Studying the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Church - Peter the Rock


#1

I’ve decided to start this thread to continue an exploration of the foundations of the Roman Catholic Church. I previously started with an exegesis of the infamous “rock vs rock” passage (Matthew 16:18). The thread for that is ongoing, and can be viewed here.

*For those who don’t want to read all of that long thread, the conclusion I basically came to is as follows (please do not post responses to this italicized section!)…

The passage “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,” has two possible original spoken Aramaic forms, from which the Greek could have been translated and written.

In the first (the typical Roman Catholic view), Jesus used Kepha as a proper name for Simon Peter, and then kepha again to refer to the rock of the church, thereby forming a play on words. In Greek, these words were translated as Petros and petra, respectively, because Petros had to be in a masculine form to be able to be the surname of a male. The choice of the word petra (massive foundational rock) was the best possible word to represent kepha (large but movable boulder), because the other Greek word, lithos, means small stone, obviously not suitable.

The second possible original is that the words were originally Kepha (again, the surname of Simon Peter) and shu’a. The Aramaic shu’a is a large foundational stone, which can be traced etymologically to mean the same thing as petra. Thus, it was translated. However, in the case of translating Kepha, there arose a dilemma. If the author chose to select a word which emphasized that there was a difference between kepha and shu’a, the only word available was lithos, which is a word that refers to a small stone. This is hardly appropriate, as Simon Peter was an apostle, and one of the “pillars of the faith” (Acts 15). Thus, as lithos was totally inappropriate, the author has no choice but to use petra, and then converted it to the masculine Petros (as to make it a proper name for a male).*

Now, the above (in my opinion) is ambiguous – one cannot make a concrete case for either side of the argument on linguistics alone. Either case is possible, or even plausible. Therefore, I’d like to continute the study into the surrounding context of Matthew 16 (and later to other passages).

For the purposes of this thread, noone is allowed to definitively say that Peter was or was not the rock mentioned in Matthew 16:18. If you wish to continue that argument, go to the other thread, please. Thank you.

Start of actual discussion topic

I’ve heard it claimed that the surrounding context of Matthew 16 (excluding verse 18), and other passages, proves the primacy of Peter as the rock of the church. What I’d like is for someone to present that argument for me.

Thank you in advance.


#2

Your title is misleading and dead wrong.

Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Catholic Church and there is no authentic Catholic teaching you can provide that says otherwise.

Deal with the facts of what we believe, or you’re wasting your time…and ours.


#3

Sorry to go off topic, but here’s the thing: the Catholic Church has existed from the beginning, for 2000 years. It’s evident from history, scripture, tradition, archeology, theology, and other disciplines. All of these tedious arguments about the beginning of the Church, remind me of someone trying to prove that an elephant in the room is really not there. Or, at least that he shouldn’t be there. Who let him in anyway?


#4

I feel to be called a “girly man”, or to be renamed to a FEMALE name would be very offensive to me. I am sure that a first century man who was big and stocky and made his living as a fisherman would also be very much offended by being referred to as a girl.

I took Spanish when I was in high school. I know that certain nouns are “masculine” and certain nouns are “feminine”. Examples are “Window”, = “Ventana” in Spanish. This is a FEMININE word and requires “La” before it when referring to it as so: “La Ventana” (The window). Likewise the word “Shoe” or “Zapato” in Spanish is a MASCULINE noun and requires “EL” before it, “El Zapato” (the shoe).

“Petra” is a feminine noun. “Petros” is a masculine noun. It seems very clear to me, unless you are someone who takes the Greek Translation there for a different reason. Most likely you can take any reason you want to. Remember the “translation” of the Gospel into Greek is NOT guided by the Holy Spirit. What the Apostles spake in Aramaic is most likely not the same in Greek so to say- and when they penned down the words in Greek- you can ask yourself- was it for DOCTRINAL REASONS the difference in the words “Petra” and “Petros” or was it for a more simple reason that could be easilly understood 2000 years ago before this whole “reformation” happened 1500 years later. It seems easy enough for me to believe that they used “Petros” for Peter because using “Petra” for him would be an insult, calling him by a female name.

Ken


#5

I don’t deny that is your belief – I was using the term “Foundation” in a more general sense. Not specifically the bottom-most thing (Christ), but rather a more general combination of all the factors that underlay the Roman Catholic faith. My apologies if it came across as though you don’t base your faith on Christ.

Deal with the facts of what we believe, or you’re wasting your time…and ours.

May I respectfully suggest that, if you think this is a waste of time, it might be better for you to simply not be involved in this thread.

I would also suggest that being as “militant” as you are regarding defense of the Roman Catholic faith is more likely to alienate those who read your posts, than to attract them. Be Christ-like in your responses, not dogmatic.

If you’re not going to stay on topic, please don’t participate. Let me be blunt – I’ve heard every word you’ve said from at least a dozen other sources. I don’t want to hear dogma, doctrine, or rhetoric, or even your beliefs that you “know” the Roman Catholic church to be the one true church as set forth by Christ through Peter as the first pope.

I want to deal with the topic I’ve outlined above, and if you can’t respect that, I kindly ask you to leave this thread and stay out of it. Thank you.

kleary> Please see the other thread on the “rock vs. rock” issue. This thread isn’t for that! Thanks.

To clarify – dogma, doctrine, and standard Roman Catholic phraseology are not welcomed in this thread. I want to address the specific issue I outlined above (an exegesis of Matthew 16 and possibly other passages). Anyone who doesn’t care for that topic should not be here. If you’re going to tell me that “Peter is the rock, obviously”, please go to the other thread. This thread isn’t for that! Thank you.


#6

You misunderstand the meaning of the term Church Militant. Here’s a dictionary definition.


#7

That is certainly the way that your title comes across.

May I respectfully suggest that, if you think this is a waste of time, it might be better for you to simply not be involved in this thread.

If you consistently misrepresent Catholic belief and teaching…again, to attempt to draw Catholics outside of the teachings of the Church is useless since you are a guest here on a Catholic forum and engaging us in discussions concerning what we believe. If you want something other than that then you are headed for grave disappointment and I can’t help that.

I would also suggest that being as “militant” as you are regarding defense of the Roman Catholic faith is more likely to alienate those who read your posts, than to attract them. Be Christ-like in your responses, not dogmatic.

:rolleyes: Church Militant. You need to find out what my name means.

You don’t even know me…I think you’d find…if you asked, that I have actually had the grace from God to share my faith with some folks here and in person, and have (All Glory Be To God!) won a soul or two.

If you’re not going to stay on topic, please don’t participate. Let me be blunt – I’ve heard every word you’ve said from at least a dozen other sources. I don’t want to hear dogma, doctrine, or rhetoric, or even your beliefs that you “know” the Roman Catholic church to be the one true church as set forth by Christ through Peter as the first pope.

Who died and made you in charge of a thread on a Catholic forum? If you have control issues, perhaps ya need your own forums.

I want to deal with the topic I’ve outlined above, and if you can’t respect that, I kindly ask you to leave this thread and stay out of it. Thank you.

As per the forum rules, I’ll post anywhere I see fit. If you don’t like what I have to say, there’s a nifty ignore list you can put me on, but if you misrepresent what we believe, you can rest assured that my posts will still be here.

To clarify – dogma, doctrine, and standard Roman Catholic phraseology are not welcomed in this thread. I want to address the specific issue I outlined above (an exegesis of Matthew 16 and possibly other passages). Anyone who doesn’t care for that topic should not be here. If you’re going to tell me that “Peter is the rock, obviously”, please go to the other thread. This thread isn’t for that! Thank you.

I’m telling you that you are trying to open a thread from a flawed premise from the outset. Truth is truth, and if it is expressed in teachings that you don’t wanna hear then maybe you need to rethink your interest here, because there really is no middle ground.

Truth is absolute.

I can’t help it if you want to play some kind of word games or whatever. You have no option but to deal with what actually is Catholic belief, or …just like I said…you are wasting everyone’s time.

If you want to make a case for some n-C belief, then the correct forum for that is Non-Catholic Religions, not apologetics.


#8

Here’s a begining:
cin.org/users/james/files/papacy.htm

But realistically, one either accepts the Holy Catholic Church or they do not. I don’t think that any religious position can so dominate as to eliminate any competing positions. That’s why so many different religious views are still held: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, etc.

There are large parts of humanity that cannot be convinced of the truth of Christ, or even God in general, by argumentation.

My position: If one REALLY believes in Christ as head, foundation and builder of His Church (not a mere symbolic figurehead as in Protestantism), then one accepts what He built. That is the Holy Catholic Church. It was built by Christ and the Holy Spirit, not Constantine or some Satanic force as Protestantism supposes, which somehow went into serious heresy for some 1,000 years before the “true gospel” being “rediscovered.”

If you are wise, you’ll take the choice that Christ built his church upon Peter as the earthly foundation (Christ is always the invisible head and foundation.) Because that’s what historically developed under Christ’s construction. Matt. 16:18 was literally, historically fulfilled in the Catholic Church.

EDIT: As for Protestantism, it could exist if Matt. 16:18 were never in Scripture. (And I’ve heard it argued by Protestants that Matt. 16:18 was a later insertion into Scripture.)


#9

:thumbsup:


#10

I’m familiar with the term, but thanks for the link anyway. I didn’t clearly explain the association I was making (being militant usually involves being confrontational rather than loving, and this is what I believe CM is doing), so I can see how you could have thought I misunderstood the meaning. Again, thanks for trying to help out (we need more posters that try to help). :slight_smile:

Church Militant> At this point, I don’t know what to say to you, and honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I can say that will be met with anything less than hostility from you. I have no idea why you’ve chosen to be so confrontational toward me, but for whatever part I’ve had in that, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness. Causing strife is not my intent. I simply am trying to seek out the truth from a logical and dispassionate point of view, and I find that very difficult to do when dogma is being thrown at me left and right. I’d rather get straight to the source of information, and work up from the ground, not down from the top.

With that said, it is my sincerest belief, however, that your attitude and confrontationalness here is contrary to God’s will. I believe that this is probably as unintentional as my own error here, and so I sincerely mean it when I say that I’ll be praying for you, that God will give you a gracefulness and peace in spirit.

So again, to try and restart this thread – I have already had a very long thread on the “rock vs. rock” issue, which has pretty much reached a stand-still. I don’t want to discuss that issue again. Thus, I started this thread for one specific purpose. So, can someone please give me, from a Roman Catholic perspective, an overview of Matthew 16, specifically omitting any serious emphasis on verse 18, which is inconclusive on its own? Thank you in advance.

TheApologist…where are you? I thought you were going to start this thread days ago. :wink:


#11

This is precisely what I wanted to avoid. You assert that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church that Jesus established, without providing support. This thread is precisely for that – to show a Roman Catholic perspective on Matthew 16 in general, as I’ve heard many claim is possible.

EDIT: As for Protestantism, it could exist if Matt. 16:18 were never in Scripture. (And I’ve heard it argued by Protestants that Matt. 16:18 was a later insertion into Scripture.)

I don’t really hold that it was an insertion, but rather that it’s ambiguous as to who or what the rock is, as I discussed in detail in the other thread. What I need now is an overview of the entire passage from a Roman Catholic view.

Thanks.


#12

I don’t really think you even have anything. Apology accepted though, and I feel sure that you have misinterpreted my posts.

However, I don’t think you have made clear what you are trying to discuss.

Make a case, but you talk about from the bottom up, etc.

In all debates…a premise has to be proposed to open the discussion.

You haven’t done that yet and so…


#13

We already gave the explanation of why the Catholic Church is the true Church established by Jesus.

Ecc 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.


#14

Church Militant> This isn’t a debate yet. This is study. I’m in the process of gathering different views on the subject before I take a position one way or another. That’s why I’ve asked for a Roman Catholic overview of the passage.


#15

What’s not to get? To us it’s really pretty simple.

How many times is Kephas used? Why would that be so if the Aramaic was not insightful in this topic. Just because the New Testament was written in Greek has little to do with the historic fact that Jesus and the apostles spoke Aramaic? The only reason that the NT is in Greek is because it was more widely read than Aramaic.

I don’t really hold that it was an insertion, but rather that it’s ambiguous as to who or what the rock is, as I discussed in detail in the other thread. What I need now is an overview of the entire passage from a Roman Catholic view.

You’d be better off getting that from either the Navarre Bible, the RSV-CE, The Douay-Rheims Bible, (in fact the DRB HAYDOCK BIBLE has some excellent notes in it).

Meanwhile: Here’s the notes from my DRB online edition.
18 “Thou art Peter”… As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ; so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz., that he to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, St. John 1. 42, should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be, next to Christ himself, the chief foundation stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

18 “Upon this rock”… The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built: Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ, by building his house, that is, his church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder, St. Matt. 7. 24, 25.

18 “The gates of hell”… That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself, or his agents. For as the church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is, the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the church of Christ.

Provided above.


#16

Amen!!!:thumbsup: Jesus Christ is the founder of the Catholic Church and it was founded solely to lead mankind to Him.:yup:

Yours in Christ.


#17

Church Militant> If you’d bother to click the link previously provided (post #1), you’d see that we’ve discussed this issue at length, including the original spoken Aramaic.

Since you guys seem to be determined to prevent me from discussing that which I’m interested in, I’ll carry it on via PM. I surely hope you’ll eventually realize how to properly explain your views in such a way as to not alienate those you’re trying to convince. I can only guess that Satan doesn’t want me discussing this topic for some reason, hence the extreme roadblocks I seem to be facing. More prayer is in order.

Anyone who is interested in discussing this topic, or is willing to at least provide the explanation I’ve asked for, is more than welcome to PM me. Thank you in advance.


#18

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 18. Greek: Kago. And I say to thee, and tell thee why I before declared, (John i. 42.) that thou shouldst be called Peter, for thou art constituted the rock upon which, as a foundation, I will build my Church, and that so firmly, as not to suffer the gates (i.e. the powers) of hell to prevail against its foundation; because if they overturn its foundation, (i.e. thee and thy successors) they will overturn also the Church that rests upon it. Christ therefore here promises to Peter, that he and his successors should be to the end, as long as the Church should last, its supreme pastors and princes. (Tirinus) — In the Syriac tongue, which is that which Jesus Christ spoke, there is no difference of genders, as there is in Latin, between petra, a rock, and Petrus, Peter; hence, in the original language, the allusion was both more natural and more simple. (Bible de Vence) —Thou art Peter;[2] and upon this (i.e. upon thee, according to the literal and general exposition of the ancient Fathers) I will build my church. It is true St. Augustine, in one or two places, thus expounds these words, and upon this rock, (i.e. upon myself:) or upon this rock, which Peter hath confessed: yet he owns that he had also given the other interpretation, by which Peter himself was the rock. Some Fathers have also expounded it, upon the faith, which Peter confessed; but then they take not faith, as separated from the person of Peter, but on Peter, as holding the true faith. No one questions but that Christ himself is the great foundation-stone, the chief corner-stone, as St. Paul tells the Ephesians; (Chap. ii, ver. 20.) but it is also certain, that all the apostles may be called foundation-stones of the Church, as represented Apocalypse xxi. 14. In the mean time, St. Peter (called therefore Cephas, a rock) was the first and chief foundation-stone among the apostles, on whom Christ promised to build his Church. (Witham) — Thou art Peter, &c. As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ, so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz. that he, to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, (John i. 42.) should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be next to Christ himself, the chief foundation-stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven. — Upon this rock, &c. The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews, which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built; Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ by building his house, that is, his Church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder. (Matthew vii. 24, 25.) — The gates of hell, &c. That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself or his agents. For as the Church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, i.e. the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or Church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the Church of Christ. (Challoner) — The gates, in the Oriental style, signify the powers; thus, to this day, we designate the Ottoman or Turkish empire by the Ottoman port. The princes were wont to hold their courts at the gates of the city. (Bible de Vence)


#19

Oh geez! You are so patronizing!

Look…you’re the one who has yet to provide the vaguest clue as to what you seek…this inhibits any real effort to help you, (and we are trying).

Are you always such an patronizing _________ (whatever the heck you think you are).

It sounds to me like you have no clue what you want, and are unwilling to try very hard.

But don’t patronize us… that’s a lousy “witness”.
Thanks anyway…


#20

pehaps opening your eyes, and plugging up your but mite help you to realise what he’s asking. Or going back a page might do the trick. Either way, your rude and I thought I’d tell you so. XD


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