Does the Holy Spirit Choose the Pope?

images No.

From what I understand, and I could be wrong, this is not guaranteed. The Cardinal Electors surely pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as they discern who to vote for. And the Faithful pray for the Cardinal Electors and for their openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. No doubt the Holy Spirit has a preference for the next Pope but the Church is not guaranteed that this preference will be elected.

The conclave is not infallible. We know this is true because we have had a few evil popes and a few ineffective popes that were most likely NOT the choice of the Holy Spirit. However, no matter what, Jesus promised us that He would be with us until the end of time.

He will give the Pope, no matter who he is, infallibility. Unfortunately this does not mean that upon election to the papacy a man automatically becomes a SAINT by the power of the Holy Spirit but ONLY that the Holy Spirit will protect the Church from allowing the Pope to teach heresy to the whole Church on faith and morals. This is what we mean by INFALLIBILITY. PROTECTION FROM HERESY.

Pray for a holy man to be elected to the papacy again. The Church has had saintly men for popes for a long time now. Pray that the man the Holy Spirit desires is elected.

How A Lot of People Think the Pope Should Be Chosen

Is St. Peter the Rock on Which Jesus Founded His Church

Where Did Peter Ever Claim to be the First Pope?

Sonya: Do you know of any evidence of Peter claiming to be the first “pope”?

Bread From Heaven:Peter never claimed “to be the first pope” as such. Jesus proclaimed him as such in

Mt. 16:19 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 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.”

Jesus gave all the apostles the authority to bind and loose

Mt 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

but he only gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom. This promise finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.

Even Protestant scholars will acknowledge that Peter seemed have been designated with more authority that the other apostles by Jesus and based on NT evidence. But then they will contend that this authority was not passed on to another via apostolic succession. But I ask, why would Jesus designate an authoritative leader for His Church that would only last for the remainder of Peter’s short life? If the Church needed leadership in the first century, where many knew Jesus personally and knew the apostles and those who were taught by them, why would later generations not need this same authority and sure guide to the truth?

Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

We see this verse also as indicating a special office for Peter in having responsibility to strengthen the other apostles.

John 21:15-1715 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Here is the well known passage of Jesus reinstating Peter after his betrayal. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confers upon Peter the office of Shepherd of the Church. Of course the other apostles were also shepherds. But He does not specifically confer this office on the others.

But in every list of the apostles, except one, Peter is first. And when Peter and John race to the empty tomb, John beats him there, but waits until Peter arrives and then enters after him. I know these are not the kind of proofs you would like to see but these are the scriptural indications of Peter’s primacy. Matt 16 is the main proof.

But we also have in Acts 15 the first Church Council: A dispute arose between Jewish and Gentile converts to Christianity regarding the necessity of circumcision. So, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem to have the dispute settled. This is the first council of the Church. It is discussed with much passion. Finally, Peter stood up and proclaimed his decision that circumcision was not necessary. End of discussion.

No wonder all were silent. This was astounding!!! Peter, had decreed that the ancient Mosaic law of circumcision was no longer binding, removed the dietary laws of the Old Covenant. But no one challenged him. Why? Because everyone knew Jesus had appointed him as the chief of the apostles.

Then Paul and Barnabas related what signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles. Then, after this James, takes the decision of Peter and makes it specific and gives detail regarding how it is to be followed by the Church.

We know from Church History that St. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem and as Acts 21:15-25 describes, he was concerned for Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who felt their ancient customs threatened by the great number of Gentile converts. This background explains why St. James made the later remarks at the council and asked Gentiles to respect certain Jewish practices.

This is exactly how things are still done today. Bishops will request minor changes to Church law that are necessary for the culture they are shepherding. There are differences between cultures and what works in Rome may not correlate to Africa, for instance.

There is nothing in Scripture alone that explicitly authorizes Peter to do this. There are implications but nothing clear and unequivocal. That is because the Christians in the infant Church were NOT Sola Scriptura. But the Jews were.

Paul submits his teaching to him and the other apostles in Jerusalem in

Galations 2:1-2 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Then of course there is historical evidence. Which I guess you will reject since it is not in scripture just like I did when I was first presented with this evidence. But I was hot on the trail of Pope Honorius and papal FALLIBILITY.

Honorius was declared a heretic by a later Pope. In my reading, as the Church and heretics battled over the current heresy (I can’t remember which one it was) I noticed a very curious thing. The heretics were all making attempts to get the approval of the Bishop of Rome and no other Bishop. This indicated to me that they knew that if they could get the stamp of approval for their beliefs from this bishop,they would triumph over those where calling them heretics. It was even more convincing to me b/c I stumbled on it and was not even looking for historical evidence of Papal primacy.

In Corinth, the people deposed their Church leaders, and some appealed to the Bishop of Rome, despite the fact that St. John was still living and closer to Corinth than Rome. We have Pope Clement’s response

Sonya: ” or any proof of linus being his successor?

Bread From Heaven: Linus was Peter’s successor according St. Irenaeus, writing between 175 and 190, not many years after his Roman sojourn, enumerates the series from Peter to Eleutherius (Against Heresies III.3.3; and Eusebius, Church HistoryCh 6). His object, as we have already seen, was to establish the orthodoxy of the traditional doctrine, as opposed to heretical novelties, by showing that the bishop was the natural inheritor of the Apostolic teaching. He gives us the names alone, not the length of the various episcopates.

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!

Leroy made many comments about several issues on the post (click)–>Peter/Petra Controversy.

He contended that the Church was built on Christ’s confession not Peter, that Peter was rebuked by Paul and therefore disqualified in some way from being pope, dismissed infallibility of the Pope, and proclaimed the priesthood of all believers. You can read his whole comment by clicking on the link above.

Dear Leroy,
What you say is true of course but it isn’t the whole truth. Please see this post about Peter:

Rock: Peter or his confession?

Jesus did not say that the gates of Hell will not prevail over Peter but they would not prevail over His Church. And the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself over 2000 years ago and over which the Gates of Hell have not yet prevailed against. Damaged? Yes but not conquered.

All men are silenced by death eventually, but that does NOT mean that Hell has prevailed over them. You have veered into heresy here.

As for Paul and Peter please read:

Paul Rebuked Peter

All believers belong to the priesthood but so did all the Jews in the OT. And just like the Jews, the Catholic Church has both a priesthood of all believers and a ministerial priesthood. Please see this post:
Priesthood of All Believers

Regarding Infallibility. You believe the writers of the the books of the Bible were infallible in their writings so if God could make them infallible why not the leader of the Church He founded? Please see this post: Infallible??

Pope Rock

Constantine: I am always startled when I see the utter disrespect that Roman Catholics pay to the Old Testament. After all, those were “the Scriptures” that Jesus affirmed, down to every pen stroke (Matthew 5:17-21).

So when you wrote, “And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God” you showed my suspicions to be true! The entire Old Testament demands that the title Rock be applied only to God.

Here are just a few examples:

For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? Psalm 18:31

Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:8

“There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:2

So just in these three example, we have David, the prophet Isaiah and the prophet Samuel saying exactly that the title “Rock” can only mean God!

BFHU: I have an immense respect for the Old Testament. You are misunderstanding what I said.

I said:

“And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God”

I did not say that Rock in the OT does not refer to God, which is what your OT Quotes show. I agree with you and the OT, that in the OT Rock is one of the names of God. While the OT uses Rock to refer to God there is nowhere in Scripture that demands that Rock can ONLY & ALWAYS refer to God. You are interpreting these passages as demands but they don’t say that explicitly. In fact in the New Testament Jesus changes Simon’s name to ROCK.

You remember how often Jesus cited the book of Deuteronomy, don’t you bfhu? He quoted it more than any other book in the Bible. Does Deuteronomy say that Peter is the “rock”?

BFHU:That is a silly question. Moses did not know Peter.

Constantine: He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. Deuteronomy 32:15

You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. Deuteronomy 32:18

BFHU: These are great quotes. I don’t dispute them. I never said that the Rock in the OT referred to Peter. It refers to God.

Constantine: So, only the Roman Catholic Church, taking only one example from the New Testament which was unknown to the Apostles and Christ, Incarnate, takes God’s rightful title away from Him and gives it to a man. That strikes me as a blasphemy.

BFHU: Well it would be blasphemy if mere men “took God’s rightful title away from Him and gave it to a man.” But, Jesus is the one Who changed Simon’s name to ROCK. God is very generous.

Primacy of Peter

Good questions.

JB: While it appears that Jesus is giving Peter the singular authority to permit and bind in Math 16:19, he gives the same authority to a much larger audience, in Math 18:18.

BFHU: Let’s take a look at the scriptures.

Mt. 16:19 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 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.”

Mt 18:18 (At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked)… 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

You see that Jesus did give the same authority to all the apostles to bind and loose, which was a Rabbinic idiom for “the authority to rule”. Which is absolutely still true for our Bishops. However, Jesus also gave Peter a greater responsibility by giving Peter and only Peter the Keys of the Kingdom.

Jesus give Peter the Keys to the Kingdom

You may dismiss this as irrelevant or just an omission from the Mt 18 passage but we see this as significant.  But remember, the Catholic Church did not look at this verse and say, “Ah ha! Peter is greater than the other disciples.”
No, historically the bishop of Rome was the final authority in the Christian Catholic Church. It is easy to find. But you have to have eyes to see. Apologists for the Catholic Church point out this verse because Protestants demand scripture even though their teaching of Sola Scriptura is not found in the Bible.

JB: I understand that the argument for Peters sole authority would then deduce that Math 18:18 would suggest that all spoken to at that time understood Peter to be prime, but that is still a stretch and really only can be seen if the reader assumes Jesus was establishing Peter as the ‘Rock’ of the Church.

BFHU: Here you touch on a very important difference between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. For Protestants, there exists in their minds an either-or mentality. Such as, either Peter is the Rock or Jesus is the Rock. If Peter is the Rock then that detracts from Jesus/God who is designated often in the OT as the Rock of Israel, etc. Therefore Peter CANNOT  be the Rock Jesus is talking about.

But, for Catholics this mindset is not foundational as it is in Protestantism. We have a both-and mentality. Jesus/God is certainly the Rock of Israel/ God.

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a <strong>spiritual rock</strong> which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the  Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Isaiah 30:29You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival,And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the  Rock of Israel .

But In Matthew 15 Jesus changes Simon’s name to Rock/Peter/Cephas and tells him He will build His Church on Rock/Peter. Of course, Jesus is also Rock. Both Peter and God are Rock, a strong foundation. We don’t have to choose either one or the other but both. And, there is no Scripture that demands that the title Rock can only be applied to God.

JB: In addition; 1 John 4:1 creates a problem in that the Catholic church teaches (you need to understand that I spent the first 28 years of my life in the Catholic church and received the first 5 Sacraments), that Catholics are to accept the teaching of the church by faith. I was also told on numerous occasions, that the reading of the Bible was for the church leadership (Priests, Bishops etc.) and not for the laity…I am not asking your opinion on this point; I am telling you that was the teaching I received from the four churches I attended, three in Massachusetts and one in New Brunswick.

BFHU: The Catholic Church does not forbid following I Jn 4:1. The Church is our Mother. If the Mother of a child tells him not to run out into the street it is to protect her child. Should the child test the truth of his mother’s instruction and run out into the street to see if it is true? It is the same for the Catholic Church. The young and immature in the Faith need to trust the teachings of the Church because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Because levels of maturity vary it is safest for the Church to encourage her children to trust rather than test every doctrine. However, any well instructed and faithful Catholic who seeks the truth can certainly explore and test what the Church teaches. I did and converted from being a zealous Protestant to a zealous Catholic. All her Doctrines are sublime.

But, many Catholics explore and test with an agenda, perhaps even an agenda hidden from themselves. They really want a good excuse to free themselves from certain Catholic Doctrines that they don’t like. Unpopular doctrines like the prohibition of contraception, sinfulness of homosexual intercourse, prohibition of divorce, obligation to attend Church every Sunday and Holy Day. So, they “test” the spirits and VOILA! ….thanks to Protestant interpretation of Scripture they find just the rationale they sought to leave the Catholic Church. They have unwittingly fallen into the very trap John warned about:

1 John 4: 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Does the Catholic Church acknowledge that  Jesus Christ has come in the flesh ?
YES! It certainly does.

JB: How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God? You know; I am a sub-contractor and as such am required to sign a sub contract which is based on the prime contract. I am permitted to see the prime contract, and read it, in order to be satisfied that the sub contract is in fact aligned with the requirements of the prime.

BFHU: The Church does not forbid the reading of Scripture. We are cautioned to read it WITH THE CHURCH. But scripture reading and meditation are encouraged.

There was a time when it was forbidden due to the Protestant revolt that inflamed the minds with error. But this is no longer the case. If you were told not to read scripture it was the people who told you that for whatever reason, I don’t know. Maybe that is what they were taught. Or maybe your questions scared them or they did know how to answer them, so they told you not to read scripture. But the Church does not and has not forbidden the reading of Scripture by the laity for a long time.

JB: How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God?

BFHU: The testing had to be done spiritually and comparing sound doctrine to the words of so-called prophet or teachers. This passage COULD NOT HAVE MEANT THAT IN ORDER TO TEST THE SPIRITS ONE HAD TO READ SCRIPTURE.

That is impossible.

Since John wrote in the 1st Century, hardly anyone in the population could read. Even today worldwide illiteracy is 20%. So, it is an impossibility that salvation and testing of spirits depended upon reading Scripture.

And besides, at today’s $8.00/hr minimum wage ONE Bible would have cost more than the equivalent of  $16,000, to produce, before the invention of the printing press. For more information see –>Sola Scriptura

Therefore, one does NOT have to read scripture to test the spirits. But, the Catholic Church has always read the scriptures to the faithful.

JB: Even in Timothy there is an admonition to study to show oneself approved.
BFHU: Timothy was not laity. Paul was not addressing this admonition to everyone. Timothy must have had the ability to study/read and access to books.

JB: My point is; I understand the Catholic churches stand, I am just not convinced the very Scripture that is the linchpin of the claim says precisely what they think it says

BFHU: I understand your point. But you have fallen back into the Protestant error that the Catholic Church derives her doctrine and beliefs FROM Scripture. We do NOT. Rather, scripture was born FROM the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles and the Catholic Church. So the Mt. 15 passage is NOT any sort of linchpin for the claim of Peter’s primacy. Don’t you find it unsettling that Sola Scriptura is




Bishops are False Teachers!

Joe: The false teachers that Paul warned about may make the same claim of having a lineage back to the Apostles or even Peter, and yet, that has no weight whatsoever.

BFHU: Joe, you are not basing this in fact but purely conjecture.

Joe:Paul said (1 Timothy 4: 1-3; Acts 20: 28-31) that they are false teachers, even though they are bishops.

BFHU: The passages that you cite do not say that bishops are false teachers. Some bishops may be false teachers, in fact I know of one who aids and abets heresy, heterodoxy, and liturgical abuse. But the first passage doesn’t even mention bishops. Of course there will be false teachers. Jesus promised us that. But we trust Christ to keep the Church’s teaching free from error just as He promised. Individuals may err and teach error but the teaching of the faith is indefectible and these passages, I and all Catholics totally accept. We do not accept the way you seem to be interpreting them however. We do not accept you as an infallible teacher and interpreter of Scripture. Sorry.

Joe:: Being a properly ordained bishop in no way guarantees faithfulness.

BFHU: Correct. Same goes for priests, nuns and every Catholic. We do not and have never  taught or believed,  that the ordained or any other Catholics are guaranteed to be faithful.

Joe:In fact, it is guaranteed that bishops who did have a lineage back to the Apostles did go astray, did teach damnable heresies, and they did draw many after themselves (1 Timothy 4: 1-3; Acts 20: 28-31).

BFHU: The I Tim passages merely says “some” will abandon the Faith. It does not say anything about bishops let alone all bishops including the pope. I know that you have been taught to understand this passage this way, but it just does NOT say what you are trying to convince us it says. Joe, we do not believed that we will be save only if we have a perfect theology. We trust in God’s mercy. If priests or bishops have erred and taught error they will be accountable for it not the people who trusted them to be teaching them the truth. I do not in any way mean to diminish good theological education. Some have a keen interest and will study and read and seek to learn all they can. But many people are content to trust a teacher they trust. This is true in every religion.

Joe: That is why Paul said that if anyone, even he himself, or an angel from Heaven, were to preach anything different than that which had already been preached, they were to be accursed. Paul also said that we were to follow him AS HE FOLLOWED CHRIST. That means that if he is following Christ, we are to follow him. However, If he ceases to follow Christ, we are to cease from following him.

BFHU: I agree.But first one must realize that the leader is, in fact, NOT following Christ.

Joe:How do we know if our overseers are following Christ or not?

BFHU: Easy. If a deacon, priest, or bishop teaches anything contrary to the Faith it is obvious if one is well educated in the Catholic Faith. Even if one is not well educated,  if there is a question, all one has to do is look it up in the Catechism. But if someone is clueless God will have mercy on them. We are judged by our hearts before God, not the knowledge in our head. The Catechism is an orderly presentation of what is to be believed; unlike the Bible, precious as it is, it is not an orderly presentation of the Faith. It is not a book of systematic theology. The teaching of the Bible must be ordered and interpreted by someone.

Joe: We test all things and hold fast that which may be proven good.

BFHU: Absolutely.

Joe: How do we test the doctrine of our overseers? We may compare all things to the Scriptures that are able to make us perfect and to thoroughly equip us unto every good work (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).

BFHU: Of course this is one way but it is dependent upon one having an infallible interpretation of Scripture. Do you have an infallible interpretation of Scripture, Joe? And as I have discussed before, this passage, again, just does not say that scripture is ALL WE NEED. It says All Scripture is Good…. That is NOT the same thing. But I know that this is how you have been taught to interpret this scripture. We do not because we know that there is so much more that never got written down ( I John 21:25) and Paul even exhorted us to cling to the Traditions he taught, BOTH ORAL AND WRITTEN. Protestants, unwittingly reject all that Paul taught orally and accept only what He wrote down.

Joe: If something contradicts the Scriptures, it cannot possibly be true.

BFHU:This is not an accurate statement. Scripture contradicts scripture if one takes it dead literally. The order of the universe as portrayed in Scripture contradicts Science. There is a website 101 Contradictions in the Bible . Some of these are not convincing but others seem to be legitimate on the face of it. So, this means that you and Sola Scriptura Protestants have a problem.

But then there is this site to the resuce. Cleared Up-101 Contradictions in the Bible

And here we go. If you looked at the site above, it is obvious, the Scriptures NEED to be interpreted and commented on. I have not read this site but it clearly shows that one needs MORE that Scripture alone. And how about the Protestant use of grape juice for communion when Jesus used wine. What about the contradiction between the Protestant view of Communion being symbolic (found nowhere in scripture) and Jesus saying, “This is my body. Eat This is my blood. Drink. and “You must eat my flesh and drink my blood to have eternal life.”???????

Joe: It is not possible that an unmarried man may be a bishop by God’s authority. It is not possible that a man can refuse to allow another man to be a bishop without swearing an oath of celibacy, seeing as how it is not lawful to refuse a man to marry (1 Timothy 4: 1-3), it is not possible for an unmarried man to be a bishop (1 Timothy 3: 1-2), and it is not lawful to swear an oath (Matthew 5: 33-37).

BFHU: That is merely your interpretation.

Joe:Paul said, “5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then NEITHER HE WHO PLANTS IS ANYTHING, NOR HE WHO WATERS, BUT GOD WHO GIVES THE INCREASE (1 Corinthians 3: 5-7). Earlier Paul included Peter in the same vain with Apollos and himself. They are mere servants! It is God who gives the increase! They are authorized to preach the Truth, which, if they do they receive blessing from God.

BFHU:: I completely agree. We can see here and in your other comments on this blog that you have an inaccurate understanding about what the Catholic Church actually believes and teaches. Some of your questions and the use of certain scriptures indicated that you think they will nail a Catholic to the wall.

Joe:The Roman Catholic Church has no authority. They are not the church of God! They had to revise their list of “Popes” because it was proven wrong. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that they do have a linage back to the Apostles. But even if they did, that would be meaningless also.

BFHU: These are merely your assertions. Anyone can say anything. You have no back up, no citing of authoritative sources for what you say here. Your interpretation of scripture is not authoritative for me. I have no reason to believe that you are infallible.

Joe: Peter is not the foundation of the church. Your interpretation of Matthew 16 may be a legitimate one if you look at that passage alone.

BFHU:: Well Thanks.

Joe: However, if you look at the Scriptures as a whole, it becomes evident that it is not possible that your interpretation is the meaning that God intended. The Scriptures do not allow that interpretation, because the Scriptures explicitly state that Jesus is the foundation of God’s building, and that no one may lay any other foundation. If we look at the context of Matthew 16 we see that there is one rock and one foundation. There is not room for another foundation. There is no room for Peter to be the foundation or the Rock that the church is founded upon in that context. In another context all of the Apostles are included as part of the foundation, but there Peter is made equal to the rest of the Apostles. God’s Word is also an integral part of the foundation, because Jesus and His word are one. If you reject Jesus’ word, you reject Him. Jesus said that a man who hears and obeys His words is like a wise man that dug deep and built his house on a rock. We know that the Bible is His Word. If we do not heed that which we know for sure is His word, He says we are like a fool who built his house on sand.

BFHU: Again we come down to the Either/Or Protestant culture of interpretation. Either Jesus is the foundation of the Church Or Jesus built the Church on Peter. We KNOW Jesus is THE Foundation. But He is the one who said, “Simon you are Rock and on this rock I will build My Church.” We are just taking Jesus literally

Joe: Lastly, when Jesus says that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church, he is not saying that men will not fall into apostasy.

BFHU: True.

Joe: That would be contradicting plain statements made by Paul and other of the Apostles (which would demonstrate that the Bible is not the Word of God). If we understand the Scriptures and the point of the gospel we can easily understand that Jesus is speaking about salvation. He is saying that those who He adds to His church and who remain faithful to the end, shall receive everlasting life.

BFHU: The Scripture just does not actually SAY that. You are interpreting it that way.

Joe:The gates of Hades has no power over us who are members of Christ’s church, as long as we choose to stay faithful. If we walk away from Him, we also walk away from His church, and we are lost. The gates of Hades will prevail against us in that case, because we are no longer Christ’s church.

BFHU: What you say is true for individuals but Jesus was talking about His Church which He was going to build on Peter. He wasn’t talking about salvation per se. And He certainly wasn’t talking about the salvation of individuals. He was referring to the CHURCH He was going to Build. He said,

Mt 16:18 And I tell you that you are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I 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.”

If that Church that Jesus founded veered into apostasy as Protestants contend, then Jesus was not able to keep His promise.

What Biblical Authority Do Catholics Have for Heirarchy?

Q. Also, I don’t see any biblical evidence for apostles handing down their authority to guard and dispense the truth, to have popes, bishops etc.

A. There is historical evidence about the growth and development of the Christian Church. But if you mean biblical evidence:

In the early Church there were all three ordained offices of the Catholic Church that we have today (Deacons, Priests, Bishops). They were called by different names but the offices were in existence and are designated in Acts 6:5 and Acts 15 at the first Church Council and elsewhere in the New Testament.

First, we have Peter at the council who stood up and settled the dispute brought to the First Church Council in Jerusalem by Paul and Barnabus regarding what to require of Gentile Christians. Jesus made Peter the leader of His ChurchPOPE or Vicar of Christ in Matthew 16:17-19. Jesus gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom, the authority to rule.

ACTS 15:6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.

Then, also present at the first Church Council were the apostles who became the first BISHOPS ( Gr. Episkopos) in the Church. There are many other New Testament passages that mention the office of bishop or overseer.

Next we see PRIESTS, called elders in the New Testament because this is the strict English and Protestant translation of the Greek presbuteros. However, our English word Priest is etymologically derived from the Greek word presbuteros.

And finally we have DEACONS:Stephen and others in Acts 6 and qualifications of deacons in I Timothy 3:8-12. There are many other NT passages also that talk about deacons.

Also, Peter does away with the sign of the covenant, centuries of Jewish circumcision in Acts 15:5ff. He also, gets rid of the Jewish dietary laws given to the Jews by God through Moses. They stopped the Jewish sacrifices. Peter authoritatively stopped all these seemingly perpetual practices of the Jews, the people of God.

There is nothing in Scripture alone that explicitly authorizes Peter to do this. There are implications but nothing clear and unequivocal. That is because the Christians in the infant Church were NOT Sola Scriptura. But the Jews were.

John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.