--A Ralph Johnson


I.                   HISTORY


Rome was one of the cities where Christianity was established in the first century.  Some early writers claimed that the church there was started by Peter, as head of Christ’s church, and that from him the primacy of the Pope has been passed down through the centuries.  


The Bible says nothing either of Peter being head of the church, or that he was ever at Rome. 


The papacy developed out of a change of church government in the second century A.D..  In the Bible, the church was established with elders having oversight of each congregation.  In the second century this changed to elevating a single elder to oversight of the church in each city, known as a presiding “Bishop.” 


The Bishop of Rome became very influential due to Rome’s position as head of the Empire.  With the rise of the Emperor, Constantine, Christianity became the state religion (313 AD) and reflected much of its format.  When the capitol was moved to Constantinople, the Roman church became more independent.  However while the church at Constantinople gained influence, it was also limited in power under the immediate control of the Emperor.  When the Western Roman Empire fell to the Barbarians in 476, this gave the Roman church independence enabling the Bishop of Rome to develop a temporal earthly political kingdom.  The influence of the church at Constantinople was further diminished by the beginning and spread of Muslim control from Arabia over the Middle East and North Africa after 625 A.D..  


With the loss of Constantinople and Greece to the Muslim Turks in 1453 AD, the influence of the Bishop of Constantinople was moved to Russia.  With the rise of atheistic Communism and formation of the Soviet Union, the Eastern Church’s influence was further diminished.  


Meanwhile, after Rome fell to the barbarians in 476 the pope began playing the role of power broker, building up his temporal kingdom.  On Christmas day, 800, he crowned Charlemagne, “Emperor of the West,” laying the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire which continued until the time of Napoleon.  There were conflicts between the Popes and the emperors but the Papacy held great power until Luther led the Protestant rebellion.  In 1860 the Pope’s temporal kingdom was taken away by King Victor Emanuel of Italy and his General, Garibaldi.  






The Roman Catholic Church is organized hierarchically along the lines of the Roman political system with bishops over churches, and archbishops over these, and the Bishop of Rome over all.  The Cardinals act somewhat like the Roman Senate in choosing a new Pope.







According to Catholic tradition, Peter is the “Vicar (vice-regent) of Christ” established on Christ’s earthly throne as the head of His church—Prince of the apostles. 



      Peter is the “rock” upon which the church was founded.


Matthew 16:18

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Greek "petros"], and upon this rock [Greek "petra"] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 1:42  42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.[4074 petros]



"Rock" (Greek: “Petra,”) means a ledge or foundation rock [cf. Luke 6:48], referring to the truth that Peter had just spo­ken, “You are the Christ” (16:16). 


Peter was a gate-keeper holding the keys to the kingdom -- not the rock upon which it was built. (Matt. 16:19)


1Cor. 3:11 Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


1.      The text fails to support the claim that Peter is the rock.


Two different Greek words are used in the text.


Matthew 16:18 “You are Peter [4074 petros] and upon this rock [4073 petra] I will build my church.”


"Petros" [#4074], “Peter” (John 1:42 or “Cephas” in Aramaic), is masculine gender, meaning, a stone. "Petra" [#4073, "rock"], is feminine, used several times in reference to Christ. It means a ledge of rock. Peter [4074] is never called petra [#4073].


#4074 Petros (noun, masculine)

AV – “Peter” 161 times, “stone” 1 time; 162 total

Peter = “a rock or a stone,” one of the twelve disciples of Jesus


#4073 petra  (noun, feminine)

AV - rock 16 times.


Note: “Petra” was the name of the city carved in rock at the south end of the Dead Sea. The Hebrew word for this was, “Sela.” This was the home of the Edomites, descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother.



According to Eusebius, Matthew wrote first in Aramaic which has no gender distinction between “Peter” and “Rock.”


This claim is speculative.  Eusebius wrote more than 200 years after the composition of Matthew.  Even if Matthew wrote first in Aramaic, he wrote the Greek manuscript in which, by inspiration he makes the distinction.  John 1:42 translated the Aramaic, “Cephas,” into Greek, “Petros” – “a stone.”


42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.[4074 petros]


We have no early manuscripts in Aramaic to tell us what words Jesus used or what Matthew may have written in the Aramaic.  What we have is in Greek and that was the language of the message preserved for us by God.   It is quite possible that when Jesus spoke those words he said, "You are Ke'pha', and upon this SHU`A'  I will build my church," and that may have been what any early manuscript said.  “SHU`A'” is Aramaic for ledge of rock (cf. Mt. 7:24-25).


2.      Christ is several times spoken of as “petra,” the rock [4073 ].

Matt. 7:24, 25. Those who hear the words of Christ and do them shall be likened to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. [4073 petra ]. [also Luke 6:48]


Romans 9:32-33   32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;[3037 lithos]  33 As it is written, [Isaiah 28:16] Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock [4073 petra] of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


1Cor. 10:4 The Israelites drank of that spiritual rock [4073 petra] that followed them: and that rock [4073 petra ] was Christ.


1Pet. 2:4-8 Jesus is the chief corner stone (3037 lithos) laid on Zion. He is the rock [4073 petra] of offense.

4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone [3037 lithos ], disallowed indeed of men, [Psalms 118:22]; but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones [3037 lithos ], are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, [Isa 28:16] Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone [3037 lithos], elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone [3037 lithos ] which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone [3037 lithos ] of stumbling, and a rock [4073 petra] of offense, [Isaiah 8:14] even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.


Related scriptures:

·        Matthew 21:42-44  42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, [Psalms 118:22] The stone [3037 lithos] which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?  43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone [3037 lithosshall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17-18]

·        Acts 4:11. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is; “the stone [3037 lithos] which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner.” [Psalm 118:22]

·        Eph. 2:20. being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner [stone]

·        Psalm 118:22   22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

·        Isaiah 28:16   16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

·        Isaiah 8:14  4 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone [LXX lithos] of stumbling and for a rock [LXX petros] of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.


3.      Peter is never said to be “petra [4073 ] or in any other words described as a the foundation rock.   It does not say, "you are petra.”


4.      If Peter were the rock it would have been much more likely and understandable that Jesus would have said, “You are the rock upon which I will build my church.” Instead, he changes from “you” (2nd person) to the “this rock” (3rd  person).


5.      Jesus is the foundation of the church.

1Cor. 3:11 Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ


6.      Even if the phrase “Thou art peter and upon this rock I will build my church,” pictured the church as built upon Peter, he was only one stone in  the foundation along with the other apostles.  Jesus is the chief corner stone.


Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Revelation 21:14   14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Matthew 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


7.      Jesus, not Peter, was to be head over all things in the church (Eph. 1:23; Col. 1:17, 18).

       Christ has power over all things in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18, 20).


8.      Paul indicated Peter was no greater than other Apostles.


Gal. 2:6-10. Paul said that James, Peter and John were reputed to be pillars but God accepts no man's person. [Note that Peter is not even named first]


2Cor. 11:5; 12:11. Paul declared he was not one whit behind the very chiefest apostles.


9.      Paul disputed with Peter and publicly reproved him of behaving contrary to the Gospel, which does not sound like he was regarded as any “Vicar (vice-regent) of Christ.” (Gal 2:11-14) 


10.   Gal. 1:11-12. In speaking of Peter and other apostles, Paul did not rely on any succession of authority from men. He denied having received his gospel from men. 


11.  Jesus warned against those who sought the chief seats and lord­ship over others and said it was “not to be so” in the church (Matt. 20:25-28; 23:1-12).


12.  We are not to say we are of Cephas (Peter –John 1:42). We are not to glory in men. To do so is carnal (fleshly). To be carnally minded is death (Rom. 8:6)


1 Corinthians 1:12-13  12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas [Peter]; and I of Christ.  13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?


1 Corinthians 3:1-4  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


1 Corinthians 3:21-23   21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas [Peter], or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.


OBJECTION: “Peter was appointed as shepherd over the others.”

      Luke 22:31, 32. Peter was told to confirm his brethren.

John 21:15-17. Peter was commissioned to feed the lambs and sheep.


Luke 22:31 is speaking of his denial of Christ. Jesus tells him that after he is converted he should strengthen his brethren. 

Rom 1:11 Paul also strengthened the brethren.


John 21:15-17, after Peter’s denial and the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to him and asked if he loved Him “more than these,” reminding him of his boastful claim that, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” (Mat. 26:33). He then, three times, told him to feed his lambs and sheep – one for each time he denied.


Jesus was telling Peter to get back on track.  Jesus, not Peter, was the chief shepherd (1Pet. 1:4)


Peter was not the only one appointed to feed the flock. 1Pet. 5:1-3. Elders are also to feed the flock. That does not make them Popes. Peter character­ized himself as a “fellow elder.” Peter gave messages from God but neither he nor any other inspired source says anything of his being superior. They were all to strengthen each other and to feed the lambs and sheep (Acts 20:28-30; 1Pet. 5:2).


13.  2Thes. 2:1-12. Paul warned against the coming “falling away” with a man being set up in the temple of God, showing himself forth as God.


He said, “the mystery of iniquity does already work” (2:7). He would continue until destroyed by the manifestation of Christ's coming. Only the Papacy makes the claim of having authority in the church from the time of the Apostles. Indeed, the Pope claims to be the “Vicar [vice-regent] of Christ.” He claims to be the head of the church, on earth ruling for Him.



“Peter was given the keys of the kingdom (Matt. 16:19)


“Peter used the keys to open the church both to the Jews  (Acts 2:14) and to the Gentiles  (Acts 10, 11. cf.  Acts 15:7).


Peter was not the only one who was to use the keys to loose and bind (Matt. 18:18). “Keys” indicates knowledge (Luke 11:52). It appears that Peter began to use them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14), although he was not the only one to stand and speak.  Peter stood up "with the eleven" (Acts 2:14). Use of the keys to open the church to Jews and Gentiles does not indicate he was head of the church, much less that he passed them down from one Pope to another through the centuries.  Paul was not one whit behind Peter (2Cor. 11:5; 12:11).



“Peter is always mentioned first in the lists of the Apostles.”

(See Matt. 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:13, 14).


These are lists. The names are in this order to make them more easily remembered. Peter, Andrew, James and John are lumped together. They were called first (Matt. 4:18-22). These are two pairs of brothers working as fishermen. Peter may have been the leader in the fishing venture or the oldest of the men. He may have simply been more aggres­sive than the others. He certainly stood out for his rashness (Matt. 16:22, 23; 17:4; 26:33-35, 40, 74; Jn. 18:10).


Gal. 2:9 we have a different order, “James and Cephas and John.” In that case Peter is only cited as one of those who were “reputed to be pillars.” Paul said such meant nothing to him (2:6).


1Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5. Peter (Cephas) is not mentioned first in other lists.

 I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.


The mere mention of Peter at the beginning of a list is slim evidence of superiority in the church. That is like the foolish argument that because Priscilla was mentioned before her husband that she was head over him (Acts 18:18; Rom 16:3; 2 Tim 4:19) (cf. Acts 18:2, 26; 1Cor 16:19)


OBJECTION: “Peter presided at the election of Matthias”  (Acts 1:15- 22).


Peter took the initiative. Peter often spoke up first, but that does not prove superiority. Peter was certainly prominent but promi­nence does not necessarily indicate preeminence.  Peter often spoke first when he was with Jesus and this sometimes got him into trouble (Mat 15:15-16; 16:22-23; 17:4-5)


 Acts 21:18. James led out when Paul came to Jerusalem.


We may also note that Peter and John were sent to Samaria by the other apostles  (Acts 8:14). Does that make the other apostles superior to them?


OBJECTION: “Peter opened the first council at Jerusalem  (Acts 15:7).”


Throwing out the first ball to start the baseball season does not make that person the Coach! Peter did not even open the meeting. There had already been much questioning. Peter just reminded them that he had given the first message to the Gentiles (Acts 10). James summarized and brought the conclusion. All the Apostles participated in the decision. Nothing suggests that Peter presided.


In fact, there is no basis for concluding that Acts 15 was a general church Council. The meeting was between two churches. The church at Antioch appealed to the church at Jerusalem concerning some who had come from them claiming that circumcision was required. The decision was made by the Apos­tles and Elders of the church with approval of the congregation, not by a council of churches, nor by Peter  alone. Since the Judaizers from Jerusalem were the source of the problem, the church there laid down some rules to counter their excesses.


OBJECTION: “Peter started the church at Rome and set up his seat there.”

1Pet. 5:13.  Saying he was writing from “Babylon,” was a pseudonym for Rome (cf. Rev. 17).


These claims are later tradition. He may have been there at some time.


Peter is mentioned several times in Acts over the years, so he was clearly not sitting on a throne at Rome during those times.

-He was at Caesarea when the centurion was converted in Acts 10, about ten years after the resurrection.

-He was in Jerusalem in Acts 11 when he reported back concerning the Gentiles' conversion.

-He was in Jerusalem in Acts 12 when he was delivered from prison.

-He was in Jerusalem when Paul and Barnabas went there fourteen years after Paul's first visit to Jerusalem (Acts 9 :27; Gal. 2:1, 9)  

-He was in Jerusalem in Acts 15 at the conference of the church concerning circumcision.


Peter was not at Rome there when Paul wrote to the Romans or he would have greeted him, as he did others.


He does not seem to have been there before that because he would have provided spiritual gifts to guide the church, which Paul indicates had not been done when he wrote (Rom. 1:11).


He was not there when Paul went to Rome the first time at the close of the Book of Acts, or Luke would have mentioned him, as he did others.


He was not there when Paul wrote from Rome, down to just before his death under Nero, or Paul would have mentioned him along with others.


Even if Peter had started the church and been there at some time, that is not proof that scripturally God recognized him as Bishop of Rome, much less that he was Pope over all of the churches and that this authority was then passed on to others as his successors.




      ANSWER: Such conduct is prohibited in scripture.

Matt. 23:9. Call no man, Father...for one is your father, who is in heaven.


This was said concerning those who loved the chief seats and to be called by exalted religious titles.


Acts 10:25. Unlike the Pope, Peter told Cornelius not to bow to him.


C.     PAPAL INFALLIBILITY (formally recognized in the Vatican council of 1870 AD)



Abuses by the Popes through history are legendary. They contradicted and anathematized each other. At one time there were three popes, each claiming authority over the others. Some Popes came to power by buying the office or even killing the reigning Pope.  It makes no sense that God would require us to rely on succession through such wicked men and the scriptures teach nothing about a line of succession of authority to follow Peter.


There is no scriptural teaching that some person would be head of the church on earth with infallible authority to speak for Christ. Apostles and prophets gave inspired revelations but those powers were confined to the period of giving and confirming the complete word of God to men.


1.      These signs were intended to confirm the word. (Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:3, 4

2.      These gifts were given by the hands of the apostles  (Acts 8:17-19; 19:6; 2Tim. 1:6; Rom. 1:11 2Cor. 12:11, 12). When those upon whom they laid their hands died, the gifts came to an end. Apostles had to see Jesus and be personally commissioned by Him  (Acts 1:21, 22; 22:14, 15; 1Cor. 9:1). Paul indicates he was the last --”born out of due time” (1Cor. 15:7-9).

3.      Apostles and Prophets were only in the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20).

4.      Just as in the completion of the Old Testament, the gift of prophecy was to cease when revealing of the will of God was completed in the New Testament (1Cor. 13:8-13).

5.      Zechariah indicates that Prophets were to cease. He and relates it to the day of the Messiah when a fountain was opened to cleanse sin (Zech. 13:1-6).


The pope has demonstrated no power to do signs and miracles as did Peter and other apostles. 


2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.




Like two sacred rivers flowing from paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the word of God, of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe.”

 -Catholic Belief, Very Rev. J. Faa Ki Bruno, D.D., p. 33


ANSWER: Except for those instituted by the apostles (2Thes. 2:15; 3:6), tradition flows from men, not from God. It is polluted by men's prejudices. It is inconsistent, conflicting and unreliable.

-1Pet. 1:18. …vain traditions handed down from the fathers.

-Mark 7:8-9. Traditions of men are not to be regarded as authority.

-Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.


These traditions conflict with the scriptures showing they have no authority.



      -Matt. 16:18. God protects the church.

      -Eph. 3:10. Through the church, the manifold wisdom of God is made known.



1.      Beware of relying on the wisdom of men (1Cor. chapters 1 and 2).


2.      It is obvious from the many errors and abuses of the Roman church that they enjoy no such protection.


3.      The true church is a spiritual fellowship with its head, Jesus Christ in heaven, not a visible organization with a headquarters on earth.

-John 18:36. My kingdom is not of this world...

-Luke 17:20, 21. The kingdom comes not with observation; with men saying, Lo, here, or Lo, there. The kingdom of God is within you.

-Rev. 12:6, 14. God protected the faithful woman in the wilderness areas outside of the Roman Empire during the great period of falling away (2Thes. 2:1- 12), not the impure counterfeit that sat at Rome (Rev. 17).


4.      The Bible was intended to be understood.

-2Tim. 3:15-17. The scriptures are able to furnish us thoroughly.

-Acts 17:11. The Bereans believed because they searched the scriptures.

-2Cor. 4:3. The gospel is only hidden from those who perish.

-John 7:17. He that wills to do his will shall know whether the teaching is from God.

-2Cor. 11:3. We have simplicity in Christ.

-1John 5:13. John wrote so they could know.




OBJECTION: 1Cor. 7:32-35. Caring for a wife distracts from service.


            Freedom to choose celibacy is fine. Requiring an oath of celibacy conflicts with scripture.


-1Tim. 4:1-3. Forbidding to marry is called a “doctrine of demons.”


-1Tim. 3:1-7. Bishops were to be husbands of one wife and have faithful children.


-Matt. 8:14. Peter was married. His wife's mother was healed.


-1Cor. 9:5 Paul said he had the right lead about a wife like Peter and the other apostles.



“The ‘woman,’ Paul could lead about, referred to a holy woman (such as a Nun), to help him.”


This is the word commonly used for wife. Peter had one (Matt. 8:14; 1Cor. 9:6).

It is the same word used in 1Corinthians 7:1-2 that says it is good to have a wife to avoid fornication. Because this warning has been disregarded, the history of mandatory celibacy is plagued with serious sexual problems. The Priesthood has a notorious record of becoming involved with women in the congregation, with the Nuns, with boys and homosexuality.  Historically they even approved of concubinage for the priesthood.







-1Tim. 2:5. Christ, not a priest, is our mediator with God.

-James 5:16. We are to confess to each other and pray for each other.

-Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 1Pet. 2:5, 9; 2Pet. 2:9 All Christians are priests.




      John 20:23, “Whosoever's sins ye remit, they shall be remitted.”

Matt. 16:19, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”


ANSWER: These are speaking about two distinct things.

a.       The first is the power of the apostles through inspiration. They were to reveal God’s will. This revelation would determine what was righteous and what was not. Only inspired men (those who had Holy Spirit come upon them) could reveal what God would bind in heaven. The apostles and Prophets did so  (Acts 5:1-10).


Those who gave this revelation were not doing so from personal judgment but by inspiration (1Pet. 1:16-21). They bound on earth only what God revealed to them (14:25-26).


The Greek literally says, “What you bind on earth IS bound in heaven.” It was not a case of leaving it up to them to do as they pleased. They followed what was revealed.


Priests today have no revelation or signs they can perform. There was no confessional in the early church.


b.      The second (Matt. 16:19) has to do with the church deciding disputes between members. The decision of the church settled the matter. God would hold the disputants to that decision. This was a matter of deciding laws, not of making them.




Indulgences are remission of “temporal” punishment for sins. The grace for this supposedly comes from the extra merits saved up by Jesus Christ and the saints.


ANSWER: The Bible says nothing of extra good works the Saints have laid up to remove temporal punishment. Only God can take away the conse­quences of sin. No imperfect person has any righteousness left over to store up. Our righteousness is imputed by God (Rom. 3:10; 5:19; 10:3; Phil. 3:9). 


The abuses of selling indulgences—even for future sins by Tetzel resulted in Luther rebelling against the church, beginning the Reformation.




The Roman Church, through the centuries has claimed miracles by touching bones, clothing etc. of the Saints. They claimed to have found the true cross and even the burial shroud of Christ. In fact they claim that even things that touch relics may themselves be converted into the relics. They had mountains of "relics" of the cross.


To justify this, they cite the case of the man raised from the dead by touching the bones of Elisha when cast into his tomb (2Kings 13:21) and that handkerchiefs from Paul were carried to heal the sick  (Acts 19:12).


ANSWER:  Those with miraculous gifts did these things.  These gifts ceased with the death of the Apostles and those on whom they bestowed them.  The Bible does not indicate we should seek healing through contacting some relic of the Saints.


            James 5:14-15

 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.


The passage in Acts 19:11, 12 says the sending of handkerchiefs was a “special miracle.”


Except in the case of Elisha, there is no other case of a dead man’s bones healing anyone.

            1Thes. 2. warns of “Lying miracles” to be used to deceive.




ANSWER: Seeking to contact the dead is prohibited by God. 

Ecc. 9:5 (cf. 3, 6) The dead know nothing of events under the sun.

Luke 16:19-31. Those who die no longer have access to those on earth.

John 14:6; I Tim. 2:5. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.


(Note: All Christians are Saints, not just a special class in heaven -Acts 26:10; Eph. 1:1.)




1.      Veneration of Mary

Mary is represented as the “dispenser of all grace.”  She is mediator with her son, Jesus.


            Luke 1:48All nations shall call me blessed.”



Calling Mary, “blessed” [makarizo] is not veneration.

James 5:11 Behold, we call them blessed [makarizo] that endured:


She certainly was blessed in having the privilege to bear Jesus.


Jesus never recognized Mary as being elevated above others.


-Luke 11:28. Even the blessing of bearing him was not to be viewed as greater than those who keep His word. When a woman in the crowd called Mary “blessed” [makarios] for suckling him, Jesus responded, “Yea, rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”


-John 2:4-5. At the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, Mary called attention to the need for more wine. Jesus responded, “Woman, what have I to do with you?”


For readers of all time, Jesus indicated that it was time for him to become independent. He loved and took care of his mother (John 19:25-27) but her role was now changed. He turned water to wine at her request but never again do we find him obeying her.


-Acts 1:14. Mary received no superior position or veneration. She is only mentioned as among the women in the upper room ten days before Pentecost. After the church began she was never again mentioned.  She was given no important role in the church and nothing is said of praying to her.


2.      Mary called, “MOTHER OF GOD”


            Luke 1:43. Elizabeth called Mary, “Mother of my Lord.”



      No scripture ever calls Mary, “Mother of God.” Elizabeth calling Jesus the “Mother of my Lord” is not the same as calling her, “Mother of God.” “Mother of my Lord” has to do with his birth as a human.  Speaking of Christ as “God” has to do with his divinity.  Mary could not be the mother of his divine nature because as such he had no mother (Hebrews 7:3). God eternally exists and had no beginning. 


Jesus clearly placed family relationship secondary to spiritual.


-Matt. 12:47-50. When he was told that his mother and brothers were out­side, wanting to see him, Jesus pointedly said, “Who is my mother and brethren? Are not all these who do the will of God...?”


-Luke 8:20. When told that his mother and brothers were outside wanting to see him he responded, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it”


Thus, Mary was no more the “mother of God” than anyone who does the will of God.  The same “logic” would make Jesus' natural brothers, “Brothers of God” and his sisters, “sisters of God.”


Jesus is also called the “son of David” (Mat. 1:1). Does that make David the “father of God”?  Mary was mother of the fleshly body of Jesus. She was not mother of his divine nature. Such statements are misleading.


3.      Immaculate conception of Mary (Born without the stain of original sin). (Codified in 1854 AD)



This is a human tradition with no scriptural foundation. The only “original sin” we receive is the effect of Adam's fall that brought death on all (Rom. 5:12-21). Mary, herself, recognized she needed a savior (Luke 1:46-47).


The sin of the soul is not inherited. Everyone who dies the second death does so because of his own deeds (Ezek. 31:29-34; Heb. 8; Rev. 20:12-15).


4.      Perpetual virginity of Mary



-Matt. 1:25 Joseph had no sexual relations with her “until she brought forth her firstborn son.” If Mary were to be a perpetual virgin it is strange that nothing is said of it and that the limit here placed on her virginity was the birth of Jesus.


-Jesus had brothers and sisters (Matt. 12:46, 47; 13:55-56; Mark 3:31- 35; Luke 8:19-21; John 2:12; Acts 1:14). There is no evidence that this refers to cousins.

Adelphos” is the common word for brother, though, like most other words, it may be used in a figurative or extended sense.  It could be used of a close relative or even a spiritual relationship.  The context determines the use and in these scriptures it appears to be used in the common sense. 


-Psalm 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.

Psalm 69 is speaking of Jesus and is often cited in the New Testament. Check cross-references to verses 4, 9, 21, 22, 23 and 25.


OBJECTION:  If Jesus had natural brothers, why did he entrust the care of his mother to John? (John 19:27). 

ANSWER:  Jesus gave no reasons but two good ones would be:

1.      John’s caring nature made him a very good choice.

2.      The brothers of Jesus were not yet believers (John 7:5).


5.      Bodily assumption of Mary

            At death, Mary was immediately reunited with her body and taken to heaven.

ANSWER: That is exactly what it is, an assumption. It has no scriptural basis whatever. The doctrine was not officially validated by the church until 1950.


1Cor. 15:21-23. No one is to receive their new bodies until Jesus returns.




  1. 2Maccabees teaches praying for the dead

12:44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.



a.       The Book of Maccabees does not claim to be inspired.  The writer himself indicates otherwise:


2Mac 15:38 If it is well told and to the point, that is what I myself desired; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do.


2Mac 12:44-45 only shows that the Jews had such a practice of praying for the dead at that time.  Jesus said that they had many vain traditions (cf. Mark 7:8, 9, 13).


b.      Some of the oldest manuscripts omit the verse.


c.       Nothing is said in the passage about the dead being in a place of purgatory. This is speaking of the hope of forgiveness, “concerning the resurrection” (12:43-45).


  1. Matt. 5:26. The man would not be let out until the last farthing was paid. Is that not purgatory?


ANSWER: The passage is warning us to try to resolve disputes so our adversary will not have us thrown in prison. It has nothing to do with after death.


  1. Matt. 12:47-48. If some are beaten with few stripes while others receive many, does that not indicate a purgatory?


ANSWER: This says nothing about prayer, good works, masses or indulgences to shorten punishment.  It is teaching severity of punishment will be greater for those who knew and did not obey over those who did not know.  The “stripes” have nothing to do with purgatory after death but with accountability after the Lord returns. It is a parable, not intended to describe literal whipping of people when Jesus returns.


  1. Matt. 12:32. The sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world or the world to come. Does not this suggest a future chance for forgiveness for other sins?



a.       The Greek word for, “world” (#165 “aion”) does not require it to mean, after death. Jesus lived under the Old Testament (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 9:15-17). It may be speaking of forgiveness under the Christian age following the resurrection of Jesus.  In any case it says nothing about people suffering temporarily in purgatory.


b.      If it were speaking of the next world, it does not seem to refer to the state of the soul after death. That is never spoken of as the next world. It may be speaking of the time of resurrection when we stand before the judgment. It may well be that God's grace can provide forgiveness at that time for some sins. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be one of them.


c.       It says nothing of any prayers, good works, indulgences or Mass by others shortening punishment after death.


  1. 1Cor. 3:13-15. A man may be burned but still saved.



The work he has done may be put to the test right here. It may be lost but he will be saved. This is not purgatory.


Luke 16:19-31. After death, there is no passing from one place to another.


1John 5:16, 17. We are not to pray for the person who sins a sin unto death. (Note: He may here be speaking of spiritual death, in which case it refers to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit -Matt. 12:31).




CLAIM: Venial sins are small sins which must be paid for either by applied grace through prayers and penance, or sufficient torment in purgatory before going to heaven.


ANSWER: Christ paid the full ransom for our sins.

1John 1:7. if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (ASV)


CLAIM: Some are released after being purged by degrees of punishment.


Luke 12:47 And that servant, who knew his lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many (stripes);

48. but he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few (stripes). And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more. (ASV)


ANSWER: This has to do with a servant’s knowing and doing, --not with mortal and venial sin.


CLAIM: Mortal sins are more serious offenses such as murder, adultery etc. that will send one to hell. These must be forgiven through absolution of a priest.


1John 5:16-17 Says we should not pray for sins that are unto death. It also says that there is a sin not unto death.



This passage may mean that we are not to pray for a person who's sin causes his physical death. We are not to pray for the dead.


If it is speaking of spiritual death, it refers to Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is distinguished from others. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven (Matt. 12:31). All other sins can be. There is no scriptural distinc­tion between other sins as “mortal” or “venial.”




The Catholic Church includes fifteen books and portions of books in their Old Testament which are not accepted by Protestants. These are, 1st Esedras, 2nd Esedras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Eccle­siasticus (Sirach), Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Susana, additions to Daniel: chapter 13 Prayer of Azariah, and chapter 14, Bel and the Dragon;  Prayer of Manassesh, two Books of Maccabees and fragments of Esther (10:4; 16:24).



1.      These were not included in the Hebrew Old Testament canon.

Both Josephus and Philo rejected them.


Josephus, Against Apion, (Book 1, §8, ¶38) We have not, therefore, a multitude of books disagreeing and conflicting with one another; [as the Greeks have] but we have only twenty-two, which contain the record of all time and are justly held to be divine


God gave to the Jews care of the Old Testament writings (Rom. 3:1-2; 9:4)

The Hebrew text is divided into the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44-45).  Jesus identified the Old Testament as extending from Able to Zacharias (Mat. 23:35).  Able was killed in Genesis (Genesis 4) and Zacharias was killed in the last (2Chronicles 24:20-21).  The Maccabees books were centuries later written in Greek, not Hebrew.


2.      Inspired writers did not quote the apocryphal books as inspired.

The New Testament is full of quotations from the Old Testament but nothing from the apocryphal books.

The New Testament also sometimes quoted pagan writings (Epimenides, Menander and Aratus –Acts 17:28) or books from pseudapegraphal writings (Jude 1:9, 14-15 –1; Enoch 1:9) not included in Catholic Bibles, but they seem not to have even been aware of the apocryphal books. 


3.      They contain no fulfilled prophecy that would identify inspiration.


4.      They have nothing of any serious doctrinal import that would add anything significant to the revelation we have.  2Maccabees 12:44 is sometimes cited concerning praying for the dead but it only cites the prevailing tradition (cf. Mark 7:8, 9, 13) and claims no inspiration (2Mac. 15:38).


5.      Some of them are fanciful in nature, more like pagan myths.  (Tobit, Bell and the Dragon)


6.      Some of the Apocrypha indicates it was not intended to be considered inspired


2Mac 15:38 If it is well told and to the point, that is what I myself desired; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do.


2Mac 2:23 all this, which has been set forth by Jason of Cyrene in five volumes, we shall attempt to condense into a single book. 24 For considering the flood of numbers involved and the difficulty there is for those who wish to enter upon the narratives of history because of the mass of material, 25 we have aimed to please those who wish to read, to make it easy for those who are inclined to memorize, and to profit all readers.


7.      Historically they have always been regarded as doubtful, sometimes being placed separately or omitted in different Septuagint texts. Thus, they were omitted from the Palestinian Canon. Jerome and many early “Fathers” denied their canonicity.


Codex Sinaiticus, (4th century AD.), omits 2Maccabees and Baruch, but includes Psalm 151, 1Esdras and 4Maccabees.


Codex Vaticanus, (4th century AD.), omits 1 & 2Maccabees and The Prayer of Manassah, but includes Psalm 151 and 1Esdras.


Codex Alexandrinus, (5th century AD.), includes 1Esdras, Psalm 151, Psalms of Solomon and 3 & 4Maccabees.





Exodus 20:4-5. We are not to bow down to any image. Note that Catholic leaders have revised the ten commandments to omit the second commandment and makes “Thou shalt not covet” into two.


1Cor. 10:14, 22. Flee idolatry. Be careful lest we provoke the Lord to Jealousy.


Catholic scholars deny these are worshipped.  However, even if they do not “worship” them they violate the scriptural warning against doing anything that would cause others to stumble into idolatry. (1Cor. 8:4-13, 10:31-32)




The Roman Church claims that when the priest offers Mass, Jesus is sacrificed and the bread and wine is miraculously transferred into the real body and blood of Christ (cf. John 6:35-59).  This claim is based on Jesus' statement that, this is my body and this is my blood, (Matt. 26:26-28).



"This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed.." obviously was not meant literally because Jesus had not yet shed his blood.


Jesus said that what they drank was “fruit of the vine.” (Matt 26:29).


These statements are similar to many by Jesus.

John 15:1. Jesus is the true vine.

John 1:9 Jesus was the true light.

John 10:7. Jesus is the door.


1 Corinthians 12:27  ye are the body of Christ, is not literal


John 6:63. It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are life. (ASV)


John 6:35, 48, 51 I am the bread of life. This is not to be taken as meaning his body was literal bread. Also the cup was not literal blood.


Drinking of blood was prohibited (Acts 21:25). We are not required to be cannibals.


Scripture denies that Jesus is to be repeatedly sacrificed.


Heb. 7:27 who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the (sins) of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. (ASV)


Heb. 9:12 nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. (ASV)


Heb 9:24-28    For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: 25 nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place year by year with blood not his own; 26 else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this (cometh) judgment; 28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation. (ASV)


Heb. 10:10  By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins: 12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (ASV)


John 19:30. On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished


P.      COMMUNION IN ONE KIND (serving only the loaf to the laity)



-Matt. 26:27 Jesus said we are all to drink of the cup.

-1Cor. 11:25, 28. We are told to drink the cup.






2Thessalonians chapter 2.

A great falling away was to come and a man of sin was to sit himself up in the temple of God, taking the position of God. The mystery of iniquity was already at work and he would only be removed by the coming of Christ. Those who loved not the truth were to be misled by him.


No other man than the Pope fits these specifics. The evils that brought him to power began in the time of the Apostles. He sits in the temple of God. He claims to speak with the infallible voice of God, and he appears to be going to do so until Jesus comes to destroy him.


 “...We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty..." Pope Leo XIII, in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae (The Reunion of Christendom), Encyclical promulgated on June 20, 1894.


"To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical." The Gloss of Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, Cum. Inter, title 14, chapter 4, "Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium", Column 140, Paris, 1685. (In an Antwerp edition of the Extravagantes, the words, "Dominum Deum Nostrum Papam" (“Our Lord God the Pope”) can be found in column 153).


Revelation. chapter 17.

A “Harlot,” sits on seven heads of a great beast (de­scribed in chapter 12). The woman is explained as a city that sits on seven hills and reigns over the kings of the earth. The heads also represent seven kings (or kingdoms). When John wrote, five had fallen, one was in power and another was yet to come. After that the great beast with seven heads and ten horns was to come to power.


 This obviously refers to the Holy Roman Empire. Consider the dark history of the rise of the Roman Church with its warring popes and millions persecuted by them. Consider the prohibition to read the scriptures and the burning of John Huss and Savonarola. Consider how the treacherous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France, and the Spanish Inquisition fits “Drunken with the blood of the saints.” She claims to be the “mother church,” which fits the scriptural statement that she is “mother of harlots.” The false churches that have sprung out of her represent her daughters. She “sits on many waters” (Rev. 17:1, 15) --“peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues” represented by Rome as “the holy sea.” 


Since she came after the true church of Pentecost and fails to fit the apostolic pattern, she is only an Apostate system. 





The Bible says nothing of Archbishops (ruling-bishops) over other bishops or bishops over elders.


In the Bible, each church had elders, also called, “bishops.”


Acts 14:23 Elders were appointed in every church.

-Tit. 1:5. Elders were appointed in every city.

-1Tim. 3:3. Elders were called, bishops. (Compare with Tit. 1:5-9)

-Acts 20:7, 28. The elders were called, bishops.


S.      REPEATING PRESCRIBED PRAYERS (such as reciting the rosary)



Matt. 6:7. Repeating a prayer, may not necessarily be wrong but Jesus clearly warns of the potential danger of it becoming a vain repeti­tion. The prescription to repeat the “Hail Maries” and “Our Fa­thers” a set number of times to receive an indulgence can hardly fail to fall into this category. Also, the many prescribed prayers to be repeated in the “Mass” is highly ques­tionable.




ANSWER: This is nothing but vain tradition, perhaps borrowed from oblations of the Old Testament. Water, crosses, images, medals, etc. have no scriptural support as protecting us from anything. This is superstitious nonsense. Only God protects us.


U.     THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS (A supposed  means of obtaining grace)

       (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Holy orders, Extreme Unc­tion, Matrimony.)



The sacramental system is nowhere given in the Bible. Only prayer, baptism and the Lord's Supper have any relationship to receiving grace, and then not of works but as obedience to a living faith (Rom 1:5; 16:26; James 2:14-26). The idea that baptizing or giving communion to an unbelieving child would obtain anything from God is nonsense.


The system appears to be primarily a means of the church to keep the people depend­ent on the leadership.


1.      BAPTISM


Pouring for baptism


The Catholic Church practices pouring for baptism rather than scriptural immersion.


Baptism was immersion (Acts 8:38; Rom 6:4-5; Col. 2:12) 

Mark 1:9. Jesus was baptized of John in [“eis” --”into”] the Jor­dan.

John 3:23. John baptized in Aenon because there was much water.

Acts 8:38. Both Philip and the Eunuch went down into [“eis”] the water and he baptized him.

Rom. 6:4.  “...buried in baptism...”

Rom. 6:5. “...likeness of his death...”

Col. 2:12   “...buried with him in baptism...”

Col. 2:12   “...raised with him”      




Infant baptism.


The Catholic church “baptizes” infants.  Nowhere in scripture do we have any teaching or example of this practice.  The New Testament clearly teaches baptism of believers (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).



Whole households were baptized, which surely included children.


These examples indicate they were believers. (Acts 10:2, 35, 43; 16:30-34; 18:8; 1Cor. 1:16 –cf. 16:15).  The only one unspecified was Lydia who was an older business woman in a foreign country with no mention of a husband.     


Rom 10:17 “So then, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ




2.      CONFIRMATION --Laying on hands after baptism (Acts 8:17; 19:6).



The New Testament does not call this “confirmation.” This was to bring the Holy Spirit “upon” them to provide the miracu­lous gifts (Speaking in tongues, prophecy, etc. (Acts 19:5-6). The power to pass on these gifts was only given to the Apostles (Acts 8:15-19; 19:5-6; 2Tim. 1:6; Rom. 1:11). This provided guid­ance in the childhood of the church before the word of God was completely revealed. When they died and those upon whom they had laid hands, the gifts ceased (1Cor 13:8-13), just as when the Old Testament scriptures were completed. Catholics do not receive these powers. (See notes on the Holy Spirit) 3. HOLY EUCHARIST (See XIII., above)


3.      EUCHARIST (“blessing” or Lord’s supper)


(See “Eucharist” above)


4.      PENANCE

Confession of sins to a Priest, contrition, satisfaction (giving “alms,” saying prayers, etc.) and receiving absolution by the priest. It is justified by translating “repent” as, “do penance” (Acts 2:38).



While confession of sins to a minister would not be wrong, the New Testament does not actually teach that. 

James 5:16 confess your faults one to another....

1John 1:9  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Rom 14:11  every tongue shall confess to God.




The claim that uninspired priests have the power to absolve sin is not found in scripture.


John 20:22-23  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:  23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.


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


ANSWER: These powers were promised to the inspired apostles.  They were to bind through revelation--the “key of knowledge” –of what was revealed by God (Luke 11:52).


Matthew 18:15-20  15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


ANSWER: This passage is dealing with church decisions concerning offenses, based on what had been revealed by the apostles. 


1 Corinthians 5:1-5   3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,  4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,  5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.


2 Corinthians 2:6   6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. (Compare 2Cor. 7:11-12).



      The Catholic Church denies the authenticity of all ordi­nations except as authorized by it.



Scripturally, all Christians are priests, offering up sacrifice of praise of the lips (1Pet.2:5, 9; Heb. 13:15)




When death appears imminent a Priest anoints with oil and prays.  There is no wrong in this but scripture nowhere teaches this as a “sacrament” to obtain grace.


      It appears that this is based on James 5:14-16, which admonishes that if someone is sick, to call the Elders to anoint and pray for them and God would forgive and heal them. But, in James, it was intended for healing the sick, not to prepare for death.


8.      MARRIAGE


The church holds that marriage is for the purpose of having children.  Divorce and birth control are prohibited.


a.      Divorce


The claim that marriage cannot be dissolved for any reason is contrary to scripture.  The common Catholic alternative of “annulment” under the presumption that the marriage was never valid has been so abused as to be absurd.  God provided an exception clause permitting divorce and remarriage for fornication. 


Matthew 19:9   9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoso marries her which is put away commits adultery.


The Greek word, “porneia,” translated “fornication,” has reference to sexual sin in general, whether in or out of marriage.


The second edition of Arndt and Gingrich’s lexicon, p. 693 says it means, “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.”  Then, among other things it includes,  “ 1...Of the sexual unfaithfulness of a married woman, Mat. 5:32; 19:9...”


Thayer’s Lexicon, p.532 says, “a. properly of elicit sexual intercourse in general...used of adultery, Mt. 5:32; 19:9.”


In the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) used by the Apostles, we find this word being used to describe sexual acts of married women. 


Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot [#2181 zanah = LXX ekporneuō] with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. 

6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot [#H2181 zanah = LXX porneuō]. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot [#H2181 zanah = LXX porneuō] also.


b.      Birth Control


The claim that sexual relationship is only to bear children and therefore use of other forms of birth control than abstinence, is sinful, is false. It is perfectly proper to get married and have sex with one's wife for no other reason than to satisfy one’s sexual needs. The passage says nothing about having children.


1 Corinthians 7:1-4  Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.  2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.  4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own but the wife.




2Thes. 2:1-12. The Papacy was beginning to develop at the time of Paul and will continue until the return of Christ. Seated on the throne of Christ in the temple of God, It answers to the “man of sin.”


Revelation 17:5-18. Rome is Scripturally identified in, as the city on seven hills that reigns over the kings of the earth in 75 AD. Rome has historically been “drunken with the blood of the Martyrs.”


Rev. 13 describes a ten-horned “beast” that obviously answers to the fourth empire of the world (see Daniel 7). It then speaks of a two-horned “beast,” later called a “false-prophet” (Rev. 20:10) that makes an “image” to the beast and requires all to wear the mark of his name (Lateinos = Latin). This appears to represent the papacy that made the Catholic church in the image of the Roman Empire.



  1. The information on Catholic teaching is found in, “The Question Box,” 1929, by Bertrand L. Conway C.S.P.
  2. Personal Evangelism Among Roman Catholics -Aniceto M. Sparagna. --College Press, Joplin, Missouri