The Church Fathers on Papal Supremacy: St. Jerome

Excerpted from “The Church Fathers’ Interpretation of Matthew 16:18: An Historical Refutation of the Claims of Roman Catholicism,” by William Webster


Jerome (A.D. c. 347 – 420)

Jerome is the great biblical scholar of the Western Church of the patristics age. He spent time in both the East and West and was a master of three languages: Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Along with Origen, he is considered the only true biblical scholar of the entire patristic age:

The one foundation which the apostolic architect laid is our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this stable and firm foundation, which has itself been laid on solid ground, the Church of Christ is built…For the Church was founded upon a rock…upon this rock the Lord established his Church; and the apostle Peter received his name from this rock (Mt. 16.18).1

So far Webster. To this I would add…

If the question is concerning authority, the world is greater than the city. Wherever there has been a bishop, whether at Rome, or Eugubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, or Alexandria, he is of the same dignity and priesthood.2




  1. Commentary on Matthew 7.25, M.P.L., Vol. 26, Col. 51. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen der Auslegung von Matthaus 16,13-18 im lateinischen Mittelalter, Dissertation (Tubingen, 1963), Footnote #200, p. 49
  2. St. Jerome, Epistle 146 to Evangelus (MPL 22:1194; NPNF, ser. 2, 6:289), cited in the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, 18, (Concordia Triglotta, Dau & Bente, eds.)