Re: Peter's Primacy - questioning Church Fathers and their teachings
- Dear all
For a proper understanding we all must debate. A healthy debate shows the knowledge of the community. But what all we should debate? This is very important. History is always �His-Story� only. Everyone create their own �His-Story� which suites them or support their claims and by their hard works, muzzle power and money they force others to accept it or at least keep it in the reference libraries. Here we must debate.
But when comes to theology, if we have any doubt we must ask to learned people and clear our doubt or get the clarification on our doubts. Then it is our choice to accept it or reject it.
But engaging in debate on theology is a big mistake. By this we are questing our church fathers of past and rejecting their teachings. Those church fathers were guided by the Holy Spirit and by debating on their teaching we are directly questioning Holy Spirit.
Now regarding the debate going on in this forum on �Primacy of Saint Peter �, moderators of this forum very clearly stated the position of the Syriac Orthodox Church by quoting the church fathers
The Fathers of the Syriac Orthodox Church tried to give a theological
interpretation to the primacy of Saint Peter. They were fully convinced of the unique office of Peter in the primitive Christian community. Ephrem, Aphrahat and Marutha who were supposed to be the best exponents of the early Syriac tradition unequivocally acknowledge the office of Peter.
The Syriac Fathers following the rabbinic tradition call Jesus �Kepha� for they see �rock� in the Old Testament as a messianic Symbol. When Christ gave his own name �Kepha� to Simon he was giving him participation in the person and office of Christ. Christ who is the Kepha and shepherd made Simon the chief shepherd in his place and gave him the very name Kepha and said that on Kepha he would build
the Church. Aphrahat shared the common Syriac tradition. For him Kepha is in fact another name of Jesus, and Simon was given the right to share the name. The person who receives somebody else�s name also obtains the rights of the person who bestows the name. Aphrahat makes the stone taken from Jordan a type of Peter. He says Jesus son of Nun set up the stones for a witness in Israel; Jesus our Saviour called Simon Kepha Sarirto and set him as the faithful witness among nations.
Again he says in his commentary on Deuteronomy that Moses brought forth water from �rock� (Kepha) for the people and Jesus sent Simon Kepha to carry his teachings among nations. Our Lord accepted him and made him the foundation of the Church and called him Kepha. When he speaks about transfiguration of Christ he calls him Simon Peter, the foundation of the Church. Ephrem also shared the same view. The Armenian version of De Virginitate records that Peter the Rock
shunned honour Who was the head of the Apostles. In a mimro of Efrem found in Holy Week Liturgy points to the importance of Peter. Both Aphrahat and Ephrem represent the authentic tradition of the Syrian Church. The different orders of liturgies used for sanctification of Church building, marriage, ordination etc. reveal that the primacy of Peter is a part of living faith of the Church
Debating on above statement, I think we the members are questing the teachings of Mor Aphraha and Mor Ephrem.
What is the difference between us and extremist protestant? They always questioning our church father�s teachings on each and every subject. Are we following them?
So I suggest not select any theological subject for a debate. But please do ask your doubts and let the learned members explain the subject based on our Church traditions