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Catholics believe that Saint Paul saw Judaism as the type or figure of Christianity: "Now all these things happened to [the Jews] in figure...." attributes to the High Priest the highest jurisdiction in religious matters.
Therefore, it is argued, logic dictates that a supreme head would be necessary in the Christian Church, though the relevance of Biblical law in Christianity is still disputed, see also New Covenant and New Commandment.
The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology illustrates the leading role that Peter played among the Apostles, speaking up on matters that concern them all, being called by Jesus by a name linking him with the rock on which Jesus would build his church, being charged with pasturing the flock of Christ, and taking the leading role in the initial church described in the Acts of the Apostles.
There is general agreement among scholars on the preeminence that the historical Peter held among the disciples of Jesus, making him "the most prominent and influential member of the Twelve during Jesus' ministry and in the early Church".
This belief makes a distinction between the personal prestige of Peter and the supremacy of the office of pope which Catholics believe Jesus instituted in the person of Peter.
One common Protestant argument historically has been that the translation from the New Testament in Hebrew into Greek is tenuous at best as there is no real evidence or indication that the New Testament (in Greek) was ever translated from Hebrew or Aramaic texts, for that argument see Aramaic primacy.
According to the Protestant transliteration argument, the language that Jesus spoke, the same word, כפא (cepha), was used for both Peter's name and for the rock on which Jesus said he would build his church.
Indeed, using the supposed transliteration of "כפא", which is found several times in the New Testament, would lose the play of words.
In Catholicism, it is argued that the primacy of Peter is a basis for the primacy of the bishop of Rome over other bishops throughout the Church via the doctrine of Apostolic succession.