Did Eastern Church Father St. John Chrysostom’s Accept the Primacy of Peter?

by Steve Ray on November 27, 2012

Many non-Catholics like to argue that St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, did not accept the Primacy of Peter. I have written much about this in my book Upon This Rock. I have written on it extensively on my website HERE (scroll down to 3rd section “My Books”)

The Navarre Bible Commentary gets this correct in its comments on Acts 1:15 as it quotes our Catholic Saint and Doctor: “Peter is the ardent and impetuous apostle to whom Christ entrusted the care of his flock; and since he is first in dignity, he is the first to speak” (St John Chrysostom, Homily on Acts, 3).

Here we see Peter performing his ministry. Events will make for the gradual manifestation of the supreme role of government which Christ entrusted to him. His is a ministry of service—he is the servus servorum Dei, the servant of the servants of God—a min ministry given to none other, different from all other ministries in the Church. Peter will carry it out in solidarity with his brothers in the Apostolate and in close contact with the whole Church represented here in the one hundred and twenty brethren around him.

This account of Peter with the other apostles and disciples all brought together is described by St John Chrysostom in these words: “Observe the admirable prudence of St Peter. He begins by quoting the authority of a prophet and does not say, ‘My own word suffices,’ so far is he from any thought of pride. But he seeks nothing less than the election of a twelfth apostle and he presses for this. His entire behaviour shows the degree of his authority and that he understood the apostolic office of government not as a position of honour but as a commitment to watch over the spiritual health of those under him.

“The disciples were one hundred and twenty, and Peter asks for one of these. But he it is who proposes the election and exercises the principal authority because he has been entrusted with the care of all” (Hom. on Acts, 3).

Come on folks. St. John Chrysostom was a bishop of the Catholic Church, proudly, not a Baptist sectarian.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tena Crosby November 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Thank you for this post Steve! St. John Chrysostom is one of the three patrons of my daughter’s youth apologetics club (the others being St. Justin Martyr and Father John Hardon). May we all learn to “breathe with both lungs”, east and west IN UNION WITH OUR HOLY FATHER. Saint John Chrysostom, pray to God for us!

DeMario D'souza Domnick November 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM

STEVE RAY HERE: I USUALLY DO T MODERATE A COMMENT LIKE THIS WITHOUT PROVING A RESPONSE BUT HAVE NO TIME NOW. HOPEFULLY DEMARIO WILL DO SO. THE COMMENT IS INCORRECT ON MANY COULTS AS MY BOOK UPON THIS ROCK DEMONSTRATES.

NOW TO THE INCORRECT AND FALLACIOUS COMMENT
The basic problem here is that Steve Ray (and pope Leo) are assuming that St John means the same thing by “successor of Peter” as what the modern RCC view of the papacy take it to mean. However, there is every reason to believe that St John did not mean this in the same sense.

I think to properly understand this from an Orthodox perspective, we need to go back to Matthew 16:18-24. According to Whelton (p.61), the 17th century RCC scholar Jean de Launoy surveyed the Fathers and found that 17 considered Peter to be the rock, 44 considered his confession to be the rock, 16 considered it to be Christ and 8 considered it to be the apostles. However, what these raw statistics fail to show is that these interpretations are all interlinked: In reality, the rock is all of these:

-Christ is the rock (this is known from elsewhere).
-The confession is the rock because it is a confession about Christ, Who is the rock.
-Peter is the rock because he made this confession.
-The apostles are also the rock because they made the same confession.

But the important thing to note about all of these interpretations is that they centre on the confession, and not on the person of Peter. Peter, being the first to make this confession (remembering that the Latin for first is prima) quite literally has the primacy. Those that made the same confession after him are his successors. And given that Peter’s authority rests on the confession that he made, his successors have the same authority that Peter does.

But the important thing to note in the above is the answer to the following question: who is Peter’s successor? According to the above line of reasoning, those who made this confession is a successor of Peter. In short, every bishop is a successor of Peter – not just the bishops of Rome. Every bishop is a shepherd and must “feed Christ’s sheep” – that is, the Church that is placed under his guidance.

This understanding of the “successor of Peter” (which is also the Orthodox understanding) is also reflected in the writings of St Cyprian (another oft-miscited Father) – who uses the phrase “Chair of Peter” to refer to an episcopate. As far as St Cyprian is concerned, every bishop is the successor of St Peter.

There is every reason to assume that this is exactly the same interpretation that St John Chrysostom himself had in mind here, and Ray (and Pope Leo) are jumping to conclusions and not considering the wider context.

And just to put the final nail into the coffin, and confirm that the Orthodox reading of St John Chrysostom is the correct one, let me tell you a little story…

St John was baptised (AD 370) and ordained to the deaconate (AD 381) by St Meletius, the rightful Patriarch of Antioch, and was ordained to the priesthood by his successor St Flavian (AD 386). However, at this time there was a second claimant to the patriarchal throne by the name Paulinus. And can you guess which of these two bishops was the one that Rome (Pope St Damasus) recognised…? Yep, that’s right – Paulinus. He (along with St Athanasius) recognised Paulinus as the bishop of Antioch. Most of the rest of the East recognised St Meletius (notably St Basil) – his popularity evident in the fact that he was initially made president of the 2nd Ecumenical Council in Constantinople (until his sudden death). When he died, the council did not support Paulinus as his successor (Rome’s candidate) but appointed St Flavian.

The Catholic Encyclopedia in its article on Meletius agrees that St Meletius was the rightful successor to the patriarchal throne, and blames Ss Damasus and Athanasius’ decisions – quite rightly, IMO – on poor communication (notably the distance of travel between Anitoch and Rome made things difficult) and probably on the interference of the emperors (who at the time were pagan or Arian).

What is the relevance of all of this little sidetrack? Well, the upshot of this is that, when St John willingly accepted baptism and ordination from Ss Meletius and Flavian instead of Paulinus, he was deliberately placing himself out of direct communion with Rome. This is not the act of someone who believes in the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome. St John wrote the above-mentioned treatise while still at Antioch (and still not in direct communion with Rome), and it was not until his elevation to the See of Constantinople that he managed to bring St Flavian back into direct communion with Rome.

Given this as background, it is obvious that St John cannot have intended this passage to mean anything like papal supremacy – the idea that the Bishop of Rome is the supreme leader of the Church and that all owe their obedience to him. If he did, it would have made him a complete hypocrite. The most sensible way to understand his above words, then, is not as an argument for papal supremacy, but in-line with the Orthodox view – that is, every bishop is a successor of Peter (and not just the bishop of Rome).

DeMario D'souza Domnick December 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I would also like to add the following…

St Paul makes a claim in Ephesians 3:2-4, that the dispensation of the Grace of God was given to him (St Paul). So, if St Peter was the rock, then surely the dispensation of the Grace of God would be given to him (St. Peter), instead. But it is not the case, which proves that St.Peter is not the rock – the rock is Jesus Christ.

DeMario D'souza Domnick December 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It is very clear in Ephesians 3:2-4 that the “revelation” of the dispensation of the Grace of God was given to St.Paul and not St.Peter, effectually shutting down the presumption that St. Peter was the rock and the bishop of Rome claiming apostolic succession is without foundation.

Erick Ybarra December 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

The doctrine of the modern day Papacy is as essential to the life of the Church as the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. Why? Because, according to the Roman Catholic Church, only the ordained Bishops which are in communion with the unbroken line of successors to St. Peter (the apostles) have a valid Eucharist and have an effective means to bind and loose the sins of people. This fact is embarrassingly made clear and manifest in the Catholic Catechism where holy orders are only valid when there is valid apostolic succession and that there is a communion (The minimum of which is in the orthodox church) that exists to the successor of Peter (The Pope).

Now understand that this teaching of the Papacy and the succession of bishops hinges on the interpretation of Matthew 16:16-19 that Peter is the rock upon which the Church is built. And not only that, but that this “rock” which exists in the person of Peter (not just his faith, his actual life as a person) continues to be an active function onward from Peter’s life into the next single successors, until the close of the age.

Without making too much of a scene, it is quite simply an embarrassing notion to think that it was a unanimous understanding that the whole of Christ’s church has confessed this truth from the beginning. For something as so essential to the christian life as the death of Jesus to have been forfeited from the discussions in the apostolic times only to then be first spoken about years after the apostolic age is for Christ to have left his first born Church completely ignorant of an essential doctrine.

Erick Ybarra December 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

For those Evangelical protestants to have gone over to the Roman Catholic Church for historical and intellectual reasons, I simply cannot see how you made this decision solely on the basis of an intellectual quest. Despite this fact, I have only heard of evangelicals becoming Catholics by some sort of intellectual historical quest in the early centuries of the church.

Quite the opposite are the testimonies of those Catholics who become protestants. They are almost never the result of an intellectual quest, but rather are experiential in nature. They were brought up catholics but then they met jesus at some other point in time later in life, after leaving the catholic church.

There is something to learn from this that plays in our understanding of the differences that exist in the modern day Catholic church (orthodox as well) and the evangelical protestant churches. In the Catholic Church, the church is grown primarily through children of parents who are already in the catholic Church (via carnal generation) and they are already told they are “born again” through their infant baptism and so there only needs to be a nourishment of the conversion already in them. Therefore, most catholics never see a need to really become radiant for Christ and obedient to him in the specific context of the fellowship of his church. They most likely integrate into normal carnal society and remain attending catholics churches throughout their life. And they have kids who do the same, etc,etc,etc. This is why people in the Catholic churches are not clearly (on a large scale) on “fire” for God in bible study, Sunday Fellowship, love feasts, evangelism, bible conferences, missions (doctrinal), seminars, books on being studious, etc,etc

In evangelical protestant churches, it is a community of mainly spontaneous conversions of older people who come out of a conviction to be “saved” and to “serve” Christ. And because of this, it appears they are more interested in God and serving Jesus Christ. They are there, not by ordinary birth, but through the new birth created by the holy spirit.

These differences are widely known by both Catholics and evangelicals. This is why if you reside in either camp, you will see Catholics seeing the need to regenerate people who are already catholic and you will see evangelicals trying to get other evangelicals to try and consider the traditions of old.

De Maria December 2, 2012 at 9:00 PM

To whoever wrote the referenced comment,

Hi,

You said,

The basic problem here is that Steve Ray (and pope Leo) are assuming that St John means the same thing by “successor of Peter” as what the modern RCC view of the papacy take it to mean. However, there is every reason to believe that St John did not mean this in the same sense.

The basic problem is not that Steve Ray and Pople Leo assume that St. John is accepting the proper interpretation of the phrase, “successor of Peter”.

The problem is that you and all EO (Eastern Orthodox) who disagree with the Catholic Church on this point, are assuming the modern and erroneous EO view of the Papacy.

I think to properly understand this from an Orthodox perspective, we need to go back to Matthew 16:18-24.

That is precisely what we need to do in order to understand the term correctly. I agree.

According to Whelton (p.61), the 17th century RCC scholar Jean de Launoy surveyed the Fathers and found that 17 considered Peter to be the rock, 44 considered his confession to be the rock, 16 considered it to be Christ and 8 considered it to be the apostles. However, what these raw statistics fail to show is that these interpretations are all interlinked: In reality, the rock is all of these:

-Christ is the rock (this is known from elsewhere).
-The confession is the rock because it is a confession about Christ, Who is the rock.
-Peter is the rock because he made this confession.
-The apostles are also the rock because they made the same confession.

I would disagree. Jesus is the Rock, in another Biblical metaphor. But in Matt 16:18-19, Jesus is speaking to Simon and the Apostles, about Simon Bar Jonah. And Jesus is describing Simon as “the Rock” upon whom He will build His Church. He is not speaking about anyone else. And when He gives away the keys, He uses a singular pronoun, addressing the person to whom He gives the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Simon Bar Jonah, aka as Cephas, Rock or Peter. He does not hand the keys to anyone else. He is not describing anyone else.

But the important thing to note about all of these interpretations is that they centre on the confession, and not on the person of Peter.

On the contrary, by centering on the confession, you center upon the man who uttered the confession. St. Peter is not the first man to utter this confession in the New Testament. Nathaniel does it the very first time he sees Jesus:

John 1:47-49
King James Version (KJV)
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Yet Jesus does not give Nathaniel any keys.

Another man also does it, Thomas:
John 20:28
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

So, the simple confession is not enough. The confession was uttered by a particular man and that man is the subject and object of the Master’s lesson.

And its not as though Jesus Christ only did this once. What I mean is that, this is not the only time Jesus singled out St. Peter and made it clear that He considered St. Peter the Leader of the Apostles and of His Church.

Luke 22:30-32
King James Version (KJV)
30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

If Jesus had only done it once, it could be dismissed as coincidence. But Jesus reiterated the fact that He considered St. Peter the Leader of His Church, several times. Here’s another:
Matthew 17:27
King James Version (KJV)
27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

For me and thee.

But wait. In order to understand this verse, you must understand the verse you are questioning. Why did Jesus give Simon the name, “Rock”? Perhaps you never wondered. Here’s why.

Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

Exodus 7:1
King James Version (KJV)
7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Exodus 18:13-15
King James Version (KJV)
13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

Exodus 19:9
King James Version (KJV)
9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name, Rock along with the keys to the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19) and appointed him Shepherd over the Church (John 21:15-17).

Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.

This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in the God’s name.

And that is why, the coin is for Jesus and for Peter. Because Jesus knows that Peter is His representative to all mankind. Amongst men, St. Peter is the person of Christ in a very special way.

Peter, being the first to make this confession (remembering that the Latin for first is prima) quite literally has the primacy.

The primacy falls to him for other reasons. But not for being the first to make that confession. Nathaniel made it first as already mentioned.

Those that made the same confession after him are his successors.

Nope. He whom he appointed was his successor and the one appointed by that person, his successor.

And given that Peter’s authority rests on the confession that he made, his successors have the same authority that Peter does.

Many have made the same confession. But to none but St. Peter did Jesus turn and say, “you are Rock”, “I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”, “strengthen your brethren”, “this coin is for you and I”, and also, “feed my sheep”.

But the important thing to note in the above is the answer to the following question: who is Peter’s successor? ….

Non sequitur. That which you mentioned above is your line of reasoning. YOU proposed it. Now you are arguing against it. It is a classic “straw man argument.”

According to the above line of reasoning, those who made this confession is a successor of Peter. In short, every bishop is a successor of Peter – not just the bishops of Rome. Every bishop is a shepherd and must “feed Christ’s sheep” – that is, the Church that is placed under his guidance.

Nope. Successors of Peter are those who sit on the See of Rome. They are the ones to whom the Keys are passed down.

This understanding of the “successor of Peter” (which is also the Orthodox understanding) is also reflected in the writings of St Cyprian (another oft-miscited Father) – who uses the phrase “Chair of Peter” to refer to an episcopate. As far as St Cyprian is concerned, every bishop is the successor of St Peter.

I’d have to see the writings to which you refer. I believe it was St. Cyprian who wrote eloquently about the authority of the Pope. Until he found himself at odds with the Pope. Then, he changed his tune. But the fact that he recognized the truth until it was inconvenient to do so, proves that he understood the doctrine correctly before he changed his mind. The fact that he is considered one of our Saints, proves that he accepted the truth in the end.

There is every reason to assume that this is exactly the same interpretation that St John Chrysostom himself had in mind here, and Ray (and Pope Leo) are jumping to conclusions and not considering the wider context.

Not if the comment which Ray posted is compared to John 21:15-17. The reference to Jesus appointing Peter as the Shepherd of the entire Church, is unmistakable.

And just to put the final nail into the coffin,

You’ve put to rest the EO’s erroneous understanding. The Catholic doctrine stands tall.

and confirm that the Orthodox reading of St John Chrysostom is the correct one, let me tell you a little story…The most sensible way to understand his above words, then, is not as an argument for papal supremacy, but in-line with the Orthodox view – that is, every bishop is a successor of Peter (and not just the bishop of Rome).

Since you have shown a propensity to misunderstand the Scripture and the words of St. John Chrysostom, I take that story of yours with a mouthful of salt.

The argument which you attribute to the EO, has been proven false by a very simple review of the Scriptures and by referring St. John Chrysostom’s statement back to the Scripture to which he was obviously making reference.

The only way to come to the conclusion which you draw is by ignoring the Scripture to which St. John was referring and by purposesly rejecting Jesus’ intent in naming St. Peter the Leader of His Church and Shepherd over His Flock.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Erick Ybarra December 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM

If we, being readers far away from the original readers in the 1st century, are so sure that Matthew 16:16-19 teaches, by the very terminology itself, that Peter’s successors continue the “rock” function for the church, that “keys” denote succession (1 to 1) of a single person to take the office of Peter, and a Petrine Succession is clearly and unmistakably delineated from the text itself, then we are throwing many interpretations of Matthew 16 in the early fathers as if they had no clue what they are talking about.

DeMario D'souza Domnick December 2, 2012 at 11:42 PM

In light of scripture in Ephesians 3:2-4, there is no “exclusivity” in the Kingdom of God. Scripture clearly says that St.Peter was the apostle to the “Jews” while St.Paul was to the Gentiles. That’s why the Epistle of St.Paul to the Ephesians church is the”queen” of the New Testament epistles, because it exhorts what God has wrought for all believers in Christ Jesus. We are saved by “faith” and sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we trusted completely in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise). St.Paul clearly teaches in Ephesians 2:14 that Christ is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us (Jews and Gentiles). Jesus/God chose to reveal the revelation on the Grace of God thru his servant and apostle St.Paul and not St.Peter. Is St.Peter is the rock, than the revelation would have been given to him (St.Peter) instead, which is not. I trust what the scriptures says. I’m skeptical of what church fathers taught.

DeMario D'souza Domnick December 3, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Well.. it does not matter whether Peter, Nathaniel or Thomas made confessions.. the mere fact is St.Peter denied Jesus.. St Paul also rebuked St Peter for preaching wrong doctrine. Certainly no one will be in position to rebuke the popes’ when they dispense their heretic teachings, since they claim infallibility when speaking ex-cathedra. We also see criminals in court case proceeding make a confession on oath to speaking the truth before the judge, but eventually tell lies to get themselves bailed out. I do believe we have to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel and it is the duty of everyone. Many times it is recorded that Roman Catholics have denied Jesus as the only way (Mother Theresa for example), so it is insincere to make a case for Roman Catholicism by make making imaginary claims.

De Maria December 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Erick Ybarra December 2, 2012 at 10:57 PM
If we, being readers far away from the original readers in the 1st century, are so sure that Matthew 16:16-19 teaches, by the very terminology itself, that Peter’s successors continue the “rock” function for the church, that “keys” denote succession (1 to 1) of a single person to take the office of Peter, and a Petrine Succession is clearly and unmistakably delineated from the text itself, then we are throwing many interpretations of Matthew 16 in the early fathers as if they had no clue what they are talking about.

Nope. I believe we’ve spoken before and if I remember correctly, you are Protestant. And the problem which Protestants have is what we call an “either/or” mentality.

The office of Peter and Petrine succession is not incompatible with anything else the Early Fathers have said. If you have one with which you are having a problem, post it and we can discuss it.

Having said that, the Church Fathers are not infallible. The Catholic Church is. Therefore, if it comes to a decision between what a Church Father may have said or what the Church says, we always follow the teaching of the Church:
Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria December 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Hello,

you said:

In light of scripture in Ephesians 3:2-4, there is no “exclusivity” in the Kingdom of God.

I have no idea what you are talking about. I see nothing there which addresses “exclusivity”.
Ephesians 3:2-4
King James Version (KJV)
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Scripture clearly says that St.Peter was the apostle to the “Jews” while St.Paul was to the Gentiles.

Are you saying that Scripture exclusively appoints St. Peter to the Jews and St. Paul to the Gentiles? If so, then you are contradicting yourself.

And you are also wrong. Who said?

Acts 15:7
And when there had been much disputing,… rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

That’s why the Epistle of St.Paul to the Ephesians church is the”queen” of the New Testament epistles,

Really? Who made that decision? It sounds to me like a decision of men.

because it exhorts what God has wrought for all believers in Christ Jesus.

We find that exhortation in many Epistles:

Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Colossians 2:10-12
King James Version (KJV)
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

So, I disagree in your evaluation of Ephesians as the “queen” of the Epistles. My favorite, is Romans 8:
Romans 8:1-5
King James Version (KJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

We are saved by “faith”

But not by faith alone.

and sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we trusted completely in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise).

That is a reference to the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. After one believes, he requests Baptism. After he receives Baptism, he is confirmed and is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

St.Paul clearly teaches in Ephesians 2:14 that Christ is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us (Jews and Gentiles).

True. And notice that he does not shun the Jews but also teaches them as well as the Gentiles.

Jesus/God chose to reveal the revelation on the Grace of God thru his servant and apostle St.Paul and not St.Peter.

Through both. But mainly by St. Peter. True, St. Paul wrote more books. But St. Peter had been the Prince of the Apostles and leader of the Church for many years before St. Paul came on the scene.

Is St.Peter is the rock, than the revelation would have been given to him (St.Peter) instead, which is not. I trust what the scriptures says. I’m skeptical of what church fathers taught.

You don’t understand what Scripture teaches. Here is what St. Peter says:
2 Peter 1
King James Version (KJV)
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

You pit one Apostle against another as though they were from two different Churches. But there is only one Body of Christ. One Church. And He appointed St. Peter its leader and St. Paul one of his followers.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria December 3, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Hello again,

Well.. it does not matter whether Peter, Nathaniel or Thomas made confessions.. the mere fact is St.Peter denied Jesus..

And the other Apostles abandoned him, except St. John. But Jesus forgave them all.

St Paul also rebuked St Peter for preaching wrong doctrine.

True. And in so doing revealed his human failings. St. Peter honorably and humbly never even mentions this episode in which St. Paul rebukes St. Peter for doing something which St. Paul no only recommends doing:
1 Corinthians 9:22
King James Version (KJV)
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

And preaches against causing our brothers to sin by eating certain foods:
1 Corinthians 8:9-12
King James Version (KJV)
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

And neglects to mention that he circumcised St. Timothy because of pressure from the self same group:
Acts 16:3
King James Version (KJV)
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

So, what we have here is a St. Paul hypocritically rebuking St. Peter for actions which he commits on a regular basis and which he advises others to do as though they were virtuous.

Certainly no one will be in position to rebuke the popes’ when they dispense their heretic teachings, since they claim infallibility when speaking ex-cathedra.

1. The Popes have never dispensed heretical teachings.
2. Even so, there are many Saints which through the years have rebuked and advised Popes and Bishops.
3. It is the Protestants who will not listen to rebuke or advise concerning the errors which they have added to the Scriptures.

We also see criminals in court case proceeding make a confession on oath to speaking the truth before the judge, but eventually tell lies to get themselves bailed out. I do believe we have to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel and it is the duty of everyone. Many times it is recorded that Roman Catholics have denied Jesus as the only way (Mother Theresa for example), so it is insincere to make a case for Roman Catholicism by make making imaginary claims.

It is Protestants who deny Christ everytime they reject the Eucharist, the Mass and the Catholic Church. Mother Theresa is one of Christ’s shining stars. Catholics do not deny Christ but live in accordance with His Commandments and submit to His Church and His Sacraments.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria December 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Hi Erick,

I don’t know how I missed this message of yours. But I saw it and offer my response.

For those Evangelical protestants to have gone over to the Roman Catholic Church for historical and intellectual reasons, I simply cannot see how you made this decision solely on the basis of an intellectual quest.

There are glaring problems with your logic here.
1. What does it matter whether you can see it or not? Must they check their brains in at your door?
2. It is strange how Protestants who claim about their intellectual freedom will complain when someone exercises that freedom and becomes a Catholic.

Despite this fact, I have only heard of evangelicals becoming Catholics by some sort of intellectual historical quest in the early centuries of the church.

There were no evangelical protestants in the early history of the Church, or if there were, please provide an example.

Quite the opposite are the testimonies of those Catholics who become protestants. They are almost never the result of an intellectual quest, but rather are experiential in nature. They were brought up catholics but then they met jesus at some other point in time later in life, after leaving the catholic church.

This is true. But what’s the point? There are many cultural Protestants as well. I’ve met them.

There is something to learn from this that plays in our understanding of the differences that exist in the modern day Catholic church (orthodox as well) and the evangelical protestant churches. In the Catholic Church, the church is grown primarily through children of parents who are already in the catholic Church (via carnal generation) and they are already told they are “born again” through their infant baptism and so there only needs to be a nourishment of the conversion already in them. Therefore, most catholics never see a need to really become radiant for Christ

Whether the word, “most” applies, is questionable. Many Catholics remain faithful Catholics throughout their life.

and obedient to him in the specific context of the fellowship of his church.

On the contrary, “obedience” is a hallmark of Catholic Teaching. Catholics know the value of obedience.

Whereas, Protestants don’t. And many Protestants disdain obedience. Especially because they disparage the Commandments and do not consider them worth obeying anymore.

They most likely integrate into normal carnal society and remain attending catholics churches throughout their life. And they have kids who do the same, etc,etc,etc. This is why people in the Catholic churches are not clearly (on a large scale) on “fire” for God in bible study, Sunday Fellowship, love feasts, evangelism, bible conferences, missions (doctrinal), seminars, books on being studious, etc,etc

I’ve met many Protestants the same way. You are committing the fallacy of division. The car is blue therefore the car’s engine must be blue.

But that is not true. Protestants who attend Church are not the same as the run of the mill Protestant working stiff. The one’s who believe in abortion, contraception, and who don’t know one end of the Bible from the other.

In evangelical protestant churches,

Yeah, in evangelical churches. But not in typical Protestant homes.

it is a community of mainly spontaneous conversions of older people who come out of a conviction to be “saved” and to “serve” Christ. And because of this, it appears they are more interested in God and serving Jesus Christ. They are there, not by ordinary birth, but through the new birth created by the holy spirit.

Its too bad that these people who love Christ have been taught the errors of the Protestants. Spontaneity is not the sole ingredient of faith. More important is obedience and perseverence.

These differences are widely known by both Catholics and evangelicals. This is why if you reside in either camp, you will see Catholics seeing the need to regenerate people who are already catholic and you will see evangelicals trying to get other evangelicals to try and consider the traditions of old.

I’m not sure what you mean by that. Because evangelicals are Protestant and they have abandoned the Traditions of Jesus Christ.

De Maria December 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Someone added these comments:
DeMario D’souza Domnick December 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM
I would also like to add the following…

St Paul makes a claim in Ephesians 3:2-4, that the dispensation of the Grace of God was given to him (St Paul). So, if St Peter was the rock, then surely the dispensation of the Grace of God would be given to him (St. Peter), instead. But it is not the case, which proves that St.Peter is not the rock – the rock is Jesus Christ.

DeMario D’souza Domnick December 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM
It is very clear in Ephesians 3:2-4 that the “revelation” of the dispensation of the Grace of God was given to St.Paul and not St.Peter, effectually shutting down the presumption that St. Peter was the rock and the bishop of Rome claiming apostolic succession is without foundation.

St. Paul received the same revelation which Jesus Christ dispensed unto all the Apostles and disciples before him. The only difference being that St. Paul was set apart that he might focus on the Gentiles. Oh, that dispensation of the Grace of God, is also known as the Mass:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25
King James Version (KJV)
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

This is how the Grace of God is dispensed unto the members of the Body of Christ. And it was revealed to the Apostles and Disciples, long before Christ revealed it to St. Paul:
Mark 14:21-24
King James Version (KJV)
21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

St. Peter is the Rock and the dispensation was given to him long before it was given to St. Paul. Only it was revealed to St. Peter by Jesus Christ in the flesh. Whereas it was revealed to St. Paul by Jesus Christ in a vision.

Sincerely,

De Maria

SevoGuy January 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Can’t we all just get along?

Excellent thread.

Yusef (Joseph) March 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

If the Greeks still believe that all bishops are equal; Please ask an Egyptian Coptic if the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Constantinople is the 2nd See in Christendom and holds greater authority than their Coptic (Pope) Bishop of Alexandria? They will laugh in your face. Or ask a Syrian Jacobite if the Greek Bishop has greater authority than their Bishop of Antioch, you will get the same response.

There is far more evidence from the Church Fathers (both Eastern and Western) about the authority of the See of Rome and St. Peter being the Rock that Jesus Christ instituted as earthly Shepherd after his death than anything saying otherwise.

Jacob of Nisibis AD 338 “And Simon the head of the Apostles, he who denied Christ… our Lord received him, and made him the foundation, and called him the rock of the edifice of the Church.”

St. “Ephraim AD 370 “Simon, My follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes call you Kefa (Rock), because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the foundation from which my teachings flow, you are the chief of my disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples…. I have chosen you to be as it were, the first born in My institution, and so that, as the heir, you may be executor of my treasures. I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all my treasures.”

Letter of Julius I Bishop of Rome AD 341 (which was preserved in its entirety in Athanasius’ Apology against the Arians) This letter was sent to the Eusebian party at Antioch as a defense of Athanasius:

“For if it is entirely as you say, that some offense was committed by those persons, judgment ought to have been made, not as it was, but according to the ecclesiastical canon. It behooved all of you to write to us, so that the justice of it might be seen as emanating from all. For they were bishops who suffered; and they were not ordinary Churches which suffered, but were those which the Apostles themselves had governed. And above all, why was nothing written to us about the Church of the Alexandrians? Are you ignorant that the custom has been to write first to us, and then for a just decision to be passed from this place? If then, any such suspicion rested upon the bishop there, notice of it ought to have been written to the Church here. But now, after they have done as they pleased, they want to obtain our concurrence, although we never condemned him. Not thus are the constitutions of Paul, not thus the traditions of the Fathers. This is another form of procedure, and a novel practice. I beseech you, bear with me willlingly. what I write about this is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter, these things I signify to you.”

Basil the Great AD 377 “It is these that we implore your diligence to denounce publicly to all the Churches of the East….I am constrained to mention them by name, in order that you may yourselves recognize those who are stirring up disturbance here, and may make them known to our Churches. You, however, have all the more credit with the people, in proportion to the distance the separates your home from theirs, besides the fact that you are gifted with God’s grace to help those who are distressed.”

Jerome to Damasus (bishop of Rome) AD 378 “I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built.”

John Maro (of Syria/Lebanon) AD 700 “And as a Patriarch has authority over his subjects, the Roman (Pontiff) has authority over all Patriarchs, in the same manner as Peter had it over all chiefs of Christianity, and over all Churches; for he is the successor of Christ, placed over His Church, over His flock, over all peoples. If any one refuses to observe these (statutes), let him be anathema.

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