I'm stumped (about the primacy of Peter)


#1

Ok I’m stumped. In talking about the primacy of Peter I pointed out Matthew 16:18-19

“Mat 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.Mat 16:19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

I pointed all the normal Catholic stuff of what is being said. I asked what he thought, and after a number of trys, he has not given a interprtation that deels with every thing in these verses.

Now my problem, he asked whats up with matthew 18:18

Mat 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.Mat 18:18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.Mat 18:19 Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.

I know their is no mention of keys. The keys in mat 16:19 is authortive? Right? But other than that I have no idea how to explain 18:18 in a way that is correct and dosn’t let them pounce all over me, to say Peter had no primancy.


#2

I think part of the problem is that you’ve taken these two verses out of context. The passage actually starts several verses before and, when you include those verses, the context of the entire passage tells us that Peter isn’t the rock on which the church is built, but Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.


#3

I might add, in acts8:14, Peter is sent out by the apostles. If Peter had primacy, he would be sending the others out.

Also 1Pet5:1, Peter says he is an elder.

Another interesting quote about Peter acts 10:-25-26
Peter tells Cornelius “Do not bow to me, I am only a man”


#4

Two good points. I hadn’t considered that.


#5

Nonsense. The plain meaning is that Peter is the rock.


#6

Peter and John weren’t ordered. You misunderstand the sense in which Peter was “sent”. It has no bearing whatsoever on his authority.

The second point is utterly irrelevant. Of course Peter was a man. Does the Pope claim to be more than a man?


#7

The term “binding and loosing” is confusing. We don’t talk like that in America. The best I know is that it means rules and discipline. The person or group with the authority of keys to bind and loose is the person or group with the authority to lay down rules and enforce those rules. In the context here of a Christian church that authority would include the authority to declare sins forgiven.

Going with that understanding, I don’t see any conflict between the passage in chapter 16 directed at Peter, and the passage in chapter 18 directed to the whole group. The whole group had authority from Jesus to set up churches – duh, duh, and triple duh, that’s what the “Great Commission” at the close of Matthew’s gospel is all about. Jesus sent forth all of his disciples to establish churches and make disciples! And all of the disciples had apostolic authority!

With that in mind, turning then to Peter specifically, I don’t see how the passage in chapter 18 negates the “rock” statement of chapter 16. The issue of primacy is quite simply not addressed there. The point of chapter 18 is how to keep internal peace within a given congregation. For that, Jesus lays down some rules of authority. We all know that the 12 disciples collectively and individually had authority. Hello, each one was a bishop in his own right. Done.


#8

If Peter was the rock, the context would support it and we’d see it supported elsewhere in scripture. We don’t. What we do see, however, is his confession being the rock supported in scripture.

Tell me, as a Roman Catholic, do you believe in the analogy of scripture?


#9

You can twist it whatever way you want, but the plain meaning is that Peter is the rock. There’s no way to escape that conclusion. If his profession of faith had been the rock, Christ would have made that clear. Instead, He said “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”

It really is a very tired subject around here. If you dig into the greek, the meaning becomes even clearer. The structure and grammar of the passage point undeniably to the fact that Peter is the rock - no matter what you may wish to infer based on the themes of the chapter.

Tell me, as a Roman Catholic, do you believe in the analogy of scripture?

If you mean the analogy (or rule) of faith, then yes.


#10

Uuups, these passages support the Catholic doctrine! I have to consider this as analogy. :rolleyes:


#11

I’ve often heard that most of the early church fathers saw “the rock” as being either Peter’s confession, Jesus, or both but not Peter himself as modern catholics now understand the verse.


#12

In Matthew 16:19, one man (Peter) is given individual authority to bind and loosen; the “you” is singular. Whatever Peter decides on his own is binding. An example of this unilateral authority of Peter is when he ordered the baptism of Gentiles in Acts 10:48.

In Matthew 18:18, that same authority to bind and loosen is given collectively to a group of men (the Apostles); the “you” is plural. Whatever the Apostles decide as a group is binding. An example of this is when the Apostles and elders met in Jerusalem to decide the question of circumcision in Acts 15:28.

To avoid a contradiction, the Apostles’ collective decision must always be in accord with Peter’s individial decision.

The collective authority to bind and loosen held by the Apostles, has passed to their successors the bishops and has been exercised throughout history in the Church’s Ecumenical Councils. The individual authority of Peter has passed to his successor, the bishop of Rome (the pope) and has been exercised in history in the pope’s ex cathedra pronouncements.

To avoid a contradiction, the bishops’ collective decision must always be in accord with the bishop of Rome’s individual decision. Throughout history, the decisions of Ecumenical Councils have not been binding until the bishop of Rome (the pope) approved them.
.


#13

Keys mean stewardship of a household or castle in a kingdom.

Peter had keys. Nobody else. Peter was the steward.


#14

If I’m the one who’s twisting it, then why is adam the one who posted the verse out of context?

If his profession of faith had been the rock, Christ would have made that clear. Instead, He said “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church”

And if that were all there is to the passage, you might have a point. But the passage consists of more than just the two verses posted and when the entire passage is taken into consideration, it tells us that Peter isn’t the rock, but his confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

If you dig into the greek, the meaning becomes even clearer.

I’m pretty good with Biblical Greek and I’m not familiar with this. Why don’t you explain it to me.

If you mean the analogy (or rule) of faith, then yes.

No, I mean the analogy of scripture. I want to get into this further with you to demonstrate my point but, before I do, I want to know whether or not it’s going to be a waste of time.

Now, do you, as a Roman Catholic, believe in the analogy of scripture?


#15

Ever get tired when somebody claims something is “out of context” but doesn’t quote the context? I know I do.

Here’s the context for Matthew 16:

1: The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2: He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3: And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4: A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
5: And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6: Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
7: And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8: Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
9: Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10: Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11: How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
**12: Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
13: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. **
20: Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21: From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22: Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23: But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27: For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28: Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

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#16

So Christ begins reminding the apostles that they are to eschew the doctrine of the Pharisees and Saducees—they are no longer to follow their teachings. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ’s true nature to Simon. Not to any other apostle, but to Simon. Simon reveals what the Holy Spirit has told him. Christ confirms the revelation, which establishes Christ’s supreme authority to overturn the teaching authority of the Pharisees and Saducees, and pronounces that he will found a new Church upon a different rock than that of the Temple. He then renames Simon “Rock”, promises to grant him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (keys being an obvious sign of authority), and specifically gives Peter the authority to bind and loose.

This is as clear an act of delegation of authority in the first century A.D. as Caesar adopting a male heir.

It has absolutely nothing to do with Peter’s alleged “confession of faith”, which is why you will search in vain for an Early Church Father who says any such thing.

It would be ridiculous for anyone familiar with the Gospel to so assert, in fact, for as we see throughout, Peter is hardly the most steadfast of the apostles. Indeed, his selection as head of Christ’s Church is in many ways a fulfillment of Christ’s promise that the last shall be first in his Kingdom.

Why do those who profess to love the Gospel insist to torture it so in service to their anachronistic heresies and their consuming need to take issue with every single pronouncement of the Catholic Church?


#17

I’ve often heard that people will claim to have heard many things when they cannot provide a shred of evidence.

Early Church Fathers claiming that it was not Peter but Peter’s confession would do.

The fact that Christ simultaneously renamed Simon as Peter (Rock) is more than a little inconvenient to non-Catholic claims here, as is the fact that Peter is consistently listed first in the Gospel lists of the Apostles and Judas Iscariot last. Peter is far and away the most referenced of the Apostles, even where inconvenient for the author of the Gospel to do so given their allegiance to another and apparent early church controversies.


#18

Teflon,

I will be out of town for the next 4 days but I think it is fairly simple to find quite a few ECF’s who do in fact believe the rock is Peter’s confession of faith.

I’ll see what I can post when I get back.


#19

Before I go…


‘And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’; that is, on the faith of his confession*. Hereby He signifies that many were on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd…For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume X, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 54.2-3; pp. 332-334).**

Now, Chrysostom uses very flowery language to describe Peter in other writings but he will use the same flowery language to describe James, John and Paul as well. To the best of my knowledge, Chrysostom never refers to Peter as the rock when exegeting Matt 16. If someone has other information contrary to this, please post it.

Thanks.


#20

Stick here and you will learn that Catholics don’t deny that rock refers to Peter’s confession. What we however deny is that rock doesn’t reffer to Peter. We don’t submit to the often protestant ‘eaither/or’ logic.

The fact is that no Church Father denies that Peter is the rock, which he is, especially if you look at the verses in context.


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