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Was Rome the headquarters of the early church and was the Jerusalem council called by Rome or Peter?
Let Us Reason Ministries ^ | 2007 | Mike Oppenheimer

Posted on 05/15/2008 8:29:34 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg

In the beginning of the church (first ten years) all the believers were Jews. The church began and was established in Jerusalem where Jesus did a good portion of his preaching and was crucified and raised.

The gospel went out from Jerusalem "you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" Acts 1:8

Luke 24:47-48 that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (see Acts 10:36-37)

It wasn’t until years later that the gospel went to the Gentiles Acts 8:1 “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

It was Saul who was given the commission who bought the gospel to the Gentile regions, even Rome., Paul tells his story to Agrippa Acts 26:19-20 "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea , and then to the Gentiles."

The "Jerusalem Council" in Acts 15 shows us a number of things- first, Rome was not headquarters of the Church; Jerusalem was the focus (not the head) because the Jewish leadership had to decide on how to act with the Gentiles being saved in great numbers A serious doctrinal disagreement had arisen with the Gentiles beginning to be saved. Paul was present because he was the main apostle sent out to the gentiles with Barnabas. Then the Apostles and Elders met to consider the matter (15:6). If Peter had any special authority above all the other apostles, he would have called the Council together, officiated at the meeting, and given his final judgment in these matters by himself, but he did not. There was no Pope over the church then. James, who was the pastor of the Jerusalem church stood up and became the central figure in this council, and his appeal was in agreement with the other elders, it was to the Word of God and the Spirit (Acts 15:13-21) not to the church itself.

It was not until the early 300’s the church stopped hiding underground from persecution and became a legal entity that the power was shifted to pagan Rome, specifically under Constantine the conqueror. The Pope became like the Caesars before him in Rome, only now with a Christian veneer. First there was little influence, but the doors slowly swung open to allow the pagans to enter the church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith. The church mixed other teachings not found in the Bible and polluted itself to becoming religious and giving meaning to the outward rituals not understanding their spiritual intent.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; churchhistory; truth
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As an "open" discussion, let's see if we can discuss this without calling one another nasty names.
1 posted on 05/15/2008 8:29:35 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

Glad to see an open discussion.
No names.
It is a good question. I’ll have to do some research to see if I agree or not, because I don’t know at this moment. I am looking forward to the other posts.


2 posted on 05/15/2008 8:34:56 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“As an “open” discussion, let’s see if we can discuss this without calling one another nasty names.”

AMEN


3 posted on 05/15/2008 8:35:22 AM PDT by wmileo (I miss Ronald Wilson Reagan. POTUS #40)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Paul (Luke writing for Paul actually) on his first missionary trips to Europe preached and converted Jews and Non-Jews.
4 posted on 05/15/2008 8:36:20 AM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

What can be learned from the Jerusalem Coucil is that apostolic authority in the Church was exercised in a collegial fashion, not a dictatorial fashion. The Apostles and their episcopal successors functioned as overseers of the whole Church, not as individual overseers of specific regions. In other words, there were bishops, but no dioceses.


5 posted on 05/15/2008 8:37:54 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“In the beginning of the church (first ten years) all the believers were Jews”

I see no basis for this conclusion. You mean No non-Jews became believers in the first ten years of teachings. I doubt that.

As to main argument it has merit.


6 posted on 05/15/2008 8:39:02 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

The issue is not “Rome,” it is Peter. The Lord appointed Peter the head of the apostles, and the Church (e.g. Matthew 16:18-20; Luke 22:31-32). This is recognized as a fact by the early fathers (e.g. “where Peter is, there is the Church”).

Catholics don’t believe that Peter or his successors (the bishops of Rome) can’t listen to the opinions and advice of others, or at times even rebukes from others; only that the in doctrinal controversy on faith or morals, their definitive judgment ends the matter (’Rome has spoken, the case is closed’).

In terms of Acts, it was Peter who stood up in the midst of the ‘debate’, declared his position and after which the argument fell ‘silent’ (i.e. ended) (Acts 15:7-12). James did suggest a course of action to communicate the resuls of the council.


7 posted on 05/15/2008 8:48:49 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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ping


8 posted on 05/15/2008 8:51:32 AM PDT by isaiah55version11_0 (For His Glory)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
First there was little influence, but the doors slowly swung open to allow the pagans to enter the church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith.


Since when is baptism not mentioned in the new testament?

Confessions of faith was a start, baptism after repentance was the door that got you into the church.

9 posted on 05/15/2008 8:59:02 AM PDT by JAKraig (Josephwould think more of this statement if the Texas State Police had not decided to invalidate Kra)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
First there was little influence, but the doors slowly swung open to allow the pagans to enter the church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith.


Since when is baptism not mentioned in the new testament?

Confessions of faith was a start, baptism after repentance was the door that got you into the church.

10 posted on 05/15/2008 8:59:02 AM PDT by JAKraig (Josephwould think more of this statement if the Texas State Police had not decided to invalidate Kra)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
As an "open" discussion, let's see if we can discuss this without calling one another nasty names.

Almost impossible. Emotions--family ties--cultural heritage--personal pride are involved. You'll get the same reactons I get when I ask Catholics-- even one who is historian-- to simply read the "church fathers" from the second and third centuries: These had no concept of a pope or "church tradition" supplanting and directly contradicting the scriptures. All of that was all added through later centuries through the politicized RCC.

11 posted on 05/15/2008 9:00:04 AM PDT by mikeus_maximus (We don't need a Ferengi President!)
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To: zot

ping. good point about James as first head of the “Christian Church”, not Peter.


12 posted on 05/15/2008 9:03:55 AM PDT by GreyFriar ( 3rd Armored Division - Spearhead)
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To: bobjam

you could argue that as the Church expanded giving Bishops oversight over several parishes (dioceses) was a nessecity for Church unity, in order to keep cohesive.


13 posted on 05/15/2008 9:05:22 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
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To: 2banana

This was in the late 40s AD, though, not in the first decade after the Resurrection


14 posted on 05/15/2008 9:06:29 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
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To: ChurtleDawg

Dioceses were certainly inevitable- particularly as the original congregation in each city grew and underwent ecclesial mitosis. Still, bishops exercised authority over the whole church and not just theri own sees. This is what enabled one bishop to go into another area to correct a heresy.


15 posted on 05/15/2008 9:09:55 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Muslims founded Rome and the Zionists took it away. I have the proof somewhere here in my pants.
16 posted on 05/15/2008 9:13:21 AM PDT by doggieboy
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To: GreyFriar

James did speak last at the debate. Tradition records him as being the first Bishop of the See of Jerusalem. Tradition also puts Peter as the head of the Church at Antioch, which came to supplant Jerusalem as the main Church, which was later supplanted by Rome.


17 posted on 05/15/2008 9:15:51 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Hyam Maccoby, Revolution In Judaea: Jesus And The Jewish Resistance
18 posted on 05/15/2008 9:24:30 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: ChurtleDawg
Tradition records him as being the first Bishop of the See of Jerusalem.

Then you've just shot down the Roman Catholic argument that Peter headed the early Ekklesia. The only time Jerusalem has not been the center of Jewish religious authority has been when Jews were not allowed to enter into it. This is why so important a question as how to handle the influx of Gentiles into the faith was decided at Jerusalem instead of, for example, Antioch, Tarsus, or some other easier-to-reach by ship city, and why Paul was so eager to make his pilgrimage there in 60 CE.

Jerusalem was still standing when Peter was martyred. Ergo, if Jacob (James) led the Jerusalem assembly, he was the de-facto leader of the Ekklesia--insofar as the Ekklesia had a single de-facto leader other than Yeshua, which they really didn't. Issues that involved more than a local body were decided by a Beit Din (House of Judgment, or Council) rather than by any single "bishop."

Shalom.

19 posted on 05/15/2008 9:37:43 AM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: Miles the Slasher

I agree with you that THE issue is not with geography, but with lordship. The “early fathers” are as fallible as you or I, evidenced by the quote you cited. What sophistry! Where the Lord Jesus is - THERE is the church. Nowhere in Scripture did Christ give any man lordship over the church, rightly interpreted as “the congregation” or “called out ones”.

For a detailed review of the verses you cited, please read this article: http://www.letusreason.org/RC26.htm


20 posted on 05/15/2008 9:44:00 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: doggieboy

My dogs may be interested in what you have in your pants, but not me :-)

I think the Russians invented Rome.


21 posted on 05/15/2008 9:45:01 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Buggman

no. Peter was the man Christ left in charge. I can’t read any possible interpretation of what Christ says after Peter confesses his faith.

Peter came to head the Church in Antioch and later the Church in Rome. James ran the Mother Church in Jerusalem,


22 posted on 05/15/2008 9:46:54 AM PDT by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
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To: ChurtleDawg
Peter was the man Christ left in charge. I can’t read any possible interpretation of what Christ says after Peter confesses his faith.

Oh, it's easy enough to figure out:

1) There are two different words for "rock" employed--Petros, a piece of stone, and petra, a large rock--makes it clear that something other than, "You're the pope, Pete," was in mind.

2) The symbol of the Rock is used dozens of places in the Tanakh (OT) to refer to God and Messiah

3) Peter himself makes no claims to leadership over the Council. His is one of the deciding arguments, not a rendered judgment.

4) Peter himself interprets the Lord's words for us:

1Pe 2:5 - You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah. Because it is contained in Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen, and precious:
He who believes in him will not be disappointed.”
For you who believe therefore is the honor, but for those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected,
has become the chief cornerstone,”
and,
“a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”
I.e. Peter is one of the "little stones" which is built on the Rock, Messiah, the Divine Presence made flesh. We read this again in 1Co. 3:11: "For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah." And as Rev. 21:14 points out, the New Jerusalem is founded on all of the Apostles, not just Peter.

Sorry, but there is no other Biblical interpretation than that Yeshua is the Rock which is the cornerstone of the Ekklesia, and Peter is one of the stones built on Him--one of the foundation stones, to be sure, but not the whole foundation himself.

The fact that you admit that Jacob (James) was in charge of the assembly in Jerusalem is just the final nail in the coffin.

In addition, your whole worldview is caught up in the assumption that God would never remove His blessing from Rome for her sins as He did Jerusalem (assuming that He ever set up Rome as "in charge" to begin with, of course). Sorry, but it was in Jerusalem, not Rome, that God put His Name, and it is from Jerusalem, not Rome, that the King will reign forever.

Shalom!

23 posted on 05/15/2008 10:26:57 AM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
More of a historical than a theological note:

In the 1st and early 2nd century AD, when Rome is the real capital city of the empire, the church, as a body of believers, is focused around the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Note, for example, that Revelation explicitly addresses seven churches, all in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

The reforms of Diocletian in the late Third/early Fourth Century AD and the need to be close to the embattled frontiers made Gaul, the Danube, and Asia Minor the important theaters for the autocratic military dictatorship that was the functional Roman government. Rome became a hinterland city: pretty, decadent, full of beautiful buildings and other vestiges of republican and early imperial institutions that had long since lost all real significance in the administration of the empire. When Constantine become emperor, the empire's center of interest and its administrative center was to be consolidated in the east, in Constantinople.

24 posted on 05/15/2008 10:37:14 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ( If we have the WILL to do it, there is nothing built in China that we cannot do without.)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
As an "open" discussion, let's see if we can discuss this without calling one another nasty names.

I would really enjoy such a discussion, but I don't think it will happen when you have people who don't go along with what you wrote. And what you wrote is a very good understanding of the early history of the church. Thanks for writing it.

25 posted on 05/15/2008 10:41:44 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Buggman
There are two different words for "rock" employed--Petros, a piece of stone, and petra, a large rock

No, no, and still no.

Petra does indeed mean "large rock".

"Petros" is used in a few places in classical Greek poetry to mean stone or pebble. There are no examples of that usage in Koine prose.

Petra has feminine gender. It can't be a man's given name. To make a masculine name out of it, you have to switch it to a masculine declension, hence "Petros".

If you want to see a long list of citations from Protestant exegetes confirming this, here it is.

26 posted on 05/15/2008 10:47:45 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
First there was little influence, but the doors slowly swung open to allow the pagans to enter the church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith. The church mixed other teachings not found in the Bible and polluted itself to becoming religious and giving meaning to the outward rituals not understanding their spiritual intent.

I read in more than one place the greatest problem with the church was when Constantine made Christianity "acceptable" and opened it up to all sorts of people. It opened the church up to all sorts of people bring in all sorts of ideas. It is one of the reasons the early church fathers realized the need to separate the inspired word of God from the rest of the writings. They recognized the problems and why we have the Bible.

27 posted on 05/15/2008 10:50:45 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
This article is basically rubbish, Manfred.

Nobody disputes that Jerusalem was the headquarters of the Church at the time of the council in Acts 15. The claim is a red herring.

This paragraph is just plain nutty:

It was not until the early 300’s the church stopped hiding underground from persecution and became a legal entity that the power was shifted to pagan Rome, specifically under Constantine the conqueror. The Pope became like the Caesars before him in Rome, only now with a Christian veneer. First there was little influence, but the doors slowly swung open to allow the pagans to enter the church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith.

First off, the Church "stopped hiding from persecution" because Caesar stopped persecuting.

Jerusalem ceased to be the "headquarters" of the Church within the lifetimes of the Apostles. (They moved first to Antioch, then to Rome.) Jerusalem was largely destroyed after the wars of AD 70 and AD 135. Jewish Christianity largely apostasized into a heresy known as Ebionitism, which rejected the divinity of Christ.

As early as the late 1st C. you have the bishop of Rome, Clement, issuing commands to the church in Corinth. In the late 2nd century, you have Irenaeus of Lyons writing that the sine qua non of orthodoxy is communion with Rome. In the 3rd century, you have Cyprian of Carthage writing about Peter's successor ruling the Church from Rome.

Nothing much "moved" or "changed" when Constantine came around, except that Rome stopped moving Christians into prison cells and the arena.

As far as "pagans entering the Church through water baptism instead of a confession of faith", the Church at Rome always required both of adults. In fact, the "Apostles Creed" is the ancient Roman baptismal creed.

28 posted on 05/15/2008 10:57:03 AM PDT by Campion
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To: HarleyD

I’m reading this book - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736910549 in which the author makes much the same point as you, although he is of the opinion that the Gnostics (2nd & 3rd centuries) caused the church fathers to codify Scripture and separate it from non-scripture. This was recognized as the canon of Scripture “under” Constantine - who may or may not have been a Christian.


29 posted on 05/15/2008 11:00:33 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Campion

You, with your RCC lens, say the article is “rubbish” and offer, in defense of that opinion, unsupported declaratives about what extra-Biblical reports allegedly say to back up the RCC version of history - which I call rubbish.


30 posted on 05/15/2008 11:02:40 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: HarleyD
That's basically a convenient Protestant fiction, Harley.

In fact, part of the reason Constantine legalized Christianity was exactly because it was already so popular.

And there was no shortage of heretics before legalization anymore than after.

The earliest notion of a "Bible" in the Christian world was synonymous with "books that are read in the liturgy". (IOW, "the Bible" and "what is read at Mass" were two ways of saying the same thing.)

However, there wasn't unanimity about which books should be read. People in one place read books that people in other places didn't. That's why the canon was taught authoritatively in the West at the end of the 4th C.

31 posted on 05/15/2008 11:05:03 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg; Religion Moderator
You, with your RCC lens

That's an ad hominem argument. If I did that, the RM would immediately chastise me for reading your mind.

Clement's "Epistle to the Corinthians", Irenaeus' "Against Heresies", and Cyprian of Carthage's "On the Unity of the Catholic Church" are all available on the Internet, and are not "unsupported declaratives".

The are as "extra-Biblical" as this article is.

32 posted on 05/15/2008 11:09:19 AM PDT by Campion
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
your RCC lens

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal. Reading the mind of another poster is "making it personal."
33 posted on 05/15/2008 11:11:31 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“For a detailed review of the verses you cited, please read this article: http://www.letusreason.org/RC26.htm";

I read the critique. Not moved.

We know Jesus named Simon “cephas” (John 1:42) which is from the Aramaic (”rock”). Thus, this was the original “phonetic” rendering of Simon’s new name, and thus ought to be the basis for understanding Jesus’ purpose the name change. “Petros” is a rendering of a name from the Aramaic (John 1:42)to a Greek rendering. Therefore, the distinction between Petra/Petros, if there really is one, is meaningless. It seems the issue is how to render kepha from Aramaic into a language, while rendering it now a name for a man (thus, the masculine “petros” is chosen).

Second, on the point of the language of Matthew, see the following site (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10057a.htm) and its comments on the language of Matthew’s gospel.

Cited in part from above: “Let us now recall the testimony of the other ecclesiastical writers on the Gospel of St. Matthew. St. Irenæus (Adv. Haer., III, i, 2) affirms that Matthew published among the Hebrews a Gospel which he wrote in their own language. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., V, x, 3) says that, in India, Pantænus found the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in the Hebrew language, the Apostle Bartholomew having left it there. Again, in his “Hist. eccl.” (VI xxv, 3, 4), Eusebius tells us that Origen, in his first book on the Gospel of St. Matthew, states that he has learned from tradition that the First Gospel was written by Matthew, who, having composed it in Hebrew, published it for the converts from Judaism. According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., III, xxiv, 6), Matthew preached first to the Hebrews and, when obliged to go to other countries, gave them his Gospel written in his native tongue. St. Jerome has repeatedly declared that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew (”Ad Damasum”, xx; “Ad Hedib.”, iv), but says that it is not known with certainty who translated it into Greek. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, etc., and all the commentators of the Middle Ages repeat that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew....However all ecclesiastical writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and, by quoting the Greek Gospel and ascribing it to Matthew, thereby affirm it to be a translation of the Hebrew Gospel.”

In sum, Simon was named “rock”...not “little rock”.


34 posted on 05/15/2008 11:14:06 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“For a detailed review of the verses you cited, please read this article: http://www.letusreason.org/RC26.htm";

I read the critique. Not moved.

We know Jesus named Simon “cephas” (John 1:42) which is from the Aramaic (”rock”). Thus, this was the original “phonetic” rendering of Simon’s new name, and thus ought to be the basis for understanding Jesus’ purpose the name change. “Petros” is a rendering of a name from the Aramaic (John 1:42)to a Greek rendering. Therefore, the distinction between Petra/Petros, if there really is one, is meaningless. It seems the issue is how to render kepha from Aramaic into a language, while rendering it now a name for a man (thus, the masculine “petros” is chosen).

Second, on the point of the language of Matthew, see the following site (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10057a.htm) and its comments on the language of Matthew’s gospel.

Cited in part from above: “Let us now recall the testimony of the other ecclesiastical writers on the Gospel of St. Matthew. St. Irenæus (Adv. Haer., III, i, 2) affirms that Matthew published among the Hebrews a Gospel which he wrote in their own language. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., V, x, 3) says that, in India, Pantænus found the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in the Hebrew language, the Apostle Bartholomew having left it there. Again, in his “Hist. eccl.” (VI xxv, 3, 4), Eusebius tells us that Origen, in his first book on the Gospel of St. Matthew, states that he has learned from tradition that the First Gospel was written by Matthew, who, having composed it in Hebrew, published it for the converts from Judaism. According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., III, xxiv, 6), Matthew preached first to the Hebrews and, when obliged to go to other countries, gave them his Gospel written in his native tongue. St. Jerome has repeatedly declared that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew (”Ad Damasum”, xx; “Ad Hedib.”, iv), but says that it is not known with certainty who translated it into Greek. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, etc., and all the commentators of the Middle Ages repeat that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew....However all ecclesiastical writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and, by quoting the Greek Gospel and ascribing it to Matthew, thereby affirm it to be a translation of the Hebrew Gospel.”

In sum, Simon was named “rock”...not “little rock”.


35 posted on 05/15/2008 11:14:09 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“For a detailed review of the verses you cited, please read this article: http://www.letusreason.org/RC26.htm";

I read the critique. Not moved.

We know Jesus named Simon “cephas” (John 1:42) which is from the Aramaic (”rock”). Thus, this was the original “phonetic” rendering of Simon’s new name, and thus ought to be the basis for understanding Jesus’ purpose the name change. “Petros” is a rendering of a name from the Aramaic (John 1:42)to a Greek rendering. Therefore, the distinction between Petra/Petros, if there really is one, is meaningless. It seems the issue is how to render kepha from Aramaic into a language, while rendering it now a name for a man (thus, the masculine “petros” is chosen).

Second, on the point of the language of Matthew, see the following site (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10057a.htm) and its comments on the language of Matthew’s gospel.

Cited in part from above: “Let us now recall the testimony of the other ecclesiastical writers on the Gospel of St. Matthew. St. Irenæus (Adv. Haer., III, i, 2) affirms that Matthew published among the Hebrews a Gospel which he wrote in their own language. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., V, x, 3) says that, in India, Pantænus found the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in the Hebrew language, the Apostle Bartholomew having left it there. Again, in his “Hist. eccl.” (VI xxv, 3, 4), Eusebius tells us that Origen, in his first book on the Gospel of St. Matthew, states that he has learned from tradition that the First Gospel was written by Matthew, who, having composed it in Hebrew, published it for the converts from Judaism. According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., III, xxiv, 6), Matthew preached first to the Hebrews and, when obliged to go to other countries, gave them his Gospel written in his native tongue. St. Jerome has repeatedly declared that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew (”Ad Damasum”, xx; “Ad Hedib.”, iv), but says that it is not known with certainty who translated it into Greek. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, etc., and all the commentators of the Middle Ages repeat that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew....However all ecclesiastical writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and, by quoting the Greek Gospel and ascribing it to Matthew, thereby affirm it to be a translation of the Hebrew Gospel.”

In sum, Simon was named “rock”...not “little rock”.


36 posted on 05/15/2008 11:14:15 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: Religion Moderator; Campion

The term “RCC lens” is a personal attack? How so? Every person has a world view, or lens, through which he views everything.

I am not “reading his mind” when I observe that he consistently proclaims the RCC view on issue after issue. I did not claim to know what he thinks, much less use that “knowledge” as an attack on his person.

Your comment does not compute.


37 posted on 05/15/2008 11:16:46 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

Makes sense to me, given the biblical statements and some historical statements that say essentially the same thing. For some it will always be a matter of what they want those statements to say as opposed to what they actually mean.


38 posted on 05/15/2008 11:20:46 AM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: Miles the Slasher

Honestly, I would have surprised with any other answer.

For me, any doctrine that detracts from the Lord Jesus and puffs up any human in His place (such as in being Head of the church) is wrong - as nowhere in Scripture do we see such teaching explicitly; only pulled out in bits and pieces to become the traditions of this church or that.

Hold to what you will. The Bible tells us that only God is to be fully trusted - no group of men or individual can stand in His place.


39 posted on 05/15/2008 11:20:56 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

As used, the term suggests your correspondent is not objective but biased in a certain way. That is “reading his mind.” It is not a “personal attack” but it is “making it personal.”


40 posted on 05/15/2008 11:22:16 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Campion; Manfred the Wonder Dawg
That's basically a convenient Protestant fiction, Harley. In fact, part of the reason Constantine legalized Christianity was exactly because it was already so popular.

There is no evidence to suggest Christianity was popular before Constantine. Even after Constantine the church still faced persecution as Augustine and other of the fathers write. In fact, Augustine talks about how people were so willing to die for Christianity that they went out of their way to be martyred. Augustine had to persuaded them they would be more useful here. It certainly wasn't popular until around 500 AD and like Manfred alluded to, Gnosticism slowly crept in-it wasn't quick as I accidentally implied.

I think there is significant evidence to suggest paganism entered the church after this time. Many of the Roman temples dedicated to Venus were converted to churches for Mary. It's not hard to go back and look at the history of these churches in Rome and the Catholics are rather up front about the matter. It was a small step from worshiping Venus to focusing on Mary. It all happened around the time of Constantine.

41 posted on 05/15/2008 11:26:05 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Religion Moderator

I thank you for an intelligent response. But I disagree. Look at his comments:

“This article is basically rubbish, Manfred.”

“This paragraph is just plain nutty”

Does he not, with his own comments, reveal a bias? A random look at any number of his posts will clearly reveal he is a proud advocate for the Roman Catholic Church - that’s his “RCC lens”! I didn’t attach it to him - he did and he’s proud of it.


42 posted on 05/15/2008 11:39:11 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
The "making it personal" guidelines applies to other Freepers only. Making a disparaging remark about the article or paragraph can never be "making it personal."

I have every reason to believe your correspondent is indeed Catholic. But neither you nor I can read his mind, e.g. say that he is not being objective.

43 posted on 05/15/2008 11:48:49 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg

“Honestly, I would have surprised with any other answer.

For me, any doctrine that detracts from the Lord Jesus and puffs up any human in His place (such as in being Head of the church) is wrong - as nowhere in Scripture do we see such teaching explicitly; only pulled out in bits and pieces to become the traditions of this church or that.

Hold to what you will. The Bible tells us that only God is to be fully trusted - no group of men or individual can stand in His place.”

I was hoping you’d address my comments directly as it goes to the question you yourself posed in this thread, that you yourself began.

I do agree no man should be “puffed” up. I know you would not call Moses “puffed” up, nor Aaron, or Abraham, or Isaac, Daniel, John the Baptist, or any prophet; because God singled these men out throughout human history for a mission, leadership, Kingship, Chief Priest or whatever.

If Peter claimed this authority falsely, he would in fact be “puffed” up. But, we know the Lord himself addresses Peter in a singular fashion: ‘whatever you (singular) hold bound on earth, is bound in heaven; whatever you (singular) hold loosed on earth is loosed in heaven.’ Similarly, the Lord addressed Peter in singular “you” about confirming the brethren, after he prayed that Simon’s faith would not fail.

I agree with you, only the Lord can be fully trusted. Yet there is no contradiction in knowing, as we do, that when an all powerful God could have done it all Himself in human history without any human agencies involved, God - incredibly - chose to involve men in executing His will in time; and that God expect men to accept them as his servants.

To me then, it does not contradict scripture, faith or reason to see that the Lord institued his Church with an earthly organization that included Peter, as chief of the apostles (and his successors) and the apostles (and their successors, the bishops) for the purpose of insuring the orderly transmission, propagation, handing down and interpretation of the faith in history.


44 posted on 05/15/2008 11:51:43 AM PDT by Miles the Slasher
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To: 2banana
"Paul (Luke writing for Paul actually) on his first missionary trips to Europe preached and converted Jews and Non-Jews."

As Peter and all the other Apostles did, and as documented IN THE BIBLE (Peter with the VERY FIRST GENTILES, and Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch). The old hoo-ha about "only Paul ministered to the Gentiles" gets old after a while.

45 posted on 05/15/2008 11:53:15 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
In the beginning of the church (first ten years) all the believers were Jews....................

Was Paul a Jew?

46 posted on 05/15/2008 11:55:10 AM PDT by purpleraine
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To: purpleraine

Yes, St. Paul was a Jew.


47 posted on 05/15/2008 11:59:24 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Pyro7480

I thought that he was born in modern day Turkey and was a Roman citizen. That’s all I know. In what sense was he a Jew or when did he become one?


48 posted on 05/15/2008 12:00:49 PM PDT by purpleraine
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
It was not until the early 300’s the church stopped hiding underground from persecution and became a legal entity that the power was shifted to pagan Rome, specifically under Constantine the conqueror. The Pope became like the Caesars before him in Rome, only now with a Christian veneer.

So then we should not see any kind of universal authority being exercized by the Bishop of Rome prior to the early 300s, is that correct?

And there should not be any Christian writer in, say, the 100s or 200s asserting any kind of special honor or power or privilege of the Bishop of Rome? That only happened after Constantine....is that the position you are staking out?

49 posted on 05/15/2008 12:03:10 PM PDT by Claud
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To: purpleraine

The fact that he lived in Tarsus and was a Roman citizen do not detract from the fact that he was a Jew. There was already a Diaspora at that point.


50 posted on 05/15/2008 12:08:44 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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