Paul Did NOT See Peter as Head of the Church

The last thread is sort of over the post-count limit.:slight_smile:

How do you feel about others that claim they have Christ’s Church?
ie… Chuck Smith, would be the best example,

Coming to an accurate knowledge of the meaning in what Jesus said in Matthew 16:13-20, and John 21:15-19, I feel is the absolute key issue between Catholics and non-Catholics. It does not necessarily need to be the starting point in any discussion, as I believe many non-Catholics, after much study and prayer, have come to finally accept the fact that Peter was set apart by Jesus as “the” shepherd of the church with the fullness of truth residing in it. They may have come to this conclusion by first investigating other differences in our faith’s, such as sola scriptura, sola fide, the real presence in the eucharist, devotion to Mary, communion of saints, morality, etc., and after seeing the truth of Catholic teaching in these other differences, then they found themselves faced with the ultimate question of authority in the church, who has it and why they have it.

Seeing as how I feel the issue of authority and the office of Peter is so vital, and this thread is already nearly 70 pages long, it would be good if we could stay on topic with the two key passages of scripture I indicated above, and not drift too far off.

Uh, happy? What do my feelings have to do with anything? This thread is intended as an exploration of our understanding of the dynamics between the apostles Paul and Peter, not a deep psychological profile of me (you would find me shallow, sinful, superficial and silly, I am afraid!). We have done a zillion threads on ‘Catholic versus catholic’.

A key to an understanding of those two passages would be to look at what Paul thought about the issue of Petrine authority in the church. If you want to focus solely on those two passages you could either start another thread or wait until this way is dead.

Due to my schedule I probably won’t be posted much except on weekends, and then only as I have time.

I do understand that a particular scriptural verse must be understood in the context of all scripture. I see that is where you are headed, however, my opinion is that these two verses that I mentioned really can stand on their own, without any other scriptural support. I hope you don’t think I am contradicting myself by my last sentence, but really, it is my opinion that it is quite obvious that Jesus was appointing Peter to a special position in the church. No doubt, the prominent position Peter was getting appointed to was not anything like what it would grow into in the centuries afterward, and that is to be expected.

True as Christ is the Head of the Church. Paul saw Peter as First Minister, the rock, on which Christ is building His Church. Paul many times calls Peter, Cephas=Rock, which is a transliteration into Greek of the Aramaic word kepha which means rock.

[Gal1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem **to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.]

[Gal2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And **I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.]

[Lk22: 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon, **Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.]

Satan wanted all the apostles yet Christ prayed only for Peter’s faith that it not fail and Peter is to strengthen the brethren, which includes the apostles including Paul.

. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.]

[Gal2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And **I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.]

[Lk22: 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon, **Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.]

Satan wanted all the apostles yet Christ prayed only for Peter’s faith that it not fail and Peter is to strengthen the brethren, which includes the apostles including Paul.

St. Paul doesn’t really address St. Peter’s primacy for two reasons:

Firstly, it was assumed. How many Catholic bishops in our own day discuss Petrine primacy? Almost none. Why? Because it’s an established fact, not an issue in debate.

Secondly, St. Paul’s Epistles were written with other concerns. As the one who had established Christian communities he wrote to them to encourage them and to correct problems. The Petrine primacy wasn’t on St. Paul’s plate. It was something he simply accepted. This doesn’t mean he didn’t take a role in advising and even correcting St. Peter. He did, and he was perfectly within his rights to do so. St. Catherine of Sienna admonished the pope of her day in the strongest terms, encouraging him to once again make his seat in Rome, where it was supposed to be.

Really, it takes a lot of denial and juggling of facts to make St. Paul an opponent of Petrine primacy. There’s no good reason to do so except to remain outside the Catholic Church, as far as I can tell. Having been a Protestant of two different denominations–very different from one another (so different in fact that one of them thought the other “spiritually dead”)–that was the one thing they most definitely had in common. What sets Protestants apart from Catholics more than any other issue is Petrine primacy.

11When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

Why did Paul call out Cephas? Barnabas was there acting badly, apparently so were many others, why not call them out? It seems Paul must have thought Peter had greater authority than Barnabas or the others.

Catholics don’t claim that Peter the apostle was perfect. He after all denied Jesus 3x.
We don’t claim the Pope is perfect as a person but only when protected by the Holy Spirit when speaking of faith and morals.

The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth.

Mary.

There’s nothing in Scripture that proves Paul thought anything extra special of Peter. Trying to prove so from Paul’s letters is a waste of time, because it’s not there.

Stick to “Upon this Rock” or the renaming of Peter in John’s Gospel, but you certainly won’t find it from Paul.

And since you mentioned it, what about the renaming of Peter in John 1:42? And what about Jesus saying in this verse and also in Matthew 16:17, “Simon son of John/Jonah”?

That’s a bad try at a dodge. There is nothing in Scripture that proves Paul didn’t see Cephas as special. There is more in Paul that implies he saw Peter as Cephas=rock and nothing in Scripture that implies he didn’t see Peter as special. Paul saw Peter as First Minister, the rock, on which Christ is building His Church. Paul many times calls Peter, Cephas=Rock, which is a transliteration into Greek of the Aramaic word kepha which means rock.

[Gal1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem **to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.]

[Gal2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And **I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.]

[Lk22: 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon, **Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.]

Satan wanted all the apostles yet Christ prayed only for Peter’s faith that it not fail and Peter is to strengthen the brethren, which includes the apostles including Paul.

You have made an excellent point.

*Of course *Paul was comparing himself to Peter.

Peter was the original “rock” star. Thousands knew his name. He was an apostle, he lived with Jesus for three years, he walked on water, raised the dead, preached at Pentecost and called down judgment upon Ananias and Saphira. Even his shadow could heal. Peter had the keys of the royal steward. He was the vicar of Christ. Everyone wanted to see Peter, to touch Peter, to hear Peter speak.

And Paul, the greatest student of the greatest rabbi, Gamaliel, lived, worked and preached in the shadow of this Galilean fisherman called “Rock”.

Consequently, when people in Galatia or Corinth began to question Paul’s teachings or his credentials as an apostle or his abilities as an orator, who was Paul going to compare himself with? Thaddeus? Matthias?

Paul was saying, “Look, I’ve seen the Lord, too, and I’ve worked just as hard, even harder for the gospel than all the others. I’ve been shipwrecked, imprisoned, flogged, left for dead. I’ve paid my dues as an apostle of Jesus Christ.”

But when Paul, the brilliant scholar, wanted to check his gospel, he compared it with the Gold Standard of the Christian faith. He went to Peter, and Peter “strengthened” his brother, Paul, by reassuring Paul and confirming the message that he was preaching.

Just as Jesus had commanded him to do. (cf. Lk. 22:32)

Nothing extra special? When Paul in Galatians 2:6, and 2:9 says Peter along with James and John were “important” and “pillars” of the church, was he not saying they were something extra special? But you’re right, Paul never names Peter as a pope. Maybe the word “pope” is the problem with non-Catholics. Or do you see Peter as special but not extra special? If so, please define the difference to us.

Good question. I think there is room for a high role in the NT for Peter as viewed by Paul without that role being what the Catholic Church says it is. At the same time, I am not sure Paul says anything to limit that role to something less than the Catholic position.

He was “extra-special”. But what we are faced with here is an argument from silence, or rather a parade of them. Paul could have said things in Romans 1 about Rome’s future role, or the role of its bishop, or in Ephesians 4 he could have mentioned a pope along with the apostles, and among those 12 thrones of apostles in the book of Revelations there could have been one extra gold and shiny. 1 Clement doesn’t bother to mention the bishop, Justin Martyr describes a church service in which there is no bishop or priest, just “one presiding”.

Paul rebuked Peter. And he went up to Jerusalem.

He didn’t single out Peter specifically in that passage.

There’s honestly nothing.

Paul says the Rock was Christ. Paul says he opposed Peter to his face because he stood condemned. Paul said he who plants and waters is; and I quote “nothing”. Paul condemns the Church for saying “I follow Cephas.”

These are ample opportunities for Paul to clarify that Peter is a special Pope; he doesn’t. There’s nothing.

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