Everyone Needs a Papa – The Biblical Basis for the Papacy

Did Catholics make up the papacy? Some people sure think so. In today’s episode, Jeff shows how it’s not Catholics who created the papacy, but God himself. Learn how the Old Testament contains a hidden blueprint for the role of the pope—a blueprint that Jesus Christ follows when he says to Peter, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).


What the Catechism Says About the Power of the Papacy
  • CCC 880: “When Christ instituted the Twelve, ‘he constituted (them) in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them.’ Just as ‘by the Lord’s institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another.’”
  • CCC 881: “The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the ‘rock’ of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. (Cf. Mt 16:18-19 ; Jn 21:15-17 ) ‘The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.’ This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.”
  • CCC 882: “The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’ ‘For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.’”
Jesus Gives Peter the Keys to the Kingdom: Matthew 16:13-19

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 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, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-19).”

The Keys in the Old Testament – Isaiah 22:15-25
  • We learn: God instituted an office of the prime minister.

“‘Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, ‘Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here and whom have you here, that you have hewn here a tomb for yourself, you who hew a tomb on the height, and carve a habitation for yourself in the rock? Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you, and whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there shall be your splendid chariots, you shame of your master’s house. I will thrust you from your office, and you will be cast down from your station’” (Isaiah 22: 15-19).

  • We learn:
    • The prime minister was clothed with a robe.
    • The prime minister had authority.
    • The prime minister was referred to as a father.

“‘In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah’” (Isaiah 22: 20-21).

  • We learn:
    • The prime minister possessed the keys to the house of David.
    • The prime minister had the power to “bind and loose.”

“‘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 none shall open’” (Isaiah 22:22).

  • We learn:
    • The prime minister’s role was a permanent one
    • The prime minister had a throne of honor.
    • The whole weight of his father’s house hung on the prime minister.

“‘And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole weight of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons’” (Isaiah 22:23-24).

“Rock” in the Old Testament

The term “rock” is used metaphorically for protection or refuge and is used in relation to both God and leaders.

  • In the Psalms, God is referred to as the rock. We read: “O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” (Psalm 95:1).
  • The prophet Isaiah records Abraham as a “rock”: “Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him and made him many” (Isaiah 51:1-2).

For Jesus to call Peter a “rock” is consistent with the Old Testament where the prophet Isaiah told Israel to look to Abraham, the rock. Jesus is basically saying that Peter will be known as rock, just like Abraham and Yahweh.

The Rock On Mt. Mariah

“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite” (2 Chronicles 3:1).

Solomon, Jesus and The Temple

What is the relationship between Jesus and Solomon?

  • “Something greater than Solomon is here” Matthew 12:42.
Daniel’s Dream

In Daniel chapter two, Daniel interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which spoke of a small stone breaking the powerful kingdoms of the world.

  • A statue with a head of gold, shoulders of silver, body of bronze and feet of iron mixed with clay. These represent four kingdoms that would come:
    • Babylonians
    • Medo-Persians
    • Greeks
    • Romans
  • Then Daniel saw a small stone coming down and striking the statue in the head, crushing the entire statue. This little stone grows and grows until it becomes a mighty mountain covering the world.
  • The stone is the Kingdom of God.

Jesus statement to Peter is a fulfillment of Daniel 2.

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