How often do we hear that the Papacy is not found in the Bible nor the Early Church? That Matthew 16:18 was based upon the Faith of Peter, thus he was not the first Pope and the Papacy was a man made invention of Constantine the Great? Let us take a closer look at the beliefs of the Early Christians and see how the Early Church functioned under Peter, the First Pope.
First we must examine the argument that the papacy isn’t Biblical and that Roman Catholic Christians supposedly twist the scriptures to prove the papacy is in the bible, which it is.
Matthew 16:18 – 19 (RSV – CE)
” And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
In the original Greek, The name Peter is translated to “Petros” meaning Rock. Thus Our Lord continues ” and upon this Petra (Greek for Rock) I will build my Church.”
We must also note that Christ wasn’t speaking Greek that day to Peter; but ancient Aramaic which Is now modern day Syriac.
The Greek Petros and Petra in the suptugient (Greek scriptures) translate from the original Aramaic to ” Kepha” thus ” You are Kepha, and upon this Kepha I will build my Church.”
This explains why the Early Church fathers would defend the Papacy; since they themselves were disciples of the apostles.
St. Cyprian Of Carthage (“On the Unity of the Catholic Church,” 251A.D.)
“With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (ibid., 59:14).
This Sacerdotal unity is what was also found in the Sacred scriptures.
(See John 21:15-17)
Have you also noticed this was before Constantine was even born or even converted to Christianity? This letter was in 251 AD. Constantine wasn’t born till 272 AD which makes the protestant argument that Constantine was the first Pope invalid.
“You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all” (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).
Pope Leo sermon 3: 3-4 451 A.D
Blessed Peter, preserving in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he undertook. …And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications, it is of his work and merits whose power lives and whose authority prevails in his see. To him whom they know to be not only the patron of this see, but also primate of all bishops. When, therefore, believe that he is speaking whose representative we are.
The Acts of Chalcedon (Session 3) 451 A.D.
“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice-blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the Rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him (Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria) of his episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness”