Another take on Matthew 18:18

Catholics view Matthew 18:18 as Jesus giving authority to His Church to bind and loosen. Here is a Protestant take on that passage …A True Story – He loved her more than life itself. Even after 25 years his heart skipped a beat when she was near. He would be excited in anticipation of just being with her. He would open the car door for her, serve her tea in the morning in bed, give her back rubs and massages, draw a bath for her, cook for her, clean for her, do the wash, and anything else he could think of to serve and please her. He worked two jobs to provide a good life for her and their son. He would often give her flowers or roses for no other reason than the fact that he loved and cherished her.

Years ago an indiscretion on her part tore into the fabric of his heart. He wanted so much to forgive and move on. All of the Christian books, seminars, courses, counseling, and articles were telling him that if he forgave and showed unconditional love, the love of Christ, that there could be a healing in the marriage. So he made it his life’s passion to find this love and freely give it to her. The deeper he researched these truths and embraced them the more he gave. The more he gave, the more he loved her so he gave more. After years passed from the indiscretion she had more. Toward the end, the advice of some well meaning Christians was to let her go. He felt that God was still telling him to Love her with Christ’s unconditional love, not ‘throw her away’.

It was so hard when he felt her slipping away. She was unhappy and looking for something else out of life. She had other men, and was slowly pulling away, separating her life from his. He felt like he was trying to grasp precious water or oil with his hand, but even though he tried with every fiber of his being it slipped through his fingers out of his reach. All the information he was finding was telling him that this love would conquer all. They would have the best marriage possible when they were through all this, he believed this with all his heart.

He felt like she was the most beautiful flower in the garden and by pampering, loving, caring, weeding, watering, and protecting this flower it would surely grow beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. But he was wrong. In the end she left him for someone she said was her “soul mate”. That lasted about a year, with others in between. Her wish was to separate from him and never have this relationship that he felt was God’s design. How could he be so wrong? It took a long time but finally he realized that it does no good to water a dead rose!

"Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
Matthew 18: 18-20 (NAS)
… I post this to show how differently the same passage can be viewed.

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. 20 For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

20 “There am I in the midst of them”… This is understood of such assemblies only as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the church of Christ. St. Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae.

I’m not disputing or questioning the Catholic interpretation of it. I’ve used that interpretation numerous times in defense of Catholic doctrine. I merely presented it to show how others have come to view it.

Bind and loose are legal terms. Consult the original Greek. This holds true when seeing where Jesus was speaking to Peter and calling him rock and saying upon this rock I will build my Church. Jesus did not use the same Greek word for what he called Peter and whom he said he would build his Church. The Church is actually built upon Jesus Christ himself (Petras), not Peter (Petros).

SK, where did you get this? What’s your take on where they’re going with this interpretation? I haven’t a clue as to what the writer’s conclusion is :confused:

It would seem that Petros and petra refer to different things because the endings of the words differ. But there is a good reason for that: Petros is masculine and refers to a man (it is Simon’s new name), while petra is feminine and is a well-established word for rock or stone. (The Greek word more commonly used in the New Testament for rock or stone is lithos, a masculine term not used here by Matthew because, unlike petra, it does not preserve the play on words.)


Where are the keys??

John Chrysostom indicates that in Matthew 18:18 the power of binding and loosing was given to the aggrieved person, not the leaders of the Church.

But why did He set him with these? To soothe the person wronged, and to alarm him. Is this only then the punishment? Nay, but hear also what follows. “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven.” And He did not say to the ruler of the church, “Bind such a man,” but, “If thou bind,” committing the whole matter to the person himself, who is aggrieved, and the bonds abide indissoluble. Therefore he will suffer the utmost ills; but not he who hath brought him to account is to blame, but he who hath not been willing to be persuaded.

(Homilies on Matthew, Homily 60

Another “religious” website but current CAF rules prohibit me from mentioning the link.

I was just amazed at how different our understandings of these passages could be.

Neither do I. That’s why I started this thread to get input from other folks.

It’s a good thing not all non catholics see that passage the same way that the non cited non catholic does in the OP.

But he has the TRUTH!

It’s a good thing the Protestant church was around to keep those writings of John Chrystsostum!!

One uncited person’s opinion is not representative of anything. Even catholics here do not feel compelled to believe another’s take on passages. So, what this proves is…
Nothing, other than in the entire bible there are only a few passages that the catholic church has interpreted.

I guess I should have used one of these: :rolleyes:

Dear Sellers,

Who are you trying to prove your points to? Simon’s name in ARAMAIC was surnamed as KEPHAS (loosely defined as a large jagged rock). The male/female Greek translation of Kephas causes ambiguity since Greek translation does not use nouns to describe humans. Rock in Greek is petras. The name for a male human in Greek is Petros.

This is why the translation from Aramaic to Greek to English has caused so much controversy. “Simon, son of bar Jonah, thy name is Petros and upon this rock I will build my Church” I would suggest that from Aramaic to English it would read "Simon, son of bar Jonah, thy name is ‘large jagged rock and upon this rock I will build my Church’

Jesus always identifies Himself as the CAPSTONE, not just the first appointed building rock. Us Catholics do not believe that Simon Kephas is responsible for the Church. Jesus Christ is the Church. Simon Peter and all the faithful are parts of this Body of Christ as St Paul articulates.

If Simon Peter is the Church we would be going to Church to worship Simon Peter and that’s just simply not the case.

Have a good day,


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