2/12/2013 11:18:28 AM
Did Paul or even Peter Himself Believe that Peter was the Pope?
Essential to Roman Catholic claims of authority is the belief that in Matthew 16 Christ stated that He would build His church on Peter. However, Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:19-20 that the "household of God" was "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus being the cornerstone."
In Paul's letter to the church in Rome, he neglected to mention "Pope Peter" even once, especially in his final greeting to so many individuals (Rom 16).
In Galatians 2:11-14 we read about how Paul rebuked "Pope Peter" to his face because he stood condemned in his hypocrisy for encouraging a false gospel amongst others.
Paul gives no support for Peter being the Pope but did Peter at least believe he was the singular leader of the church of Christ?
In 1 Peter 5:1-4 we read,
"So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
Peter believed that he was one of many other "fellow elders," he exhorted others to "shepherd the flock of God," and he acknowledged Christ as the "Chief Shepherd."
But Peter surely believed that he was the "rock" Christ would build his church on right? In Acts 4:11 Peter replies to the council, "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone."
Are you trusting your salvation to the rock of Christ (a perfect unmovable rock that attained salvation) or the rock of Peter (a "rock" guilty of opposing Christ, denying Christ, and judaizing)?