Why isn't Peter listed as the first bishop of Jerusalem?

As Catholics, we believe that Peter was at the head of the Apostles as well as Christ’s Church on earth upon Jesus’s ascension into heaven. The Church itself got started in Jerusalem in 33 AD. This would mean that Peter should have been the bishop of Jerusalem during those first two or three years. And yet it is James who is listed by both Catholics and non-Catholics as the first bishop of Jerusalem. Some scholars even go further and say that James was the first head of the Church due to this fact.

We know that Peter was a bishop in other cities as he is listed as being the first bishop of Antioch as well as the first bishop of Rome. Why then is he not listed as the first bishop of Jerusalem?

Peter wasn’t the bishop of anywhere. He was an Apostle. Two very different things.

St. James is called an Apostle by St. Paul in his Letter to the Galatians as well as his Letter to the Corinthians and yet Eusebius tells us that he was also the bishop of Jerusalem.

James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and he thus presided over the protocouncil described in Acts 15. Peter did not linger in Jerusalem after Pentecost, but took his ministry on the road to spread the Faith, ordaining Bishops for regions such as Lystra (Timothy) and Crete (Titus). Peter was thus the first Archbishop (a Bishop with authority over other Bishops). Peter eventually established the Church in Rome and settled there.

Thank you for this. What are your sources for this information?

Was James, not Peter, the head of the Church after Jesus?
by Jimmy Akin
ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/was-james-not-peter-the-head-of-the-church-after-jesus/

The James who assumed a prominent leadership role in the Jerusalem church after the time of Christ is known as “the brother of the Lord.” This James is sometimes identified with James the son of Alphaeus, who is also identified with James “the Less.”

The Gospels suggest that “the brothers of the Lord” were not believers in him during his life (Mark 3:21), and that would seem to include our James, if he is not to be identified with James son of Alphaeus. If he is to be identified with James son of Alphaeus, then he is clearly a “third-rank” apostle. If you study the lists of the apostles found in the Gospels and Acts, they are all divided into three groups of four names.

Peter heads the first list in every case, and James the son of Alphaeus heads the third list in every case. This establishes Peter as a first rank apostle and James son of Alphaeus as a third rank apostle. Thus, however one reads the data, Peter has a more prominent rank than James. After all, it was to Peter that Jesus said:

[INDENT]And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it [Mt. 16:18].

He did not say this to James.
[/INDENT]

:yup:

In Galatians, Paul writes:

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother [1:18-19].

In this passage, St. Paul appears to rank our James alongside the other apostles. This would certainly be the case if James “the brother of the Lord” is to be identified with James the son of Alphaeus, who is clearly an apostle, being found in the lists of the twelve apostles in the Gospels and Acts.

Even if James was not among the Twelve, this would not mean that he didn’t function as an apostle, for there were apostles who were not members of the Twelve—such as Barnabas and St. Paul himself (Acts 14:14). It thus seems clear that James functioned both as an apostle (if not a member of the Twelve) and as bishop of Jerusalem.

Incorrect. Peter was an Apostle as he was called by and sent by Jesus. But 'apostle is not an office in the church. You may recall that when Peter called for a replacement for Judas he quoted two OT psalms one of which said “…let another take his office.” Matthias was then elected and consecrated as a bishop.

The three offices of the church are bishop epoiscope, priest presbuteros and deacon diakoni. An apostle is merely ‘one who is sent’ The Eastern church still uses the word ‘apostle’ forrthose sent out toconvert others butthe Western church uses the word ‘missionary’ for the same thing. So Peter was an apostle (missionary) but he was also a bishop as were all the apostles. Peter was bishop of Jerusalem until he handed it over to James then he was bishop of Antioch before he handed that office over to Elvodius and finally he became bishop of Rome.

Ephesians lists the offices in the church as follows:

Ephesians 4:11-16
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

You may recall that when Peter called for a replacement for Judas he quoted two OT psalms one of which said “…let another take his office.” Matthias was then elected and consecrated as a bishop.

Matthias was added to the list of Apostles. He was not a bishop.

The three offices of the church are bishop epoiscope, priest presbuteros and deacon diakoni.

Correct. These are the three offices of the priesthood.

An apostle is merely ‘one who is sent’ …

So Peter was an apostle (missionary) but he was also a bishop as were all the apostles. Peter was bishop of Jerusalem until he handed it over to James then he was bishop of Antioch before he handed that office over to Elvodius and finally he became bishop of Rome.

No. An apostle is superior to a Bishop. Apostles were individually infallible. However, there are no more apostles.

The successors of the apostles were the Bishops who are not individually infallible but may teach infallibly when they are in full communion with the bishop of Rome.

Mostly the Book of Acts. Regarding Peter establishing the Church in Rome, I relied upon the Early Fathers, as cited in this Catholic Answers tract.

I disagree. First of all Ephesians 4:11-16 does not say these are offices. The ecclesial offices are bishop, priest and deacon. In para 875 the CCC states:

"…No one - no individual and no community - can proclaim the Gospel to himself: "Faith comes from what is heard.“391 No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel. The one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority, but by virtue of Christ’s authority; not as a member of the community, but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ. From him, bishops and priests receive the mission and faculty (“the sacred power”) to act in persona Christi Capitis; deacons receive the strength to serve the people of God in the diaconia of liturgy, word and charity, in communion with the bishop and his presbyterate. The ministry in which Christ’s emissaries do and give by God’s grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers, is called a “sacrament” by the Church’s tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament.”

Matthias was neither selected by Christ nor sent by Christ. Therefore he was not one of Christ’s Apostles which are otherwise known as “The Twelve”. He was, however, a missionary as were the other apostles. Paul was the replacement for Judas as the Twelfth Apostle as he was called by and sent by Christ. Judas was never sent. Furthermore in his call to find a replacement for Judas, Peter quotes two OT psalms, one of which says “…let another take his office” The Greek word for ‘office’ there is episkope, meaning overseer and is the very same word that is translated elsewhere as ‘bishop’. So Peter is calling for someone to replace Judas, not as an Apostle (one of the Twelve) but rather to replace him in the office of bishop that Judas forfeited.

That they are but the CCC calls them "offices. See the CC section entitled “I. THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH” beginning with para 874. Also the section commencing with para 1554

Why not? If the Apostles could create other Apostles as you claim with Matthias succeeding Judas then a scriptural precedent is established and so another Apostle should succeed Peter. But as I pointed out above Scripture says that Matthias was only selected to fulfill the office of bishop that Judas vacated. That is why there are no more Apostles.

I agree and they started with Matthias. Matthias sets the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Bishops. If he were an Apostle then he would set the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Apostles which no one claims occurred. Matthias is a bishop, no more no less.

Yes, those are the ecclesial offices, but they are not the only offices recognized by the Church. You can search the catechism online to find others.

Note that these three succeed from the apostles according to the Catechism

1536 Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.

Apostles were higher than the three ecclesial offices because these offices got their authority from the apostles.

Beyond this, I will not disagree, because I think I understand what you are saying.

Matthias was neither selected by Christ nor sent by Christ. Therefore he was not one of Christ’s Apostles which are otherwise known as “The Twelve”. He was, however, a missionary as were the other apostles. Paul was the replacement for Judas as the Twelfth Apostle as he was called by and sent by Christ. Judas was never sent. Furthermore in his call to find a replacement for Judas, Peter quotes two OT psalms, one of which says “…let another take his office” The Greek word for ‘office’ there is episkope, meaning overseer and is the very same word that is translated elsewhere as ‘bishop’. So Peter is calling for someone to replace Judas, not as an Apostle (one of the Twelve) but rather to replace him in the office of bishop that Judas forfeited.

I hear this often from Protestants, and it is incorrect. On the day of Pentecost, there were about 120 believers gathered together in the Upper Room when the Spirit descended upon them all. The people of Jerusalem wondered what all the noise was about, and “Peter stood up with the Eleven.” (cf. Acts 2:14)

IOW, 12 men stood up to witness to the crowds: Peter and “the Eleven” - not “the Ten”. Judas Iscariot was dead; Matthias had filled his office as one of the Eleven. In total, there were Twelve apostles, and this is consistent with the election of Matthias as recorded in Acts 1:

26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Matthias became one of the Twelve.

Why not? If the Apostles could create other Apostles as you claim with Matthias succeeding Judas then a scriptural precedent is established and so another Apostle should succeed Peter. But as I pointed out above Scripture says that Matthias was only selected to fulfill the office of bishop that Judas vacated. That is why there are no more Apostles.

Because the requirements for being an apostle were that the individual had to have “seen Jesus”.

Acts 1:21-22
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

So, Matthias, Paul and Barnabas are “Tier 1” Apostles. You can read more about this from a Catholic Answers article here.

I agree and they started with Matthias. Matthias sets the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Bishops. If he were an Apostle then he would set the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Apostles which no one claims occurred. Matthias is a bishop, no more no less.

Shown to be erroneous above. Especially in the article. Please read it.

agree that Acts 2:14 says, “Peter stood up with the Eleven.”
However, I disagree that it says that the eleven were Apostles. The word Apostle is not there. Peter is standing with eleven men. Luke seems to go out of his way to not call Matthias an Apostle. Look at Acts 1:26:

“And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

Luke does not say Matthias was made the twelth Apostle. Rather he is numbered with the eleven Apostles. Why after Matthias was elected are there still only eleven Apostles. Should not Luke have said, “And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was made an apostle” if indeed that was the case? Furthermore, Matthias followed Jesus from the beginning but Jesus did not make him an Apostle. I don’t think Peter and the other apostles would try to make him one [if they could] if Jesus didn’t.

No, many people saw Jesus but were not apostles. To be an Apostle one had to be called by and sent by Jesus. Matthias was neither called nor sent by Jesus. Judas was called but never sent. Notice that Peter says it is necessary to choose one who was with them the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, Why was that a necessity? Because they had no time to teach someone. They had no seminary studies ecept for the time they spent with Jesus. The need to fill Judas’ episcopal office was perceived to be immediate.

Matthias and Barnabus are apostles but not Apostles. The word we would use today is missionaries. Paul is also a missionary as are all of the Apostles. So they, the Twelve are apostles as well as being Apostles.

Quote:
I agree and they started with Matthias. Matthias sets the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Bishops. If he were an Apostle then he would set the biblical precedent for the Apostolic Succession of Apostles which no one claims occurred. Matthias is a bishop, no more no less.

All I get is a message saying I am using an out dated browser. I’ll try to reference it using another browser but if this is the same article I read before the problem I had with it is that it did not differentiate between an apostle and an Apostle. There were and are many apostles in the Church but there are only twelve Apostles.

Yes. When you have a select group, a group that is so distinguished from the rest of the disciples that they have their own name, “the Twelve”, then should one die and another be added to the remaining Eleven, it means that there are “Twelve” again in the small, distinct group.

Why after Matthias was elected are there still only eleven Apostles. Should not Luke have said, “And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was made an apostle” if indeed that was the case?

Because Luke distinguishes Matthias as one of the Twelve from lesser apostles like Junias and Andronicus who are also referred to as apostles in scripture. Matthias was an apostle by virtue of having been elected to fill an empty seat among the Twelve. Paul and Barnabas were not.

Furthermore, Matthias followed Jesus from the beginning but Jesus did not make him an Apostle. I don’t think Peter and the other apostles would try to make him one [if they could] if Jesus didn’t.

No, many people saw Jesus but were not apostles. To be an Apostle one had to be called by and sent by Jesus.

Sure. And if you recall, Jesus called and sent out the seventy, also.

Matthias was neither called nor sent by Jesus. Judas was called but never sent. Notice that Peter says it is necessary to choose one who was with them the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, Why was that a necessity? Because they had no time to teach someone. They had no seminary studies ecept for the time they spent with Jesus. The need to fill Judas’ episcopal office was perceived to be immediate.

Right. and Matthias was one of two candidates proposed who met those qualifications. IOW, Matthias was with Jesus the whole time, he was known to the Apostles, and quite possibly, he may have even been among the 70 sent out by Jesus previously.

However, just as Matthias was approved by the Holy Spirit in Acts 1, Paul and Barnabas were not called apostles until after they were set apart by the Holy Spirit and prayed over by the Church at the direction of the Holy Spirit in Acts 13.

That pretty much ends your assertion about Paul being #12. :wink:

BTW, I wrote about this at length here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=12570606&highlight=Tarsus#post12570606

I remember in one of his books, and later in a homily in front of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch, Pope Benedict explained why Rome, and not Jerusalem, was made the chief particular Church. It represented a shift from the People of God being limited to the Jews to it being open to all men. Jerusalem was the head of the Jewish people, but Rome symbolized the whole world.

Correct, Matthias became one of the 12 Apostles, replacing Judas. He was also made a bishop, to replace the episcopal void of Judas.

And Peter and the other Apostles were bishops as well. That is why we see in Acts where Peter and John come and administer the sacrament of Confirmation after the Deacon Phillip had baptized a group.

Right, Matthias actually took Judas’ place as the twelfth of the Twelve Apostles.

That was a unique situation, though. There were other Apostles outside the Twelve (such as Paul and Barnabas), and of course there were non-Apostle bishops appointed by the Apostles to succeed them (Timothy and Titus; Linus, Anacletus, and Clement in Rome; and so forth), but Matthias actually filled the void within the group of Twelve. Notice that that opening had a qualification that few later bishops could fill – the chosen man had to have been with the followers of Jesus from the beginning and have been a witness of the Resurrection. Nobody after the first generation, and precious few in it, could qualify for that. (Paul counts himself as the last “witness to the Resurrection” because of the apparition of Jesus he saw on the Damascus Road, but even he would not meet the other qualification, since he came along after Jesus’ death and Resurrection and was initially a persecutor of the nascent Church.)

Usagi

But Luke doesn’t say there are twelve again. He could easily have done so if he wanted. Furthermore being "numbered with the eleven Apostles does not make Matthias an Apostle any more than a black sheep maybe numbered with ninety nine white sheep but that doesn’t make him a white sheep. The shepherd may say he has a flock of one hundred sheep; ninety nine are white, one is not. In the case of Matthias we have twelve bishops. Eleven of them are Apostles; one is not.

Luke never calls Matthias an Apostle. Others are called apostle but the word is used in a general sense to mean missionary. Furthermore, we are all called to be apostles but none of us are one of the twelve.

The Eastern church calls these the “minor apostles”. Basically Jesus sent them on a training mission with limited authority.

Paul was set apart by the Lord. That is what scripture says. Paul was called by the Lord and sent by the Lord. That is what scripture says. As for Barnabus he was a missionary and probably consecrated a bishop. I use the term missionary here because you seem to get confused withthe terms apostle and Apostle. The former being generic toencompass all who are missionaries and the latter specific to the Twelve called by and sent by the Lord.

Not in the least. Matthias was a missionary of the church. Peter called for someone to replace Judas in the office of bishop [See Acts 1:15 in either the KJV or the DR versions]. Peter never called for another apostle. Matthias was a bishop not an apostle of Jesus Christ. He does not rank with the other Apostles [including Paul] as he was never called nor sent by Jesus. Paul was most definitely called and sent by the Lord. Scripture says it; I believe it so what is your hang up with it? Why do you defy what is so plainly stated in scripture?

I am sure Matthias IS an Apostle. In Rev 21:14

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

I am pretty sure the name of Judas Iscariot is not there.

My copy of Eusebius Book 4 says this:

*Chapter 5. The Bishops of Jerusalem from the Age of our Saviour to the Period under Consideration

  1. But since the bishops of the circumcision ceased at this time, it is proper to give here a list of their names from the beginning. The first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord; the second, Symeon; the third, Justus; the fourth, Zacchæus; the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres; the fourteenth, Joseph; and finally, the fifteenth, Judas.*

I don’t see Peter there.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.