’s named for the Devil, whose name itself means “morning star” [and which] happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson” (


Additional Technical Background:
•LUCIFER is an acronym for: Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research (
If you note the actual title of the telescope it is integrated by more terms than included in the acronym–I suspect that the intention is to hold the attention of the masses with a catchy term/name/title… and even, perhaps, to allude to a Biblical “touching the face of God” (the "Lucifer (bright/morning star) telescope seeking into the depths of God’s Universe).

As has been noted on a previous post, “Lucifer” is a title/name meaning “morning (bright) star” which was applied to Satan prior to his attempt to usurp Yahweh God’s Authority and Power:

The Septuagint renders הֵילֵל in Greek as ἑωσφόρος[7][8][9][10][11] (heōsphoros),[12][13][14] a name, literally “bringer of dawn”, for the morning star.[15] The word Lucifer is taken from the Latin Vulgate,[16] which translates הֵילֵל as lucifer,[17][18] meaning “the morning star, the planet Venus”, or, as an adjective, “light-bringing”.[19]

Later Christian tradition came to use the Latin word for “morning star”, lucifer, as a proper name (“Lucifer”) for the devil; as he was before his fall.[20] As a result, “‘Lucifer’ has become a by-word for Satan / the Devil in the church and in popular literature”,[16] as in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Joost van den Vondel’s Lucifer and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.[14] However, the Latin word never came to be used almost exclusively, as in English, in this way, and was applied to others also, including Jesus.[21] (


[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations? 13 And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north. 14 I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)
It is worth noting that Satan is never again called Lucifer… and he is only associated with the term “light” in his continued attempt to usurp God’s Authority:

13 For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers be transformed as the ministers of justice, whose end shall be according to their works.

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Maran atha!



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