St. Peter, Apostle and Pope
1. Matthew 16:18: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it."
The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who "builds." The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Peter 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Peter 2:4-8; cf. Matthew 21:42).Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Ephesians 4:11).
2. Matthew 16:19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . ."
The "power of the keys" has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Isaiah 9:6; Job 12:14; Revelation 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is "over a house" (Genesis 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Kings 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Kings 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Isaiah 22:15,20-21).
3. Matthew 16:19 ". . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
"Binding" and "loosing" were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to "forbid" and "permit" with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to "condemn" or "place under the ban" or "acquit." Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit's leading (John 16:13), and to demand obedience from the Church. "Binding and loosing" represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Matthew 18:17-18;
John 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.
4. Peter's name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the "first" (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.
5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else.
In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he ("Cephas") is listed after
James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).
6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (John
1:42; Matthew 16:18).
7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (John 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2).
8. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his "faith may not fail" (Luke 22:32).
9. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to "strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:32).
10. Peter first confesses Christ's divinity (Matthew 16:16).
11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation
12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of
13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).
14. Jesus Christ uniquely associates Himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money
15. Christ teaches from Peter's boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Luke 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the pope as a "fisher of men" (cf. Matthew 4:19).
16. Peter was the first apostle to set out for, and enter the empty tomb (Luke 24:12; John 20:6).
17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the apostles (Mark 16:7).
18. Peter leads the apostles in fishing (John 21:2-3, 11). The "bark" (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.
19. Peter alone casts himself into the sea to come to Jesus (John 21:7).
20. Peter's words are the first recorded and most important in the upper room before
Pentecost (Acts 1:15-22).
21. Peter takes the lead in calling for a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:22).
22. Peter is the first person to speak (and only one recorded) after Pentecost, so he was the first Christian to "preach the gospel" in the Church era (Acts 2:14-36).
23. Peter works the first miracle of the Church Age, healing a lame man (Acts 3:6-12).
24. Peter utters the first anathema (Ananias and Sapphira) emphatically affirmed by God
25. Peter's shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).
26. Peter is the first person after Christ to raise the dead (Acts 9:40).
27. Cornelius is told by an angel to seek out Peter for instruction in Christianity (Acts 10:1-6).
28. Peter is the first to receive the Gentiles, after a revelation from God (Acts 10:9-48).
29. Peter instructs the other apostles on the catholicity (universality) of the Church (Acts 11:5-17).
30. Peter is the object of the first divine interposition on behalf of an individual in the Church Age (an angel delivers him from prison - Acts 12:1-17).
31. The whole Church (strongly implied) offers "earnest prayer" for Peter when he is imprisoned (Acts 12:5).
32. Peter presides over and opens the first Council of Christianity, and lays down principles afterwards accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).
33. Paul distinguishes the Lord's post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to other apostles (1 Corinthians 15:4-8). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Luke 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter ("Simon"), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Luke 24:33).
34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among apostles (Mark 1:36; Luke 9:28,32; Acts 2:37; 5:29; 1 Corinthians 9:5).
35. Peter is often spokesman for the other apostles, especially at climactic moments
(Mark 8:29; Matthew 18:21; Luke 9:5; 12:41; John 6:67 ff.).
36. Peter's name is always the first listed of the "inner circle" of the disciples (Peter, James and John - Matthew 17:1; 26:37, 40; Mark 5:37; 14:37).
37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic gospel scenes such as walking on the water (Matthew 14:28-32; Luke 5:1 ff., Mark 10:28; Matthew 17:24 ff.).
38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magnus (Acts 8:14-24).
39. Peter's name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times (162 as Peter or Simon Peter, 23 as Simon, and 6 as Cephas). John is next in frequency with only 48 appearances, and Peter is present 50% of the time we find John in the Bible! Archbishop Fulton Sheen reckoned that all the other disciples combined were mentioned 130 times. If this is correct, Peter is named a remarkable 60% of the time any disciple is referred to!
40. Peter's proclamation at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) contains a fully authoritative interpretation of Scripture, a doctrinal decision and a disciplinary decree concerning members of the "House of Israel" (2:36) - an example of "binding and loosing."
41. Peter was the first "charismatic", having judged authoritatively the first instance of the gift of tongues as genuine (Acts 2:14-21).
42. Peter is the first to preach Christian repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).
43. Peter (presumably) takes the lead in the first recorded mass baptism (Acts 2:41).
44. Peter commanded the first Gentile Christians to be baptized (Acts 10:44-48).
45. Peter was the first traveling missionary, and first exercised what would now be called "visitation of the churches" (Acts 9:32-38, 43). Paul preached at Damascus immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:20), but hadn't traveled there for that purpose (God changed his plans!). His missionary journeys begin in Acts 13:2.
46. Paul went to Jerusalem specifically to see Peter for fifteen days in the beginning of his ministry (Galatians 1:18), and was commissioned by Peter, James and John (Galatians 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.
47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Peter 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or "elders."
48. Peter interprets prophecy (2 Peter 1:16-21).
49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul's writings (2 Peter 3:15-16).
50. Peter wrote his first epistle from Rome, according to most scholars, as its bishop, and as the universal bishop (or, pope) of the early Church. "Babylon" (1 Peter 5:13) is regarded as code for Rome.
(taken from the 5O New Testament proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy by Dave Armstrong, Catholic Apologist.)
ST. PETER AND HIS SUCCESSOR BENEDICT XVI