Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard concludes this “Keeper of the Keys” chapter and his argument for Petrine primacy using Matthew 16:19 as his proof text. For those of you who have been following along, but are tiring of Broussard’s prolonged dwelling on this Petrine primacy claim, you won’t want to skip this installment.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19
Broussard continues his argument from the last five weeks, that there is a direct parallel between Eliakim being appointed to the royal stewardship of the Davidic Kingdom in Isaiah 22:15-22 and Peter being given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (and, hence, vicarship of Christ’s church as Catholics would claim) in Matthew 16:19.
Protestant response #13: “The other apostles have the same authority to bind and loose.”
Writes Broussard, “Some Protestants collapse the meaning of the ‘keys of the kingdom’ into the meaning of ‘binding and loosing’ and argue that since Jesus gives this latter authority to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18, ‘Peter is not unique.’ Geisler and MacKenzie concur: ‘The same authority Jesus gave to Peter (Matt. 16:18) is given later to all the apostles (Matt. 18:18)'” (p. 53).
Broussard argues that the keys of the kingdom were uniquely granted to Peter and that act should not be combined with the bestowal of the power to bind and loose,* which was also granted to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18.
Although Broussard refers to Matthew 18:18 in this argument, he avoids quoting it, so I will:
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
While the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” are not explicitly mentioned in Matthew 18:18 as they are in Matthew 16:19, they are certainly implied. In the context of Matthew 16:19, we see that the keys are immediately used to bind/close and loosen/open. The same contextual meaning is understood in Isaiah 22:22, which Broussard loves to reference:
I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
To be able to bind and loose, the other apostles necessarily required the aforementioned keys. By granting the other apostles the power to bind and loose, Jesus was necessarily bestowing to them the keys to do so. Broussard’s ludicrous attempt to dissociate the keys (noun) from the binding and loosing (verbs) is duplicitousness and artifice of the lowest order.
Jesus’ granting of the keys and the power to bind and loose to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18 is a powerful refutation of Catholic claims for Petrine primacy and papal authority. It’s really a “Gotcha!” debunking of the Catholic argument. It’s no wonder that Broussard craftily does not quote the verse and sweeps it under the rug as the last entry in his Matthew 16:19-Isaiah 22:22 discourse.
*Catholics errantly interpret the power to bind and loose as the priestly ability to forgive sins in the confessional while Gospel Christians correctly interpret the power to bind and loose as the preaching of the Gospel for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Next week: A new chapter, “Leader of the Church,” and Protestant response #14: “The prayer is to ensure that Peter will repent and not lose his faith completely.”