Originally Posted by speechlesstx
Right, Peter was a Roman Catholic. Please explain that one.
You’re absolutely correct, Peter was the first Pope and by extension the first Catholic. I like to show this by starting with Scriptural proofs. Afterwards, I'll show historical proof.
In the Douay Rheims the verse reads as follows:
13 And Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? 14 But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
In the way of setting the scene; Caesarea Phillippi is in the valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon as mentioned in Josh 11:17 or Baal Hemon as mentioned in Judg 3:3. Of particular interest is a land feature of a massive rock face. One of the tributaries for the Jordan River flows through the area. The area was liberated by the Maccabean revolt in 167 B.C. In 4 B.C. One of Herod the Great s three sons, Philip, built the Roman Grecian of Caesarea Philippi to honor the Roman emperor.
You can imagine Jesus with this huge rock wall as a backdrop, asking twice (not once but twice), “Whom to they say that I am?” No other disciples could give the answer but Simon. Simon confessed Jesus as being both the Messiah and the “Son of the Living God.” God had revealed to Simon what no other man on earth knew; Christ was the Second Person of the One Devine God.
17 And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 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.
I can’t claim any significance to the number of times “blessed art thou” is used in the New Testament. However, it is used only three times, twice in Luke 1: 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women ... 45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be; and once in Matthew 16:17. It’s only used once by Jesus. (this holds true in the NKJV as well) In my estimation, like Mary, God seats Peter in a special Chair for our salvation; the first of 266 whose “successor’s gives judgment,” ( the first Vicar of Christ starts with St. Peter who is succeeded by St. Linus, St. Anacletus, St. Clement I, St. Alexander I, St. Sixtus I, St. Telesphorus, St. Hyginus… Benedict XVI)
In plain language the meaning of the verse 18 becomes: because this was revealed to you by God, I will call you Rock and on this Rock I will build my church; hell won’t prevail against it.
19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
The “keys” are the keys to the kingdom of heaven, similar to the “keys” mentioned in Isaiah 22. With the transfer of keys, one to another, power and authority is also transferred; Christ gives Peter the supreme authority over the Church and to bind and loose, both in heaven and on earth.
“In regard to the Petros Kepha argument made by some, “the play of words involved in naming Simon “Rock” is as clear in Aramaic as in English, if we use the literal translation “Rock” for the Aramaic Kepha rather than “Peter” which is derived from the Greek Petros. In Greek the noun for rock is feminine. Therefore it is unsuitable for a man’s name, and Peter is named Petros while the precise word for rock is petra, making the meaning a little less clear. But Christ’s words to Peter were spoken in Aramaic and first recorded in Armaic in Matthew’s Gospel; furthermore, we know that Peter was later often called Kepha or Cephas as well as Petros.” “Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom Vol 1, 1985, pg 349 footnote 135
Mat 16:15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 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.
In verse 17 Christ is obviously pleased seeing that this knowledge didn’t come from human reason, but rather the knowledge was a Grace from Aba (Father). Some have suggested that the re-naming of Simon to a little pebble in v. 18 is a reprimand. Consiqently they would have Jesus say, effectively, Woe to you Peter...you have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wished to enter! But, thereafter say, I will build a church on your faith to which the gates of hell will not prevail. Excuse me for finding this impossible to swallow. It doesn’t even meet the definition of “scripture interprets scripture.”
One interesting note is that in the book Revelations we see a discussion of the keys found in Matthew 16; especially the Key of David that the Holy One opens and no man shuts. Rev 3:7 “And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia write: These things saith the Holy One and the true one, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, shutteth and no man openeth: 8 I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength and hast kept my word and hast not denied my name.” The key of the House of David relate to the same earthly keys given Eliacim, son of Helcias. "the key of the house of David" which is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of full and unlimited authority over the Kingdom of Juda. This too would be a direct reference to the Primacy of authority, a very good reason to accept St. Peter as the Prince of the Church Militant (the earthly Church). But I would suggest it wasn’t the set of keys conferred on St. Peter, the keys to heaven the right to bind or loose in heaven and earth. The reason is that these keys in the book of Revelations are located in heaven, held by an angel church that is using the keys to keep open the door, presumably the door of holy righteousness. Another reason I don’t think they are the same keys is because we see three sets of keys in sacred Scripture, the Keys of Heaven, the Key of the bottomless pit (hell), and the Keys of the House of David. Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. But in Revelations, where John is escorted through God’s Kingdom in Heaven, we don’t hear of the Key’s of Heaven. Are we to presume that there are Keys to earthly kingdoms, hellish kingdoms, but no keys to heaven in heaven? The reason they’re not mentioned is that the Keys to Heaven reside with the Successors of St. Peter
In addition, we find that each time the Twelve are listed in Scripture; deference most always places Peter first among equals. For these reasons, and other not mentioned Catholics hold Peter the Apostle on which Christ built his Church, the first Pope.
It’s important to note, that these were the Bishops and Popes that followed Peter. They didn’t need to write a book, they lived the history of Apostolic succession and knew its teaching authority first hand. To these men head of the Church was fused to the Chair of Peter since Peter’s death.
I’ve managed to collect nearly 20 pages of various quotes from the early Church dating from the early Church, approximately 90 AD to about 400 AD. Each consistently shows that Peter was held to be the Prime Bishop, Bishop of Bishops, the Bishop of Rome the first See, holder of the keys, etc. But I will only bore you with the first two pages. It’s quite clear that Peter was clearly understood to be the first Vicar of Christ.
Doctrine and authority of the bishop in Rome was then passed to Clement I
, bishop of Rome (circa 90 AD rebuked the Corinthian authority. It is likely the Apostle John was still alive. Pope Clement both rebukes the schism to pull the Corinthian Church in line. Here too we see a further congealing of the Church’s Apostolic and priestly structure.
We see a historical continuance the Church in the latter part of the first century. A well defined hierarchy can be clearly deduced. In The Shepherd of Hermas
, Hermas wrote, “You will write therefore two books, and you will send the one to Clemens[bishop of Rome] and the other to Grapte. And Clemens will send his [authoritative letter] to foreign countries, for permission has been granted to him to do so.” It’s not until 451 AD at the Council of Chalcedon do we see the primacy of Peter being challenged mostly by Greek patriarchs. St. Ignatius holds a marked reverence
for the founders of the Christian faith in Rome as well as a respect for their authority. Furthermore he seems to be deferring to Rome on several matters in his epistle to the Romans, c 110 AD. When arrested and sent to Rome to eventually be martyred sometime between 98 and 117, he entrusts his diocese in Antioch to the Roman See; twice using the term prokathetai (primacy); “has the primacy in the place of the region of the Romans” presiding in love (prokathemene tes agapes). Furthermore we find St Ignatius using phases such as ‘first-seat’ and the Episcopal seat, "You [the Roman bishop] have envied no one, but others have you taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force (Epistle to the Romans 3:1).
Marching through time we find St. Irenaeus of Lyon, writing around 180 AD
, " Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. St. Irenaeus describes St. Victor’s
excommunication of the Asian Churches from the Universal Church in other writings. Equally important was the fact that no one challenged St. Victor’s authority in the excommunication. St. Victor was the bishop of Rome, 189-19. St. Irenaeus wrote to him and pleaded with him not to do it, for the sake of the peace of the Church, and St. Victor relented. St. Clement
of Alexandria (between 190-210 AD), in Clement, On the Rich Man, writes, " Therefore on hearing those words, the blessed Peter, the chosen, the pre-eminent, the first of the disciples, for whom alone and Himself the Saviour paid tribute, Matthew 17:27 quickly seized and comprehended the saying. And what does he say? Lo, we have left all and followed You. “
Tertullian (c. 200 AD) refers to the Pope as the first bishop of bishops, “ Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs ] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men” From which we can also deduce that it was important to trace the heredity of the bishop to the Apostles. " Tertullian
also wrote, " What man, then, of sound mind can possibly suppose that they were ignorant of anything, whom the Lord ordained to be masters (or teachers), keeping them, as He did, inseparable (from Himself) in their attendance, in their discipleship, in their society, to whom, when they were alone, He used to expound all things Mark 4:34 which were obscure, telling them that to them it was given to know those mysteries, Matthew 13:11 which it was not permitted the people to understand? Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called the rock on which the church should be built, who also obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven, with the power of loosing and binding in heaven and on earth?." Depeictied here is the knowledge that Christ ordained his Apostles, establish His Church in them, commissioned them to teach with Christ’s authority symbolized in the keys.
Tertullian writes further, "Come now, if you would indulge a better curiosity in the business of your salvation, run through the apostolic Churches in which the very thrones [cathedrae] of the Apostles remain still in place; in which their own authentic writings are read, giving sound to the voice and recalling the faces of each. Achaia is near you, so you have Corinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi. If you can cross into Asia, you have Ephesus. But if you are near to Italy, you have Rome, ‘whence also our authority derives’. How happy is that Church, on which Apostles poured out their whole doctrine along with their blood, where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John's [the Baptist], where the Apostle John, after being immersed in boiling oil and suffering no hurt, was exiled to an island."