Strangers And Aliens (22a): Serving The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1–5)

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Roman claims about an alleged Petrine papacy, apart from the utter lack of historical evidence for any such thing, is that Peter did use two different nouns to characterize his offices and ministry, apostle (ἀπόστολος) and presbyter (πρεσβύτερος). As a matter of fact, the papacy per se did not really come to exist until well the 4th century and even then its occasional claims to authority were rebuffed. As late as the 7th century Gregory I (c. 540–604), who was arguably the first Roman bishop to begin to exercise anything like the authority attributed to later popes, rejected the idea of a universal episcopal see. Continue reading →