The role of Peter has remained one of the most sensitive and divisive areas of New Testament inquiry, particularly because of its implications for the position of the papacy in Christendom. Now, under ecumenical sponsorship, a notable group of Protestant and Roman Catholic New Testament scholars have sat down together over a period of nearly two years to study this matter in the light of modern biblical criticism - surely a "first" in cooperative ventures since the Reformation. The results of their joint study, concisely presented in a form intelligible to the interested reader, are significant both in terms of what can be known with assurance about the historical career of Peter, and still more with regard to the development of the images of Peter after his death. This study, which moves the discussion beyond many old impasses, has biblical, theological, and ecumenical implications for all Christian churches.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"A major contribution to ecumenical conversations done by exegetical experts of different confessional traditions.... A new starting point for discussion of the difficult issue of the primacy of the Pope." -
Lukas Vischer, Secretary to the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches
"At no period since the Reformation has such a joint effort on a divisive topic been possible."
Paul C. Empie, former Secretary General of the U.S.A. National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation; Bishop T. Austin Murphy, Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
"Ten years ago the very topic of the Petrine office and papal ministry in the Church was pragmatically judged, in the Catholic-Protestant dialogue, to be 'too hot to handle' and 'way, way down the ecumenical path.' This collaborative study, cold in its scholarly objectivity yet warm in its love of the Gospel of Jesus, is a startling reminder that the Spirit moves more quickly than our plans for him."
Thomas F. Stransky, C.S.P., President of the Paulist Fathers