I am a scriptural Christian and have been since I was “saved” in 1979. I love the Scriptures, and pray regularly that my life might be in accord with all that they mandate.
With which I would draw attention to person of Peter in the Scriptures.
He is always mentioned when the disciples are listed, whether in groups of 3 or 12 (11 after Judas), and always mentioned first. He is mentioned more often than all of the other apostles.
He is given a new name, a powerful one, one which is used at times for God Himself in the OT, “Thou art Peter (Kephas or rock). God gave others new names, but one is especially reminded of Abram becoming Abraham and Sarai becoming Sarah as the first Covenenant is prepared.
Like many f the prophets, Peter knows of his own unworthiness to the call, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man”
Three times Christ singles out Peter as the leader of the Church: “You are rock and on this rock I will build my church,” “Strengthen the brethren,” and “Feed my sheep.”
After the Resurrection and the Ascension nothing changes. It is Peter who presides at the selection of Matthias to replace Judas. It is Peter who holds the inauguaral sermon in the new-born Church in Acts 2. It is Peter who presides at the first ecumencial council in Act 15 (with appropritate deference to the local bishop, James).
Did Jesus make these dramatic statements about Peter in Matthew 16 and give him these authorities just for Peter’s lifetime? It’s possible, but it isn’t the only possibility, nor even the most plausible. Did he single Peter out with a new name just to commission him like any other Apostle, or was he establishing an office of Shepherd for the Church, the People of the New Covenant?
Have those of you who reject the papacy thought it through scripturally? Does it make sense for Christ to give someone keys to a kingdom for only one generation? If the first centruy Church needed someone to be called rock, upon whom the Church would be bulit, then every generation needs the same/.
All of the other interpretations fly in the face of the testimony of the Scriptures. Where the apostles are gathered around Peter, there is the center, on earth of the Church. 1
1 I know there are other interpetations. Some say the mantle of authority was passed to Paul. I do not buy it. It makes all that happens in the gospels fade away as if Jesus, having made some sort of mistake investing his three years with Peter and the disciples then finally turns to someone from outside their three-year experience, someone he could rely on, so to speak. Paul is the author of the epistles, but he was not given keys, nor a new name (not by God), nor was he commissioned as the universal pastor of the Church.