Papacy & Church Authority Outline by Josh Schwartz

I.                   Papacy/Church Authority


A.    Review on last weeks talk

B.     Any questions people had they needed answered before proceeding

C.     Review sola Scriptura’s claim

1.      Review practical problem of sola Scriptura

a.       No unity

b.      This is a problem because Jesus prayed for the Church to be One as He and the Father are One (Jn 17:20). That means One in everything, including mind and truth.

c.       Jesus prayed this to “prove to the world that He was sent by the Father” (Jn 17:21).

d.      Jesus links credibility of His message to the worldwide unity of the Church.

e.       Jesus said “ Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and will not stand” (Mt 12:25).

f.       Unity subsists in our obedience and submission to the truth, which is why Paul calls the Church the “Pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

g.      Jesus also stated there must be one flock and one shepherd (Jn 10:16).

h.      Paul states, “I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be UNITED in the same MIND and the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10).

i.        So we see unity is a central them for Jesus.


                  D. This brings us to the importance of the Papacy

                  E. Review Mt 16:16-19.

                                 1.   Petros/Petra

                                          a.    The significance of a name change

                                          b.    Rock was not a name during Jesus’ time

                                          Ex. Abram-Abraham, Sarai-Sarah, Jacob-Israel, Saul-Paul

2.      Non-Catholic Christian objections

a.       “Jesus wasn’t talking about Peter, he was talking about Peter’s confession.”

b.      “Jesus named Peter “Petros” or little rock, while he built his Church on the “Petra” or rock foundation.

c.       “The Scripture teaches “God is the rock,” therefore Peter cannot be the rock Jesus is talking about.”

3.      Catholic responses

a.       Jesus clearly acknowledges Peter’s confession as revealed by God, but he uses the Greek word tautee, a demonstrative adjective, to refer to “this rock.” This shows the referent of adjective is Peter.

b.      Added to by the three-fold granting of authority

c.       Jesus did not speak in Greek, he spoke in Aramaic

-          Aramaic word for Rock is Kepha

-          Word for Pebble in Aramaic is Evna

-          Word for Pebble in Greek is Lithos

-          If Jesus wanted to call Peter “Little Pebble” he would have used a different word.

-          Distinction in the Greek is grammatically correct in assigning proper gender

-          We know Jesus used the Aramaic because Peter is referred to as Cephas in Mk 3:16, Jn 1:42

-          Cephas is the transliteration of Kepha into Greek

d.      Context, context, context!

e.       An attribution can apply to more than one individual in the Scripture

Ex. Eph 2:20- Apostles are foundation of Church

1 Cor 3:11- Jesus is foundation of Church


Acts 20:28- Apostles are shepherds of flock

1 Pet 2:25- Jesus is shepherd of flock


f. Jesus’ authority to give, thus not usurpation

g. Mt 7:24-27- Mt 16:16-19, Jn 10:14- Jn 21:15-17


4.      Biblical roots of the Davidic Kingdom

a. Ps 2:7-9: “He said to me, "You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.

         Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance,
         the ends of the earth your possession.

         You will rule them with an iron scepter;
         you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

b. So from David’s lineage would come a king.

c. More passages:

           - 2 Sam 7:14,16:

“I will raise up your offspring to succeed you…I will be his father, and he will be my son…Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

           - 1 Chronicles 17:12-14

           - Psalm 89:3-5

           - Jer 23:5

           - Jer 33:17

d. Already seen king is of David’s line, but now see this will be                    

    God’s own “son,” and that he will establish and everlasting     


e. Gospel writers pick up on this

    1) Mt 1:1, Lk 3:31- Jesus’ royal lineage traced to David

    2) Gabriel tells Mary her son will be given throne of David         

        (Lk 1:32).

    3) Jesus was born in city of David (Lk 2:11).

    4) Jn 1:49- Nathaniel says, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! 

        You are the King of Israel!”

                                 5.    Now that we have established Jesus as the Son of David, we 

                                        look at what this means for his Kingdom.

                                           a. King David had a Prime Minister, or Chief Steward, in his            

                                               Kingdom to take care of things in his absence. (Is 22: 15,


-          David has been dead for 300 years, but his kingdom still has a Prime Minister. This is the root of Apostolic Authority and also of Apostolic Succession.

                                           b. Areas where Jesus fills the role of God’s covenant with   

                                               David (pg 168-171):

                                                         -     Founded on divine covenant

                                                         -     Son of God

                                                         -     Son of David

                                                         -     Bound to Jerusalem

                                                         -     Bound to the temple

                                                         -     Davidic king will unite and rule all 12 tribes

                                                         -     Everlasting

                                                         -     Already seen Prime Minister

                                                         -     Queen Mother

                                                         -     Todah

                                           c. Only other place in Scripture where keys are given in the     

                                                context of a kingdom is Mt 16, thus Jesus is announcing     

  He is the Davidic King, and Peter is His Prime Minister  

  who carries His authority and provides successors on  

  Earth while Jesus is in Heaven.

                                           d. This is testified to by history.

-          The Catholic Church has an unbroken lineage of  succession that can be traced to Peter (263 Popes over 20 centuries).

-          All Bishops in the Church today can trace their lineage to one of the original Apostles.

                                  6.    “Binding and Loosing” are rabbinical terms describing

                                          authority to make rules of conduct, doctrinal pronouncements 

                                          and in a supernatural usage, to forgive sins.

7.          Through Jesus’ declarations on the keys and binding and  

        loosing, we know Peter is infallible, because his declarations   

        will be ratified by Heaven.

8.          Peter is even head of the Apostles, as seen in Lk 22:31-32 and 

        Jn 21:15-17.

-          Jesus redeems Peter after denying Jesus three

      times, with a three-fold affirmation, then grants 

      Peter the authority of chief shepherd in front of

      the other Apostles.

-          The Greek word Jesus uses for “tend” is poimane  

      which also means to rule or govern.

9.          Kingdom of God/Heaven is merely the heavenly kingdom of

        eternal glory, or does it also refer to the earthly, kingdom-


a.       Mt 13:24-30, Mt 13: 31-32, Mt 13:33, Mt 13:47-48, Mt

      25:1-2 (page 50).


10.     Church is visible or invisible?

a.       As Catholics we get to believe both.

b.      There is an invisible, supernatural connection we are born into through baptism, but there is also a clearly visible Church with Saints and sinners, sacraments, clergy, authoritative hierarchy, etc.

c.       Paul calls the Church the BODY of Christ.

d.      A body is the visible part of a being endowed with a soul.

e.       If the Church was to merely be invisible, Paul would have used “soul” of Christ, not “body.”

f.       Body of Christ must indicate a visible unity.

11.     Church will persevere through every generation (Eph 3:21)

a.       This can only be the Catholic Church, since only

      Catholics can trace their lineage back through every 


12.      Peter’s Authority, as Pope, in practice

a.       Peter declares the need to replace Judas. They ended up doing so with Matthias (Acts 1:15-26).

b.      Peter is the first to preach the Gospel on Pentecost, the

      birth of the Church.

c.       Peter is the first preach about repentance and baptism in

      the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).

d.      Peter is the first to teach Jesus Christ is the Messiah and

      that there is no salvation other than through Him.

e.       Peter is the first Apostle to teach about salvation in

      Christ for both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 3:12-26, Acts


f.       Peter is the first to exercise his binding authority by 

      condemning Anaias and Sapphira, resulting in their

      death (Acts 10:34-38, 11:1-8).

g.      Peter is mentioned first in conferring the sacrament of

Confirmation (Acts 8:14).

h.      Peter binds Simon under pain of sin for requesting to

      receive the HS for money (Acts 8:18-23).

i.        Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:7-12), Peter, not the Bible, settles the question of circumcision.

-          The assembly falls silent, and quits arguing after Peter speaks, because he settled the matter.

-          Paul and Barnabas speak after Peter in support of teaching by talking about the “signs and wonders God had worked through them among the gentiles” (Acts 5:12).

-          The local bishop, James, acknowledges Peter’s teaching and takes care of the administrative work (Acts 5:13-14).

j.        Paul spends 15 days with Peter before beginning his

      ministry even though He was chosen directly by Christ

      in the revelation on the road to Damascus (Gal 1:18).

k.      The Angel identifies Peter as the leader of the Apostles

      in confirming the Resurrection of Christ (Mk 16:7).

13.  Non-Catholic Christian arguments against Peter’s authority

a.       Mk 8:33- Get behind me Satan!

b.      Gal 2:11-14- Paul rebukes Peter

c.       Denial that Peter was ever in Rome.

14.  Catholic responses

a.       Jesus is rebuking Peter for not having faith and trust in 

      His plan, not on doctrinal teaching.

b.      Paul rejects Peter for not practicing what he preached,

      not for incorrect teaching, since Peter has already taught 

      correctly on this subject.

c.       Peter says himself he is in “Babylon” which was the code name for Rome. The historical record also indicates that Peter was martyred in Rome circa 67 AD.

15.  Apostolic Authority and Succession- Formal Positions or Offices of Authority:

a.       Episkopoi

b.      Presbyteroi

c.       Diakonoi

-          These formal, hierarchical positions represent a 

      very visible Church.

d.      Ekklesia

-          Formal, hierarchical assembly with visible 


-          Jesus uses this word twice, both times in

                              regarding His Church.

16.  More on Succession

a.       The Apostles appointed elder in each church (Acts 14:23).

b.      Peter appoints successor to Judas, whose office remains despite his rejection of Christ and egregious sin (Acts 1:15-26).

c.       The succession was passed on through the “laying on of hands” (a.k.a. Holy Orders).

Ex. Acts 6:5-6. Acts 13:2-3, 1 Tim 4:14, 2 Tim 1:6, 1 Tim 5:22

17.  Non-Catholic Christian says:

-          But the Bible says we are ALL priests in the New

      Covenant, right?

-          In the OT, there were three distinct priesthoods.

1)      High priest

2)      Ministerial priest

3)      Universal priest

-          In the NT, it is the same way.

1)      The Scriptures teach that the ministerial priests

      of the New Covenant share in the high priest’s

      ministry and authority.

      Ex. Mt 10:40, Jn 13:20, Lk 10:16).

2)      Paul tells us to respect those who have spiritual

      authority over us (1 Thess 5:12-13, Heb 13:7,


3)   Paul also tells Timothy to exhort and reprove

      with all authority, which he received by the

      laying on of hands (Tit 2:15).

18.  Infallibility

a.       God could not have an untruth or something sinful

      binding in Heaven.

b.      Two ways to make an infallible teaching:  

1)      Ex Cathedra

2)      Conciliar teaching

c.       Infallibility is only a negative protection.

d.      Because the CHURCH is the final arbiter on matters of the Christian faith (Mt 18:17-18), it is gravely sinful to disobey Church teachings on matters of faith and morals.

19.  Development of Doctrine

a.       Does not mean the Church “changes” of “invents doctrines.”

b.      The Church reflects on the Deposit of Faith through prayer, and her understanding grows in depth and clarity over time. Church is being guided into “all truth” (Jn 16:13).

c.       Eph 3:9-10