This is another passage considered by the R.C. to support the doctrine of papal
infallibility. To put it in R.C. terminology: "Knowing most fully that the See1 of Holy Peter remains ever free from all
blemish of error according to the divine promise of the Lord our Saviour made to the
prince of His disciples. I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail
not, and when thou art converted confirm thy brethren." 2
- Luke 22:32
- "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren."
The early history of the Ecclesia fails to vindicate the Romanist interpretation of this
verse. No such primacy for Peter is recorded in Scripture. For example.
- The New Testament word "sterizo", translated in the A.V. "establish"
or "strengthen", implies no unique authority for Peter since the word is used of
- Paul longed to go to Rome to "establish [sterizo] the brethren. (Rom. 1:11)
- Paul sent Timothy to "establish" [sterizo] the faith of the Thessalonians. (1
- The angel (messenger) of the ecclesia at Sardis is commanded to "be watchful and
strengthen [sterizo] the things which remain, that are ready to die . . . " (Rev.
To see in these words of Luke 22:32 a guarantee that Peter was to be divinely protected
from error is as foundationless as seeing in them a similar guarantee for the prelates3 of the Roman See. It is probable that
"faith", as used in the Lord's remark, "I have prayed for thee, that thy
faith fail not", applies to Peter's trust in his Master and his faithfulness to his
teaching. Subsequently Peter denied his Lord three times. (Luke 22:55-62).
- Although Peter dominates the first chapters of Acts of the Apostles (at Pentecost and
the opening of the door to the Gentile convert--Cornelius) he is sent with John by
the Apostles at Jerusalem to go to Samaria. (Acts. 8:14).
- At the Jerusalem Council James, not Peter, presides and formulates the terms of the
decision (Acts 15:13, 19). This is noteworthy since Peter was sent specifically to those
of the circumcision (Gal. 2:7). The decree indicates an astounding oversight of Peter's
office if he were the "Pastor" and "Ruler" of the Ecclesia.
- "See" as it is used here, refers to that which is committed to a Bishop. The
"Holy See", for example, refers to the Pope's court in Rome. Return
- Quoted in William Shaw Kerr, A Handbook of the Papacy, (London: Marshall, Morgan
and Scott, 1962), p. 50. Return
- A prelate is a high ecclesiastical dignitary, e.g. a bishop. Return