In the spirit of NZ's current Dirty Politics saga, that is, revelation of secrets such as who is secretly working for otherwise undeclared "whom", ADU can exclusively reveal that Richard Bauckham may be secretly working on behalf of the Vatican.
The evidence is here in an excellent book review of Jesus and the Eye-Witnesses:
"the portrait he paints of the Church of the first generation looks suspiciously like what Catholics say it should/did: with an apostolic college (the Twelve) having authority over the Traditions and over the people, and this apostolic college being headed by a Jesus-appointed chief apostle, Peter."
Now various pundits will have a field day with this evidence since, in the spirit of Prof. Bauckham's own meticulous scholarship, they will necessarily be considering the possibilities that:
- inadvertently the Prof has paralleled precisely the case the Vatican would itself like to make for the primacy of Peter;
- since all Protestants are just lost children of Mother Church (and Anglicans are confused, lost children), the Prof unknown to himself was channelling his inner catholic longing to return home as he wrote this book;
- with a slight concession being made to Calvin, who spotted that just as truth is predestined to win over falsehood so genuine seekers after truth are predestined to theological conclusions which conform to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Prof has simply arrived at the central truth of church history by a circuitous route which God shepherded him along.
However this pundit thinks that maybe the Prof cannot and should not be corralled in the way the reviewer does in the service of Petrine propaganda. The citation above begs the question whether (a) the 'apostolic college' consisted of just the Twelve (James the brother of Jesus was a pillar of the Jerusalem church); (b) Peter was appointed 'chief apostle' by Jesus (cf. the striking role brother James plays in the early church, the lack of clarity through (say) 1 Corinthians that Peter was chief among the apostles; (c) indeed, whether any one person was 'head' of the apostolic college; (d) what we are to make of the fallibility of Peter as one of the chief apostles?
It is striking, is it not, that Paul (if we are consistently anachronistic here) the leading Protestant of his day, should have cause to challenge Peter!