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Distinction Between Bishops and Apostles in Christianity

Distinction Between Bishops and Apostles in Christianity

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Published by Ronnie Bray

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Published by: Ronnie Bray on Jan 24, 2012
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01/24/2012

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A Brief Consideration of 
TheDistinctionBetweenA Bishop andan Apostle inChristianity
A Response to A ChallengeFrom An AnonymousRoman Catholic
 
 
‘Anonymous’ 
Challenged Christians:
 “Paul talked of this constantly about the teaching and Traditions to be passed on by the Apostles. Let me pose aquestion to all that think that the Catholic Church does not have the full teaching of the Apostles and early ChurchFathers. The CC has the writings and teaching of the Apostles and Church Fathers, and have [sic] followed them tothis day.“Present me with any manuscript you have in YOUR, YOUR Pastor’s, or YOUR Church’s possession, that is fromany of the Church Fathers. From Peter to say 500 AD would be good enough.
Anonymous
Ronnie Bray Answered:
An interesting question, and one that is worth asking, and well worth answering. However, youhave opened the hornets nest if for no other reason than the simple fact the those called Hearers,Sub-apostolic Fathers, Early Fathers, and Late Fathers did not speak with a single voice on allmatters, and most of them changed their perspective from time to time.The collections of their writings whether recorded in the Patrologiæ Grecæ or Latinæ show whata remarkable group of men they were, but they also show the development of their thoughts andhow some went from orthodoxy to heresiodoxy and sometimes back again during the courses of their lives and work.Moreover, this being so, I ask you, when are we to believe that they were sincere? Do we acceptthe early writings of Tertullian only to have to reject them when he became a Montanist?Likewise, the later Fathers departed from many of the “traditions” of the earlier Fathers, andmost from the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ and his apostles as taught in the documentsof the New Testament.Let us take one Catholic teaching to begin with: the Infallibility of the bishop of Rome, whocame to be called the Pope, ‘father’ or supreme pontiff of all Christendom.On this point, Dollinger, a Roman Catholic writer of "unrivalled knowledge" and great ability(excommunicated for his refusal to accept the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope), is quoted asdeclaring:"Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matt. 16:18; John 21:17), not asingle one applies them to the Roman Bishops ... not one of them whose commentaries we possess—Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whoseinterpretations are collected in catenas—has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Romeis the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter! Not one of them has explained therock or foundation on which Christ would build His Church of the office given to Peter to betransmitted to his successors, but they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter'sconfession of faith in Christ; often both together. Or else they thought Peter was the foundationequally with all the other Apostles, the Twelve being together the foundation-stones of theChurch."

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