Peter is not the rock that Jesus built His church on - so says my dad, the preacher!


#1

My dad and I had a long conversation on the phone last night. My dad, a protestant preacher in the non-denom world, says that when Jesus said He would build His church upon this rock He was referring to the faith and truth in what Peter said and not referring to the person of Peter.

How should I approach explaining the Catholic belief to him?(scripture only - he won’t accept the arguments of tradition)

Thanks,

Kevin

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#2

Your dad is wrong, sorry he is only human after all. Your father is very narrow minded in his sola sciptura views.


#3

Ask him to explain, just in the scripture, how it could be that when Jesus says : you are Rock, and upon this Rock I will build my Church- he could have meant other than what it explicitly says there.

He doesn’t say, You are Simon and upon this rock (could mean your faith). He commends Simon’s faith, then changes Simon to Peter, and builds the Church on that rock. The thing that was changed to Rock, which is not faith, but Simon.

It is clearly there, in the text. Simon becomes “rock” not “simon’s Faith” From then on they call him “Rock”. what he is saying would have to be proven: make him do that.


#4

Mt. 16:23-19

Luke 21:31-32

John 21:15-19

For the authority to pass the Apostolic commission down to successors: Acts 1:15-26

Do an advanced search on these forums. User: mercygate String: Petros/Petra. Have a look at the excellent work by Hagiou Theou, and be sure you go to a link posted by itsjustdave1988 who has a list of quotations from Protestant scholars stating that Peter IS the rock.


#5

in this scripture passage, Jesus actually changes Simon’s name to Peter (eng.) Petrus (lat.) Cephas (aremaic). If Jesus had meant Peter’s faith was the rock rather than the person of Peter, he would not have changed is name in such a dramatic declaration in front of his other disciples.


#6

[quote=Kev ><>]My dad and I had a long conversation on the phone last night. My dad, a protestant preacher in the non-denom world, says that when Jesus said He would build His church upon this rock He was referring to the faith and truth in what Peter said and not referring to the person of Peter.

How should I approach explaining the Catholic belief to him?(scripture only - he won’t accept the arguments of tradition)

Thanks,

Kevin

<>
[/quote]

Actually, the Catholic Church does believe that Peter’s confession is part of “the rock” – we just do not separate Peter from his confession. If your dad watched the institution of Pope Benedict XVI, they were asserting Peter’s Confession all over the place. Check the Catechism: I believe there is a reference to Peter’s Confession as central in there also.


#7

Also, it’s important to note exactly WHERE Jesus made this declaration, Caesarea Phillipi

forum.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=923013&postcount=20


#8

Simon’s name is literally changed to Rock.

John 1:42
"And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Rock.)"

It would be exactly the same as if I said to you, “You will be called Rock,” then started saying things like, “Hey Rock, what’s up?” or, “I saw Rock at the store the other day,” or, “Hey have you talked to Rock lately?”

So when Jesus says that to Peter in Matthew, He is saying, “Simon, you are Rock, and on this Rock I will build my Church.”

In fact, the name “Peter” is nothing more than the Greek word for rock, “Petros,” being represented in English. Whenever we see the word “Peter” in our English Bible, if we turn to the same passage in the Greek it says, “Petros.”

Jesus spoke Aramaic, and so He named Simon the Aramaic word for Rock: Cephas. So, when the Apostles would call him, they’d say, “Hey Cephas come over here!” (except the Hey come over heare would be in Aramaic obviously).

This makes it very interesting that Matthew (and the other Gospel writers) chose to write the Greek word for rock, Petros, instead of the actual name, Cephas. Think about translations of the book “Les Miserables” from French into English. Names, like Jean, are kept in their original language even though all the other words, like “go” and “run” and “eat” and “he” and “cat” are translated into English. Now, the French name Jean is equivalent to the English name John. Nevertheless, translators keep the names in the original language because a name is not like another word. A name is just a way of referring to people. if a fellow from France named Jean came over here to the US and people started calling him John, he’d be confused or offended because that’s not his name even though it means the same thing.

So it is incredibly interesting that the Gospel writers wrote the Greek word for rock, Petros, in their Gospels instead of the man’s actual name which was Cephas. This shows very clearly that Rock absolutely means something. Throughout all of the other Scriptures, we see many examples where New Testament Greek writers kept the original names in the original languages of Old Testament people instead of writing their Greek equivalent. For instance, the name “Moses” means “taken from” (or something similar), because he was taken from the river. But when the Gospel writers mention the transfiguration, do they say, “and standing their with Him were Taken From and Elijah?” No, they wrote “Moses and Elijah.” Similarly, Abraham means something along the lines of “Father of Many.” When the NEw Testament writers refer to Abraham, do they write, “Father of Many?” No, they write “Abraham.” They do this because these things were these people’s names.

But when talking about Simon, the writers don’t just write Cephas, which is his name. Instead, they write “Petros,” which has the same meaning as Cephas, but is totally different. It is incredibly clear from this that the Gospel writers wanted very clearly to indicate that this man literally was “Rock.” They didn’t care about saying what his name was. They cared about saying that he was Rock.


#9

[quote=Lazerlike42]Simon’s name is literally changed to Rock.

John 1:42
"And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Rock.)"

It would be exactly the same as if I said to you, “You will be called Rock,” then started saying things like, “Hey Rock, what’s up?” or, “I saw Rock at the store the other day,” or, “Hey have you talked to Rock lately?”

So when Jesus says that to Peter in Matthew, He is saying, “Simon, you are Rock, and on this Rock I will build my Church.”

In fact, the name “Peter” is nothing more than the Greek word for rock, “Petros,” being represented in English. Whenever we see the word “Peter” in our English Bible, if we turn to the same passage in the Greek it says, “Petros.”

Jesus spoke Aramaic, and so He named Simon the Aramaic word for Rock: Cephas. So, when the Apostles would call him, they’d say, “Hey Cephas come over here!” (except the Hey come over heare would be in Aramaic obviously).

This makes it very interesting that Matthew (and the other Gospel writers) chose to write the Greek word for rock, Petros, instead of the actual name, Cephas. Think about translations of the book “Les Miserables” from French into English. Names, like Jean, are kept in their original language even though all the other words, like “go” and “run” and “eat” and “he” and “cat” are translated into English. Now, the French name Jean is equivalent to the English name John. Nevertheless, translators keep the names in the original language because a name is not like another word. A name is just a way of referring to people. if a fellow from France named Jean came over here to the US and people started calling him John, he’d be confused or offended because that’s not his name even though it means the same thing.

So it is incredibly interesting that the Gospel writers wrote the Greek word for rock, Petros, in their Gospels instead of the man’s actual name which was Cephas. This shows very clearly that Rock absolutely means something. Throughout all of the other Scriptures, we see many examples where New Testament Greek writers kept the original names in the original languages of Old Testament people instead of writing their Greek equivalent. For instance, the name “Moses” means “taken from” (or something similar), because he was taken from the river. But when the Gospel writers mention the transfiguration, do they say, “and standing their with Him were Taken From and Elijah?” No, they wrote “Moses and Elijah.” Similarly, Abraham means something along the lines of “Father of Many.” When the NEw Testament writers refer to Abraham, do they write, “Father of Many?” No, they write “Abraham.” They do this because these things were these people’s names.

But when talking about Simon, the writers don’t just write Cephas, which is his name. Instead, they write “Petros,” which has the same meaning as Cephas, but is totally different. It is incredibly clear from this that the Gospel writers wanted very clearly to indicate that this man literally was “Rock.” They didn’t care about saying what his name was. They cared about saying that he was Rock.
[/quote]

Hey, awesome! That just INCREASED my Faith!!!


#10

[quote=Paris Blues]Hey, awesome! That just INCREASED my Faith!!!
[/quote]

Cool! :gopray2:


#11

I started a thread with the following post:

[quote=E.E.N.S.]With regards to verse Matthew 16:18 I hear a lot of what seems like;

Catholics: “Peter was the rock!”

Protestants: “No, it was Peter’s confession!”

However, truth be told it is both. The Catholic Church holds both of these views as a both/and (not an either/or.)

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the 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.'8 On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.9

“To preach. . . the unsearchable riches of Christ”

816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it… This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: “For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.”

862 "Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops."375 Hence the Church teaches that “the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.”
[/quote]

This has been discussed many times, but the Church actually holds BOTH positions (again this is not an either/or situation), feel free to check out this thread: [/font][font=Arial]http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=70145


#12

[quote=mercygate]Actually, the Catholic Church does believe that Peter’s confession is part of “the rock” – we just do not separate Peter from his confession. If your dad watched the institution of Pope Benedict XVI, they were asserting Peter’s Confession all over the place. Check the Catechism: I believe there is a reference to Peter’s Confession as central in there also.
[/quote]

That’s interesting because I’ve long believed that the “rock” upon which the church was to be built was the TRUTH acknowledged by Peter, namely that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and not the apostle himself. I always figured that Jesus changed Simon’s name so that Simon and the others would have a lasting reminder that that solid foundation of truth would serve as the cornerstone of his church (…by church, I mean his “body” of true believers; not an edifice or structure to congregate). :hmmm:


#13

I think you will find that the early Church Fathers don’t necessarily agree with you…

Cyprian

With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source" (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 A.D. 252]).

The Lord says to Peter: “I say to you,” he says, “that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” . . . On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was *, but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4 A.D. 251]).

Find more here:
staycatholic.com/ecf_primacy_of_rome.htm*


#14

[size=2]Yes, both. Peter and his Confession of faith.[/size]
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]Here’s a take on why Peter from a grammar perspective.

“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18 ). Disputes about this passage have always been related to the meaning of the term “rock.” To whom, or to what, does it refer? Since Simon’s new name of Peter itself means rock, the sentence could be rewritten as: “You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” The play on words seems obvious, but commentators wishing to avoid what follows from this—namely the establishment of the papacy—have suggested that the word rock could not refer to Peter but must refer to his profession of faith or to Christ.

From the grammatical point of view, the phrase “this rock” must relate back to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”) is two verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause.

As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: “I have a car and a truck, and it is blue.” Which is blue? The truck, because that is the noun closest to the pronoun “it.” This is all the more clear if the reference to the car is two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is two sentences earlier than the term rock.

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#15

catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9202vbv.asp

THE primacy of Peter is clearly noted in the Bible:

“And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock ‘Peter’ is Greek for ‘rock’] 1 will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).

“I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:33).

Peter headed the meeting which elected Matthias as replacement for Judas (Acts 1:13-26).

Peter led the apostles in preaching on Pentecost (Acts 2:14).

Peter led the meeting which decided on which terms Gentiles would be allowed into the Church (Acts 15).

Peter was the judge of Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11).

Jesus entrusted Peter with his flock, making him too a Good Shepherd (John 21:15-17).

Peter performed the first miracle after Pentecost (Acts 3).

After his conversion Paul went to see Peter, the chief apostle (Gal. 1:18).

Throughout the New Testament, when the apostles are listed as a group, Peter’s name is always first. Sometimes it’s just "Peter and the twelve. "

Peter’s name is mentioned more often than the names of all the other apostles put together.


#16

I would ask if it is important when God changes someone’s name. I would then ask for examples…
Abram - Abraham, his wife, Jacob-Israel, etc. BTW, Paul was *not *renamed (Saul was his Hebrew name, Paul his Roman name - Saul sounded like a funny word in Greek) - you can check the Bible, it’s not there. Common misperception.

Then I would ask if it was important that Jesus changed Simon’s name. Then I would ask what He changed it to, and reference the usages of ‘Cephas’ as a transliteration of the Aramaic ‘Kepha’, which did not have the alleged (and provably false) ‘little-rock/big-rock’ distinction.

If it was important every other time God changed a name (revealing something about that person specifically), ask why it meant nothing for Peter.

Just my two cents.

God Bless,
RyanL


#17

[quote=Kev ><>]My dad and I had a long conversation on the phone last night. My dad, a protestant preacher in the non-denom world, says that when Jesus said He would build His church upon this rock He was referring to the faith and truth in what Peter said and not referring to the person of Peter.

How should I approach explaining the Catholic belief to him?(scripture only - he won’t accept the arguments of tradition)

Thanks,

Kevin

<>
[/quote]

Ask him to imagine that Jesus had simply left a bible behind. The church would have fallen down centuries before. Ask him if he needs the holy scripture to tie his shoes. With God nothings impossible.


#18

This is all very good stuff…much more than I expected. I would have never analyzed the grammer or thought of Biblical name changes, and thanks for the links to the other threads. I’ll pick a fight with my dad when I get back from vacation :banghead:

& Go Irish! :shamrock:

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#19

GO IRISH!!!


#20

[quote=E.E.N.S.]I think you will find that the early Church Fathers don’t necessarily agree with you…
[/quote]

I’ve no doubt that you’re correct… at least that *some *of the early Church fathers didn’t agree with this idea.

I was recently reading from a book called "Roman Catholicism in the Light of Scripture" (published by E Weller and F.C.H. Dreyer in 1960) and on Page 42, they’d written that, “Only sixteen out of the eighty-four early church fathers believed that the Lord referred to Peter when He said ‘this rock’”

It seems far more plausible that Jesus would wish for the** truth** (of His being the Son of God) to be the cornerstone and foundation of His Church. Peter, it would seem, was the first to acknowledge the truth… so Jesus renamed him to set the standard; to be the example. Those who, like Peter, accepted the truth of Christ would become a part of the true church as well.

I’m sure the Catholic Church would unmercifully castigate me for believing such things, but like I said, it just seems more likely to be true.


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