Did petros exist as a word b4 Peter?


#1

The title is the question. This question if for the Greek linguists.

Did the words petros and petra both exist before Jesus called Simon by the name Petros?

Has petros as a word always existed or did Christ coin it?

I see that petra seems to mean stone, rock, cliff, jagged rock - generally includes all the forms.

On the other hand does the word petros exist in the non-Appelitive (non Capitalized person’s name) form?


#2

I’m not greek expert, but I’m going to have to say yes, it did. I mean, that’s the whole root of the Petros/Petra argument protestants have against this passage. Many many moons ago, long before even the time of Christ, petra meant “small pebble”, and petros was the regular word for stone or rock. But by the time the good JC came around, their usage had come to umean the same thing. Even still, that implies petros was a regular word.

Josh


#3

Of course. The Greek language and Greek words including petros existed before Christ. But when Jesus changed Simon Peter’s name, he was speaking Aramaic. What he said was “you are kephas and on the kephas I will build my church.” The name kephas or cephas is used by Paul in his writings.


#4

I was once listening to Kristine Franklin and Rosalind Moss talk about this as part of their series “The Household of Faith”. They were talking about Jesus calling Simon “Cephas” in Aramaic. They said that at the time “cephas” wasn’t a name, it was just a word. It would be like someone saying today “from now on your name will be coffee cup”.

That always struck me as funny. :slight_smile:

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#5

If anyone knows better, please correct me…

It is my understanding that petros was known in Attic Greek, which is to say Greek of the Attic region. This was the Greek spoken prior to 400 B.C. (BTW, the Septuagint was written in Attic Greek). Petros was used as “little rock” in Attic Greek, but its use as “little rock” was limited exclusively to poetry - never in prose (like the Bible). The New Testament, however, was written in Koine Greek, which was the common tongue at the time. Attic Greek was a thing of the past. The petros/petra distinction simply did not exist in Koine Greek. There was NO distinction at the time the New Testament was written.

Furthermore, Simon was named by the Aramaic title ‘Kepha’, which was transliterated as ‘Cephas’ in the Greek. This is evedent in the following verses:

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). [RyanL says: “A Stone” is part of the Protestant translations - the Young’s Literal Translation says “Rock” - the Greek word is “πετρος”** (petros)]
**
1 Corinthians 1:12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”**

1 Corinthians 3:22** whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours.**

1 Corinthians 9:5** Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?**

1 Corinthians 15:5** and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
**
Galatians 2:9** and when James, Cephas, and John…

There is simply no answer for those who would draw the alleged petros/petra distinction for the use of Cephas in the New Testament. Kepha meant Kepha meant Rock. Period. No distinction whatsoever.

Additionally, EVERY time in the NT when “little rock”/“pebble” is used in the NT Greek, the Greek word “lithos” is used - NEVER “petros”.

Bottom line - Sola Scriptura folks cannot say from the Bible alone that petros means “little rock”. They have to turn to Protestant “scholars” to tell them, and the fact is that the majority of serious Bible scholars (Protestant and Catholic) will acknowledge that the petros/petra distinction is complete bunk. Here’s a link to some Protestant scholars who agree: link.

God Bless,
RyanL**


#6

[quote=jdemelo]The title is the question. This question if for the Greek linguists.

Did the words petros and petra both exist before Jesus called Simon by the name Petros?
[/quote]

“petros” occurs in Homer (C8th BC) (e.g., Illiad 16.734), so the answer would be a definite “Yes.” It also occurs in the writings of other famous classical authors such as Pindar, Sophokles, Hippokrates and Xenophon.

I think that the rumour that it did not exist previously may have been drawn from the Latin version, “petrus”, of which I can find no evidence outside of, let alone prior to, its use in the Vulgate.

I see that petra seems to mean stone, rock, cliff, jagged rock - generally includes all the forms.

The root meaning of “petra” is a mass of stone: it is used in the LXX for cliffs in which people make their dwellings. The root meaning of “petros” is a separate piece: it is used in Homer for stones which are hurled as weapons. In contrast to the claims of some Catholics, the words are not synonymous, and “petros” (which can occasionally be feminine) is not merely ‘the masculine form’ of “petra”. In contrast to the claims of some Protestants, the words are not utterly disparate: they are morphologically (i.e., with respect to form/spelling) and semantically (i.e., with respect to meaning) related.

The linguistic beauty of the Matthew 16:18 comment lies in the juxtaposition of the interrelated terms: ‘I will build my church upon you and those like you.’

However, the Gospel was written well after Simon/Kephas’ first encounter with Greeks, and that must have been the time at which he chose to humbly render his name as the ‘little stone’, probably preferring not to take the name of a greater Rock because that is associated throughout the OT with Almighty God. This is another point which, I think, too many Catholics and Protestants overlook: it was an act of humility which should not go unrecognised.

On the other hand does the word petros exist in the non-Appellative (non Capitalized person’s name) form?

The lower-case letters were invented by scribes in the C6th after Christ in order to save on writing materials: classical and Biblical Greek were written entirely in capitals. The usage of common nouns as names for people was unusual, but it did occur, especially the usage of the names of pretty things (e.g., flowers) for women’s personal names.


#7

[quote=Mystophilus]… In contrast to the claims of some Catholics, the words are not synonymous…
[/quote]

Are you speaking of Koine Greek or Attic Greek? The evidence is pretty clear that there is no distinction in Koine Greek…see link from my last post, and the usage of the word “lithos” in the NT.

God Bless,
RyanL


#8

[quote=RyanL]It is my understanding that petros was known in Attic Greek, which is to say Greek of the Attic region. This was the Greek spoken prior to 400 B.C. (BTW, the Septuagint was written in Attic Greek). Petros was used as “little rock” in Attic Greek, but its use as “little rock” was limited exclusively to poetry - never in prose (like the Bible).
[/quote]

This is not entirely true, which is always the problem with absolutist statements. “petros” also occurs in Xenophon’s Hellenica, which is a history, and in a play by Euripides (Andromache) and a couple of Sophokles’ plays (Oedipus at Colonus and Philoctetes), which are artistic works but not poetry per se.

The petros/petra distinction simply did not exist in Koine Greek. There was NO distinction at the time the New Testament was written.

This, unfortunately, is not provable, because we do not have an instance in which the two terms are used interchangeably. The nearest source, the Septuagint, uses “petra” several dozen times but never uses “petros”. The fact that the word “petros” was so well known from classical works renders it most unlikely that it would disappear into another word.

Furthermore, Simon was named by the Aramaic title ‘Kepha’, which was transliterated as ‘Cephas’ in the Greek. This is evident in the following verses:

The problem that we face is the fact that the Hebrew OT never uses “kephas”, which deprives us of any support for the translation into Greek. All we know is that Peter apparently chose “petros” for his name among the Greeks, most probably out of highly commendable humility (see response to OP).

Additionally, EVERY time in the NT when “little rock”/“pebble” is used in the NT Greek, the Greek word “lithos” is used - NEVER “petros”.

While “lithos” is used for the majority of references to stones in the NT, it could not be used as a personal name for the simple reason that it was a pejorative for people who are ‘dull-witted’ (q.v. Aristophanes, Clouds l.1202). It is also worth noting that, while “petra” and “petros” are not used interchangeably in the NT, “petra” and “lithos” are, in 1 Peter 2:8.

Bottom line - Sola Scriptura folks cannot say from the Bible alone that petros means “little rock”. They have to turn to Protestant “scholars” to tell them, and the fact is that the majority of serious Bible scholars (Protestant and Catholic) will acknowledge that the petros/petra distinction is complete bunk.

With respect, the claim that the “majority” of “serious” Bible scholars would follow this view is a claim which demands actual statistical demonstration: we would have to first determine what a “serious” Bible scholar is, and then survey all of them in order to be able to honestly say this.

As for the distinction, we have a pattern of usage extending across several hundred years, which amply demonstrates that. However, as noted in the other post, it is a distinction, and not a disjunction. The two terms are separate but related.


#9

[quote=RyanL]Are you speaking of Koine Greek or Attic Greek?
[/quote]

Both, according to the data available.


#10

Hi J,

Yes, petros existed in Greek before Christ. It means esentially the same as petra.

But this does not really matter. Because the name Christ actually gave Peter is Kephas (also found in the New Testament). Christ said, “Kephas, you are kephas and upon this kephas I shall build my church.” Cf French: “Pierre, tu es pierrre et sur cette pierre, je bâtirai mon église.”

Verbum


#11

[quote=Mystophilus] With respect, the claim that the “majority” of “serious” Bible scholars would follow this view is a claim which demands actual statistical demonstration: we would have to first determine what a “serious” Bible scholar is, and then survey all of them in order to be able to honestly say this.
[/quote]

I’ll start with this and work to the other items you have brought up…

Serious (i.e., published, well known, *and *well respected) Protestant Bible Scholars who agree there is no distinction drawn between petros/petra in the NT based on their study of the original languages:

William Hendriksen
member of the Reformed Christian Church
Professor of New Testament Literature at Calvin Seminary

Gerhard Maier
leading conservative evangelical Lutheran theologian

Donald A. Carson III
Baptist and Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Seminary

John Peter Lange
German Protestant scholar

John A. Broadus
Baptist author

J. Knox Chamblin
Presbyterian and New Testament Professor
Reformed Theological Seminary

Craig L. Blomberg
Baptist and Professor of New Testament
Denver Seminary

David Hill
Presbyterian minister and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biblical Studies
University of Sheffield, England

Suzanne de Dietrich
Presbyterian theologian

Donald A. Hagner
Fuller Theological Seminary

William Hendriksen
Member of the Reformed Christian Church, Professor of New Testament Literature at Calvin Seminary****Dr. Guthrie BD, MTH, PHD
Protestant scholar and Lecturer in new Testament, at the London Bible College

A.T. Robertson (Died Sept. 24, 1934)
Assistant professor in Greek and homiletics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
****David K. Lowery, B.A, Th.M., Ph.D.
Protestant scholar and Professor of New Testament Studies, at the Dallas Theological Seminary

Protestant Greek scholar Marvin Vincent

Protestant scholar W.F. Albright

David Hill, a Presbyterian minister at the University of Sheffield

****And, of course, every Catholic scholar I have ever heard of in addition to all of the Fathers of the Church who speak to the subject.

Source, Source, Source, Source

Your turn - unless you would like to agree to say that we don’t need ***all ******* opinions to say that the majority of serious Bible scholars agree…

God Bless,
RyanL



#12

[quote=Mystophilus] This, unfortunately, is not provable, because we do not have an instance in which the two terms are used interchangeably. The nearest source, the Septuagint, uses “petra” several dozen times but never uses “petros”. The fact that the word “petros” was so well known from classical works renders it most unlikely that it would disappear into another word.
[/quote]

Perhaps, but don’t forget the converse is also true. You cannot disprove that there is no distinction. You are stating with this that you can’t prove x in the Bible, therefore y is true. That is not the case; x may indeed be true, albiet without proof; x and y may both be false; or finally, as you assert, x may be wrong and y may be true. Your position is not as solid as you would portray. I refer you to post #18 of the discussion you were having here (which, BTW, you ignored there).

[quote=Mystophilus] The problem that we face is the fact that the Hebrew OT never uses “kephas”, which deprives us of any support for the translation into Greek.
[/quote]

Doesn’t matter. The question isn’t “how would kepha translate” - we know how it would translate => “rock”. The question is whether Jesus called Simon ‘Kepha’, and I think the evidence is clear that He did.

[quote=Mystophilus] All we know is that Peter apparently chose “petros” for his name among the Greeks, most probably out of highly commendable humility (see response to OP).
[/quote]

…umm…we most certainly don’t know this. This is the first time I have ever heard this presented, and quite frankly I think it is pure speculation on your part.

[quote=Mystophilus] While “lithos” is used for the majority of references to stones in the NT, it could not be used as a personal name for the simple reason that it was a pejorative for people who are ‘dull-witted’ (q.v. Aristophanes, Clouds l.1202). It is also worth noting that, while “petra” and “petros” are not used interchangeably in the NT, “petra” and “lithos” are, in 1 Peter 2:8.
[/quote]

Aristophanes’ *Clouds *was written in prior to 400 B.C., and therefore in Attic Greek. You haven’t proven that Attic Greek = Koine Greek, and therefore your examples of Pindar, Sophokles, Hippokrates and Xenophon fail as well. You are drawing no distinction between Attic Greek and Koine Greek. Also, if “petra” is used interchangeably with “lithos”, isn’t your whole argument shot? Wouldn’t that have petra = lithos = little rock / small stone = petros, and therefore petra = petros?

I have no doubt your Greek is better than mine (I have no delusions of grandeur), but I have serious doubt your Greek is better than D.A. Carson’s or Gerhart Meiar’s. See post above.

God Bless,
RyanL


#13

[quote=RyanL]the majority of serious Bible scholars (Protestant and Catholic) will acknowledge that the petros/petra distinction is complete bunk…

William Hendriksen; Gerhard Maier; Donald A. Carson III; John Peter Lange; John A. Broadus; J. Knox Chamblin; Craig L. Blomberg; David Hill; Suzanne de Dietrich; Donald A. Hagner; William Hendriksen; Dr. Guthrie; A.T. Robertson; David K. Lowery; Marvin Vincent; W.F. Albright; David Hill

****And, of course, every Catholic scholar I have ever heard of in addition to all of the Fathers of the Church who speak to the subject.
[/quote]

So, 17 Protestants + “every Catholic scholar [you] have heard of [on this topic]” = “the majority of serious Bible scholars”??

Remember that what I questioned was not the simple existence of any scholar who supported the view, but the contention that the majority do so.

This is where we come back to the problem of the definition of “serious”, I believe.

I strongly suspect that I could find more than 17 Protestant scholars who believe that Jesus is not God, and probably quite a few more who believe that the Pope is the Antichrist. This number is not really an argument which proves the statement contested.

Thus, I return to my statement that, in order to claim that the “majority of serious Bible scholars” support this view, we would have to first determine what a “serious” Bible scholar is, and then survey all of them in order to be able to honestly say this.

The fact that some scholars support it is neither surprising nor cogent.

As for the Fathers, whom have you found who discusses this? I have looked a few times, and have yet to locate any early commentaries on this text except two. Origen says:if we too have said like Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, “Thou art Peter,” etc. For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the church,

John Chrysostom says: He added this, "And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church;"that is, on the faith of his confession.
Thus, the only Church Fathers from whom I have managed to locate comments thus far do not identify “petra” with “petros”, and Origen views the passage in the same way that I do: as a relation rather than an identification or a disjunction. Whom else have you found who comments upon this passage?


#14

[quote=RyanL]Perhaps, but don’t forget the converse is also true. You cannot disprove that there is no distinction.
[/quote]

There are many things which I cannot disprove, and disproving a null is always a major challenge. However, were someone to say, “There is life on Mars,” or, “There is no life on Mars,” my response would be the same: “Really? Show me the data”. I take the same response to this as yet unsupported claim that these two words miraculously coalesced into one single meaning, without the abandonment of the then-redundant spelling of either and without any other instances occuring anywhere else.

However, I am most sceptical of this claim because the most authoritative lexicon of Greek ever published, the Liddell-Scott-Jones Lexicon (LSJ), presents “petra” and “petros” as two distinct terms with two distinct sets of denotations, and not as synonyms. "Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (9/e 1940) is the most comprehensive and up-to-date ancient Greek dictionary in the world. It is used by every student of ancient Greek in the English-speaking world, and is an essential library and scholarly purchase there and in W. Europe and Japan.

The main dictionary covers every surviving ancient Greek author and text discovered up to 1940, from the Pre-Classical Greek of the 11C - 8C BC (for example Homer and Hesiod), through Classical Greek (7C - 5C BC) to the Hellenistic Period, including the Greek Old and New Testaments" (OUP).
Of course, you could also just look at university web sites and count how many do not list it either as a coursebook or as recommended reading (although a few suggest the “Intermediate” abridged version because the original is so expensive).

It is, I suppose, possible that some of the best Greek scholars in the world were wrong. It is also possible that the reviewers of the text over the 80 years of its publication have been wrong. It is also possible that the mistake has been missed despite the constant revision and supplementation which the text has undergone. Then again, it is possible that the sun will not rise tomorrow morning but, frankly, I would not like to bet on either of those.

I refer you to post #18 of the discussion you were having here (which, BTW, you ignored there).

Either I cannot configure my display correctly, or you read that thread too quickly: in both ‘hybrid’ and ‘threaded’ mode, #18 comes up as one of Todd Easton’s comments, and I responded to every comment which he made there. Am I missing something?

The question isn’t “how would kepha translate” - we know how it would translate => “rock”. The question is whether Jesus called Simon ‘Kepha’, and I think the evidence is clear that He did.

The question of the OP was the relationship between “petra” and “petros”. The relevance of “kephas”, then, is how it is translated into Greek. There is also the issue of whether we can demonstrate that “kephas” was used by Jesus for the second half of that comment, when there are at least four other terms which could have been used.

(“Kephas apparently chose ‘Petros’ for his name to the Greeks”)…umm…we most certainly don’t know this. This is the first time I have ever heard this presented, and quite frankly I think it is pure speculation on your part.

Of course it is, just as it is pure speculation on my part that you, sir, even exist. I am sorry, but it is true. Admittedly, I consider your existence to be probable than the accuracy of that theory, but I still think that the theory serves to explain the presence of that passage in the text.

(continued for want of space…)


#15

(part II)

Aristophanes’ *Clouds *was written in prior to 400 B.C., and therefore in Attic Greek. You haven’t proven that Attic Greek = Koine Greek, and therefore your examples of Pindar, Sophokles, Hippokrates and Xenophon fail as well. You are drawing no distinction between Attic Greek and Koine Greek.

That is because I do not need to. Apart from the abovementioned coverage of the LSJ, there is something called literary-linguistic determination. The denotation of any given term is the result of its usage. Inclusion in any famous text acts as a source of reiteration for a given term, keeping that term, and its denotations and connotations, alive. All of the abovementioned authors and works (especially Homer!!) are so famous as to do that more effectively than most. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons for the amazing uniformity of Greek over time: “Koinē /ciˈni/, the version of Greek used to write the New Testament and the Septuagint, is relatively easy to understand for modern speakers” (Wikipedia, but you can ask a contemporary Greek speaker if you want more proof).

Also, if “petra” is used interchangeably with “lithos”, isn’t your whole argument shot? Wouldn’t that have petra = lithos = little rock / small stone = petros, and therefore petra = petros?

A in one case = B, which can sometimes = C, which = D, and therefore A=D? Um, no, I don’t think so. We have one case in which “petra” and “lithos” are used interchangeably, and therefore overlap, and another case in which “lithos” and “petros” could presumably be, but have not been, used interchangeably. This does absolutely nothing to demonstrate that “petra” and “petros” are interchangeable. It merely serves to bear out what the LSJ indicates about “lithos”, which is that it can be used for any kind of stone at all, from the small one which you pick up from the street to the material from which you build palaces, and everything between. “lithos” is the generic, which is why we use it as the root-word for many English words (e.g., monolith, paleolithic, etc).

I have no doubt your Greek is better than mine (I have no delusions of grandeur), but I have serious doubt your Greek is better than D.A. Carson’s or Gerhart Meiar’s. See post above.

Forget my pathetic Greek; trust Henry George Liddell’s, Robert Scott’s, Henry Stuart Joness, and Roderick McKenzie’s (the editors of the LSJ).


#16

[quote=Verbum]But this does not really matter. Because the name Christ actually gave Peter is Kephas (also found in the New Testament). Christ said, “Kephas, you are kephas and upon this kephas I shall build my church.”
[/quote]

As popular an idea as this is, we do not have any record of what Jesus said. We presume from other passages in the NT that he used “kephas” for Peter, but the other word could have been any one of several different terms, and we are unlikely to know which one this side of Judgement Day.

Cf French: “Pierre, tu es pierre et sur cette pierre, je bâtirai mon église.”

(The French was translated from the Greek.)


#17

[quote=Mystophilus]As for the Fathers, whom have you found who discusses this? I have looked a few times, and have yet to locate any early commentaries on this text except two. Origen says:if we too have said like Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, “Thou art Peter,” etc. For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the church,

John Chrysostom says:He added this, "And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church;"that is, on the faith of his confession.Thus, the only Church Fathers from whom I have managed to locate comments thus far do not identify “petra” with “petros”, and Origen views the passage in the same way that I do: as a relation rather than an identification or a disjunction. Whom else have you found who comments upon this passage?
[/quote]

Dear Mystophilus,

I believe that most of the Fathers would interpret Peter as the Rock and Peter’s confession as the rock. It usually isn’t one or the other. This is where the confusion comes in for many people. The fathers rarely meant their interpretation in an exclusive sense. Other church fathers even interpret Peter’s successors as the rock. I ask you to please read this link on St. John Chrysostom and the Petrine Primacy. Among the quotes they attribute to St. John Chrysostom (I assume they are genuine, but I can’t say they are because I haven’t gone and tracked them all down).

“Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received the revelation not from man but from the Father…this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean the unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey.” (De Eleemos III, 4, vol II, 298[300])

But, anyway, read it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. :smiley:

The idea of the Fathers using multiple interpretations, but not exclusive ones, became very clear to me when reading this wonderful argument for the Catholic interpretation of the Rock from Augustine’s work. Basically, depending on what heresy Augustine is combating, that depends on how he will interpret it. At various times:

"Number the bishops from the see of Peter itself. And in that order of Fathers see who succeeded whom, That is the rock against which the gates of hell do not prevail."
Psalmus contra partem Donati, 18 (A.D. 393),GCC 51

“When, therefore, He had said to His disciples, 'Will ye also go away?” Peter, that Rock, answered with the voice of all, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.’ "
Homilies on John, Tract 11:5(A.D. 417), in NPNF1,VII:76

But then he identifies Peter as the Rock and counts his successors from there in another passage…

"For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: ‘Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it !’ The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these:[edited for character length]… whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found. But, reversing the natural course of things, the Donatists sent to Rome from Africa an ordained bishop, who, putting himself at the head of a few Africans in the great metropolis, gave some notoriety to the name of ‘mountain men,’ or Cutzupits, by which they were known."
To Generosus, Epistle 53:2(A.D. 400), in NPNF1,I:298

(Read the whole thing to see all his various references to Peter as the Rock.)
But Augustine also says Christ is the Rock. He also says the confession is the rock! Again, I stress, they aren’t exclusive.

Mystophilus, I encourage you to read both of those links. They’re enlightening, I think.


#18

Plus, Catholic.com has some quotes about Peter as the Rock as well. Including these:Jerome:

“‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division” (*Against Jovinian *1:26 [A.D. 393]).

“I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails” (*Letters *15:2 [A.D. 396]).

Also, Tertullian:

“‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division” (*Against Jovinian *1:26 [A.D. 393]).

“I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails” (*Letters *15:2 [A.D. 396]).

Look at the link to scrounge for more quotes.

There was a topic on CA that was reaaaallly good Mystophilus. I wish I could remember it. There were some people with some knowledge of greek talking about this, and it was really helpful. I was looking and I stumbled onto a topic you were in. That wasn’t it! And another one by you. That wasn’t it either! I’ll update this if I find it. Well, I don’t know about really good, but I remember it found an incongruent use of petros or something in Homer, which made the assumption of petros as small rocks or something irrelevant. (Or conversely, of petra as a large rock as irrelevant. I can’t remember.)

I’m thinking it is this topic. Check out Huiou Theou’s posts. These are his posts maybe they would be helpful, no?


#19

I’ve always been astounded when non-Catholics who typically cheerlead for the idea that Scripture is so clear that it does not need an authoritative interpreter have to call in an army of pointy-headed scholars writing reams of pages in a tragicomic attempt to dispose of one troublesome word.

Scott


#20

[quote=Scott Waddell]I’ve always been astounded when non-Catholics who typically cheerlead for the idea that Scripture is so clear that it does not need an authoritative interpreter have to call in an army of pointy-headed scholars writing reams of pages in a tragicomic attempt to dispose of one troublesome word.
[/quote]

Elementary-school pejoratives against scholars aside, that non-Catholics resort to academic authority most probably results from three facts, the first being that those people earn their living by their expertise, the second being that it is the normal method used in the rest of the world, and the third being that it is the only way that some Catholics will ever listen at all.

Then, of course, there are other Catholics who will listen to (yet not certainly believe) anything, and yet other ones who will never listen to anything not pre-approved by the Magisterium.


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