The NT Greek text of John 1:1 and following

A very useful walking through the Greek text of John 1:1-18 and other passages in the gospel of John that demonstrate the Deity of Christ. Very helpful in dealing with Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses / Arians and other Unitarians and Modalists, and other skeptics who attack the gospel of John and the Deity of Christ. Click on the John 1:1 category (on my sidebar to the right, scroll down to find) and Deity of Christ category for more details to help in defending sound Christian doctrine.

See More articles on this:

Greek Grammar on John 1:1 proves the truth of the Deity of Christ and points to the Trinity.

“And the Word was God”

The Qur’an calls Jesus “a Word from God”

Posted in Apologetics, Deity of Christ, Gospel according to John, Greek, John 1:1 | Leave a comment

Response to Paul Williams and Jewish Rabbi Tovia Singer

https://bloggingtheology.com/2021/03/31/blogging-theology-in-conversation-with-rabbi-tovia-singer/comment-page-1/#comment-56541

Paul Williams interviewed the Jewish Rabbi, Tovia Singer.

https://bloggingtheology.com/2021/03/31/blogging-theology-in-conversation-with-rabbi-tovia-singer/

Here is my response: Please listen to the whole discussion and you will see why I made the comments that I did. Of course Rabbi Tovia Singer rejects Jesus as Messiah and Son of God and calls the doctrines of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ high forms of blasphemy and heresy, along with substitutionary atonement. However, there are many things that the Rabbi said that also take down Paul Williams’ years long arguments; and both Paul Williams and Rabbi Singer left out lots of important information that refute their arguments:

Hey Paul,

I finally found some time to listen to this.  Sorry I have not had time to engage here much lately.  I also listened to most of your recent video with Richard Zetter (Steelman Apologetics).  

Rabbi Tovia Singer destroys Liberal and atheistic scholarship:

Getting back to Tovia Singer – what is so good about him is that he destroys your main thing – exalting secular modern higher critical scholarship, “university scholarship”, “Oxford, Yale, Cambridge” – ROTFLOL – Tovia Singer said basically, “religion is not about majority vote or democracy” and “higher critical scholarship is higher anti-Semitism”.  He destroyed the JEPD theory and secular scholarship.

“those are scholars who turned their backs on God”  – Tovia Singer

“gays and homosexuals have their “scholars” who have Phds who play with the text – “would you trust those scholars?”  

Boom !! 

“Jewish Study Bible and JEDP theory” = garbage !!”  (Singer) 

Rabbi Tovia Singer defends the Book of Daniel as written by Daniel around 530 BC

He also clearly believes the book of Daniel was written by Daniel around 530 BC, just as the book asserts.

Also, in his other video about “why do atheists claim the book of Daniel is a forgery?” – he destroyed your assertion that it is a forgery and a made up story – which you emphasized in your discussion with Richard Zetter.  (Thanks for mentioning me – what an honor to be known as a “fundamentalist” ( = one who holds onto the true faith” – the fundamental doctrines of the faith.)

Jewish Rabbi Tovia Singer admits that Daniel 9:26-27 is about the Romans destroying the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD

Also, it is very very interesting that Rabbi Tovia Singer admits that Daniel 9:26-27 (“destroy the city and sanctuary” and “a complete destruction”) is about the Romans (Vespasian and Titus) who destroyed the second temple in 70 AD.  That is a massive confession!!  

So, he is admitting the the 70 periods of seven years (Daniel 9:24-27) brings history up to the time of the Romans – the time of Jesus of Nazareth, (even though he rejects that the Messiah who is “cut off” before the destruction of the temple is Jesus) – Tovia Singer makes a great point that the word used twice for “destroy” is not the same concept as “desecrate” for the pig offered on the altar in 167 BC by Antiochus Epiphanes.  (Daniel 11:31 and 12:11).

Singer notes that Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and 28:3 mentions Daniel and his piety / righteousness and wisdom!!

You both have not studied the Greek Textual Apparatus of Luke 22:19-20

about Luke 22:19-20:

“All Greek manuscripts except D [Codex Bezae – 5th century] testify to the presence of Luke 22:19-20 in the account of the Last Supper.” 

Philip Comfort

(Philip Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary”, p. 232 (see page 231 for the Greek manuscripts that DO have it; and many are older than Codex Bezae.)

see extended discussion and about the order of the Passover meal – the cup first, etc.

p. 75 – @ 200 AD

Codex Siniaticus – 300s

Codex Vaticanus- 300s

Code Alexandrinus – 400s

Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus – 400s

etc.

see for yourself if you dare!  (many of the most important ones, and earlier than Codex Bezae) 

Liberal scholars in western Universities destroy faith and not worth studying under!

Thank you for admitting your NT professor – Lesbian liberal atheist Bridget Upton – that she did the same thing as what Singer was saying about liberal Jewish and atheist scholars.

The epistle of James itself refutes your argument, Paul Williams!

Paul, you need to read the epistle of James again – see James 2:1 – “the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ”

Tovia Singer about Jonah – he failed to mention Jonah 1:16 where the pagans offered blood sacrifices to Yahweh.

Jonah mentions that if God will save him, he will go to the temple and offer sacrifices – Jonah 2:7-9

Jonah cried out from the depths of Sheol – 2:2 – he died.  he was resurrected – 1:17, 2:10

The point is that there must also be repentance along with the ritual of blood sacrifice – BOTH.

Jonah 1:16

“They (the Canaanite sailors) feared the LORD (Yahweh) greatly and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD (Yahweh) and made vows.”

about wine and alcohol –

Singer:

“wine and alcohol are not intrinsically sinful because in the Qur’an they drink wine in paradise”

Boom !

It can be abused (drunkeness), but it is mentioned about 150 times in the OT and is positive – a joyful happy thing that God created for mankind, even though mankind abuses it most of the time.

moderation is key

Singer mentions the wine of love in the Song of Solomon

Do you believe in the prophet Muhammad?

Rabbi Tovia Singer :
“If I believed that Mohammed was a prophet then I would be a Muslim”

But I am not, so, no, I don’t believe he was a prophet from God.

He tried very hard to be gentle.

About Leviticus 16:15-17 and 19the Day of Atonements Yom Kipperim

the slaughter, blood sacrifice “for the holy place” is also “for the people”, and “because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions”

“and for all the assembly of Israel”

15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16 He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities. 17 When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.

Leviticus 16:15-17

With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.

Leviticus 16:19

The two goats and their atonements are combined in the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, who was slaughtered as a guilt offering and sin offering, and also who carried sins away, bore them away.

Star Trek Trivia !

The background of where Leornard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) of Star Trek got the Vulcan sign for peace and live long and prosper was great – the Jewish blessing from the priest onto the people in Numbers 6:23-26.

very interesting!

My favorite TV show for many years, and still is.

Liberal University scholarly Professors – many are Lesbians, atheists, homosexuals

Thank you for admitting your NT professor – Lesbian liberal atheist Bridget Upton – that she did the same thing as what Singer was saying about liberal Jewish and atheist scholars.

– they destroy faith

The gospel according to Luke and the book of Acts does teach about substitutionary atonement for sin

Along with Luke 22:19-20 and 24:25-27 and 24:44-47 and Acts 3:18 and 17:2-3 and 26:22-23, (all the prophets and Moses testify that the Messiah had to suffer and die for sins, and be raised from the dead)

Another massive verse in Luke-Acts that demonstrates substitutionary blood atonement:

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Acts 20:28

Also clearly teaches the Deity of Christ – it is saying that Jesus is God. “The church of God = the church of Jesus Christ, which He purchased with His own blood”

Boom !!

Also, Acts 8:31-35 quotes from Isaiah 53:7-8 and Luke tells us, “beginning from this passage of Scripture, he preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35)So, stop saying Luke did not believe in substitutionary atonement.Ridiculous!

“to suffer” comes from the Greek, “pasko”, “pathein” παθεινm- where we also get our English word, “passion” (to suffer intensely, desire for someone to be willing to suffer for them)and is used several times in Luke about the sufferings of Christ the Messiah.

Luke 9:22; 17:25; 22:15; 24:26; 24:46so, where does Singer get this crazy idea that Luke is absent of passion?

Posted in Answering Jewish objections to Jesus, Apologetics, Gospel according to Luke, Isaiah 53, Islam, Leviticus, Liberal Theology, Messiah in OT in work of atonement, Muslims, OT Prophetic Texts, OT scholarship, Substitutionary Atonement, The Book of Daniel | Leave a comment

Tradition

See my article on “Tradition”, that goes with other recent discussions of the Rule of Faith in the early church and the responses to Roman Catholic John Fisher.

https://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2016/04/tradition.html

Posted in Apologetics, Papacy, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism, The rule of Faith | Comments Off on Tradition

Part 2 of third response to John Fisher

3rd Response to John Fisher on the Papacy. (part 2 of Response # 3) My response is in blue.

see part 1 of 3rd response from earlier post.

Also, see the Rule of Faith in the early church.

It’s at this point that Ken begins with an avalanche of objections.

Paul rebuked Peter in Galatians 2. That was a big deal! This is why Irenaeus rebuked Victor (180–200 ?); why Tertullian mocked Calixtus (200 ?) (or whoever it was that he mockingly called “Pontifex Maximus”, why Cyprian, Firmillian and 85 other bishops all over rebuked Stephen and said, “no one sets himself up as “bishop of bishops” and “by tyrannical terror” = “lord it over the other areas” and interfere with other local churches, etc.Paul objected to Peter’s actions, not his doctrine. Furthermore, the purpose of Paul’s point was that no one was above criticism, even someone with such great authority as the Pope.  

This is very weak, because the entire letter of Galatians revolve’s around the issue of justification by faith and not by works (which means “alone” = apart from works) and Peter’s behavior and hypocrisy are part of Paul’s argument against the Judaizers.

Tertullian was a heretic, and I really have little respect for his opinion, let alone his polemics, to count him as an authority.

I don’t really care what the RC thinks about Tertullian – in my opinion, he wrote some really great things that comport more with Biblical truth and in some areas, are in line more with Protestant faith. (not all, but on some things)  I respect him greatly for his understanding of “the brothers of the Lord” – that Mary and Joseph had a normal sexual marriage after Jesus was born.  This comports more with Matthew 1:25 and 12:46-50 and 13:55 and other synoptic parallels.  Also, Tertullian did not think Mary was sinless.  No human is infallible, except Jesus.  Tertullian was right on waiting for children to be baptized until the age when they can understand the gospel and then repent and believe.  

The rebuking of Pope St. Stephan I by St. Cyprian was uncalled for, 

No; it was a good call by him and 86 other bishops!

and it was Stephan’s view that won out in the Latin Church. 

A grave mistake of later historical theology.  Since it is unBiblical, we are free and in our right to reject the later churches’ judgement.

According to [E.W. Benson, Stephan “triumphed, and in him, the Church of Rome triumphed, as she deserved”[6]. St. Cyprian, while a Saint for his martyrdom, was not vindicated.

History says otherwise, since 86 other local bishops also agreed with Cyprian (and Firmillian, etc.)

Furthermore, the disobedience of someone does not entail they don’t recognize your authority. The Lefebvrean schism is testimony to this.

It is not disobedience, since Stephen (bishop of Rome around 251-257 AD) had no authority to command the other areas and bishops and interfere in their jurisdictions.  The Eastern Greek church agrees and is one of the main issues of contention to this day between RC and EO. And Stephen carries no authority for us today at all, as do none of the Popes of history.

Popes anathematized Pope Honorius of the 600s into the 900s AD — they knew at the time (600s to 900s AD) there was no such thing earlier in history as the 1870 claims, and so Ignaz Von Dollinger and lord John Acton’s response to the 1870 infallibility claim was right — those 2 were right to question it. Pius IX reportedly said, “I am the tradition!” when Von Dollinger said that the claims of Vatican I (1870) were not tradition. That doctrine was not there in history or the flowing of tradition through the centuries.

An apocryphal story is not really admissible, but this strikes me as awesome and I really hope Pius IX did say this.

Is it really apocryphal?  The fact that you think it is awesome just reinforces our position of the arrogance (and obvious error of the office and claims) of the Popes in history (there are many examples – especially Stephen VI (in the Cadaver Trial of Formosos), Boniface VIII (1302 Unam Sanctam), Leo X (vs. Luther, and using Indulgences to fund the building of St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome), Pius IX, etc.)

As to the claim of Pope Honorius, he was not infallibly exercising his teaching. 

No.  The evidence is against you on this.  If subsequent Popes in their ceremony to become Pope, kept repeating, “Anathema on Pope Honorius of Rome”, etc. for 300 to 400 years – then this just proves the whole claim that it was not “ex cathedra” is wrong.

As noted by Joseph Hergenrother, in response to Dollinger,

the letters of Honorius were private letters and not synodical epistles [7]

It does not matter.  It does not pass the smell test, since he was formally condemned as a heretic for centuries! by an Ecumenical council ! by formal installment ceremonies of subsequent Popes !

As a private individual communicated to a patriarch, and not teaching to the whole Church, he was not exercising his infallible authority.

The formality of 300-400 years subsequent to that of having to say it the ceremony, “Anathema to Honorius” (and Sergius, etc.) proves that it was a formal official teaching intended to communicate to the entire church, no matter what another Pope 1,000 years later says.  (1870 trying to play anachronisms with the 600s to the 900s AD)  This is documented in William Webster’s “The Matthew 16 Controversy”.

 As the Relatio to Pastor Aeternus reminds us,

For the Pope is only infallible when, exercising his function as teacher of all Christians and therefore representing the whole Church, he judges and defines what must be believed or rejected by all [8]

The claim constantly dies with a 1,000 qualifications, as George Salmon rightly wrote in his book, “The Infallibility of the Church” (1888)

Ken then wishes that I clarify this point from my original post,

However, note that as individuals, the other apostles never can exercise that power, since it was promised to the whole, not just to them individually. To assume he did by dint of the fact they were a part of the college seems to be a fallacy of division. Whereas Peter himself was given the key and the power directly as an individual, and not merely as part of the twelve.

‘By dint’ means ‘as a result of something’. For example, “he was promoted by dint of being the manager’s son”. My point is that Peter does not get the power of binding and loosing as a result of being a part of the greater apostolic college. Rather, it is a result of being given the keys directly. 

And the meaning and outworking of that is clear in Matthew 18:18, John 20:23, Acts 2, 10-11 and 15 – Peter is the first to exercise the keys of the kingdom by preaching, and the other apostles are also given the same authority; and subsequently all Christians are to evangelize and declare forgiveness if a person repents and trusts Christ and there is not forgiveness for those that don’t repent and believe.  The Great commission is for the church as a whole (Matthew 28:18-20), not just the church in Rome with a Pope.

Whereas the other apostles are never given the keys as individuals, but rather are only given one function of the keys, together, as a group. To assume the individuals could exercise that power because they were a part of the same collection is the fallacy of division. It would be like assuming because a plane could fly, an airplane engine could take off on its own.

The Apostles appointed elders for each church. (Acts 14:23)  There is no mono- episcopate there.  All elders are also overseers (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4) 

Ken objects that,

the context and grammar of starting with the plural “said to them” (autois — plural) and “you”, both in Matthew 16:15 (But who do you (humeis Ὑμεῖς — plural) say that I am?”)

While true, Jesus opens the question to all, in the 17th passage he reveals that,

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you [soi σοι — singular ], but my Father who is in heaven.

Yes I know that; it does nothing to the claim of 1870 anachronistically read back into the text.  As I explained before, the history of the subsequent Biblical history demonstrates how Peter was a rock and exercised the keys of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 18, Acts 2, 10-11, & 15.

It was Peter alone that the Father chose to first reveal this truth to so that Jesus might elicit it when the Father could have revealed it to anyone.

Ken says,

even though later singling out Peter later, demonstrates that Peter is part of the twelve as a whole group.

But no one doubts Peter is a part of the Twelve, but it doesn’t mean therefore the rest receive those powers.

Yes it does, as Matthew 18 and John 20:23 demonstrate.

Ken writes,

No; the communion (fellowship and unity between churches in history) is in agreement with the doctrine that Peter spoke about Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”, not communion with him as person in Rome, centuries later, through a bishop, wearing a mitre hat, etc. The communion is the common faith of all Christians who are to go and proclaim the truth of the gospel — if you trust in Christ, you are forgiven; if you don’t, you are still in your sins and not forgiven.

Jesus gives no one else the power to forgive sins other than the apostles. Jesus tells them in John 20:23

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained

The sins are forgiven by the apostles, if they refuse to do this, they are retained. Jesus does not say “If you refuse to preach to any their sins are forgiven, they are not forgiven; if preach that they are, their sins will be forgiven”.

Except that is the meaning, to the response of the preaching of the gospel, if one repents and believes, as when Paul said it in Acts 13:38-39 (forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you) and the whole NT screams this – having eternal life means forgiveness of sins – Luke 24:44-47; John 20:30-31; John 5:24; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10, etc.

Ken writes,

Peter is a foundation in the sense of being the first to preach the message in Acts 2 and being the first to break through the barriers with the Gentiles in Acts 10–11, providing the background of Acts 15.

There is nothing in Matthew 16 that tells us Peter’s role is limited to a preaching capacity. I agree that preaching is a part of it, but it’s not limited to it.

It is not a matter of “limiting”. If a person responds with repentance and faith, then they are forgiven of their sins, have eternal life; they are saved.  (Mark 1:15; John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; Luke 24:44-47; Luke 13:1-5; etc.)

After that, Peter fades from the scene. There is no Papacy. If there was such a thing, he would have mentioned in his 2 letters and the content of those letters are negatives for the Roman Catholic understanding of the Papacy.

He literally writes a letter from Rome to the various Churches around Asia (twice).

Agreed.

 I don’t think he’s fading from the scene, 

I meant in Acts 16-28.  I did not mean canonically.  1 and 2 Peter give more weight to Biblical truth and are closer to Protestant principles that to Papalism, as we will see.  (all Christians are priests (1 Peter 2:4-10; no sucessor or bishop or Papacy is mentioned in 2 Peter 1:12-21 to prepare them for after he is to die, rather a focus on Scripture; Peter calls himself “fellow-elder” in 1 Peter 5:1)

and that’s probably something that’s expected from the Pope, especially when the Church in Rome faces such persecution. Unless there was some greater obligation from Peter, I don’t see a reason why another Apostle didn’t write them. While it is true they were all under some level of persecution, at the very least we know Paul had the advantage over Peter by being a Roman citizen, and none of the rest of the Apostles were in the very heart of the empire.

Furthermore, this ultimately boils down to an argument from silence. Are we supposed to think, along with liberal scholars, that that the virgin birth was an innovation because Paul never speaks of it?

non-sequitur, since the virgin birth of Christ is clear in Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2.  You are not arguing with a liberal, but a believing Evangelical Reformed Baptist Protestant.

Ken continues,

The rock behind Peter is Jesus Christ, the foundation under him and the apostles. Jesus is the rock behind Peter’s ministry. 1 Corinthians 10:4 — “The rock was Christ” and 1 Corinthians 3:11 — Christ is the foundation. All the apostles (plural, apostles and prophets) laid down the foundation on which the church is built, Jesus Christ being the cornerstone. (see Ephesians 2:19–20) We see this played out in the book of Acts and the first century.

The issue with this reading is that Jesus doesn’t say “I am the rock”. 

But that is the import with all the rest of Scripture, as in 1 Cor. 10:4 and 1 Cor. 3:11, which I have already made clear. Peter is a rock because Jesus is a stronger rock behind him, and God the Father is the rock in the OT that is the stability of the believers in Israel. 

The phrasing doesn’t allow for this.

wrong.

Peter’s name, meaning “rock”, and being given the name, lends itself more naturally to him. Furthermore, the flow of the passages lends Peter as the subject for all three verses (Matt 16:17–19).

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,

and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,

and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Nothing there that contradicts or refutes what I am saying. 

Furthermore, making Jesus the rock makes a mess of the analogy. 

This argument is Irrelevant to my point.

Is Jesus the foundation, or the builder? Why doesn’t Jesus simply say he is both,

The rest of Scritpure demonstrates that Jesus is both.

 rather than mixing up the analogy by potentially confusing himself with another person?

While it is true Peter is the rock to the rock, being delegated that power, that doesn’t detract from Christ’s power any more than Eliakim denigrated the power of David when he was given the key (Isaiah 22).

Lastly, a metaphor can be applied in multiple different ways. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:10 that he is a builder, does that mean no one can build upon the Church other than Paul? While no one can lay another foundation, other than Christ, it does not mean Christ himself cannot lay one since he isn’t bound to the same restrictions.

Again, Isaiah 22 is demonstrated more in Rev. 3:7 (and Rev. 1:18) as the root of the authority of the Messiah, which all the apostles preached.  Jesus is the one who has the keys to death and hades – by the preaching and evangelism of churches all throughout history, if a person repents and believes in Christ, they are forgiven, have eternal life, are saved.   It is not about Peter or his successors centuries later in the city of Rome.

Ken cites Cyprian who says,

“And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;” yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honor and power;but the beginning proceeds from unity.

And that’s fair enough, I don’t deny there wasn’t a consensus among the Fathers on this issue. Doctrine does develop, and that’s a point that’s affirmed by the Catholic Church. However, a point of context, Cyrpian’s personal theology seems to have gone against the actual governance of the Church. In his letter to Saint Stephan, he writes,

Let letters be directed by you into the province and to the people abiding at Arles, by which, Marcian being excommunicated, another may be substituted in his place, and Christ’s flock, which even to this day is contemned as scattered and wounded by him, may be gathered together. Let it suffice that many of our brethren have departed in these late years in those parts without peace [9]

Cyprian seems to need Stephan to excommunicate Marcian, the bishop of Arles, so that another may take his place. But why the Church in Gaul would need the Bishop of Rome to do this is beyond me. 

That seems to be a natural practice that started in church history, (it does not mean it was biblical though) because Rome was respected as the capital of the Roman Empire and as one of the apostolic sees (seeds where apostles planted churches), along with others in the east – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople (those, along with Rome, are the 5 main apostolic sees of the first 3-400 years).  The only western one out of the 5.   N. Africa looked to Rome, because N. Africa was a Latinized area of the Berber people, as Christianity spread there from Rome by ships. A natural practice does not mean “bishop of bishops” or a “Pope” in the 1054 (split with EO) sense, or 1302 (Unam Sanctum) sense or 1870 sense.

Rome at this time seems to be exerting more power, and Cyprian has to write to make this happen.

However, just because Cyprian rejects the view of the First Vatican council, does not mean what Ken believes it does. Ken thinks

It is obvious that Cyprian understood that all the apostles had an equal power, honor, and authority. “The beginning proceeds from unity” means what I was trying to communicate by showing the beginning of the church in Acts chapter 2 — Peter gives the first (beginning) sermon, and in Acts 10–11 Peter begins formal outreach to the Gentiles, which James emphasizes in Acts 15:14

While he did believe they had equal power, Cyprian did not say Peter was the first because he preached to the Gentiles. 

And yet, that is the meaning of the historical narrative in the gospel and Acts – John 20:23 to Acts 2 to Acts 10-11 to Acts 15. 

He only affirmed the power among all the apostles, not all the believers. Even during the time of Cyprian and Firmilian, they still needed Stephan to exercise his power.

No they did not, since they rejected his interference in 87 total bishoprics all over the east and N. Africa.

Ken goes from citing Cyprian’s rebellion,

It is not rebellion.  You are assuming Papal authority again.  It is Stephen who is rebelling against the Scriptures.

 a point which I don’t really see undermining the Catholic position for the above reasons, to citing 2 Peter.

Peter says, he says he is about to die (1:14–15), and in 3:1, “this is the second letter I am writing to you” and that “by being diligent” (1:12–15) before he dies, he is leaving them with something written down. After Peter is dead, the churches he wrote to will be able to remember and stir up their sincere minds in the truth, because he wrote it down and then they can read it — so they will be able to call these things to mind. If there was any truth to the Papacy or Mono-episcopate, he would have written, “after I am dead, go to your bishop and get the truth from him.” Instead, Peter focuses and emphasizes the written word.

Peter focuses and emphasizes his own written word.

Are we to understand Peter had the clairvoyance to foresee his words would be scripture? 

I would not call it “clairvoyance”; rather maybe “prophetic” and definitely inspiration (as an apostle), as that is import of the entire passage, 1:12-21 – and 3:1 and 3:16 – the emphasis is written Scripture, which is inspired by God (theopneustos), which Peter explains in different words, “men carried along by the Holy Spirit”, etc.  He is writing with apostolic authority.

Or, that Peter knew the authority of his office. 

Yes, as an apostle with authority to write inspired Scripture. But not as a “Pope” (bishop over all other bishops).  no such thing as a Pope in the NT nor early centuries.

Given that there is nothing in the letter to indicate prophecy, the latter seems more likely. Contrary to what Ken thinks, this seems to help rather than hurt the Catholic claim.

Not at all, since Peter moves from his eyewitness experience of the Transfiguration (Mark 9, Matthew 17), to “we have the prophetic word made more sure” (1:19) to the writing of Scripture (1:20-21) to the inspiration of Paul’s letters (3:15-16), if you notice the flow of what he is saying, he is claiming apostolic authority to write inspired Scripture. 

Ken writes,

Fisher again: “Having the power is not sufficient to show one has the keys, since they were neither given the foundation of the Church

Every Biblical church has the foundation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, the meaning of the cross and the resurrection.

 nor the promise of the gates not triumphing against them.”

This cannot be since “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” means the instrument that will open the door for people to enter the kingdom of heaven = preaching the gospel and proclaiming forgiveness, which I why I quoted from Acts 13:38–39 and now, in this response, Acts 15:8–14 — all people can enter into the kingdom of heaven by repentance and faith in Christ (Mark 1:14–15 — “repent and believe”) — see further Romans 10:9–10; John 20:30–31; Acts 16:31; John 5:24; 3:16, Ephesians 2:8–9, etc.

I don’t see how he goes from the instruments that will open the door to enter the Kingdom of heaven = preaching the gospel and proclaiming forgiveness from the verses. 

that is exactly what happens when a person responds to the gospel – the doors to the kingdom of God are opened and the person is saved and forgiven by Christ; they get eternal life.  This is a great difference between RCs and believing Protestants / Evangelicals – those who hold to the gospel.  (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the subsequent Protestant movements that held to Sola Fide.)

Does Peter also have the power to prevent people from accessing heaven by binding the door? Do believers have the power to withhold access to belief and repentance? if not then the power of binding seems rather redundant.

The authority is there in evangelism in John 20:23, Luke 24:44-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2, etc. and the authority to do church disciple is there in Matthew 18:15-20

Lastly, as we went over the apostles had the power to forgive sins, not all believers. 

It is not an authority like a RC priest, who claims “ex opere operator” powers.  But, the Lord Himself is the one who has the power and authority and it comes when a person responds rightly to the gospel.  Romans 1:16-17 – the gospel is the power of God to save any person who repents and believes in Christ.    Your statement is wrong, according to the NT.  God in Christ forgives sins, by faith (repentance and faith – Mark 1:15).  Evangelism has within it, if the person responds rightly, the power is from God, and we can proclaim that promise.  All elders / overseers / pastors have local church authority to do church disciple (Matthew 18:15-20)

This is affirmed by Cyril,

For He thought it meet that they who have once been endued with the Spirit of Him Who is God and Lord, should have power also to remit or retain the sins of whomsoever they would, the Holy Spirit That dwelt in them remitting or retaining them according to His Will, though the deed were done through human instrumentality.

They who have the Spirit of God remit or retain sins in two ways, as I think. For they invite to Baptism those to whom this sacrament is already due from the purity of their lives, and their tried adherence to the faith; and they hinder and exclude others who are not as yet worthy of the Divine grace. And in another sense, also, they remit and retain sins, by. rebuking erring children of the Church, and granting pardon to those who repent [10]

Which Cyril is this?  Cyril of Jerusalem or Cyril of Alexandria ?

or another Cyril?  Cyril Lucaris?  There are many Cyrils in church history.

baptism is “due from the purity of their lives” ?  So they have to clean up their lives first, before they can be baptized?  “not yet worthy of Divine grace” ? – wow, both of these statements seem to contradict the NT teaching and order of 1. repentance and faith, and 2. then baptism

This is also affirmed by Saint Gregory the Great,

The power to forgive the sins, which the Lord gives to the apostles and their successors, is a great honor, but also a heavy responsibility. The preacher takes to task his confreres in the episcopate as to the manner of administering this sacrament [11]

Has no meaning for Biblical faith or doctrine.  By Gregory’s time (590-604 AD), the church was being corrupted by the doctrine of Purgatory and ex opere operato priestly claims of power (acts like magic) and prayers to Mary and dead saints and icons and statues.  Getting wet and saying words over a baby does nothing to the baby.  There must be understanding of sin first, repentance and faith, then baptism.  Tertullian was right on that also.  (on Baptism, 18) 

Ken continues,

Peter was the beginning and unity of the faith of the early church and in several ways, it started with him, historically, being the main preacher in Acts 2, and the breakthrough of the gospel to the Gentiles, in Acts 10–11 and James mentions this in Acts 15, which I have already documented.

But this neglects the fact Peter was the leader of the Apostles. 

No it does not; it is actually affirming what the NT means by him being the leader and dominant one and getting the keys first.

It’s not surprising he would be the first to preach among them. In the Gospels, among the Twelve, he is listed first. As David Armstrong explains,

Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (see Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him “the first” (10:2). (Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.) [12]

I debated Dave Armstrong a lot over many years (from around 2004 to 2014)  before he moved his blog to “Patheos” (a terrible website, too busy, annoying web-site, full of overcrowding, pop-up advertisements, distractions; a really terrible design. I remember that article; read it long time ago.

The Greek word for “the first” (prōtos) could mean either first in order of importance, or first in a chronological sense. Given that Matthew and Luke aren’t in the same order, it seems more likely that Peter is mentioned as first in the sense of importance.

Says nothing about a bishop in Rome centuries later.

Ken writes,

since Matthew 18 is the only other passage in the Gospel according to Matthew with the word “church” in it, and it follows along with the same “binding and loosing” language as Matthew 16, it demonstrates the authority is given to all the apostles there in Matthew 18, and so, by principle, later, to leaders of the local church to do church discipline

But he seems to be ignoring the issue. In Isaiah 22, without reference to the Key, Eliakim would still have the power to open and shut, but that would not be similar enough to the power granted to Peter, but would not be sufficient to show much if the key was not there.

But Ken points out there are other reasons to think the other apostles have the keys, including the fact that the powers of binding and loosing are there, as well as the fact the word “Church” is there. But it doesn’t follow that they received it from the keys directly (which again, isn’t in the text) or that it is an extension of Peter’s authority.

Yes it does since it was extended to all the apostles in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:23.

Both seem equally possible. Furthermore, their power is more limited since, as stated earlier, it is given to them as a group, whereas Peter is still the only person we know that was given this power as a part of the group and as an individual.

Ken goes on,

which will mean to other elders / pastors / overseers (local churches) in history. (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5–7; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1–4) Jesus has the keys of death and hades (Revelation 1:18) and the key to open and shut in Revelation 3:7. The NT develops Matthew 16 to Matthew 18 to Rev. 1:18 to 3:7.

But if Ken wishes to take this reading seriously, who gave Ken (or his pastor) this power? 

The NT teaches this.  All the passages that say “if you repent and believe in Christ, you are forgiven, have eternal life, are justified, are saved”, etc.

Galatians 2:15-21; Romans 1:16-17; 3:28-4:16; John 1:12-13; 3:16; 3:18; 5:24; 11:25; 20:30-31; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9, etc.

If he says by the faithful or by preaching the word, his own authority disagrees with him. Cyprian says that it must be delegated from the apostles,

These are they who of their own accord, without any divine arrangement, set themselves to preside among the daring strangers assembled, who appoint themselves prelates without any law of ordination, who assume to themselves the name of bishop, although no one gives them the episcopate; whom the Holy Spirit points out in the Psalms as sitting in the seat of pestilence, plagues, and spots of the faith, deceiving with serpent’s tongue, and artful in corrupting the truth, vomiting forth deadly poisons from pestilential tongues; whose speech does creep like a cancer, whose discourse forms a deadly poison in the heart and breast of every one [13].

The “law of ordination” is in the NT – Titus chapter 1, 1 Timothy chapter 3; 1 Peter 5:1-4, and other passages – by the qualifications for eldership / overseer / pastor being laid out there.

Clearly, Cyprian holds that the bestowal of the episcopate is a divine arrangement, requiring a proper ordination. We’ll keep this in mind for later.

But going back to the various citations of the Key, yes, they are Christ’s in light of being both God and the successor of David, but he can delegate that power to others, and he does it first through Peter. 

Yes, and then to all the other apostles, and then to all biblical churches of properly ordained elders.  The RCC has no exclusive right on those promises or principles.  Especially since the RCC anathematized the heart of the gospel at the Council of Trent, and has other unBiblical doctrines and practices for centuries, it has no authority and is a false church since the Council of Trent, 1545-1563.  All biblical churches have the faith of Peter the apostle.

But unlike the Apostles and the other bishops, he is the only one who spoke through the revelation of the Father, who was the only one who was promised that the gates of hell would not overcome him, and the only individual who was promised the power to bind and loose.

Ken writes (in response to me)

The gates of hades (death) not overcoming the church = the second death has no power over true believers.  (see Rev. 1:18; 2:11; 20:6; 20:14-15; 21:8; 21:27)

The “alone” of “by Faith Alone”, Sola Fide = apart from works, not by works, etc.

What part of “apart from the works of the law” (Acts 13:38–39; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1–16) and “apart from works” (Ephesians 2:8–9) and “not because of righteous deeds which we have done” (Titus 3:5) do Roman Catholics not understand? Just because the word “alone” is not there does there means nothing, because “alone” in the “Sola Fide” terse slogan is the meaning of all the Scriptural data (see above) of “not by works”, “not by works of the law”, etc.

He never justified why dikaioó shouldbe translated as ‘justified’ and not ‘freed’. But in response to the question “works of the law” and ‘apart from works’, concerns the works of the Jewish law. 

Are you saying all the NT texts are just meaning ceremonial law, circumcision, food laws, feast laws, etc.? You are unnecessarily limiting what the apostle Paul means by “not by the works of the law”, since God’s law includes His moral law, which no human being is able to keep or do by earning until they are regenerated. Unless you want to affirm the heretic Pelagius?

The law of God is all of the law – the moral law included.  No one is able to earn salvation by obedience to the moral law either. Romans 7 and Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5 make that even more explicit.

These have been superseded by the New Covenant, which no longer requires being a Jew and following the law, 

Ok, agreed, but still, the texts are including all the law – not just the ceremonial laws and circumcision.

but faith to enter in through baptism.

Yes, and an infant cannot exercise faith in Christ, so they should not be baptized.

That’s why Titus 3:5 reads,

he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit

That is not baptism.  It is a spiritual washing of the reality of regeneration.  “cleansing their hearts by faith” Peter said, Acts 15:8. “believe in your heart, and you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10) Water baptism is an outward symbol and picture of the gospel’s inward reality, that is assumed to have already taken place in the heart, by the person’s profession of faith.  The word baptism is not used in the Titus 3:5 passage, and so with the text talking about the Holy Spirit’s work, the “washing” is an internal work of God, not an outward action that causes something to happen in the heart.  Regeneration is an inward washing.  The emphasis in the NT is that repentance and faith is the human response to the gospel and it is God who mysteriously and sovereignly chooses when to draw a person to regeneration (Acts 16:14; John 6:44; 2 Cor. 4:6; Ephesians 2:4-5).  It is not a mechanical ex opere operato action by a RCC priest; getting wet and for a priest to say words over a baby, for example, does not cause regeneration – water baptism does not cause regeneration at all.  But water baptism is evidence of regeneration, that a person who is old enough to understand the gospel and then repents and believes, then they are baptized (immersed) in water as a testimony to the church of their commitment to the Lord, and a gospel picture / symbol of God’s work of grace in the heart.  A person’s desire to be baptized is evidence that they are already regenerated.

The reason why the Old Testament rites are defunct is that unlike the sacraments of the New Testament, they do not bestow grace.

God bestows grace sovereignly, mysteriously (John 3:8), invisibly, directly into the heart through the word of God, by repentance and faith (justification) and spiritual growth (sanctification, which includes Biblical church membership, etc. – but not RCC), not by a priest saying words over a person or over water and waving his hands, etc.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. — John 1:17

Ok. we agree there. no problem.

As Saint Thomas Aquinas explains in his commentary on Galatians 5:4,

Then when he [Paul] says, You are made void of Christ, he proves what he said, namely, that they must not embrace the observances of the Law, because it involves a double injury: first, the loss of Christ; secondly, the loss of grace. Moreover, the first is the cause of the second, because you who are justified in the law are fallen from grace

He says therefore, You are made void of Christ. As if to say: Verily Christ will profit you nothing, because you are made void of Christ, i.e., of living in Christ. The second injury is the loss of grace. Hence he says: you are fallen from grace,, i.e., you who were full of the grace of Christ, “because of his fulness we have all received” (Jn 1:16); “The heart of a fool is like a broken vessel and no wisdom at all shall it hold” (Sir 22:17). You, I say, who are justified in the law, i.e., who believe that you are justified, are fallen — “Be mindful, therefore, from whence thou art fallen and do penance” (Rev 2:5). — from grace, namely, from possessing future happiness or even from the grace you once had.[14]

Not really relevant to our discussion, IMO.

The law, being devoid of grace, profits nothing. However, there are plenty of verses to show sacraments of the NT provide grace, such as baptism. Baptism, which we can only access by faith. Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:21, etc.

“sacraments” do not confer grace automatically (ex opere operato) by a RC priest.  The ordinances of baptism and eucharist (thanksgiving) (or the Lord’s supper) are living pictures, illustrations, symbols, of the gospel and the reality of the gospel in the heart of believers.  Their physical accomplishment / exercise of doing them does nothing in themselves; they do not cause grace to come into the person.  Grace is not something that is “a thing”.  It is a spiritual power that happens by God’s sovereignty and freedom, in response to repentance and faith in justification and then is strengthened by growth in holiness and sanctification.

Ken writes,

Water baptism is the result of true faith, and evidence that one truly entrusts himself to Christ. (This is clear in Justin Martyr’s writings) The apostle Paul indicates that baptism is not part of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 1:13–17 — verse 17 “for Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel . . . “ It is important, and part of “making disciples”, but not part of the gospel proclamation. Rather it is a result of the gospel being accepted by the person.

Justin Martyr says no such thing. In fact, in the First Apology, he writes,

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them.

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, . . . “ – This shows there was evangelism and a process of a person being persuaded and they thought about the gospel first, and repented and believed in Christ first, being convinced and there was teaching, and thinking (what we say is true), etc. – Justin Martyr precludes any and all infant baptism. 

This is Justin Martyr’s expression of a person making a commitment to Christ (John 1:12; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10) – first there must be understanding of the gospel and sin, repentance and faith – before baptism.  That is what I meant.  It is not for infants. It is closer to a Protestant Baptist position than all the padeo-baptism perspectives.

Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. [John 3:5] Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers’ wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins…And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed [15]

Tim Kauffman (Presbyterian) puts enough holes in the claim that the early taught unanimously “baptismal regeneration”:  Even if Justin meant what RCs and others say he meant, if he meant that, he was wrong on that issue.   Getting wet in a church and having Latin words said over you does nothing!  Regeneration happens by God’s Spirit in the heart, at the time when a person repents and believes in Christ.  (John 3:8; Acts 15:8; John 7:37-39; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13)  Unfortunately, the early church interpreted John 3:5 wrong.  The “water” there is not about baptism, but about the internal cleansing when God gives a new heart, as in Ezekiel 36:25-27.  

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/refutation-of-baptismal-regeneration-in-the-early-church/

As to 1 Corinthians 1:13–17, the conversion is not baptism, no one will dispute that, but all that means is that Paul’s role was preaching, and not baptism. Also, even if Paul was not baptizing, he is still preaching baptism as part of the Gospel message. Peter himself preached baptism in Acts,

And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit — Acts 2:38

“for the forgiveness of your sins” goes with repentance; and baptism naturally follows in true believer’s hearts.  This is probably an example of the grammatical structure of “causal eis”, as in Matthew 12:41 – “they repented at (eis/ εις = or because of) the preaching of Jonah”  (or “with reference to”)

Ken then goes into a series of personal attacks, but these don’t entail that anything I said is false.

These “personal attacks” are valid criticisms of modern Roman Catholicism and its Popes, who seem to emphasize unity with false religions, rather than challenging them in evangelism.  John Paul 2 should have preached the gospel to Buddhists and Muslims and “Mother Teresa” confessed in her writing that she did not preach the gospel to dying Hindus and Buddhists; rather she told them to prepare to meet their own “gods”.  see more here:

So, only the apostles had the authority to do evangelism? Is that why Roman Catholics are so weak in the practice of evangelism and missions in recent years? (especially since Vatican 2) We see modern Popes doing all sorts of “kum baya” type ecumenical meetings with Buddhists and Muslims, but we don’t hear them actually preaching the gospel message to them. It seems like a major emphasis of modern Roman Catholic apologetics is focused on winning Protestants to their church, rather than reaching unbelievers with the simple NT message of the gospel. The emphasis is “convert to the RC Church”; “come home to the Church”, rather than “repent and believe in Christ”.

I never claimed only the apostles had the power to evangelize, I claimed that only they had the power to forgive sins. In fact, it is because we have the power to witness that it would not make sense for Christ to say it was only to the Apostles who had that power.

You are making an unwarranted massive division between evangelism and the 2 responses to evangelism – it is obvious by the NT that a positive response to hearing the gospel – repentance and faith – results in forgiveness of sins, eternal life and we can tell people this.  Rejection of the gospel is the “retaining” of sins or announcing “no forgiveness”.   That is flow of the revelation of Matthew 16 to Matthew 18:18 and John 20:23 to the spread of the church by evangelism and missions, all through history.

Peter says to all the saints who are also priests in 1 Peter 2:4–10 that they are all “to proclaim the excellencies of Him who brought them out of darkness into His marvelous light”. (verse 9) All authority has been given to Christ after the resurrection (see Matthew 28:18), “therefore, go . . . make disciples of all nations . . . “ (verse 19) That commission and authority continues to today.

None of these verses claim that people’s sins are forgiven by dint of believing (not the full sense of trusting) the Gospel message.

Are you Canadian also (like Allan Ruhl ?)  I have never heard this expression “by dint of” – why not just say, “as a result of”; or “because of” ? (or “by reason of”? 

You keep using that expression, and it throws me off, as I am not familiar with it.

Ken writes,

All of Scripture is from one unity — God Himself. So there is no need for Luke to mention Peter “as a rock”, etc. I repeat this section because chronologically, Acts 2, 10–11, and 15 are the historical events that show “the beginning of the unity” of Matthew 16. Mark 8 and Luke 9 are parallel with Matthew 16. (one historical event) There is no contradiction just because Luke does mention some of the details.

True, but scripture is written by various authors with their own writing styles, which is why we should expect some continuity between the authors when they press on in their work.

agreed; but that does nothing to advance your argumentation.

Ken continues,

It has nothing to do with Isaiah 22:22 in the sense of trying to show some kind of Papal authority or secession of bishops; rather the key is a Messianic key — the house of David, and Jesus has that in Revelation 1:18 and 3:7 — Jesus is the authority and ultimate rock and foundation. Peter and the apostles’ authority is secondarily derived from Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

The idea that the delegation of a Key of the king to a minister has nothing to do with another delegation of keys to an appointed leader seems like a stretch.

It is actually your exegesis that is a stretch to get Papal doctrines, papal office in Rome, centuries later in the text of Matthew 16.

 I don’t deny Jesus has it (he needs the key to delegate it). But as it stands, Jesus delegates it to Peter, and Peter delegates some of that power to the others. But Peter is one link in the chain that cannot be reduced to the others.

It is not reduced, but expanded to all other apostles in Matthew 18 and John 20:23 and that expands to all Christians who preach the gospel and establish biblical churches in history.

Ken writes,

These 2 verses and the whole events of Acts 2, 10–11 and 15 demonstrate the future fulfillment of what Jesus meant by singling out Peter, and calling him “this rock” in Matthew 16:18, while connecting Peter’s faith to the content of the doctrine of his statement, which God the Father revealed to Peter’s heart and mind — “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Jesus says to all the apostles, “I will build My church”; and we see the early church unified, at the beginning, in Jerusalem in the book of Acts. The unity of the believers is emphasized as the gospel goes out to Samaria (Acts 8) and the Gentiles in Acts 10–11 and 15.

Peter’s statement of faith was not called the rock, 

But Peter is only called a rock because of the stable foundation of the doctrine that he spoke.  The rock is Peter, in relation to the truth he spoke about Jesus being the Messiah and Son of God.

and any attempts to say the rock was something other than Peter ruins the flow of the passage, 

Protestant emphasis and exegesis is not ruining the flow, but seeing the relationship of why Peter is a rock, and that the content of the doctrine is a rocky, solid, firm foundation, and behind that doctrinal foundation is the Lord who is the Rock behind the solid rock doctrine.  It is actually the RCC eisegesis that ruins the flow to Matthew 18:18 and to John 20:23 and to Acts 2-15.

Peter is the one addressed, and he is the subject as shown throughout verses 17–19 in Matthew 16. It does not accord with his change of name. It does not accord with Luke’s documentation of the events.

Your exegesis does not accord with the flow of the historical events from Matthew (and synoptic parallels) to the book of Acts and beyond in church history.

Ken response to my point here,

The second issue is that if it was his confession of faith, then it seems to be in tension with the fact Peter wavered and denied Jesus three times.

Wrong; since it was a temporary thing, Peter was restored; Peter repented. (John 21; Acts 1–2 and beyond) Luke 22:31 means that his faith will not ultimately fail, like Judas. It has nothing to do with an infallibility to say right doctrine, passed on to successors, and only in Rome.

As I already wrote above, it does not accord with the Greek. The verse is still better explained in light of Peter’s office being granted protection.

Ken attempts to refute my point by also noting that,

I don’t see how your argumentation follows. All elders are also bishops /overseers — according to the New Testament.

The apostles appointed elders (plural) for each church. (Acts 14:23)

This is a non sequitur, appointing elders is literally the function of a bishop.

No; here in Acts 14:23 it is the function of the apostles to appoint elders for each church.

The office of elder is also an overseer — see Titus 1:5–7. (see also Philippians 1:1)

Titus 1:5-7 requires some explanation, but there is no conflation of office. 

The office (presbyter-overseer) is the same, as is borne out when one studies all the relevant passages. (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17; 28; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy chapter 3; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

Paul writes,

5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.

Verse 5 establishes that Paul is speaking Titus, a Bishop. 

Episcopal forms of government argue that Titus and Timothy are “bishops”, but here in the NT, they (Timothy and Titus) are primarily Apostolic church planters / teachers with apostolic authority to raise up elder-bishops and deacons, with qualifications, in the local churches.   To read back into the text that Titus and Timothy are “bishops” in the RC sense is taking 3rd and 4th century historical understandings and reading it back into the text of Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3. 

He is directed to appoint Elders. Paul is speaking to the duties to the elders he is to appoint. Then Paul addresses Titus’ duties as bishop, 

No, the context is showing that elders are bishops / overseers. verse 7 “for” (Greek: gar / γαρ) continues the qualifications from verses 5 and 6 that are about elders.  This, along with all the other relevant verses, demonstrates that elders and overseers (bishops) are the same local church office, who are to teach and do the pastoring.  It is you who interrupts the flow of the passage here. 

overseeing the Church. I also don’t see how Philippians 1:1 demonstrates there is no Episcopate, rather than no presbyters.

Paul shows that bishops are the same as presbyters, by only mentioned “overseers” (plural) of one church in Philippi.  Demonstrates a college of elders-bishops. According to Acts 20:17 & 28 and 1 Peter 5:1-3, elders are also overseers, so Paul could have written “to the elders and deacons”.

Paul calls the elders (plural) of the church of Ephesus (Acts 20:17). and in verse 28 he says that the elders are also overseers (or “bishops”) (plural: episcopous / ἐπισκόπους )and shepherding (pastoring)

1 Peter 5:1–4 says that the elders are to shepherd the flock of God and that they are to do the work of overseeing.

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

And? Even today diocese have multiple bishops, some of which are auxiliary bishops, and priests. 

And so what?  “even today” is applying the situation of today anachronistically back into the NT texts with a RCC centuries later ideas of Papacy-mono-bishop-priest with ex opera operato powers of forgiveness that claims only your RC Church is able to grant forgiveness of sins.

Priests also are overseers in a sense, in that they participate with the bishops as their co-workers, and share in their ministry. For an image, in Numbers 11:16–30 Moses shares in his prophetic ministry with 72 elders. While the elders do act as prophets and prophecy (Numbers 11:25), they are not prophets proper. But only share in that with Moses delegating his power.

In the same way, the presbyters could be bishops and exercising oversight in a delegated sense, but not one proper to their own ministry. The image is not incidental. As David M. Gregson explains,

The probability that the Seventy were the first Christian presbyters is enhanced by the following consideration. The seventy elders appointed by Moses were selected from among the elders of the various tribes, and appointed to form a ruling council over all Israel. In Christ’s day, the supreme council for all Judaism was the Great Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. The number of those sitting on this council was seventy, over whom the high priest presided as nasî’. These seventy were called zeqenim, or in Greek, presbyteroi. The seventy elders of the Sanhedrin were regarded as the successors of the seventy appointed by Moses. They were “ordained” to their office by the laying on of hands with prayer, after the pattern of Joshua (Nb 27:18; Dt 34:9). Thus we have a significant example in the time of Christ of a ruling council of seventy, called “elders,” basing their number on the precedent of Moses’ ruling council of seventy.

Was the number of those commissioned by Christ in Luke 10 based on the same precedent? We would expect so, if we were to find the Seventy exercising a ruling function in the Church. In the gospel, we are told only that they went out to teach, but in Acts, while there is no direct reference to “the Seventy,” we do find a body of elders/presbyters functioning like a sanhedrin [16]

All of this is irrelevant to the argument, since a plurality of elders was appointed by the apostles for each local church (Acts 14:23) in each city (Titus 1:5-7) and it is very doubtful that each church had seventy elders each. 

Ken goes on to attack the traditional idea of the priesthood,

Yes, false doctrine should be attacked.

One of the first mistakes of the early church in the 200s AD, is calling presbyters, “priests”, since all Christians are priests, according to 1 Peter 2:4–10; Revelation 1:6; 5:10. There is no NT special office of priest that offers sacrifices. The sacrifices that are still going on in the NT are praise and worship, spiritual sacrifices. (Hebrews 13:15)

While all Christians are priests, it does not preclude a ministerial priesthood with its own set of powers and functions. The Levites were a ministerial priesthood, and that fact was not taken away by the fact God said to the whole nations,

and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” — Exodus 19:6

Which is applied to the whole NT church community (all believers in Christ) in 1 Peter 2:4-10.

Ken ends off by restating a point I already addressed,

No, Jesus’ prayer is not futile since He is talking about not ultimately failing; and being restored even after stumbling. Jesus is praying for Peter’s ultimate faith, which was made stronger through the trial of his sin, and Jesus’ prayer was accomplished by restoring Peter and also by Peter strengthening the other disciples’ faith.

As stated already, the Greek does not seem to permit this.

Yes it does. 

To Ken, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. 

Also thank you John for your response!

If you read this all the way, feel free to contact me. My Twitter DM is open, I would love to discuss the prospect of you coming on my YT channel. The discussion on the apostolic origin of the episcopate seems like it would be a good topic.

Footnotes

[1] John 1:42 Commentary, RSVCE, Link.

[2] Strong’s Concordance, 1587. ekleipó, Link.

[3]Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 3, paragraph 5, Link

[4] Charles John Ellicott, Commentary for English Readers, 1 Peter 5:13, Link

[5] Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church, page 114, Link

[6] Horace Mann. “Pope St. Stephen I.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 15 Mar. 2021. Link.

[7] Joseph Hergenröther, Anti-Janus, 89, Link

[8] Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser, Official Relatio of Pastor Aeternus, Paragraph 29, Link

[9] Cyprian, Epistle 66, Paragraph 3, Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050666.htm>.

[10] Cyril, Commentary on John, chapter 20, Link

[11] Gregory the Great, Homily 26 on the Gospels, Link

[12] Dave Armstrong, The Pre-Eminence of St. Peter: 50 New Testament Proofs, Link

[13] Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church, Treatise 1, Link

[14] Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Galatians, Chapter 5, Link

[15] Justin Martyr, The First Apology, Chapter 61, Translated by Marcus Dods and George Reith. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm>.

[16] David M. Gregson, The Origin of the Presbyterate in the New Testament, Link

Posted in Papacy, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism | Comments Off on Part 2 of third response to John Fisher

The Rule of Faith in the early church

True Apostolic succession is the passing down of correct apostolic doctrine, which is in the canonical Scriptures. The only way to know what the apostles taught is to go back to their writings, “the holy and God-breathed Scriptures”. The early church in first 3-4 centuries called the doctrinal content “the rule of faith”. True apostolic succession is not on fallible people (presbyters, bishops, pastors) as people holding an ecclesiastical office, (in a magical sense or ex opere operato sense based on their office), but rather on those ministers holding to the “the faith once for all time delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). It is “the faith” / the content of doctrine – if held to in subsequent generations, that is the key.

Apologetics and Agape

Roman Catholic apologists like to emphasize the tradition of the early church, and claim that other unwritten oral apostolic traditions that Paul mentions in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, are brought out later in church history.  The problem is, the main early church fathers, when they explicate what “the tradition of the apostles”, or “the faith” or “the preaching” or “the rule of faith” is, the content is all Biblical content.  It is all doctrinal points that are in Scripture, and based on and outlined from the baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19, organized around The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these are very similar in content to the early creeds such as the Apostles Creed, and the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed.

Nowhere do these early fathers mention anything that Rome has deemed as dogmatic centuries later in these passages.  There is nothing about a Pope, or  Marian dogmas or piety (except…

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Posted in Apologetics, apostolic succession, church history, early church history, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism | 1 Comment

My 3rd Response to John Fisher (Part 1)

My responses will be in blue. This will be my 3rd response to John Fisher’s debate on Papal Infallibility vs. Anglican father James. (see posts below)

Response # 1

Response # 2.

This is in response to the 2nd Response from Roman Catholic John Fisher:

https://stjohnfisher.medium.com/another-response-to-ken-temple-2e93f7703347

Because of time and space, I decided to break up John Fisher’s 2nd response into more bite size parts.  This will be part 1 of my 3rd response. 

Ken has come out with a response to my first response, which itself was a response to his original critique of my debate. Surprisingly, he’s come out with further criticisms from history that go beyond the text of scripture. 

We go to history, beyond just the text of Matthew 16, because you dismiss subsequent texts in Matthew 18:15-20 as the fulfillment of it, and Acts 2 and 10-11 and 15 (Peter was the leader and first to preach the gospel after the resurrection) as being the subsequent meaning of Peter as the rock. And also because your whole premise is based on 1870 Vatican 1 and reading it back into Matthew 16. You skip over all that Biblical stuff and jump to 1870 RC interpretation of Matthew 16.   Peter is the rock because his “rockiness” is dependent on his confession of faith, the doctrinal content. Which depends on Jesus being the rock behind Peter, supporting him. (1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Cor. 3:11; Ephesians 2:19-20) And because your claim, and your church’s claim is a historical claim and using a document from 1870 to read back into Scripture (Matthew 16:13-19).

It is your beginning assumption that is an anachronistic assumption and controls the way you read and interpret Matthew 16:13-19.

But I’ll be happy to address those criticisms as well.

The first point that Ken brings is he doesn’t deny that Peter gave a revelation to the rest of the apostles. However, he seems to water the significance of the event down, he says,

No Protestant would disagree with that; although the disciples seemed to have grasped the truth earlier, back in Matthew 14:33 — They worshipped Jesus. They called Him the Son of God. They had some sense of who He was.

While the Apostles did worship him after a sign, they were moved purely by his miraculous sign (Matthew 16:4), not faith. 

It is obvious that the realization of who Jesus is in the disciple’s heart and mind is a process of deepening conviction.  Andrew said it first, “we have found the Messiah” in John 1:41 and in fact, said it to his brother Peter; at the beginning of the 3 and 1/2 years of Jesus’ ministry, when John the Baptist introduces Jesus.  I don’t think heart worship is not from faith in who Jesus is in Matthew 14:33.  Otherwise, it is not true worship.  You seem to imply that it (the even in Matthew 14) is just some kind of emotional reaction based on seeing the miraculous sign of Jesus doing the miracle.  I don’t think you can legitimately say that it was “not faith” at all.  Faith grows in our lives.  It becomes a more clear conviction in Matthew 16.  But we only know all of this today because it came to us through written Scripture, not by some secret tradition that popped up centuries later.  (which is what all the extra Biblical dogmas (Purgatory, Indulgences, priesthood, Marian dogmas and piety, Pope, Transubstantiation, Trent’s condemnation of Sola Fide) of Rome are – the ones that Protestants disagree with – reading their traditions and unBiblical dogmas back into the verses about “tradition” (especially 2 Thessalonians 2:15)   

Furthermore, they did not acknowledge him as both Christ (the messiah), and the Son of the living God. Only the latter. 

See above; about the content of John 1 – “we have found the Messiah”, Andrew told Peter. Matthew 16:18 is basic gospel truth all over the NT.  We don’t deny Peter said it in Matthew 16, and we don’t deny God the Father revealed this to Peter’s heart and mind.  It is apostolic truth and Biblical Truth; the same truth is all through the New Testament.  One of the main verses for this is: John 20:30-31.  The Gospel according to John tells us the purpose of the writing of his gospel:

30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 

31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:30-31

So, your point that Matthew 14:33 left out that Jesus is Messiah is irrelevant.  Truth is infallible; but we only know infallible truth from the Scriptures.  The events and details of Matthew 16:13-19 we know because they were written down and we can read them today. This is also Sola Scriptura in principle.

It was Peter, who provided the confession of faith, unmoved by a sign, but only by the revelation the Father had given him, professing simultaneously the Christhood, and divinity of our Lord.

Not a problem to Protestant faith. In fact, this (flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven) is very much closer to Reformed / Calvinistic faith, that God has to internally reveal Himself to a person for them to believe in Christ.  As in Acts 16:14 – “The Lord opened Lydia’s heart to respond to the things that Paul was preaching.”

A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.

Regarding the infallible and binding nature of the statement, Ken does not deny this. However, he raises two points.

– That is true, and no believing Protestant disagrees with that; but the only we we know about this historical event is because it was eventually written down. (by Matthew, around 50–60 AD) The same event in less words is in Mark and Luke.

– This reality has nothing to do with a future bishop of Rome, centuries later, or millennia later (1870 is almost 2 millennia later!) having the ability to speak or write a “living word” (oral tradition) (in the course of church history) and for the RC Church to take 200 or 300 or whatever years to later proclaim that some statement a Pope makes, that it is “ex cathedra”. ( “from the chair”, ie, “spoken from the chair of Peter”)

The issue with the first point is, while it is true we know of Peter’s proclamation via scripture, its nature remains infallible and binding regardless. 

So? We still know the truth of it because it is all over the NT; it is basic gospel knowledge.  John 20:30-31 tells us the same thing as to the purpose for John writing his gospel – “these signs are written down in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing, have life in His name”.

If I found out that the Pope issued an infallible decree, but it was only posted through the Vatican website, the decree would still be binding on Catholics. Even if I would have only known about it through the Vatican website, the point remains it would not be the website that would make it infallible.

Irrelevant to my points; and it obfuscates the issues that issues that divide believing Protestants (not liberals; they don’t count) from the RC Church, and how the historical events of the Reformation gave rise to getting back to the Scriptures and the truth of the gospel and the nature of saving grace.  By skipping over, lessening the impact of the written texts in Matthew 18, Acts 2, 10-11 and 15 and Peter’s role there, you obfuscate the issue.  He is the rock in that sense that he was the strength of the establishment of the first century church.  Those events had nothing to do with a bishop centuries later or a Pope even more centuries later, in the city of Rome.

As to the second point, it is merely an assertion.

Which is what the Papal claims are; mere assertion that grew slowly over the centuries in history.  Then anachronistically applied from 1870 back into the text of Matthew 16.

 If such a statement did not exist in scripture, a protestant would be well within their right to ask for a place in the Bible where Peter would have exercised anything close to an infallible and binding statement. 

Again, Peter speaking this truth has nothing to do with a bishop of Rome in the 3rd century making claims for himself (Stephen) or the centuries later claims of Popes, like Boniface VIII in 1302 (“Every living creature must submit to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved.”) – one of the most arrogant and unbiblical statements ever uttered, and yet, it’s content and manner seems to be clearly an ex cathedra type of statement.  It is a high form of heresy and falsehood. Peter’s faith and statement has nothing to do with the 1870 claim of Vatican 1, which you are assuming from the outset. 

The scripture seems to raise the weight of the claim in light of our expectations.

No way; Scripture, with all the subsequent working out of what Peter as the rock meant (see above) lessens the weight of the claim of 1870.

In response to the point that Peter is selected to provide this revelation, not the apostles, not the people, Ken writes,

Ok, but this is also not a problem for the Protestant position, since the issue is “who is Jesus?” and the answer that “Jesus is the Messiah (fulfillment of all the OT prophesies about the coming Messiah) and the Son of the Living God (and by implication all the issues of the Deity of Christ, eternal Sonship with the Father, implications for the doctrine of God and the Trinity, etc.) All the apostles and the true believers in Christ eventually come to believe in that truth

Yes, they are bound to believe in that truth, just like all the other truths, but that doesn’t change the fact Peter was given that revelation first, to which all others were subsequently bound. As to why it is a problem for the protestant position, it’s because it doesn’t privilege one person from any other in receiving a revelation from God the Father. There is no expectation why Peter rather than the apostles as a whole, or the people,

In fact, if Peter said, “but among those who are correct are the ones who say you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. For they have been given it from the Father”. It would emphasize both the proclamation of faith and all who have received it are the basis of the faith, not Peter.

Subsequent historical narrative (the rest of the gospel narratives and the book of Acts) and revelation of the Scriptures – from Matthew (written around 50-60 AD) to Paul’s writings (49-67 AD) to Hebrews (68 AD) to all the Johannine writings (80-96 AD) demonstrate otherwise.  Cyprian was right, a beginning was from Peter, and he was the first to preach the gospel in Acts 2, opening the doors to the Kingdom of heaven / God, and the first to formally reach out to the Gentiles in Acts 10-11, and this was confirmed by James in Acts 15:14.  

that confession of faith, and that is the true foundation of the Church — who is Jesus? Yes, Jesus is making a word play on Cephas (Rock) (petros, with Petra, etc.) but the point is behind Peter is the doctrine of who Jesus is — Jesus is the rock, the foundation; and behind Jesus as the Son, is God the Father — God is my rock — all through the OT. Matthew is showing how firm the foundation is for the church build on Who Jesus is, not primarily who Peter is. Peter is the dominant and leader of the disciples, but we don’t see any kind of Papal thing in Acts or 1–2 Peter. Nor in the early centuries of church history.

Here Ken seems to ignore the relevant semantics of the passage and go on to assert it has nothing to do with Peter. 

Wrong!  I did not say it had nothing to do with Peter; rather I do assert that is has nothing to do with a bishop of Rome in 180 AD or 250-257 or 325 AD or 451 AD or 600 AD, or 1054 or 1302 or 1521 or 1870!

Yes, the doctrine is true and important, but the question is whose position makes better sense of how it was revealed. Peter was the one who revealed it through the Father. It was not revealed through the people, through the apostles, but Peter.

Again, not a problem for the Protestant position.

While it is true that God is called the rock in the OT — 2 Samuel 22:2, being one of many — , as well as called the foundation in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 3:11), it does not follow that a metaphor or image may apply once.

That is not what the Protestant position is.  There is no doubt Jesus is making a word play on Peter’s name, Cephas – but the church is build upon Peter in connection with the doctrine that he spoke, not some kind of special office of the Papacy, which did not exist until centuries later, or on the bishop of Rome to him exclusively over all other bishops.  The reason why Peter is a rock, is because Jesus as Messiah and Son of God is the even more stable rock and foundation behind Peter, holding him up, as Messiah and Son of the Living God, and God the Father as the solid rock behind the Son, making a really solid foundation for the church throughout the centuries.  It is the object of our faith that is the issue, not our own faith.  That is why faith is described as a mustard seed – the issue is the object of our faith – Christ as the Messiah and Son, and God the Father.

In response to my point regarding Luke 22:32 as Christ promising that Peter would not fall from his office, Ken writes,

How so? In the context of Matthew 16, Peter immediately starts spouting error and false doctrine and Jesus says to him, “Get thee behind Me Satan!” (Matthew 16:21–23)

When Jesus says “Get thee behind Me Satan!”, it is in response to Peter’s actions, not any teaching or doctrine. It’s not an exercise of his office.

Not so. Jesus said that his actions come from thinking in his mind.  His thinking affected his belief which affected his actions. “You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” – that is doctrine and belief which is behind his actions.  There is no mention of an “office” in the passage.  Again, you are reading an office of Pope anachronistically 1870 years later back into the text of the NT.  

It would seem if the faith failed at that point, then Peter’s faith would cease or be omitted, even for the interim. After all, one either fails or they don’t, even if they eventually rectify the situation.

No, because the text says, “when once you have turned again” (turned back in repentance) ἐπιστρέψας – from επιστεφω = to turn, repent

The emphasis is on Jesus’ power to bring His true sheep back to Himself.

Regarding my response to the citation of Matthew 18 extending jurisdiction to the other apostles, Ken claims,

Yes it does! (diminish the claim) Not only the probably of the claim, but the claim itself! Yes it does diminish Vatican I’s claim, because the Vatican I’s claim is that Peter has exclusive authority, jurisdiction into all other areas and bishoprics (local churches in different areas) over the whole world

This is a straw man of Pastor Aeternus, the Ist Vatican Council reminds us,

This power of the Supreme Pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the Supreme and Universal Pastor; for St. Gregory the Great says: “My honor is the honor of the whole Church. My honor is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honor, when it is denied to none of those to whom honor is due.” [3]

Yes it does because the 1870 claim is that the bishop of Rome is over the other bishops in their jurisdictions.  (areas, churches)  It is not a strawman, because of the exclusive claims of power and authority over all other areas and bishops.

There is nothing in the text about the city of Rome, exclusive authority over other church leaders, infallibility, or Peter’s successors

But this is because he had yet to set up an office in Rome. By all accounts in the Early Church, Rome was set up by the Apostle Peter. In 1 Peter 5:13, we read,

She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark

Babylon was used as a code for Rome and is most likely about the city. As the Anglican Biblical scholar, Charles John Ellicott explains, . . . 

The long quote by Charles John Ellicott does not mention the possibility that “Babylon” can also mean a code name for Jerusalem, apostate Jerusalem of the first century. (see below)

You are still assuming there is some kind of exclusive jurisdictional Papal office in Rome, in Peter’s lifetime.  “Babylon” may be a code name for Rome in 1 Peter 5:13; but that does not prove anything.  Protestants have no problem with understanding that Peter went there as an apostle and missionary for a time (but to interpret that as a Mono-episcopate bishop in the city of Rome, is anachronistic); and (we agree that, as far as we know from history and tradition), that he was executed there around 67 AD by Nero, the Emperor.  But even that says nothing about some kind of Papal office being set up there.  “Babylon” in Revelation may be a code name for Rome or it may be a code name for Jerusalem.  “The great city” is Jerusalem in Revelation 11:8

“And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” Revelation 11:8

“where their Lord was crucified” is obviously talking about Jerusalem (and the context from verse 1 is about the temple, which is apparently still standing, so that is weight towards a Pre-70 AD date for the book of Revelation.  Jerusalem is symbolically called Sodom and Egypt (and Babylon) because she has committed adultery against her God by rejection of Jesus as Messiah and the persecution of the apostles, believers/ saints, and prophets. Jerusalem has become the enemy of God, because she rejected her Messiah and God, Jesus; just as Egypt, and Babylon were enemies of Israel in the OT and Sodom was an enemy of God in Genesis 19. God called Jerusalem “Sodom” in Isaiah 1 because of her idolatry and sin.   The adulterous woman / harlot of Revelation 17-18, who rides the beast of Rome (Rev. 13) seems to be apostate Jerusalem who rejected the Messiah and persecuted the saints, apostles, and prophets.   The woman rides the beast points to the first century apostate Israel who manipulated Pilate (Rome) to crucify the Messiah Jesus and also to persecute the disciples, apostles, believers later up until 70 AD.  

Jerusalem and Caesarea Philippi were not where Jesus founded his Church, it was on a person.

This is false – Jerusalem is where Jesus founded His Church, as the book of Acts tells us. 

Acts chapters 2-5 – 5:11, 8:2 “the church in Jerusalem”; 11:22 – “the church in Jerusalem”, Acts chapter 15, etc. 

Jerusalem itself would have lost this significants. As even the evangelical scholar Earle E. Cairns notes,

After 135, with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the bishop of Jerusalem ceased to count as a rival of the Bishop of Rome [5]

This is true, as far as it goes for significance for a while, but by doing this method of yours, you are skipping over Peter’s importance as the rock in Acts 1-15, etc.  Again, Matthew 18, Acts 2, and 10-11 and 15 are the foundational aspects of Peter’s ministry and his exercising / application of being the rock for the beginning of the church and the application of the keys given in Matthew 16.

I will stop here because of time and space, and seek to respond to the rest later.  So I will call this “part 1”

Thanks John for responding and helping me think more about these issues.

Posted in Apologetics, Papacy, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism | 1 Comment

Response to Roman Catholic John Fisher’s response

Note: I edited a little this morning, for clarification and corrected some spelling and grammar mistakes that I had made. (March 14, am)

Response to John Fisher, a Roman Catholic, who responded to me and my response to his debate on Papal Infallibility with an Anglican “father James”. see my original response here, in an earlier blog post.

See John Fishers full response here https://stjohnfisher.medium.com/in-response-to-ken-temple-on-matthew-16-13-19-72972f85623f.

Some of his comments or data I did not interact with, because from a Protestant and Biblical viewpoint, they seemed irrelevant to the main issues.  And my response is long enough anyway!

Fisher’s words will be in italics.

The debate and issues center around the classic text, Matthew 16:13-20

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

Matthew 16:13-20

After quoting Matthew 16:14-17, Fisher writes:

So, here we have a specific revelation, which Peter exercises directly from God the Father. 

No Protestant would disagree with that; although the disciples seemed to have grasped the truth earlier, back in Matthew 14:33 – They worshipped Jesus. They called Him the Son of God.  They had some sense of who He was.

It is important to keep somethings in mind.

1.  Peter is not inspired as a result of his words being in scripture.

  • That is true, and no believing Protestant disagrees with that; but the only we we know about this historical event is because it was eventually written down.  (by Matthew, around 50-60 AD) The same event in less words is in Mark and Luke.  
  • This reality has nothing to do with a future bishop of Rome, centuries later, or millennia later (1870 is almost 2 millennia later!) having the ability to speak or write a “living word” (oral tradition) (in the course of church history) and for the RC Church to take 200 or 300 or whatever years to later proclaim that some statement a Pope makes, that it is “ex cathedra”. ( “from the chair”, ie, “spoken from the chair of Peter”)

  • The conversation proceeds its introduction into scripture, and yet it is inspired by God himself while it happens.

  • Agreed.  But that still has nothing to do with 1870 claims.  The 1870 claims are massively anachronistic, reading that interpretation back into the text of Matthew 16:16-19. 
  • 2.  Peter is selected to provide this revelation, not the apostles, not the people.
  • Ok, but this is also not a problem for the Protestant position, since the issue is “who is Jesus?” and the answer that “Jesus is the Messiah (fulfillment of all the OT prophesies about the coming Messiah) and the Son of the Living God (and by implication all the issues of the Deity of Christ, eternal Sonship with the Father, implications for the doctrine of God and the Trinity, etc.)   All the apostles and the true believers in Christ eventually come to believe in that truth; that confession of faith, and that is the true foundation of the Church – who is Jesus?  Yes, Jesus is making a word play on Cephas (Rock) (petros, with Petra, etc.) but the point is behind Peter is the doctrine of who Jesus is – Jesus is the rock, the foundation; and behind Jesus as the Son, is God the Father – God is my rock – all through the OT.  Matthew is showing how firm the foundation is for the church build on Who Jesus is, not primarily who Peter is.  Peter is the dominant and leader of the disciples, but we don’t see any kind of Papal thing in Acts or 1-2 Peter.  Nor in the early centuries of church history. 
  • 3.  Other passages like Luke 22:32 seem to indicate that he is protected from error, which makes less sense since we would expect Christ’s prayer to be given to him by God the Father.

How so?  In the context of Matthew 16, Peter immediately starts spouting error and false doctrine and Jesus says to him, “Get thee behind Me Satan!”  (Matthew 16:21-23) – Jesus rebukes Peter – “you are not setting your mind of the things of God, but on the things of man.” (human philosophy and understanding.  So Jesus is saying another important part of the doctrines that the church is founded on is the doctrine of the cross and resurrection – the meaning of the cross / atonement for sin, etc.  Peter was wrong; and grew from that.

Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus is talking about Peter’s faith, not a power to make infallible doctrinal statements.  Peter struggled later and Jesus prophesied of his 3 times denial – But Jesus restored him in John 21:15-19.  Luke 22:31-32 does not mean “that your faith may not faith at all temporarily”, rather it meant, “that your faith may not ultimately fail”, because we see Peter restored and was bold and evangelistic in Acts 2-11 and 15.  

Likewise, confirming the power of binding and loosening on the apostles does not diminish the probability of Vatican I’s claim. Remember, even we believe the Apostles’ together with their head exercise Papal infallibility since they are united and at one with Peter.

Yes it does! (diminish the claim) Not only the probably of the claim, but the claim itself!  Yes it does diminish Vatican I’s claim, because the Vatican I’s claim is that Peter has exclusive authority, jurisdiction into all other areas and bishoprics (local churches in different areas) over the whole world, and the claim includes the suppossed successors of the bishop in the city of  Rome, to the exclusion of the authority of other bishops in other areas, which were established by the other apostles as they were first apostles and missionaries (sent ones).   There is nothing in the text about the city of Rome, exclusive authority over other church leaders, infallibility, or Peter’s successors.  The setting in Caesarea Philippi in Matthew 16, then in 18:15-20 (about forgiveness and church discipline) has more relation to the Jerusalem church and the beginnings of the foundation / establishment of “the Church” in the book of Acts, chapters 2-15 – than the city of Rome.  this is why the early centuries knew nothing of this claim of the bishop of Rome. Paul rebuked Peter in Galatians 2.  That was a big deal!   This is why Irenaeus rebuked Victor (180-200 ?); why Tertullian mocked Calixtus (200 ?) (or whoever it was that he mockingly called “Pontifex Maximus”, why Cyprian, Firmillian and 85 other bishops all over rebuked Stephen and said, “no one sets himself up as “bishop of bishops” and “by tyrannical terror” = “lord it over the other areas” and interfere with other local churches, etc. You guys (in the debate when I asked about Cyprian and 86 other bishops who contradict the 1870 claim) – you guys just dismissed that historical issue (and it is early, 256-257 AD); you just dismissed it like waving your hand like a Jedi knight in Star Wars, “you don’t need to see his credentials” and “credits will do”.  (although it is true that the debate was limited to exegesis of the text and not historical facts) This is why for centuries, Popes anathematized Pope Honorius of the 600s into the 900s AD – they knew at the time (600s to 900s AD) there was no such thing earlier in history as the 1870 claims, and so Ignaz Von Dollinger and lord John Acton’s response to the 1870 infallibility claim was right – those 2 were right to question it. Pius IX reportedly said, “I am the tradition!” when Von Dollinger said that the claims of Vatican I (1870) were not tradition.  That doctrine was not there in history or the flowing of tradition through the centuries.  Until 1870.

To assume he did by dint of the fact they were a part of the college seems to be a fallacy of division. Whereas Peter himself was given the key and the power directly as an individual, and not merely as part of the twelve.

What do you mean by “dint” ?  Please clarify.  

Actually, the context and grammar of starting with the plural “said to them” (autois – plural) and “you”, both in Matthew 16:15 (But who do you (humeis Ὑμεῖς – plural) say that I am?”)

λέγει αὐτοῖς Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι

  and Luke 22:31 – “Satan has demanded to sift “you all” (humas -plural) like wheat . . . “  , even though later singling out Peter later, demonstrates that Peter is part of the twelve as a whole group. 

Yes, Catholics do not deny this, in fact, we believe the power to forgive sins is also related to having jurisdiction in light of communion with Peter

No; the communion (fellowship and unity between churches in history) is in agreement with the doctrine that Peter spoke about Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”, not communion with him as person in Rome, centuries later, through a bishop, wearing a mitre hat, etc.  The communion is the common faith of all Christians who are to go and proclaim the truth of the gospel – if you trust in Christ, you are forgiven; if you don’t, you are still in your sins and not forgiven.  

, not as individuals though. Peter is the foundation, the rest of the Church, the college included, is also build on this fact.

Peter is a foundation in the sense of being the first to preach the message in Acts 2 and being the first to break through the barriers with the Gentiles in Acts 10-11, providing the background of Acts 15. After that, Peter fades from the scene.  There is no Papacy.  If there was such a thing, he would have mentioned in his 2 letters and the content of those letters are negatives for the Roman Catholic understanding of the Papacy.  The rock behind Peter is Jesus Christ, the foundation under him and the apostles.  Jesus is the rock behind Peter’s ministry. 1 Corinthians 10:4 – “The rock was Christ” and 1 Corinthians 3:11 – Christ is the foundation.  All the apostles (plural, apostles and prophets) laid down the foundation on which the church is built, Jesus Christ being the cornerstone.  (see Ephesians 2:19-20) We see this played out in the book of Acts and the first century. 

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 3:11

Cyprian wrote in 251 AD:

“And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, “As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained;” yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honor and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity.

On the Unity of the Church, paragraph 4  (my emphasis)

see the full context here.

It is obvious that Cyprian understood that all the apostles had an equal power, honor, and authority.  “The beginning proceeds from unity” means what I was trying to communicate by showing the beginning of the church in Acts chapter 2 – Peter gives the first (beginning) sermon, and in Acts 10-11 Peter begins formal outreach to the Gentiles, which James emphasizes in Acts 15:14 as 

“Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.”  Acts 15:14

That is the “beginning of the unity of the church”.  From there, there is unity between true believers in local churches all over the world down through history.

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”  Acts 15:7-11

That is another passage on the clear teaching that we are justified by faith alone, not by good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28-4:16; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9; John 5:24; 3:16; 11:25; 20:30-31; Acts 16:31)

J. N. D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines – 

Kelly, a famous Anglican Patristic scholar, says about this text of Cyprian:  “. . . it supports the collegiate conception of the episcopate which Cyprian advocates elsewhere, only adding that Peter was the starting point and symbol of unity.”  (J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, page 205, see extended discussion on pages 205-207.)

Kelly discusses the other earlier edition of “On the Unity of the Church” by Cyprian that was written before his dispute with Stephen, bishop of Rome. Kelly also points out when one looks at Cyprian’s epistles (33:1, 43:5; 66:8; 73:7, and 75:17 (by Firmillian) (sic. footnote on page 205 – Kelly must have meant 74:17) – and 71:3 and epistle # 74 are even clearer, # 74 is a total scathing rebuke of Stephen, calling his interfering with other churches and claiming to the be the only authority “bishop of bishops”, Firmillian calls it “an open manifest folly of Stephen”.   See Epistle 74:17 (from bishop Firmillian of Caesarea, Cappadocia) The whole letter he constantly rails against Stephen, bishop of Rome. (256 AD)

2 Peter 1:12-18

12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this [j]utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, (2 Peter 3:1)

To sum up what Peter says, he says he is about to die (1:14-15), and in 3:1, “this is the second letter I am writing to you” and that “by being diligent” (1:12-15) before he dies, he is leaving them with something written down.  After Peter is dead, the churches he wrote to will be able to remember and stir up their sincere minds in the truth, because he wrote it down and then they can read it – so they will be able to call these things to mind.  If there was any truth to the Papacy or Mono-episcopate, he would have written, “after I am dead, go to your bishop and get the truth from him.”  Instead, Peter focuses and emphasizes the written word.  

Fisher again: “Having the power is not sufficient to show one has the keys, since they were neither given the foundation of the Church nor the promise of the gates not triumphing against them.”

This cannot be since “the keys to the kingdom of heaven” means the instrument that will open the door for people to enter the kingdom of heaven = preaching the gospel and proclaiming forgiveness, which I why I quoted from Acts 13:38-39 and now, in this response, Acts 15:8-14 – all people can enter into the kingdom of heaven by repentance and faith in Christ (Mark 1:14-15 – “repent and believe”) – see further Romans 10:9-10; John 20:30-31; Acts 16:31; John 5:24; 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, etc.  Peter was the beginning and unity of the faith of the early church and in several ways, it started with him, historically, being the main preacher in Acts 2, and the breakthrough of the gospel to the Gentiles, in Acts 10-11 and James mentions this in Acts 15, which I have already documented. As Cyprian wrote, he was a “beginning” and “starting point of unity”.

“Remember, if not having the keys mentioned in the passage was enough to count as a strike in Isaiah 22:20–25 due to the Septuagint not referencing it, it should also count as a strike when Matthew 18 does not.”

since Matthew 18 is the only other passage in the Gospel according to Matthew with the word “church” in it, and it follows along with the same “binding and loosing” language as Matthew 16, it demonstrates the authority is given to all the apostles there in Matthew 18, and so, by principle, later, to leaders of the local church to do church discipline (the subject of the passage, Matthew 18:15-20)  – which will mean to other elders / pastors / overseers (local churches) in history. (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4)  Jesus has the keys of death and hades (Revelation 1:18) and the key to open and shut in Revelation 3:7.  The NT develops Matthew 16 to Matthew 18 to Rev. 1:18 to 3:7.

Assuming that we ought to read dikaioó as justified rather than freed, there is no place in the verses where the word “alone” is mentioned. Not to mention the greek pisteuó means more than just to believe in the sense of the demons who believe in God’s existence, but to entrust, which means trusting in the full instruction of the gospel message. Which includes baptism, confession, etc.

The “alone” of “by Faith Alone”, Sola Fide = apart from works, not by works, etc.

What part of “apart from the works of the law” (Acts 13:38-39; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16) and “apart from works” (Ephesians 2:8-9) and “not because of righteous deeds which we have done” (Titus 3:5) do Roman Catholics not understand?  Just because the word “alone” is not there does there means nothing, because “alone” in the “Sola Fide” terse slogan is the meaning of all the Scriptural data (see above) of “not by works”, “not by works of the law”, etc. 

It is really funny to me – your sentence here:

Not to mention the greek pisteuó means more than just to believe in the sense of the demons who believe in God’s existence, but to entrust, . . . 

And yet pisteuo / πιστευω is the word used there in James 2:19, which you are referring to, so it depends on the context.  All believing Protestants agree that pisteuo means “entrust”, “trust”, when used in the context of the NT exhortations to believe in Christ, and that faith in Christ results in justification.  (Gospel of John, Acts, Romans, Galatians, Philippians, Ephesians, 1 Peter) But in the case of James 2:19, obviously in that context it does mean “intellectual assent and agreement with facts”.  It is not enough to believe that something is true; rather there must be heart-felt trust in the person of Jesus Christ – a personal spiritual relationship.  

James 2:19 

σὺ πιστεύεις ὅτι εἷς ἐστιν ὁ θεός καλῶς ποιεῖς καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια πιστεύουσιν καὶ φρίσσουσιν

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

but to entrust, which means trusting in the full instruction of the gospel message. Which includes baptism, confession, etc.

Water baptism is the result of true faith, and evidence that one truly entrusts himself to Christ.  (This is clear in Justin Martyr’s writings)  The apostle Paul indicates that baptism is not part of the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 1:13-17 – verse 17 “for Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel . . . “ It is important, and part of “making disciples”, but not part of the gospel proclamation. Rather it is a result of the gospel being accepted by the person.

If by confession you mean confessing Christ as Lord, as in Romans 10:9-10, then of course we agree with that. 

Not sure where this follows from. The verse never speaks of everyone having such authority. In fact, it’s only given to the apostles.

So, only the apostles had the authority to do evangelism?  Is that why Roman Catholics are so weak in the practice of evangelism and missions in recent years? (especially since Vatican 2)  We see modern Popes doing all sorts of “kum baya” type ecumenical meetings with Buddhists and Muslims, but we don’t hear them actually preaching the gospel message to them.  It seems like a major emphasis of modern Roman Catholic apologetics is focused on winning Protestants to their church, rather than reaching unbelievers with the simple NT message of the gospel.  The emphasis is “convert to the RC Church”; “come home to the Church”, rather than “repent and believe in Christ”.

I totally disagree with your idea that only the apostles have authority to proclaim the gospel and proclaim forgiveness.  All Christians have that authority.  Peter says to all the saints who are also priests in 1 Peter 2:4-10 that they are all “to proclaim the excellencies of Him who brought them out of darkness into His marvelous light”. (verse 9) All authority has been given to Christ after the resurrection (see Matthew 28:18), “therefore, go . . . make disciples of all nations . . . “  (verse 19) That commission and authority continues to today. 

This is a possible reading, but there are some issues. The first is that Lukian texts never refer to Peter in his role as the rock, it’s uniquely Matthian since it’s not mentioned elsewhere. It’s not even mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, which we would expect to see if it’s an important part of the author’s work.

All of Scripture is from one unity – God Himself.  So there is no need for Luke to mention Peter “as a rock”, etc.  I repeat this section because chronologically, Acts 2, 10-11, and 15 are the historical events that show “the beginning of the unity” of Matthew 16.  Mark 8 and Luke 9 are parallel with Matthew 16.  (one historical event) There is no contradiction just because Luke does mention some of the details.  It has nothing to do with Isaiah 22:22 in the sense of trying to show some kind of Papal authority or secession of bishops; rather the key is a Messianic key – the house of David, and Jesus has that in Revelation 1:18 and 3:7 – Jesus is the authority and ultimate rock and foundation.  Peter and the apostles’ authority is secondarily derived from Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

These 2 verses and the whole events of Acts 2, 10–11 and 15 demonstrate the future fulfillment of what Jesus meant by singling out Peter, and calling him “this rock” in Matthew 16:18, while connecting Peter’s faith to the content of the doctrine of his statement, which God the Father revealed to Peter’s heart and mind — “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Jesus says to all the apostles, “I will build My church”; and we see the early church unified, at the beginning, in Jerusalem in the book of Acts. The unity of the believers is emphasized as the gospel goes out to Samaria (Acts 8) and the Gentiles in Acts 10–11 and 15.

The second issue is that if it was his confession of faith, then it seems to be in tension with the fact Peter wavered and denied Jesus three times.

Wrong; since it was a temporary thing, Peter was restored; Peter repented.  (John 21; Acts 1-2 and beyond) Luke 22:31 means that his faith will not ultimately fail, like Judas.  It has nothing to do with an infallibility to say right doctrine, passed on to successors, and only in Rome.  

Also, Peter himself calling himself “fellow elder” in his own letter ( 1 Peter 5:1) completely destroys Papal claims and arguments.

I don’t see how this follows. All bishops are elders. In fact, you could not be promoted to the college of bishops without also being an elder.

I don’t see how your argumentation follows.  All elders are also bishops /overseers – according to the New Testament.  

The apostles appointed elders (plural) for each church.  (Acts 14:23)

The office of elder is also an overseer – see Titus 1:5-7. (see also Philippians 1:1)

Paul calls the elders (plural) of the church of Ephesus (Acts 20:17)

From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, . . . (for space issues I skip to verse 28)

and in verse 28 he says that the elders are also overseers (or “bishops”) (plural: episcopous / ἐπισκόπους )and shepherding (pastoring)

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd (verb form of “to pastor”) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28

1 Peter 5:1-4 says that the elders are to shepherd the flock of God and that they are to do the work of overseeing.  

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

exercising oversight = ἐπισκοποῦντες = the verb form of episcopos – “to oversee”, “to lead, to look out for, to do the work of bishoping” 

So, not only are “all bishops are elders”, but all elders are bishops.  They are the same office, called to do two activities, 1. Shepherding / pastoring and 2. overseeing, leading

All bishops and presbyters, on Catholic theology, are priests. In fact, priests themselves are called “co-workers” with the bishops.

One of the first mistakes of the early church in the 200s AD, is calling presbyters, “priests”, since all Christians are priests, according to 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:6; 5:10.  There is no NT special office of priest that offers sacrifices.  The sacrifices that are still going on in the NT are praise and worship, spiritual sacrifices.  (Hebrews 13:15)

Me:  The Anglican Father James made a great point about John 17:12 and Judas. Jesus prays for all the apostles in John 17 (and future disciples / believers), but Jesus clearly says, “except for the son of perdition, that the Scripture may be fulfilled.”

I think it was a relevant point to bring up, but unlike Luke 22:32, Judas is singled out. Peter is not singled out, and in fact, he is the only person being prayed for. This would have made the prayer futile since Jesus knew he would fall; whereas it can be argued that the prayer was efficacious for the other 11.

No, Jesus’ prayer is not futile since He is talking about not ultimately failing; and being restored even after stumbling.  Jesus is praying for Peter’s ultimate faith, which was made stronger through the trial of his sin, and Jesus’ prayer was accomplished by restoring Peter and also by Peter strengthening the other disciples’ faith.

Posted in Apologetics, Papacy, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism | 3 Comments

Debate on Indulgences

Yes, Indulgences deny the Biblical gospel, as James White explained and truly won the argument.
Especially since Indulgences go together with Purgatory, praying for the dead, trafficking in relics and pilgrimages, and priestly ex opera operato powers, for centuries it was related to giving money to the church, penance, and for centuries it was applied as lessening time in Purgatory.

Apologetics and Agape

Dr. James White vs. Roman Catholic Peter D. Williams debate Indulgences.

Peter D. Williams is another one of those Roman Catholic lay apologists who do most of “the heavy lifting”. (Matthew Schultz)

“The refrain of lay Catholic apologists is that Protestants must submit to the Magisterium. Yet if the primary lens of theological inquiry is authority, why is so much of the heavy lifting done by Catholic laypersons?”  (Matthew Schultz)

The debate goes to the nature of the gospel in the way Protestants and Roman Catholics disagree with each other, and they also touched on issues like purgatory, church history, Semi-Pelagianism, Augustine, Gottschalk, the development of doctrine, the wrath of God, Penal Substitutionary Atonement, and Sola Scriptura and the Canon. Rich in content.

When Dr. White mentioned Semi-Pelagianism and Gottschalk, it reminded me of R. C. Sproul’s analysis of church history how Semi-Pelagianism crept back into the church between the…

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A debate on Papal Infallibility

Click on it and watch it on YouTube. Not available for play here at my blog.

Both of these guys (and the moderator, Allan Ruhl) have a good demeanor and spirit and one can appreciate that these days.

at the 4:30 mark, John Fisher (The Roman Catholic) says that Peter’s statement is an “ex cathedra truth”. Talk about reading 1870 (Vatican 1) back into the text of Matthew 16:16 !!

The Anglican Father James (“Barely Protestant”) makes the stronger arguments of seeing Matthew 18:18 and Rev. 3:7 as the proper interpretations of Matthew 16:18-19. The power of binding and loosing is passed on to all the apostles in Matthew 18:18. The power of proclaiming forgiveness of sins and also the power to do church discipline and excommunicate people who refuse to repent. Also in John 20:23 – all the apostles have this power and authority; and furthermore, the apostle Paul also teaches this in Acts 13:38-39 – “forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you”.

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed (Greek: justified) from everything from which you could not be freed (Greek: justified) by the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39 (my emphasis)

“everyone who believes is justified” ! – here is justification by faith alone, not by works.

If someone accepts Christ, they are forgiven and we have the authority to say this to them; and if they reject Christ, we can say that they do not have forgiveness, unless they later repent and believe.) Peter is the first – and we see this fulfilled in

Acts 2 – he preaches the first sermon after the birth of the church / coming of the Holy Spirit and

Peter is also the first to take the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10-11 and James confirms this in Acts 15:6-14 –

notice verse 7 – And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

notice verse 14 – James says, “Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.”

These 2 verses and the whole events of Acts 2, 10-11 and 15 demonstrate the future fulfillment of what Jesus meant by singling out Peter, and calling him “this rock” in Matthew 16:18, while connecting Peter’s faith to the content of the doctrine of his statement, which God the Father revealed to Peter’s heart and mind – “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Jesus says to all the apostles, “I will build My church”; and we see the early church unified, at the beginning, in Jerusalem in the book of Acts. The unity of the believers is emphasized as the gospel goes out to Samaria (Acts 8) and the Gentiles in Acts 10-11 and 15. Afterward, all True churches are built on that doctrine, which Peter first spoke, not on some kind of bishop that comes 200 or 300 to 400 years later in the city of Rome.

Also, Peter himself calling himself “fellow elder” in his own letter ( 1 Peter 5:1) completely destroys Papal claims and arguments.

The Anglican Father James made a great point about John 17:12 and Judas. Jesus prays for all the apostles in John 17 (and future disciples / believers), but Jesus clearly says, “except for the son of perdition, that the Scripture may be fulfilled.”

Posted in Apologetics, Papacy, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism | 2 Comments

Lots of articles and resources on dealing with lust and pornography

Jesus was very clear on the issue of sexual lust and fantasies:

Matthew 5:27-30

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  (5:27-28)

Jesus is getting to the root of adultery in the heart and mind – lust in the heart.

29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. (5:29-30)

The point is not to literally physically cut off your hand or gouge out your eye. The point is to decisively and radically (getting to the root) quit doing things that will make you stumble or lead you to stumbling. (failing and sinning) The violence of the verse is demonstrating that the quitting must be decisive and hard and will be painful. It is painful to go on a real diet, for those who struggle with gluttony. It is painful to go into physical exercise for training for the olympics or some kind of sports activity. “No pain, no gain” has a lot of truth to it. Some ancient Christians misinterpreted the verses and took them literally, and they later confessed that the lust and visions of the beautiful women were still in their minds. Lust starts in the mind and heart. The point of verse 27-28 is for those self-righteous people who have not committed real physical adultery who think they will be ok and they are good because they have not sinned; . . . well, think again! Sexual fantasies and lust make us just as guilty for hell. It is the second lingering look and playing with the thoughts in your mind that are sinful. If you are converted / born again/ a true Christian, you must fight lust and pornography! The point of verses 29-30 is to take hard action against anything (thought, action, practice, environment) that will lead you down that path. We have to cut off friends and activities that will tempt us to go down that path. Having a computer filter / blocker is good and an accountability person who can see the web-sites you visit and they will get flagged when you do. (Like Covenant Eyes) Too much Cable TV wandering or YouTube wandering can expose you to scenes that are not necessarily pornographic, but are tititaling enough to get you started on that path that you don’t want to go. Pornography kills relationships and goes against what God has designed sex for. Sex is a beautiful thing that God thought of and created (Genesis 2:18-25) and only for marriage between one man and one woman. (Song of Solomon; Proverbs 5:15-23; chapter 7; 1 Corinthians chapter 7.

Jesus also taught that marriage is only for one man and one woman. Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:1-9. Jesus alludes back to Genesis 1:1, 1:26-28; 2:18-14; 5:2 and quotes Genesis 2:24 – “male and female”, “the beginning of creation”, “the creator”, “the two shall become one flesh”. Beautiful! This proves that there is no such thing as “same sex marriage” and don’t let anyone tell you that “Jesus never spoke about homosexuality as a sin”. Jesus, by His clear affirmation of Genesis 1-2 and the Creator’s design for marriage, was very clearly teaching that homosexuality is wrong.

Colossians 3:5 is another excellent verse on this: “put to death” those things (lust, passion, evil desire) – I remember years ago a Bible teacher quoting a Bible scholar, John Eady: “let them be killed by lack of nutriment and lack of exercise”. The KJV says, “mortify”. That’s a graphic and effective way to describe the command. What does a mortician do? He handles dead things; treat your members on this earth as dead to sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed. The NIV, ESV and other good versions say, “put to death”

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality (porneia / πορνεια – fornication, where we get “porn” from – it includes any kind of sexual sin outside of marriage, pre-marital sex. “trafficking with prostitutes”) impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” NASB

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5 ESV

Another important passage is 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. Meditate on those verses. Also, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – meditate on those also. Fortify your mind. Memorize verses and quote them out loud when temptation comes. (like what Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-12 and Luke 4:1-12) Get outside and go for a walk to get away from the TV or computer is they are tempting you or you are attacked by sudden thoughts of the “flaming missiles of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Desiring God (John Piper and other writers) and Tim Challies have A LOT of great resources for Christians to deal with sexual lust and pornography. A lot of the advise is to cultivate a heart of worship and desire for God that sees the beauty and enthrallment of God as a superior joy / pleasure than the fleeting pleasure of a 5 minute look and masturbation trip. It is not enough to confess your sins privately to God and then claim 1 John 1:9. Certainly the truth of 1 John 1:9 is great, awesome, and freeing! Believing it is actually seeing how your sin put Christ on the cross. We can forgive others, because Christ first forgave us at the cross. (Ephesians 4:32; Romans 3:24-26 – see the propitiation that Christ made as the turning away of God’s justice / wrath against your sin; that Christ absorbed the wrath of God for your sin. Meditate on that truth. We never stop meditating on that truth. You should confess it to God and weep over your sin in prayer, repentance, and sincerity. But that is not enough to fight the battle of lust in preparing for the next time that temptation comes. We need each other in the body of Christ, the church; we need accountability. (Hebrews 3:12-14; 12:15; James 5:13-16) There needs to be a friend and accountability partner than you can confide in, confess to, and someone who will keep you accountable. A close friend you can share your struggles with; someone who will not condemn you, but will be honest and straight with you, who cares about you. Preach the gospel to yourself also; learn the gospel application to sanctification, not just to justification / conversion. (see Jerry Bridges book, “The Discipline of Grace”)

If you are struggling with this sin, check out the many articles and videos and suggestions in these 2 websites:

https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/pornography/all?sort=shares

John Piper also has an excellent chapter on fighting lust in his book, Future Grace. I recommend that book.

https://www.challies.com/?s=Pornography

An excellent book is “Finally Free” by Heath Lambert

Posted in pornography, Sanctification/Holy living, sexual lust | Comments Off on Lots of articles and resources on dealing with lust and pornography