I heard a really bad argument for the primacy of the Petrine papacy few days ago, which was that Peter was the first person to raise the dead, after Jesus, and therefore this biblical evidence demonstrated his primacy and his designation as the Pope. I found this quite silly and amusing, but did not think much of it, and did not argue it. Then today I ran across this brilliant article by Jason Enwer [here]who demonstrates a more sure and true Pauline papacy and Ephesian primacy. In it he purposefully and intentionally utilizes the same curious reasoning that Roman Catholics use when they are trying to demonstrate their beliefs. I thought it a sting well worth enduring to see how the RCC can manufacture evidence of “Primacy” by selective citation and out-of-context “snippetry”
1. Paul is the only apostle who is called God’s chosen vessel who will bear His name before Jews and Gentiles (Acts 9:15).2. Paul is the last apostle chosen by God, apart from the other twelve.3. The resurrected Christ appears to Paul in a different way than He appeared to the other apostles (Acts 9:3-6).
4. Paul is the only apostle who publicly rebukes and corrects another apostle (Galatians 2:11).
5. Paul is the only apostle who refers to his authority over all the churches (1 Corinthians 4:17, 7:17, 2 Corinthians 11:28).
6. Paul is the only apostle to call himself “father” (1 Corinthians 4:15).
7. Paul is the steward of God’s grace (Ephesians 3:2). This means that Paul is the overseer of salvation. Fellowship with Paul and his successors is necessary for salvation.
8. Paul is mentioned more in the New Testament than any other apostle.
9. The book of Acts, which mentions all of the apostles, discusses Paul more than any other apostle.
10. Paul was the first apostle to write a book of scripture.
11. Paul wrote more books of the New Testament than any other apostle.
12. Paul is the first apostle to be taken to Heaven to receive a revelation (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).
13. Paul is the only apostle Satan was concerned about enough to give him a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).
14. Paul seems to have suffered for Christ more than any other apostle (2 Corinthians 11:21-33).
15. Paul seems to have received more opposition from false teachers than any other apostle did, since he was the Pope (Romans 3:8, 2 Corinthians 10:10, Galatians 1:7, 6:17, Philippians 1:17).
16. Paul seems to have traveled further and more often than any other apostle, as we see in Acts and his epistles, which is what we might expect a Pope to do.
17. Only Paul’s teachings were so advanced, so deep, that another apostle acknowledged that some of his teachings were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:15-16). Peter’s understanding of doctrine doesn’t seem to be as advanced as Pope Paul’s. Paul has the primacy of doctrinal knowledge.
18. Paul was the first apostle whose writings were recognized as scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16).
19. Paul singles himself out as the standard of orthodoxy (1 Corinthians 14:37-38).
20. Only Paul refers to himself having a rod, a symbol of authority (1 Corinthians 4:21).
21. Paul initiates the council of Acts 15 by starting the debate with the false teachers (Acts 15:2) and delivering a report to the other church leaders (Acts 15:4).
22. Peter’s comments in Acts 15:7-11 are accepted only because Pope Paul goes on to confirm them (Acts 15:12).
23. When the Corinthians were dividing over which apostle to associate themselves with, Paul’s name was the first one mentioned (1 Corinthians 1:12).
24. Paul was the only apostle with the authority to deliver people over to Satan (1 Corinthians 5:5).
25. Paul had the best training and education of all the apostles (Philippians 3:4-6).
26. Paul is the only apostle to call the gospel “my gospel” (Romans 2:16).
27. Paul writes more about the identity of the church than any other apostle does (1 Corinthians 12, Colossians 1, Ephesians 4-5), which we might expect a Pope to do. Paul is the standard of orthodoxy and the Vicar of Christ on earth, so he has the primary responsibility for defining what the church is and who belongs to it.
28. Paul writes more about church government than any other apostle does, such as in his pastoral epistles.
29. Paul discusses church unity more than any other apostle does (1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 4), suggesting that he was the one responsible for maintaining church unity because of his papal authority.
30. Paul writes more about the gospel than any other apostle does (Romans, Galatians). As the leader of Christianity, Paul was most responsible for explaining the gospel and other Christian doctrine.
31. After Jesus, Paul speaks more about the kingdom of God than anybody else does (Acts 14:22, 19:8, 1 Corinthians 4:20, Galatians 5:21, 2 Thessalonians 1:5). After leaving earth, Jesus passed on the responsibility of teaching about the kingdom of God to Paul, the king of the church on earth.
32. Paul speaks of revealing mysteries more than any other apostle does (Romans 11:25, 1 Corinthians 15:51, Ephesians 5:32, 6:19, 2 Thessalonians 2:7), since he was the chief teacher of the church.
33. Paul was the only apostle other people tried to impersonate (2 Thessalonians 2:2), since he had more authority than anybody else.
34. Paul’s clothing works miracles (Acts 19:11-12).
35. Paul is delivered from death more than any other apostle (Acts 14:19, 28:3-6, 2 Corinthians 11:23).
36. The Jewish exorcists in Acts 19:13 associate themselves with Paul rather than with any other apostle.
37. The demons in Acts 19:15 recognize Paul’s primacy.
38. The Jews in Acts 21:28 recognize Paul’s primacy, saying that he’s the man they hold most responsible for teaching Christianity everywhere.
39. Paul had authority over the finances of the church (Acts 24:26, 2 Corinthians 9:5, Philippians 4:15-18).
40. Paul acts as the chief shepherd of the church, taking responsibility for each individual (2 Corinthians 11:29). For example, Paul was Peter’s shepherd (Galatians 2:11).
41. Paul interprets prophecy (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
42. Only Paul is referred to as being set apart for his ministry from his mother’s womb (Galatians 1:15).
43. Jesus Christ is revealed in Paul (Galatians 1:16), meaning that Paul and his successors are the infallible standard of Christian orthodoxy.
44. Paul is the only apostle who works by himself, only later coordinating his efforts with the other apostles (Galatians 1:16-18).
45. Only Paul is referred to as bearing the brandmarks of Christ (Galatians 6:17).
46. Every Christian was interested in Paul and what was happening in his life, looking to him as their example and their encouragement (Philippians 1:12-14).
47. Christians served Paul (Philippians 2:30).
48. Paul worked more than the other apostles (1 Corinthians 15:10), since he had more responsibilities as Pope.
49. Paul was to be delivered from every evil deed (2 Timothy 4:18), meaning that he was infallible.
50. Only Paul is referred to as passing his papal authority on to [Ephesian] successors who would also have authority over the church of God (Acts 20:28).
51. Among the seven churches addressed in Revelation 2-3, the church of Ephesus is mentioned first, since the bishops of Ephesus have primacy as the successors of Paul. The church in Ephesus “cannot endure evil men” (Revelation 2:2), meaning that the bishop of Ephesus is infallible when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals. The Ephesian church puts false teachers to the test (Revelation 2:2) by exercising its papal authority. The bishop of Ephesus has the responsibility of evaluating all teachers and declaring which are orthodox and which are not. None of the other churches in Revelation 2-3 are described as having this authority.
August 5th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
This is an interesting post, although equally “amusing” from the Catholic perspective, since most of these rely on the fact that Paul is the chief *writer* in the NT (and so of course Paul is the only one to mention dozens of things with regard to his apostleship. This, however, does not preclude their being applicable to other apostles).
What interests me is that in the documents Peter *did not write*, his portrayal is one of clear Primacy. Of course, that is prior to Paul’s establishment as an apostle, so perhaps Peter was just holding Paul’s place in line
August 5th, 2012 at 5:16 pm
I think you’re on the right track!