The purpose of this blog is to provide insights from the Christian perspective. It exists to present the elementary teachings of the glorious gospel through conducting apologetics, presenting general information through research, and by providing biblical commentary. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
-A blogger who goes by the name of "Catholic Nick" wrote an article attempting to demonstrate the establishment of the Roman Catholic Papacy being prefigured in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. The scriptural foundation of Nick's whole argument for the authority claims of Romanism is based on the conclusionary passages of Genesis where Jacob was giving each of his twelve sons specific blessings during the time of his deathbed (Genesis 49-50). In summary, this lay Catholic apologist claims that the Tribe of Judah as being the leader of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:8-12) is a direct parallel to the Papal office of Rome wielding absolute authority over the rest of Christendom.
Refutation Of Catholic Nick's Typology For The Office Of Pope:
1.) The underlying problem with Nick's entire article is that he merely read the concept of the Roman bishop into the context of Genesis. In other words, he is only assuming what he is trying to prove. Catholic Nick starts with the assumption that the Papal institution is of divine origin. Then, he searches for scriptural evidence supporting the notion of a Pope. This scenario is a classic example of eisegesis. What a colorful imagination that Roman Catholic folks have!
2.) Nobody denies the existence of a parallel between the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles who were appointed by our Lord Jesus Christ. However, linking Genesis 49:8-12 to the Roman Catholic Papacy is a completely unjustifiable. Again, Catholic Nick offers no evidence for his assertion that his church is correct.
3.) How can we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church established by our Lord Jesus Christ?
4.) Using the Bible to prove the validity of the Roman Catholic Church and using the Roman Catholic Church to confirm the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures is a perfect example of circular reasoning.
5.) The prophecy regarding the tribe of Judah is about our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Lion of Judah, who signified that He was redefining Israel by appointing twelve apostles. Genesis 49:8-12 is a Messianic passage. It points directly to Christ. This text is not in any way Petrine. It therefore cannot point to the Papacy, as Catholic Nick has boldly claimed. In the context of Genesis 49, the words "you", "his", and "him" are obviously a reference to Jesus. The scepter, representative of authority, does belong to the descendants of Judah. But we have no particle of scriptural evidence suggesting that Jesus Christ ever passed the scepter to the Apostle Peter. In short, Genesis 49:8-12 is a reference to a single Person, not an office with successors.
6.) The head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23-25), not the pope. He is the one who holds primacy in ALL things (Colossians 1:17-18). The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and thus requires only one spiritual King to preside over it. Neither does the Bible ever formulate a distinction between a "visible" and "invisible" head of the church. There is only one head of the church, not two!
7.) The concept of a New Testament church hierarchy is unbiblical. In other words, Scripture mentions nothing about the one-head bishop structure that is found in the modern Church of Rome. In fact, the Bible never even records the Apostle Peter as passing on his apostolic authority to a designated successor or a discussion on who would occupy his seat of authority after his departure from the world. In Scripture, it seems as if nobody recognized him as having any primacy over the other apostles. What is even more significant to observe about the pages of the New Testament is that we never see the Apostle Peter acting in the authoritative manner that popes do. Although he can rightly be accredited as possessing historical salvation primacy, we never see him acting as the "prince of the apostles". Some biblical proof for the Roman Catholic Papacy!
8.) As emphatically stated earlier in this article, a parallel does exist between the twelve Old Testament tribes of Israel and the twelve New Testament apostles. The twelve disciples will also be given thrones for the purpose of judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:27-28; Luke 22:29-30). But if the Lord Jesus Christ truly gave the Apostle Peter an elevated level of status, then why did He not say anything about his throne being in any way distinguished from the other eleven apostles? We never see anything about Peter's throne being any way different from or more special than that of the other disciples of Christ. Furthermore, the walls to the city of the New Jerusalem will have all twelve apostle's names inscribed on twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14), and they all appear to have equal status. None of this would make any sense, if Catholic Nick is correct about the Apostle Peter being superior to the other apostles. What we do see in Scripture is that the church is built on the foundation of all the apostles and prophets, with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20).