Once there was a Pope named Peter?
One day Jesus asked two questions to his disciples. The first: Who do men say that the Son of Man is? (Matthew 16:13). The second more personal "But you, who do you say that I am?" Do you believe what the people’s opinion are of him or do you have one of your own. In v.16 Peter spoke up and answered “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus now turned to Peter and made a series of statements. One is where the revelation came from. Jesus tells him that God the Father reveled this to him, not man. V.18: “And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter (Cephas), and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
On this one Scripture, the Catholic church tries to validate their position of Peter being the first Pope, the head of the church. We need to ask is Peter the only one called rock? If not then who else and why? And what kind of rock is the other one called?
The Roman Catholic Church has used this concept of Peter as the Pope to validate a certain church in a certain city as God’s earthly headquarters for all the church throughout time. Roman Catholicism cannot change on this doctrine, for it is the foundation of their leadership. For an understanding of The Roman Catholic church’s position go to: FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1869-1870)Session 4 : 18 July 1870—First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ
—Chapter 1. On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter
—Chapter 2. On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman pontiffs
—Chapter 3. On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff
—Chapter 4. On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff
—The definition of Papal Infallibility http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#6
Without someone taking in all the Scripture on this subject, they cannot come to the correct conclusion. One needs to see the continual teaching on a certain doctrine to ascertain what it means. In the Old Testament, the rock is always God. Since this has not changed, (nor can it change) there is no reason to accept anything or anyone else but Christ as the rock. No human being was ever referred to as a rock in the Hebrew Scriptures (especially to build upon). God was the rock long before Jesus called Peter “a rock,” so any statement does not, nor could it change the absolute truth of who is the eternal rock of ages that the church is built on.
In the New Testament, "Rock" is used only for Jesus Christ (Matt 21:42 –Isa. 28:16-1 Cor .3:11; 10:4; Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-8). Paul never said it was Peter and Peter never said it was himself. Peter and Paul both agree and promoted the rock as Christ.
The Catholic church has been using this one scripture (Mt.16:18) to interpret the many (even though Peter says the rock is Christ). However, the many “other Scriptures” teach us how to interpret the “one Scripture.” The whole of the New Testament refutes this concept and even Peter himself does not agree with them. Who speaks for the apostles? Popes that have made this a doctrine or the apostles and Peter who delivered the teaching to the church? This is not about a Protestant position but a biblical one.
The key to understanding this is the relationship between the name "Peter" and the word "rock." The Catholic church has done much amplification of this particular passage. The Roman Catholic church has taught that Peter was the first pope and he was the rock upon which Jesus was to build the church. Peter becomes the foundation upon which the church was built and from him there is a continuous line of popes through apostolic succession. Therefore, according to Catholicism, the conclusion is: the Roman Catholic church is the only true church and only the Roman Catholic church can properly interpret the Scriptures.
The Catholics main argument is that Jesus spoke Aramaic. The New Testament and Matthew’s gospel was written in Greek. No matter what original language it was spoken in, Matthew determined the meaning by the Greek language. And Matthew’s gospel was not first written in Aramaic and then was translated into Greek, as some suppose. Actually, it does not matter what language Jesus spoke in, whether Aramaic or Hebrew. The Bible is the inspired word of God for all people and it is written in Greek by the apostles because this was the most common used language in the world at that time. The apostles were there as witnesses of Jesus’ teachings and events, and what they wrote is infallible and should not be changed. According to John 14:26; 16:13, the Holy Spirit guided all the apostles into all truth, which includes the language and word choice (1 Cor. 2:4).
If there is a distinction in the Aramaic language, why would Matthew instead write it in the Greek. The fact of him hearing the conversation and using the two different words `Petros' and 'Petra' for Rock apparently proves there is a difference in meaning. When Catholics say the disciples spoke Aramaic, they are questioning Matthew, who wrote the gospel, as if did not understand Greek grammar and was incapable of communicating its meaning to his audience (which happened to be Jewish). As we look at this verse from various angles, we will see the Catholic argument is moot. For even if we read it in English and let the Bible interpret itself,we can know its accurate meaning.
It is important to note the backdrop of Matthew 16 and the locale of where this statement was made. Caesarea Phillipi was in Gentile territory, in the northernmost part of Israel. It is one of the headwaters of the Jordan River. When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, it took place at a certain area where there was a massive rock formation and a stream of very small pebbles. Caesarea Philippi was a town that was built at the foot of Mt. Hermon--at the foot of a huge, massive cliff-rock. The Greek word for a "huge rock" is petra. At the base of this huge massive cliff-rock a river flows out. In the River bed are many small stones or pebbles which are broken off from this massive cliff-rock as the river proceeds out from its base.
When Jesus talked about this rock, the Greek term He used was petra. Petra is a feminine noun which means a massive cliff-rock, like the one overshadowing Caesarea Philippi. The word for Peter here is petros, a masculine noun which means a small stone or pebble. Jesus said, "You are Peter- You are Petros. You are a small stone, a small pebble just like the small stones or pebbles in this stream shooting forth from the base of the huge cliff-rock that overshadowed the town of Caesarea Philippi. Upon the 'petra,' upon that cliff from which you were broken off, I will build my church." In other words,Jesus is this massive cliffrock upon which the church would be built on. The church would not be built upon Peter, but upon Peter's confession which was, "You are the Christ, the Son of the God, the Living One." Peter's confession was on the rock itself. Jesus did not say to Peter, upon YOU I will build My church, but, "upon this rock," and the word "this" is pointing to Himself, of whom Peter confessed when he said, "Thou art Christ.” On the basis of who Jesus is, the church was going to be built.
Jesus spoke in the Syro-Chaldaic, and in that language there is no change of gender. What was spoken in Aramaic was translated into Greek, they must have understood the distinction in the Aramaic, for it is written in Greek and a specific word was used to convey the meaning. If there were no distinction originally, why was one made in Greek? The use of the two different words `Petros' and 'Petra' evidently proves there is a difference in meaning. The Holy Spirit chose the Greek language to accurately write God's truth. The argument of the Aramaic language is moot, since the apostles chose to write it in Greek and the original Greek is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Matt 16:18 The demonstrative pronoun, tautee (NT:4972), along with its head noun petra (NT:4024), are both FEMININE. It is grammatically impossible for them to refer to a MASCULINE noun, petros (NT:4025)! (from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament) Rule in Greek grammar: A feminine noun can never modify a masculine noun.
There is in the Greek a play upon the words, "thou art Peter petros--literally 'a little rock', and upon this rock Petra I will build my church." Jesus does not promise to build His church upon Peter, but upon Himself, as Peter himself tell us in his first epistle - believers are living stones, and Jesus is the living rock they are to believe on. The reason He is the rock is because He eternally exists and gives us life. He alone continues to exist throughout the church ages as its foundation.
1 Pet 2:4-8: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Therefore it is also found in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.”
Peter was not rejected, Jesus was. Think about it, the Catholic Church is saying Peter is the Rock the church is built on, but he was never rejected. In fact, it was he who rejected Jesus and needed to be restored.
If Peter is THE rock then in the Old Testament where Yahweh is referred to as a Rock would be of no consequence (Deut .32:4,15; 2 Sam 22:2-32; 23:3; Ps 31:3). Jesus is called the rock after this (and before.) Peter is never called THE rock by anyone after this. Obviously, whatever Jesus meant is not the same meaning that the Catholic Church has applied to the Scripture to make their church the only one connected to the apostles.
It is Peter's confession we find throughout the Scripture as the entrance into the church. We see this in the eunuch's confession. He was asked if he believed Jesus was the Son of God, otherwise he could not be baptized. Neither he nor anyone else was ever asked if they believe Peter is the rock.
No time after did Jesus repeat this term to Peter. No apostle ever called Peter the rock, because they did not recognize him as the head of the church.
Matt 16:15-20: “He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.”
Lets break this down into portions for better understanding-
1) Jesus is asking about himself- who do you say that I am”
2) Peter responds on an immediate revelation “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
3) Jesus responds back – it is the Father that reveled this to you Peter.
4) Jesus calls Cephas Peter (petros) a little rock
5) Then He says on this (large) rock He will build HIS church.
6) He gives Peter (and later all the disciples Mt.18:16-19) the keys
7) Tells His disciples not to tell any one He was Jesus the Christ.”
The phrase "on this" is pointing to Himself whom Peter had confessed by revelation when he said, "Thou art Christ." Are we to believe that Jesus said Peter was blessed because he realized the church would be built upon Himself, that the Father had to reveal this to him? Who was the person that they did not understand was sent from the Father? Who is the person it says is the Son of the living God? Not Peter but Jesus.
Peter did not believe this of himself (remember this is based on Peter saying Jesus is God on the flesh).
I do see the Lord having a sense of humor thenand even now. He showed the Roman Catholic interpretation was not the meaning when he had to rebuke Peter in the next few minutes: “He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men" (Matt 16:23).
In reaching for this exclusive title, the Catholic church shows they are mindful of the things of men and not mindful of the things of God. For Jesus taught them about ruling over the others several times: Matthew 20:25-28: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you.” Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:24-25 “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.”
The answer always ended in this manner, “but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” "Neither be ye called -masters; for one is your Master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matt. 23:10, 11.)
If Christ made Peter supreme over the others, then why did the other apostles NOT understand that? There would be no need to argue about WHO among them was the greatest of all (Luke 22:24-25). Jesus would have told them again to settle it. Jesus told them they are not to rule as the Gentiles do, but this is exactly what is done with a Pope. They elect a pope! What kind of apostolic succession is this? Where in the Bible does it have people vote for the leader over the whole church? Nowhere. Where does the Bible say to have one human leader over the whole church? Nowhere, because we are told that Jesus Christ is the head and He is the Chief Shepherd who has many shepherds under Him (pastors).
In this news article it tells us- Since 1378 A.D. new popes have come from the College of Cardinals-117 cardinals younger than 80 are eligible.
In answering the question: What influences the voting?”
Answer: The church says only the Holy Spirit will influence the results. But church-watchers say a new pope will win based on age, nationality, life experience, personality and positions on major issues facing the church.”
Ballots are cast until a winner receives the necessary two-thirds majority.
Question: How does a cardinal become pope once he is elected?
Answer: Simply by answering "I accept" to the question, "Do you accept your canonical election as supreme pontiff?"
Question: How is the papal name picked?
Answer: The new pope takes any name he likes. No law mandates a new name, but the practice has been standard for about 1,000 years. Some honor a favorite saint or a beloved pope. Others honor predecessors — John Paul II followed John Paul I. The only name that's sacrosanct is Peter, the first pope.”
(Excerpts form- RELIGION NEWS SERVICE - By Kevin Eckstrom - April 9, 2005http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2002236350_religionconclave09.html)
God never told the apostles or us to pick a successor to Peter, the simple reason is that the apostles were picked personally by Jesus. Peter never passed his position on, and neither did the apostles. This is an invention of man, a tradition that is man made (Colossians 2:8).
Two Men and two Different Commissions
Christ's commission to Peter was to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED, not to uncircumcised- the Gentiles. How can one be the head for only the Jews and not the Gentiles, and be the foundation?
In the same way, Paul could not be the head of the church--"The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)" (Gal. 2:7-8). V.9"And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [i.e., the gift or office] that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."
Paul mentions his unique calling as the Apostle to the Gentiles in 2 Timothy 1:11: "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." Peter is NOWHERE called the Apostle to the Gentiles! This omits him from becoming the head of a Gentile church. Peter is the apostle to his brethren the Jews, (according to God’s calling). Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, which was a far larger group (Galatians 2:7-9) than the Jews. It was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles.
Paul lived longer than Peter and so did John. When Peter died they did not listen to Linus, who the Catholic church claims to be the apostolic successor to Peter, in fact he’s not even mentioned by them. Why? Because there was no "Bishop of Rome" that succeeded Peter after his martyrdom. No bishop had authority over any Apostle, be it John or any other.
Most Bible historians believe from history that John lived until about 95 A.D. If a "Bishop of Rome" succeeded Peter, and became the supreme Head of the universal church, then we have someone who is NOT an apostle ruling OVER John, who was still a living apostle!
Paul writes, “And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [i.e., the gift or office] that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision" (Gal. 2:9).
We read, “because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome” (Acts 18:2). Since Peter was to go to the Jews He would not have resided in Rome and become the head of the church. This is why the Lord came to Paul But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome." (Acts 23:11)
Was Peter the apostle appointed to the Jews going to Rome to become the head of a Gentile community? We find in the bible that it is Paul not Peter who was going to plant the Roman Church. "I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Rom. 1:11). Yet the Catholic Church wants us to believe that Peter had done this some ten years before. Which would bring us to the time he had the revelation
And Paul writes in Romans 1:15: “I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.”
“And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation, (Rom. 15:20). If Peter had "founded" the Roman Church before Paul then Paul would be building on his foundation, something he refused to do. He made sure he built it not where Christ was named.
It was Paul who wrote the epistle to the ROMANS, not Peter. At the end of his Epistle to the Romans (Rom.16) He greets 28 individual people but he does not include Peter in it. Why? Because Peter is not in Rome (Paul wrote this in 55 or 56 A.D.) Acts 26:24-27:3--In Acts 26 Paul gave testimony before Agrippa, when he is done Agrippa said to Festus, "This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar." This occurs four years after Paul wrote Romans. In Acts 27 Paul and some other prisoners are delivered to “one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.” He is transferred as a prisoner to stand trial before Caesar in Rome. When the Christian community in Rome heard of Paul's arrival, they all went to meet him: "When the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us" (Acts 28:15). Peter is not among them. Luke the historian always mentions by name the Apostles in Acts, But he says nothing of Peter meeting with Paul when he was in Rome. Paul called "the chief of the Jews together" (Acts 28:17) to “whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved” (Acts 28:23-24).
These chief Jewish elders claimed they knew nothing about Paul or the teachings of Christ. What they knew was that “concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against” (Verse 22). This is significant, since Peter was to be the evangelist to the Jews, if he had been preaching in Rome and was present with them for 14 years these Jewish leaders would not have known little about Christianity? There was no need for Peter to go to Rome, Rome had a small Jewish community.
Paul's stayed among them for two year's and was then released (Acts 28:17-). But about four years later (near 65-66 A.D.), he was again sent back to Rome to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die. Paul describes this in 2 Timothy 4:6-7:“The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Notice what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:16-17 (KJV) "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge." Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: Did Peter forsake Paul? He is supposedly present in Rome at this time.
Needless to say, the Apostle Paul confirms that Peter was NOT in Rome at this time. Paul said: "Only Luke is with me" (2 Tim. 4:11). Rome was mostly Gentiles of whom Paul was sent to preach to- not Peter. It is Peter who said he is writing from Babylon (1 Peter 5:13). Since Roman Catholicism insists that Peter was in Rome, then we must ask was Peter calling Rome Babylon? I don’t think Catholics want to admit this. He was in Babylon, which is in Iraq. History tells that there were large communities of Jews in this area. Remember that Peter was the Apostle to the CIRCUMCISED, he was not called to the Gentiles, Paul was.
First among Equals
Isn’t Peter always first in the list of apostles? As an apostle, Peter only wrote a small amount in the New Testament (James, and Jude were Jesus’ half brothers). While John wrote the second largest portion of the New Testament, Peter wrote only two books of the New Testament. Paul wrote at least 13 letters, including the only one to the Roman church. Peter had a far less influence over the whole church than Paul, which the majority was Gentile.
Mark 3:16-19; Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:13-16: “and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles- each of the three mentions the order differs slightly, the only thing they all have in common is Peter is first and Judas last. Peter was the first called. And Judas, of course, would be put at the end of the list being the one whom betrayed Jesus and committed suicide. It could be because Peter had the revelation of Jesus that the church would be built on (Peter's confession that Jesus is the rock of salvation).
Jesus never singled out a leader above the others. In fact, He trained them to go out in two's as they ministered to the people. The Bible gives no significance to the order except the number being in reference to the twelve tribes of Israel of whom they would minister to. Paul is actually the 14th who was sent to the Gentiles (Mattias the 13th replacing Judas as the 12th -Acts 1).
What is significant is that they were not sent alone but in pairs, Peter was often with John, Paul with Barnabas.
Luke 22:8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."
When Peter separated he got into trouble, he abandoned
the Lord, Luke 22:61-62: “And the Lord turned and looked at
Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the
Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me
three times." So Peter went out
and wept bitterly. But John was found at the cross.
Acts 4:13: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and
Acts 4:19: But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.
Acts 5:29: But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men.
Acts 8:14-15: “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
We should let the word of God that was written through His appointed apostles address this matter of Peter as sole leader. Peter writes in his own letter 1 Pet. 5:1: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder.” Notice he does not say he is above them as chief but as an equal. Peter calls himself an elder among others. Not once did he EVER call himself Pope. You would think he would know what he is.
1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Compare what Peter actually says to what the Catholic church teaches. Peter says to submit yourself to the elders (plural). Not once did he or the Scripture say submit to him as the chief elder.
In 1 Tim. 3:15-16, Paul writes that we are the “house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." He then defines what this house’s foundation is: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”
This is the same thing that Peter spoke that Jesus said He would build his church on- who Christ is. Notice that the church is a spiritual building made out of people who are to preach the truth. And the foundation of this building is Christ. For Paul goes on to say God was manifested in the flesh. That is the very confession of Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It is this truth the Church is built on and to be proclaimed to all people of all time. Any assembly of saints gathered that does not uphold this or present this as their confession cannot be called God’s church.
Jesus did not say he would build his church upon Peter, but said He would use Peter and the other apostles to build His church. Is the church built on Peter as the foundation? No. In Ephesians 2:20 the Scripture states: “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,”
Notice it is built upon the apostles- all of them-as a group. Peter is NOT identified separately in this text or any other.
The church’s foundation, or head, is not ONLY to Peter. It is not an office, there can be no apostolic successors because Jesus specifically says Petros. This would mean when Peter died the church would have ended. In other words, if Peter is the rock then another pope cannot be the rock at the same time. Jesus said this to “Peter,” he did not mention an office. Peter is not an office but a person’s name.
1 Cor 3:11: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” the Roman Catholic Bible agrees: "For other foundations no one can lay, but that which was laid, which is Christ Jesus." Paul says Jesus Christ is the Foundation, the Rock. There is no other foundation- It is on Christ- the Rock the Church is built. This is whom the apostles were instructed to build the church on. The apostles had the mission of laying the foundation of the Church together, not just Peter. It was upon the apostles and prophets teaching of Jesus Christ that the Church was built on, the apostles taught and wrote down the teachings of Jesus for the Church to follow this teaching became our Scripture.
In Eph. 2:19-21, Jesus is the Cornerstone, the Foundation. The Church is built not on Peter or his successors but on Jesus Christ Himself-The Rock that exists throughout the ages. Peter did NOT receive any superior authority than any of the other apostles. Paul stated: “For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:5). He used the plural "APOSTLES," not "apostle," singular. Paul could not have said this if Peter was the Pope.
Peter himself is careful to tell us: 1 Peter 2:4-8: “Coming to Him as to a LIVING stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
"Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, chosen, precious; and he who believes in it shall not be put to shame." …"A stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head o f the corner," and "a stone of trembling, and a rock o f scandal to those who stumble at the word and who do not believe." (1 Pet. 2:6, 8; Matt. 21:42.)
Jesus laid the stone in Zion- Jerusalem, so if the stone is Peter why is it in Rome? Because it is a different stone. The stone the builders rejected was not made with hands. Christ is identified as the “stone cut out without hands” (Dan. 2). He was not humanly made, it is the same for us we who believe are made living stones (John 1:12-13).
Notice in verse 4 – Come to him – [the Lord–Christ Jesus] Come to him, a living stone – (the Cornerstone–the primary Stone–from which all the other stones receive life- (the same as the son of the LIVING God). The church is then made of other living stones who find their life in Christ. “Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God.
Matthew 21:42 – Jesus said “Have you never read in the Scriptures “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
The Church rests on the foundation that is the rock of our salvation (Matthew 7:24, 16:18; Romans 9:33). The one who gives us salvation is not Peter but Jesus.
How can Peter be the rock if the rock existed before Peter was born, before Jesus called him petros?
Deuteronomy 32:3-4: “For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect”
Deuteronomy 32:18: “the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, And have forgotten the God who fathered you”.
Deuteronomy 32:15: “Then he forsook God who made him, And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”
Clearly the Old Testament teaches the rock is God. Paul writes in the New Testament who the rock is in the Old Testament is- Speaking of Israel “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:3-5.) Christ, is the rock on which the church was built.
Popes and their Claims
It has been said that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Many times, people that are head of large companies, corporations or nations can think more highly of themselves than they should. We see the apostles' keeping themselves in check and making sure they never lost sight of being servants. They did not rule over the people like the Gentiles, who had kings or Caesar's. For it was Jesus who warned them that this kind of government is not of God.
The word Pope means "Father," a Head of the Church. The Pope(s) want to be called the Supreme Pontiff, Vicar of Christ, His Holiness, Holy Father, and Universal Apostle. Did the apostles ever kiss Peter's feet? No.
The Popes' certainly believed in this seat of power for themselves, and the quotes are plentiful:
"All the faithful must believe that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff [the Pope] possesses the primacy over the whole world, and the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is true vicar of Christ, and heed of the whole church, and father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter to rule, feed, and govern the universal Church by Jesus Christ our Lord" (First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, "Eternal Pastor," published in the fourth session of the Vatican Council, 1870, chap. 3, in Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom. vol. 2, p. 262.)
"The supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires (...) complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself" (Leo VIII, «On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens, Encyclical letter, 1890)
Pope Innocent 3: "He (the pope) judges all and is judged by no one."
Pope Boniface 8: "We declare, assert, define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation."
"We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world" (A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, "The Most Holy Councils," col. 1167.)
"The Saviour Himself is the door of the sheepfold: 'I am the door of the sheep.' Into this fold of Jesus Christ, no man may enter unless he be led by the Sovereign Pontiff; and only if they be united to him can men be saved, for the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ and His personal representative on earth." (Pope John XXIII in his homily to the Bishops and faithful assisting at his coronation November 4, 1958). Pontifex maximus, sovereign pontiff, is completely foreign to any servant of Jesus Christ.
"The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under a veil of flesh" (The Catholic National, July 1895).According to 1 John chapter 4, this is the spirit of antichrist to deny Jesus as the only incarnation. Is the Pope The Antichrist, no he may be a antichrist as there are many (in place of Christ) but to be The Antichrist he would have to convince people by his miracles of which no Pope has been able to produce as yet.
"The Pope is Christ in office, Christ in jurisdiction and power . . . we bow down before thy voice, O Pius, as before the voice o f Christ, the God of truth; in clinging to thee, we cling to Christ" (Vatican Council Jan. 9, 1870.)
In a Roman Catholic dictionary, by Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Vol. VI, and pp. 438, 442, article "Pope." and The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition, Vol. VI, p. 48 speaks of this book as "a veritable encyclopedia of religious knowledge," and "a precious mine of information."
"The pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God" (Ferraris, Ecclesiastical dictionary).
"The pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been entrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom."
"The pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man (...) he is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief of kings, having plenitude of power" (Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca 1763, Volume VI, 'Papa II', pp.25-29) .
"Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions (infernorum)." (Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca 1763, Volume VI, 'Papa II', p.26)
The Bull Unam Sanctam... Issued by Pope Boniface VIII: "The Roman Pontiff judges all men, but is judged by no one. We declare, assert, define and pronounce: to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every human creature necessary for salvation that which was spoken of Christ 'thou has subdued all things under his feet' may well seem verified in me... I have the authority of the King of Kings. I am all in all and above all, so that God himself and I, the vicar of God, have but one consistory, and I am able to do all that God can do."
"Christ entrusted His office to the chief pontiff;... but all power in heaven and in earth has been given to Christ;... therefore the chief pontiff, who is His vicar, will have this power"(Corpus Juris chap. 1 column 29, translated from a gloss on the words Porro Subesse Romano Pontiff)
"All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope" (On the Authority of the Councils, book 2, chapter 17.)
"The pope is the supreme judge of the law of the land... He is the vicegerent (replacement) of Christ, who is not only a Priest forever, but also King of kings and Lord of lords." (La Civilia Cattolica, March 18, 1871, quoted in Leonard Woosely Bacaon, An inside view of the Vatican Council (American Tract Society ed.), p.229, n.)
Again, this challenges Jesus as a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedic (same words), and the titles given only to Him because He alone is worthy.
The title "Lord God the Pope" is found within a glossary of
Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, chapter 4).
"For thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman, finally thou art another God on earth." (Labbe and Cossart's "History of the Councils." Vol. XIV, col. 109)
"The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth" (Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous.")
Pope Nicholas I declared that, "the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who, being God, cannot be judged by man." 9Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can. 7, Satis evidentur, Decret Gratian Primer Para.)
"All the faithful must believe that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff [the Pope] possesses the primacy over the whole world, and the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is true vicar of Christ, and heed of the whole church, and father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter to rule, feed, and govern the universal Church by Jesus Christ our Lord" (First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, "Eternal Pastor," published in the fourth session of the Vatican Council, 1870, chap. 3, in Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom. vol. 2, p. 262).
In the Roman Canon Law: "To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical” (the Gloss "Extravagantes" of Pope John XXII Cum inter, Tit. XIV, Cap. IV. Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium, Paris, 1685)
Although the pope is called Jesus’ physical representative, and even god as his replacement on earth - it contradicts the eternal Son who is the only true representative and perfect image of the invisible Father. The Father in heaven did not send many Christ's but one. In the same way Jesus was sacrificed once for all not each time a priest distributes the Eucharist.
Apostolic leadership is ALWAYS plural
Ephesians 4:11 says, "And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers ..." these offices are plural. The Pope's office is single and is not mentioned, which would be an incredible oversight of the Holy Spirit if it is given by Jesus, since it is the ruling office over the whole church Catholics position of a single leader that all must be obedient to is completely unjustified by the very one they look to for validation.
Rev. 4:4: “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
No mention of Peter or one particular elder above the others, it is the same for the 12 apostles of the lamb, no apostle receives special mention.
Rev. 21:14 “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” No apostle is exalted above the others, and since there is only 12, that means the apostolic successors are not recognized.
Acts 4:11-12 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” The Stone, Jesus Christ, is the One Who saves.
If Peter became the head of the Church, we have no evidence of him acting as if he was the head. We do have evidence of him NOT believing this. We see the first counsel being called in the city of Jerusalem over 10 years after the church began, and Peter, who is the apostle to the Jews and is among them is not ruling this church. James was the head of this church. James took the initiative in the convening council.
Does Jesus say that his church is to be ruled by a single person and from Rome? The New Testament says nothing concerning a Pope, a person or office who has supreme power over the church on earth. Jesus is the only head of the visible and invisible Church throughout the world and throughout time, all Christians are equal members of his spiritual and visible body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18-24).
Jesus taught "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. "But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:47-49)
This is the end of those who build on any other foundation but Jesus Christ who is the rock. If he said it, then it is settled- make him your Rock today.