Sunday, January 15, 2023

Protestants Are More Consistent With Matthew 16

Peter isn't just singled out in verses 16-19, which Catholics highlight. He's also singled out in verses 22-23. No other apostle is called Satan. Does it follow that Peter was uniquely Satanic, more evil than anybody else or any other apostle or something akin to that? No. For one thing, Peter can be singled out in verses 22-23 without having any relevant sort of primacy. It could be, and it probably was the case, that Peter was singled out in verses 22-23 because he singled himself out by speaking up. It wouldn't make sense for Jesus to respond to Peter by talking to Thomas. It doesn't follow that Peter was singled out because of being more Satanic than anybody else or some such thing. Since we know in the abstract that something like being singled out in verses 22-23 in the manner in which Peter was singled out doesn't imply primacy in any relevant sense, and the evidence as a whole suggests Peter didn't have the primacy in question (e.g., the evidence we have that Judas was more Satanic than Peter), we conclude that a Satanic primacy most likely isn't being referred to. The passage could be referring to such a primacy, but that possibility isn't a probability. Just as Peter's personality, such as his outspokenness, can explain, and seems to best explain, his being singled out in verses 16-19 without the involvement of something like an additional church office, the same is likely true in verses 22-23.

Protestants apply the same sort of reasoning to verses 22-23 that they apply to verses 16-19. Catholics, on the other hand, are less consistent.

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