Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #2: “No Other Foundation but Jesus”

Today, we continue our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. The Catholic apologist continues his six-part section on church hierarchy and authority with a chapter countering Protestant claims of “No Other Foundation but Jesus.”

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The Roman Catholic church cites Matthew 16:13-20, and specifically Matthew 16:18, as the basis for its claims to Petrine primacy and the papacy:

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18

As Broussard points out, Protestants often rebut the Roman church’s interpretation of this passage, that Jesus would build his church upon apostle Peter, by citing apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:11:

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Broussard then responds with several passages that indicate that the apostles were in fact foundation stones of the church, including Ephesians 2:19-20:

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”

and 1 Corinthians 3:10:

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.”

Broussard then argues that Peter’s (and hence the pope’s) preeminent and foundational role in the church is “not apart from Jesus but only in and through Jesus.”

Gospel Christians actually have no problem agreeing that the apostles were foundational in the creation of the church, as they built upon the prime foundation, Jesus Christ, the cornerstone. What Protestants object to is how Catholicism parlays Matthew 16:18 to mean Jesus granted preeminent authority to Peter and thus to the bishops of Rome as Peter’s alleged successors.

Protestant commentators have historically interpreted Matthew 16:13-20 as Jesus’ proclamation that He would build His church upon the great truth that was divinely revealed to Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, NOT that He would build His church upon lowly Peter. In the Greek text, we note the differentiation in wording that Jesus used when He stated, “You are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Peter/petros in Greek means a small stone or pebble while petra means a massive, immovable rock formation. Jesus used a play on words to make a distinction between Himself and unstable Simon/Peter. Catholics object to this interpretation, saying the distinction between petros and petra cannot be found in the Aramaic language that Jesus and Peter spoke. However, that qualification presumes a knowledge of the conversation between Jesus and Peter that is superior to the writer of the gospel, Matthew, as guided by the Holy Spirit.

There are more than a few problems with Catholicism’s interpretation of Matthew 16:13-20 that Broussard purposely avoids:

  • Several of the early church fathers, including John Crysostom and Augustine, interpreted the passage in Matthew 16 as meaning that Jesus would build His church upon Peter’s proclamation that He was the Messiah rather than upon Peter: “I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” – Augustine
  • If Jesus had granted apostolic primacy to Peter in Matthew 16:18, then why did James and John subsequently engage their mother to request apostolic primacy for them in Matthew 20:20-28? Jesus went on to warn the apostles NOT to set up the very type of hierarchy that was the framework of the Roman church: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you” (Matthew 20:25-26).
  • Peter was clearly a leader among the twelve apostles, but NOWHERE in the New Testament does it directly indicate that he was preeminent and the authoritative “Vicar of Christ” as Catholicism claims for Peter and its popes. Broussard cannot appeal to supporting passages because there are none. In addition to Matthew 20, Scripture indicates elsewhere that the apostles were equal in authority (Galatians 2:6, Matthew 18:18).

Some unwary Gospel Christians may be rattled by Broussard’s appeal to Ephesians 2:19-20 and 1 Corinthians 3:10 as rebuttals to “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” However, Christians who know God’s Word readily acknowledge the apostles were building blocks of the New Testament church as they themselves rested upon the cornerstone, Jesus Christ.

IMPORTANT: In all six of his chapters on authority, Broussard intentionally avoids the elephant in the middle of the room; the papacy of pope Francis. Catholicism has longed claimed papal succession was divinely guided and that its popes were infallible in important declarations on faith and morals (proclaimed a dogma in 1870) and that its popes were incapable of leading the church into error. Since his election in 2013, pope Francis has guilefully overturned several longstanding doctrines including the ban on communion for remarried divorcees, the ban on communion for Protestant spouses of members, and the licitness of capital punishment. Many of Broussard’s conservative Catholic colleagues are advising their followers to ignore Francis’ heterodoxies. Some are even calling Francis a heretic. In each of his six chapters on authority, Broussard repeats his church’s empty claims about its papacy while ignoring the current crisis within Catholicism over Francis’s assault on longstanding and cherished doctrines. Broussard is in the uncomfortable and embarrassing position of having his own pope effectively disprove his claims regarding papal authority!

Next up: “Paul Rebuked Peter”

37 thoughts on “Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #2: “No Other Foundation but Jesus”

  1. I feel bad now for Catholic apologists, trying hard to conjure up justification. Jesus said of false teachers, “you’ll know them by their fruits”. Years ago, during a night of insomnia, I watched a NatGeo documentary of voodoo in Haiti. It was chilling but what is most memorable is the Catholic church involvement. There were ritualistic scenes in cemeteries that rival horror movies.
    The president said during an interview regarding this, “Voodoo is our national religion but we’re also Catholics – the two are intertwined together perfectly”.
    I almost fell off the couch.
    Press on brother, looking forward to ‘Paul Rebujed Peter’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa Beth, thanks for all of your good comments including the Voodoo example! Yes, Roman Catholicism’s syncretism with paganism is quite blatant in many regards. Rome’s missions strategy was to adapt (aka “Christianize”) pagan beliefs and practices in order to ease conversion/assimilation. To be fair, few Catholic clerics would unqualifiedly embrace the paganism of native peoples, EXCEPT for pope Francis and his progressive allies.

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  2. History also bears out our position on the church at Rome in the first few centuries, but it takes some real studying because, as I’m sure you know, certain quotations from church fathers taken out of context can be very misleading. So you have to read the context. I made an effort to do that in a series I wrote last year, if anyone’s interested: https://caroline-smith.com/2018/09/08/christian-history-and-the-catholic-church-part-1/

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    1. Thanks, Caroline. I don’t often refer to the writings of the church fathers because they can be problematic for both Catholics and Protestants. There’s cases of a father changing his mind on a particular doctrine, and cases of one father contradicting another father, some seemingly supporting salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, and some seemingly supporting sacramentalism and merit. I picked out the Augustine quote because the RCC considers him one of their preeminent theologians and yet he took the Protestant view of Matthew 16:18.

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      1. Indeed, scripture is our final authority that trumps any father.

        However, it is useful to use the fathers against the Romanist to show them that their so called “Tradition” is unreliable and a farce, and that Protestant teachings are not innovations and have patristic witnesses.

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  3. If Karlo thinks he’s doing this stuff for the sake of Christ, he is clearly deluding himself and the scriptures say:

    Matthew 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    Furthermore, when the disciples were fighting over who was the greatest, these passages were a perfect opportunity for Jesus to declare Petrine supremacy. Yet the scriptures say:
    Luke 9:46-47

    46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

    Mark 9:33-37

    33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

    Matthew 18:1-4

    At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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  4. On Matthew 16:18,

    Robert Kenrick, Archibishop of St Louis in the 19th century states that the Roman exegesis contraits the majority of the patriotic witness:

    Robert Kenrick, Archbishop of St Louis: The primacy of the Roman pontiff, both in honor and in jurisdiction, in the universal church, I acknowledge. Primacy, I say, not lordship. But that the primacy is vested in him as the successor of Peter, all the tradition of the church testifies, from the beginning. And on the sole strength of this testimony I accept it as an absolutely certain principle and dogma of faith. But that it can be proved from the words of Holy Scripture, by any one who would be faithful to the rule of interpretation prescribed to us in that profession of faith which we have have uttered at the opening of this Council, and so often on other occasions, I deny. It is true that, following the principles of exegesis, I held the opposite view when I was writing the Observations which the archbishop of Dublin has attacked so sharply. But on a closer study of the subject, I judge that this interpretation must be abandoned. My reason for this change of opinion is the following :

    The rule of Biblical interpretation imposed upon us is this : that the Scriptures are not to be interpreted contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers. It is doubtful whether any instance of that unanimous consent is to be found. But this failing, the rule seems to lay down for us the law of following, in their interpretation of Scripture, the major number of the fathers, that might seem to approach unanimity. Accepting this rule, we are compelled to abandon the usual modern exposition of the words, ” On this rock will I build my church.”

    In a remarkable pamphlet “printed in facsimile of manuscript,” and presented to the fathers almost two months ago, we find five different interpretations of the word rock, in the place cited; “the first of which declares” (I transcribe the words) “that the church was built on Peter : ‘ and this interpretation is followed by seventeen fathers—among them, by Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Hilary, Cyril of Alexandria, Leo the Great, Augustine.

    “The second interpretation understands from these words, ‘ On this rock will I build my church,’ that the church was built on all the apostles, whom Peter represented by virtue of the primacy. And this opinion is followed by eight fathers—among them, Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Augustine, Theodoret. ”

    The third interpretation asserts that the words, ‘On this rock,’ etc., are to be understood of the faith which Peter had professed—that this faith, this profession of faith, by which we believe Christ to be the Son of the living God, is the everlasting and immovable foundation of the church. This interpretation is the weightiest of all, since it is followed by forty-four fathers and doctors; among them, from the East, are Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom, Theophylact; from the West, Hilary, Ambrose, Leo the Great ; from Africa, Augustine.

    “The fourth interpretation declares that the words, ‘ On this rock,’ etc., are to be understood of that rock which Peter had confessed, that is, Christ—that the church was built upon Christ. This interpretation is followed by sixteen fathers and doctors.

    ” The fifth interpretation of the fathers understands by the name of the rock, the faithful themselves, who, believing Christ to be the Son of God, are constituted living stones out of which the church is built.”

    Thus far the author of the pamphlet aforesaid, in which may be read the words of the fathers and doctors whom he cites.

    From this it follows, either that no argument at all, or one of the slenderest probability, is to be derived from the words, ” On this rock will I build my church,” in support of the primacy. Unless it is certain that by the rock is to be understood the apostle Peter in his own person, and not in his capacity as the chief apostle speaking for them all, the word supplies no argument whatever, I do not say in proof of papal infallibility, but even in support of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. If we are bound to follow the majority of the fathers in this thing, then we are bound to hold for certain that by the rock should be understood the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith. Kenrick, Peter Richard, Abp., 1806-1896; Bacon, Leonard Woolsey, 1830-1907, An inside view of the Vatican Council, in the speech of the Most Reverend Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, New York, American Tract Society, 1871, Pg 107-109

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    1. The Eastern Orthodox theologian, Meyendorff states that the East never saw Matt 16:18 the same way that Rome did:

      John Meyendorff:The reformed papacy of the eleventh century used a long–standing Western tradition of exegesis when it applied systematically and legalistically the passages on the role of Peter (especially Mt. 16:18, Lk. 22:32, and Jn. 21:15-17) to the bishop of Rome. This tradition was not shared by the East, yet it was not totally ignored by the Byzantines, some of whom used it occasionally, especially in documents addressed to Rome and intended to win the pope’s sympathy. But it was never given an ultimate theological significance (John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology (New York: Fordham University, 1974), p. 97).

      In fact, Cardinal Congaree admits that only at Rome was Matt 16 applied solely to Papal Primacy:
      Cardinal Yves Congar: “Application of the principle is difficult, at least at a certain level. In regard to individual texts of Scripture total patristic consensus is unnecessary: quite often, that which is appealed to as sufficient for dogmatic points does not go beyond what is encountered in the interpretation of many texts. But it does sometimes happen that some Fathers understood a passage in a way which does not agree with later Church teaching. One example: the interpretation of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16.16-19. Except at Rome, this passage was not applied by the Fathers to the papal primacy; they worked out exegesis at the level of their own ecclesiological thought, more anthropological and spiritual than judicial. . . . Historical documentation is at the factual level; it must leave room for a judgement made not in the light of the documentary evidence alone, but of the Church’s faith.” Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and a Theological Essay(London: Burns & Oats, 1966), pp. 398-399.

      And confirmed by Dollinger:
      Johan Ignaz Von Dollinger: Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matt 16:18, John 21:17), not a single one applies them to the Roman bishops as Peter’s successors. How many Fathers have busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose commentaries we possess-Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whose interpretations are collected in ca tenas-has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Rome is the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter! Not one of them has explained the rock or foundation on which Christ would build His Church of the office given to Peter to be transmitted to his successors, but they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter’s confession of faith in Christ; often both together. Or else they thought Peter was the foundation equally with all the other Apostles, the twelve being together the foundation-stones of the church (Apoc. xxi. 14). The Fathers could the less recognize in the power of the keys, and the power of binding and loosing, any special prerogative or lordship of the Roman bishop, inasmuch as what is obvious to any one at first sight-they did not regard the power first given to Peter, and afterwards conferred on all the Apostles, as any thing peculiar to him, or hereditary in the line of Roman bishops, and they held the symbol of the keys as meaning just the same as the figurative expression of binding and loosing.24 Johann Joseph Ignaz von Dolinger, The Pope and the Council (Boston: Roberts, 1869), Pg. 74.

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      1. Thanks, SB for another excellent resource. The papacy needed to justify its preeminence and extrapolated the whole nine yards and more from Matthew 16:18-19.

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  5. Even the fathers who saw Peter as the rock didn’t apply it to Papal Primacy. Cyprian viewed every Bishop as a successor of Peter and Origin viewed every Christian believer as a successor of Peter:

    Klaus Schatz S.J.: Cyprian regarded every bishop as the successor of Peter, holder of the keys to the kingdom of heaven and possessor of the power to bind and loose. For him, Peter embodied the original unity of the Church and the episcopal office, but in principle these were also present in every bishop. For Cyprian, responsibility for the whole Church and the solidarity of all bishops could also, if necessary, be turned against Rome.” — Papal Primacy, Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996, p. 20

    Cyprian: Our Lord, whose precepts and warnings we ought to observe, determining the honour of a Bishop and to the ordering of His own Church, speaks in the Gospel, and says to Peter, I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:18-19). Thence the ordination of Bishops, and the ordering of the Church, runs down along the course of time and line of succession, so that the Church is settled upon her Bishops; and every act of the Church is regulated by these same Prelates. A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford: Parker, 1842), The Epistles of S. Cyprian, Epistle 33.1.

    Origen: And if we too have said like Peter, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, ‘Thou art Peter,’ etc. For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the church, and the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God. ANF Vol. 9, Origen’s Commentary on Matthew, Book XI, Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Pg 878

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  6. The bigger problem for our friend Karlo is that he is begging the question that Peter was the first pope. Nowhere in Matt 16 does it mention anything about Peter being the Pope.

    In fact, there is a broad consensus among scholars, even Romanists, that there was no Bishop of Rome until the late 2nd century.

    Nice try though Karlo!

    Francis A. Sullivan S.J. : The question whether the episcopate is of divine institution continues to divide the churches, even though Christian scholars from both sides agree that one does not find the threefold structure of ministry, with a bishop in each local church assisted by presbyters and deacons, in the New Testament. They agree, rather, that the historic episcopate was the result of a development in the post—New Testament period, from the local leader- ship of a college of presbyters, who were sometimes also called bishops (episkopoi), to the leadership of a single bishop. They also agree that this development took place earlier in the churches of Syria and western Asia Minor, than it did in those of Philippi, Corinth and Rome. Scholars differ on details, such as how soon the church of Rome was led by a single bishop, but hardly any doubt that the church of Rome was still led by a group of presbyters for at least a part of the second century. From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church, Paulist Press, 2001, Pg vii-viii

    Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.: There exists a broad consensus among scholars, including most Catholic ones, that such churches as those of Alexandria, Philippi, Corinth and Rome most probably continued to be led for some time by a college of presbyters, and that only during the course of the second century did the threefold structure become generally the rule, with a bishop, assisted by presbyters, presiding over each local church. Francis A. Sullivan, S.J., From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church (Paulist Press, 2001), p. 15.

    Raymond Brown S.S.: The claims of various sees to descend from particular members of the Twelve are highly dubious. It is interesting that the most serious of these is the claim of the bishops of Rome to descend from Peter, the one member of the Twelve who was almost a missionary apostle in the Pauline sense – a confirmation of our contention that whatever succession there was from apostleship to episcopate, it was primarily in reference to the Pauline type of apostleship, not that of the Twelve. Priest and Bishop, Biblical Reflections,” Paulist Press, 1970, pg 72.

    Raymond Brown S.S. and John P. Meier: We have no accurate knowledge of Paul’s relation to Rome between that imprisonment and the time of his death. As for Peter, we have no knowledge at all of when he came to Rome and what he did there before he was martyred. Certainly he was NOT the original missionary who brought Christianity to Rome (and therefore not the founder of the church of Rome in that sense). There is no serious proof that he was the bishop (or local ecclesiastical officer) of the Roman church–a claim not made till the third century. —Raymond E. Brown, S.S., John P. Meier, Antioch and Rome, 1983, pp 98.

    Klaus Schatz, S.J.: The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the author of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably “no.” Klaus Schatz, S.J., Papal Primacy: From Its Origins to the Present, trans. John A. Otto and Linda M. Maloney (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1996), pp. 1-2.

    Klaus Schatz, S.J.: In fact, this “letter of Clement,” written around 95, is the first document indicating that the Roman community felt responsible for other churches. Its name is a subsequent addition, of course: according to Hegesippus’s list of bishops Clement was a bishop of Rome at that time, the third in succession. However, he is not named as the author of the letter; instead, the true sender is the Roman community. We probably cannot say for certain that there was a bishop of Rome at that time. It seems likely that the Roman church was governed by a group of presbyters from where there quickly emerged a presider or “first among equals” whose name was remembered and who was subsequently described as “bishop” after the mid-second century. Klaus Schatz, S.J., Papal Primacy: From Its Origins to the Present, trans. John A. Otto and Linda M. Maloney (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1996), p. 4.

    Klaus Schatz, S.J.: If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no. Klaus Schatz, ” Papal Primacy, from its Origins to Present [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996],” page 1

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.: If some of the Roman sojourners in Jerusalem were among the three thousand Jews converted to Christianity according to the Lucan account (Acts 2:10-11,41), they may have formed the nucleus of the Christian community in Rome on their return there. Thus the Roman Christian community would have had its matrix in the Jewish community, possibly as early as the 30s, and thus was made up at first of Jewish Christians and God-fearing Gentiles (or even of proselytoi, Acts 2:11, also mentioned in Roman Jewish funerary inscriptions), who had associated themselves with Jews of Rome. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 29.

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.: A more reliable tradition associated Paul with Peter as “founders” of the Roman community, not in the sense that they first brought Christian faith there, but because both of them eventually worked there and suffered martyrdom there (or in its immediate environs), and because their mortal remains were in possession of the Roman church (see Ignatius, Rom. 4.3; Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3.1.1, 3.3.2 [SC 211.22-23, 32-33]). Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 30.

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.: In any case, Paul never hints in Romans that he knows that Peter has worked in Rome or founded the Christian church there before his planned visit (cf. 15:20-23). If he refers indirectly to Peter as among the “superfine apostles” who worked in Corinth (2 Cor 11:4-5), he says nothing like that about Rome in this letter. Hence the beginnings of the Roman Christian community remain shrouded in mystery. Compare 1 Thess 3:2-5; 1 Cor 3:5-9; and Col 1:7 and 4:12-13for more or less clear references to founding apostles of other locales. Hence there is no reason to think that Peter spent any major portion of time in Rome before Paul wrote his letter, or that he was the founder of the Roman church or the missionary who first brought Christianity to Rome. For it seems highly unlikely that Luke, if he knew that Peter had gone to Rome and evangelized that city, would have omitted all mention of it in Acts. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Romans, A New Translation with introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible Series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 30.

    Eamon Duffy: These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early church – Origen, Ambrose, Augustine – But they are pious romance, not history, and the fact is that we have no reliable accounts either of Peter’s later life or of the manner or place of his death. Neither Peter nor Paul founded the Church at Rome, for there were Christians in the city before either of the Apostles set foot there. Nor can we assume, as Irenaeus did, that the Apostles established there a succession of bishops to carry on their work in the city, for all the indications are that there was no single bishop at Rome for almost a century after the deaths of the Apostles. In fact, wherever we turn, the solid outlines of the Petrine succession at Rome seem to blur and dissolve (Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2006, Pg 2).

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  7. The Catholic I talked with on Twitter tried to tell me that. He said “apostolic teaching has the same authority as God’s Word.” I told him, “No, what you are trying to tell me is that the pope can say whatever he wants and it becomes authoritative truth and that’s not true.” I told him, “you think the church made the Word, but the Word made the church.” He tried to tell me the church and the apostles are the foundation of truth. I pointed him to John 1 and told him Jesus is the Word and He is the foundation. Catholics are always trying to elevate the church and Peter above Jesus Christ. So sad. God bless!

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    1. Thanks, Ryan! Catholics have always boasted how blessed they were to have divinely appointed and guided popes to be the final arbiters in interpreting Scripture so they don’t splinter into a thousand denominations like Protestants, but the Catholic popes and bishops have actually run roughshod over Scripture with their fabricated “sacred traditions.” And now pope Francis is contradicting previous popes by bending doctrines. Sola Scriptura!

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      1. Hi brother! Yes, I’ve heard them repeat that claim often and it’s ridiculous. All 39 books of the Old Testament were written hundreds of years before Jesus was even born and recognized by the Jews as Holy Scripture. All without the assistance of a pope or church council.

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    2. Hi brother yeah I have heard Catholics say Peter is the first pope which makes no sense because Peter was married because Jesus healed his mother in law and Peter wasn’t the head of the Jerusalem church James was and if he was the first pope why is he not mentioned in Romans or call himself pope Peter because he wasn’t.

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      1. Yes it’s no different than catholics saying Mary was sinless then she would have had no reason to say she needed a Savior in Luke 2.

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  8. Will read this later. It’s been a rough week and months with ministry for me and the last 24 hours has been hard and it shouldn’t affect me but it is. Can you pray for me? I have a lot of mentally unstable people in our ministry and it has really drained me this week.

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    1. Hi check out this Bible verse. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) http://bibl.co/8300

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    1. Hi Mandy! I’m glad you bought this book and can follow along with me on Fridays. Looking forward to your input. Yes, Roman Catholicism needed authorization for its claims regarding Petrine primacy and the primacy of the bishop of Rome and twisted Scripture every which way to achieve it.
      RE: RCC work based
      The RCC is quite upfront with their teaching that salvation must be merited, although they pay lip service to God’s grace with their qualifier that their sacraments infuse graces that enable the recipient to successfully obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!). But their bottom line is still merit.

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