St. Jerome on the Primatus Petri at the Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 49)

St. Jerome

In a letter to St. Augustine, St. Jerome is found describing the process of decision-making at the Council of Jerusalem recorded by St. Luke in the 15th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The intention is to prove that St. Peter knew about the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the process of being saved by faith. In doing so, he reveals that he is of the interpretation that St. Peter took the seat of primacy during the proceedings. Now, lest the reader think that what is being suggested here is that St. Jerome believed in some invincible and everlasting Papal supremacy, let it be known that such a thing is not even remotely on his mind. Nevertheless, what he does write carries something to satisfy our interests:

“When there has been much disputing, Peter rose up, with his wonted readiness, and said, ‘Men and brethren… we shall be saved even as they’. And to this opinion the apostle James and all the elders gave consent. These quotations should not be tedious to the reader, but useful for to him and to me, as proving that, even before the apostle Paul, Peter had come to know what the law was not to be in force after the gospel was given: nay more, that Peter was the prime mover in issuing the decree by which this was affirmed. Moreover Peter was of so great authority that Paul has recorded in his epistle ‘Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter’…. proving that he would not have had confidence in his preaching of the gospel if he had not been confirmed by the consent of Peter and those who were with him… No one can doubt, therefore, that the apostle Peter was himself the author of that rule which he is accused of breaking” (Epistle 112)

1 thought on “St. Jerome on the Primatus Petri at the Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 49)

  1. Thank you for this! Maybe a very small TYPO near the end of this article. “No on can doubt,” Should it read “No one can doubt” ?

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