Paul "Founded" the Church


An evangelical friend of mine made quite an argument to Paul having “more to do” with establishing the Church than Peter. Can you give me some help to combat this notion?


Neither Paul nor Peter “founded” the Church; the Church was founded by Jesus Christ. I think the argument your friend is trying to make is that while Catholics hold that Jesus chose Peter to lead the Church, according to the biblical evidence Paul seems to have been a more prominent leader than Peter.

Given that Paul authored most of the apostolic letters in the New Testament and was chosen by God to bring the gospel to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 9:15), this is an argument that has some plausibility. It is flawed, however, by the fact that Jesus himself specifically announced to Peter and to the apostles that Peter was to be the rock upon which the Church would be built (cf. Matt. 16:18-19), that Peter was to specially strengthen the apostles (cf. Luke 22:32), and that Peter was to be chief shepherd of the Church (cf. John 21:15-17).

**For further reading:

Peter and the Papacy**

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