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Author Topic: Petrine Primacy: Matthew 16:19 and 18:1-5  (Read 1693 times) Average Rating: 1
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« on: September 05, 2008, 03:06:38 PM »

Someone on an apologetic website for the Vatican that I wont' name metioned something I had never thought of:

If Matthew 16:19 established St. Peter as the Chief of the Apostles and Head of the Church, why, when the disciples ask Him who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He makes no reference to it. I'll add to that that it doesn't come up in the discussion about the Sons of Zebedee being on the Lord's Right and Left (Matthew 20:20-28).
Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 03:33:23 PM »

Simple, the sons of Zebedee were ambitious and wanted things that could never belong to them (being ultimately reserved for John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary according to Holy Tradition).  Christ completes the passage by saying that whoever desires to be great , let him be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you (using this example, Peter), let him be your slave since the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (paraphrasing Verses 26-28).
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 06:57:06 PM »

Simple, the sons of Zebedee were ambitious and wanted things that could never belong to them (being ultimately reserved for John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary according to Holy Tradition).  Christ completes the passage by saying that whoever desires to be great , let him be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you (using this example, Peter),
that's the issue: he doesn't use Peter.

And to be fair, 18:1-5 and the related  verses say all the disciples (apparently including Peter) were arguing about who would be greatest.
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 07:40:13 PM »

that's the issue: he doesn't use Peter.

Correct, Christ doesn't mention Peter by name.  I just inserted the comment as an example.

And to be fair, 18:1-5 and the related  verses say all the disciples (apparently including Peter) were arguing about who would be greatest.

Do you see the reference to children and how one has to be humbled (or be received) as a child to be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 07:40:39 PM »

Someone on an apologetic website for the Vatican that I wont' name metioned something I had never thought of:

If Matthew 16:19 established St. Peter as the Chief of the Apostles and Head of the Church, why, when the disciples ask Him who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He makes no reference to it. I'll add to that that it doesn't come up in the discussion about the Sons of Zebedee being on the Lord's Right and Left (Matthew 20:20-28).
Any thoughts?

Maybe the reading of the Gospel of St James be helpful.

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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 07:50:01 PM »

Someone on an apologetic website for the Vatican that I wont' name metioned something I had never thought of:

If Matthew 16:19 established St. Peter as the Chief of the Apostles and Head of the Church, why, when the disciples ask Him who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He makes no reference to it. I'll add to that that it doesn't come up in the discussion about the Sons of Zebedee being on the Lord's Right and Left (Matthew 20:20-28).
Any thoughts?

Because Peter was not head of the Church. Peter's role was spokesperson for the Apostles and I'm sure some administrative roles went with it. We know Judas was the treasury keeper and accountant of the group, so I suspect they had very well defined "jobs".

That Peter had certain proeminence is attested by the fact that he is almost always mentioned first in the "dyptics" of the Apostles when they are all named and also that Luke, a disciple of Paul, actually spent a large amount of his Acts - mostly the Acts of Paul - on Peter. That, despite the fact that Paul and Peter were at odds sometimes. So it really seems he had to acknowledge Peter somehow.

The whole point is that Peter was head of the Apostles, just like Justinian laws would clearly state the Pope as Head of the Bishops. That is *very* different from being Head of the Church or habing an ontological prerrogative over this leadership.
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 09:41:39 PM »

Is there an online resource anywhere that might have the hymns and prayers particular to all the services (matins, vespers, etc) for Ss Peter and Paul?

People have a tendency to equate "Peter is first among the apostles and played a prominent role as such" with "the Pope has universal jurisdiction and is infallible". The two are not the same. It's nonsense to degrade the role of the head of the apostles in order to combat Papism (the dogmas that define the papacy). It's just replacing one lie with another, and denies our Tradition in the process.
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 10:29:44 PM »

Is there an online resource anywhere that might have the hymns and prayers particular to all the services (matins, vespers, etc) for Ss Peter and Paul?

People have a tendency to equate "Peter is first among the apostles and played a prominent role as such" with "the Pope has universal jurisdiction and is infallible". The two are not the same. It's nonsense to degrade the role of the head of the apostles in order to combat Papism (the dogmas that define the papacy). It's just replacing one lie with another, and denies our Tradition in the process.

I have this from the Menologion (the software, not the book):


HOLY AND GLORIOUS APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL

Troparion    Tone 4
Leaders of the Apostles and teachers of the world,/ pray to the Master of all to grant peace to the world/ and great mercy to our souls.

Kontakion    Tone 2
Thou hast taken the firm and divinely inspired Preachers, O Lord,/ the leading Apostles, for the enjoyment of Thy blessings and for repose./ For Thou hast accepted their labours and death/ as above every burnt offering,/ O Thou Who alone knowest the secrets of our hearts.

The readings are:
VESPERS

1 Peter 1:3-9
1 Peter 1:13-19
1 Peter 2:11-24

MATINS

John 21:15-25

LITURGY

2 Corinthians 11:21-12:9
Matthew 16:13-19

Sermon

THE GLORIOUS AND ALL-PRAISEWORTHY FIRST-RANKED APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL (+ 67).

   Sermon of Blessed Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (Ipponesia). On this present day Holy Church piously remembers the suffering of the Holy Glorious and All-Praiseworthy Apostles Peter and Paul.
   Saint Peter, the fervent follower of Jesus Christ, for the profound confession of His Divinity: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God", -- was deemed worthy by the Saviour to hear in answer: "Blessed art thou, Simon... I tell thee, that thou art Peter (Petrus), and on this stone (petra) I build My Church" (Mt. 16: 16-18). On "this stone" (petra), is on that which thou sayest: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God", -- it is on this thy confession I build My Church. Wherefore the "thou art Peter": it is from the "stone" (petra) that Peter (Petrus) is, and not from Peter (Petrus) that the "stone" (petra) is -- just as how the christian is from Christ, and not Christ from the christian. Do you want to know, from what sort of "rock" (petra) the Apostle Peter (Petrus) was named? -- Hear ye the Apostle Paul: "I do not want ye not to know, brethren, -- says the Apostle of Christ, -- how our fathers were all under a cloud, and all passed through the sea: and all in Moses were baptised in the cloud and in the sea. And all thus eating spiritual food, and all thus drinking spiritual drink: for they did drink from the spiritual accompanying rock: for the rock indeed was Christ" (1 Cor. 10: 1-4). Here is the from whence the "Rock" is Peter.
   Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the final days of His earthly life, in the days of His mission to the race of man, chose from among the disciples His twelve Apostles for preaching the Word of God. Among them, the Apostle Peter for his fiery ardour was vouchsafed to occupy the first place (Mt. 10: 2) and to be as it were the representative person for all the Church. And therefore it is said to him, preferentially, after the confession: "And I give thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and if thou bindest upon the earth, it will be bound in the Heavens: and if thou loosenest upon the earth, it will be loosened in the Heavens (Mt.16; 19). Wherefore it was not one man, but rather the One Universal Church, that received these "keys" and the right "to bind and loosen". And that actually it was the Church that received this right, and not exclusively a single person, turn your attention to another place of the Scriptures, where the same Lord says to also all His Apostles: "Receive ye the Holy Spirit", -- and further after this: "Whoseso sins ye remit, are remitted them: and whoseso sins ye retain, are retained" (Jn. 20: 22-23); or: "with what ye bind upon the earth, will be bound in Heaven: and with what ye loosen upon the earth, will be loosened in the Heavens" (Mt. 18: 18). Thus, it is the Church that binds, the Church that loosens; the Church, built upon the foundational corner-stone -- Jesus Christ Himself (Eph. 2: 20) doth bind and loosen. Let both the binding and the loosening be feared: the loosening, in order not to fall under this again; the binding, in order not to remain forever in this condition. Wherefore "by the passions of his own sins, -- says Wisdom, -- is each ensnared" (Prov. 5: 22); and except for Holy Church nowhere is it possible to receive the loosening.
   And after His Resurrection the Lord entrusted the Apostle Peter to shepherd His spiritual flock not because, that among the disciples only Peter alone was pre-deserved to shepherd the flock of Christ, but Christ addresses Himself chiefly to Peter because, that Peter was first among the Apostles and as such the representative of the Church; besides which, having turned in this instance to Peter alone, as to the top Apostle, Christ by this confirms the unity of the Church. "Simon of John, -- says the Lord to Peter, -- lovest thou Me? -- and the Apostle answered: "Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee"; and a second time it was thus asked, and a second time he thus answered; being asked a third time, seeing that as it were not believed, he was saddened. But how is it possible for him not to believe That One, Who knew his heart? And wherefore then Peter answered: "Lord, Thou knowest all; Thou knowest that I love Thee". "And sayeth Jesus to him" all three times "Feed My sheep" (Jn. 20: 15-17). Besides this, the thrice appealing of the Saviour to Peter and the thrice confession of Peter before the Lord had a particular beneficial purpose for the Apostle. That one, to whom was given "the keys of the kingdom" and the right "to bind and to loosen", himself thrice bound himself by fear and cowardice (Mt. 26: 69-75), and the Lord thrice loosens him by His appeal and in turn by his confession of strong love. And to shepherd literally the flock of Christ was acquired by all the Apostles and their successors. "Attend yourself to all the flock, -- urges the Apostle Paul to church presbyters, -- in which the Holy Spirit hath established ye as bishops, to shepherd the Church of the Lord God, acquired by His Blood" (Acts 20: 28); and the Apostle Peter to the elders: "Feed among you the flock of Christ, attending to it not by need, but by will and according to God: not for unrighteous profit, but zealously: not as commanding parables, but be an image to the flock. And when is appeared the Prince of pastors, ye will receive unfading crowns of glory" (1 Pet. 5: 2-4).
   It is remarkable that Christ, having said to Peter: "Feed My sheep", -- did not say: "Feed thy sheep", -- but rather to feed, good servant, the sheep of the Lord. "For was Christ divided, or is Paul crucified according to you, or are ye baptised in the name of Peter or of Paul?" (1 Cor. 1: 13). "Feed My sheep". Wherefore "wolfish robbers, wolfish oppressors, deceitful teachers and mercenaries, not being concerned about the flock" (Mt. 7: 15;  Acts 20: 29;  2 Pet. 2: 1;  Jn. 10: 12), having plundered a strange flock and making of the spoils as though it be of their own particular gain, they think that they feed their flock. Such are not good pastors, as pastors of the Lord. "The good pastor lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn. 10: 11), entrusted to Him by the Prince of pastors Himself (1 Pet. 5: 4). And the Apostle Peter, true to his calling, gave his soul for the very flock of Christ, having sealed his apostleship by a martyr's death, now glorified throughout all the world.
   And the Apostle Paul, being formerly Saul, was changed from a robbing wolf into a meek lamb; formerly he was an enemy of the Church, then is manifest as an Apostle; formerly he stalked it, then preached it. Having received from the high-priests the authority at large to throw all christians in chains for execution, he was already on the way, "he breathed with rage and murder against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9: 1), he thirsted for blood, but -- "the Living One in the Heavens mocked him" (Ps. 2: 4). When he, "having persecuted and vexed" in such manner "the Church of God" (1 Cor. 15: 9; Acts 8: 5), he came nigh to Damascus, and the Lord from Heaven called to him: "Saul, Saul, wherefore persecutest thou Me?" -- and I am here, and I am there, I am everywhere: here is My head; there is My body. There becomes nothing of a surprise in this; we ourselves -- are members of the Body of Christ. "Saul, Saul, wherefore persecutest thou Me; it is terrible to thee to kick against the goad" (Acts 9: 4-5). Saul, however, "trembling and frightened", cried out: "Who art Thou, Lord?" I am Jesus, -- answered the Lord to him, -- Whom thou persecutest". And Saul suddenly undergoes a change: "What wantest Thou me to do?" -- he cries out. And suddenly for him there is the Voice: "Rise up and go to the city, and it will be told thee, what thou ought to do" (Acts 9: 6). Here the Lord sends Ananias: "Rise up go upon the street" to a man, "by the name of Saul", and baptise him, "for this one is a vessel chosen by Me, to bear My Name before pagans and rulers and the sons of Israel" (Acts 9: 11, 15, 18). This vessel mustneeds be filled with My Grace. "Ananias however answered: Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he hath done to Thine saints in Jerusalem: and to be here to have the authority from the high-priests to seize all calling upon Thy Name" (Acts 9: 13-14). But the Lord urgently commands Ananias: "Search for and fetch him, for this vessel is chosen by Me: for I shalt tell him, how much mustneeds be for him to suffer about My Name" (Acts 9: 11, 15-16).
   And actually the Lord did direct the Apostle Paul, what things he had to suffer for His Name. He instructed him the deeds; He did not stop at the chains, the fetters, the prisons and shipwrecks; He Himself felt for him in his sufferings, He Himself guided him towards this day. On a single day is done the memory of the sufferings of both these Apostles, though they suffered on separate days, but by the spirit and the closeness of their suffering they constitute one. Peter went first, Paul followed soon after him, -- formerly called Saul, and then Paul, having transformed in himself his pride into humility, as means also his very name (Paulus), meaning "small, little, less", -- demonstrates this. What is the Apostle Paul after this? Ask him, and he himself gives answer to this: "I am, -- says he, -- the least of the Apostles: but moreso than all I have laboured, yet not I, but the grace of God, which is with me" (1 Cor. 15: 9-10).
   And so, brethren, celebrating now the memory of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, remembering their venerable sufferings, we esteem their true faith and holy life, we esteem the innocence of their sufferings and pure confession. Loving in them the sublime quality and imitating them by great exploits, "in which to be likened to them" (2 Thess. 3: 5-9), and we shall attain to that eternal bliss which is prepared for all the saints. The path of our life before was more grievous, thornier, harder, but "how great the cloud of witnesses enveloping us" (Hebr. 12: 1), having passed by along it, made now for us easier, and lighter, and more readily-passable. First there passed along it "the Founder and Fulfiller of faith" our Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Hebr. 12: 2); His daring Apostles followed after Him; then the martyrs, children, women, virgins and a great multitude of witnesses. Who acted in them and helped them on this path? -- He that said: "Without Me ye are able to do nothing" (Jn. 15: 5).
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 12:42:49 AM »

Is there an online resource anywhere that might have the hymns and prayers particular to all the services (matins, vespers, etc) for Ss Peter and Paul?

People have a tendency to equate "Peter is first among the apostles and played a prominent role as such" with "the Pope has universal jurisdiction and is infallible". The two are not the same. It's nonsense to degrade the role of the head of the apostles in order to combat Papism (the dogmas that define the papacy). It's just replacing one lie with another, and denies our Tradition in the process.

The only online version I've come across only has Vespers. But I do have the complete Vigil on file, if you would like to have it, PM me and I'll send it to you. I've also posted good amounts of this hymnography on this forum before, here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14723.msg230684.html#msg230684
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 11:09:40 AM »

The only online version I've come across only has Vespers. But I do have the complete Vigil on file, if you would like to have it, PM me and I'll send it to you. I've also posted good amounts of this hymnography on this forum before, here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14723.msg230684.html#msg230684

Thank you. I remember hearing things like these that glorify St Peter and shouldn't be so quickly dismissed or denied for the purpose of combating papism, they just shouldn't be equated with it. St Peter is always referred to as being the leader among the apostles while St Paul is recognized for being the one who labored the greatest. This doesn't mean that St Peter held and exercised the type of authority that Rome now claims for the Pope, only that St Peter truly was what we liturgically celebrate him for being.

O Peter, rock and foundation,

Peter, Prince of the glorious Apostles, the rock of the faith,

Peter, rock of the faith,

the most-praised Peter, the rock of the Church, who holds the keys of heaven,

Having foreknown you, O most-blessed Peter, the Pre-eternal One ordained you of old as the leader of His Church, the first-enthroned.

On the rock of your theology, Jesus the Master established the unassailable Church, and there we glorify you, O Apostle Peter.

You have been set as a precious foundation stone for the souls of the faithful, a cornerstone of the Saviour and Lord.

Having risen from the dead, Christ appeared to you, the first-called and most beloved, as the right glorious one who was first to preside over the apostles.
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 12:21:54 PM »

Actually in the "rocky" theology of Peter what we find is one of the first expositions of the "icon theology".

Christ is the Rock, the ontological foundation of the Church, Her very being.

Through participation in the energies of God we become once again godlike. The root of this participation is our faith in the Rock. Therefore, this very faith is the rock *in* us literally, because although inspired by Grace, it is us who have the faith. Once this faith is alive and working in us, we become "like" the Rock, rocks ourselves.  Peter was the first to give a first step in that direction by means of his Orthodox Faith. By holding the living faith he became alive, filled with Life Who was right in front of him.

The rock is Christ onthologically, the faith in the human heart and having that faith Simon becomes "rock" too, energized in Divine Grace.

It's icon theology only that instead of "painting" as the artistic reference, it's "geology". Smiley

Interestingly, in Revelation 21 the City of God is founded upon, not one rock as Romans would think, but on twelve pillars:

Quote
19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass

The twelve pillars and twelve gates are probably a reference to the 12 Apostles and the 12 Prophets, just like the 24 Elders previously mentioned by the book. Either the Apostles are the pillars or the gates, they are in the likeness of Christ who is the Rock and the Gate.
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 01:16:01 PM »

There you are Isa, where were you when Fabio and I were comabting the papal armies on the other thread about this? Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 01:44:20 PM »

Beware the sound of one hand clapping.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 09:38:36 PM »

Peter also spoke for the apostles as a group when they were addressed as a group, was the first to enter the empty tomb, was the first to preach on the day of pentecost, was the first along with John to go to the Samaritans who had been baptized by the deacon to lay hands on them for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and was the first to receive gentiles into the Church.

This is how Christ founded his Church. This is not to the exclusion of the other apostles or their labors, but Peter took the initiative and lead in the formation of the Church. Like I said this doesn't make him a super-bishop or the defining center of faith, but does bear witness to a prominent role among the apostles and a lead role in the foundation of the Church.
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 10:24:26 PM »

Beware the sound of one hand clapping.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mq98NHaZag
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2011, 06:51:23 AM »

/\  The liturgical texts and the Church Fathers use the same language about all of the Apostles, and not just Saint Peter.

Here are some quotes from St. John Chrysostom which we could present to show that Saint John is the prince of all the Apostles.

We could deduce the following about Saint John:

Saint John Is:

1. the pillar of all the Churches

2. the holder of the Keys

3. the earthly mouthpiece of the Almighty

4. infallible !!

5. the Rock

6. supreme pastor, not subject to anyone



“For the son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master's bosom with much confidence, this man comes forward to us now…. By this Apostle stand the powers from above, marveling at the beauty of his soul, and his understanding, and the bloom of that virtue by which he drew unto him Christ Himself, and obtained the grace of the Spirit. For he hath made ready his soul, as some well-fashioned and jeweled lyre with strings of gold, and yielded it for the utterance of something great and sublime to the Spirit”

~St. John Chrysostom, First Homily on the Gospel of St. John

“Were John about to converse with us, and to say to us words of his own, we needs must describe his family, his country, and his education. But since it is not he, but God by him, that speaks to mankind, it seems to me superfluous and distracting to enquire into these matters. And yet even thus it is not superfluous, but even very necessary. For when you have learned who he was, and from whence, who his parents, and what his character, and then hear his voice and all his heavenly wisdom, then you shall know right well that these (doctrines) belong not to him, but to the Divine power stirring his soul…. Not so this fisherman; for all he saith is infallible; and standing as it were upon a rock, he never shifts his ground. For since he has been thought worthy to be in the most secret places, and has the Lord of all speaking within him, he is subject to nothing that is human”

~St. John Chrysostom, Second Homily on the Gospel of St. John
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