Thursday, August 17, 2017

1 Corinthians 4:15 Does Not Justify Calling Roman Catholic Priests "Father" Or The Popes "Holy Father"

        "Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (1 Corinthians 4:15)

        Apologists for the Church of Rome have quoted 1 Corinthians 4:15 as a biblical proof-text for the Papacy, namely as a defense of using religious titles of honor. It has been argued by some that since the Apostle Paul referred to himself as a "father" figure, that the priests and head of the Roman Catholic hierarchy have been given the same right to be exalted with titles through apostolic succession.

        The apostles only thought of themselves as being "fathers" in a strictly spiritual sense, which is entirely different than parading around religious titles for honor. The word "fathers" in the text of 1 Corinthians 4:15 is used metaphorically to denote that the apostles raised and educated converts in the principles of the faith.

        Converts were made through the preaching of the gospel and were thus led to eternal salvation. The apostles worked to establish, preserve, and build up the Christian church of the first century so that it could continue to thrive successfully by God's grace in future generations. The phrase "countless guides in Christ" is to be understood as hyperbole.

        "I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written, so that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over against another." (1 Corinthians 4:6)

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