Question about Matthew 16 and Peter


#1

really simple question that has caused lots of division between Catholics and Non Catholic Christians.

Catholic's believe that Christ is the one foundation of the Catholic Church, but Christ said Peter is the rock on which the Church is build on, meaning Peter and Jesus are both the rock, how can this be possible? How can there be two foundations?


#2

[quote="catholictiger, post:1, topic:316735"]
Catholic's believe that Christ is the one foundation of the Catholic Church, but Christ said Peter is the rock on which the Church is build on, meaning Peter and Jesus are both the rock, how can this be possible? How can there be two foundations?

[/quote]

Hmm... no -- Jesus is the foundation, and Peter is the rock upon which the foundation is laid. Peter himself is not the 'foundation', per se, though.


#3

[quote="Gorgias, post:2, topic:316735"]
Hmm... no -- Jesus is the foundation, and Peter is the rock upon which the foundation is laid. Peter himself is not the 'foundation', per se, though.

[/quote]

hmmm, interesting way to look at this thanks.


#4

There is only one essentially, and that is Christ. But as Scripture says:Eph 2:20 [The Church is] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstonePeter is simply a primary source of unity in that foundation, Christ himself operating in a leaderly way through the Petrine office.


#5

We believe that Christ is the invisible head and that Peter is the visible head in the mystical body of Christ. Peter is the representative of Christ on earth.


#6

[quote="catholictiger, post:1, topic:316735"]
really simple question that has caused lots of division between Catholics and Non Catholic Christians.

Catholic's believe that Christ is the one foundation of the Catholic Church, but Christ said Peter is the rock on which the Church is build on, meaning Peter and Jesus are both the rock, how can this be possible? How can there be two foundations?

[/quote]

What is the true foundation of the Church? Peter or that the Father reveals that Jesus is truly the Son of God? Hence the revelation of Jesus being the foundation therefore, is the foundation or rock, but again there is a distinction between foundation of the world, and the rock of the church.

So if its Peter, then without Peter there is no salvation, which can’t be the true meaning of what Jesus said, but to be born of Spirit of God, it would require the revelation of the Truth that Jesus is the Son of God, wouldn’t it? Hence the revelation that is of the Father that Jesus is His Son is something that no power can stop or mess with, as Jesus described in the text.


#7

[quote="D_Martin, post:6, topic:316735"]
What is the true foundation of the Church? Peter or that the Father reveals that Jesus is truly the Son of God? Hence the revelation of Jesus being the foundation therefore, is the foundation or rock, but again there is a distinction between foundation of the world, and the rock of the church.

So if its Peter, then without Peter there is no salvation, which can’t be the true meaning of what Jesus said, but to be born of Spirit of God, it would require the revelation of the Truth that Jesus is the Son of God, wouldn’t it? Hence the revelation that is of the Father that Jesus is His Son is something that no power can stop or mess with, as Jesus described in the text.

[/quote]

This answer does not confront the text of Matthew 16.


#8

Matthew 16:18 says the following: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." It seems clear that the antecedent of "it" is the Church and not petra (which refers in turn to Peter directly).


#9

[quote="catholictiger, post:1, topic:316735"]
Catholic's believe that Christ is the one foundation of the Catholic Church, but Christ said Peter is the rock on which the Church is build on, meaning Peter and Jesus are both the rock, how can this be possible? How can there be two foundations?

[/quote]

Christ is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:15) but Moses still acted as a mediator between God and Israel. There is only a problem when it is insisted that a word be taken in exactly the same sense in every instance, regardless of context.


#10

[quote="catholictiger, post:1, topic:316735"]
really simple question that has caused lots of division between Catholics and Non Catholic Christians.

Catholic's believe that Christ is the one foundation of the Catholic Church, but Christ said Peter is the rock on which the Church is build on, meaning Peter and Jesus are both the rock, how can this be possible? How can there be two foundations?

[/quote]

Because the same metaphor is being used for two different things. In the case of what Christ said, Christ Himself is saying that He is not the foundation of the Church, but instead He is the builder of the Church (Upon this rock I shall build my Church). Christ is obviously not saying that Peter is the basis for Christianity, since only Christ can be the foundation for Christianity. Christ only means that the human Church on earth will be built on its first leader and continued to be built on his successors.

The same metaphor is used to describe Christ's relation to the Church or to Christianity in general. In this case, Christ is said to be the foundation or basis of the Church, but we're not talking about a building process, or the human succession, but a relationship. The basis of the Church, that is, of all its members including Peter, is Christ. He is the head, the foundation and the reason for their existence.


#11

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:7, topic:316735"]
This answer does not confront the text of Matthew 16.

[/quote]

You are correct it doesn’t confront the text, it agrees with the text. But if you mean it doesn’t address the text, then aren’t we talking about the following text?

Mat:16:13: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

(Also notice that Jesus says blessed art thou Simon, but calls, or names him Peter)


#12

When Jesus ascended into Heaven…and after Pentecost…who actually took on, or started the task of building the Church? Who actually laid the foundations of the “Church” here on earth after Jesus ascended?


#13

[quote="pablope, post:12, topic:316735"]
When Jesus ascended into Heaven...and after Pentecost....who actually took on, or started the task of building the Church? Who actually laid the foundations of the "Church" here on earth after Jesus ascended?

[/quote]

Who assembled and chose the Apostles that was the continuance of what Jesus was already doing? And who gave that authority to the Apostle? From who did all of what is the church come from? The Spirit and power doesn’t come from men, nor Peter.

Without Peter, Jesus could have chosen some one else (not meaning any disrespect to Peter of corse), but without Jesus, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit in men there is no real church, is there?

Therfore how can anything other than Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of Israel be the foundation or the Rock? It is said in other places in scripture that He is the Rock, He is the foundation of the world, He is the Word of God, He is the Light, and through Him all things were made.


#14

[quote="D_Martin, post:13, topic:316735"]
Who assembled and chose the Apostles that was the continuance of what Jesus was already doing? And who gave that authority to the Apostle? From who did all of what is the church come from? The Spirit and power doesn’t come from men, nor Peter.

You did not answer the question.

I am talking post ascension. Be that as it may....who did Jesus command to baptize in the name of the Trinity.....all nations? Who went out to the other parts of the world to spread Christianity?

Jesus or men whom He assembled?

Without Peter, Jesus could have chosen some one else (not meaning any disrespect to Peter of corse), but without Jesus, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit in men there is no real church, is there?

But it was only Peter's name that was changed...see John1:42.

Therfore how can anything other than Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of Israel be the foundation or the Rock? It is said in other places in scripture that He is the Rock, He is the foundation of the world, He is the Word of God, He is the Light, and through Him all things were made.

Please, I do not need your explanation...I already know this...I am asking post ascension.

The simple question is....who did Jesus work through to build the Church after He ascended?

Who started building and laying the foundations of the Church based on the foundation of Jesus, after He ascended?

It is really a simple question...which you seem to be evading....:shrug:

[/quote]


#15

[quote="pablope, post:14, topic:316735"]

You did not answer the question.

I am talking post ascension. Be that as it may....who did Jesus command to baptize in the name of the Trinity.....all nations? Who went out to the other parts of the world to spread Christianity?

Jesus or men whom He assembled?

But it was only Peter's name that was changed...see John1:42.

Please, I do not need your explanation...I already know this...I am asking post ascension.

The simple question is....who did Jesus work through to build the Church after He ascended?

Who started building and laying the foundations of the Church based on the foundation of Jesus, after He ascended?

It is really a simple question...which you seem to be evading....:shrug:

No what you are not getting is, the foundation is already set in Jesus Christ. At Pentecost it was give by God by the Power of the Holy Spirt to continue on the foundation, Jesus Christ. The church didn’t start after Pentecost it grew after Pentecost, but the church starts in Jesus Christ. The Apostles and then others where only doing what Jesus was doing already in the power of the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]


#16

[quote="D_Martin, post:13, topic:316735"]
Who assembled and chose the Apostles that was the continuance of what Jesus was already doing? And who gave that authority to the Apostle? From who did all of what is the church come from? The Spirit and power doesn’t come from men, nor Peter.

Without Peter, Jesus could have chosen some one else (not meaning any disrespect to Peter of corse), but without Jesus, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit in men there is no real church, is there?

Therfore how can anything other than Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of Israel be the foundation or the Rock? It is said in other places in scripture that He is the Rock, He is the foundation of the world, He is the Word of God, He is the Light, and through Him all things were made.

[/quote]

We don't want to get too caught up in semantics. It is not wrong to think of Peter as the rock or foundation upon which Christ built His Church, because Christ said it Himself. *Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church. * Jesus could not be disrespecting Himself. In a limited sense Peter is the foundation of the Church , but in a more profound way, as you so aptly point out, Jesus is the only foundation of the Church, the only One on whom the Church could be built, for He is the Divine Master, the Son of God, the Only Begotten, who came into the world to save the many who would be sorry for their sins, the One who established His Church to lead sinners back to the Father, to Paradise. Only Jesus is the Head of His Mystical Body, the Church. Without Him there is no Church.

But let me give a little plug for Mary while I'm at it. If Jesus is the Head, Mary is the neck. Jesus came to us through Mary, and we go to Him through Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. He has given her Queenship over all creation, all the angels and all the saints, over both heaven and earth. He chooses to do everything through her, just as He chose to enter the world through her and to be obedient to her, His Mother. We may be deceived that it is more expedient to go directly to Jesus, but the truth is, the surest and most efficacious way to Jesus is through His Mother. If she resides in your heart, He cannot resist residing there Himself.


#17

[quote="D_Martin, post:15, topic:316735"]

"Foundation" is used to express 2 things in Scripture -- the foundation of our faith (what we believe) and the foundation of a visible Church (to proclaim that faith)

  1. Foundation of our faith: Jesus is the foundation of our faith -- who/what we preach, who we believe in, the one who is our Savior: 1 Cor 3:10-11 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, whichis Jesus Christ.

2: Foundation of Jesus' Church:
And because we believe in Him and accept the truth of His words, we believe He established a visible Church which would have a visible head and chief pastor (as a visible foundation) to preach that faith.
Mt. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,... (The keys were given to a person - not to something he said.)

John 21:15 ... Jesus said to Simon Peter, ...... "Feed my lambs."
John 21:16 A second time he said to him, ...... "Tend my sheep."
John 21:17 He said to him the third time, ..... "Feed my sheep.
[/quote]


#18

[quote="D_Martin, post:15, topic:316735"]

"Foundation" is used to express 2 things in Scripture -- the foundation of our faith (what we believe) and the foundation of a visible Church (to proclaim that faith)

  1. Foundation of our faith: Jesus is the foundation of our faith -- who/what we preach, who we believe in, the one who is our Savior:

1 Cor 3:10-11 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, whichis Jesus Christ.

2: Foundation of Jesus' Church:
And because we believe in Him and accept the truth of His words, we believe He established a visible Church which would have a visible head and chief pastor (as a visible foundation) to preach that faith.

Mt. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,... (The keys were given to a person - not to something he said.)

John 21:15 ... Jesus said to Simon Peter, ...... "Feed my lambs."
John 21:16 A second time he said to him, ...... "Tend my sheep."
John 21:17 He said to him the third time, ..... "Feed my sheep.
[/quote]


#19

[quote="Nita, post:18, topic:316735"]
"Foundation" is used to express 2 things in Scripture -- the foundation of our faith (what we believe) and the foundation of a visible Church (to proclaim that faith)

  1. Foundation of our faith: Jesus is the foundation of our faith -- who/what we preach, who we believe in, the one who is our Savior:

1 Cor 3:10-11 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, whichis Jesus Christ.

2: Foundation of Jesus' Church:
And because we believe in Him and accept the truth of His words, we believe He established a visible Church which would have a visible head and chief pastor (as a visible foundation) to preach that faith.

Mt. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,... (The keys were given to a person - not to something he said.)

John 21:15 ... Jesus said to Simon Peter, ...... "Feed my lambs."
John 21:16 A second time he said to him, ...... "Tend my sheep."
John 21:17 He said to him the third time, ..... "Feed my sheep.

[/quote]

You might see it as two foundations but scripture has always from Gen:1:1 to the last verse in Revelations, that there is only one foundation to all things made, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just what is it that you think the Kingdom of Heaven is? And just what is the foundation of the Kingdom of Heaven? Didn’t the Lord Jesus say:

Lk:17:20: And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

And since the Kingdom of Heaven is within those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ,(Rom:8:9) then what is the church but those who have the Kingdom of Heaven within them. Hence again these arguments seem to be based on the fact that Jesus ascended, but to where did He ascend? Isn’t it the Kingdom of Heaven, at the Right Hand of the Father? If God’s Holy Spirit is God’s Presence then where is God? And if He dwell within you:

1Cor:3:16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Then the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.

As you’ve posted, there is only one foundation that Paul speaks of, of which a builder may build on that is acceptable to God. Peter like many after him, was a builder who built on the correct foundation which is Jesus Christ, he didn’t build it on himself, otherwise the church would be erroneous and wouldn’t of lasted much longer then his life here. The keys where given Peter in order to do the job given him by the Lord which is to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, which is Peter's exsample to us all.


Rom:8:9: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.


#20

[quote="D_Martin, post:19, topic:316735"]
....And since the Kingdom of Heaven is within those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ,(Rom:8:9) then what is the church but those who have the Kingdom of Heaven within them. Hence again these arguments seem to be based on the fact that Jesus ascended, but to where did He ascend? Isn’t it the Kingdom of Heaven, at the Right Hand of the Father? If God’s Holy Spirit is God’s Presence then where is God? And if He dwell within you:

1Cor:3:16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Then the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.

[/quote]

If you limit your understanding of the "Kingdom of Heaven" to what is within us, could you explain how Peter's power of the keys - power to bind and loose - rules (binds and looses) what is "within you".
What authority does Peter have within you that the other apostles do not?

As you’ve posted, there is only one foundation that Paul speaks of, of which a builder may build on that is acceptable to God. Peter like many after him, was a builder who built on the correct foundation which is Jesus Christ, he didn’t build it on himself, otherwise the church would be erroneous and wouldn’t of lasted much longer then his life here.

Of course. The foundation of our** faith **is Jesus Christ; Jesus is God, He made reparation for our sin, He redeemed us; ..... Peter did not do any of this. But Jesus did appoint Peter to be head of His Church -- "my Church". Jesus did not establish an invisible Church, He established a visible one.
Jesus is the cornerstone that supports the foundation.

The keys where given Peter in order to do the job given him by the Lord which is to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ,

Yes, to build and be in charge of Jesus' Church based/founded on faith in Him, Jesus -- who He is, what He taught, to see that the directives of Jesus are carried out, etc.

which is Peter's exsample to us all.

Praise God, it is more than Peter's example or we could be in trouble!!! :) Eg. Mt. 16:22- ; Mt 26:69-; Gal 2:11-. (The apostle John might perhaps have been a better "example" to follow.)

I think it has more to do with:
one who is supposed to speak as head of Jesus' Church, which will be there till the end of the ages;
one who, when necessity arises, is to answer critical questions in regard to the faith;
one through whom God **will reveal His truth - the one to whom has been given the power of the keys..
16:17-19 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For
flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven**. 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.