Who is "The rock which I will found my church"?


I was talking to my aunt, trying to convence her about Peter being the rock which Christ would found his church. She told me that “No, he was talking about his confession. That who ever would confess Jesus as Christ would be the true Church of God.” What would I say to her?


Here is a link to the Catholic Answers answer on that.


The understanding that it is the faith which anyone possesses would bring this question to mind for me.

So there is more than one version of the truth? If I confess Jesus as Christ and I believe in different doctrines then doesn’t that contradict that interpretation?

Did Jesus establish multiple Churches according to one’s interpretation or point of view?

Hopefully this will give you some sample things to give to her to think about.

God Bless


Lets take a closer look.
Matthew 16:

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 11 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Or, more literally, verse 18 says: And so I say to you, you are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. (The greek says: you are Petra, and upon this petros I will build my church.)

Now lets look at this in context. Blessed are you Simon!..You are Rock, and on this Rock I will build my church.

Note that does not say: Blessed are you Simon! What you have said is a rock! And on that rock…

Nor does he say: Blessed are you Simon! We are all a rock!

Nor does he say: Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah! For you are rock, and everyone else who agrees with you is a rock too!

There’s nto much to say if someone insists on inserting words into Christ’s mouth that aren’t there, other then to point out what’s being said.



I have a question. This has been on my mind for a long time. Wasn’t Peter’s original name Simon, and Jesus was the one who gave Simon the new name Peter? Or am I mistaken?


Nope, that’s exactly right. This is the moment where Christ gave him that name.



Say the following, in these exact words :smiley:

Let’s summarize what Protestant scholars are saying in their commentaries on Matthew 16:18 –

(A) Peter is the Rock, the foundation stone of Jesus’ Church, the Church would be built on Peter personally;

(B) Peter’s name means Rock (petros or petra in Greek, Kepha or Cephas in Aramaic);

© The slight distinction in meaning for the Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) was largely confined to poetry before the time of Jesus and therefore has no special importance;

(D) The Greek words for Rock (petros, petra) by Jesus’ day were interchangeable in meaning;

(E) The underlying Aramaic Kepha-kepha of Jesus’ words makes the Rock-rock identification certain;

(F) The Greek word petra, being a feminine noun, could not be used for a man’s name, so Petros was used;

(G) Only because of past “Protestant bias” was the Peter is Rock identification denied;

(H) The pun or play on words makes sense only if Peter is the Rock;

(I) Jesus says “and on this rock” not “but on this rock” – the referent is therefore Peter personally;

(J) Verse 19 and the immediate context (singular “you”) shows Peter is the Rock of verse 18;

(K) Peter’s revelation and confession of Jesus as the Christ parallels Jesus’ declaration and identification of Peter as the Rock;

(L) Peter is paralleled to Abraham who also had his name changed, was a Father to God’s people, and was called the Rock (Isaiah 51:1-2; cf. Gen 17:5ff).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church accepts a polyvalent view of this text, as the anti-Catholic fundamentalist James G. McCarthy notes (see Gospel According to Rome, page 375, note 414). The literal interpretation is that Simon alone is the rock of Christ’s Church, the Church is built on Peter personally (CCC 881, 586, 552). However, the Catechism also notes that Peter is the unshakeable rock because of his faith in Christ (CCC 552); that the acknowledgement of Christ’s divine sonship is the Church’s foundation (CCC 442); on the rock of Peter’s faith Christ built His Church (CCC 424); and Christ Himself as rock and “chief cornerstone” (1 Peter 2:4ff; 1 Cor 10:4; Eph 2:20) is the foundation (CCC 756).

The literal interpretation and primary meaning of the text is that Christ would build His Church on St. Peter, the Rock (Kepha in Aramaic). This is indeed the prevalent view among Protestant biblical scholars today.

Then follow with at least two dozen Protestant commentaries saying Peter = Rock :smiley:

Phil P


The Papacy: God’s Gift to the Church by James Akin


I found this short essay very informative. It’s got a bunch of information squeezed into the small area.


I hope this helps.

God bless.


Show her Matthew 14:33 where others call Jesus the Son of God, yet Jesus doesn’t give the speech to them as a group. Jesus singles Peter out afterwards, this is very important.

If it was just the words he said, why didn’t Jesus say that to the group who proclaimed Him to be the Son of God earlier? Why did He address Peter in the singular in Matthew 16? The only logical conclusion is that there is a very specific reason for saying these things to Peter, and that reason is given directly in the passage in question. It doesn’t any word twisting to understand this.

closed #10

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.