Was Saint Peter the first Pope?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Roman Catholic Church sees Peter as the first pope upon whom God had chosen to build His church (Matthew 16:18). It holds that he had authority (primacy) over the other apostles. The Roman Cath...

July 01 2013 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Bernard Portillo
Matt 16:18 upon this rock I will build my church. There is a great error in understanding this scripture. The word ROCK there is (feminine) PET'RA in Hebrew which means a mass of rock. On the other hand PETROS (Hebrew) is a small piece of rock. Having said that the Messiah was saying on this immovable truth that 'I am the son of GOD' is what he is building his church upon. Anyone one coming to God MUST believe this immovable truth that JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD. Peter was an apostle as all the others an was not a POPE is claimed. No human being Is infallibly. Romans 3:23 KJV For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; … 
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

October 04 2013 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Victor Ruiz
With all do respect to my Catholic friends, Scripture clearly states that Jesus is The Rock that the church is built on. We must read the Scriptures guided by The Holy Spirit and in context. The original languages must be carefully studied and cross referenced with today's translations. Peter was married and Jewish and he mainly ministered to the Jewish people. The Catholic Church did not exist until around 300 AD when the Emperor Constantine merged pagan rituals and beliefs with Christianity. The Bible nowhere mentions Popes, purgatory, praying to Saints,etc. Pope is defined as Holy Father, but there is Only One Holy Father, GOD. The Pope is also seen as the vicar of Christ, but the Bible says that we ,true believers, the saints, are all representatives of Christ here on earth. God Bless you all! Read and study your Bibles!

November 01 2013 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Shomer
My opinion the short answer No way, there is no infallible Apostolic succession in scripture, just theatrical traditions and beliefs that are taught as doctrine. 
Consider to have disagreed on this precept, would have gotten you burned at the stake, after other church traditions for the heretic, many choose the stake!
Scripture and the complete book of Jude warn of these false teachers.

September 21 2013 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Picture Alfred Vella
If the Apostle Peter was the head of the church, why did St. James preside over the first and only church council cited in the New Testament (Acts 15:6-30)? The Apostle Peter was present, yet he did not preside over this important council dealing with circumcision and its non-role in salvation! This is one of the most powerful and clear proofs that The Apostle Peter was not the head of the early church!

If the Apostle Peter was the head of the church (visibly), why did both the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul write more of the New Testament than he did? The Apostle Peter wrote 2 books of the New Testament (or 8 chapters), while John wrote 5 books (or 50 chapters) and Paul at least 13 books (or at least 87 chapters). Both John and Paul wrote much more of the eternal Word of God than Peter did.

October 08 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio David Sutton
No where in the bible will you read about anyone being a pope, Jesus Christ is the head of the church. Each church group throughout the world is overseen by elders and deacons. That's it why complicate something so simple . Jesus began his church in 33 a.d. The Catholic Church did not exist until 606 a.d. And was founded by Boniface the third. 573 years past there. 

Peter simply confess that Jesus was the son of the living God . And Jesus told him upon this he would build his church . Peter was no different than any person that will summit to Christ and do what he told us to do to be saved in this new covenant.

November 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Mr Anthony Cotton
St Peter was not the first pope, he had the title of "Apostle" and nothing else.

He was recognized as the First Bishop Of Rome by the Catholic Church. St Peter was supposed to make Linus the first bishop of Rome.

The title Pope was introduced by the 38th Pope St Siricius in 384 AD it was Papa which is English for Pope.

St Peter taught the Circumcised, and St Paul taught the gentiles, and St Peter never went to Rome at all, and if he did I am sure St Paul would have mentioned it he mentions Mark is with me.

I was brought up a strict Roman Catholic, but something very profound happened to me about 3 years ago, and I became a born again Christian.

The Holy Spirit opened my eyes,and I saw that the Catholic Church was full of false teaching. They have evan changed the Commandments which God said "you have not got to add anything or take anything away".

November 09 2013 9 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Shauna Zimmer
This verse has to be put in context with what comes before it. The rock Jesus is talking about is the confession Peter makes, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Upon our confession of faith God continues to build His church. The church is not a building, but the fellowship of believers. Remember, scripture always has to put into context. We can't pull individual scriptures out to make whatever point we are trying to express.

November 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Bush2 EL Mohel Castorena EL Mohel
Peter was Jewish. In Acts 15 this takes place in Jerusalem. In what we call The Knesset (Hebrew: הַכְּנֶסֶת [haˈkneset]; lit. the gathering or assembly. very Jewish not Roman, so no he was not a Pope at all.

October 31 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

The statement of Christ in Mt 16: 18 does not confirm Peter as a pope neither as the first pope . This statement of Jesus to his disciples was not to build the church on Peter as the rock but on the revelation through Peter on the Messianic attribute in Christ as the son of God. The church of Christ is to be built on this foundation of faith (Believe) in Jesus as the son of God (Rom 5:1-2). This is my opinion.

November 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Sylvia Smith
Jesus never instituted popes that was created by man. James was in charge of the apostles hence the reason Paul answered to him in the council about the circumcision. The bible clearly states the offices God instituted it has been man who has added to the Word of God leaving many lost. There is no private interpretation so if someone says otherwise it is false doctrine.

November 01 2013 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Vincent Mercado Supporter Skeptic turned believer, Catholic, father of 3

In John 21; Jesus told Peter, "Feed my lambs" "Take care of my sheep" "Feed my sheep". If Jesus is the Good Shepherd, he is obviously setting Peter up to take this same role, to perform the same act in his place.

After Peter died, another person acting as shepherd of Christ's faithful took his place. That person's name is Linus, making him pope #2. After him was Anacletus, pope #3. Then Clement, pope #4. etc..

The current pope is Francis, pope #266.

September 21 2013 24 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Richard Van Slyke Missionary / Pastor
When Christ gave Peter the "keys to heaven" we must understand that He was going to use Peter for the Power of the Holy Spirit to come. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came upon the Jews (first key). In Acts 10, the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles (second key) and boy the people were surprised. Here we see that these were the "keys" Christ used for the Holy Spirit to come and make the believing Jew and Gentiles - THE CHURCH with the head being Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. 

We are now in the church age and born again Jews and born again Gentiles are THE CHURCH. We now have Jews, Gentiles, and the Church (see 1 Cor.10:32).
I remember an SDA pointing to how the apostles went to the synagogues on Saturday as proof of the Saturday sabbath. Actually, they were going there to get these people saved. 

Finally, the "keys to the kingdom" of heaven were given to Peter to use him as God's instrument for the Holy Spirit. Jesus came through the Jews to the Gentiles and is now the head of the church. Peter ministered to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles (with some overlap).

November 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Acheampong Sekyere
Peter was a human and in so many ways did Peter sin so Peter cannot be the head of the church, Christ is the only head, Col 1:18, 24, Eph 1:22,23. What Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 was fulfilled in Acts 2:14-36, when Peter stood up and spoke terms of admission into the church, which is the body of Christ. Col 1:18.

That day marked the beginning of the kingdom which came with power and about 3,000 people entered into the body of Christ, the church, because of the word of God spoken by Peter. 

The organisation of the church is such that Christ is the head, Col 1:18; each congregation is independent, 1Pet 5:2; each area of work is done by leaders of that local congregation, Eph 4:11-12; elders (also known as pastor Eph 4:11, shepherds 1Pet 5:2-4, rulers Heb 13:17, bishops or overseers Acts 20:28, 1Tim 3:1ff) and deacons Acts 6:1-6, should be appointed in each local church, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 4:11; also each church should have minister(s) 2 Tim 4:5 (also called preacher 1Tim 2:7, 2Tim 1:11, Rom 10:14, evangelist 2Tim 4:5, teacher 2Tim1:11). 

So our Lord Jesus Christ never left the power of the church to only one. Finally, the headquarters of the church is not in Rome but in heaven 1Pet 3:22, where Christ is, waiting to hand over the church to the Father.

November 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Headshot Cindy Jennings 1 Saved by Grace
Quite simply, no one after the 1st century had the Biblical qualifications to be an "apostle." 

When the original eleven apostles wanted to replace Judas, here's what was required: Acts 1:21-22. He had to be someone who had accompanied Jesus on His earthly ministry and who had witnessed the resurrected Christ before His ascension.

This is why there is no such thing as apostolic succession. No one after the first century is qualified to be called an "apostle." 

As for the Roman church being the "first" church, Jesus does not even mention the Roman church in Revelation, where He specifically noted the church in Smyrna as remaining faithful through persecution (Rev 2:10) and the church in Philadelphia as a church that persevered (Rev 3:10).

What a perfect opportunity for Jesus to uphold the church in Rome if He felt it was the model of how churches should be or the "one and only original church" but He did not even mention them.

The Catholic church is NOT the true original church and the Pope is not an apostle.

February 25 2015 10 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ed Smith Retired teacher
There was not Catholic Pope until about 606 AD. It's interesting that at one point Paul had to correct Peter.

November 02 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
There is absolutely no evidence Peter was the first pope of Rome or anywhere else. I believe there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Aside from what is already stated, consider the book of Romans which I understand Paul penned while in Corinth. In chapter 16 he exhorts the Roman believers to receive and accept no less than 28 named individuals into their fellowship. Paul doesn't just list them as one would fill out a Sunday school roster but speaks of them all with loving commendation!
Is it not strange and unusual that within this exhaustive list of saints there is absolutely NO reference to the apostle Peter? Not even an honorable mention? 

I understand that Claudius Cesar deported all the Jews from Rome around 45 AD. If so, the book of Romans must have been written prior. Paul would not have sent his beloved brethren into Rome just to be denied entry or deported, at least not without warning. If this is the case, when and by what means did Peter serve as pope?

The Word of God obviously tells a much different story from tradition taught by the catholic church.

October 15 2014 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Carl Jones
Paul stated in Galatians chapter two that he was an apostle to the uncircumcised (Gentiles - and the citizens of Rome were almost entirely of this group) and Peter was the apostle to the circumcised (Jews) He goes further than this and states in verse nine, 
"James, Cephas (Peter) and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they (which includes Peter) to the circumcised.
This is quite clear, Paul to Rome and Peter to Jerusalem.

November 02 2013 9 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Josef Grk
I would like to contribute a humble response to this question as a catholic. And in the first place it is a question, rather than a statement:

I do not understand why this question could in any way be answered properly from the Bible. "Was Saint Peter the first Pope?" How could the bible give an answer to that, if this title as a term is not found in it at all? So if that is the case, we need to look at other sources which are outside of the bible.

Wikipedia tells us, that the word Pope derives from the Latin word Papa. Also the Greeks used a similar word, pappas, and this is the child's word for Father, or better Daddy. Even where I live, in Holland, we say "papa" to our dear fathers. 

I do not know when the Bishop of Rome was first called Pope, but it is definitely a title of reverence, meaning rather Daddy than "Father". If Catholics therefore say "Holy Father", there is always also this connotation of reverence swinging with the word. The Pope is the lovely father to us, rather than the ruler king that is swaying his sceptre. We should keep him in honour and respect, just as we would do with our own father.

But now the big question of infallibility comes in. Is that not a statement that has to be strictly opposed from a biblical point of view? Well, let's see the facts. The doctrine of infallibility was pronounced by the Pope during the First Vatican Council in 1871. This pronunciation as such was the first time that the Pope spoke with the claim of being infallible. Since then only one other Pope pronounced another doctrine under the claim of being infallible. That was in 1950. So, what are we talking about? Why are we so afraid of an infallible Pope, if he does that once every century?

Instead we should much more fear the times when the Roman Catholic Church promulgates its faith in the biblical way of doing: by convening a council. There have been many, many big (and beautiful) documents published during Second Vatican Council which are worth reading. They might even inspire some Protestants because of their rootedness in the Word of God. 

The roll of the Pope as the leader of the Church should therefore not be mistaken with the roll of Barak Obama or Angela Merkel. He is a father that has to tell his children at times where they should go. But most of the times he is admonishing, trying to persuade, appealing to the good will of everyone who wants to listen. And for questions of doctrinal faith he will always ask his fellow bishops - just as Peter did in Acts. 

Just as the early church did in Ephesus or Nicaea. Lets Face it, dear brothers and sisters, not all important questions of faith are defined in the Bible. For instance, we all need the early church to come to the doctrine of the Trinity. We also need the early church to define, what is actually the Bible. The Bible did not fall from heaven, nor is it a dictation, as the Koran claims to be. It is the Word of God as defined by those who lived it and struggled and argued about it. Until finally they met for a council and defined, what actually should be believed or considered as biblical. 

And I believe in this context also the title Pope, father, daddy, was attributed to the Bishop of Rome as the leader of the Church. And that Saint Peter was in Rome, no serious archeologian has any doubt about that. It does not need to stand in the Bible to be true.

By the way, The Bishop of Rome is not the only Pope on earth. The leader of the Coptic Church in Egypt is called Pope, too. And then we have the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches. Also Patriarch has the Latin word "pater", father as its basis. And somehow I like the thought, that my - and our - faith does not alone rely on what I can conclude with my limited intellect out of our Holy Bible. It is also based on the lived faith of these old Patriarchs and Saints and Martyrs, who contributed to our faith not only with words, but with their blood.

November 02 2013 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Mike Dumais
The Bible is written with many levels of meaning, in double entendres, many times triple and more entendres. 

“Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (Ps. 71:3).

Like most of the metaphors applied to God in Scripture, the idea that our Creator is a rock is multifaceted in its meaning. In addition to informing us of the Lord’s stable, unchanging nature (Deut. 32:4), it also tells us about His strength and ability to safeguard His people, much as stone fortifications provide an excellent refuge from the elements and other dangers. This, in fact, is how the metaphor of God as a rock is used in the passage above.

The New Testament is all about the Word:
The Word became flesh
The gospel is spread through the written and spoken word
The Word is the Gospel
The Word is a Rock
The Gospel is the Rock.
The name Peter means rock

Jesus Teaches about His Houses being Built on Rock (Matt 7:24)
“Whoever hears these words of Mine and does them, will be like a wise man who built his house on rock..."

Most conventional scholarly wisdom settles on the probability of Markian Priority. The concept that the Gospel of Mark was written first and that Matthew and Luke referred to those documents in assembling what we know as the synoptic Gospels. Mark, Barnabas' nephew and companion of Paul, assisted Peter by recording and translating Peter's sermons and teachings into what we know as the Gospel of Mark. Built upon the rock.

There is no doubt that Peter was a natural leader and was first among the Apostles. The supremacy of the Roman Catholic Papacy is another question. It was assigned retroactively, he was not the only Bishop of a regional church that subsequently grew into a separate denomination, each viewed by their members with equal authority etc. 

The Roman Catholic Church survived, and thrived beyond the others because it became the denomination of the empire at Constantine's conversion and incorporated the organizational structure and managers from the Roman Empire that allowed it to sustain itself to the great benefit of all of civilization. It also carries with it the associated baggage that came with all of that. 

The great disagreements were very much about administration and overextended authority as much as doctrinal differences, which were always debated, as scholars must in order to further understanding.

October 05 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop

There is no evidence in the biblical scriptures to suggest or imply that Peter was head of the global Christian communion during the New Testament period. It is also not taught or implied anywhere in the Bible that there would be an apex body overseeing the global church communions. The Bible contemplates regional/territorial communions who independently advance their church ministries. 

The New Testament Church was primarily divided into two regions. The Jerusalem Church was led by three key leaders, Peter, John and James, while the Gentile Church was headed by Paul and his council of ministry associates. There is evidence from the Bible that suggests that James was more influential than Peter (cf. Galatians 2:11-21; Acts 15:1-23). 

The Roman Catholic Church papacy is a strange institution in so far as New Testament Scripture is concerned. It is a creature of the Roman Catholicism and has no bearing on other global Christian communions.

It is also unbiblical to teach that there was an unbroken succession of Popes from Peter right to the current pope. 

Worse even, Peter was married and this therefore disqualifies him from meeting the requirements of the Roman Catholic papacy which demands priestly celibacy! 

Secondly, there is no evidence in Scripture to suggest that Paul submitted himself to the authority of the Jerusalem leaders. If anything he often fended off those who questioned his apostolic authority. 

Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 saying, "Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord."

I would also add that even through some Christian traditions and practices were borrowed from the Roman Catholic Church, several Catholic doctrines and traditions are inconsistent with biblical teachings. Contrary to claims by the Roman Catholics, the church is always subordinate to the Scriptures and is decidedly fallible. There is equally no church leader who can be considered holy or infallible or whose authority is binding on Christians worldwide. 

In Evangelical tradition, we hold that the Bible is absolute, inerrant and in its original autograph, infallible. Roman Catholics teach that the Church has authority to interpret Scripture such that its official interpretation is binding on all their faithful. This is debatable. 

In conclusion, my considered view is that the Roman Catholic papacy is decidedly unbiblical and its exalted position borders on cultic heresy.

September 03 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Worship concert cropped Evris Mitchell
The word Pope translates to Church Father meaning Overseer, the one that all other members can follow in a decision making for all the churches. We do in fact have a “Pope” in the bible, though the name-word is not used, the description is given: that description is given to Jesus’ oldest half-brother, James (known as James the less, to distinguish from James the brother of Apostle John). 

In Acts 12:16-19, following Peter’s escape from prison, he went to disciples who’d been praying for him and requested them to “tell James and all the brothers...”; this shows James’ over-all responsibility in managing problems with the Church and the Jesus Movement.

In Acts 15:1-21, Peter stood up and gave a comment/testimony, then James stood up and gave the final decision on how to deal with Judaic issues being applied to Gentiles. 

In Acts 21:18, after Paul and other disciples returned to Jerusalem from their missionary journeys to evangelizing Gentiles and collecting pledges to help needy disciples throughout Judea from being affected by a great famine, they went to see “James and all the elders...” Again, according to Luke the Evangelist and Historian, this shows James’ leadership when his name is mentioned first and apart from all the other leading disciples. 

James’ over-all Christians leadership can be seen in several epistle letters; one popular scripture is in 1 Corinthians 15, after revealing his resurrected self to Peter and the Twelve and many brothers in the faith, Jesus appeared to “James and all the apostles...”. This at least gives an indication of prominence among leading disciples. And see Galatians 2:11-14; this passage is in context following the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 – notice it states “men (brothers) from James...”, meaning James sent brothers to check up on the activities of the Gentile based church in Syrian Antioch and Peter backed away from the Gentile brothers; this and the Council decision shows Peter’s deference to James. 

Many historians believe that this may be because James, though he included Gentiles in the fellowship of believers, did not agree with Gentiles having autonomy from Jewish Disciples, so he most likely was in opposition with Paul. This put Paul on the defense of his Gentilian Church; and it shows the Jerusalem Church being the actual leader over all churches and James being the leader of the Jerusalem Church, this in-turn places James as the Church Father (though he’s obviously not infallible) over all Apostolic Lead Disciples.

February 20 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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