Catholic / Protestant Dialogue

The Pope In The Bible: Part I

The chair occupied by the pope was instituted long before Jesus assigned Peter as its first Christian occupant.

1500 years before Peter, Moses was the chair’s first occupant.  

The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. ~ Exodus 18:13

Peter’s chair was (and is to this day) a continuation of Moses’ chair. And here we have Jesus telling the crowd to honor the authority of that chair.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” ~ Matthew 23:1-3

To this day, Catholics heed the official teaching of pope, while disagreeing on a daily basis with his opinions and behavior. It is the official teaching of the office that is Holy-Spirit-Led, not the sinful and fallible men who occupy that office. Just as God used sinful and fallible people (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Isaiah, etc.) to infallibly write the Bible, God uses sinful and fallible people (Francis, Benedict, John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI) to infallibly interpret the Bible. 

This authority of interpretation is what has kept the Catholic Church as one unified church over the 2,000 years of Christian history. The Protestant Reformers protested this authority (as I did during my years as a Protestant), resulting in Protestantism’s endless splintering and factionalizing, with new churches popping up whenever disagreements arise over the interpretation of Scripture. Protestantism has existed only 500 years, yet already 30,000 different Protestant denominations exist. To the contrary, the Catholic Church is still one after 2,000 years because of the Holy-Spirit-Led authority of that chair. 

Have A Seat

Where we just looked at “Moses’ seat” in Matthew 23:2, remember that the New Testament was written in Greek. The English word “seat” is translated from the Greek word “kathedra,” from which we get cathedral. To this day, the pope’s kathedra (seat) is in the Cathedral of Rome. Here is a photo:

cathedra-in-cathedral-of-rome-copy-1

When the pope issues an official decree, he is said to speak “ex cathedra,” which means “from the chair.” He is the judge and final arbiter of disputes that arise about the meaning of Scripture. Jesus did not leave us a democracy. He left us a kingdom. A kingdom is led by a person with the authority to resolve disputes. Again, look back to the first verse I listed in this article, Exodus 18:13– “Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people.” Protestantism rejects this human authority. 

Father Knows Best

The word “pope” simply comes from the Latin word for father, “papa,” and Catholics call their priests “Father” as well in keeping with the spiritual father/son relationships of the New Testament.

Yo Rocky

Let’s look at Peter as the Rock.

Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). ~ John 1:42

Kephas (kay-fas’); of Aramaic origin [compare OT:3710]; the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter: KJV – Cephas. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

The instant (THE INSTANT!) Jesus met Simon, He told him his name would change to “the Rock.” Later he brought Peter to Caesaria Philippi where “the Rock” of Pagan worship sits to this day with the very deep abyss known as the “gates of Hades” in the side of it.

the-rock_gates-of-hades_caesaria-philippi-copy-1

Jesus openly refutes “the rock” of pagan worship and sets up Peter as “the rock” of His church.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi [where the rock of pagan worship stands to this day], he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  …Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah… I tell you that you are Peter [in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy of John 1:42, the instant he met Simon], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [shown above] will not overcome it.” ~ Matthew 16:13-18

Petros (pet’-ros); apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than NT:3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: KJV – Peter, rock. Compare NT:2786. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

In two different languages (Aramaic and Greek) the New Testament has Jesus renaming Simon “the rock,” and then bringing him to “the rock” to establish His church upon “the rock.” 

Let’s Get Physical

I believe that denying the leadership office Christ left us in His absence is done in direct opposition to His will. This is a physical leadership office, just as the physical water of Baptism regenerates the soul, and consuming the physical body and blood of Christ has salvational value. It is my belief that Protestantism has scrubbed itself of Christianity’s physicality, 1500 years after the fact, and with no authority to do so.

Binding And Loosing

What authority came with this office?

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:19

This is an astounding verse. It says that heaven will enforce what Peter’s office imposes on earth. For example, I do not believe God will judge us on what is in books that could have ended up in the Bible. I believe he will judge us on what is in the 73 books the Holy Spirit chose for inclusion in the Bible through the Catholic Church (7 whole books of which, and parts of 2 others, are no longer in Protestant Bibles).

The Catholic Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) selected and canonized the books of the Christian Bible. This same canon was reaffirmed at multiple Church councils throughout Christian history, including the Council of Trent which convened to reject the Protestant Reformation. Canon 36 from the Third Council of Carthage in 397 A.D. reads:

[It has been decided] that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth, four books of Kings [1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings], Paralipomenon two books [1 & 2 Chronicles], Job, the Psalter of David [Psalms], five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, and Sirach. Wisdom and Sirach were deleted from Protestant Bibles more than 1,100 years after this canonization], twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah [which included the Book of Baruch, deleted from Protestant Bibles more than 1,100 years after this canonization], Daniel [Daniel has 14 Chapters in Catholic Bibles, and only 12 chapters in Protestant Bibles. In addition, Daniel Chapter 3 has 100 verses in Catholic Bibles, and only 30 verses in Protestant Bibles. Those 70 missing verses are the prayer Azariah prayed when he, Hananiah, and Mishael were thrown into the furnace. These deletions were made more than 1,100 years after this canonization], Ezechiel, Tobit [Tobit was deleted from Protestant Bibles more than 1,100 years after this canonization], Judith [Judith was deleted from Protestant Bibles more than 1,100 years after this canonization], Esther [Esther has 16 chapters in Catholic Bibles, and only 10 chapters in Protestant Bibles. Because of this, the Protestant Book of Esther has the distinction of being the only book in the Bible that never mentions God, not even once], two books of Ezra, two books of the Maccabees [1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees were deleted from Protestant Bibles more than 1,100 years after this canonization]. Moreover, of the New Testament: Four books of the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles one book, thirteen epistles of Paul the apostle, one of the same to the Hebrews, two of Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude, the Apocalypse of John. ~ Canon 36, Third Council of Carthage

That which Peter’s office binds on earth, is bound in heaven. The Catholic Church officially bound these books as the Christian Bible, and heaven will judge us on what is in these books. What position does that put Protestants in who rely on Bibles devoid of these books?

I ask that question in a spirit of Christian love for my Protestant brethren. My prayer is not that I am right, and you are wrong. My prayer is that God leads you and I to his true church, whichever church that may be. But in the many months I have been scrutinizing Catholicism and Protestantism, I have found that Catholicism withstands this scrutiny, and Protestantism succumbs to it. For years I heard Protestant pastors say that the papacy was unbiblical, but in recent months I have discovered this claim to be nonsense. Despite my disagreement with those pastors, I greatly respect and admire them for their selfless service to our Lord.

Prophecy Fulfilled

In closing, take another look at Matthew 16:19.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ~ Matthew 16:19

This verse is a direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 22:22, the words of which are almost identical.

I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. ~ Isaiah 22:22

Continuity Of Office

Like all kingships, the house of David had continuity of office. When one ruler died, the kingship did not fold up shop and go home. It continued from ruler to ruler. Likewise, Peter passed on his keys to successors. 

The blessed apostles [Peter (the 1st pope), and Paul], then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus [the 2nd pope] the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy [“Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus , Claudia and all the brothers.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus [the 3rd pope]; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement [the 4th pope] was allotted the bishopric. ~ Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:3:3, 189 A.D. 

Here is the complete list of popes, showing continuity of office from Peter to the current pope, Francis.

  1. St. Peter (32-67)
  2. St. Linus (67-76)
  3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
  4. St. Clement I (88-97)
  5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
  6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
  7. St. Sixtus I (115-125) Also called Xystus I
  8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
  9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
  10. St. Pius I (140-155)
  11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
  12. St. Soter (166-175)
  13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
  14. St. Victor I (189-199)
  15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
  16. St. Callistus I (217-22) Callistus and the following three popes were opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
  17. St. Urban I (222-30)
  18. St. Pontain (230-35)
  19. St. Anterus (235-36)
  20. St. Fabian (236-50)
  21. St. Cornelius (251-53) Opposed by Novatian, antipope (251)
  22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
  23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
  24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
  25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
  26. St. Felix I (269-274)
  27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
  28. St. Caius (283-296) Also called Gaius
  29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
  30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
  31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
  32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
  33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
  34. St. Marcus (336)
  35. St. Julius I (337-52)
  36. Liberius (352-66) Opposed by Felix II, antipope (355-365)
  37. St. Damasus I (366-84) Opposed by Ursicinus, antipope (366-367)
  38. St. Siricius (384-99)
  39. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
  40. St. Innocent I (401-17)
  41. St. Zosimus (417-18)
  42. St. Boniface I (418-22) Opposed by Eulalius, antipope (418-419)
  43. St. Celestine I (422-32)
  44. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
  45. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
  46. St. Hilarius (461-68)
  47. St. Simplicius (468-83)
  48. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
  49. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
  50. Anastasius II (496-98)
  51. St. Symmachus (498-514) Opposed by Laurentius, antipope (498-501)
  52. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
  53. St. John I (523-26)
  54. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
  55. Boniface II (530-32) Opposed by Dioscorus, antipope (530)
  56. John II (533-35)
  57. St. Agapetus I (535-36) Also called Agapitus I
  58. St. Silverius (536-37)
  59. Vigilius (537-55)
  60. Pelagius I (556-61)
  61. John III (561-74)
  62. Benedict I (575-79)
  63. Pelagius II (579-90)
  64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
  65. Sabinian (604-606)
  66. Boniface III (607)
  67. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
  68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
  69. Boniface V (619-25)
  70. Honorius I (625-38)
  71. Severinus (640)
  72. John IV (640-42)
  73. Theodore I (642-49)
  74. St. Martin I (649-55)
  75. St. Eugene I (655-57)
  76. St. Vitalian (657-72)
  77. Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
  78. Donus (676-78)
  79. St. Agatho (678-81)
  80. St. Leo II (682-83)
  81. St. Benedict II (684-85)
  82. John V (685-86)
  83. Conon (686-87)
  84. St. Sergius I (687-701) Opposed by Theodore and Paschal, antipopes (687)
  85. John VI (701-05)
  86. John VII (705-07)
  87. Sisinnius (708)
  88. Constantine (708-15)
  89. St. Gregory II (715-31)
  90. St. Gregory III (731-41)
  91. St. Zachary (741-52) Stephen II followed Zachary, but because he died before being consecrated, modern lists omit him
  92. Stephen II (III) (752-57)
  93. St. Paul I (757-67)
  94. Stephen III (IV) (767-72) Opposed by Constantine II (767) and Philip (768), antipopes (767)
  95. Adrian I (772-95)
  96. St. Leo III (795-816)
  97. Stephen IV (V) (816-17)
  98. St. Paschal I (817-24)
  99. Eugene II (824-27)
  100. Valentine (827)
  101. Gregory IV (827-44)
  102. Sergius II (844-47) Opposed by John, antipope
  103. St. Leo IV (847-55)
  104. Benedict III (855-58) Opposed by Anastasius, antipope (855)
  105. St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
  106. Adrian II (867-72)
  107. John VIII (872-82)
  108. Marinus I (882-84)
  109. St. Adrian III (884-85)
  110. Stephen V (VI) (885-91)
  111. Formosus (891-96)
  112. Boniface VI (896)
  113. Stephen VI (VII) (896-97)
  114. Romanus (897)
  115. Theodore II (897)
  116. John IX (898-900)
  117. Benedict IV (900-03)
  118. Leo V (903) Opposed by Christopher, antipope (903-904)
  119. Sergius III (904-11)
  120. Anastasius III (911-13)
  121. Lando (913-14)
  122. John X (914-28)
  123. Leo VI (928)
  124. Stephen VIII (929-31)
  125. John XI (931-35)
  126. Leo VII (936-39)
  127. Stephen IX (939-42)
  128. Marinus II (942-46)
  129. Agapetus II (946-55)
  130. John XII (955-63)
  131. Leo VIII (963-64)
  132. Benedict V (964)
  133. John XIII (965-72)
  134. Benedict VI (973-74)
  135. Benedict VII (974-83) Benedict and John XIV were opposed by Boniface VII, antipope (974; 984-985)
  136. John XIV (983-84)
  137. John XV (985-96)
  138. Gregory V (996-99) Opposed by John XVI, antipope (997-998)
  139. Sylvester II (999-1003)
  140. John XVII (1003)
  141. John XVIII (1003-09)
  142. Sergius IV (1009-12)
  143. Benedict VIII (1012-24) Opposed by Gregory, antipope (1012)
  144. John XIX (1024-32)
  145. Benedict IX (1032-45) He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice deposed and restored
  146. Sylvester III (1045) Considered by some to be an antipope
  147. Benedict IX (1045)
  148. Gregory VI (1045-46)
  149. Clement II (1046-47)
  150. Benedict IX (1047-48)
  151. Damasus II (1048)
  152. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
  153. Victor II (1055-57)
  154. Stephen X (1057-58)
  155. Nicholas II (1058-61) Opposed by Benedict X, antipope (1058)
  156. Alexander II (1061-73) Opposed by Honorius II, antipope (1061-1072)
  157. St. Gregory VII (1073-85) Gregory and the following three popes were opposed by Guibert (“Clement III”), antipope (1080-1100)
  158. Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
  159. Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
  160. Paschal II (1099-1118) Opposed by Theodoric (1100), Aleric (1102) and Maginulf (“Sylvester IV”, 1105-1111), antipopes (1100)
  161. Gelasius II (1118-19) Opposed by Burdin (“Gregory VIII”), antipope (1118)
  162. Callistus II (1119-24)
  163. Honorius II (1124-30) Opposed by Celestine II, antipope (1124)
  164. Innocent II (1130-43) Opposed by Anacletus II (1130-1138) and Gregory Conti (“Victor IV”) (1138), antipopes (1138)
  165. Celestine II (1143-44)
  166. Lucius II (1144-45)
  167. Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
  168. Anastasius IV (1153-54)
  169. Adrian IV (1154-59)
  170. Alexander III (1159-81) Opposed by Octavius (“Victor IV”) (1159-1164), Pascal III (1165-1168), Callistus III (1168-1177) and Innocent III (1178-1180), antipopes
  171. Lucius III (1181-85)
  172. Urban III (1185-87)
  173. Gregory VIII (1187)
  174. Clement III (1187-91)
  175. Celestine III (1191-98)
  176. Innocent III (1198-1216)
  177. Honorius III (1216-27)
  178. Gregory IX (1227-41)
  179. Celestine IV (1241)
  180. Innocent IV (1243-54)
  181. Alexander IV (1254-61)
  182. Urban IV (1261-64)
  183. Clement IV (1265-68)
  184. Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
  185. Blessed Innocent V (1276)
  186. Adrian V (1276)
  187. John XXI (1276-77)
  188. Nicholas III (1277-80)
  189. Martin IV (1281-85)
  190. Honorius IV (1285-87)
  191. Nicholas IV (1288-92)
  192. St. Celestine V (1294)
  193. Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
  194. Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
  195. Clement V (1305-14)
  196. John XXII (1316-34) Opposed by Nicholas V, antipope (1328-1330)
  197. Benedict XII (1334-42)
  198. Clement VI (1342-52)
  199. Innocent VI (1352-62)
  200. Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
  201. Gregory XI (1370-78)
  202. Urban VI (1378-89) Opposed by Robert of Geneva (“Clement VII”), antipope (1378-1394)
  203. Boniface IX (1389-1404) Opposed by Robert of Geneva (“Clement VII”) (1378-1394), Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415), antipopes
  204. Innocent VII (1404-06) Opposed by Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415),antipopes
  205. Gregory XII (1406-15) Opposed by Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417), Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415), andPietro Philarghi (“Alexander V”) (1409-1410), antipopes
  206. Martin V (1417-31)
  207. Eugene IV (1431-47) Opposed by Amadeus of Savoy (“Felix V”), antipope (1439-1449)
  208. Nicholas V (1447-55)
  209. Callistus III (1455-58)
  210. Pius II (1458-64)
  211. Paul II (1464-71)
  212. Sixtus IV (1471-84)
  213. Innocent VIII (1484-92)
  214. Alexander VI (1492-1503)
  215. Pius III (1503)
  216. Julius II (1503-13)
  217. Leo X (1513-21)
  218. Adrian VI (1522-23)
  219. Clement VII (1523-34)
  220. Paul III (1534-49)
  221. Julius III (1550-55)
  222. Marcellus II (1555)
  223. Paul IV (1555-59)
  224. Pius IV (1559-65)
  225. St. Pius V (1566-72)
  226. Gregory XIII (1572-85)
  227. Sixtus V (1585-90)
  228. Urban VII (1590)
  229. Gregory XIV (1590-91)
  230. Innocent IX (1591)
  231. Clement VIII (1592-1605)
  232. Leo XI (1605)
  233. Paul V (1605-21)
  234. Gregory XV (1621-23)
  235. Urban VIII (1623-44)
  236. Innocent X (1644-55)
  237. Alexander VII (1655-67)
  238. Clement IX (1667-69)
  239. Clement X (1670-76)
  240. Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
  241. Alexander VIII (1689-91)
  242. Innocent XII (1691-1700)
  243. Clement XI (1700-21)
  244. Innocent XIII (1721-24)
  245. Benedict XIII (1724-30)
  246. Clement XII (1730-40)
  247. Benedict XIV (1740-58)
  248. Clement XIII (1758-69)
  249. Clement XIV (1769-74)
  250. Pius VI (1775-99)
  251. Pius VII (1800-23)
  252. Leo XII (1823-29)
  253. Pius VIII (1829-30)
  254. Gregory XVI (1831-46)
  255. Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
  256. Leo XIII (1878-1903)
  257. St. Pius X (1903-14)
  258. Benedict XV (1914-22) Biographies of Benedict XV and his successors will be added at a later date
  259. Pius XI (1922-39)
  260. Pius XII (1939-58)
  261. St. John XXIII (1958-63)
  262. Paul VI (1963-78)
  263. John Paul I (1978)
  264. St. John Paul II (1978-2005)
  265. Benedict XVI (2005-2013)
  266. Francis (2013—)

~ List from newadvent.org.

The Bible is always proven true.

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