Petros~Petra grammar question



In Matthew 16:18, when Our Lord says to Peter: “You are Petros & on the Petra I will build my Church”, people tend to focus on the need for a masculine version of Petra because the person receiving the name is male.

Could it be the other way around, however? “Petros” has to be “Petra” (feminine) grammatically, in order that the Subject could say “I will build my Church” on this Object?

In other words: with Greek, does the feminine version of a word indicate a passive participle? Petros becomes Petra only because the Petros is the one on whom the building is built by the architect - thus, a passive recipient of the act of building? :slight_smile:


No, it’s not quite that complicated. Petra is simply a feminine noun, and Petros is the name of a man and as such is masculine. You’re reading too much into it.



The argument is irrelevant.

Matthew’s Gospel was originally written in Aramaic.

The GREEK is a TRANSLATION from the original Aramaic.

In Aramaic, this is not an issue.

Kepha is the Aramaic word for Rock. It does not have any changes in the verse.

It would read: You are Kepha, and on this Kepha I will build my Church.

And proof of Peter’s name being Kepha is that it is translated as Cephas in Greek:
John 1:42
1 Corinthians 1:12
1 Corinthians 3:22
1 Corinthians 9:5
1 Corinthians 15:5
Galatians 2:9




It’s not really an argument, friends. I was just wondering if the feminine-ending refers to a passive participle. That’s all. :slight_smile:


The gender of a noun does not depend upon whether there is a passive participle in there or not. If a masculine noun were receiving the action of the verb, it would still be a masculine noun. I see where you’re coming from (i.e. feminine-receptivity), but again, it’s something that just isn’t there; it’s just grammar, there isn’t any deeper philosophical, sexualized meaning like what you’re suggesting. To paraphrase Freud somewhat, sometimes a feminine noun is just a feminine noun.



Thank you edward_george. :slight_smile: I didn’t think of it in sexual terms, only grammatical. We should definitely not make the error of this age, where “sex” (person) = “gender” (grammar). Two very different things… that have been switched by our society!

Anyway, thank you.

closed #8

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