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DOCTRINE QUESTION 25
Does not Matthew 16:18 teach that Peter was the first pope?
The verse reads. "And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
Peter was neither the "first," second, nor the third pope. There were no popes in the Bible at all. The word is not mentioned even once. The word "Pope" means "papa" and was used as an infant's first word. The whole concept of popery is not in the Bible. We are distinctly told not to call anyone "Father," (in a religious sense). (Matthew 23:9). The whole system of popery is an invention of man, and not of God. Who is the Rock that the Church is built upon? The confession of Peter: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16. "For other foundation can no man laid than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11. Peter is careful to say that Christ is the Stone. (1 Peter 2:4-6). All throughout the Bible, Christ is spoken of as the Rock. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Deuteronomy 32:15-18; 1 Corinthians 10:4; and Romans 9:33). "One God and Father of all..." Ephesians 4:6.
How then can there be another? In order to have Him as your Father you must be born into His family. Jesus said, "...Ye must be born again." John 3:7. This happens when you receive Christ as your Saviour from sin. "But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen