If the paltry evidence that Linus became the first bishop(?) of Rome it is odd that Paul's letter "Romans" does not mention him while it mentions:
Phebe, Priscilla, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Adronicus, Junia, Amplias, Urbane, Stachys, Apelles, Aristobulus, Herodion, Narcissus, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, Philogus, Julia, Nereus and last, and apparently not the least: Olympas.
Did I miss anybody? If so, I apologize and meant you no disrespect!
So if we accept the testimony of a Catholic that Linus was the first bishop of Rome, it is certainly not evident in the scriptures.
But assuming that he was the first bishop of Rome by the Catholic definition of that term, then he was made the Poppa of the Church, the head of the Church (universal?) and the "vicar" of Christ. Would he have been aware of the role as defined today by Catholicism?
Unfortunately, possibly due to a clerical oversight, while Paul defined the role of deacon (which does not include creed-writing) he failed to mention the role of Christ's "vicar" (IE: being the head of the Church).
So how would Linus have any clue as to what his job entailed except by what Paul had described as the role of a bishop?:
1Ti 3:1-13 KJV - 1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Now, I don't see "vicar of Christ" there in Paul's instructions, so how would Linus know to think of his job as being the Head of the Church, Christ's vicar, etc. Those were later inventions.
So isn't it disingenuous to refer to Linus as the first "Papa" seeing he had no role in Rome, is only mentioned once in the scriptures and that in association with another person of whom we know nothing about?
Linus would not know he was the head of the Church because Paul, the Apostle who wrote a huge chunk of the NT and that specifically was the part that relates to the gentile saints (all the other scrolls being directed to Jews). Paul wrote:
Eph 5:23 KJV - 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
So isn't it disingenuous to refer to Linus as the first "Pope"? Or would he in fact have consciously been incorporated into an existing organization that ruled the church universal?