Was the Papacy Established by Christ?


The papacy, defined as "the ministry of a supreme pastor with the power of jurisdiction to maintain universal unity and orthodoxy within the Christian church," was created by Christ, through the apostle Peter, and this ministry was thereafter succeeded to by the bishops of Rome.

Affirming the Resolution: Mark Bonocore, Roman Catholic

Denying the Resolution: Jason Engwer, Protestant Evangelical


"And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Gospel of St. Matthew 16:18-19

Mark Bonocore

Opening Statement

Jason Engwer

Opening Statement

Mark's Rebuttal of Jason Jason's Rebuttal of Mark
Questions and Answers Questions and Answers
Closing by Mark Closing by Jason

Recent books on the Papacy recommended by the debate participants:

Jesus, Peter and the Keys: A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy by Scott Butler, Norm Dahlgren, and David Hess (Queenship Publishing, 1996)Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church by Stephen K. Ray (Ignatius Press, 1999) The Matthew 16 Controversy: Peter and the Rock by William Webster (self published, 1996)

Related Links:

An Answer to James White on the Early Papacy by Mark Bonocore

A Challenge to James White on the Early Fathers by Mark Bonocore

Studies on the Early Papacy by Dom John Chapman

The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington

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