[quote="Marybeloved, post:12, topic:260963"]
With all due respect, Jon, you make it sound like the confession was just one ordinary thing that any could make, only it just happened to be Simon bar Jonah this time, but the scenario is not presented quite like that, is it? St. Peter makes his confession and our Lord declares that in fact it is not his (Peter's) confession but God the Father's!- Why should we begrudge God's own choices? It's like begrudging God's choice of Mary, saying Oh, she's nothing special, just happened to say Yes in that one moment- So is she really alone the Mother of God?
But, immediately Peter utters the divinely revealed confession (the sign of his election by God the Father testified by Christ) Jesus names him Rock and declares that he shall build his church upon this Rock...and that's supposed to mean "everyone"? How many people did God name Rock? In fact I remember reading that before St. Peter, people weren't named Rock. In Judaism that was God's designation, no-one else's :shrug:
That's like asking, which is more important?- Mary, the woman or her "Be it to me as you say"? Of course both are important- Both are God's choice :shrug:!
How about God the Father's choice of revelation to St. Peter alone- Is that not as important? St. Peter wasn't just lucky in his answer, you know. He was chosen- why should we try to diminish God's own election? Doesn't he know better?
You are right. Other than the one time Abraham is referred to as a "rock" (Tsur in Hebrew) - only God is referred to as a rock and it was never used as a proper name and it certainly didn't deny or take away from the obvious fact that God is the One invisible divine Rock.
"Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father..." Isaiah 51
It seems that Peter’s unique role among the apostles was broached even at the very beginning of his relationship with Jesus. The very first time Jesus meets Simon, Jesus says to him,“You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.”
The big question is why the name change? Perhaps, because it was to illustrate that the status of Simon had changed due to the fact that the Father had revealed the following to Simon: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” We see the same thing in the OT: Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, Jacob’s to Israel, Eliakim’s to Joakim, etc...
I think it's rather compelling that Jesus told Simon that what he had professed was in fact specially revealed to him, which was the very reason why Jesus, at that instance, changed his name to rock, and went on to say: "and on this (kepha) - rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
Another compelling question:
Why can't the gates of hell overcome Jesus' church according to Matthew? Is it because Simon said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” or is it because Jesus built His church on solid rock? The latter seems much more plausible.
One thing that is very clear is the grammatical perspective. The phrase "this rock" absolutely must relate back to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith ("You are the Christ, the Son of the living God") is clearly 2 verses earlier, while his name, a proper noun, immediately precedes it.
"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 becomes even mor obvious if the reference to the car is 2 sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is 2 sentences earlier than the word rock. Jesus of course is the invisible foundation of the Church but Peter is named by him as the secondary foundation because he and his successors alone, via the keys, represent the visible foundation of Jesus' church. If the church is visible then it's foundation must be visible and Peter can be the visible foundation only because Jesus is the divine Rock and Cornerstone. I was rather surprised, as a former protestant, to find out that nowhere does tradition or scripture claim that the keys were given to anyone other than Simon who would logically pass those keys on to a successor, if the church is to continue to be built on Rock.
Regarding post #1, people have insisted that in the Greek text the name of Simon is Petros (small stone) - as opposed to (petra) immovable rock.
The obvious question is:
I get why Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, but what would be the significance of changing Simon's name to a word that means small stone?
What does make sense is why Jesus would give Simon the name, immovable rock. He did so because Jesus' plan was:
No matter how hard the satanic winds blow and beat against His church, it will never fall because it has its foundation on solid Rock.