Monday, April 04, 2016

“The Pardigmatic Bishops of History: Prolegomena” - Brandon Addison

Brandon Addison has completed a paper that responds to Bryan Cross’s response to his “The Quest for the Historical Church: A Protestant Assessment”.

He’s set up a blog in order to make the response manageable. His initial response article may be found here:

I’ll put up links as more portions of this as they become available.

Meanwhile, here are some of the conclusions from Brandon’s initial article:

I have undertaken the burden of proof in this article to prove that the church in Rome was led by a plurality of presbyters in the city which we have defined as “presbyterian.” In the second section I attempted to demonstrate that this view was not unique to Protestants and that the vast majority of well-respected Roman Catholic scholars who shared this view did so not because they had violated their interpretative paradigms, but because the evidence had persuaded them in that way.

In the third section we saw how every mention of church leadership in Scripture refers to a plurality of leaders. From Acts, the Pastorals, and 1 Peter we saw that the biblical witness always refers to leaders in the plural, often using “presbyters” and “bishops” as equivalent terms. This equivalence of “presbyters” and “bishops” was further articulated in the fourth section where the extant literature never speaks to a monarchical leader in Rome but instead to a plurality of leaders in the city.

In the fifth section I explored the historical context of the lists of bishops found in the writings of Hegesippus and Irenaeus. We determined that Hegesippus’s list was created as an anti-Gnostic polemic concerning the apostolic teaching and not concerned with the succession in the office himself. The list of Irenaeus borrows from Hegesippus’s utilization of succession lists (which Hegesippus borrowed from Judaism) and also uses a pre-existing source composed at the time of Eleutherus c. AD 180. We noted that Irenaeus’s list is either factually wrong about Peter and Paul founding the Roman church, or at least not supportive of the Roman Catholic idea of succession from Peter.

In the sixth section I gave a broad overview of the argument for fractionation of Roman Christianity as found in Peter Lampe. I then showed how the work of Roman Catholic scholar Allen Brent demonstrates the fractionation of Roman Christianity even further than does Lampe, as in the case of anti-pope Hippolytus.

Here is Bryan’s 200-page dogmatic puff piece essentially asserting Roman dogma contra Brandon – it’s this piece to which Brandon is replying.

1 comment:

  1. Looks very interesting but I feel like more should be focused towards the Eastern Orthodox church.