Jesus treats Peter and John differently when speeking about them

I have heard it said by Catholics that when Jesus was speaking to John on the cross he really didn’t mean just John at all, but everyone, when he said:
…he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27
This is used to support the idea that Mary is the mother of us all (or something).

However, when Jesus gives the keys of the kingdom to the Rock, that absolutely cannot be interpreted to mean anyone other than Peter himself. In other words, Jesus was not giving the keys to any faithful servant, but to the specific faithful servant to whom he was speaking.

Catholics emphatically say we musn’t expand Jesus’ words to mean more than Peter, at the same time they are expanding Jesus’ words to mean more than John.

Why are the two instances treated so differently?

Why do we interpret some things literally and others symbolically? Same reason, I guess.

Read Isaiah 22:22 (and surrounding text) to see how a “prime minister” was established in the Davidic kingdom, and remember that Christ is a Davidic king. That particular office is for a singular person. It would help to read Isaiah 22:22 right next to Matt 16:18.

Also, re-read Rev 12:17. All who keep the commandments and bear witness to Christ are Mary’s children. Besides, the verse you cited (in the original Greek), says (more or less) from that moment John took Mary into their home. Where you would expect to see a singular possessive, you see a plural (idion vs. idios). Please excuse my transliterated spelling, but you get the picture…there’s more going on than what’s on the surface. Also, you may want to look into the “Giberah” tradition within the Davidic kingdom. The Queen Mother is the advocate for those without a voice.

We, as modern christians, far too often neglect the roles established within the Davidic kingdom and overlook the fact that Jesus was a king (King of Kings!) in the line of David.

God bless,
RyanL

i’m not a bible scholar, but didn’t jesus specifically say that peter was the rock? isn’t that what his name translates to greek and hebrew?

[quote=speedy5]i’m not a bible scholar, but didn’t jesus specifically say that peter was the rock? isn’t that what his name translates to greek and hebrew?
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Quite true. Also, when Jesus says, “I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” He is using a singular “you”, meaning just Peter.

I don’t think this post is really about the treatment of Peter versus John. I think this is all about Mary.

If you only use this one verse, our devotion to Mary makes little sense. However…

(Gen 3:15) I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (God hints in the OT that He will destroy the devil by using the fruits of the “New Eve”)

(Joh 2:4) And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (Jesus refers to his Mother in the same way that God refers to Eve in Genisis. All but announcing that his mother is the New Eve.)

(Luk 1:28) And he came to her and said, “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Gabriel names her for what she is, Full of Grace. One who has already recieved the salvation of Jesus.)

(Luk 1:42) and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

(Luk 1:48) for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

These and more are the reason that we have special devotion to Mary. As Jesus lived out the 4th Commandment more perfectly than anyone ever has, we are called to do the same for His Mother.

If you wish to talk about Peter… We will be most pleased to do so.

[quote=PhilNeri]Quite true. Also, when Jesus says, “I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” He is using a singular “you”, meaning just Peter.
[/quote]

I wouldn’t expect Jesus to have poor grammer, even when speaking medaphorically, but…

My question would then be (and I don’t know the answer): was Jesus using the singular “your” when he told John “Here is your mother.”? Meaning just John.

[quote=RyanL]Besides, the verse you cited (in the original Greek), says (more or less) from that moment John took Mary into their home. Where you would expect to see a singular possessive, you see a plural (idion vs. idios). Please excuse my transliterated spelling, but you get the picture…there’s more going on than what’s on the surface.
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Interesting, I did not know that. However, I will respond with:

  1. Jesus did not speak that in greek (I wouldn’t think), so there would already be subtleties in translation, just as Jesus did not speak the “keys of the kingdom” part in greek.

  2. If Jesus did say that in greek I would naturally take “their” home to mean “John and Mary’s” home, since it would then become Mary’s home also. Anything else would be grammically awkward (although I confess ignorace to the subtleties of first century greek idiom).

[quote=Angainor]I have heard it said by Catholics that when Jesus was speaking to John on the cross he really didn’t mean just John at all, but everyone, when he said: …he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27

This is used to support the idea that Mary is the mother of us all (or something).

However, when Jesus gives the keys of the kingdom to the Rock, that absolutely cannot be interpreted to mean anyone other than Peter himself. In other words, Jesus was not giving the keys to any faithful servant, but to the specific faithful servant to whom he was speaking.

Catholics emphatically say we musn’t expand Jesus’ words to mean more than Peter, at the same time they are expanding Jesus’ words to mean more than John.

Why are the two instances treated so differently?
[/quote]

Definitely speaking specifically to John, particularly in light of the next verse: “And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

The authority of the keys goes beyond Peter; the authority belongs to the entire Church in communion with “Peter.” The power of the keys is centered in Peter but exercised by the entire Church.

Mary went to live with John, but we are her children, too.

[quote=Angainor]I have heard it said by Catholics that when Jesus was speaking to John on the cross he really didn’t mean just John at all, but everyone, when he said: …he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27

This is used to support the idea that Mary is the mother of us all (or something).

However, when Jesus gives the keys of the kingdom to the Rock, that absolutely cannot be interpreted to mean anyone other than Peter himself. In other words, Jesus was not giving the keys to any faithful servant, but to the specific faithful servant to whom he was speaking.

Catholics emphatically say we musn’t expand Jesus’ words to mean more than Peter, at the same time they are expanding Jesus’ words to mean more than John.

Why are the two instances treated so differently?
[/quote]

The Greek actually has “their” home in John19;27. John took Mary into their home.

[quote=Angainor] My question would then be (and I don’t know the answer): was Jesus using the singular “your” when he told John “Here is your mother.”? Meaning just John.
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Yes. “sou.” Singluar. But a mother may have more than one child. Hey! Angainor! Aren’t you Lutheran? I thought Lutherans were on board with this level of Marian devotion.

[quote=Angainor]Interesting, I did not know that. However, I will respond with:

  1. Jesus did not speak that in greek (I wouldn’t think), so there would already be subtleties in translation, just as Jesus did not speak the “keys of the kingdom” part in greek.

  2. If Jesus did say that in greek I would naturally take “their” home to mean “John and Mary’s” home, since it would then become Mary’s home also. Anything else would be grammically awkward (although I confess ignorace to the subtleties of first century greek idiom).
    [/quote]

I am just going to answer your first point. The difference between Jesus speaking in Aramaic in Matt16 and in John19 is that in Matt16 there is a difference in gramatical meaning that must be conveyed with two different words in the Greek. Petra is the word for “rock” in Greek, but it is a feminine noun. If you want to name a man you must use a masculine noun. In the Aramaic there is gender problems so the word is the same in both instances. You can see this in the Peshita.

In John19, there are no problems relating to translation because all it is is a translation into the plural.

[quote=mercygate]Hey! Angainor! Aren’t you Lutheran? I thought Lutherans were on board with this level of Marian devotion.
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I am Lutheran. There was zero emphasis in Marian devotion in my Christian education. I would describe our feelings as “grateful”. Grateful for her and Joseph’s service in raising the Christ Child.

If you are really interested in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s position on the matter, I dug up this document.

I must be mistaken. i thought palestine spoke aramaic and greek back in those days. i thought jesus spoke both languages. but if he is the son of god, wouldn’t he be able to speak all languages? I’m probably wrong.

[quote=speedy5]I must be mistaken. i thought palestine spoke aramaic and greek back in those days. i thought jesus spoke both languages. but if he is the son of god, wouldn’t he be able to speak all languages? I’m probably wrong.
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Good question. Let’s see what [thread=59133]other people[/thread] have to say.

I think it’s significant that when Jesus speaks to Peter, he specifically mentions Peter’s name. When he speaks to John, he says, “Here is your mother” without specifying a name. That would seem to speak to a more universal command than the specific, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah… You are Rock”.

Jesus is speaking directly to Peter in Matthew 16 (the word play focuses his attention to Peter alone --Peter confirms Christ’s identity, now Christ affirs Peter’s identity).

The passage in which Mary is given to John is literally accepted as limited to John. Catholics have always read into it (in a larger, symbolic sense), the idea that Mary is also given to the Church. This, however, is not a literal interpretation demanded by the text at all, that much is clear. No Catholic should use this text as if it were. However, Catholics have long used it as a powerful symbol of Mary’s continual relationship to all followers of Christ. To put it simply, it is a devotional interpretation, and one that I value very deeply.

[quote=Angainor]I am Lutheran. There was zero emphasis in Marian devotion in my Christian education. I would describe our feelings as “grateful”. Grateful for her and Joseph’s service in raising the Christ Child.

If you are really interested in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s position on the matter, I dug up this document.
[/quote]

Thanks. I can’t get to it now and probably won’t for a while – can’t even skim it online because the PDF is too small . . . I have a friend who is LCMS. They have 14 Stations of the Cross in their church and a shrine to Our Lady . . . What I was referring to when I said I thought Lutherans were “on board” with this level of devotion is just about what you said: grateful for Mary’s role in the redemptive mystery. As you know, other denominations kind of treat her like a used sandwich bag.

[quote=Angainor]I have heard it said by Catholics that when Jesus was speaking to John on the cross he really didn’t mean just John at all, but everyone, when he said:…he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27

This is used to support the idea that Mary is the mother of us all (or something).

However, when Jesus gives the keys of the kingdom to the Rock, that absolutely cannot be interpreted to mean anyone other than Peter himself. In other words, Jesus was not giving the keys to any faithful servant, but to the specific faithful servant to whom he was speaking.

Catholics emphatically say we musn’t expand Jesus’ words to mean more than Peter, at the same time they are expanding Jesus’ words to mean more than John.

Why are the two instances treated so differently?
[/quote]

The truth is the exact opposite interpretations should apply - here’s why we know that for sure.

When Jesus gave the keys to Peter in Matthew 16:19, he says "
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Jesus then extends those same keys to ALL of the disciples when in chapter 18 he says, “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.”

Another major confirmation that Peter isn’t the only one the church is built upon comes from Ephesians 2:20 when Paul says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Note that the foundation is ALL of the apostles and prophets, not just Peter. The only individual singled out for special recognition is the chief cornerstone, which is Jesus, as he should be.

No other proof is needed to know that Peter, while first among equals, is not the sole rock upon which the church is built. He was simply the first among those who were recognized. ALL of the apostles AND prophets share equal weight as the foundation of the Church. Scripture can’t be more clear on this.

As for John representing the Church, that’s not consistent with what actually followed. Jesus was doing a very practical thing. His love for his mother led him to place her into his beloved disciples care for the remainder of her life. Tradition holds that John took her in and cared for her 'til her death.

David

[quote=DavidB]When Jesus gave the keys to Peter in Matthew 16:19, he says "
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”…
No other proof is needed to know that Peter, while first among equals, is not the sole rock upon which the church is built. He was simply the first among those who were recognized. ALL of the apostles AND prophets share equal weight as the foundation of the Church. Scripture can’t be more clear on this.
[/quote]

DavidB,
My brother in Christ! How happy I am that you give such reverence to the words of our Savior! How pleased it makes me to know you understand Peter’s role as first among the Apostles. Let us all agree that Peter is never claimed as the sole rock of foundation of the Church!

I would, however, bring a point of contention to your idea of “the keys”. The “keys” are a very specific point - one which bears more examining. In my bible, I can find no place where Jesus gives the keys to anyone but Peter. I agree with you that the “binding and loosing” power was extended to certain others of Jesus’ choosing, but I don’t see “keys” mentioned anywhere…could you cite the chapter and verse, please?

I would also like you to explain whether or not Jesus knew about Isaiah 22:22 when He spoke Matt 16:18-19. I’ll parallel them here for you:

Isaiah 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Matt16:18 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.

In Isaiah 22:22, we see a “prime minister” established within a Davidic kingdom, who is empowered to speak for the king and with the full authority of the king, specifically in the king’s absence - and this is a singular office with successors. As Christ is a Davidic king, why is it that He would so closely parallel these two texts if this wasn’t what He meant - did He simply not know Isaiah 22:22? Could you parse these texts for me, please, and explain how Christ’s kingdom is not a Davidic kingdom?

[quote=DavidB] As for John representing the Church, that’s not consistent with what actually followed. Jesus was doing a very practical thing. His love for his mother led him to place her into his beloved disciples care for the remainder of her life. Tradition holds that John took her in and cared for her 'til her death.
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Why, if Jesus knew of His fate beforehand, would He wait until the climax of salvation history, when the most important work a human has ever done is taking place, to take care of His mother? Why wouldn’t He do this beforehand, if it was so unimportant for our lives as christians? Why divert our attention away from the cross and point us to His mother at the climax of salvation history? And why would John (who took Mary into his home) write about Mary in Rev 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”? Isn’t the mother of the Savior exactly who’s being talked about in Rev 12? Doesn’t she give birth to the Messiah?

May God make His face to smile upon you, my brother in Christ,
RyanL

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