Matthew 18:1; 20:21 Protestant Commentary


#1

Hi all,

I've been looking through Bible passages about the Papacy.

I read on one protestant website that Mt. 18:1; 20:21, shows that Jesus had the chance to tell the disciples that Peter was the Pope but he did not. Thus showing that Peter was not the Pope.

Of course one could say that he just told them in Matthew 16:18, and did not need to say it again.

All the same I would appreciate a Catholic response.


#2

[quote="ProfBJS, post:1, topic:314409"]
Hi all,

I've been looking through Bible passages about the Papacy.

I read on one protestant website that Mt. 18:1; 20:21, shows that Jesus had the chance to tell the disciples that Peter was the Pope but he did not. Thus showing that Peter was not the Pope.

Of course one could say that he just told them in Matthew 16:18, and did not need to say it again.

All the same I would appreciate a Catholic response.

[/quote]

That would be kind of a lame comment to insert into a commentary. One could just as easily have said that Jesus could have used this opportunity to say, "You are to follow the Bible and Bible alone when it comes to deciding anything having to do with religion", but he didn't. He could have said any number of things at this point but didn't.

It sounds to me like they just wanted to use this as an opportunity to pointedly go after Catholic teaching, without true regard to the context of the passage.


#3

For one, just because it isn't mentioned in the bible doesn't mean that Jesus didn't tell them. However, I think in Scripture it is quite clear that Peter is the leader among the Apostles, even without the fact that Jesus gave him the Keys to the Kingdom (such as Mark 16, when the angel tells the women to go tell Jesus' disciples and Peter, singling him out specifically), so I'm sure that among the Apostles, they would have known as well.


#4

[quote="Fidelis, post:2, topic:314409"]
That would be kind of a lame comment to insert into a commentary. One could just as easily have said that Jesus could have used this opportunity to say, "You are to follow the Bible and Bible alone when it comes to deciding anything having to do with religion", but he didn't. He could have said any number of things at this point but didn't.

It sounds to me like they just wanted to use this as an opportunity to pointedly go after Catholic teaching, without true regard to the context of the passage.

[/quote]

That was an awesome response. I find rather pathetic the mentality that needs to destroy and tear down another religion without regards to truth so it can boldly proclaim that it is a provider of truth by default.

God Bless


#5

When Jesus lived and taught there was no New Testament. There was no Christian Church. There was no Bishop of Rome, hence, no Pope. All of these things came about as a result of the faith of Jesus' followers, and the confidence that, in the power of the Holy Spirit, they were authorized to make whatever decisions were necessary to promote what they had learned from their Master.

It is likely that Peter went to Rome, where he likely was received by the Followers of the Way with great respect and reverence. History shows that it took centuries for the primacy of the Bishop of Rome to be recognized. Prior to that, there was a sense of collegiality among bishops. The appeal to the Peter's primacy was advanced as part of the argument that Catholicism needed a Pope.

The experience cited in Acts 15 tells us two things: James was the first recognized leader of the Church, and Peter's authority was not unquestioned or unchallenged in Apostolic times.


#6

Ok, Christ (a) told Peter that He had prayed the Father specifically for him, so that his faith would not fail and he could confirm his brothers, the apostles. Christ (b) gave Peter the keys of the Kingdom and told him that on him would he build His Church. Christ (c) told Peter to feed and guard over His flock. And ever since the beginning, all communities have acknowledged the primacy of the episcopal see of Rome just like all the apostles acknowledged the primacy of Peter, calling the Holy See "mother and head of all the churches". Sure, the papacy developed as a doctrine, just like Holy Mass, and about everything else, for there was a seed planted, a house whose foundation was set. But the Holy Spirit guided the Church in a certain path for 16 centuries before these doctrines showed up, causing no good to the flock of Christ (which Christ wants to have one shepherd) and bringing forth division and discord - the typical fruits that make the Lord say: "an enemy has done this."


#7

[quote="Fidelis, post:2, topic:314409"]
That would be kind of a lame comment to insert into a commentary. One could just as easily have said that Jesus could have used this opportunity to say, "You are to follow the Bible and Bible alone when it comes to deciding anything having to do with religion", but he didn't. He could have said any number of things at this point but didn't.

It sounds to me like they just wanted to use this as an opportunity to pointedly go after Catholic teaching, without true regard to the context of the passage.

[/quote]

[quote="maximus, post:4, topic:314409"]
That was an awesome response. I find rather pathetic the mentality that needs to destroy and tear down another religion without regards to truth so it can boldly proclaim that it is a provider of truth by default.

God Bless

[/quote]

I agree with maximus....Awesome response Fidelis.

To me - the comments in the OP say more about the person writing the commentary than about Scripture or Catholic thought and belief.

Take Mt 18:1..."Who is the greatest in the Kingdom"...Does the person who wrote the commentary think that this is how we see the Pope(s), that we think they are the "greatest in the Kingdom"? :dts:
That verse has absolutely nothing to do with authority...or even responsibility (something that most people don't consider when looking at the papacy). The verse is about trust, humility, obedience, and service.

As for vs 20 and 21...I really fail to see how these offer any more of an opportunity to declare Simon-Peter as Pope than any other verse. If the person wished to make such a case, verses 15-18, right before this, would have been a better place for there it talks about settling disputes.

No - frankly - I see no legitimacy to the commentary as it relates to these verses.

Peace
James


#8

[quote="ProfBJS, post:1, topic:314409"]
I read on one protestant website that Mt. 18:1; 20:21, shows that Jesus had the chance to tell the disciples that Peter was the Pope but he did not. Thus showing that Peter was not the Pope.

[/quote]

Bleh -- that's eisegesis at its worst! OK: in Mt 18:1, the question wasn't "who's going to be the leader of your Church on earth?" After all, the apostles are regularly shown to be unable to understand Christ's message prior to his resurrection -- in fact, the point of the Synoptic Gospels, which they make over and over again, is that it's impossible to understand Jesus without first knowing his passion, death, and resurrection! Just a few verses before Mt 18:1 (in Mt 17:22-23), Jesus predicts precisely these events, and rather than understand it, they're "filled with grief"!

So, at the very least, the statement "Peter will be the head of my Church on earth" would have been completely incomprehensible to the apostles; that's reason enough for Jesus not to go there, prior to his resurrection. But, there's an even better reason: that wasn't the question that Jesus was asked! Instead, he was asked who was greatest in the kingdom of God! Time and again, Jesus teaches his apostles the value and necessity of servant leadership -- so, Jesus would never point to one of his budding leaders and say, "he's the greatest!" In fact, that would be the surest way to know that a person wasn't being prepared for leadership in the Church! So, instead, Jesus points to a child -- to a person who was well understood in the culture of the day as being inconsequential -- and letting people know that the whole order of things is upended in the Kingdom of God: the mighty become as children, while the weak are the greatest.

Mt 20:21 provides a similar dynamic. She only thinks she's asking for temporal, earthly power -- what she's really asking for (although she doesn't know it) is power in the eschatological Kingdom of God. If Jesus had replied "sorry, Peter's got the edge over your boys", then Jesus would have been mis-speaking: rather than tell the truth about the Kingdom of God, he would be talking about temporal leadership. Instead, Jesus answers properly: you don't know what you're asking for, he replies. Again, Jesus teaches the apostles (cf Mt 20:25ff) about the need for servant leadership.

So, in addition to the very reasonable comments already part of this thread, I would offer that the websites you've read are offering Protestant eisegesis rather than Scriptural exegesis... ;)


#9

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