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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where is the word "pope" found in the Bible?

“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
                                        and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37

Where is the word "pope" found in the Bible?

Again, as discussed in previous 3-minute Apologetics, this question "Where is found in the Bible?" can always be answered with, "Where does it say in the Bible that all we believe about God is contained in the Bible?" (Answer: nowhere.) In fact, the Bible explicitly says 2 things in regard to this:

-it states that it does NOT contain all that Jesus said and did: 
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of (his) disciples that are not written in this book. (John 20:30)
and
-that it is NOT the norm nor foundation by which Christians know the teachings of Christ; the Scriptures say the sure norm is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. 1Tim: 3:15

Thus, we must look to the teachings handed on from the Apostles, either by Tradition or by Scripture, in order to know the entire deposit of faith that has been left to us by God.)


The Catholic faith was whole and entire before a single word of the New Testament was ever put on paper (or papyrus, as the case might be).  Christianity is not distilled from the words of Scripture, but the Scriptures reflect the paradosis, the handing on of the faith of the Apostles.

In other words, we do not extract doctrine from the Scriptures, but rather the Scriptures reflect that which was taught and believed and understood by the Apostles, as proclaimed by the Word of God:  Jesus.

From apologist John Martignoni's "Two-Minute Apologetics" (NB:  I did not "borrow" the title of my emails from him, but actually borrowed it from a website called "3-Minute Retreats"...but I digress  :-)

Well, you will not find the word “Pope” in the Bible. Just as you will not find the word “Trinity,” or the word “Incarnation” in the Bible...Just because a particular word is not found in the Bible, does not mean that we should not use that word or that the theology implied by that word is somehow unbiblical. The word “Bible” is not found in the Bible, so does that mean we should not believe in the Bible? Of course not.
The fact of the matter is, even though the word “Pope” is not found directly in the Bible, the underlying meaning of that word is. The word “Pope” is derived from the Greek word, “pappas,” which means, "father" (Latinized as “papa”). In Isaiah 22, verses 19-24, we see God telling Shebna, who was the chief minister of the House of David, that he will be replaced in his office by Eliakim, and that Eliakim will have authority and will be a “father” [papa; pope] to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah.


So, with that being said, this Sunday's Gospel reflects and affirms the constant teaching of the Church regarding the papacy:  Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter in Matt 16:19.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Interestingly, this echoes that which is proclaimed in the first Sunday reading, from Isaiah 22:

I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim's shoulder;
when he opens, no one shall shut
when he shuts, no one shall open.

I find this parallel in the OT reading fascinating as it really is quite obvious what is being fulfilled in the NT by Peter:  Eliakim is the chief steward of the house of David, as Peter is the chief steward of the house of God.  And keys are significant in both passages.

"Eliakim is made master of the palace, a post roughly equivalent to prime minister. As the king's right-hand man, the master of the palace is given the "key of the House of David."

Keys symbolize authority, so bestowing the key to the House of David upon Eliakim is equivalent to giving him, as the king's duly appointed representative, authority over the kingdom." source

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