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Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church (Modern Apologetics Library) Paperback – March 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book defends Catholic teaching against the opposition, using current Church teaching on the Old Testament foundation for the primacy and succession of Peter. A rich documentation, a fine study. --Cardinal Christoph Schonborn

A veritable tour de force on behalf of the Petrine ministry, bringing together exegetes, the Fathers of the Church, the witness of history, and even Protestant scholars. The work is scholarly, objective, and accessible to all readers. Recommended wholeheartedly and unequivocally. --Fr. Peter Stravinskas
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Apologetics Library
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898707234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898707236
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Upon This Rock was a well written and thought out book. It gave all the sources that he used and helped me to understand the depth of the Catholic position. I do not agree with Mr. Ray's conclusion but now I realize I may well be wrong. I think one goal of this book was to defend the Catholic Church and show why the church claims the authority it does. I have to admit many of my presuppositions have been changed and his work has helped me understand and even respect the faith of Catholics that much more.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By RC on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
After reading opinions by James White and William Webster on the same subject, I thought I'd been given the full truth. But Mr. Ray's further, deeper development on White's/Webster's study showed me that I had only been given an incomplete story. What else about the Protestant faith is only "partially" developed ? Mr. Ray's presentation is overwhelming. One particular nugget in the goldmine of truth was not detailed in the New Testament, Old Testament, or the Church Fathers. It was a geography lesson on Caesarea Philllipi. It had never dawned on me what a long journey this was for Jesus and his disciples. The significance of the journey and the rock have come into focus!

I am now dedicating myself to learning what other partial truths have been developed fully by the catholic church.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Samuel F. Crow on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
The discussion was excellent in that it chronicled the Office of the Papacy both in Scripture and in history. It is an excellent source book and demonstrated excellent research techniques especially in the Early Church Fathers documentation and reference. There are a great deal of footnotes, but unlike some books, these footnotes are very readable and useable either in a discussion as a Catholic Christian Apologist or as a bibliography in a paper. I highly recommend this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By TheListener on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you can manage to battle your way through the format of this book (%10 text and %90 footnotes) it is a great book to have in your library. It is not a reason-based approach to the issue of the primacy of Rome in the early Church as it is an overwhelming number of references and citations. The argument relies mostly on historical proof, however, it can get a bit tedious at times.

As a soon-to-be Catholic I think this book erased any questions in my mind about how the early Church regarded Rome and it is a nail in the coffin of independent congregationalist fundamentalists.

It is a great reference book which could be used by armchair apologists, if you are into that sort of thing. But it will require a bit of discipline to finish this book.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By James H. Dobbins on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Stephen Ray's book, Upon This Rock, is the most comprehensive book I have read on the subject of the position the Bishop of Rome holds in the Christian community, even if some do not recognize that position. It is the most thoroughly documented discussion available on the primacy of Peter in the early Church, and the primacy his successors in office have in the Church today. This book belongs in the library of every thinking Christian, Catholic or not.

James H. Dobbins, Ph.D.

Author of Take My Hand
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "revdrh" on April 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I commend Stephen Ray for his efforts in assembling such a complete book on the Papacy. The use of Patristic sources is impressive. Mr. Ray has done a professional job in presenting and demonstrating the Papacy as an undeniable Truth of Christ's Church. He has done a masterful job in pointing out the errors of opponents. This is a great resource for anyone wanting a fuller understanding of the Papacy. In addition, the efforts taken to obtain an Imprimatur gives proof for the reader that substance and truth have the highest priority.
Well done Mr. Ray!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Matthew 16:18 has long been one of the most disputed verses in Scripture between Catholics and Protestants. From the Catholic perspective, this verse points to the office of the Pope where Jesus grants divine authority to Peter and his successors. Obviously, this interpretation does not sit well for Protestants who deny this authority. But do Protestants correctly interpret this verse as well as other verses regarding the Papacy? The answer is no and this book will explain why. The office of the Pope will come alive for you as the author takes you through the Old and New Testaments as well as the writings of the earliest Christians outside of biblical times. The author left no STONE unturned (pardon the pun) as he methodically destroys any attempt to disprove the Papacy in Scripture. An insightful book and a must read for both Protestants and Catholics. Reviewed by Gospel Truth.
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65 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Stephen K. Ray does an excellent job of presenting the scriptural and historical case for the papacy. He writes clearly and well. I would like to make a point about a book mentioned in the review by the Eastern Orthodox gentleman, namely Brian Tierney's "The Origins of Papal Infallibility". Moved by that review I read Tierney's book. Brian Tierney, though a good scholar, has an axe to grind, specifically a liberal Catholic axe. I am surprised that an Eastern Orthodox person would commend the arguments of Tierney, since Tierney obviously is against not just PAPAL infallibility, but ALL infallibility, including the infallibility of Ecumenical Councils and the infallibility of the Church herself, both of which doctrines are believed in by the Eastern Orthodox. Tierney, as a liberal, does not believe that the Church can definitively commit herself to truths. In other words, he rejects the possibility of dogma. Essentially his position is that of Hans Kung.
The mistake that this Eastern Orthodox reviewer makes illustrates a basic problem with attempts to interpret the historical evidence in an Eastern Orthodox or Anglican way: these via media are self-destructive, as Newman realized. The Orthodox accept the hierarchical authority of bishops and the infallibility of Ecumenical Councils. But the scriptural evidence and the evidence from the ante-Nicene Fathers is stronger for the papacy than for the authority of Ecumenical Councils. One can pick holes in the evidence for the papacy, but only by using arguments that ultimately can be used even more effectively against other doctrines that the Orthodox would wish to uphold. Protestants have the same problem: the same arguments that are used against the papacy can be turned even more effectively against the New Testament. To return to Ray's book, I recommend it very highly.
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