Conservative Colloquium

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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


4 Responses to “50 New Testament Proofs for the Pre-eminence of St. Peter”

  1. Swivle said

    What an amazing list of positive things about Saint Peter! Actually, when you carefully read what the New Testament has to say about Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), you come to the conclusion that Saint Peter was no more than an opportunistic sect leader.

    • How did he know about their falsehood? Did someone tell him? Or did he learn of it by paranormal means, in which case he was committing a sin against God.
    • Why did he not tell Sapphira of the death of her husband? He even buried Ananias with really quite indecent haste without informing any family members! Unheard of – even at that time. Sapphira learned of her husband’s death only when she finally came looking for him.
    • Why did he dare bury Sapphira with equally indecent haste, and also without informing family members who would have arranged the funeral?

    The answer must be that they had no family in the city, or no family powerful enough to take revenge on him for treating their relatives in this shabby way. In other words, the story of Annanias and Sapphira reveals the acts of Saint Peter to be no more than the exploitation of the leader of a sect who had absolutely no respect for the people who supported the sect. He simply exploited them.


  2. foospro86 said

    You might actually want to read Acts 5 again:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “indecent haste.” I believe it was Jewish tradition to bury someone ASAP, within 24 hrs:
    It would have been indecent to wait too long.
    Besides, Scripture says “young men” buried them (chevra kaddisha?). It says nothing about Ananias and Sapphira’s family, but why do you assume they were not informed?
    Moreover, Peter likely had nothing to do with how or when they were buried.

    You are asking how Peter, a miracle worker possessed by the Holy Spirit, knew they were lying? Isn’t the answer obvious from who he was?!

    Yeah, thou shalt not commit paranormality! haha. So are you saying miracles are actually sins?

    He didn’t tell Sapphira b/c he was testing her too.

    Opportunistic sect leader?! Yeah, right, being an apostle of Jesus was such a cushy job. Dependent on the charity of others. Get arrested. Get stoned to death. And Peter was lucky enough to get crucified upside down in Rome! What an opportunity for an opportunistic sect leader!
    Do you think before you write a comment?

    Pippi, you might actually want to get your historical, cultural, and Scriptural facts straight before making accusations against St. Peter.

  3. […] 16:12, 16-19, 22-23; 17:1, 4, 24-27; 19:27; 23:1-3, 13; 26:31-37, 40-41, 56-58, 69-75). Click here for 50 Scriptural citations that evidence Peter’s […]

  4. […] This is evidence of hierarchy within the Church and Peter’s primacy in particular. Click here for 50 Scriptural citations throughout the Bible that evidence Peter’s pre-eminence. St. John […]

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