Non Catholic Interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19

In the argument given by some Non Catholic Christians, they state that Peter was called Petros by Jesus and his church was built on Petra (not Peter).

Please see the link for more on this argument.

My question is this: For you Non Catholic Christians that hold this interpretation, who holds the Keys of Heaven if not Peter?

I will give you the Mormon answer to this question. We don’t follow the “Petros” vs. “Petra” argument. We believe that the “keys” were indeed given to the Peter. But there are certain additional factors that need to be taken into account with regards to the Christian Church of today. Firstly, the keys were not given to Peter alone, but to all of the Apostles (see Matthew 18:18). Peter was the chief of the Apostles, therefore he held the keys of the presidency over the Twelve; but the “keys of the kingdom,” which consisted of the “binding” and “loosing” power, was given to all of the Twelve, not just to Peter. Secondly, Peter held the keys over the kingdom of God on earth while he was alive. When he died he obviously could no longer exercise those keys here on earth. The keys had to be transferred to his successor. So the question is, who is his successor today? The Catholics obviously believe it is the Pope. We disagree. We believe it is the Mormon Prophet. We believe that the early Christian Church lost the keys when it went into Apostasy before the end of the first century, and the keys were restored to the LDS Church by the ministration of angels shortly after the Church was organized in 1830. That is the Mormon view of things with regard to the origin and transfer of the “keys”.

Well, i agree that the Apostles were all given the power to “bind and loose”. Which is exactly why any priest today is also given the power to “bind and loose” and may forgive sins. But i’d have to say i disagree that they were all given the keys, because the only time the keys were mentioned was when Jesus gave them to Peter.

Interesting to hear that LDS follows the same consept though, thanks for your input :slight_smile:

The “keys” that were given to Peter consisted of the binding and loosing power. That is what the verse implies:

Matthew 16:19 “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.”

The “binding and loosing” power were directly related to the “keys”. The implication is that without the “keys” the “binding and loosing” would not be possible. The remaining Apostles could not have had the “binding and loosing” power without the keys.

Another point to note is that the binding and loosing power was given to the Twelve only, not just to any priest. The idea that any priest can do that therefore cannot be correct.

Could not the Apostles pass on that power to the priests they ordained?

we could also point out that “thee” and “thou” are the old Dative/Accusative and Nominative form of the singular “you” that we have today.

I don’t know ancient greek though, and KJB has lots of translation errors.

The Twelve Apostles possessed certain rights and privileges that belonged exclusively to them, and could not be transferred to others, otherwise there could be an infinite number of Apostles. Yet Jesus ordained only Twelve; and their number always remained Twelve. It was never increased or diminished, even after the death of Jesus. The ability to forgive sins was one of those privileges. It was only given to the Twelve (or their legitimate successors, like Matthias or Paul), not to anybody else.

Note Acts 6:1-8

The Apostles noted a need for more priests because the number of Diciples grew more and more each day. When the 7 are chosen the apostles prayed and laid their hands upon them (verse 6). Note in verse 8 that Stephen is described as full of grace and power, and that he did great wonders and signs among the people.

This is the beginning of the Ordination of Priests. This is how the grace given by Jesus to the apostles is transferred to a newly ordained priest.

I think you have misunderstood those verses! Here is the full quote:

Acts 6:

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

This passage negates what you are saying! “Serve tables” means attending to the temporal needs of the Saints. In other words, the Apostles found that it distracted from their spiritual responsibilities to attend to the temporal needs of the saints, therefore they ordained seven ministers to attend to those temporal needs, so that they could concentrate on their spiritual responsibilities. That proves that the “seven ministers” did not have the same authority, rights, and privileges that the Twelve had; because their office related only to the temporal ministry among the saints (i.e. looking after the poor and the needy), while that of the Apostles to the spiritual ministry (i.e. preaching the gospel and bringing souls to Christ). The remaining verses are as follows:

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

When the 7 are chosen the apostles prayed and laid their hands upon them (verse 6). Note in verse 8 that Stephen is described as full of grace and power, and that he did great wonders and signs among the people.

This is the beginning of the Ordination of Priests. This is how the grace given by Jesus to the apostles is transferred to a newly ordained priest.

Firstly, it is questionable whether those seven chosen temporal ministers were ordained to the priesthood. Secondly, even if they were ordained, it does not mean that they had all the rights and privileges of the Apostles conferred on them. We don’t question ordination to the priesthood. But that does not mean that those ordained to the priesthood have all the rights and privileges of the Apostles conferred on them. The two are just not the same thing. And the fact that Stephen had the power of the Holy Ghost and performed great miracles does not mean that he had the same authority as the Apostles either. On does not logically follow from the other.

But why would Jesus give the powers to forgive sins to the apostles, and leave us today without anyone who has that ability?

Jesus knew that when he was gone, there would be a need for the disciples to forgive sins, so he gave these powers to the apostles. (Confession, but thats another time)

If he saw that that was needed at that time, why doesn’t he think it is necessary at this point in time.

Obviously if one were to follow your line of logic, forgiveness of sins was needed then, so he gave them the ability to bind and loose them, but because, sins don’t need to be forgiven at this point in time, no one has the ability.

Why do sins need tob e forgiven then, but not now?

EDIT: Oh and how is Paul a more legitimate successor than Stephen? And who else is a legitimate successor, you imply there are more than Paul.

The key to understanding the New Testament is to study the teaching of the Catholic
Church compared to the beliefs and practices of the first Christians who were taught by the Apostles own lips. The sacred authors of the NT wrote what they taught and taught what they wrote. Peter was the head of the Church from its inception. And others were ordained and given the same authority as the Apostles. It’s called Apostolic Succession.

During the first Christian century, the Catholic Church wrote the documents that eventually became the New Testament. The NT is based on the living, teaching
Church, not the other way around.

It mystifies me how Mormons can accept the Bible when there was no Bible per se until the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth centuries. The Catholic Church that Mormons claim was apostate by the end of the first century selected and canonized 27 of her own writings and named them the New Testament in A.D. 382, confirmed in 393, 397, and 419. At the very same Councils, she canonized the 46 writings from the Greek Septuagint that she inherited from Jesus and the Apostes and named them the Old Testament. Her entire collection of sacred Scripture she named ta Biblia – the “Little Books” – the Bible. The Church was nearly 400 years old at the time.

So Mormons got their Bible from the “apostate Church.” :stuck_out_tongue:

And zerinus (and other LDS) say the Catholic Church doesn’t know what her own book means, but the Mormons, whose history dates from the 19th century, do. :bigyikes:

Hey, zerinus, are you quoting the straight KJV or Joseph Smith’s “inspired version” of the KJV that he “corrected” to make it conform to his new doctrines?

Is your interpretation infallible? No? Then you must admit you could be wrong.

Peace be with you,

Jim Dandy
Tiber Swim Team, Senior Division

Sins need to be forgiven at all times, and God says that He will forgive the sins of all those who repent. Repentance is the key to obtaining forgiveness, and no other precondition need be fulfilled. God has reserved the right to forgive the sins of all those who sincerely repent. The power to forgive sins was a special privilege that was granted to the Twelve Apostles only; but that did not mean that without that ministry peoples’ sins could not be forgiven. Anybody who repents sincerely and with all his heart will be forgiven, confession being one of the necessary components of that repentance. No other ministration is required to effect that forgiveness when the “repentance” criteria is fulfilled.

EDIT: Oh and how is Paul a more legitimate successor than Stephen? And who else is a legitimate successor, you imply there are more than Paul.

When Judas died, Matthias was ordained to succeed him to the Twelve Apostles, that made him a legitimate successor. We believe that Paul was also ordained to the Apostleship in order to fill a vacancy that had arisen after the death or martyrdom of another one of the Twelve Apostles. That is what made those two the legitimate successors to the position of an Apostle. Stephen and the other six mentioned earlier were certainly legitimate ministers to the Church; but they were not ordained Apostles, therefore they could not be regarded as legitimate successors to them.

I think you misunderstand the difference between the Twelve and Apostles.

Apostle means to be called by Jesus himself and the Twelve are the ones who followed Jesus from the Beginning.

Paul himself insisted that he was an apostle, but no one said that he was part of the Twelve.

I’ve had this discussion many times with Protestants. What many don’t realize is that Jesus and the Apostles spoke Aramaic, and the Gospel by Matthew was translated into Greek for the Hellenized Jews from either Aramaic or Hebrew. This is evident in the sentence structure and phraseology in the Gospel. Anyway, Jesus called Simon bar Jonah “Cephas” ( rock, stone, pebble, etc. ), not Petros or Petra. In Aramaic the nouns have no gender. But in Greek there is gender. Translating to Greek, The word for stone is petra, which is feminine. Since Simon-Peter is male, the word petra was made a masculine noun by making it petros. So in this case Cephas ( Aramaic) = petra (Greek) = petros ( Peter in English ).

Therefore the gist of the whole thing is that Jesus in speaking to Peter in Aramaic said " You are rock and on this rock I will build my Church". And yes, Jesus is a rock. He is the rock of our faith and salvation, He is “the rock that the builders rejected”, but He is not the rock on which he built His Church. He is the cornerstone and Simon-Peter is the Base ( foundation ) on which His Church has been built.

This is the simplest explanation I can give.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem

I found this article on the web.
The Language of the Gospel

by Thomas S. McCall, Th.D.
Dr. Thomas McCall, the Senior Theologian of our ministry, has written many articles for the Levitt Letter. He holds a Th.M. in Old Testament studies and a Th.D. in Semitic languages and Old Testament. He has served as Zola’s co-author, mentor, pastor, and friend for nearly 30 years.

Christianity was born in Israel. By the end of the first century, it had spread throughout the Roman Empire and was armed with a new holy book: the New Testament. This collection of inspired Scriptures had been added to the Hebrew Scriptures, the Tenach, which Christians call the Old Testament. The new writings, composed primarily of the Gospels and the Epistles, were distributed widely in the Greek language. It seems fairly certain that the Gospels of Luke and John, the Book of Acts, the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation were originally written in Greek, but what about the Gospels of Matthew and Mark?

The oldest known manuscripts of Matthew and Mark are in Greek. According to recent scholarship, Greek fragments of these two Gospels have been verified as dating from as early as the 60s A.D. Some scholars have argued that these Gospels were originally written in Aramaic and later translated into Greek. If that is the case, no extant copies or fragments of the Aramaic text have been found. The only evidence we have is that the original text of Matthew and Mark was in Greek.

As you can see from this article the earliest manuscripts of the gospel of Matthew are verified as dating from the early 60’s AD. They were written in Greek. There is no known manuscript that has ever surfaced that was written in Aramaic. If Matthew wrote down the Gospel in Aramaic it was probably a shorthand version and immediatly translated into Greek. An Aramaic version was never distributed. Which means that Matthew under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote Petros when refering to Peter. There is no indication that it was ever petra and indeed whenever we see the word Peter in the bible, Petros is used, but does Jesus use this word when he says "and upon this rock I will build my church, no He does not He uses a word that if it is not used to mean a large rock is used to denote God or more specifically Jesus.

1Cor.10
1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

My question is this: For you Non Catholic Christians that hold this interpretation, who holds the Keys of Heaven if not Peter?

As for your question the keys are unquestionably given to Peter and as the representative of the rest they are given to them all. The keys are linked to knowledge.

Luke 11:52
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

So the keys to the kingdom would be the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. And where do we get the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. Well, from the words of Jesus. The keys of the kingdom are the words of Jesus. Binding and loosing is the process whereby people are either bound to heaven by the word of God or not if they do not recieve the word.

I guess I didn’t state my conclusion or at least not very clearly. When Jesus states in Matt.16:18And 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. He is saying thou art Peter (petros, a rolling stone) and upon this rock (petra, Myself) I will build My church.

By the use of the two different words in the Greek, it is unmistakable that Matt. is denoting that Jesus is talking about Himself as the one upon which He built His church. This distinction would not have been possible if it had been written in Aramaic as there is only one word for rock in Aramaic.

To Richard, et al.,

Footnote to Mt 16:18 in the Protestant Revised Standard Version:

–quote-- The Greek text involves a play on two words, Petros (“Peter”) and petra "rock."Palestinian Aramaic, which Jesus usually spoke, used the same word for both proper name and common noun: “You are Kepha [Cephas; compare 1 Cor 15.5, Gal 2.9], and on this kepha [rock] I will build . . .” For the view that all the apostles also form the foundation of the church see Eph 2.20, Rev 21.14. --end quote –

My note: --quote – John 1:42 RSV . . . Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon, the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). --end quote–

Footnote to Mt 16:19 in the Protestant RSV

–quote-- The keys of the kingdom are a symbol of Peter’s power as the leader of the church. Bind and loose are technical rabbinic terms meaning “forbid” and “permit” some action about which a question has arisen. Later the authority of binding and loosing was also conferred upon all the apostles (18:18). --end quote–

Dr. Thomas McCall is not the only Ph.D. to get it wrong. His vision is warped by his Protestant lenses. The highly esteemed Ph.D.'s who translated the RSV (intended as a replacement and antidote to the error-ridden KJV) got it right. The RSV translation is highly regarded by both Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars.

Peace be with you, Jim Dandy
former Protestant, agnostic, atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic

The fact that Jesus calls Peter Cephas in another verse in the bible has absolutely no bearing on Matt. 16:18. The fact that Matt. the divinely inspired writer of his gospel uses the Greek word petros in reference to Peter, and every other place in the bible where you see the word Peter this word is used, and then when Matt. wants to denote who Jesus founded His church on uses the word petra, which is NEVER used to refer to Peter, but it is used to refer to Himself. This has a huge bearing. Add to this the fact that in the beginning of the passage Jesus asks Who do men say that** I AM and who do YOU say that I AM**. The conclusion is clear Jesus is telling them that He has founded His church on Himself.

Footnote to Mt 16:19 in the Protestant RSV

–quote-- The keys of the kingdom are a symbol of Peter’s power as the leader of the church. Bind and loose are technical rabbinic terms meaning “forbid” and “permit” some action about which a question has arisen. Later the authority of binding and loosing was also conferred upon all the apostles (18:18). --end quote–

Ya, I disagree with this. As I have shown Keys is used to denote knowledge and in this case the knowledge is of the kingdom, which is attained by the words of Jesus. The power to bind and loose is the power to bind or loose people to the kingdom of God to the extent that the word was preached to and/or recieved by those people.

Richard:

Have you ever used a Blble Concordance? If you have I’d be interested in knowing which one. If you haven’t, then please do.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem

Oh, but it does. It indicates that Jesus was speaking Aramaic, not Greek, when he named Simon “Rock” in Mt 16:18. The English translation in both Greek and Aramaic is, “You are Rock and on this rock . . .” But it’s emphatically clear in the original Aramaic.

The fact that Matt. the divinely inspired writer of his gospel uses the Greek word petros in reference to Peter,

How do you know Matthew wrote “his gospel”? The Gospels are anonymous. The Catholic Church added the authors’ names.

How do you know the author of Matthew was “divinely inspired”? The gospel doesn’t tell you that, and even if it did, that wouldn’t prove it. The Catholic Church, founded by Christ – guided by her ever-present companion, the Holy Spirit – declared that the Gospel of Matthew was divinely inspired (God-breathed) Scripture. Otherwise, we’d have no way of knowing that. First you were told – then you believed it.

The Greek is a translation from the Aramaic, a Hebrew dialect, the words Jesus spoke. There are other indications of the underlying Aramaic besides the Scripture quotes I gave you in my previous post – “flesh and blood,” “bind and loose,” “blessed art thou,” and more are Aramaic phrases used in Scripture.

Quoting Papias, c. A.D. 130 – Matthew, indeed, composed the Sayings in the Hebrew language; and each one translated them to the best of his ability." --end quote-- William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1, p.38

The Swiss Protestant theologian, Oscar Cullmann, wrote:

–quote – . . . [T]he great antiquity and the Palestinian origin of the section [Matthew 16:17 ff.] may today be considered beyond question. This is shown by the quite Semetic linguistic character of this section. . . The parallelism of the two statements: “you are rock and upon this rock I will build my church” shows that the second rock refers to nothing different from the first one. This is clearly expressed in the Aramaic, where the same word kepha occurs both times, than it is in the Greek. . . Thus here the name and the thing are exactly identical. --end quote-- Oscar Cullman, Peter, Disciple, Apostle, Martyr, translator Floyd V. Filson, (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1953) 185, 206, 185.

–quote-- In Aramaic there is identity: “You are Kepha and upon this kepha I will build . . .” Another Semitism, ‘gates of hades’ for ‘powers of death,’ [Mt 16:18] plus the Semitisms ‘flesh and blood’ in the preceding verse and ‘bind and loose’ in the following verse (also the presence of Semetic parallelisms), constitute impressive evidence for proposing that these verses originated in a setting where Aramaic was a native tongue . . . – end quote – Raymond E Brown et al., Peter in the New Testament Paulist, New York, 1973, pp. 90-91.

and every other place in the bible where you see the word Peter this word is used,

Uh, um, how about Kepha (Cephas)? John 1:42. See other verses cited in my previous post.

and then when Matt. wants to denote who Jesus founded His church on uses the word petra, which is NEVER used to refer to Peter,

Petros/petra was as close as Greek could come to translating the Aramaic – 'You are Rock (Petros, Kepha, Peter) and on this rock (petra, kepha, Peter) I will build my church. . . ’ Petra is feminine and was required grammatically in the Greek language (which is all Greek to me).

but it is used to refer to Himself. This has a huge bearing.

Jesus called himself petra? Citation(s) please,

add to this the fact that in the beginning of the passage Jesus asks Who do men say that** I AM and who do YOU say that I AM**. The conclusion is clear Jesus is telling them that He has founded His church on Himself.

Jesus said: ‘Simon, you are Rock and upon myself I will build my church’??? Yeah, sure, that makes perfect sense.:stuck_out_tongue:

I think Jesus was capable of saying what He meant – and He did. He changed Simon’s name to Rock and built His Church upon him as the leader.

Your opinion conflicts with Ephesians 2:19-20, which says the Church is built upon the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ as the cornerstone.

Jesus is the head of the Church; He reigns over it from heaven. Peter (and his successors) was named head of the Church on earth, Christ’s deputy, His prime minister, assisted by all the other Apostles.

Ya, I disagree with this. As I have shown Keys is used to denote knowledge and in this case the knowledge is of the kingdom, which is attained by the words of Jesus. The power to bind and loose is the power to bind or loose people to the kingdom of God to the extent that the word was preached to and/or recieved by those people.

The NT is the fulfillment of the OT. To be continued in another post tomorrow.

How did the first Christians, who were taught directly and personally by the Apostles and their disciples centuries before there was a New Testament, understand these issues?

Peace be with you, Jim Dandy

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