Friday, September 18, 2009

What they claim concerning Peter

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 4 of 4 - External Means by which God Invites Us into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein

Chapter 6 - Primacy of the Roman See
8-10 - Jesus the only king
8. Peter was first, as a moderator or chairman of the 12 apostles, not over the whole world. Bees and cranes select a natural leader, but only in their small company, not over the whole world of bees or cranes. It is true a kingdom can't have two kings.
9. "Christ is the Head:" Eph 4:15-16. Scripture nowhere transfers this office to a mortal - Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:10. So any human vice-regent is excluded, by this.
10. If the papacy were legit, Eph 4:4-5, 11-12 would mention it.

11-15 - Peter and Rome, in history
11. Even if Peter was bishop in Rome, that doesn't mean Rome should be the primary bishopric now.
12. Peter's first location was Antioch, so the papal authority either goes with the person (which they no longer want to claim) or with the place (which it didn't when Peter moved from Antioch to Rome, in their view), or a mixture, arbitrarily.
13. Why wouldn't Antioch be second, still, if the principle is the founding apostle of the town? That obviously isn't the principle, as Ephesus (John), and Jerusalem (James) were both passed over for Alexandria (Mark, not even an apostle).
14. But Peter wasn't in Rome long, or early, as Paul says in Gal 1-2 that he was in Jerusalem for at least 20 years after Christ's ascension. And Paul doesn't mention him in Rom 15:25; 16:3-16.
15. If Peter was at Rome when Paul got there and was tried, Peter didn't stand with Paul - 2 Tim 4:16. Peter was apostle to the Jews; Paul to Gentiles, so focusing on Peter is off base - Gal 2:7-9.

16-17 - Rome honored, but not as unifying head
16. It was honored from ancient time as (1) the reputed home of Peter; (2) the capital of the empire, thus surpassing other cities in excellence; and as (3) more calm in doctrine and spirit than Eastern and African cities, making it a haven fled and looked to for guidance.
17. When the patristic fathers appeal to church unity, they do NOT appeal to one bishopric over all others.

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