Why Do Catholics Believe Peter Was the First Pope?

We know they teach a works righteousness and commit idolatry with Mary, but what about their false teaching of the pope?

1. The Roman Catholic church [system] sees Peter as the first pope on which Christ would build His church [Matt. 16:18].

They teach that Peter is the “rock.” Biblical Response: If one was to read Matt. 16:15-18 carefully they would see that the rock which Jesus would build His church on was Peter’s confession of faith. The Greek word for rock means “boulder” while Peter means “small stone.”

2. They teach Peter had authority over the other Apostles.

Biblical Response: There is no teaching in Scripture where Peter in over the other Apostles. There is no mention of the office of pope anywhere in Scripture [Eph. 2:19-20; 4:11-12; 1 Peter 5:1; or I & 2 Timothy or Titus].

3. They teach that Peter became the first bishop of Rome when he went to Rome and that the early church accepted him as such.

Biblical Response: Interestingly Paul makes no mention of Peter as pope in Romans 1:1, 7. There is no clear teaching in Scripture that Peter ever went to Rome. They get it from 1 Peter 5:13 where Peter refers to Babylon meaning Rome [code language for protection].

4. The Catholic system teaches that God passed Peter’s apostolic authority to the following bishops which are referred to as “apostolic succession.”

Biblical Response: The office of Apostle ceased with the death of John. Apostleship was foundational and temporary to the church [Eph. 2:19-20; 4:11-12]. Bishops in the NT were never over a collection of churches but one church.

5. They teach that Peter and the following popes were infallible and can guide the church without error.

Biblical Response: Peter was not infallible because Paul had to correct him in Gal. 2:11-13 in regard to compromising with the Judaizers over circumcision. Peter was married [1 Cor. 9:5; Matt. 8:14] and popes are not to marry according to Catholics. There is only one head of the church and it is Jesus not the pope [1 Peter 2:25; 1 Tim. 2:5].

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