Pastor's interpretation of Matthew 16


I am wondering if anyone else has ever seen this.

My brother loves Mark Driscoll and I remember him playing this video on the TV when we were in college. I have heard lots of protestant interpretations of Matthew 16 where Jesus calls Simon the “rock” on which he will build the church. This is by far the most bizarre I have ever heard.


I once heard a guest preacher at a church I was attending say “Jesus pointed at himself and said ‘on this rock’ because Jesus is our rock”. It sounded very odd to me even back then, looking back now I should’ve asked him how that sola scriptura was working for him lol


In case people don’t watch the video, which is less than 5 minutes, the pastor says that Jesus was making a ironic joke when He called Peter the rock, with the intention of pointing out that Peter was Not the rock. He says it would be similar to walking up to a small person and calling him “Tough guy.” He gives two pieces of evidence for this interepretation: Jesus almost immediately afterwards calls Peter Satan, and Peter’s faith was not rock-like but shifting and inconstant.

Part of my response would be that the other things Jesus says to Peter make this interpretation impossible. If he was trying to downplay Peter, he wouldn’t first bless him, then praise him for listening to the Father, then make fun of him for not having faith, then give him the keys of the kingdom anyway, and tell him that, despite not having much faith, whatever decisions he makes on earth will be confirmed in heaven.

Also, Jesus later explains to Peter that Jesus will intercede for him so that his faith will not fail: Luke 22:31-32. So even though Peter’s faith As Peter wasn’t very good, As Pope it was unshakeable. (Which is basically what the doctrine of infallibility says right there.)

I hope that helps. God bless!



If Jesus had done that, it would have been important that we know he had done that. If it had been important that we know that, the Holy Spirit would have made sure that the gesture be included in the Scriptural account.

(All the best for your RCIA journey :smiley: )


Jesus spoke Aramaic. That language only has one word for rock. So it is all BS about two rocks.


Thank you very much.
When he said it I knew he was really going out of his way to discredit a Catholic belief without attacking it by name


Maybe he said “Simon, you rock!” :wink:


The video is clearly humor, and yet not irreverent, in my opinion. Good stuff.


Made me snork :smiley:


Do you mean that you think the video is parody? It’s definitely not, Driscoll really believes what he is saying.


No, not parody. He believes, as I do, that the Bible contains literary forms similar to modern-day humor. However, I do not agree with Driscoll that Jesus was making fun of Peter.


Along with the Institution of the Eucharist (“This is my body”/“This is my blood”), Matt 16:18 is one of the sayings that Protestants can find very upsetting. They will sometimes tie themselves in all kinds of logical knots rather than admit that Jesus meant what he said.


This is interesting.

Because protestants say that Petro means a small rock
and Jesus is THE rock, so He was referring to Himself.

I usually go to the Greek, but in this case you’re right re the Aramaic.
(it would have been right even in Greek)

Also, I speak Italian so it makes sense in that language too.

We have a small problem with geneder - in romance languages nouns are either male or female.


Pietra = a rock
Pietro = a man’s name

My Ital bible says:

Tu Sei Pietro You are Peter
e su questa pietra It changes to the “a” ending but only because Peter is male but it
means On This Rock.

It’s a play on words.


The French uses Pierre and pierre, which are both (I think) neuter:

“Et moi, je te déclare: Tu es Pierre, et sur cette pierre j’édifierai mon Eglise, contre laquelle la mort elle-même ne pourra rien.” source


I agree with you. Kephas means only “rock” in Aramaic.


Sure! Jesus had a killer sense of humor! He was just kiddin’ around when He said, “I am the Way”. :egyptian: And you know He had 'em rolling on the floor when He held up a chunk of bread and said, “This is My Body”. How I wish I coulda been a fly on the wall back then just to see the look on the disciple’s faces when He whipped that one out! :rotfl: Yeah, the world’s first Jewish stand-up comedian. Gotta love Him! :thumbsup:


La pierre (as an individual stone) is feminine, Pierre, as a proper name is masculine. There is no neuter in French, only masculine or feminine. My beautiful French professor has beat that into my brain. But this does show the problem with translations.


Lol :smiley:


Did you know that the Gates of Hades is a real place in Israel?

It could be googled, I guess - can’t remember where it is.
Not that I visited there…


I wonder why they don’t try to exegete John 1:42. All those stony excuses disappear.

And when they talk about Christ being the rock, I assume they are referring to 1 Cor 10:4, but that has got nothing to do with the building of the Church. It is just a proof text job to disprove Mat 16:18. Totally out-of-context. And Mat 16:18 precede Cor. So it is an anachronistic argument as well.

What does Mark Driscoll know about the humorous side of Christ? He couldn’t possibly know. He thinks it is a joke. And luckily for the rest of us, that is his personal opinion only. No other Christian writers thought that was a joke throughout the centuries. I am hard pressed to think of any NT Chapter or verse that is supposedly a joke. Perhaps he sees jokes littered throughout the Bible. Or perhaps that is his SOP when he couldn’t exegete his way out of it. Don’t have the answer? Laughter is the best medicine!

Get behind me Satan? That has got nothing to do with the building of the Church and there is a time gap between that and Mat 16:18. The subject of 16:23 is the ignorance of Peter and that ignorance is hindering Jesus fate with death. But we know that Peter loves Jesus and wouldn’t want any harm to fall on Jesus. Anyone reading that knows why Peter said what he said. He is not thinking of anything evil towards his Master. If anyone tries linking that to Mat 16:18 then they must also link John 21:15-17. Anyone knows how to cherry pick but not all audience is a dumb lot. A dense Peter is not an evil Peter despite Driscoll painting it as such. No one can point out one evil thing Peter said that deserves such a rebuke. Why don’t Driscoll threat that as a joke instead?

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