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In a sense, the difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants comes down to the matter of Apostolic succession.

Rome claims that its teachings are true because it possesses the Apostolic succession of office, wherein its bishops follow one after another from the Apostles. Furthermore, the Apostles promised Apostolic succession in the office of the bishop to guarantee truth.

On the other hand, Protestants say that we are right because we have the Apostolic succession of teaching, not of office. It is the Apostles' teachings that guarantee the truth, not the Apostolic office. The Apostles never taught the Apostolic succession of offices. They did, however, teach the Apostolic succession of truth, which was to be preserved in the Scriptures for us always. So, we believe in the Apostolic succession, not of office but of truth.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with W. Robert Godfrey and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.