Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?


Pages 55-56: Matthew 16:18-19: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." Isaiah 22:20-22: "In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah ... and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and non shall open." Many Protestants are uncomfortable with Matthew 16:18-19, first because of its extraordinary implications for St. Peter's preeminence as the supreme earthly head of the Church, or Pope, which he was appointed by our Lord Jesus himself. The Church, according to Jesus (and in the Catholic view), is built upon Peter. In the figure and leadership of Peter in the Bible, the Catholic Church sees a primitive (later highly developed) model for Church government and papal headship. The Pope is not an autocrat or a dictator, but the "servant of the servants of God."

Note: Catholic apologists never recognize that Jesus Christ will build His Church upon the Christian confession of faith.

Matthew 16:16-19 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock (Feminine; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively):—rock.) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Note: Peter was not feminine and thus the word rock in Matthew 16:18 refers to the confession that Peter made in Matthew 16:16 in context.


Page 56: Furthermore, the passage also expresses indefectibility: the idea that the (institutional, historical) Church founded by Jesus can never be overcome by the powers of darkness; that it will always preserve the true Christian teaching handed down by Jesus to the Apostles.

Note: Large buildings with stained glass windows will always be destroyed but the Christian witness manifested in people will exist until the end of the world.

Matthew 24:21-22 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.


Page 56: Historically, the standard polemical response of Protestants to the phraseology of rock was to contend that it referred only to Peter's faith, not Peter himself. In that way, the institutional element of the charge from the Lord to St. Peter is avoided. If faith is the exclusive key to the meaning, then Peter can be viewed as merely a representative of a general principle, rather than unique in the sense of institutional, concrete leadership and jurisdiction.

Note: Catholic apologists never recognize that Jesus Christ will build His Church upon the Christian confession of faith.

Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Note: Christians will preach faith in Jesus Christ not reliance on an institution based in Rome.


Page 56: This, if true, would undermine the Catholic claim to authority and tie into the Protestant notion of priesthood of all believers. Thus, along these lines, Ephesians 2:19-22 is often cited as a cross-reference, because it refers to the "household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone ... in whom you also are built."

Note: Catholic apologists never recognize that Jesus Christ will build His Church upon the Christian confession of faith.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.


Pages 56-57: Jesus - so the argument goes - is the cornerstone, rather than Peter; all believers for the foundation, and the Church is egalitarian rather than heirarchical and episcopal (that is, with bishops and authority from the top down). Evangelical Protestantism today exhibits a variety of forms of church government, but what they all have in common is a rejection of the papacy.

Note: Saint Paul rejected the authority of Saint Peter.

Galatians 2:11-13 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.


Page 57: Yet Jesus did not tell anyone else that He would build His Church upon them. He renamed no one else "Rock," and only one person received the "keys of the kingdom of heaven." Peter was unique in all these respects.

Note: Peter was unique only that day since his confession was the only one made.

Acts 3:1-2 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.

Note: Peter was not feminine and thus the word rock in Matthew 16:18 refers to the confession that Peter made in Matthew 16:16 in context.


Page 58: Here we are concerned with St. Peter as the proclaimed leader of the Church. The finer points and particulars of such an office require another discussion entirely. Scarcely any biblical passages contain a fully developed doctrine. That is as true of the papacy and ecclesiology as it is of any Christian theological construct.

Note: Saint James not Saint Peter was the proclaimed leader of the church at Jerusalem.

Acts 15:13-21 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.' "Known to God from eternity are all His works. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”


Page 58: In any event, papal succession is easily deduced from Matthew 16:18-19. St. Peter was the first leader of the Church. He died as the bishop in Rome (where St. Paul also died). That is how and why Roman primacy began: because Peter's successor was the bishop in the location where he ended up and died.

Note: God and His servant Saint Paul never recognized the unbiblical Catholic Church papal succession.

Galatians 2:6-9 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.


Page 58: Moreover, if there was a leader of the Church in the beginning, it stands to reason that there would continue to be one (and that this was the will of God), just as George Washington, the first President of the United States when the presidency  was established at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was not intended to be the first and last president. Why have one president and then cease to have one thereafter and let the executive branch of government exist without a leader (or eliminate that office altogether)? Catholics are therefore simply applying common sense: if this is how Jesus set up the government of his Church in the beginning, then it seems obvious that it ought to continue perpetually in like fashion.

Note: Jesus Christ did not use worldly examples or rationalizations for leadership purposes.

Mark 9:33-35 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”


Page 59: Apostolic succession (contra Calvin) is also a biblical concept. After Judas betrayed our Lord, the remaining eleven disciples chose his successor, Matthias (Acts 1:20-26). St. Paul, likewise, passes on his office to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-6). Apostolic succession was a belief held from the beginning in the Church, and throughout the centuries, until Protestantism denied it. The Church Fathers made it a central criterion for the determination of what was truly Christian (orthodox) Tradition. If a doctrine could not be traced back to Jesus, it was suspect.

Note: Catholic apologists never recognize that Jesus Christ will build His Church upon the Christian confession of faith.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Note: You don't need a pastor, priest, or pope to approach the throne of God.


Page 60: This objection, is, I think, easily overcome by noting that there was only one chief steward of the kingdom, and that was Peter. When he, and his successors, bind and loose (rabbinical terms meaning to oblige obedience in some respect and to release one from it), it applies, or can apply, under certain conditions, to the entire Church, whereas the other disciples have only a limited sphere of authority. If any one disciple is to be regarded as preeminent over all (from the biblical indications), then the choice could only be St. Peter, whom even Calvin grants as "honor or rank" and of "preeminence" but not of power or jurisdiction (Institutes, IV, 6, 5).

Note: Saint Peter regarded Saint Paul as being preeminent among the apostles since he wrote half of the Scripture of the New Testament.

2 Peter 3:14-18 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Note: Saint Peter never preached or proclaimed a papacy.


Page 60: Another mistake lies in assuming that the holder of the "keys" has no further power beyond binding and loosing. For apart from that particular power, he remains preeminent in authority.

Note: Jesus Christ has the "keys of the kingdom" and gives them to Christians who have placed their faith in him as evidenced by proclaiming His name not Peter.

Revelation 3:7-8 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."

Note: Jesus Christ never preached or proclaimed a papacy.


Page 61: Protestantism, on the other hand, not only eliminated the historical papacy, which was hugely important in Church history for 1,500 years; it also ditched apostolic succession and, for the most part, councils and even bishops. Thus it is in a radical discontinuity with Christian precedent as well as with Scripture. For the Fathers, this would have been sufficient to establish a serious, grave doubt as to the authority of Protestantism over against Catholicism.

Note: The Protestant reformation began simply by recognizing the savage papacy wolves who were selling indulgencies.

Acts 20:25-31 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears."

Note: Saint Paul never preached or proclaimed a papacy.


Page 61: Insofar as Protestantism continues to claim to be reforming the Church universal and returning to the beliefs and practices of the early Church (which was presupposed in the terminology of "Reformation"), this is a huge difficulty. The clearest evidence from the Bible, as well as the historical facts concerning the early Church (and even the medieval Church) simply are much more in accord with Catholic belief and structure than any form of Protestantism.

Note: To Jesus Christ belongs all glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Note: Saint John never preached or proclaimed a papacy.