Was Peter Pope? (2)

Ferrell Jenkins
St. Louis, Missouri

IV. A Third Scriptural Claim Examined- 1 John 21:15-17

When, therefore, they had breakfasted, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, dost thou love me more than these do?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." He said to him. "Feed my lambs." A third time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him for the third time, "Dost thou love me?" And he said to him, "Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." He said to him, "Feed my sheep." (Confraternity)

A. The Catholic claim is the Jesus made Peter the chief shepherd or the universal pastor and teacher of all.

B. The Catholic claim cannot be true:

1. Early church continued in "apostles teaching" (Acts 2:42)

  • Paul exhorted elders (plural) to oversee the flock (Acts 20:28)

3. Peter exhorted "fellow-elders" to "tend the flock of God that is among you" (I Peter 5:4).

4. Only Jesus is designated as "the chief Shepherd" (I Pet. 5:4)

5. If Christ's rebuke (Matt. 16:23) and Peter's denial (Matt. 26:74-75) prove nothing against Peter's supremacy, then John 21 :15 proves nothing in its favor.

  • Peter should have interpreted Paul's writings (also all of the N.T.)

1. Peter said Paul wrote some things hard to be understood (2 Peter 3 :16).

V. Peter Never Claimed That He was Pope

A. Peter never claimed it-nor did any one use it with reference to him.

    • "an apostle" (I Pet. 1 :1 ). Compare this with the pope's full designation today: "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the State of the City of the Vatican." (Atwater, p. 388).

2. "fellow-elder" (I Pet. 5:1)

3. Exhorted other elders to FEED the flock (I Peter 5:1-12).

4. Chief Shepherd is Christ (I Peter 5:4).

B. There is no case where Peter settled a disputed question by reference to his authority as Pope.

    • Wouldn't it be strange if we had a president for, say 25 years, who, did not one act to show it, nor received an. acknowledgment of it?

2. No where does he bind a decision on the basis of his supremacy.

C. If we find a place where Peter should have exercised his authority as Pope, but where there is no such manifestation, we have found a striking indication that he possessed no such office.

1. Selection of Matthias

2. On Pentecost

3. At house of Cornelius

a. Kissing Pope's foot found in 8th century.

(1) "The kissing Of the pope's foot -the characteristic act of reverence by which all the faithful do honor to him as the vicar of Christ-is found as early as the eighth century." (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, p. 270).

(2) Peter told Cornelius, "Get up, I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:26).

4. When called to account by Jerusalem brethren.

5. When he met Paul.

6. When he wrote his epistles to the churches.


Note: one word and his office would have been established. BUT THE WORD IS ABSENT.

VI. No New Testament Character Ever Claimed The Papacy For Peter.

A. Should anyone know where such was claimed, then write it in the blank …………………. ………………. (book, chapter, and verse) and mail it to this writer.

1. This point stands until such is done.

VII. There Was No Pope Until The Time Of Boniface III, about 605 A.D. (listed 66th in descent from Peter).

A. Pope is from Greek "pappas." Atwater says:

Since the 11th century this has been the distinguishing title of the bishop of Rome as the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church, and is used of no one else in the West; the first known example of this use is in the writings of St. Ennodius (d.521). (p. 388-c.f. Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 660)

B. Here is a question to be answered and documented by a Roman bishop-'Was there a pope in any church for the first six centuries?"

VIII. The Roman Catholic Church Is An Apostate Church-The Greek Church Existed Before The Roman.

A. The first 7 councils belong to the Greek Church.

1. Held in Greecian cities.

      • Called by Grecian emperors.

      • Composed by Grecian bishops.

      • Matters discussed wholly Grecian. The Greed doctrines were subsequently borrowed by the Romans.

B. The First Seven Councils:

1. Nice-325 A.D.

2. Constantinople-381 A.D. a. The Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) in the third canon put the patriarch of Constantinople on a par with the bishop of Rome. (Schaff).

3. Ephesus-431 A.D.

4. Chalcedon-451 A.D.

5. Constantinople-553 A.D.

6. Constantinople-680 A.D.

7. Nice-787 A.D.

C. In the first seven councils there were in attendance 1486 bishops. Of this large number only 26 were Romans.

IX. Papal Infallibility Was Declared In 1870 By the Vatican Council

A. Pope Pius IX called the council. There were a number of Prelates present who were distinguished for learning and position who did not believe in Papal Infallibility. Several of them had written against it. 56 of the Bishops refused to vote. They knew such was wrong, but did not want to, go against the "holy father." Included in that number was Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis. Schaff (op. cit.) says: "Archbishop Kenrick yielded, but has not refuted his Concio habenda at non habita which remains an irrefrageable argument against the new dogma."

The St. Louis Review, Apr. 29, 1960, says of Kenrick: "He attended the Vatican Council of 1870 and, although he personally opposed the defining of the dogma of papal infallibility, he accepted the decision when it was promulgated. He was one of the ablest theologians in the American Church."

1. Kenrick and others, through learned research, opposed papal infallibility yet had to believe it after it was declared a dogma. One American Bishop, Fitzgerald, of Little Rock, had the courage to vote "NO," but submitted to the voice of the Council before the close of the session.

B. Some Catholics had held that the supreme power was in the Council rather than in the Pope. Matthew 18:18 was sometimes used to establish this point.

C. Has the Pope often used this power of infallibility? Only once that we have been informed about since 1870. That was in 1950 when Pius Il declared the bodily assumption of Mary.

D. Catholics don't really know how much TRUTH there is. They do not have a well-defined list of traditions, etc. that are acceptable. In all the time that they claim to have been in existence they have affixed infallible interpretations to less than one dozen Bible passages. One priest (letter on file) say that he only knows of six. They are: John 3:5: 20:22f; Luke 22:19; James 5:14ff; Matt. 16:16; John 21:15. Remarkable isn't it!

X. Christ Gave Some Offices-But Not Pope.

And he himself gave some men as apostles, and some as prophets, others again as evangelists, and others as pastors and teachers. (Eph. 4:11-Confraternity)

A. Christ is the head of the church-Eph. 1:22-23.

B. Christ's vicar on earth was the Holy Spirit-John 14:16-18, 23, 26; 16:7-14.

C. Christ has all authority in heaven and on EARTH-Matt. 28:18-20.


(Numerous volumes have been cited herein. I am indebted to James D. Bales, Was Peter Pope? for much of the phraseology contained in many of my statements.-F.J.)

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