How Convincing Is the Roman Catholic View That Peter Was the First Pope?-Part 1

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2004
Is there biblical evidence that Peter was appointed Pope by Jesus? Is there biblical or historical information to show that he ever actually help held the position of Pope?

Brief of Issues

Is there evidence that Jesus Christ established the office of papal authority over His Church? The Catholic Church claims that Jesus conferred on Peter and his successors supreme power in faith and morals over all the other Apostles and over every Christian in the Church. But is this true?

This doctrine is supposedly based on Matthew 16:18-19 where Jesus says, “Thou art Peter and Upon This Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

But Protestants reject the Roman Catholic interpretation. They point out that in the very passage before Jesus spoke to Peter, He had asked His disciples whom men were saying that He was. Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus agreed with Peter’s statement and used it to teach that He Himself will be the rock, the foundation, upon which the Church will be built. Jesus said, “Thou art Peter—petros, a small stone—“and upon this petragreat rock or boulder—I will build my Church.” The petra refers to Peter’s truthful declaration of Christ’s deity—it is upon this truth that Jesus says He will build His Church.

Which of these interpretations best fits the scriptural record? What did Peter mean when he stated in his own epistle that Jesus was the chief cornerstone and all other Christians are living stones? Other questions surrounding the doctrine of the pope are: Why are there no Scripture verses that teach how the office of Pope is to be transmitted by Peter to his successors? Why is it that the Apostle Paul never mentions the office of pope in any of his epistles when he teaches about the offices in the Church? When Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom, doesn’t Scripture show that Jesus gave the same keys to the other Apostles? Does Scripture teach that the keys are a declaratory authority to announce the terms on which God will grant salvation, or, as Roman Catholics teach, an absolute power to admit or exclude someone from heaven?

Both sides admit that in the first chapters of Acts, Peter exercises the keys to the kingdom by declaring the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, as Jesus said He would. But then, the other Apostles declare the gospel and Peter drops from sight in the scriptural account. When Peter does reappear, at the Council of Jerusalem, why is it that the Apostle James leads the Church and not Peter?

The New York Catechism says, “The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth. By divine right, the Pope has supreme and full power in faith and morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true Vicar of Christ, the Head of the entire Church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils, the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God Himself on earth.”

The Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, Unum Sanctum, says, “We declare, affirm, define and pro‑nounce it necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”—a decree that Cardinal Manning asserts is “infallible and beyond all doubt, an act ex cathedra.[1]

This attitude toward the pope seems to rest on that which was stated by Cardinal Gibbons in his book Faith of Our Fathers (p. 95), “The Catholic Church teaches that our Lord conferred on St. Peter the first place of honor and jurisdiction in the government of His whole Church and that the same spiritual supremacy has always resided in the popes or bishops of Rome as being the successors of St. Peter. Consequently, to be true followers of Christ, all Christians, both among the clergy and laity, must be in communion with the See of Rome where Peter rules in the person of his successors.”

The opposite way of saying this would be, “If anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not constituted by Christ our Lord prince of all the apostles and visible head of all the Church militant or that he, Peter, directly and immediately received from our Lord Jesus Christ a pri­macy of favor only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction, let him be anathema.”[2]

How Convincing Is the Roman Catholic View That Peter Was the First Pope?

Roman Catholicism maintains that the Apostle Peter was the first pope. Yet incredibly, for such a key office involving supreme power over all the Church on earth, the only proof text that can be marshaled is Matthew 16:18-19: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and Upon This Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hades shall not overpower it….”

Although for purposes of argument, the Roman Catholic position may be conceded as a possible (although unlikely), interpretation of this verse, it is hardly the most likely interpretation given Roman Catholic papal history. And biblically, it is impossible that this Scripture alone can be logically extended to mean all what Rome teaches it to mean.

For Rome to establish its position, it must prove at least five things: first, that Peter personally was the “rock” that Christ spoke of and that Peter’s office was to constitute the essence of Catholic things: first, that Peter personally was the “rock” that Christ spoke of and that Peter’s office was to constitute the essence of Catholic papalism; second, more specifically, that Peter’s alleged primacy equals infallibility in doctrine and morals; third, that Christ Himself gave reason to believe He conferred similar privileges on Peter’s successors or future Popes and/or bishops; fourth, that Peter was actually the first bishop/pope of Rome; and fifth, that Peter himself and the rest of the Apostles recognized his divine appointment. The first four points will be covered briefly; the fifth point will be examined in depth with occasional comment on other points.

1. Is Peter the “Rock” Christ Spoke Of?

First, does this verse really say anything unique to Peter that must be restricted to him alone? Jesus said, “On this rock, I will build my church.” He did not say Peter would build His Church; He said He would build it. It makes more sense to conclude that the “rock” upon which Christ will build His Church is men’s confession of faith in Christ as the true Messiah—something Peter had just spoken. Personal confessions in so profound a truth as Jesus’ Messiahship—with all its personal and doctrinal implications—may certainly be described as something foundational, or rock (boulder)-like. So, this interpretation not only fits the context of the passage, it fits the facts of history and Scripture as a whole. If so, then verse 19 would also not be restricted to Peter alone, who first used these “keys” to open the “kingdom of heaven” to both Jew and Gentile alike in his preaching of the gospel (Acts 2, 10—something possible for every Christian believer.

Regardless, if indeed Jesus was establishing Peter as the first pope, it is incredible that neither Peter himself, nor Paul, nor any other apostle—and not one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament—affirms the doctrine of papalism anywhere. Indeed, it is the absence of such a doctrine that is striking.

For example, both Mark and Luke record Peter’s confession of faith in Christ as Messiah, but they do not record Christ’s words about the rock. The Apostle John does not mention the inci­dent at all, something unlikely for one who was so close to Jesus and also a good friend of Peter’s. If the words of Jesus had the significance Rome attaches to them, all this is certainly a strange omission. For Christ to establish Peter as the first Pope and living head of the Church and for three of four biographers of Jesus to remain silent on so crucial an event is unlikely to say the least:

It must involve some very elaborate armchair gymnastics to prove from the Bible that the Lord Jesus appointed Peter to be the first pope, thus establishing the papal throne. If anything, the very fact that the Lord appointed twelve apostles is itself good reason to cast doubts upon the whole idea of one, and only one, pope…. If the Lord Jesus Christ had intended to establish the supreme authority of Peter, and to have that authority perpetuated in the bishops at Rome, then it is only reasonable to assume that He would have distinctly informed His followers. So important an office would surely have been mentioned in the clearest of terms. Other sacred offices are set forth in Holy Scripture, yet strange silence prevails with regard to that which would be the highest of all. There is not one jot or tittle, anywhere from Genesis to Revelation, about any man being a regal-sacerdotal king, who as viceregerent of Christ rules over the visible Church upon the earth.[3]

Further, Peter may have given us his own commentary on Matthew 16:18. He refers to Jesus alone as “the living Stone” and the “precious cornerstone.” If the Stone is Jesus, then men— including Peter—must be something less than the Stone itself. It was Jesus who designated Peter (petros) as a “rock” (petra) and Peter classifies himself and all other believers as one of the lesser “living stones” being built into a holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:4-6). In essence, if Peter were really the first pope (with all that implies in Roman Catholic teaching), why does not a single New Testament writer ever designate his papal office anywhere?

2. Was Peter Supreme and Infallible?

Nowhere in the New Testament does Peter exercise the majestic functions of the pope con­cerning authority or infallibility. If Peter had such authority, would Paul have ever rebuked the first pope? Who is it that publicly rebukes a pope today? Yet, “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong” (Gal. 2:11). It would seem that the Apostle Paul never thought of Peter as unique because he does not say to Peter, “If you, being the head of the Church,” but “If you, though a Jew…” (Gal. 2:11-14).

Peter himself wrote to all Christians (1 Pet. 1:1) and especially to “the elders among you” that “I appeal [to you] as a fellow elder …” (1 Pet. 5:1). If a generation earlier Jesus had commis­sioned Peter as the first Pope, the one having supreme authority over His Church, why does Peter now, 30 years later, identify himself to the Church merely as a “fellow elder” rather than the one who has all the authority and prerogatives of the supreme pontiff himself?

Further, neither does Peter encourage the Church with Roman Catholic theology concerning the sacraments, or Mary, or assisting in the forgiveness of our sins through Catholic practices or anything else distinctively Catholic. For example, he tells us that “Christ died for sins once for all” (1 Pet. 3:18) and—far from tradition being on par with Scripture, it is God’s power which “has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowledge of him…” (2 Pet. 1:3). If the knowledge of God and Christ given in the Scriptures is sufficient for “everything we need for life and godliness” of what spiritual value is 2,000 years of extra-biblical Catholic tradition for “life and godliness”?

3. Did Christ Confer Papal Privileges on Peter’s Successors and/or Bishops?

Whatever Matthew 16:18-19 may or may not say about Peter, it says nothing at all about his successors, real or imagined. Nowhere in the entire Bible do we find any basis for a doctrine of papal succession or bishop infallibility.

4. Was Peter the First Bishop of Rome?

Historically, no one can prove Peter was the first bishop of Rome. Peter may have visited Rome, but to confer on him the position held by Catholicism is, as we will now see, at best an argument from silence and at worst, a complete rejection of the entire thrust of New Testament teaching.

5. Did Peter Himself or the Rest of the Apostles Recognize His Divine Appointment?

In this extended section we will argue the impossibility of the papal office on the basis of New Testament teaching.

But first, let us use this instance to illustrate a key principle for evaluating Roman Catholic doctrines: take any major teaching, study it until you understand it well, then study the Bible by itself. Examine every verse related to the topic, whether it is Mary, justification, Peter, etc. What you find is that the more you study the Bible, the more you see the truth of the Protestant view and the error of the Roman Catholic view.

Now study Roman Catholic Tradition on these topics. Here is where you begin to understand where these views developed and how the Bible can be made to seem to teach them. It is not at all that a Catholic has no possible means of seeing the many teachings of Roman Catholic Tradition in Scripture. It is that Scripture has been so thoroughly misinterpreted in Roman Catho­lic tradition and the arguments so detailed and subject to interpreter bias, that a Catholic usually doesn’t even see the error unless he has simply studied the Bible alone.

The subject of Peter will illustrate the principle we have just enunciated. Does the New Testa­ment view of Peter support or oppose the Roman Catholic office of the papacy? This is really the heart of the issue, especially concerning the life of Peter and what Peter himself says about Roman Catholic doctrine in his epistles.

Although we have already discussed Matthew 16, we may observe two more points here. First, even Augustine, considered one of the greatest Church Fathers by both Catholics and Protestants, interpreted this verse as referring not to Peter but to Christ as the Rock that Peter confessed. Second, Peter himself did this. Whether we are considering the preaching of Peter in the book of Acts or his writing in 1 and 2 Peter, Peter always refers to Christ as the one to whom he confessed and not to himself. In Acts 4:8-12 Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit says that the Stone that is rejected by the builders became the chief cornerstone and that there is salva­tion in no one else. Christ is the cornerstone here and this is the teaching we find throughout the New Testament. Nowhere, other than in the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16, do we have even a hint that Peter is the Rock.

In 1 Peter 2:4-8, Peter refers to Jesus as the “living stone rejected by men” and “a choice stone, a precious cornerstone.” Further, “and he who believes in Him shall not be disap­pointed…. But for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very cornerstone.’”

Peter says that Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. Here would be a good point for Peter to mention his own papal office if, in fact, Christ had appointed him the first pope. In fact, from the time that Jesus allegedly first appointed Peter pope in Matthew 16 until the end of his life Peter consistently does things and says things which deny that he is a pope.

For example, in Matthew 16:16, after Peter’s famous confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus explained to the disciples that He was to suffer, be killed and rise from the dead. What was the response of Peter? He openly confronted Christ and told Him He was wrong: “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You” (Matt. 16:22). Jesus’ response was, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matt. 16:23).

The difficulty is this: if Christ had just instituted Peter as the Rock of the Church to head the papal office, how could Peter be completely in the hands of Satan almost the next moment?

Nor does Peter improve with time. In Matthew 26, Jesus is telling the disciples that He is going to be crucified and that they will all fall away and be scattered. Jesus tells Peter that before the cock crows, he will deny Him three times (Matt. 26:31-34). What is Peter’s response? He says that he will never fall away and that he will never deny Jesus—even if it means his own death (Matt. 26:35).

In other words, Peter first tells Christ that he is wrong to go to the cross and wrong about his own fidelity. Then later under pressure he denies Christ three times, even with an oath. In his denial of Christ the third time, he even curses and swears, “Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’” (Matt. 26:74).

This does not seem to give us great confidence in the initiation of the papal office. At the key moment of Jesus’ death, Peter is hardly in a central position of strength and spiritual power; he is cursing and denying his own Lord.

Nor do things improve. When Christ is resurrected from the dead, is Peter the first one to understand, accept it and explain to the Church the significance of what has happened?

When both Peter and John saw the empty tomb, the Bible says that only John “saw and believed” (John 20:3-8). Even later when Peter had accepted the truth of the resurrection, Jesus had to ask him three times, “Do you love Me?”

Again, we do not see Peter in a position of supremacy. In fact, “Peter was grieved” when the Lord asked him the third time “Do you love Me?” Peter knew this was somehow connected to his denial of Christ three times.

Later when Peter asked Jesus about the Apostle John, Jesus’ response was to not be con­cerned about John but to follow Him. Again, we don’t see Peter in any kind of position of papal authority or leadership. Instead, Peter is once again rebuked.

Nor do things improve in Peter’s future. When we get to the book of Acts, we find that signifi­cant chapters are oriented around Peter’s ministry. If ever the papal office of Peter were to be confirmed and of Peter’s going to Rome and there founding the papacy to be documented, it would have to be here. But all we find is complete silence.

  • In Acts 10 Peter does not understand the meaning of the vision God gives him. Given the importance of this vision, it is unlikely that, if Peter were the pope, he would not comprehend the message.
  • Neither did the Church recognize Peter as anything special. In Acts 11 he is opposed by others and has to argue his case. Peter’s argument is accepted, but it is a case of one man among equals, not one man in a position of papal supremacy.
  • In Acts 15 we find the great Jerusalem Council. Again, if anywhere Peter’s papacy should be recognized it is at the first great Christian Council, conceded as such by both Catholics and Protestants. First, Peter does not act like a pope; rather he and the others were involved in lengthy debate. Peter makes his defense but it is not Peter who has the last word, it is James. Peter gives his argument, but James concludes the matter and then the vote is taken.

So if any one has supremacy it is James, the brother of Christ, not Peter. Also note that in Acts 21 when the apostle Paul comes to Jerusalem it is James who receives him, not Peter.

Consider another problem. Catholic tradition holds that Peter went to Rome and founded the papacy. This would mean that Peter should already be in Rome when the Apostle Paul arrives. But in Acts 27, which involves very specific details about Paul’s journey to Rome, not a word is said about Peter. In fact, in Acts 28:30 it says that Paul spent two entire years at Rome in his own quarters, welcoming everyone who came to him. Now if Peter were in Rome partaking of the papal office, is it at all conceivable that Peter would not go and visit the Apostle Paul—at least once? If he did, would Paul fail to mention it—fail to mention that he was visited by the head of the Church? Why is it that Luke, the great historian of the early Church, who set down his record in exacting detail also never mentions even a hint that Peter is in Rome or that he has his papal office?

Why is it also that when the Apostle Paul actually writes to the Roman Church, he does not even mention Peter? Peter is supposed to have been in Rome around 42-67 A.D. If the book of Romans was written in 57 A.D., this means that Peter has already been in Rome for 15 years. Again, is it conceivable that the Apostle Paul would not mention Peter or the great office of papacy that he now occupies? This is impossible if indeed Peter is supposed to occupy the position of the vicar of Christ as the head of the Church. In Romans 16 Paul mentions 27 people by name—but he fails to mention Peter even once.

In Galatians 2 we find additional information that undermines the claims of the Catholic Church. First, the Apostle Paul did not recognize any supremacy in Peter. Peter at the time is in Jerusalem with the other apostles. Paul says of them, “But from those who were of high reputa­tion (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me” (Gal. 2:6).

Further, the next two verses state that Peter was entrusted with the Gospel to the circum­cised, i.e., to the Jews, whereas Paul had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised, i.e., the Gentiles. Both preached the same message, but to different audiences. So then why would Peter go to Rome, the center of the Gentile world when the agreement of the whole Church had been that his ministry was to the Jews (Gal. 2:9)?

Further, in Galatians 2:11, we find another impossible situation if Peter is the pope, “But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.” In other words, we do not see Peter in the position of papal strength; we see him rebuked by the Apostle Paul for compromising the very Gospel itself!

In 2 Timothy 4, Paul is writing from Rome in 67 A.D. He says that the time of his death is near (2 Tim. 4:6). Remember that according to Catholic tradition, Peter has already been in Rome for twenty-five years. But nothing that Paul does suggests Peter is even there. If Peter had been killed about 67 A.D., before Paul had written 2 Timothy, how could it be that Paul fails to mention Peter’s death? Why does he mention day-to-day details and instructions for individuals by name but fail to mention the death of the first pope who has ruled in Rome for twenty-five years (2 Tim. 4:10-14, 19-21)? Paul goes on to say that Demas, loving this present world “has deserted me” and that “only Luke is with me” and that, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them” (2 Tim. 4:16).

If Peter has been in Rome for twenty-five years, why did not Peter ever come to Paul’s de­fense? Is this the exercise of papal authority and leadership?

Finally, if we look at Peter’s own writings, there is not a single verse that substantiates the Roman Catholic claims to papacy. Peter writes as an equal man among all other believers. Peter describes himself as “an apostle” and “an elder”—but not a pope (1 Pet. 1:3; 5:1). Peter also says that all believers constitute “a royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9); he never speaks of a special priesthood who will mediate between God and the people.

Finally in 2 Peter, like Paul, he emphasizes that his death is near (2 Pet. 1:14). If at any time Peter is going to appoint a papal successor, it must be now. But all Peter does is tell his readers that they must accept the authority of the Holy Scripture as something “more sure” than even eyewitness testimony (2 Pet. 1:14-21). Has Peter just declared that Scripture has superiority over tradition?

Regardless, not only is there not a single Scripture in the entire Bible that supports the Catholic teaching on the papacy, Peter himself denies key Catholic teachings. None of this makes sense if the Roman Catholic position is true.[4]

We have now seen that an examination of the scriptural data fails to confirm the Roman Catholic claims concerning the papacy. So how did the papacy arise? If we look at Church history, we will see.


  1. Walter Martin, The Roman Catholic Church in History (Livingston, NJ: Christian Research Institute, Inc., 1960), p. 8.
  2. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1974), p. 279, citing Vatican I.
  3. Henry T. Hudson, Papal Power (Welwyn, Hertforshire, England: Evangelical Press, 1981), pp. 99, 106.
  4. Most of this was taken from a lecture by Dr. Francis Schaeffer.

Read Part 2


  1. […] How Convincing Is the Roman Catholic View That Peter Was the First Pope?-Part 1 […]

    • kieran on December 28, 2017 at 5:53 am

      I found the above to be an excellent article concerning how the Catholic Church have ambushed Peter for their own selfish ends. Catholic doctrine and practices are not at all consistent with the sayings or deeds of Peter as recorded in the Bible.

      • Naomi Wade on March 15, 2024 at 1:00 pm

        I agree whole heartedly. I find this article immensely enlightening. It just confirmed a lot of my thoughts & makes me glad I’ve always questioned it. It never made sense that the Catholic Church was based on Jesus 1st, when they have so many other intercessors to go through. And the idea of ‘confessing’ to a person that is ‘just a man’, instead of asking Jesus to show His light & way has never made sense to me. Since I DID go to Jesus, with great skepticism, not doubts, about the personal experience He gives us. Three days are so important, in the journey He offers & it is all cancelled by what the Catholic church requires. The Pope is just a person & is no closer to God than the rest of us. Jesus IS the only way, truth & light. I prefer to be His follower. Catholics live under a manmade ‘duty of service’. Humility is NOT a bad thing, at all– it leads to understanding, because of a personal relationship with Jesus–not the rules of the pope. How does their Bible explain this???

    • PAMELA THOMAS on June 12, 2022 at 1:03 am

      I was a Roman Catholic and was a very devoted Catholic. I was belonged to the child of Mary did the first Fridays first Saturdays did lots of Novenas and obeyed all the precepts of the Church. Then when I was 23 my sister died tragically i heard my sister tell my Mother she would give the priest the money my Mother gave her to offer up rapiers for my sisters soul to get her prom purgatory to heaven. I had always told people we do not pay for masses for the dead but I knew we would not ask a priest to say prayers offer a mass for someone without giving them money. I began to think God surest cant be that mercenary
      and thus began my search first about the existence of purgatory only to discovers there was nothing in the Bible to support that believe and from there I went to praying to saints, the infallibility of the Pope. Spending many hours at the library, reading, praying, doctrines toppled one after the other until five years later I went to confession, communion closed the doors of the church and told myself that’s it. I felt deceived, betrayed. I felt like I was stepping out in space,
      So my search for truth began, I studied one belief after the other, not only religious. Several years later I walked into a small Church heard the gospel for the first time and discovered I could know Jesus personally. I had become preoccupied with discovering who Jesus was and that night I discovered He was the Way Truth and the Life I was looking for. I surrendered my life to Him and my life has never been the same. His word has been my devotion it is more precious to me than all the silver and gold just as King David says in Psalms. My four children know their God and worship Him God has blessed us greatly.

      • Naomi Wade on March 15, 2024 at 1:11 pm

        I did that, also. I was raised a Wesleyan Meth, but did want to know I was not there just because I was ‘raised there’. I loved the people who taught my SS classes & they all called each other ‘brother & sister’ Some really were, it was 85 yrs ago. Times were much simpler & love was ‘abounding’. But, when I committed my life, the way I’d been told to, at 24.– I did want to know it was my ‘choice.’ I tried Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist & Lutheran. The people were all great but, the practices were so different. I DID experience the ‘rebirth’ & returned to the message of John & Charles Wesley– & all those excellent songs of their journeys. In today’s world, the word Christian is, to a degree, convoluted & misused, sometimes. So, now I just consider myself a follower of Jesus. I can go to any church & be at home, because I know who my God is– the Trinity, Father, Son & Holy spirit. I accept that He lives within me& would have it no other way. Amen..

  2. Southern Catholic on May 11, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I know everybody wants to dismiss the Roman Catholic Church but please tell me another governing body or Empire that has lasted 2017 years. Which I humble thinks that says God is protecting it so Peter being the Pope and apostlict secession might not be a joke!

    • Lilly on July 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      The catholic church is the mother of evil , the pope is the man of sin who thinks he his God on earth but he is not God and never will be , it was Luther who said that if there is a hell the catholic church is it , after he visited the vatcan and saw the evil that goes on there . The catholic church blasphemy the name of God selling indulgence , and having people doing all sort of things to gain salvation, when salvation is free. Then u have to confess your sins to the priest a mere man , Jesus is the only true priest and you go to him directly you don’t need the pope or priest , and they killed millions of people who wouldn’t put up with their evil , that’s why we protest that’s why we are Protestant. That’s why our ansestors flee europe and came to the new world so they can be free to serve God as he should be serve and not by what the pope says . The pope works for the devil.

      • John on October 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        I’m sorry you believe all of that. First of all, the Pope does not believe he is God. He is merely a successor to Peter as the Bishop of Rome. The Pope is charged with protecting the deposit of faith ensuring that it is not changed. Yes, it’s true that the leaders of the church in the dark ages made some questionable decisions. That will happen anytime a person is involved, in any denomination even protestant. Regarding confession to a priest; it is actually biblical. If you recall, Christ Jesus gave the 12 the authority to forgive peoples’ sins and to loose and bind things here on earth and they would also be loosed or binded in heaven. The 12 where the first priests and later had successors. Since God gave them that power, how else could they know peoples’ sins unless the people ‘told’ them their sins. That is confession. And regarding people coming to the America’s, most did for financial reasons and to own land….a fresh start. Some did leave for religious freedoms and yet most of those where fleeing England because the crown was forcing them to accept the Anglican religion.

        • dana on September 19, 2019 at 10:52 am

          There are many references where the Pope is said to be God and Popes do not refute this. I can tell someone they are forgiven thru Christ if they repent and put their trust in Jesus, it does not have to be done in secret to a priest. It should be part of your testimony of Jesus, telling people how Jesus set you free from your sin and all Glory goes to God. Doing it in secret to a priest only keeps you in chains which is what the RCC wants (control), you should boldly proclaim Jesus set you free.

        • Mike on August 23, 2023 at 2:38 pm

          No where in the bible do the apostles ask for sins to be confessed to them. No where. Please tell me where anyone confess sins to any church leader and then receives absolution. Also tell me where anyone in the bible where a follower of Christ is called a priest. There is no such thing as a christian “priest”. The apostles were well aware of the term priest and never allowed themselves to be called “priest”. Priests were Jewish and pagan conduits to God. No believer needs any conduit between himself and God.

    • Michelle on September 27, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      What you said about the RCC being a “governing body or Empire” should be your clue. That is something that is a contradiction of what Jesus wanted His Church to be. Also, the RCC wasn’t created until the early 3rd century. I implore you to get in your Holy Bible and read through it book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse the way in which it was intended. Please don’t believe don’t just follow the crowd.
      “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

      14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

      • Dana on September 19, 2019 at 11:10 am

        Amen Michelle. I would like to add to your statement that the RCC has too many paths or a wide gate because they have Mary, Popes, Saints, Purgatory, sacraments, etc you are supposed to put your trust in, they send you all over the place. This is not the narrow path that leads to Jesus.

    • Dana on September 19, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Jesus’s church that exists is the body of believers that continues to grow despite the persecution, it is not a physical church building…his believers are the building. And it started before the RCC as stated below with the inclusion of the Prophets. And as seen thru the faith in Abraham. It is all about Faith in Jesus.

      Ephesians 2: 20
      Built on the foundation of the APOSTLES and PROPHETS, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which GOD LIVES BY HIS SPIRIT.

    • David on September 28, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Just because something has been around for a while doesn’t mean anything. Their are several ancient cultures and kingdoms that were wicked with human sacrifices etc. The fact that the Catholic religion makes an earthly being “holy” is blasphemy, also is anyone going to talk about the millions of people the pope/Catholic Church had murdered and executed during the dark ages?

    • chuck on March 27, 2021 at 12:47 am

      I understand where you are coming from , but this is not a joke, it is a lie. Satan likes to twist and confuse and is very clever and deceiving Think about this, Read Matthew 7:15 ,the papacy is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    • G Gauthier on May 19, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      The Catholic Church has had to make many cultural compromises to grow to what it is today: false gods to saints, the queen of heaven to Mary, the idea of eating your god taken from Egypt etc. Keep the peasants happy and you’ll stay in control. Keep them in fear, and you’ll stay in control.

    • Jonny Not Worthy on January 13, 2023 at 8:41 am

      1) Jesus Christs kingdom alone is eternal and will last
      2) The catholic system is older than you say. It goes back to the old testament religions such as Babylonian pagan religions, which are from Satan and he has not yet been bound. Something being around for thousands of years is hardly an argument for it being the way truth and life…

    • Brian on April 14, 2023 at 8:03 am

      Don’t believe the lies. You claim the Roman Catholic Church has lasted 2017 years but no other church has. The Church is not a physical building. Scripture teaches the body of Christ is the true Church made up of all those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. This is the true universal church which is what the word Catholic means. Roman Catholicism is some different all together. Roman Catholicism did not start with Christ or else it would not contradict what scripture teaches. Most confessing Roman Catholics do not even know exactly what the theology of their Church is. They blindly follow the dogmas of that church no matter how far they stray from God breathed scripture. Purgatory is mentioned nowhere in the Bible. Scripture tells us after death is judgment. Nowhere does it say we can pray for the dead and grant them entrance to heaven. That is heresy because it makes the sufficient work of Christ on the cross for our justification insufficient. Roman Catholicism claims Mary was without sin yet Jesus says in Scripture that no one is good but God and that Jesus is the only one who lived a sinless life. He is the only spotless lamb. So is the Roman Catholic Church lying or is Jesus lying?

    • Follower of Christ alone on September 4, 2023 at 5:54 am

      Jesus did say, whoever has eyes to see, let him see.

  3. John on June 13, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I understand the writer is no longer with us but I find the tone (and have read articles by others with the same tone) unnecessarily disrespectful just in order to make a point.

    I know such writers will make excuses that they didn’t mean it that way but it IS that way regardless.

    Peter was one of the most valiant beings in all of human history and he shouldn’t be knocked around just to make a point. It doesn’t just state the facts, it’s insulting as to make sure he couldn’t possibly be Pope. It’s simply not called​ for. Under the rules of logic hermeneutics and comprehension there isn’t a single point to be made that can show Anyone was an infallible pope at Rome. It is the RCC projecting doctrines on to scripture and using the same tactic one could make the Bible say anything they want.

    • John on October 17, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      the pope is a normal man, a Cardinal in the Catholic Church that was elected by his peers, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to the position of Pope. What the Church actually teaches is that when the Pope is acting in his official capacity of Pope, he is infallible because he is guided by the Holy Spirit to fulfill his role. His role being ensuring the “deposit of faith” remains unchanged. There are around 35,000 Protestant denominations worldwide at last count; each with it’s own interpretation of the bible. There are not that many versions of the truth especially with so many denominations. However, outside of the official role of the papacy, he is very much fallible.

      • Dana on September 19, 2019 at 10:45 am

        The RCC claims the pope is God. -Writers on the Canon Law say, “The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth.”- Barclay Cap. XXVII, p. 218. Cities Petrus Bertrandus, Pius V.
        • This is Blasphemy.
        • They preach of purgatory. This means you do not believe that what Jesus did was enough.
        • They give you many paths, (Mary, Popes, Saints, Peter, Purgatory, Sacraments) but the path is narrow and it is Jesus alone.
        • They add traditions in later or change ones like baptism (clearly it is not shown in the bible of being a few sprinkles on the forehead of a baby, (but of course they have a good explanation for it that supersedes the bible).
        • The thief on the cross proves you do not need the traditions/sacraments/mary/popes/saints/purgatory of the RCC as after he mocked Jesus he later asked for Jesus to remember him (putting his faith in Jesus) and was granted paradise that very day.
        • There used to be a GOD OF FERTILITY and now there is a SAINT OF FERTILITY to put your trust in…same old deception repackaged with a different word to fool again. The RCC is full of pagan origin and cherry picks bible versus for sure. For the devil masquerades as an angel of light.

        • Please put your trust in Jesus alone.

        Thomas Linacre begins to study recently discovered copies of the Greek New Testament. He is a scholar. He was Erasmus’ tutor. He is fluent and known as a Greek master and now, near the end of his life, he reads for the first time, not the rituals of the Mass, not the ecclesial letters of his bishop or Pope. He reads the four Gospels and the epistles of Paul, and John, and Peter for the first time.

        He is shocked by what he reads concluding,

        “Either this is not the Gospel,
        or we are not Christians.”

        As a catholic priests, he saw what he was taught from the RCC as a lie, only after having access to a newly translated Greek version. There is much deception in the RCC. And their mass amounts of wealth only confirm it.

      • Tony Middleton on April 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm

        Anyone who studies the Holy Bible will see clearly that the RCC is founded on a lie. Its authority is not in accord with scripture and has been given an appearance of ‘smoke and mirrors’ in order to make it difficult for its followers to question what they are taught, giving the pope and his hangers on, power over great swathes of people.
        All ‘cults’ are accompanied by wealth, in the case of the RCC great wealth!
        Does this seem in keeping with Biblical teaching? Jesus says ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven’. Forget what ‘others’ say, all we need is the Holy Bible. We are saved by Grace, ‘an undeserved kindness’, and it’s a free gift of God (Jesus) and can ‘only’ be given by Him alone!

    • Silas on March 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm

      All historian and science will tell you, the truth is: Roman empire was falling, Constantin was the first Pope founder of the Catholic Church.

      At 1st , the Rome Church was a True christian church, with Paul teaching, then, generation after generation something went wrong.

      Just by example in today day a lots of churchs are twisting the Gospel.

      The big thing that we learn in that story, is the infiltration of the Anti-Christ.

      This Anti-Christ spirit is there in the world to destroy the Church. The body of Christ.

      From parent to kids génération after génération, false teaching been accept in the church, cause the Bible for many years was not for the poeples, Just for the ministry.

      They did become exactly like the Pharesee. Prefering the power insthead of the True Gospel.

      So, a lots of Bishops did saw the True and been rejected from the church.

      Constantin at the beginning was founding the church on True basis, is the other generations who made all that crapp of Pope.

      There’s Itlaian Book about Bishop who try to oppose those falses teachings.

      Per exemple in the evangelical church today, if you taje Bethel Church with Rick Joyner, the Morningstar ministry… Thats Falses teachings from the beginning… How a Lucefurian Freemasson of Malta can be a christian??? He also rehect the words of God, for his kundalini spirit manifestation.

      So, if today poeples are accepting à Devil worshiper for an authority, you can imagine in the past those thing happen.

      Thats why Rome Church become like this.

      I dont judge them, i Just said thats they need to repent and start following the Bible.


    • Saved by His grace on September 4, 2023 at 5:57 am

      I read the entire article and cannot find the tone you referenced. It is simply a very good academic piece testing a claim by the Roman church.
      Kudos to his work. It’s second to none! It appears the tone you are reading is you not liking his conclusion.

  4. Michelle on September 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I just tried to vote on this, as I was going to give it 5 stars, but when I tried to select it, it gave 3 instead. Please resolve this as I don’t want to take anything away from this. This is a wonderfully, eloquently written study! I have been intensely studying scripture and have found the same to be true. I am so happy to have found this as it will help greatly when trying to explain the need to, as God said, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4, to my Catholic friends. Thank you so much!!

    • John on October 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      from the KJV of the bible: Revelation 18:1-4 …”And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great Babylon is Fallen power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

      Note that the verse says great Babylon is now fallen which means that at one point the great Babylon was just and in good standing with the teachings of Christ Jesus. The whole premise of the Protestant Reformation was to reform the church. Instead, Luther broke off into a new denomination and from there, hundreds more within a matter of 50 years after Luther. Given that protestant denominations believed the Catholic Church to be apostate and a false religion (and never a true and valid Christian church) the verse CANNOT be referring to the Catholic Church. So which is it? Protestants can’t have it both ways. The truth is out there. Read the writings of the early Church Fathers….eyes will be opened.

      • Saved by His grace on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 am

        Sorry, Luther’s problem, as with all Roman catholics, is he could not find salvation in the Roman church, though he was a monk. It was only when he finally had access to a Bible as a monk that God’s word broke through his darkness and converted his soul. After all, we are not born again by baptism, but by God’s word. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23
        It was through God’s word that Christ made him a member of Christ’s Church. His passion is the same as all members of Christ’s Church, to be true to His word which is Christ’s Churches sole authority.
        As far as Rev. 18 is concerned no one has a problem with the notion that the Roman church started well, but quickly apostatized. Over the centuries God sent many to bring her to repentance, but instead sought more power through the notion of a pope, an infallible one at that, as well as tradition usurping God’s word. She has led untold numbers astray. She is the Great Babylon, come out from among her!

  5. John on October 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    The writer was clearly biased and unread in the writings of the early father’s of the church. In them, he wold have found many references to Peter being the bishop of Rome and how Peter “spoke for all the churches”. In those writings and in the books of the New Testament, it is clear that Peter was esteemed among the others and in a position of great authority. Furthermore, the author cherry picks scripture to make his argument which is very typical in these sorts of articles. In addition, solo scriptura is a man made device and not biblical at all. For the first few generations after the resurrection of Christ Jesus the early Christians did not have a New Testament. It is generally accepted that the oldest books in the bible were written in about 100 AD. So what did the first Christians do without a bible to follow? The did as the Twelve and their successors instructed them to do; this is the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church. By the way, since the author seemed to accept the authority of the New Testament then by default he also accepted the authority of the Catholic Church since it was the Catholic Church as decided which books would make up the canon of the New Testament as there where hundreds upon hundreds of writings to choose from. I pray for the repose of the soul of the writer of this article and for the conversion of hearts for all who read this and that the Holy Spirit may guide everyone to the truth. Blessings…..

    • Saved by His grace on September 4, 2023 at 6:19 am

      It appears Augustine shared this authors same bias given he rejected such notions of Peter.

  6. MARY on January 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm


  7. Tony on February 16, 2018 at 7:24 am

    John 21:15
    15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

    John 21:16
    16 A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

    17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

  8. Margaret T Cruz on August 18, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    I was a Roman Catholic for 40 years, believing my mom and dad (they were both raised in Roman Catholicism) and what the priest was teaching. Never in my upbringing was I asked to open the bible for myself and read it. During my younger years, I knew there was something more to the Word of God, then just following doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Church. So I starting reading the Bible on my own and God did reveal truth to me. I would recommend all catholics start reading scripture for themselves and pray God reveals the truth to you. What a joy of knowing that instead of following traditions, good deeds, repetitious prayers, indulgences, I am saved and redeemed only by confessing and making Jesus my Lord and Savior. Jesus died and is the Savior for all sins, but you also have to make him your Lord. He is The Truth, The Way and The Life. You will never get to the Father (Heaven) unless you make Jesus your Lord. No amount of traditions, indulgences, prayers will get you there. May God have mercy on the Catholic Church for steering millions in the wrong way. They will be more accountable. Simple: Open you Bible and read it for yourself. God Bless.

  9. Disciple of Him on August 5, 2022 at 8:43 am

    @Southern Catholic
    Judaism has lasted double that. Are you saying that is God’s plan for humanity? Time does not equal truth.
    Do your own study. Go and solidify your convictions by going on a quest for truth. You will either see the truth being said, or stand firmer in the convictions you have which are rooted in lies….but please don’t just sit there trying to using years of existence as a logical explanation.

  10. Al Angeles on March 24, 2024 at 7:24 pm

    Peter was a Jew. The Romans hated the Jews and persecuted them.It makes no sense to me why they would appoint a Jew as a pope

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