17

Preface, this is a Protestant response. I'm not arguing the validity of it, or any claims here, just answering the question. the short Protestant response would be "Meh". A general Protestant response to each point would be: 1) Where in Scripture does it say there would be any such thing as Apostolic succession? The New Testament speaks of several ...


14

In essence you are asking an epistemological question: How can one side "know" that it is correct in a theological debate? The question could just as well apply to any Christian body, let alone the Eastern Orthodox Church. Within the eastern Church exists a notion called prelest. It is a Russian word that basically means "deception", but it is a kind of ...


13

According to the Catholic Church, the short answer is that he never lost it. In fact, in the strict sense, Martin Luther never participated in apostolic succession to begin with. Apostolic succession refers to the fact that all bishops can trace their holy orders all the way back to the Apostles. That is, the Apostles ordained certain men bishops (or what ...


13

I am not really satisfied with any of the answers given here, because they do not seem to answer the question. First of all, apostolic succession refers to the fact that all bishops (that is, all those who have received the fullness of Holy Orders) can trace their Holy Orders all the way back to the Apostles. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] 77-...


11

Apostolic succession and Papal succession are not one and the same. Is the nature of apostolic succession meant to be an unbroken succession of valid popes? No. Rather the nature of apostolic succession is meant to be an unbroken succession of valid bishops. Not just the pope, but all Catholic bishops have unbroken apostolic succession. In other words, ...


9

As an Eastern Orthodox, I've never heard this line of reasoning. Instead, what is usually discussed is the difference between primacy and supremacy. In the Orthodox view, among all the bishops, there were five who were regarded as preeminent based on the importance of their sees. These were: Rome Constantinople Alexandria Antioch Jerusalem The Orthodox ...


9

Full Disclaimer: I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian who is a former Protestant Christian. I have addressed how Protestants might respond to these points, with the understanding that Protestants are a very broad group with many differing beliefs on these issues. With that said, these responses must necessarily be broad and somewhat varied. According to Whom/...


8

The same way that the Catholics do. Anglicans consider themselves catholic and reformed. The Anglican church was the Catholic Church in England until the reformation when they stopped recognizing the authority of the Pope. "The roots of the Church of England go back to the time of the Roman Empire when Christianity entered the Roman province of ...


8

The Catholic Church teaches that Apostolic Succession is necessary because it was instituted by the original Apostles. Other denominations claims are similar. From the Catholic Encyclopedia: It remains to consider whether the so-called "monarchical" episcopate was instituted by the Apostles. Besides establishing a college of presbyter-bishops, did ...


6

When Luther was excommunicated for insubordination on January 3, 1521, he lost the ability to say he was in the chain. You cannot succeed someone who has disowned you. Note the date to which most people would ascribe the "beginning of the Protestant Reformation" (a bad term since it was really a process that had been going on since the 1300s!) is October ...


6

You would have the succession, since the Pope would be the valid successor to his predecessor. So there is no break in succession. But the Church would be limping, as it were, until its proper order is restored. You don't need a Pope to be Catholic; it's just that Christ instuted the Church with a Pope, and so it is definitional to the heirarchical structure ...


5

I believe that Catholic Hierarchy is currently the best tool for showing apostolic succession. Keep in mind that written records only exist going back to the Renaissance, and they get spottier as we go back in history. However, looking at (for example) the page for Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, scrolling down past the “events” table and “micro-data ...


5

Up until the time of the Reformation, the line of apostolic succession is the same between the Church of England and Roman Catholicism. The English Reformation initially had more in common with the historic schisms* than with other iterations of the Reformation, though through the influence of Thomas Cranmer, the first post-Reformation Archbishop of ...


5

Yes a number of churches other than the Roman Catholic Church believe in the Apostolic succession. A good example is the Church of England, which also follows the commonly accepted definition of Protestant (though it considers itself somewhat different from most other Protestant churches, largely because of the belief in Apostolic Succession). Specifically ...


5

I won't be able to give a complete answer as I'm not that familiar with the Catholic and Orthodox church structure, but Biblical church structure is something I've been looking into recently so here is what I've found out. The Pope I believe the argument for having one man overseeing the entire church comes from Jesus statement to Peter in Matthew 16:18 "...


5

Henry Chadwick writes about this in his book The Early Church (Penguin, 1993), on page 50. First he explains that the role of the "bishop" (episkopos) evolved to be a primus among the elders (presbyters) in the late apostolic or early post-apostolic era. But it would take a while until the bishop received a more formal recognition as a separate tier of ...


4

Christ gave St. Peter the "power of the keys" to bind or loose. Addressing the question of "Whether priests alone have the keys?," St. Thomas Aquinas writes: There are two kinds of key. One reaches to heaven itself directly, by remitting sin and thus removing the obstacles to the entrance into heaven; and this is called the key of "order." Priests ...


4

Apostolic succession applies to all successors of the original 12 apostles. Every modern day bishop and priest (including the Pope) has been ordained by Bishops, creating an unbroken lineage all the way back to the original 12. This wikipedia section has it right, as far as I've read. In Roman Catholic theology, the doctrine of apostolic succession ...


4

The other apostles are associated with other Churches. St Mark, for example, was the founder of the Church of Alexandria; St Thomas is believed to have taken Christianity to India; and so on. Only St John the Evangelist did not die a martyr in a far-off place (at least, Patmos isn't as far as India). Accordingly, most of the other apostles do not have such ...


4

1521 might be the Roman Catholic answer to this question, but the Eastern Orthodox answer is a bit harder to give. The Roman Catholic Church lost its apostolic succession in splitting off from the Orthodox Church (remember, this is the Orthodox perspective). As late as 1274 and then at 1438, there were still attempts at reunion between the Roman Catholics ...


4

John Calvin, whose theology heavily influenced every Reformer (here I exclude the Anabaptists and other such groups), has a chapter in his Institutes of the Christian Religion which discusses the clergy generally, and has some paragraphs on the ordination of clergy. I suggest you read the entire chapter for better context (and the entire book for good ...


4

One concept of Apostolic Succession, sometimes called "tactile succession", is that bishops derive their position by being consecrated by other bishops, who were themselves consecrated by earlier bishops, and so on right back to the apostles, and so to Christ Himself. A valid bishop is someone in this chain. A valid priest is someone appointed by a valid ...


4

I don't have any documents to show you, but I do want to point out some linguistic aspects to this question that can lead to confusion. In English, the word priest comes from a contraction of the word presbyter. In other languages, the word used for Catholic priests today is the word presbyter, so this question as worded doesn't really work in an early ...


3

Christ gave the power of "binding and loosing" to Peter alone with this saying; however, a little while later He also told all the apostles: Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18) Similarly, Paul states that All this is from God, who has ...


3

Instances of popes being involuntarily deposed by conquering sovereigns and replaced with one sympathetic to that conqueror. A specific example is need to answer this question. See below. Instances of contention over the papacy by two or even three popes simultaneously, accompanied by multiple colleges of cardinals and bishoprics. Ah, the Great Schism. ...


3

Gee, so many posts by people who have so little knowledge of this absolutely crucial matter (crucial for churches with sacramental theology --seven ecumenical councils, seven sacraments, visible church / hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons). What is apostolic succession? TO clarify the term: apostolic succession has nothing to do with unity with the ...


3

The Protestant movement at least began as a turning to the scriptures to define belief; I think that Bible-believing Protestants would start there. The leaders of the Protestant movements all saw conflict between traditional Orthodox/Catholic teachings and the plain teachings of scripture. I'll address the 2nd issue first: Jesus instituted the sacrament of ...


3

An apostle is, per the Greek ἀποστέλλω (apostollow) - that is, sent out. It is a job, not necessarily a title. Jesus, in the Great Commission of Matthew 28, literally apostolt (ie commissioned and sent out) all of his followers by telling them: Go ye therefore into all the world... While Matthew 28:16 says there were only 11 people there (all his ...


3

To answer the question, no the early church did not reject "apostolic succession". But to understand the answer, it is necessary to define exactly what the question is; what precisely is "apostolic succession"? For the early church, it meant "teach the same as apostles". It did not mean, what it came to be later redefined as, some sort of sacerdotal ...


3

Another answer has already cited Irenaeus (130-202). The passage cited from Against Heresies - III.III.1 - appears as a reference in Pope Paul VI' Encyclical, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Dei Verbum, which itself is quoted in the Vatican Catechism entry on the subject (I.I.II.75-77). Tertullian (c 155-240), a contemporary of Irenaeus also ...


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