Peter's successors

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by myfavoritmartin, May 24, 2006.

  1. myfavoritmartin

    myfavoritmartin
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    I have spent some time reading some of the early christian writers, I've seen no areas of "succession of universal authority" that rome claims to have.
     
  2. myfavoritmartin

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    Clement of Alexandria in Outlines Book VI(quote by Eusebius)

    Quote:

    Peter, James, and John, after the Ascension of the Saviour, did not claim pre-emincence because the Saviour had specially honoured them, but chose James the Righteous as Bishop of Jerusalem.

    Not too much to say about that


    Quote:

    Eusebius
    After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter the first man to be appointed Bishop of Rome was Linus.

    You will see the Peter and Paul theme quite a bit.

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    Clement had left us one recognized epistle, long and wonderful, which he composed in the name of the church in Rome and sent to the church at Corinth

    Nothing about his role as leader of the universal church

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    At that time Clement was still head of the Roman community, occupying in the same way the third place among the bishops who followed Paul and Peter.

    Peter and Paul again. No mention of Peter specifically having a successor to lead the universal church

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    Ignatius, the second to be appointed to the bishopric of Antioch in succession to Peter.

    The one person who DO KNOW that succeeded only Peter

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    . Obvious instances are Ignatius, in the epistles already listed, and Clement in the one universally recognized, which he indited in the name of the church at Rome.

    Clement was writing on behalf of Rome, not the universal church.

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    Alexander took up the bishopric as fifth successor to Peter and Paul

    Peter and Paul again

    Quote:

    Eusebius
    Xystus, Bishop of Rome for a decade, was succeeded by the seventh from the apostles


    Apostles, being once again, PETER AND PAUL

    Quote:

    Dionysius writing to “Pope” Soter
    Referring to the letter Clement wrote to Corinth

    "Which we will read for its valuable advice"

    Advice, not a directive.
     
  3. KellyWhite

    KellyWhite
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    Peter's successors are the Popes of the Roman Catholic church.
     
  4. stan the man

    stan the man
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    myfavoritmartin here are some quotes from the early Church Fathers on the topic of Apostolic Succession

    "And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties."
    Clement,Epistle to Corinthians,42,44(A.D. 98),in ANF,I:16,17

    "For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ Of God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counsellors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as ... Anencletus and Clement to Peter?"
    Ignatius,To the Trallians,7(A.D. 110),in ANF,I:69

    "Hegesippus in the five books of Memoirs which have come down to us has left a most complete record of his own views. In them he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all. It is fitting to hear what he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. His words are as follows: 'And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained a there until Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.' "
    Hegesippus,Memoirs,fragment in Eusebius Ecclesiatical History,4:22(A.D. 180),in NPNF2,I:198-199

    "True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God]."
    Irenaeus,Against Heresies,4:33:8(A.D. 180),in ANF,I:508

    "But if there be any (heresies) which are bold enough to plant themselves in the midst Of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men,--a man, moreover, who continued stedfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter. In exactly the same way the other churches likewise exhibit (their several worthies), whom, as having been appointed to their episcopal places by apostles, they regard as transmitters of the apostolic seed. Let the heretics contrive something of the same kind. For after their blasphemy, what is there that is unlawful for them (to attempt)? But should they even effect the contrivance, they will not advance a step. For their very doctrine, after comparison with that of the apostles, will declare, by its own diversity and contrariety, that it had for its author neither an apostle nor an apostolic man; because, as the apostles would never have taught things which were self-contradictory, so the apostolic men would not have inculcated teaching different from the apostles, unless they who received their instruction from the apostles went and preached in a contrary manner. To this test, therefore will they be submitted for proof by those churches, who, although they derive not their founder from apostles or apostolic men (as being of much later date, for they are in fact being founded daily), yet, since they agree in the same faith, they are accounted as not less apostolic because they are akin in doctrine. Then let all the heresies, when challenged to these two tests by our apostolic church, offer their proof of how they deem themselves to be apostolic. But in truth they neither are so, nor are they able to prove themselves to be what they are not. Nor are they admitted to peaceful relations and communion by such churches as are in any way connected with apostles, inasmuch as they are in no sense themselves apostolic because of their diversity as to the mysteries of the faith."
    Tertullian,Prescription against the Heretics,33(A.D. 200),in ANF,III:258

    "And that you may still be more confident, that repenting thus truly there remains for you a sure hope of salvation, listen to a tale? which is not a tale but a narrative, handed down and committed to the custody of memory, about the Apostle John. For when, on the tyrant's death, he returned to Ephesus from the isle of Patmos, he went away, being invited, to the contiguous territories of the nations, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole Churches, there to ordain such as were marked out by the Spirit."
    Clement of Alexandria,Who is the rich man that shall be save?,42(A.D. 210),in ANF,II:603

    "We are not to credit these men, nor go out from the first and the ecclesiastical tradition; nor to believe otherwise than as the churches of God have by succession transmitted to us."
    Origen,Commentary on Matthew (post A.D. 244),in FOC,407

    "Our Lord, whose precepts and admonitions we ought to observe, describing the honour of a bishop and the order of His Church, speaks in the Gospel, and says to Peter: 'I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' Thence, through the changes of times and successions, the ordering of bishops and the plan of the Church flow onwards; so that the Church is founded upon the bishops, and every act of the Church is controlled by these same rulers."
    Cyprian,To the Lapsed,1(A.D. 250),in ANF,V:305

    "Therefore the power of remitting sins was given to the apostles, and to the churches which they, sent by Christ, established, and to the bishops who succeeded to them by vicarious ordination."
    Firmilian,To Cyprian,Epistle 75[74]:16(A.D. 256),in ANF,V:394

    "It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing... When Nero was in the eighth year of his reign, Annianus succeeded Mark the evangelist in the administration of the parish of Alexandria... Linus ... was Peter's successor in the episcopate of the church there ... Clement also, who was appointed third bishop of the church at Rome."
    Eusebius,Ecclesiastical History,1:1,2:24,(A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:81

    "Lo! In these three successions, as in a mystery and a figure ... Under the three pastors,--there were manifold shepherds"
    Ephraem,Nisbene Hymns,The Bishops of Nisibis(Jacob, Babu, Valgesh),13,14(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,XIII:180

    "[W]hile before your election you lived to yourself, after it, you live for your flock. And before you had received the grace of the episcopate, no one knew you; but after you became one, the laity expect you to bring them food, namely instruction from the Scriptures ... For if all were of the same mind as your present advisers, how would you have become a Christian, since there would be no bishops? Or if our successors are to inherit this state of mind, how will the Churches be able to hold together?"
    Athanasius,To Dracontius,Epistle 49(A.D. 355),in NPNF2,IV:558

    "elieve as we believe,we , who are, by succesion from the blessed apostles, bishops; confess as we and they have confessed, the only Son of God, and thus shalt thou obtain forgiveness for thy numerous crimes."
    Lucifer of Calaris,On St. Athanasius(A.D. 361),in FOC,274

    "[W]e shall not recede from the faith ... as once laid it continues even to this say, through the tradition of the fathers, according to the succession from the apostles, even to the discussion had at Nicea against the heresy which had, at that period, sprung up."
    Hilary of Poitiers,History Fragment 7(ante A.D. 367),in FOC,273

    "[D]uring the days of that Anicetus, bishop of Rome, who succeeded Pius and his predecessors, For, in Rome, Peter and Paul were the first both apostles and bishops; then came Linus, then Cletus ... However the succession of the bishops in Rome was in the following order. Peter and Paul, and Cletus, Clement ..."
    Epiphanius,Panarion,27:6(A.D. 377),in FOC,279

    "He[St. Athanasius] is led up to the throne of Saint Mark, to succeed him in piety, no less than in office; in the latter indeed at a great distance from him, in the former, which is the genuine right of succession, following him closely. For unity in doctrine deserves unity in office; and a rival teacher sets up a rival throne; the one is a successor in reality, the other but in name. For it is not the intruder, but he whose rights are intruded upon, who is the successor, not the lawbreaker, but the lawfully appointed, not the man of contrary opinions, but the man of the same faith; if this is not what we mean by successor, he succeeds in the same sense as disease to health, darkness to light, storm to calm, and frenzy to sound sense."
    Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration 21:8(A.D. 380),in NPNF2,VII:271

    "For they[Novatians] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: 'I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.' "
    Ambrose,Concerning Repentance,7:33(A.D. 384),in NPNF2,X:334

    "It has been ordained by the apostles and their successors, that nothing be read in the Catholic Church, except the law, and the prophets, and the Gospels."
    Philastrius of Brescia,On Heresis(ante A.D. 387),in FOC,280

    "Let a bishop be ordained by three or two bishops; but if any one be ordained by one bishop, let him be deprived, both himself and he that ordained him. But if there be a necessity that he have only one to ordain him, because more bishops cannot come together, as in time of persecution, or for such like causes, let him bring the suffrage of permission from more bishops."
    Apostolic Constitutions,8:27(A.D. 400),in ANF,7:493

    "For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: 'Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it !' The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: -- Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found. But, reversing the natural course of things, the Donatists sent to Rome from Africa an ordained bishop, who, putting himself at the head of a few Africans in the great metropolis, gave some notoriety to the name of "mountain men," or Cutzupits, by which they were known."
    Augustine,To Generosus,Epistle 53:2(A.D. 400),in NPNF1,I:298

    " 'To the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi.' Since it was likely that the Jews too would call themselves 'saints' from the first oracle, when they were called a 'holy people, a people for God's own possession' (Ex. xix. 6; Deut. vii. 6, etc.); for this reason he added, 'to the saints in Christ Jesus.' For these alone are holy, and those hence-forward profane. 'To the fellow-Bishops and Deacons." What is this? were there several Bishops of one city? Certainly not; but he called the Presbyters so. For then they still interchanged the titles, and the Bishop was called a Deacon. For this cause in writing to Timothy, he said, "Fulfil thy ministry,' when he was a Bishop. For that he was a Bishop appears by his saying to him, 'Lay hands hastily on no man.' (1 Tim. v. 22.) And again, 'Which was given thee with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery.' (1 Tim. iv. 14.) Yet Presbyters would not have laid hands on a Bishop. And again, in writing to Titus, he says, 'For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge. If any man is blameless, the husband of one wife' (Tit. i. 5, 6); which he says of the Bishop. And after saying this, he adds immediately, 'For the Bishop must be blameless, as God's steward, not self willed:' (Tit. i. 7.) "
    John Chrysostom,Homilies on Phillipians,1:1(A.D. 404),in NPNF2,XIII:184

    "f any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless as the steward of God.' And to Timothy he says: 'Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.' Peter also says in his first epistle: 'The presbyters which are among you I exhort, who am your fellow-presbyter and a witness of the sufferings of Christ and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of Christ' ... taking the oversight thereof not by constraint but willingly, according unto God.' In the Greek the meaning is still plainer, for the word used is episkopountes, that is to say, overseeing, and this is the origin of the name overseer or bishop. But perhaps the testimony of these great men seems to you insufficient. If so, then listen to the blast of the gospel trumpet, that son of thunder, the disciple whom Jesus loved and who reclining on the Saviour's breast drank in the waters of sound doctrine. One of his letters begins thus: 'The presbyter unto the elect lady and her children whom I love in the truth; ' and another thus: 'The presbyter unto the well-beloved Gains whom I love in the truth.' When subsequently one presbyter was chosen to preside over the rest, this was done to remedy schism and to prevent each individual from rending the church of Christ by drawing t to himself. For even at Alexandria from the time of Mark the Evangelist until the episcopates of Heraclas and Dionysius the presbyters always named as bishop one of their own number chosen by themselves and set in a more exalted position, just as an army elects a general, or as deacons appoint one of themselves whom they know to be diligent and call him archdeacon. For what function excepting ordination, belongs to a bishop that does not also belong to a presbyter? It is not the case that there is one church at Rome and another in all the world beside. Gaul and Britain, Africa and Persia, India and the East worship one Christ and observe one rule of truth. If you ask for authority, the world outweighs its capital. Wherever there is a bishop, whether it be at Rome or at Engubium, whether it be at Constantinople or at Rhegium, whether it be at Alexandria or at Zoan, his dignity is one and his priesthood is one. Neither the command of wealth nor the lowliness of poverty makes him more a bishop or less a bishop. All alike are successors of the apostles."
    Jerome,To Evangelus,Epistle 146:1(ante A.D. 420),in NPNF2,VI:288-289

    "We must strive therefore in common to keep the faith which has come down to us to-day, through the Apostolic Succession. "
    Pope Celestine[regn A.D. 422-432],To the Council of Ephesus,Epistle 18(A.D. 431),in NPNF2,XIV:220

    "Examples there are without number: but to be brief, we will take one, and that, in preference to others, from the Apostolic See, so that it may be clearer than day to every one with how great energy, with how great zeal, with how great earnestness, the blessed successors of the blessed apostles have constantly defended the integrity of the religion which they have once received."
    Vincent of Lerins,Commonitories,6:15(A.D. 434),in NPNF2,XI:135

    "Moreover, with respect to a certain bishop who, as the aforesaid magnificent men have told us, is prevented by infirmity of the head from administering his office, we have written to our brother and fellow-bishop Etherius, that if he should have intervals of freedom from this infirmity, he should make petition, claring that he is not competent to fill his own place, and requesting that another be ordained to his Church. For during the life of a bishop, whom not his own fault but sickness, withdraws from the administration of his office, the sacred canons by no means allow another to be ordained in his place. But, if he at no time recovers the exercise of a sound mind, a person should be sought adorned with good life and conversation, who may be able both to take charge of souls, and look with salutary control after the causes and interests of the same church; and he should be such as may succeed to the bishop's place in case of his surviving him. But, if there are any to be promoted to a sacred order, or to any clerical ministry, we have ordained that the matter is to be reserved and announced to our aforesaid most reverend brother Etherius, provided it belong to his diocese, so that, enquiry having then been made, if the persons are subject to no fault which the sacred canons denounce, he himself may ordain them. Let, then, the care of your Excellency conjoin itself with our ordering, to the end that the interests of the Church, which you have exceedingly at heart, may not suffer damage, and that increase of reward may accrue to the good deeds of your Excellency."
    Pope Gregory the Great[regn A.D. 590-604],Epistle 6(A.D. 602),NPNF2,XIII:94
     
  5. BobRyan

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    #1. We have no hint that the Acts 15 Jerusalem council viewed Peter as "the last word" on the dispute. So "leadership" at the "papal" level is missing for Peter in Acts 15.

    #2. We have NO record in scripture that ANYONE was selected as a "successor" after the death of James!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. D28guy

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    The claim that there is some supposed "line of succession" from Peter on down through the ages is pure 100% mythology

    Just like the mythology of the so called "inerrant" Teaching Magesterium, it is a great way to keep the lowly masses compliantly in the clutches and grip of the "church" making those claims.

    Mike
     
  7. Mary Diana Lynn Harper

    Mary Diana Lynn Harper
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    peters successors are the ones who followed Christs ways. The ones that peter tought. I would venture to say if it has been passed down the line and the first one to hear peter was one of my ancessors and they tought Christ throughtout the years and stayed in the teaching of peter about Christ , I would be one of his successors, actually not peter because Christ tought him so I would be a successor of Christ.
     
  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Peter was married, but there is no mention of his wife and a possible family, except his mother-in-law............he may have had successors.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. nate

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    There is as some have suggested no belief except by those in Rome that Peter was the "universal 'head' of the Church" that position belongs only to Christ. The Bishop or Pope of Rome is and was the honorary Bishop of Western Christianity thats it. Just as the Patriarch of Constantinople(?sp) is only honorary in his power.
    In Christ,
    Nate
     
  10. SpiritualMadMan

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    If Peter was the undisputed 'Ruler' of the church then why didn't Paul go up and verify his call with Peter?

    Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.


    If Peter was the undisputed 'Ruler' of the church why was the letter to the gentile believers from the Council instead of from Peter?

    Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

    Yes, Peter made a convincing argument. But, that doesn't mean it was "his" meeting...

    If Peter was the undisputed 'Ruler' of the church then how would any one dare challenge him?

    Acts 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him

    Seems to me that this whole issue of Apostolic Succession breaks down at it's very beginning...

    SMM
     
  11. kuntrygirl

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    While I am not a religious historian, I thought the first "Pope" was the Emporer Constantine and this is why the Vactican is located in Rome - from the days of the Holy Roman Empire?
     
  12. wopik

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    for sure
     
  13. standingfirminChrist

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    When Jesus said '...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; ...' He was not saying the church would be founded upon Peter, but rather that it would be built upon the truth that Peter spoke when he said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
     
  14. wopik

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    are you sure
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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  16. BobRyan

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    1 Corinthians 10
    Christ IS the ONE stone (Petra) as SFC stated above.

     
  17. BobRyan

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    That ONE foundation stone (PETRA) -- which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - has "no successors"!!
     
  18. genesis12

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    Peter's Successor

    Peter was not appointed in the New Testament to the position of the rock upon which Jesus would build His church. There is no "appostolic succession" in the church age.

    Peter was, however, appointed to a position for the millenium, in the church which comes out of the Great Tribulation.

    The church in the millineum is not the same as the church in the church age (the latter from Pentecost until the Trib). The church in the church age is raptured prior to the Great Tribulation, the dead in Christ first, then those who are alive and remain.

    Old Peter gets a position, not back then, but when the millenium begins - and it will be minus the entire Catholic hierarchy of today! Yea! You go, Apostles! :thumbs: At the end of the 1,000 years, the united church will be in Heaven with Christ - and so shall we ever be.

    http://www.lesfeldick.org/lesqa-d.html#14d


    http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/dispre.html

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    Isaiah 11:6-9
    Revelation 20:7-1HYPERLINK "/kjv/Rev/Rev020.html" \l "10"0
    Revelation 21:1ff.

    Bibliography:
    Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978. (ISBN 0310308909)
    Ryrie, Charles. The Basis for Premillennial Faith. New York: The Loizeaux Brothers, 1953. (ISBN 0872137414)
    Walvoord, John. Every Prophecy of the Bible. Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 1-56476-758-2)
    Walvoord, John. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Chicago: Moody Press, 1966. (ISBN 0-8024-7310-5)
    Blaising, Craig A. "Premillennialism." Three Views of the Millennium and Beyond. Ed. Darrell L. Bock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1999. (ISBN 0-310-20143-8)
    Ryrie, Charles. Dispensationalism. :applause: :applause: :applause:
     

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