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.