Another Question on Mt 16:18-19

Hey all,

Why is it that the only mention of Peter receiving the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and being the rock upon which Christ’s Church will be built is in one gospel (Matthew)? Wouldn’t we expect to find such an important moment elsewhere within the other gospels as well, particularly in the Gospel of Mark? After all, it was Mark who wrote his gospel based off of what Peter had told him. It doesn’t seem likely that Peter would have left out this detail. I appreciate everyone’s responses.

I would also check some of the parallel passages which speak of what the keys do, and what the rock is. Please reference the following passages. These may help put things into perspective.

  • Matthew 18:15-20, speaking of the power to loose and bind to the disciples
  • 1 Peter 2:4-8, speaking of the stone upon which the church is built

Also see John 21:15-19.

Peter might not have mentioned it to Mark out of humility.


I don’t know why this incident is only recorded once, but it only needs to be recorded once for us to know it happened. Lots of things in the Gospels were only mentioned one time.

For that matter, we know of many things that happened that weren’t even recorded in Scripture.

For Peter’s primacy, we also have the witness of the early Church and Church Fathers who all knew and believed that this authority had been given to Peter.

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Well, not necessarily.

The Gospel of Matthew was written to an original audience of Christians who were Jews. So, in his gospel, Matthew makes references to things that Jews would understand. One of these would be the Isaiah 22:22 and the notion of the “al bayit”.

The Gospel of Mark, on the other hand, was written to an original audience of Gentile Christians. They would not have been familiar with Jewish customs or the Old Testament. (In fact, we find Mark explaining elements of Jewish culture to his audience!) So, for this audience, a reference back to the al-bayit would not have been helpful.

So, whether Peter mentioned it or not, Mark didn’t include it in his narrative to a Gentile audience!


One is enough because it does not have to be in every Gospel.

Anyway, that verse is clear enough so perhaps considering its importance it was left that way in order not to cause any other ideas to dilute it.

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I believed St Peter would not talk about that out of humility. On the other hand, the gospel of Mark records clearly the denial of Peter and his walking then sinking in water. What is more interesting is that only Mark records the episode of the young man running naked during Jesus arrest. Is it because that was Mark himself?

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I was told once that St Peter is pictured dark mostly in St Mark’s gospel because Peter was humble when he recalled stories about himself when preaching the gospel.

I find this event recorded in John 21 a better description of the Petrine ministry .

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep…"

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Great point. I never thought of it like that!

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