PETER THE FIRST POPE?
Many catholics have been taught that Peter was the first Pope. The following are Biblical answers to this teaching.
First, let's look at the concept of POPE. Does the Bible say anything about a pope? Actually, quite the contrary. The idea of a Pope is strictly forbidden.
In Revelation 2 and 3 we read about John's letters to the churches. There are 7 literal churches that he is addressing. Keep in mind, there are many more churches, but John specifically addresses these 7. Notice first that there is no mention of Pope in these letters. Actually, quite the contrary. In Revelation 2:6 it says, "I hate the practice of the Nicolaitans". The word NICO- Means "conquering or supression of" and LAITY means "the people". It's the idea of a headship over the church. Why does he hate this? Because Jesus is the head of the church. No single man is supposed to govern the church. You can see what happens when one man governs the church by visiting this page.
Many Catholics misunderstand scripture. They need to look beyond the english translation. Many words in the Bible don't translate correctly into English. When Jesus called Peter the rock, Jesus was not installing Peter; He was speaking of Himself. Jesus was clearly referring to Peter’s confession that Christ is the Son of the Living God. The Greek language makes this crystal clear. The Greek word for Peter (little stone) is petros, which is in the masculine gender. The Greek word Jesus used for rock (a big boulder) is petra, which is in the feminine gender. Jesus identified Peter’s confession, not Peter, as the foundation of the church. This was nothing more than a play on words. To transliterate: “You are a little stone, and on your big boulder of a confession, I will build my church.” If Jesus intended to install Peter as the foundation of the church, a more clear and natural phrasing would have been: “You are Peter, and on you will I build My Church.” Peter actually confessed that Jesus is the Rock in 1 Peter 2:6-7.
Paul thought Jesus is the cornerstone, not Peter in Ephesians 2:19- 21.
Paul made it clear AGAIN who the foundation is in I Cor. 3:10- 11. To top this off the OT identified the rock as divine, not human
(Deut. 32:4; 32:18; 2 Samuel 22:3; 23:3; Isaiah 17: 10; Habakkuk 1: 12; multiple Psalms. Also, the old Testament prophets understood who the rock is (Isaiah 28:16) and finally Jesus considered Himself the rock and His teachings the foundation of the church (Matt. 7: 24).7.
Let's look at a few other things. In Matthew 16:21-23 Jesus rebukes Peter harshly, going so far as to call him "Satan" or a "stumbling stone". This obviously discounts Peter's role of authority.
We see later in scripture (Galatians 2:11-14) that Paul publicly rebuked Peter. If Peter was pope, then why would someone lesser rebuke him.
Next, the disciples never considered Peter was the Supreme Pontiff. In Matthew 18:1, the disciples asked Jesus, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Why would they ask if they just heard that Peter is the greatest in the kingdom? In this passage Jesus describes the greatest in the kingdom as a humble child, not a supreme pontiff.
Peter didn't identify himself as a pope when he called himself a bondservant in 2 Peter1:1 and a "Fellow Elder" in 1 Peter 5:1. If he was a fellow elder, then he was clearly communicating that he was of equal authority to the other elders.
Peter also shunned the idea of receiving attention and praise when he healed people in Ats 3:12-13.
If Jesus were alluding to the office of the Papacy, it is noteworthy we do not have any verses that describe, let alone define, such an office. Nor do you see a succession plan for an unbroken chain of popes.
The office of the Papacy robs God of His glory, which He will not give to another.
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