Concordia Theological Monthly

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acts, roman, government

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The reason for putting the topic in this form is obvious. It refers, as a matter of course, to the years 42-67 A. D., during which, according to belief in Roman Catholic circles, Peter, the "Prince of the Apostles," was bishop of the congregation at Rome and incidentally the first Pope. The situation with regard to the Romish claims is well set forth by Shotwell (in Shotwell and Loomis, The See of Peter, XXIII) as follows: "With reference to the Petrine doctrine … the Catholic attitude is much more than a 'predisposition to believe.' That doctrine is the fundamental basis of the whole papal structure. It may be summed up in three main claims. They are: first, that Peter was appointed by Christ to be His chief representative and successor and the head of His Church; second, that Peter went to Rome and founded the bishopric there; third, that his successors succeeded to his prerogatives and to all the authority implied thereby. In dealing with these claims, we are passing along the border-line between history and dogmatic theology. The primacy of Peter and his appointment by Christ to succeed Him as head of the Church are accepted by the Catholic Church as the indubitable word of the inspired Gospel in its only possible meaning. That Peter went to Rome and founded there his see is just as definitely what is termed in Catholic theology a dogmatic fact. This has been defined by an eminent Catholic theologian as 'historical fact so intimately connected with some great Catholic truths that it would be believed even if time and accident had destroyed all the original evidence therefor.' In this sense [so Shotwell continues] it may be said that Catholics accept the presence of Peter at Rome, on faith. But they assert at the same time that faith is really not called upon, since the evidence satisfactorily establishes the event as an historical fact.''


History of Christianity

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Galatians 1:17-18; Acts 9:32; Acts 11:2; Acts 11:22-30; Acts 12:5-17; Galatians 2:11 ff; Acts 15:1; Acts 15:7 ff; Galatians 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 5:13; Acts 12:25; Mark 6:37; Mark 15:39-44; Mark 12: 42; Mark 2:4, 9, 11; Mark 5:9-15; Mark 7:4-8; Mark 6:27; Acts 12:25; Acts 13:5; Acts 13:13; Acts 15:38; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Acts 11:19-21; Acts 18:2; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3-5; Romans 15:20; 2 Corinthians 10:15-16;

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars