Was the Church Built on Peter?


#1

I’m trying to defend the Catholic faith position as being able to trace it’s roots back to St. Peter and I need help in countering the following …

Catholicism alleges that Matthew 16:18 teaches that the church was built on Peter. Jesus said:

“I say unto you, that you are Peter petros - rock], and upon this rock petra] I will build my church.”

The relationship between the name “Peter,” and the term “rock,” is the basis of the Catholic argument. The fact is, however, the Lord took deliberate pains to draw a clear contrast between Peter, and the “rock” to which He alluded.

Note these very important points:

[list=1]
*]Petros (Peter) is a masculine gender noun; petra (rock) is a feminine form. The change in grammatical form is not incidental.

*]Petros suggests a small rock, whereas petra indicates a boulder. The contrast is significant.

*]Jesus employed the second person, su (you), in addressing Peter, but He changed to the third person, taute (this) when referring to the rock.

*]In this narrative, the Lord uses the symbolism of the construction of a building to make His point. Within the illustration, Christ is the builder, the church is the edifice, and Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, is the foundational truth upon which the house of God was to be erected.

Then, hinting of Peter’s privilege of proclaiming the gospel – first to the Jews (Acts 2), and then to the Gentiles (Acts 10) – the Lord suggested that the apostle would be granted the “keys,” i.e., the authority to open (cf. Rev. 1:18), of the kingdom. Peter cannot occupy the position of both “foundation” and “door-opener” in the same illustration, without violating the rules of symbolism.

[/list]The church of Jesus Christ was not founded upon Peter. Catholicism is a corruption of the primitive Christian system. It is a manifestation of that great departure from the faith of which Paul warned (see 2 Thes. 2:1ff; 1 Tim. 4:1ff).

freeconservatives.com/vb/showpost.php?p=272481&postcount=132 (anyone who wants to join in the discussion themselves, is more than welcomed)


#2

Try this:

catholic.com/library/Peter_the_Rock.asp

It’s from Catholic Answers, with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.

Blessings,

Gerry


#3

Why do these people rely on the same old tired arguments time and time again? This one has to have been answered thousands of times now during the years.

A good quote from Karl Keating’s book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”:

“According to the rules of grammar, the phrase “this rock” must relate to the closest noun. Peter’s profession of faith (“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”) is two verses ealier, while his name, a proper noun, is in the immediately preceding clause. As an analogy, consider this artificial sentence: “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 identification would be even clearer if the reference to the car were two sentences earlier, as the reference to Peter’s profession is two sentences ealier than the term rock.” (209).

That he refutes the name of Petros is interesting, since Matthew was most likely written in Aramaic. In fact, we have places later in the scriptures where Peter is called Cephas, greek rendering of the Aramaic Kephas. So, Peter wasn’t called petros by Christ, but Kepha by Christ. Once again, from “Catholicism and Fundamentalistm”:

“The first thing to note is that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. (And not Hebrew, either, which was reserved as a sacred language and was not in common use, somewhat analogously to the way Latin, in the recent past, was the sacred language for Catholics, but was not used by them in everyday speech.) Christ spoke Aramaic, the common language of Paliestine at the time. In that language the word for rock is kepha. What was said was thus: “Thou art Kepha, and upon this kepha I will build my Church.” When Matthew’s Gospel was translated from the original Aramaic to greek, there arose a problem that did not confront the evangelist when he first composed his account of Christ’s life in his native tongue.” (210).

Hope this helps,

Gracie


#4

AND, Patrick Madrid has stated in no uncertain terms that the argument “Petros means small rock” is in fact completely invalid! In first century Greek there is no such usage!

Can anyone comment on the truth of this? If it is true, the whole claim is a straw dog, invented in the 16th century or later.

Peace.
John


#5

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=45207&highlight=petros%2Fpetra
The above is a link to a rather informative Petros/Petra word search. They explore the historical usage of Petros and Petra and the associated myth.

Here is another link:
envoymagazine.com/backissues/2.2/nutsandbolts.html

Here is a brief snippet from that link to whet your pallet:[size=2]

“Wrong.” Fred shakes his head. “Petros means a little rock, a pebble. Christ didn’t build the Church on a pebble. He is the Rock, the petra, the big boulder the Church is built on.”

You take a deep breath, calm your nerves a little, and continue. "Well, what would you say if I told you that even Protestant Greek scholars like D.A. Carson and Joseph Thayer admit there is no distinction in meaning between petros and petra in the Koine Greek of the New Testament? [Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996), 507; D.A. Carson, “Matthew,” in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), vol. 8, 368.] As you pointed out, petra means a ‘rock.’ It even usually means a ‘large rock.’ And that’s exactly what petros means, too — large rock. It does not mean ‘pebble’ or ‘small stone,’ as you’ve been told. The Greek word for ‘pebble’ or ‘small stone’ is lithos, not petros.

“In Matthew 4:3,” you continue, “the devil cajoles Jesus to perform a miracle and transform some stones, lithoi, the Greek plural for lithos, into bread. In John 10:31, certain Jews pick up stones, lithoi, to stone Jesus with. In 1 Peter 2:5, St. Peter describes Christians as ‘living stones,’ lithoi, which form a spiritual house. If St. Matthew had wanted to draw a distinction between a big rock and a little rock in Matthew 16:17-19, he could have by using lithos, but he didn’t. The rock is St. Peter!”

Keep in mind that scripture is polyvalent, meaning that there are frequently several interpretations of the same passage that are ALL valid. The CCC states:
[/size]

**881 **The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
**552 **Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Christ, the “living Stone”, thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. **Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock **of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.
**424 **Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church.

We actually allow MORE freedom of interpretation than your Protestant friend! We can hold that the profession of faith is the rock, that Christ is the rock, or that Peter is the rock. Here’s the punchline: NONE CAN BE HELD TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE OTHER!

Also, read Isaiah 22:22 against Matt 16:18-19.
Ask them if Jesus knew about Isaiah 22:22.
Ask them if Christ is a Davidic king.
Ask them if Christ is a Davidic king, and He knew about Is 22:22 where ONE prime minister (with successors) is established to speak on behalf of the king, WHY DID HE DRAW THE PARALLEL?!?

Good luck,
RyanL


#6

[size=2]Was the Church built on Peter? Yes. The Bible is clear; “the household of God, the Church” (1 Tim 3:15), was “built on the apostles and prophets” (Eph 2:20; also see 1 Cor 12:28 and Rev 21:14), and since Peter was an apostle (Matt 10:2), the Church was definitely built on Peter. The logic is inescapable. [/size]


#7

St. Augustine wrote:
“Peter was made the pastor of the Church, as Moses was made the ruler of the Jewish people.” (Cont. Faustum, lib.xxii. c 70)


#8

[quote=Sir Knight]Was the Church Built on Peter?
[/quote]

Sure. But what does that have to do with today. The Church is renewed every generation as some people are born and some return home.

What possible connection could exist between the hundred-and-some-odd men of our generation who cast ballots for the Pope and the foundation of the Church generations past?

We are a new people. Our actions are not made more or less legitimate due to the actions of the people who lived in the generation previous. Our actions are either legitimate in their own right, or they are not.

I do not accept as legitimate the actions of the hundred-and-some-odd cardinals who I never met when they claim they have voted to elect the supreme authority of all things “Christian”. Why should I? They are just people, born less than 70 years ago, 70 years which is a blink of an eye.


#9

…right…'cause “the Word endures for only a generation then it dies and is re-made new and has to stand on it’s own or it’s worthless”…wait…that’s not how the quote goes…


#10

Angainor,

You wrote: “We are a new people.”

What amazing hubris. This calls to mind the phrase that C.S. Lewis coined, “chronological snobbery” (not that you’ll think much of him, being that he’s dead and therefore not part of the “new people”). But I suggest you read something older than last month’s “People” magazine----say, St. Augustine’s “Confessions”, or the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and you just might discover that people are no different now than they were in Jesus’ time, (or earlier).

You wrote: “I do not accept as legitimate the actions of the hundred-and-some-odd cardinals who I never met when they claim they have voted to elect the supreme authority of all things “Christian”. Why should I?”

Ummm…because Jesus created the hierarchy of the Church? Oh wait—he’s not one of the “new people” either, is he…drat.


#11

Okay, points 1 & 2 have already been addressed.

Point 3: Well, duh! You can’t exactly say “on you rock” can you?

Point 4: Doesn’t apply. He’s just saying “What you think is wrong b/c I think something different.”

What does he mean “the Lord suggests the apostle would be granted the “keys” of the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus doesn’t ‘suggest’, He says it straight out! “I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” Your friend sortof missed that part of what Jesus said.

What about the fact that Peter worked the first miracle after the Ascension (Acts 3:6)? He also converted the first Jews and the first Gentiles. (Acts 2:41, Acts 10:44-48) It was he who spoke for the Apostles in many cases. (Acts 2:14, Matt. 16:15-16) The Bible says countless times “Peter and the others.” There are so many other instances that show that Peter is somehow special or has more authority than the other Apostles. Check the story of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 5. It was Peter who condemned them. It was Peter who chose the method of choosing Matthias. It was Peter who decided at the Council of Jerusalem that Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised. (This stuff is all in Acts) There is more, but I don’t have time to cover it all. I just hope this shows that the idea of Peter being higher is not just based on one verse, but is found throughout the Bible.


#12

Hello Sherlock,

This is not a topic that I have developed a clear understanding of yet, it is still more-or-less an intution I have. I therefore value any feedback. Thank you for your comments.

[quote=Sherlock]Angainor,

You wrote: “We are a new people.”

What amazing hubris. This calls to mind the phrase that C.S. Lewis coined, “chronological snobbery” (not that you’ll think much of him, being that he’s dead and therefore not part of the “new people”). But I suggest you read something older than last month’s “People” magazine----say, St. Augustine’s “Confessions”, or the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and you just might discover that people are no different now than they were in Jesus’ time, (or earlier).
[/quote]

Wisdom is ageless. I would very much like to know what Mr. Lewis had to say about “chronological snobbery”. I am familiar with his works, but not familiar enough to know where he wrote about it.

As for my displaying “hubris”, I don’t feel like I am. It does not seem prideful to doubt that a handfull of our number can get together and choose God’s representative on Earth.


#13

Angainor,

You wrote: “As for my displaying “hubris”, I don’t feel like I am. It does not seem prideful to doubt that a handfull of our number can get together and choose God’s representative on Earth.”

My comment regarding your hubris was in reaction to your saying, “We are a new people”, and suggesting thereby that what happened 2000 years ago is not relevant to what happens today. I repeat: read early works such as “Confessions”, and you’'ll discover that people are no different today than they were then. It’s ludicrous (and yes, prideful) to think that we’re so-o-o advanced from those “primitive” times.

As for your doubt that “a handfull of our number can get together and choose God’s representative on Earth”—this betrays a mindset that regards the Magisterium (and the selection of a pope) as purely a human affair. Catholics don’t believe that. We are not thinking that humans alone are making the choice (indeed we are quite humble in thinking that we can’t), and therefore are in need of the Holy Spirit. Does that help?


#14

[quote=Sherlock]As for your doubt that “a handfull of our number can get together and choose God’s representative on Earth”—this betrays a mindset that regards the Magisterium (and the selection of a pope) as purely a human affair. Catholics don’t believe that. We are not thinking that humans alone are making the choice (indeed we are quite humble in thinking that we can’t), and therefore are in need of the Holy Spirit. Does that help?
[/quote]

Actually, it will probably suprise you, but I do believe the Holy Spirit is with the Cardinals when they make their decision. I believe this because it is not the first time in history when God’s people insisted on a monarch:
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."
1 Samuel 8:4-9

It was not God’s choice that the Israelites had a king, but since the people insisted, God tried to find good men to lead them. Sometimes the king turned out well (David), sometimes not (Saul). If Catholics also insist on a monarch, I believe God would also guide them in choosing good men, but just like the kings of Israel, popes are still human, so some popes would turn out better than others. I think you would agree that not all popes are candidates for sainthood.

[quote=Sherlock]My comment regarding your hubris was in reaction to your saying, “We are a new people”, and suggesting thereby that what happened 2000 years ago is not relevant to what happens today. I repeat: read early works such as “Confessions”, and you’'ll discover that people are no different today than they were then. It’s ludicrous (and yes, prideful) to think that we’re so-o-o advanced from those “primitive” times.
[/quote]

As you say. It would be prideful to think we’re so advanced from those “primitive” old testament times of Samuel. You are right: people really don’t change very much.


#15

[quote=Angainor]It was not God’s choice that the Israelites had a king, but since the people insisted, God tried to find good men to lead them. Sometimes the king turned out well (David), sometimes not (Saul). If Catholics also insist on a monarch, I believe God would also guide them in choosing good men, but just like the kings of Israel, popes are still human, so some popes would turn out better than others. I think you would agree that not all popes are candidates for sainthood.As you say. It would be prideful to think we’re so advanced from those “primitive” old testament times of Samuel. You are right: people really don’t change very much.
[/quote]

It was not people who insisted the Church have a leader…it was God Himself…same as He chose Mose’s (who was not a King) The Pope is NOT a King nor would anyone even put forth such a ludicrous suggestion who knows a prophet from a King.

He is the leader of the faith according to God’s will and the Holy Spirit, as are all of the Bishop’s etc. of the church. Mose’s wasn’t perfect …nor the Prophets of OT, or the men called to lead the church today or in days gone by. BUT God called them to lead.

There is a BIG difference.


#16

[quote=Marie]The Pope is NOT a King nor would anyone even put forth such a ludicrous suggestion who knows a prophet from a King.
[/quote]

Believe what you will. But as for me, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

A prophet communicates God’s will to the people. The pope’s role is much more than communication. He sets the rules, beginning with who can and cannot administer sacraments.

I witnessed relief among devout Catholics at the selection of this pope instead of someone more liberal. Why? Because the pope sets the rules you all follow. He looks like a monarch, walks like a monarch, and talks like a monarch.


#17

Greetings Christians!!

I would like to comment on this subject of Peter being the “rock” upon which the church is built. I dont believe Peter was the rock, I believe Christ was and is. I believe from the scriptures that Peter was a beloved apostle and one of the “pillars” of the early church but there is no biblical evidence that the Peter of the N.T. was to become some pope figure as presented in Roman Catholic theology.

Let me say that my above statement doesnt mean that I dont recognize there is authority or leadership in the church, clearly there must be leaders to shepherd the flock of God. However we can see in the NT quite clearly that the apostles were equal among themselves in the early church.

First of all I will post some verses showing that YHWH is the Rock and some verses showing Christ is the Rock.

Deu 32:3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

1Sa 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

2Sa 22:32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

These verses clearly say YHWH is the Rock…now to the verses showing that Christ is the Rock.

1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Rom 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

We can clearly see that Christ is the rock…I end with the following scriptures proving that the church is built on Christ not the pope…

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:21 In whom[Christ] all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

GBU all Christians your brother in Christ A.Aaboe


#18

Here ya go A.Aaboe:
“Beyond the grammatical evidence, the structure of the narrative does not allow for a downplaying of Peter’s role in the Church. Look at the way Matthew 16:15-19 is structured. After Peter gives a confession about the identity of Jesus, the Lord does the same in return for Peter. Jesus does not say, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are an insignificant pebble and on this rock I will build my Church. . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is giving Peter a three-fold blessing, including the gift of the keys to the kingdom, not undermining his authority. To say that Jesus is downplaying Peter flies in the face of the context. Jesus is installing Peter as a form of chief steward or prime minister under the King of Kings by giving him the keys to the kingdom. As can be seen in Isaiah 22:22, kings in the Old Testament appointed a chief steward to serve under them in a position of great authority to rule over the inhabitants of the kingdom. Jesus quotes almost verbatum from this passage in Isaiah, and so it is clear what he has in mind. He is raising Peter up as a father figure to the household of faith (Is. 22:21), to lead them and guide the flock (John 21:15-17). This authority of the prime minister under the king was passed on from one man to another down through the ages by the giving of the keys, which were worn on the shoulder as a sign of authority. Likewise, the authority of Peter has been passed down for 2000 years by means of the papacy.”

The entire article is available here. catholic.com/library/Peter_the_Rock.asp
and more relevent articles are here.
catholic.com/library/church_papacy.asp
Read carefully, you’ve been taught all wrong.
Pax tecum,


#19

[quote=A.Aaboe]Greetings Christians!!

I would like to comment on this subject of Peter being the “rock” upon which the church is built. I dont believe Peter was the rock, I believe Christ was and is.


We can clearly see that Christ is the rock…I end with the following scriptures proving that the church is built on Christ not the pope…

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:21 In whom[Christ] all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

GBU all Christians your brother in Christ A.Aaboe
[/quote]

No offense but I do believe that you are being rather myopic in the way you view scripture as it pertains to the rock and foundation.

You rightly quoted Eph 2:20 but to the exclusion of 1 Corintians 3:11 which says: “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Please note that this verse says that there is but one foundation which would seem to contradict Eph 2:21. Not only that, but it seems to contradict Rev 21:14 where it says, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

You need to look at scripture in a more complete fashion. Jesus is the “cornerstone.” Jesus is also the architect of His Church and He clearly states that upon Peter[the rock] He will build His church. The Catholic teachings on the papacy and Peter are in no way contradicted by the scripture verses that you quoted in your post.

Jesus also says call no man father or teacher and scripture tells us that we have but one judge. But scripture also says the following:

Acts 7:2 And Stephen replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me.
Rom 4:16 Abraham is the father of us all
1Cor 4:15 I [Paul] became your father through the Gospel.
Phm 1:10 Paul refers to himself as spiritual father to Onesimus.
Rom 12:6-7 teachers
1Tim 2:7 Paul calls himself a teacher.
1 Cor 5:12 12. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
1 Cor 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? Do you not know that we are to judge angels?

Scripture makes it clear that Jesus Christ is foremost in all things. Scripture also makes it clear that Christ gives us a share in His work and that He does so according to the gifts granted each of us through the Holy Spirit. There is plenty of scripture and Christian practice to support the papacy. There is precious little that suggests that the leadership of the Church should or could be any other way. I hope this helps.


#20

[quote=A.Aaboe] I believe from the scriptures that Peter was a beloved apostle and one of the “pillars” of the early church but there is no biblical evidence that the Peter of the N.T. was to become some pope figure as presented in Roman Catholic theology.

Let me say that my above statement doesnt mean that I dont recognize there is authority or leadership in the church, clearly there must be leaders to shepherd the flock of God. However we can see in the NT quite clearly that the apostles were equal among themselves in the early church.

[/quote]

The first 12 Chapters of Acts is a history of the early Church in Jerusalem and, if I counted right, in it Peter’s name appears about 54 times, John’s about 14, James’ about 8, the rest of the Apostles are mentioned once. Add to this the fact that Peter’s name heads all the lists of Apostles in the Gospels and in Acts, the fact that they are referred to as “Peter and the [rest of] the apostles” or “Peter and the eleven,” and the fact that Peter is the spokesmen for the group on numerous occasions (Acts 1:15; 2:14; 3:12; etc.), and it should be evident to any impartial reader that Peter was the leader among the apostles, just as the pope is now the leader among the bishops of the Church.

Peter was singled out by Jesus for special gifts not given to the other apostles: “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 16:18) and an unfailing “faith” and he was given a charge by Jesus to “strengthen” his brother apostles (Luke 22:31-32), just as the pope does among the bishops of the Church today.

Acts 5:14-15 says, “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.” Sounds like Peter was a NT pope figure to me, the central pillar as it were.


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