Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Adult Sunday School Notes -

Part I: Roman Catholic Tradition In View Of The Apostle Peter's Words
(1 Peter 3:15)
  1. Introduction
    1. Roman Catholicism relies for its authority on both Scripture and tradition (papal decrees, Church councils, etc.) subject to the Church's interpretation under the Pope, Catholic Ency., 1987 ed., p. 205, 479.
    2. Biblical believers hold to Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura) for faith and practice, and we can show reason for this view from the words of Roman Catholicism's first alleged pope, the Apostle Peter himself:
  2. Roman Catholic Tradition In View Of The Apostle Peter's Words, cf. 1 Peter 3:15.
    1. Roman Catholicism holds the basis of authority is the Bible plus Church traditions (i.e., the Apocrypha, extra-canonical writings, papal decrees, Church councils, etc.), L. Boettner, Roman Catholicism, p. 75-76.
    2. Catholics take Matt. 16:18-19 as the basis for papal authority, seeing Peter as the rock under the Church. Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers, p. 95 wrote: "...our Lord conferred on St. Peter the first place of...jurisdiction in...His whole church, and that...spiritual supremacy has always resided in the popes..."
    3. Yet, the alleged first pope's words in 1 Peter 3:15 lead us to reject all but the 66-book canon of Scripture:
      1. Peter wrote the believer must "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason (logon in the Greek text) for the hope that you have . . ." (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). Well, to give a reason for his faith to anyone who at any time asks any question, every believer must use logic!
      2. Well, using logic directs us to view only the 27 books of the New Testament found in the Protestant Bible's New Testament as canonical re: authority of sources in the Church era (as follows):
        1. Logically, there are many contradictions in Roman Catholic traditions (Ibid., Boettner, p. 78): (a) Augustine wrote his Retractions to correct his former works, and he is heavily used for Catholic dogma! (b) Some Early Church Fathers wrote Christ would shortly rule for a thousand years in Jerusalem, but Origen and Augustine refuted this. (c) Early Church Fathers advocated the free use of Scripture in the Church where later fathers restricted its free use. (d) Early Church Fathers condemned the use of images in the Church where later ones approved of them. (e) Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome and held to be the 64th pope by Roman Catholicism (Ibid., Cath. Ency., p. 480), denounced the idea his office was universal, stating the idea was anti-Christian. Nevertheless, popes later and even today insist on such universal papal authority as vested in the Church at Rome. [(a) All Christian works but the 27-book N. T. were universally rejected as canonical by grassroots believers by the 3rd cent. A. D. due to credibility problems, R. Pache, Insp. & Auth. of Scr., p. 180.]
        2. Thus, logic shows only the 27-book N. T. canon can be canonical re: authority in the Church era.
      3. Logic also leads us to limit our Old Testament Bible to the 39 books of the Protestant Old Testament:
        1. In Jesus' day, the Hebrews did not believe the Apocrypha was canonical, and they had the 39-book O. T. canon used later by Protestants as Scripture, cf. Josephus, Against Apion, I, 8, 861-862.
        2. Now, this Hebrew O. T. canon was arranged differently from the current Protestant O. T. canon in that it began with Genesis and end with 2 Chronicles, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV ftn. to Matt. 23:35.
        3. When Jesus said in Mtt. 23:35 all the prophets ran from Abel (Gen. 4) down to Zacharias (2 Chr. 24) and not a Maccabee, He implied the 39-book O. T. canon minus the Apocrypha was canonical!
        4. Thus, logic with Scripture reveals only the 39-book O. T. canon is authoritative O. T. Scripture.
    4. Also, logically applying Christ's method of interpreting Scripture to Matthew 16:13-19, we find the Roman Catholic belief that Matthew 16:13-19 predicted papal authority begun by Peter is in error:
      1. In Mark 12:18-27, Jesus claimed the soul exists after death via the historical (the fathers were dead) & grammatical (the reader supplies the "am") CONTEXTS of Ex. 3:14; thus, He interpreted it literally!
      2. Applying His interpretive method to Matt. 16:13-19, the historical and literary contexts identify Peter's confession -- not Peter himself -- as the ROCK, Edersheim, Life & Times of Jesus the Mes., v. 2, p. 74-84. Thus, Peter's heralding his belief for others to hear and believe for salvation fulfilled the Mtt. 16:19 prediction of his opening the kingdom (Acts 2, 10) versus the idea of his starting a papacy!
Lesson: According to Peter, by using logic and thus coming to interpret Scripture with the "normal" method of interpretation, the SOLE authority of faith and practice is the 66-book canon of Scripture!