Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Poole on Peter and Primacy in John 21:15-17
Image: Altar in St. Alexander Roman Catholic Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, with inscription from the Latin hymn "Tantum ergo" from Thomas Aquinas.
Here’s another note on Matthew Poole’s commentary on Christ’s post-resurrection commission of Peter (John 21:15-17). Poole suggests that Christ’s commission is not just to Peter but to “his church” and objects to any Roman Catholic notion that it suggests the “primacy” of Peter:
Christ replies: Feed my lambs: by which he understands his people, his church; not the pastors of it, (as if Christ by this had made Peter the chief pastor over the rest of the apostles,) but the community. The papists from this text argue for Peter’s primacy and authority over his fellow apostles, as well as over the members of the church. But Christ said not to Peter only, but to all the rest of the eleven, Matt. xxviii.19; Mark vi.15 [BTW, note Poole's citation of Mark's traditional ending], Go ye, preach the gospel to all nations; and it was to the rest as well as to Peter that he said, chap. xx.23, Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted. So as it is apparent, whether feeding only signifies instructing, or feeding by doctrine, or (as most judge) comprehends government, and signifies that universal charge which ministers have over the church, the same power which Peter had was also committed to the other disciples.