Hello, as I was watching some videos on Youtube I stumble upon a video titled Augustine of Hippo - Christ, not Peter, is The Rock. And so, I went and researched and found that it was on Augustine’s 26 sermon and as I read it looked exactly like he (Augustine) denied that peter was the Rock. Read it for Yourselves and please answer, thank you.
Well I say that you should read it completely and understand what St. Augustine is trying to convey here.
He certainly is not rebuking Jesus who said:
Matthew 16:17 And in response, Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.
16:18 And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.</>
In the actual text Jesus says “petros kai epi tafti ti petra” You are Rock, He calls him Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.
That is a fact.
Now who is the cornerstone of the building that the founders rejected?
And that stone became the cornerstone of the building.
That would be “Jesus”
So the cornerstone of the Church is also a Rock, but HIS name is not Rock.
On the other hand whenever GOD does something extraordinary for someone HE changes the “NAME” of that person.
Look it up: Abram was renamed Abraham, Isaac was renamed Israel and so on and so forth.
Peter’s original name was Simon son of Jonah.
So if you believe that the sermon is an attack on Peter you have misread what St. Augustine is trying to teach us.
Simply put, God is the rock, who is & who was & will always be, never changing, always new.
Peter is the rock, Our Rock built His Church on.
The non-Catholic (shallow) argument would go something like this . . . (Quoting St. Augustine) .
As if He had said, Because you have said to Me, ‘You are the Christ the Son of the living God;’ I also say unto you, ‘You are Peter.’ For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. Therefore, he says, You are Peter; and upon this Rock which you have confessed, upon this Rock which you have acknowledged, saying, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church; that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church. I will build you upon Myself, not Myself upon you.
The phony argument (is an either/or) says . . .
"Well Augustine is teaching that Peter is NOT the Rock. Rather Peter’s CONFESSION of faith is “The Rock”.
There are MANY problems with this.
I will just give you one (if you need more, ask and I will do that).
The problem is, the Catholic Church does NOT DENY that St. Peter’s CONFESSION is the Rock.
But we ALSO affirm that this was applied by God almighty in the flesh to St. Peter (notice by the way he is "St. PETER (Rock) and NOT St. Simon).
It is not an either/or but a yes/and.
Here is the Catholic Church saying the same thing . . . .
CCC 424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: You are the Christ, the son of the living God.
On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.
Yet in the process of this affirmation, we do not deny that our Lord Jesus is likewise applying this PERSONALLY to Simon too!
Here is the Catholic Church teaching that fact TOO . . . .
CCC 881 The Lord made Simon ALONE,
whom he named Peter, the rock of his Church.
He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.
The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned
to the college of apostles united to its head. This pastoral office of Peter and the apostles
belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops
under the primacy of the Pope.
See footnote of CCC 881 to link Matthew 16 text. See also CCC 552, 100, 869-870, and CCC 1444 on your own for more Catechism details regarding Peter.
Also as @Justin_Mary has pointed out, this all derives from our Lord Jesus.
1/2 . . .
2/2 . . . .
This special declaration by our Lord Jesus pertaining to Peter is also WHY you see NOTHING like this with the Apostle Nathaniel despite him ALSO confessing the same faith . . . .
JOHN 1:47-49 47 Jesus saw Nathana-el coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” 48 Nathana-el said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathana-el answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Likewise Jesus does NOT name Martha Rock . . . .
JOHN 11:24-28 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
Jesus’ reaction is NOTHING like it is with Simon Peter.
Don’t fall for these shallow “Biblical” arguments from the Bible Christians DENYING this Biblical truth.
MATTHEW 16:13-16 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do men say that the Son of man is?
14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah,
and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them,
But who do you say that I am?
16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the son of the living God.
MATTHEW 16:17-20 17 And Jesus answered him,
Blessed are YOU, Simon Bar-Jona!
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to YOU,
but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell YOU,
YOU are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
and whatever YOU bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever YOU loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
This above is a fulfillment of John 1:42 when Simon first met Jesus!
JOHN 1:42 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said,
So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter).
Jesus prophesies that Simon “shall be” or as some translations say “WILL BE called Cephas” (Cephas is Aramaic for “Rock”).
Notice Jesus DOESNT’ say . . . “So you are Simon the son of John? You are now called Cephas.”
Hope this helps.
Thank you for the replying, and yes this was very helpful!
God bless you
Thank you for replying!! very useful and helpful!
In your title you asked, Did St. Augustine deny that Peter was the Rock?
The answer is usually but not always. In his later works, he very frequently wrote that the Rock in Matthew 16:18 was Christ but in one early work, namely, in a letter against Donatus, which apparently is no longer extant, he wrote that the Rock was Peter, as his mentor St Ambrose had done many times before. Augustine mentions his own inconsistency in the identification of the Rock in Matthew 16:18 in his later work, Retractions, Book 1, Chapter 20, section (1), and concludes by saying, "But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is more probable. (source)
It doesn’t really matter, because the sense the same. Christ is of course the rock, and Peter is named “rock” because Christ promises Him a rock-like faith in Him (the rock) on which the Church is built. The Church is built foremost on Christ, and then on Peter and His confession of faith. Christ, Peter, and Peter’s confession of faith in Christ are all connected. From the Catechism:
424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'8 On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.9
881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.400 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
You’ll find the Fathers giving each interpretation and both at the same time. It’s all good.
I suppose St Augustine saw a problem with Peter being the rock upon which Christ founded his church because Peter was mortal and reasoned that the instant Peter died the church would be without that upon which it was built or maybe that’s taking the metaphor too far.
So are we no longer sons of Abraham becuase Abraham was mortal and God is our Father?
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