Defense of Papacy


#1

From Wikipedia:

With regard to Jesus’ words to Peter, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church”, Christ is referring to the confession of faith, not the person of Peter as that upon which he will build the church. This is shown by the fact that the original Greek uses the feminine demonstative pronoun when he says “upon this rock” (ταύτι τή πέτρα); whereas, grammatically, if he had been referring to Peter, he would have used the masculine.[24] St. John Chrysostom says, “‘Upon this rock I will build’; that is, on the faith of the confession.”[25]

What is the Catholic response?
Pax


#2

catholic.com/library/Peter_and_the_Papacy.asp


#3

What Wikipedia doesn’t say is that John Chrysostom also referred to Peter as the Rock and foundation. Different senses of “rock”, all valid. The article is misleading on its face. (I don’t trust Wiki for religious articles… too many people foisting their agendas. Great for non-controversial stuff though.)


#4

If you mean a response on St. John Chrysostom, here is an exhaustive one:

St. John Chrysostom on St. Peter by Dom John Chapman, covers about 90 passages from this Father

As for the grammar, you get this from Protestant and evangelical biblical scholars:

CONCLUSION ON “ROCK” OF MATTHEW 16:18

(A) Peter is the Rock, the foundation stone of Jesus’ Church, the Church would be built on Peter personally;
(B) Peter’s name means Rock (petros or petra in Greek, Kepha or Cephas in Aramaic);
© The slight distinction in meaning for the Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) was largely confined to poetry before the time of Jesus and therefore has no special importance;
(D) The Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) by Jesus’ day were interchangeable in meaning;
(E) The underlying Aramaic Kepha-kepha of Jesus’ words makes the Rock-rock identification certain;
(F) The Greek word petra, being a feminine noun, could not be used for a man’s name, so Petros was used;
(G) Only because of past “Protestant bias” was the Peter is Rock identification denied;
(H) The pun or play on words makes sense only if Peter is the Rock;
(I) Jesus says “and on this rock” not “but on this rock” – the referent is therefore Peter personally;
(J) Verse 19 and the immediate context (singular “you”) shows Peter is the Rock of verse 18;
(K) Peter’s revelation and confession of Jesus as the Christ parallels Jesus’ declaration and identification of Peter as the Rock;
(L) Peter is paralleled to Abraham who also had his name changed, was a Father to God’s people, and was called the Rock (Isaiah 51:1-2; cf. Gen 17:5ff).

Peter, Rock, Keys, and Primacy of Rome

Phil P


#5

You could have been more specific. You didn’t tell us what Wikipedia article you are referring to. Don’t worry I found it.

You didn’t tell us that in that Wikipedia article it is referring to the so-called “Eastern Orthodox” response to the passage.

You didn’t tell us what footnotes [24] and [25] are referring to. And those are:

[24] Holy Apostles Convent (1999) The Orthodox New Testament, Vol. I: The Holy Gospels (Dormition Skete, Buena Vista CO, ISBN: 0-944359-13-2) p. 105.
[25] John Chrysostom, Homily 54 (Migne, Patrologia Graecae 58:518, col. 534)

Knowing this information, the better response then would be to quote Eastern Orthodox scholars against themselves. John Meyendorff’s book The Primacy of Peter is a good start:

“It has long been noticed that Mt 16:17-19 has a Palestinian, Aramaic background. The form of Jesus’ reply to Peter’s confession appears Hebraistic. There are parallels to the Matthean text in the Qumran literature. The use of semitisms such as ‘gates of Hades,’ ‘flesh and blood,’ ‘bind and loose,’ and semitic parallelism again indicates an Aramaic environment…[Jesus] conferred upon Simon Bar-Jonah the title Peter, and promised that he would build his church upon him. ‘You are Peter (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church (ecclesia).’ These words are spoken in Aramaic, in which Cephas stands both for petros and petra…The confession of Peter, therefore, cannot be separated from Peter himself. Petra or rock does not simply refer to Peter’s faith but also to Peter personally. There is a formal and real identity between Petros and petra. Jesus will build the church upon Cephas.” (Veselin Kesich, “Peter’s Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition” in The Primacy of Peter edited by John Meyendorff [St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992], page 47,48)

From the Wikipedia article: “This is shown by the fact that the original Greek uses the feminine demonstative pronoun when he says ‘upon this rock’ (ταύτι τή πέτρα); whereas, grammatically, if he had been referring to Peter, he would have used the masculine.”

I don’t think you can get much out of the feminine/masculine distinction. Normally the argument against Peter = Rock is that petros is masculine and petra (“this rock”) is feminine. This is explained by Protestant and evangelical scholars (see link) as a requirement of Greek grammar. You can’t name a man “Rockette” you must name him “Rocky” or simply Rock. There is no real distinction between the words petros and petra, both mean “rock” or “stone.” In Aramaic the word difference disappears entirely, would be Kepha (Cephas) in both places.

Also, the Lutheran-Catholic joint study edited by Brown/Reumann, Peter in the New Testament (Augsburg Publishing, 1973) –

“…precisely because of the Aramaic identity of Kepha-kepha, there can be no doubt that the rock on which the church was to be built was Peter. Is this true also for Matthew in whose Greek there is the slight difference Petros/petra? Probably the most common view would be that it is.” (Raymond Brown, John Reumann, et al page 92-93)

Since so many commentaries support this, the authors state in a footnote: “It would be pointless to list all the commentaries holding this view [that the Rock is Peter]…” (page 93, footnote 215).

Phil P


#6

I have a question, who was the pope during the time of Apostle John??? (ca. 95AD)…if ever who’s that pope, who is higher, the pope or Apostle John?


#7

Thank you for the answers. I guess my question was how wikipedia could use St. John Chrysostom against the Catholic faith as he is a Doctor of the Church. Usually I have okay apologetics but this one confused me for a second. (Maybe it was the Orthodox logic that did it.)


#8

Good question.

There were more than one during that time frame.

St. Peter (32-67)
St. Linus (67-76)
St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
St. Clement I (88-97)

Taken from: newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

Also, what do you mean by higher? Who was higher in your mind Peter or John? Peter was given the keys and all that comes with it. But I’m not sure ‘higher’ is the best way to think about it. The Pope is the servant of the servants of God.

John was an apostle but he was never the Pope.

GB,
M


#9

This great Church Father knew nothing of the bishop of Rome as some type of supreme infallible ruler and wrote nothing of the sort. :wink:


#10

St John Chrysosotom
For the Son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom, with much confidence, this man now comes forward to us now.


#11

interesting comment on the word ROCK. In aramaic, which would have been the language at the time of Christ, there would have been no conflict. The same word was used in that comment. The one Christ made, I mean. Christ used the word Cephas in both. Peter “Cephas,” and rock “Cephas.” The only time any difference came about was when the scriptures were translated into Greek. In Greek, the word for rock was feminime. “Petra,” if I remember correctly. That would be a bit of a problem. So, “Petros” it became. Only difference is one of gender.


#12

And this has to do with…?


#13

St John having the keys also. (And all the Apostles for that matter). :thumbsup:


#14

I’m not the greatest with chapter and verse so maybe you can help me out with a reference to Jesus giving all the apostles the keys to the kingdom. I know they all received the power to bind and loose (after Peter received it first) but I believe only Peter was given the keys to the kingdom.

What exactly are the keys of heaven which St. John Chrysostom speaks?

Are you placing this on par with scripture? Is St. John C. infalliable?

M


#15

Yes.
Read what Jesus says to St Peter after he gives him the keys. Then read what is said to the Apostles in Matthew 18:18. They all carry the keys. They are the foundation of the Church and Christ is the Rock.

**St Peter had equal authority to all the Apostles—not a superior authority. **
There was no such thing as supreme papal infallibility until 1870. The undivided Church knew no such doctrine and it is improper Scriptural exegesis to read such a doctrine into the primacy of St Peter.

1 Cor 10:4
And all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.)

Eph 2:19-20
Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:


#16

St John is often referred to as the one whom Jesus loved–or the beloved of Jesus. Does this mean that Jesus Christ did not love the others? Of course not.


#17

Read what Jesus says to St Peter after he gives him the keys. Then read what is said to the Apostles in Matthew 18:18. They all carry the keys. They are the foundation of the Church and Christ is the Rock.

Apparently the understanding of the nature of the keys and how the bishop of Rome exercises his authority have developed over time. That’s fine for Catholics, not for others.

supreme infallible ruler

Please define “supreme” and “infallible”.

1 Cor 10:4
And all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.)

Eph 2:19-20
Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

This says nothing against us. We believe this too.


#18

Sorry, it doesn’t say that. They are given the authority, after Peter, to bind and loose. Only Peter was given the keys to the kingdom.

M


#19

Chrysostom on Peter:

“…He [Jesus] brought him [Peter] back to his former honor and entrusted him with the headship of the universal church, and, what is more than all, He showed us that he had a greater love for his master than any of the apostles, for saith he: ‘Peter, lovest thou Me more than these?’”

“He saith to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’ Why does He pass over the others and speak of the sheep to Peter? He was the chosen one of the apostles, the mouth of the disciples, and the head of the choir; for this reason Paul went up to see him rather than the others. …He entrusts him with the rule over the brethren…”

“If anyone should say ‘Why then was it James who received the See of Jerusalem?’ I should reply that He made Peter the teacher not of that See but of the world.”

(Yes, yes, John and Paul are also called teachers of the world. Just goes to show that at a certain point Peter didn’t need to hold a see to “rule over the brethren”.)

“In those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples and said: 'as being fervent, and as having the flock entrusted to his care, and as the first of the choir (or, as preferred in honor) he is always the first to begin to speak.”

"‘And in those days,’ it says, 'Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples and said: Both as being ardent, and as having been put in trust by Christ of the flock, and as having precedence of honor, he always begins the discourse. …Wherefore at the beginning he said: ‘Men and brethren, it behooves us to choose from among you.’ He defers the decision to the whole body, thereby making the elected objects of reverence, and himself keeping clear of all invidiousness with regard to the rest… …why did it not rest with Peter to make the election himself? What was the motive? This: that he might not seem to bestow it of favor. And, besides, he was not yet endowed with the Spirit. …[Peter] did not say: ‘We are sufficient.’ So far was he beyond all vain glory, and he looked to one thing alone. And yet he had the same power to ordain as they all collectively.

(So he was sufficiently “empowered” to choose Judas’ replacement himself, but chose not to.)

— How can one be in charge over others yet be equal to (or the same as) them at the same time? This is possible, but one has to recognize different levels or senses of authority and honor. So Peter is the same as the others in that all were Apostles, but not all Apostles were equal:

“In the Kingdom, therefore, the honors were not equal, nor were all the disciples equal, but the three [Peter, James, John] were above the rest; and among these three again there was a great difference… And yet all were apostles, all will sit upon the twelve thrones, and all left their possessions, and all were with Christ. And yet he selected these three. And, again, among the three, He said that some must yield or excel. For, ‘to sit on My right hand and on My left,’ he said, ‘is not Mine to give, but to them for whom it is prepared,’ And He set Peter before them saying: ‘Lovest thou Me more than these?’ And John loved Him more than the rest.”

All sourced from PhilVaz’s site (again).


#20

I really love to read the history sir, but the history without a valid basis from the Bible is somewhat questionable…

  1. Isn’t it a truth that Apostle John wrote a Gospel, 3 Epistles, and a Revelation to the seven churches?, and there he mentioned MANY NAMES?, ELECT LADY, GAIUS, DIOTREPHES, DEMETRIUS,but never mentioned of A POPE sitting on a throne??

2.Isn’t it confusing that the APOSTLE JOHN NEVER MENTIONED OF LINUS AND CLEMENT? If only you can prove to us that they do have the same position in the Roman Cahtolic Church, maybe we can agree to that, BUT, the way it is being taught that they are POPES, the HIGHEST BISHOP, eh this is bias and unfair in the eyes of Apostle John that he was not even greeted by those persons,likewise the apostle even did not mention any of those popes that you listed.

  1. Who assigned Apostle John to be the Bishop in ASIA MINOR? Is it questionable that those sprouting “HISTORIES” are not even taken into the account that he became the Bishop to that particular place? We can see that the appointments of the Bishops to be a pope is a very bid DEAL. But in the history of the RCC, PAUL appointed LINUS, then ANECLETUS, and PETER appointed CLEMENS. How can a POPE, THE SUCCESSOR to the chair of PETER, be appointed by a NON POPE like PAUL?

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