Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church

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Ignatius Press, Jan 1, 1999 - Religion - 350 pages
Ray, a former Evangelical Protestant and Bible teacher, goes through the Scriptures and the first five centuries of the Church to demonstrate that the early Christians had a clear understanding of the primacy of Peter in the see of Rome. He tackles the tough issues in an attempt to expose how the opposition is misunderstanding the Scriptures and history. He uses many Protestant scholars and historians to support the Catholic position. This book contains the most complete compilation of Scriptural and Patristic quotations on the primacy of Peter and the Papal office of any book available. It has over 500 footnotes with supporting evidence from Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, and non-Christian authorities.

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User Review  - chive - LibraryThing

This book could be summed up by the following three points: a) being repeatedly bludgeoned round the head by the same point being made several times a page without much of anything more interesting ... Read full review

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Drawing from a number of early sources, the author sketched a consensus among early Christians regarding the primacy of Rome among the Apostolic Sees. He also demonstrated that from early times, a certain connection had been drawn between Peter and Rome. But what exactly was meant by 'primacy'? And did the early church confer this 'primacy' to Rome on the basis of her connection to Peter? The author indicated that the other Apostles derive their authority and commission specifically through Peter. Was this the understanding of the early church? I believe the author failed to make the case that ancient Christians considered the bishop of Rome to wield immediate and universal jurisdictional authority over the whole Church.
At one point, the author briefly acknowledged that not all early Christians necessarily held to the ecclesiology espoused in his book. He then suggested an argument from silence, supposing that these fathers must nevertheless be in agreement with some aspects of his own view: "In the same way, early fathers, especially the Eastern Fathers, may have defined the primacy of Peter and the supremacy of his successors in nuanced ways, yet they never denied that the primacy or authority was attached to Peter and his See in Rome." (p.14) Perhaps (eh-hem), these fathers did not deny the concept of a supposed, supreme Petrine authority, because nobody had yet proposed it! Could this be the reason that when, in the 11th century, Rome announced this authority unto herself, that all the other ancient churches would not accept it- because this doctrine was an invention, absent from the Tradition they had received from the Apostles?
The ecclesiology put forward in this book, as evidenced in its title, relies heavily upon a peculiar interpretation of a single verse, and the reading of historical evidence through a certain lens. If one is already Roman Catholic, he may find this book convincing. But the author completely side-steps numerous Scriptural and historical difficulties with this Peter-centric ecclesiology.


St Peter and the Primacy of Rome
The Apostle Peter
Peter the Man the Apostle and the Rock
Was Peter in Rome Was He the First Bishop of Rome and Was He Martyred in Rome?
The Opposition
The Primacy of Peter in the See of Rome
Earliest Christian Documents Reveal the Primacy of Peter in the See of Rome
The Primacy of Rome in the Early Church
Current Church Teachings
The Chronological List of Popes
An Old Testament Basis for the Primacy and Succession of St Peter
Index of Proper Names and Subjects
Index of Scripture

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About the author (1999)

╩Stephen K. Ray╩was raised in a devout and loving Baptist family. His father was a deacon and Bible teacher, and Stephen was very involved in the Baptist Church as a teacher of Biblical studies. After an in-depth study of the writings of the Church Fathers, both Steve and his wife Janet converted to the Catholic Church. He is the host of the popular, award-winning film series on salvation history,╩The Footprints of God. Steve is also the author of the best-selling books╩Crossing the Tiber,╩and╩St. John's Gospel.

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