I just came across a pretty neat bit of information.
I remembered hearing on Catholic Answers Live a week or so ago it was mentioned that Matthew 10:2 uses the greek term “protos” in reference to Peter.
For some reason I just remembered this now and decided to look into the details. I found a FEW short references to this on a few very old threads but I was amazed this hasnt been brought up more often.
Anyway, here is what Matt 10:2 says:1 And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. 2 And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first [protos], Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother,
I looked up the word “protos” in a online lexicon and it said there were two main definitions:
1)first in regards to time or place (eg “first I did this, then I did that.” or “I came first, he came second”)
2)first in regards to rank, ie chief
Now if it can be shown that the second definition is in fact the usage for Mt 10:2 then that is solid (explicit!) proof of Peter’s primacy.
As far as I can tell Peter was not the first (chronologically) apostle to be found or called, rather Andrew his brother was (Jn 1:40). One listing does not have “Peter, Andrew”, but rather Mk 3:15 And he gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. 16 And to Simon he gave the name Peter: 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James… 18 And Andrewindicating there isnt a strict order besides Peter at the top of the list.
In regards to the sentence structure, it says: “And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first”. After the words “are these” the phrase “the first” is kind of redundant if it is used chronologically, in fact Luke 6 says: 13 And when day was come, he called unto him his disciples; and he chose twelve of them (whom also he named apostles). 14 Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brotherobviously Luke didnt need to inform us which came first chronologically.
The most logical answer therefore is that “first” [protos] in fact means “chief”. Thus the Bible explicitly says Peter is the chief apostle.
I am definitely going to remember this one for future reference.
I welcome any thoughts and even criticism.