Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Argument from Silence

Luke 9:21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,

21 ὁ δὲ ἐπιτιμήσας αὐτοῖς παρήγγειλεν μηδενὶ λέγειν τοῦτο

This comes right after Peter's confession of Christ.  Of course, the more famous parallel account of this is in Matthew 16.  There Jesus goes into more detail about how Peter is the rock on whom He would build His church.  I think that the language of that passage states that it is indeed Peter and not his confession.  The Roman Catholic Church uses that passage to justify the papacy.

Here we have the same event recorded by a different author.  Luke was not there and was relying on witnesses. Now this does not prove anything, but I would expect that such an important concept as the leadership of the manifestation of Christ's church on earth should be repeated in another synoptic gospel that deals with the same event.  Yet Luke the physician is strangely silent.

Again, this proves nothing, but the silence is rather suggestive.  I don't think that Jesus really intended for Peter to be the first in a line of popes.  I cannot prove it, but neither can the Roman Catholic Church prove its claim to authority from Matthew 16:18 either.

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