“Again with the straw man! Who here is claiming that St. Peter ‘founded’ the Church at Rome?”
Irenaeus, for starters:
“Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul.”
But if you wish to dismiss the testimony of Irenaeus, that’s fine with me.
“I, for one, have explicitly DENIED he did!”
You don’t speak for Rome Catholicism. You merely speak for Scott Windsor.
“AS I SAID BEFORE TOO: St. Peter's first see was likely at Antioch, but we don't trace THE Apostolic See (of the Vicar of Christ) to Antioch, but to Rome …”
Roman Catholics trace it through Rome. What a surprise!
“But NONE of it says these two were called ‘bishops’ or even ‘overseers.’”
They don’t have to be bishops. You’re framing the issue in Roman Catholic terms, which begs the very question at issue.
“ALL we have as FACT is that they held church in their house.”
Yes, a Roman house-church. That’s all the 1C church of Rome amounted to. The pope didn’t preside. Peter didn’t preside. Aquila and Priscilla did.
“The rest of your conclusion is pure speculation.”
i) Any historical reconstruction involves an element of speculation. Your assertion that Peter’s “bones” are there (in Rome) “to this day” is pure speculation. Do you have a sample of Peter’s DNA to ID the bones?
ii) My conclusion was far from “pure speculation.” That is based on exegetical and archaeological evidence. You don’t even attempt to refute the evidence.
“Based on the ‘evidence’ provided here (Mr. Hays) we have nothing more to go on than they too were ‘missionaries’ who established a ‘mission church’ at Rome.”
In which case it wasn’t founded by Peter (pace Irenaeus). Rather, it was headed by Aquila and Priscilla.
“It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome.”
Peter and Paul were never bishops. They were apostles. You commit a category mistake.
“As for the comment about (Fr.) Raymond Brown being a ‘mainstream Catholic scholar...’ he WAS ‘mainstream’ during a VERY liberal era for the Church, but he can HARDLY be considered ‘mainstream’ when we look at the big picture here. He was a modernist and a revisionist and his commentaries, IMHO, are relatively worthless to one seeking orthodox Catholic teaching. Of course, NON-Catholics flock to his dissenting and revisionist views, so it's no surprise that we find him lauded in this forum.”
He was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission by two successive popes. It’s counterproductive for you to defend the papacy by distancing yourself from the papacy. But, of course, you’re hardly the first Catholic epologist who labors to save the papacy from the pope.
11/08/2010 7:08 AM
On the one hand:
"The rest of your conclusion is pure speculation."
On the other hand:
"It is quite plausible that Sts. Peter and Paul were the first bishops to arrive at Rome."
Nothing like pure speculation.
“Mr. Hays seems to think that if he uses lots of names (mostly, if not wholly, Protestant commentators) that we will be impressed.”
i) I gave author, title, and pagination to back up my claims. That’s the responsible way to argue for one’s position–unlike Windsor.
ii) If Windsor is going to dismiss scholarship just because it’s Protestant, then he’s not a real apologist. He refuses to engage the argument. At best, he only accepts preapproved, in-house authors.
Imagine a Mormon rejecting Protestant scholarship against Mormonism simply because it’s Protestant.
iii) But, of course, Windsor also rejects Catholic scholarship unless it already agrees with his position.
So he’s just a fake apologist.
iv) For that matter, Jesuit scholar Joseph Fitzmyer, in his commentary on Rom 16, corroborates Lampe’s exegesis at that juncture.
v) Moreover, I didn’t cite these scholars as authority-figures. I cited them for the evidence which they adduce.
“As I stated in my initial response to him - we don't claim St. Peter ‘founded’ the Church at Rome - but he is the first Bishop of Rome.”
Windsor may not, but Irenaeus did, and the claims of Irenaeus are certainly a fixture in the standard Catholic apologetic for Roman primacy.
If, however, Windsor wants to drop Irenaeus from the Catholic arsenal, that’s fine with me.
“There we agree! And if we slip in the word ‘informally’ then we could also use the word ‘formally’ - and validly claim the ‘formal’ formation of the Church of Rome was when the bishops, Sts. Peter and Paul, arrived there. Then it went from a ‘mission’ community to a ‘formal’ church.”
That’s an institutional myth. There was nothing above and beyond the informal founding of the Roman church.
Indeed, there was no one church of Rome in the 1C. Rather, you had a number of independently founded house-churches. These were at best loosely affiliated, and there is evidence that some of them were rivals (i.e. Paul’s shadowy Jewish opponents).
“And again, this would appropriately describe a MISSION community, where several MISSION churches/chapels were established prior to officially establishing the Church hierarchy at Rome as was done in other cities.”
Yes, the mythical, backdated “official establishment” of the Roman church.
“They left due to the edict and didn't return until after Claudius' death. Then some historians have it that they left again for Asia on more MISSIONARY work, and were martyred there.”
“They were Jewish tentmakers, hardly a position of ‘nobility’ in Rome! Now, amongst Jews they may have had some stature and/or financial stability, and perhaps those resources assisted them in attaining a household in Rome large enough to host church meetings (or perhaps they met in a tent!), but to jump to ‘Roman noblewoman’ seems quite the leap here. I can't prove she wasn't of Roman nobility, so if Hays, et al, wishes to make that leap, sobeit.”
i) It’s a “leap” because he’s too lazy and intellectual insecure to study the evidence which scholars like Lampe and Jewett (among others) present.
ii) If she married down, she would acquire her husband’s business through marriage. It would thereby become a family business.
iii) This dovetails with the Lucan theme of Godfearers and proselytes who are drawn to the true faith via their contacts with the Jewish people.
iv) It explains how they could afford to maintain establishments in Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus.
v) It would explain how she was in a position to intervene on Paul’s behalf with the Roman authorities (cf. Rom 16:4).
vi) It would explain how they could afford a house-church in the upscale Aventine district.
vii) It would explain why Santa Prisca is named after her rather than Aquila. She held the title-deed.
viii) Through ignorance, Windsor disregards the evidence of her noble Acilian pedigree.
“All this ‘probably’ and ‘may have been’ is pure speculation - all we ‘know’ is he was a Jewish tentmaker who did missionary work for St. Paul.”
Missionaries planted churches. Who was in charge? The missionary. Not the pope.
“THEN to jump to ‘vicars of the heavenly head (Christ)’ is taking it (again) WAY too far!”
I’m recasting the issue in Catholic terms for the sake of argument.
“Jesus Christ Himself selected His vicar in St. Peter - ALONE - in John 21:15-17.”
That would come as news to the author of John, who was the “vicar” of the churches in Asia Minor.
“No, Jesus was singling him out to be the lead Shepherd to "feed (His) sheep" after He ascended into Heaven.”
i) Jesus doesn’t single out Peter as the “lead Shepherd.”
ii) Anyway, Peter isn't the pope or vice versa.
“So, Mr. Hays admits to building this straw man - and then he proceeds to knock it down. Does he really think he's convincing anyone here (besides the choir)?”
It’s not a straw man to engage the opposing view on its own grounds for the sake of argument.
“I realize the Protestant need to throw the ‘if’ in there... they wish to deny that St. Peter ever even went to Rome in their fear of the papacy.”
Peter may well have visited Rome–among other places. If he was ever there, his presence there is no more or less significant than any other apostle who paid a visit to Rome.
“I hope the readers have noticed the bait and switch here which has reduced his argumentation to ad hominem (invalidity). What difference to the substance of what these Catholics say is affected by whether or not they are laity and/or converts? He seems to think that if one is a layperson or a convert that they have a lesser voice in apologetics. What it boils down to is that he is trying to minimize what is levied against him through character attacks (ad hominem).”
i) Since the Roman church is hierarchical, and Windsor isn’t a member of the hierarchy, then by definition his lay status makes him a lesser voice.
Moreover, it’s not as if the hierarchy put him on some papal commission. He has no institutional standing in a hierarchical institution.
“The fact that Fr. Brown held liberal, modernistic and revisionist ideas is not unknown to the Catholic faithful, even this short bio (http://www.christianbook.com/html/authors/3001.html) by a non-Catholic source admits he has his critics - especially in Catholic circles. I am also wholly unaware of his ascension to the bishoprick! When did this happen?”
Notice Windsor’s implicit admission that the pope is a counterfeit shepherd. Even though it’s the duty of a shepherd to protect the flock from wolves, two successive popes allowed the wolfish Fr. Brown to infiltrate the fold, and prey upon the sheep, by appointing him to the Pontifical Biblical Commission.