50 New Testament Proofs for the Pre-eminence of St. Peter
Posted by Tony Listi on September 19, 2007
1. Peter alone is the Rock upon which Jesus builds his Church (Mt 16:18).
2. Peter alone is given the keys to the kingdom of Heaven (Mt 16:19).
3. Peter is individually given the power to bind and loose (Mt 16:19).
4. Peter’s name appears first in all lists of the Apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the “first” (Mt 10:2).
5. Peter is almost always named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In the one exception (Gal 2:9), the context clearly shows him to be pre-eminent (1:18-19, 2:7-8).
6. Peter alone receives a new name solemnly conferred (John1:42; Mt 16:18).
7. 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 Pet 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 (Lk 22:32).
9. Peter alone among the Apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).
10. Peter is the first to confess Christ’s Messiahship and divinity (Mt 16:16).
11. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).
12. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.
13. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).
14. Jesus uniquely associates himself and Peter in the miracle of the tribute-money (Mt 17:24-27).
15. Christ teaches from Peter’s boat, and the miraculous catch of fish follows (Lk 5:1-11): perhaps a metaphor for the Pope as a “fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).
16. Peter was the first Apostle to set out for and enter the empty tomb (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:6). John arrives first but waits for Peter out of deference.
17. Peter is specified by an angel as the leader and representative of the Apostles (Mk 16:7).
18. Peter leads the Apostles in fishing (Jn 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 (Jn 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 the 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 (on Ananias and Sapphira), which is emphatically affirmed by God (Acts 5:2-11).
25. Peter’s shadow works miracles (Acts 5:15).
26. Peter is the first 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 opens and presides over the first council of Christianity and lays down principles afterward accepted by it (Acts 15:7-11).
33. Paul distinguishes the Lord’s post-Resurrection appearances to Peter from those to the other apostles (1 Cor 15:4-8 ). The disciples on the road to Emmaus make the same distinction (Lk 24:34), in this instance mentioning only Peter (Simon), even though they themselves had just seen the risen Jesus within the previous hour (Lk 24:33).
34. Peter is often spoken of as distinct among Apostles (Mk 1:36; Lk 9:28, 32; Acts 2:37, 5:29; 1 Cor 9:5).
35. Peter is often spokesman for the other Apostles, especially at climactic moments (Mk 8:29; Mt 18:21; Lk 9:5, 12:14; Jn 6:67-…).
36. Peter name is always the first listed of the “inner circle” of the disciples (Peter, James, John− Mt 17:1, 26:37, 40; Mk 5:37, 14:37).
37. Peter is often the central figure relating to Jesus in dramatic Gospel scenes, such as walking on water (Mt 14:28-32; Lk 5:1-…; Mk 10:28; Mt 17:24-…)
38. Peter is the first to recognize and refute heresy, in Simon Magus (Acts 8:14-24).
39. Peter’s name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together: 191 times. John is next in frequency with only 48, and Peter is found 50% of the time we find John in the Bible. 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 concern 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) leads 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’s missionary journey begins in Acts 13:2).
46. Paul went to Jerusalem to specifically see Peter for 15 days in the beginning of his ministry (Gal 1:18 ) and was commission by Peter, James, and John (Gal 2:9) to preach to the Gentiles.
47. Peter acts, by strong implication, as the chief bishop/shepherd of the Church (1 Pet 5:1), since he exhorts all the other bishops, or elders.
48. Peter interprets prophecy (1 Pet 1:16-21).
49. Peter corrects those who misuse Paul’s writings (2 Pet. 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 Pet 5:13) is regarded by many commentators as a code name for Rome.
From Dave Armstrong’s A Biblical Defense of Catholicism