Peter the Rock


#1

Some things I’d like to point out…

“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.

Look at the Aramaic

Opponents of the Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 sometimes argue that in the Greek text the name of the apostle is Petros, while “rock” is rendered as petra. They claim that the former refers to a small stone, while the latter refers to a massive rock; so, if Peter was meant to be the massive rock, why isn’t his name Petra?

Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is kepha, which is what Jesus called him in everyday speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, “You will be called Cephas”). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was: “You are Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church.”

When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to Greek, there arose a problem which did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life. In Aramaic the word kepha has the same ending whether it refers to a rock or is used as a man’s name. In Greek, though, the word for rock, petra, is feminine in gender. The translator could use it for the second appearance of kepha in the sentence, but not for the first because it would be inappropriate to give a man a feminine name. So he put a masculine ending on it, and hence Peter became Petros.

Furthermore, the premise of the argument against Peter being the rock is simply false. In first century Greek the words petros and petra were synonyms. They had previously possessed the meanings of “small stone” and “large rock” in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century this distinction was gone, as Protestant Bible scholars admit (see D. A. Carson’s remarks on this passage in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books]).

…Consider another point: If the rock really did refer to Christ (as some claim, based on 1 Cor. 10:4, “and the Rock was Christ” though the rock there was a literal, physical rock), why did Matthew leave the passage as it was? In the original Aramaic, and in the English which is a closer parallel to it than is the Greek, the passage is clear enough. Matthew must have realized that his readers would conclude the obvious from “Rock . . . rock.” …

from Catholic.com: Peter and the Papacy

Why is there misunderstandings with all of the non-Catholics?


#2

If non-catholic Christians accepted that St. Peter was the rock they would have no choice but to convert. As long as they deny that fundamental truth , they will continue to be led astray.


#3

Many of the church fathers did not feel that Peter was the rock.

And Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Matthew 16:13-18 And this he heard from the Lord: “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.” See what praises follow this faith. “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” What means, “Upon this rock I will build my Church”? Upon this faith; upon this that has been said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Upon this rock,” says He, “I will build my Church.”-Augustine (Homilies on 1 John, Homily 10, paragraph 1)
newadvent.org/fathers/170210.htm

You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church;" Matthew 16:18 that is, on the faith of his confession.-John Chrysostom (Homilies on Matthew, Homily 54)
newadvent.org/fathers/200154.htm

And even if it does refer to Peter, where does it say anything about successors?


#4

Sure they did. Check this out:
www.catholic.com/library/fathers_know_best.asp under the title of Church & Papacy

In 2 Timothy 2:2 shows Gods intention to transfer authority by way of succession. Why would St. Peter not have a successor as well? The New Testament is filled with examples of Apostolic succession.


#5

Peter the Rock

Yes. What assistance of mine do you need?:smiley:


#6

SyCarl, Jesus taught me and the Apostles more than what is written. What is written contains a fraction of the deposit that Jesus left with me and my successors.

Maybe if Jesus had provided some more information concerning the future as it is now running I would have written more than I have.

But these verses and the explanations should suffice and be sufficient for the topic at hand.

Matt. 10:1,40 - Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.

Matt. 16:19; 18:18 - the apostles are given Christ’s authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all. Without a central authority in the Church, there would be chaos (as there is in Protestantism).

Luke 9:1; 10:19 - Jesus gives the apostles authority over the natural and the supernatural (diseases, demons, serpents, and scorpions).

Luke 10:16 - Jesus tells His apostles, “he who hears you, hears Me.” When we hear the bishops’ teaching on the faith, we hear Christ Himself.

Luke 22:29 - the Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the apostles. The gift is transferred from the Father to the Son to the apostles.

Num 16:28 - the Father’s authority is transferred to Moses. Moses does not speak on his own. This is a real transfer of authority.

John 5:30 - similarly, Jesus as man does nothing of His own authority, but He acts under the authority of the Father.

John 7:16-17 - Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God. He will transfer this authority to other men.

John 8:28 - Jesus says He does nothing on His own authority. Similarly, the apostles will do nothing on their own authority. Their authority comes from God.

John 12:49 - The father’s authority is transferred to the Son. The Son does not speak on his own. This is a transfer of divine authority.

John 13:20 - Jesus says, “he who receives anyone who I send, receives Me.” He who receives the apostles, receives Christ Himself. He who rejects the apostles and their successors, rejects Christ.

John 14:10 - Jesus says the Word He speaks is not His own authority, but from the Father. The gift is from the Father to Jesus to the apostles.

John 16:14-15 - what the Father has, the Son has, and the Son gives it to the apostles. The authority is not lessened or mitigated.

John 17:18; 20:21 - as the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the apostles. The apostles have divinely appointed authority.

Acts 20:28 - the apostles are shepherds and guardians appointed by the Holy Spirit / 1 Peter 2:25 - Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian. The apostles, by the power of the Spirit, share Christ’s ministry and authority.

Jer. 23:1-8; Ezek. 34:1-10 - the shepherds must shepherd the sheep, or they will be held accountable by God.

Eph. 2:20 - the Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles. The word “foundation” proves that it does not die with apostles, but carries on through succession.

Eph. 2:20; Rev. 21:9,14 - the words “household,” “Bride of the Lamb,” the “new Jerusalem” are all metaphors for the Church whose foundation is the apostles.


#7

and theses:

Acts 1:15-26 - the first thing Peter does after Jesus ascends into heaven is implement apostolic succession. Matthias is ordained with full apostolic authority. Only the Catholic Church can demonstrate an unbroken apostolic lineage to the apostles in union with Peter through the sacrament of ordination and thereby claim to teach with Christ’s own authority.

Acts 1:20 - a successor of Judas is chosen. The authority of his office (his “bishopric”) is respected notwithstanding his egregious sin. The necessity to have apostolic succession in order for the Church to survive was understood by all. God never said, “I’ll give you leaders with authority for about 400 years, but after the Bible is compiled, you are all on your own.”

Acts 1:22 - literally, “one must be ordained” to be a witness with us of His resurrection. Apostolic ordination is required in order to teach with Christ’s authority.

Acts 6:6 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority has transferred beyond the original twelve apostles as the Church has grown.

Acts 9:17-19 - even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop. This is a powerful proof-text for the necessity of sacramental ordination in order to be a legitimate successor of the apostles.

Acts 13:3 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority must come from a Catholic bishop.

Acts 14:23 - the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.

Acts 15:22-27 - preachers of the Word must be sent by the bishops in union with the Church. We must trace this authority to the apostles.

2 Cor. 1:21-22 - Paul writes that God has commissioned certain men and sealed them with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee.

Col 1:25 - Paul calls his position a divine “office.” An office has successors. It does not terminate at death. Or it’s not an office. See also Heb. 7:23 – an office continues with another successor after the previous office-holder’s death.

1 Tim. 3:1 - Paul uses the word “episcopoi” (bishop) which requires an office. Everyone understood that Paul’s use of episcopoi and office meant it would carry on after his death by those who would succeed him.

1 Tim. 4:14 - again, apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination).

1 Tim. 5:22 - Paul urges Timothy to be careful in laying on the hands (ordaining others). The gift of authority is a reality and cannot be used indiscriminately.

2 Tim. 1:6 - Paul again reminds Timothy the unique gift of God that he received through the laying on of hands.

2 Tim. 4:1-6 - at end of Paul’s life, Paul charges Timothy with the office of his ministry . We must trace true apostolic lineage back to a Catholic bishop.

2 Tim. 2:2 - this verse shows God’s intention is to transfer authority to successors (here, Paul to Timothy to 3rd to 4th generation). It goes beyond the death of the apostles.

Titus 1:5; Luke 10:1 - the elders of the Church are appointed and hold authority. God has His children participate in Christ’s work.

1 John 4:6 - whoever knows God listens to us (the bishops and the successors to the apostles). This is the way we discern truth and error (not just by reading the Bible and interpreting it for ourselves).

Exodus 18:25-26 - Moses appoints various heads over the people of God. We see a hierarchy, a transfer of authority and succession.

Exodus 40:15 - the physical anointing shows that God intended a perpetual priesthood with an identifiable unbroken succession.

Numbers 3:3 - the sons of Aaron were formally “anointed” priests in “ordination” to minister in the priests’ “office.”

Numbers 16:40 - shows God’s intention of unbroken succession within His kingdom on earth. Unless a priest was ordained by Aaron and his descendants, he had no authority.

Numbers 27:18-20 - shows God’s intention that, through the “laying on of hands,” one is commissioned and has authority.

Deut. 34:9 - Moses laid hands upon Joshua, and because of this, Joshua was obeyed as successor, full of the spirit of wisdom.

Sirach 45:15 - Moses ordains Aaron and anoints him with oil. There is a transfer of authority through formal ordination.


#8

and lastly:

Acts 5:13 - the people acknowledged the apostles’ special authority and did not dare take it upon themselves.

Acts 15:6,24; 16:4 - the teaching authority is granted to the apostles and their successors. This teaching authority must be traced to the original apostles, or the authority is not sanctioned by Christ.

Rom. 15:16 – Paul says he is a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable. This refers to the ministerial priesthood of the ordained which is distinguishable from the universal priesthood of the laity. Notice the Gentiles are the “sacrifice” and Paul does the “offering.”

1 Cor. 5:3-5; 16:22; 1 Tim. 1:20; Gal 1:8; Matt 18:17 – these verses show the authority of the elders to excommunicate / anathemize (“deliver to satan”).

2 Cor. 2:17 - Paul says the elders are not just random peddlers of God’s word. They are actually commissioned by God. It is not self-appointed authority.

2 Cor. 3:6 – Paul says that certain men have been qualified by God to be ministers of a New Covenant. This refers to the ministerial priesthood of Christ handed down the ages through sacramental ordination.

2 Cor. 5:20 - Paul says we are “ambassadors” for Christ. This means that the apostles and their successors share an actual participation in Christ’s mission, which includes healing, forgiving sins, and confecting the sacraments.

2 Cor. 10:6 – in reference to the ordained, Paul says that they are ready to punish every disobedience. The Church has the authority excommunicate those who disobey her.

2 Cor. 10:8 - Paul acknowledges his authority over God’s people which the Lord gave to build up the Church.

1 Thess. 5:12-13 - Paul charges the members of the Church to respect those who have authority over them.

2 Thess. 3:14 - Paul says if a person does not obey what he has provided in his letter, have nothing to do with him.

1 Tim. 5:17 - Paul charges the members of the Church to honor the appointed elders (“priests”) of the Church.

Titus 2:15 - Paul charges Timothy to exhort and reprove with all authority, which he received by the laying on of hands.

Heb. 12:9 – in the context of spiritual discipline, the author says we have had earthly fathers (referring to the ordained leaders) to discipline us and we respected them.

Heb. 13:7,17 - Paul charges the members of the Church to remember and obey their leaders who have authority over their souls.

1 Peter 2:18 - Peter charges the servants to be submissive to their masters whether kind and gentle or overbearing.

1 Peter 5:5; Jude 8 - Peter and Jude charge the members of the Church to be subject to their elders.

2 Peter 2:10 - Peter warns the faithful about despising authority. He is referring to the apostolic authority granted to them by Christ.

3 John 9 - John points out that Diotrephes does not acknowledge John’s apostolic authority and declares that this is evil.

Deut. 17:10-13 - the Lord commands His faithful Israel to obey the priests that He puts in charge, and do to all that they direct and instruct. The Lord warns that those who do not obey His priests shall die.

Num. 16:1-35 - Korah incited a “protestant” rebellion against God’s chosen Moses in an effort to confuse the distinction between the ministerial and universal offices of priesthood, and Korah and his followers perished. (This effort to blind the distinctions between the priests and the laity is still pursued by dissidents today.)

Sirach 7:29-30 - with all your soul fear the Lord and honor His priests, love your Maker and do not forsake His ministers. God is not threatened by the authority He gives His children! God, as our Loving Father, invites us to participate in His plan of salvation with His Son Jesus. Without authority in the Church, there is error, chaos and confusion.


#9

Ziapueblo, SyCarl said that many Fathers did not believe that Peter was the rock. The fact that others did does not somehow immolate or negate the views of the other Fathers.

Some believed Peter was the rock, others did not.


#10

Well those 2 that did not consider me the rock are not many. Thank God our Doctrines are not based on those that wrote much later after me!


#11

There are more than just those two. And those two are not just any two, they are seen as the two GREATEST Fathers.

And you are not Peter. Stop your sacrilege.


#12

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