Vicar of Christ


When did the apostles recognize St Peter as ‘Vicar of Christ’, ‘Pope’, ‘Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church’ and ‘Prince of the Apostles’?


Do you mean when did the Apostles use any of those titles? Or when did they recognize Peter’s authority? Peter’s authority is evident throughout the New Testament, but none of the titles you mention were in use among that first generation of Catholics.


Of course, neither were terms such as “Trinity” or “Personal Savior”


I’m curious as to when the first documented usage of the term “personal savior” was. My guess would be the late 1800’s but I’m always prepared to be proven wrong.

One that I am more curious about is “accept Jesus.” Whenever I ask a fundamentalist for a Bible verse instructing us to “accept Jesus,” they refer me to a verse about faith, which is great, but it doesn’t use the words “accept Jesus.”


My own guess would be the Second Great Awakening. At least that’s when the theology around various Evangelical mantras seems to have really taken hold.


They seemed to have known of it by the time of Acts 1 when Peter decided it was time to replace Judas.

Doesn’t anyone ever wonder why Jesus didn’t pick the replacement for Judas Himself? Instead he waited and let Peter make the decision.

Hmmmmmmmmm… :hmmm: Sounds to me like Jesus was already “building His Church on the Rock”.

BTW, drbible611, welcome to the Forums! I hope you enjoy your stay!


I don’t think it matters when the apostles recognized it I believe what is important is when God (Jesus) willed. Look in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 18.


Hmmm…let’s see…was it when Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water?

Or when Jesus told Peter that he was the rock upon which Jesus would build his Church and gave him the keys to the kingdom of heaven?

Or when John ran to the tomb ahead of Peter but waited to let Peter go in first?

Or when Jesus named Peter as the shepherd of the flock responsible for feeding and tending His sheep?

Or when Peter stood up to address them about replacing Judas with Matthias?

Or when Peter addressed the crowds on the day of Pentecost?

Or when Peter ruled at the Council of Jerusalem?

Or when Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with Peter for 15 days?

Or when they wrote the gospels and mentioned Peter more times by name than all of the other Apostles combined?

Hard to say for sure…but it’s obvious they understood Peter’s role as head of the Church even if they didn’t have the fancy titles that were developed later.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


I specifically remember when St. Peter was given the name Peter from God.

“And I say to thee that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Peter is translated from Cephas and Cephas in Aramaic which they spoke in those parts means rock.

So in essence what he said is
"Thou art Rock, and Upon this Rock…"


Or was it when Peter denied Christ three times


No, it was the three-fold affirmation of love for Jesus that followed and served as his repentance for this three-fold denial. If memory serves me, wasn’t that where Jesus told Peter to feed his lambs? :wink:


Which has what to do with the conversation at hand?



We all love the great Apostle St Peter. But none of it points to a supreme infallible pontiff of Rome.

BTW–James preside at the Council of Jerusalem. :wink:


Actually that is part of it.

“***Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you (Simon) have turned back, you (simon) must strengthen your brothers.***” The "(Simon)s are added by me to show singular “you”. Jesus prayed the his Vicar would be the one to strengthen his brothers. And time and time again this proved true.

Thanks Allis for bringing this to light!!! :thumbsup:


That is correct. We don’t have a “supreme” nor an “infallible” pontiff. Catholics never claimed that we did.

BTW–James preside at the Council of Jerusalem. :wink:

yes, the local bishop presides at all ecumenical councils.

But what did James base his conclusion on? Or should I say whom did he base it on?


Correction (posted elsewhere):

John Chapman on: John Chrysostom on: Peter on the election of Matthias:

He 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. But well might these things be done in this fashion, through the noble spirit of the man, and in regard that prelacy then was not an affair of dignity, but of provident care for the governed.

Peter could have appointed Judas’ replacement himself, but chose to let the church nominate candidates.

James the brother of the Lord was indeed the bishop/patriarch of Jerusalem and Peter wasn’t (since Peter/James/John - appointed James) but being the pope, or being the Peter, isn’t the same thing as being the bishop of Jerusalem - the former has a larger jurisdiction other than his see… the whole flock.

(Source: the ever-helpful site of PhilVaz…)


Of course God chose Matthias. But it was Peter who declared the need for a replacement.

I find it convincing, yet again, that Jesus allowed the Church to make this decision, rather than choosing a successor himself.


Can you say: Ecumenical Council? :smiley:


Yeah, Jerusalem Council - Acts 15.

Acts 1, Peter says draw lots, and they draw lots. I don’t see any “committee decision” in Acts 1.


St Peter did not choose Judas’ replacement. The Holy Spirit chose his replacement acting through the Church.

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