Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics regard St. Peter as the first pope...

...is he was given the authority to speak authoritatively.

Following the last two posts about Matthew 16 we get to verse 19 which says “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Even on the surface this is a powerful verse. Peter is given the authority to make decisions that God will honor. But there’s more.

The Gospel of Matthew was written to a Jewish audience who would’ve been very familiar with Isaiah 22:22 which says about the new steward of the king: “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”. The steward was the king’s second-in-command who had the king’s authority when the king was away.

A Jew would read the exchange as Peter declaring Jesus the new king (messiah) and Jesus making Peter his second-in-command (keys) with the king’s authority.

This is yet another reason why Catholics regard St. Peter as the first pope.

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