Was Peter, the alleged first Pope, infallible?
On one occasion, when Jesus had announced that he was going up to Jerusalem to his certain death, Peter tried to prevent him. This is recounted in the very chapter in which it is alleged Peter was appointed by Jesus to be his Pope!
" 'Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.' But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, 'Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.' " (Matthew 16:22)
Can it be right that Jesus would say of the man whom he had identified as his Pope, "Thou art an offence unto me. Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men"? Peter was as human and fallible as the rest of us!
This is borne out by another incident commented on by Paul, when he discovered that, despite Peter having received a vision which confirmed to him that Gentiles were to be received into the church on an equal footing with Jews (Acts 10), he had separated himself from the Gentiles in the church and was eating only with the Jews:
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision" (Galatians 2:11,12)
The word "blamed" is translated in 1 John 3:20,21 as "condemn". In other words Peter was doing wrong and was to be condemned, so Paul withstood or opposed him.
If Peter was to be singled out to be superior to the other apostles, why did Jesus promise each of them a throne?
"Jesus said unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel' " (Matthew 19:28)
Alhough Peter became prominent in the early church, it was not he who, in Acts chapter 1, appointed Matthias to take Judas' place among the twelve (Acts 1:20-26) - if Peter were Pope surely it would be his job to make the appointment?
Although Peter's forceful personality and character is exhibited throughout the Acts of the Apostles, he gradually fades out of the picture (Acts 12:19) and the record concentrates on the apostle Paul - quite the opposite of what we might expect if Peter were Pope!
During a crisis in the early church, letters sent to Christians in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia were not from Peter, but from "the apostles, elders with the whole church" (Acts 15:23). James appears to have been more prominent at this time!
The scriptures show that Peter was not infallible, nor was he the first Pope.