Who is 'the Rock'?


#1

Who really is ‘the Rock’ of Matthew 16?
The Catholic Church maintains a belief that of all the Apostles of Jesus, Peter was the leader. That, because he was in this unique position, the office of Papacy is also the leader of all the churches.

This claim stems in part from Jesus saying “On this rock, I will build my Church”; Catholics assuming that ‘rock’ here refers to the Apostle Peter himself. And as a result of this, Peter’s successors are to inherit some special power over the whole church. But what in fact did the early church make of this statement?

A survey of early church fathers commentaries[1] shows seventeen Fathers thought of the rock as Peter, forty-four thought it referred to Peter’s confession of faith, sixteen thought Christ Himself was the rock, while eight thought that the rock meant all of the Apostles. Thus 80% of these Church Fathers did not recognize ‘the rock’ as meaning Peter alone. Such a claim of papal commission therefore is not so clear-cut.

One Father, Augustine of Hippo wrote “See what praises follow this faith. ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build this Church. What meaneth, ’Upon this rock I will build My Church’? Upon this faith; upon this that has been said, ‘Thou art the Christ the Son of the Living God. Upon this rock,’ saith He, ‘I will build My Church” (Homily X on John V. 1-3).[2]

St. Cyprian stated “Faith is the foundation of the Church, for it was not of the person but of the faith of St. Peter that it was said that the gates of hell should not prevail against it; it is the confession of faith that has vanquished hell. Jesus Christ is the Rock. He did not deny the grace of His name when He called him Peter, because he borrowed from the rock the constancy and solidity of his faith. Endeavour then, thyself to be a rock ‘thy rock is thy faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If thou art a rock, thou shalt be in the Church for the Church is built upon the rock.” (De Catholicae Ecclesia Unitate, cap. 4-5).[3]

Turning again to Augustine: “Therefore Peter is so called from the
rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the
Christian, but the Christian from Christ. Therefore, He saith, ‘Thou art
Peter; and upon this Rock’ which thou hast confessed, upon this Rock which
thou hast acknowledged saying, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
God, will I build My Church:’ that is upon Myself, the Son of the living
God, ‘will I build My Church.’ I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself
upon thee. For men who wish to be built upon men, said, ‘I am of Paul: and
I of Appollos; and I of Cephas,’ (1Cor. 1:12) who is Peter, but upon the
Rock, said ‘But I am of Christ.

“And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, ‘Is Christ divided’? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul’? (1Cor 1:13) And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that
Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter.”
(Sermon XXVI Matt. XIV, 25).[4]

Thus, St. Cyprian says ”For neither did Peter, whom first the Lord chose, when Paul disputed with him afterwards about the circumcision, claim anything to himself insolently, nor arrogantly assume anything, so as to say that he held
primacy, and that he out to be obeyed to novices and those lately come.”
(Epistle LXX concerning the baptism of Heretics). [5]

Another claim deals with the belief that the power of loosing and binding was given to Peter alone. However Matthew 18:18 shows that all the Apostles received the same powers. Thus to turn to St. Augustine once more.

“He had not the primacy over the disciples (in discipulos) but among the disciples (in disipulis). His primacy among the disciples was the same as that of Stephen
among the deacons.” (Sermon 10 on Peter and Paul).[6]

Endnotes…


[1] Jean de Launoy Epist. Vii., Opp. Vol. V., pt 2. p.99, Geneva, 1731 quoted in Whelton, M., (1998 ), “Two Paths: Papal Monarchy : Collegial Tradition”, p27. On the issue of ‘the Rock’ and ‘the Keys’ we can look to other great thinkers… (see also Appendix A) to determine how they interpreted these words. Also

tecmalta.org/tft305.htm

[2] Ibid, pp27-8. also at ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-07/npnf1-07-141.htm#P4618_2490251

[3] Ibid, p28. Note that St. Cyprian re-occurs a number of times as one of the so-called ‘champions’ of Papal Primacy – we shall visit him again as well.

And at ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-05/anf05-111.htm#P6832_2190664

[4] Ibid, pp31-32 quoted also at ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-06/npnf1-06-43.htm#P4186_1789723

[5] Whelton, p34.

[6] Ibid, p-33.

"


#2

In Catholicism, we frequently find that the correct answer is not either / or, but both.

The Rock is God, and the Rock is Peter. The faith of Peter allows the Holy Spirit to work through him. This is why it is not hard for us, as Catholics to understand that Christ would select the weakest of men to lead his Church, for the strength of the foundation is not on the human strength of the man, but rather on the strength made possible by God alone, and that through the smallness of Peter.

It is only in our being small that Christ can be made large in us. This is why it has been said that the meak shall inherit the earth. This is why we are called to humility.

It is not either Faith or Peter, Peter or Christ, it is both, each of these is correct and all of these are correct for in Christ all things are possible. And yet it is not All the Apostles having the same degree of authority in the church or having the same role in forming a foundational role in the Church. For to each are given different gifts.

Together, we create the whole of the Body of Christ and yet we do not all play the same role.

Hope this helps,

CARose


#3

Welcome, first time poster, White Mountain.

You may want to complete a search for this topic as you are not the first, nor will you be the last to bring up this topic.

The Church has faced your arguments for 2000 years…so I ask…are you open to the truth or are you just looking for an argument?

Before you pat yourself on the back for your wonderful masterpiece of objections against the true faith, please research the forums. This topic has come up again and again.

And we will continue to answer again and again but in your research you may find that your objections have already been answered, or if not, you may want to refine what you have posted already.

Myself, I can’t answer all you have to say, but I know where to obtain the resources and research them, for the most part.

Others are much more knowledgeable and you will be impressed with their ability to convey the true teachings of the Church.

God bless you on your journey of faith.


#4

FYI, all discerning readers:

Our new friend uses, as one of his sources, a Protestent Reformed Baptist website, clearly anti-Catholic, indicated by the standard “disclaimer” at the bottom through this customary statement, condescending in its simplicity:

“Just for Catholics” is our evangelistic site for Roman Catholics who want to know how to be saved according to the teaching of the Bible. It is presented in several languages…"

So beware, we are being “evangelized” as being lost sheep, unknowing in our oblivion.

Mr. Montalban, are you aware that you have the Catholic Church to thank for the Bible you so worship? Are you aware that the Bible was compiled on the basis of Sacred Tradition, which is not the tradition of man, but of the Son of Man and of the God of the Jews, whom you and we boht refer to as the Triune God?

While you may try to object to our beliefs through seemingly contradictory statements from the Church fathers, don’t you think it’s funny that those you so use against us did not denounce the faith, but rather, built it up and remained Catholic? And isn’t it funny how many knowledgeable Catholics revere these Church Fathers, who existed long before the Reformation, after which your denimination was born?

To know the true history is to cease to be Protestant, as spoken by the great St. Neumann. (Is he Saint or blessed?).

Your belief in salvation is inherently flawed, however, we as Catholics believe that through your invincible ignorance you can still be saved. But beware…you will no longer be considered to be “invincibly ignorant” after you have spent time here.

But we will not condemn you…we will pray for you, we will love you and God willing, you will convert to Catholicism.


#5

[quote=JCPhoenix]Welcome, first time poster, White Mountain.

You may want to complete a search for this topic as you are not the first, nor will you be the last to bring up this topic.

The Church has faced your arguments for 2000 years…so I ask…are you open to the truth or are you just looking for an argument?

Before you pat yourself on the back for your wonderful masterpiece of objections against the true faith, please research the forums. This topic has come up again and again.

And we will continue to answer again and again but in your research you may find that your objections have already been answered, or if not, you may want to refine what you have posted already.

Myself, I can’t answer all you have to say, but I know where to obtain the resources and research them, for the most part.

Others are much more knowledgeable and you will be impressed with their ability to convey the true teachings of the Church.

God bless you on your journey of faith.
[/quote]

Thank you for the welcome. Forgive me but your reply is not satisfactory. As an Orthodox Christian I could just as easily say that we have 2,000 years of answers to Catholicism. Secondly the ‘go do the research to prove us correct’ response is even less satisfactory. It also assumes that I’ve not looked into this at all.

I have. And I’ve been directed to a large number of quotes allegding support for the Papacy from Orthodox
Such as the following have been suggested to me…
catholic.com/library/eastern_orthodoxy.asp
globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/patriarchs.htm
This last list itself is linked from a vast number of sites:
geocities.com/Athens/Atrium/8410/pete.html
ic.net/~erasmus/ERASMUS4.HTM
catholicsource.net/articles/petertherock.html
jloughnan.tripod.com/the_rock.htm
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=239960
srv1.ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ206.HTM
americancatholictruthsociety.com/docs/ecfpapacy.htm
Typically such sites only register half-quotes, or out-of-context quotes.
Such as the following:
“After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: ‘This is the faith of the fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! So we all believe! Thus the orthodox believe! Anathema to him who does not thus believe! Peter has spoken thus through Leo!’”[1]
This is of course missing the vital part…

“After reading of the forgoing epistle (Pope Leo’s), the most reverend bishops cried out: “This is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe, thus the orthodox believe. Anathema to him who does not thus believe. Peter has spoken thus through Leo. So taught the Apostles. Piously and truly did Leo teach, so taught Cyril. Everlasting be the memory of Cyril. Leo and Cyril taught the same thing, anathema to him who does not so believe. This is the true faith. Those of us who are orthodox thus believe.”[2]

That is, they welcome the teachings of Leo, because they are the truth, as are the teachings of Cyril. They are not saying ‘these are the teachings of our leader’, otherwise they wouldn’t have put Cyril on the same footing as Leo.

Endnotes

[1] catholic.com/library/peter_successors.asp
[2] quoted in Whelton, p64 and at ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-14/Npnf2-14-95.htm#P4844_991182


#6

Care to respond to my answer Montalban?

CARose


#7

[quote=JCPhoenix]FYI, all discerning readers:
Our new friend uses, as one of his sources, a Protestent Reformed Baptist website, clearly anti-Catholic, indicated by the standard “disclaimer” at the bottom through this customary statement, condescending in its simplicity:
“Just for Catholics” is our evangelistic site for Roman Catholics who want to know how to be saved according to the teaching of the Bible. It is presented in several languages…"
So beware, we are being “evangelized” as being lost sheep, unknowing in our oblivion.
[/quote]

This is typical of many arguments that can’t deal with the facts of the matter at hand - they attack the person saying it. In this case you’ve gone for the "he’s quoted Protestants, therefore automatically beware -without any due reference to what was actually said.

[quote=JCPhoenix]Mr. Montalban, are you aware that you have the Catholic Church to thank for the Bible you so worship? Are you aware that the Bible was compiled on the basis of Sacred Tradition, which is not the tradition of man, but of the Son of Man and of the God of the Jews, whom you and we boht refer to as the Triune God?
[/quote]

Are you aware that these things are attribted to my church - the Orthodox?

[quote=JCPhoenix]While you may try to object to our beliefs through seemingly contradictory statements from the Church fathers, don’t you think it’s funny that those you so use against us did not denounce the faith, but rather, built it up and remained Catholic? And isn’t it funny how many knowledgeable Catholics revere these Church Fathers, who existed long before the Reformation, after which your denimination was born?
[/quote]

Ah. You think I’m Protestant. Instead of asking, you’ve gone into stock standard ‘anti-Protestant’ mode.

[quote=JCPhoenix]To know the true history is to cease to be Protestant, as spoken by the great St. Neumann. (Is he Saint or blessed?).

Your belief in salvation is inherently flawed, however, we as Catholics believe that through your invincible ignorance you can still be saved. But beware…you will no longer be considered to be “invincibly ignorant” after you have spent time here.

But we will not condemn you…we will pray for you, we will love you and God willing, you will convert to Catholicism.
[/quote]

Thanks for waxing lyrically. If you care to address what I wrote, not me, or from whence I sourced - if you find my source actually at fault, then please point it out.


#8

[quote=CARose]In Catholicism, we frequently find that the correct answer is not either / or, but both.
The Rock is God, and the Rock is Peter. The faith of Peter allows the Holy Spirit to work through him. This is why it is not hard for us, as Catholics to understand that Christ would select the weakest of men to lead his Church, for the strength of the foundation is not on the human strength of the man, but rather on the strength made possible by God alone, and that through the smallness of Peter.

It is only in our being small that Christ can be made large in us. This is why it has been said that the meak shall inherit the earth. This is why we are called to humility.

It is not either Faith or Peter, Peter or Christ, it is both, each of these is correct and all of these are correct for in Christ all things are possible. And yet it is not All the Apostles having the same degree of authority in the church or having the same role in forming a foundational role in the Church. For to each are given different gifts.

Together, we create the whole of the Body of Christ and yet we do not all play the same role.

Hope this helps,
CARose
[/quote]

My apology for answering you last. You make a very interesting post. How this helps Papal claims, I’m unsure of. My own church is Antiochian Orthodox. We were founded by St. Peter BEFORE he and St. Paul went to Rome.


#9

[quote=CARose]Care to respond to my answer Montalban?

CARose
[/quote]

You need not be impatient. I am not tied to this thread but do other things - espcially when Sudnay afternoon footy is on the telly.

Go the Eels
www.parraeels.com.au

I am also in a completely different hemisphere from you, and the words take time to understand upside-down :slight_smile:


#10

For those interested… the signature is
"Hail Mary, full of Grace
the Lord is with you"

in Gaelic.


#11

My apologies, Montalban, however, however, since you used an anti-Catholic source, I stand by what I said. If you use a Protestant resource, that is fine. I know many Protestants who very much respect the Catholic faith and I respect their faith. I also have run into many anti-Catholics and the use of one of their websites by a poster usually indicates where their intentions lie. If I have judged your intentions incorrectly, please forgive me.

You may want to re-think using that resource or like resources in the future.

Secondly, maybe I was not clear…search THESE FORUMS for the answers to your questions. They have likely been asked before. I’m sorry I was not more clear.

Thank you for condemning me, as I also clearly stated I could not answer your questions, therefore I admitted my ignorance to you and all present. Yet you yourself attacked my words in spite of what I revealed.

So I’ll re-post it: "Myself, I can’t answer all you have to say, but I know where to obtain the resources and research them, for the most part. "

I haven’t had time to research, so if you please, allow me to do so before I reply so that I can respond intelligently.

So I stand by what I said, and I refine it as such:

  • If you expect to be taken seriously, make sure your resources are not anti-Catholic. There are plenty of resources which are credible yet not Catholic in origin.

  • Research these forums as this is a common topic, and I believe I saw another one on this theme going currently. You may find it enlightening. I have not read it or many others like it but just the same you should use the “search” feature.


#12

More claims swirl around the internet. I only cite these to let you know that I have in fact actually researched the matter.
The following “Claims” are from globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/patriarchs.htm
**Claim:**Peter, set above the Apostles. (Peter of Alexandria, Canon. ix, Galland, iv. p. 98 )
**Counter:**The canon as given by the Catholic site[1]
says “Thus Peter, the first of the apostles, having been often apprehended” this could mean the first of the Apostles to acknowledge Jesus as God.

**Claim:**Rome is called the Apostolic throne. (Athanasius, Hist. Arian, ad Monach. n. 35).
**Counter:**As it was a See founded by an Apostle it is Apostolic. It is not ‘the’ Apostolic throne.
“because it was an Apostolical throne;”
Athanasius History of the Arians 35[2]
Also See THE APOSTOLIC THRONE OF ANDREW AND JOHN[3]

Claim: In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples (Acts 15), both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock …he first acts with authority in the matter, as having all put into his hands ; for to him Christ said, 'And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren. (Chrysostom, Hom. iii Act Apost. tom. ix.)[4]
Counter:
What does it actually say…?
“And in those days,” it says, “Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said.” (v. 15.) Both as being ardent, and as having been put in trust by Christ with the flock, and as having precedence in honor, he always begins the discourse. (“The number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty.) Men and brethren,” he says, “this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake before,” [etc.] (v. 16.) Why did he not ask Christ to give him some one in the room of Judas? It is better as it is. For in the first place, they were engaged in other things; secondly, of Christ’s presence with them, the greatest proof that could be given was this: as He had chosen when He was among them, so did He now being absent. Now this was no small matter for their consolation. But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing imperiously. And he does not speak thus without a meaning. But observe how he consoles them concerning what had passed. In fact, what had happened had caused them no small consternation. For if there are many now who canvass this circumstance,what may we suppose they had to say then? [5]

NOT AUTHORITY !!!
Endnotes

[1] newadvent.org/fathers/0620.htm
[2] ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-51.htm#P4861_1933128
[3] patriarchate.org/ecumenical_patriarchate/chapter_1/throne_of_Andrew_and_john.html
[4] globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/patriarchs.htm
[5] ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-11/npnf1-11-10.htm#P272_117779


#13

[quote=JCPhoenix]You may want to re-think using that resource or like resources in the future.
Thank you for condemning me, as I also clearly stated I could not answer your questions, therefore I admitted my ignorance to you and all present. Yet you yourself attacked my words in spite of what I revealed.

[/quote]

It wasn’t my intent to condemn you, but what you said. The idea 'go look for the answers somewhere else (even if it’s just within this forum) is not a satisfactory one. Neither is the one suggesting I only look at pro-Catholic sites. Note that I quote from Catholic sites already on this thread and show why, at least in these instances, why they aren’t to be relied upon.


#14

How wonderful that your church has such a long and illustrious history.

As you most likely know, the succession of the apostles follows the person, which in this case was Peter. Peter went with his office intact to Rome, where the Martyrdom served to build the Church and ultimately spread it throughout the Western world.

You can see additional evidence of the Primacy of Peter (as you say, among the Apostles), in the Acts of the Apostles. When there was a question concerning the Gentiles (I believe it was on whether converts needed to be circumcized), it was brought to Peter in Jerusalem for a formal determination. This was the first Council of the Church, and as you can see in Scripture, the ultimate decision rested with Peter.

Throughout Scripture, it is Peter who is listed first among the Apostles and Peter who takes the lead. Peter is also the worst in that he promises to love Christ (3 times) and then immediately betrays him (again 3 times). But this is before the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paracleat or Advocate who has been with us through all the ages.

Christ promised that the Gates of the Netherworld would not prevail against his church. We are also told that the Church is the Pillar and Foundation (or Bulwarks, depending upon your translation) of the Truth. We are also told that if we have a difficulty with another, we are to first attempt to address it with the person, then take it to another couple of friends, and finally to the Church. The church, as with the Orthodox, is an actual entity. But ultimately, there must be a final authority. In the case of the church, that final authority is the Pope. And yet the Infallibility of the Magesterium functions not only in the Pope but also in the Bishops acting in union with him.

What I love is that even after all these years that the Orthodox have been seperate from the Latin Rite Catholics, and out of communion with the Pope, the Dogma we hold to be true is consistant in all but a very few points (Papal authority being one of the primary sticking points).

I am sorry that the weakness of the men involved in the Crusades led them to believe it could ever be appropriate to Sac their fellow Catholics, even if they celebrated their Unity under Christ in a manner that didn’t look or feel like the Latin Rite they knew and loved. It was a travesty what occurred in Constantinople in the 11th century. Don’t I wish that the Pope at the time had access to a cell phone or even a radio to stop the bad acts before they had occurred.

I can’t imagine the hard feelings such actions and the subsequent challenges between Rome and the East created. I can only hope that we can all come together for the Love of Christ, so that the unity of His Church might be more apparent.

CARose


#15

The idea 'go look for the answers somewhere else (even if it’s just within this forum) is not a satisfactory one.

What’s not satisfactory is that we should re-answer things repeatedly when there are answers already available, by the same people, on these very forums. If, after you’ve looked, you find that we didn’t address a particular concern, by all means bring it up. Starting out with a constantly repeated question and expecting a fresh answer does nothing but burn people out.

It’s not really a matter of apologetics, but of forum etiquette. People could have said this in a kinder manner, but it’s something that does need to be said in one way or another.

:blessyou:


#16

[quote=Montalban]It wasn’t my intent to condemn you, but what you said. The idea 'go look for the answers somewhere else (even if it’s just within this forum) is not a satisfactory one. Neither is the one suggesting I only look at pro-Catholic sites. Note that I quote from Catholic sites already on this thread and show why, at least in these instances, why they aren’t to be relied upon.
[/quote]

I did not suggest that you use pro-Catholic resources. Please go back and read what I wrote.

I suggested that you use CREDIBLE resources.

For example, in researching the response to “The DaVinci Code”, Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel used resources which were athiest, yet scholarly, and still refuted the heretical claims made in the book and propogated by Dan Brown in his interviews to be factual.

Those resources cited by Olson and Miesel, while not pro-Catholic, or written from a pro-anything standpoint, are scholarly works not attached to any religion, and so can be arguably even better resources than something which is pro-Catholic.

However, if you insist upon using, to support your position, websites or other resources which demonstrate a clear-anti-Catholic ajenda, then expect that you may not be taken seriously.

If you are sincerely Orthodox, if I were arguing against your faith, I certainly would not use a clear anti-Orthodox resource to attack what you believe. To do so would discredit my entire argument.

I hope my point is taken this time.

God bless, and as it is late in my part of the world, I bid you good night.

Que te vaya bien.


#17

[quote=Ghosty]What’s not satisfactory is that we should re-answer things repeatedly when there are answers already available, by the same people, on these very forums. If, after you’ve looked, you find that we didn’t address a particular concern, by all means bring it up. Starting out with a constantly repeated question and expecting a fresh answer does nothing but burn people out.

It’s not really a matter of apologetics, but of forum etiquette. People could have said this in a kinder manner, but it’s something that does need to be said in one way or another.

[/quote]

No, it’s making a just-so statement that somewhere, some other time, all of this has been answered before. And, as noted I can make just as easy a statement. I note now that this thread has gone for some posts and most of the retort is skipping around the facts.


#18

What many many many Protestant scholars have said in their commentaries on Matthew 16 and Peter

(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).

What a prominent Orthodox scholar has said:

“It has long been noticed that Mt 16:17-19 has a Palestinian, Aramaic background. The form of Jesus’ reply to Peter’s confession appears Hebraistic. There are parallels to the Matthean text in the Qumran literature. The use of semitisms such as ‘gates of Hades,’ ‘flesh and blood,’ ‘bind and loose,’ and semitic parallelism again indicates an Aramaic environment…[Jesus] conferred upon Simon Bar-Jonah the title Peter, and promised that he would build his church upon him. ‘You are Peter (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church (ecclesia).’ These words are spoken in Aramaic, in which Cephas stands both for petros and petra…The confession of Peter, therefore, cannot be separated from Peter himself. Petra or rock does not simply refer to Peter’s faith but also to Peter personally. There is a formal and real identity between Petros and petra. Jesus will build the church upon Cephas.” (Veselin Kesich, “Peter’s Primacy in the New Testament and the Early Tradition” in The Primacy of Peter edited by John Meyendorff [St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1992], page 47,48)

I don’t want to take him out of context since he does argue against the “universal jurisdiction” of Peter and the Papacy, but it is very hard arguing against the Peter = Rock connection.

For more from history, see my John Chapman series of articles, and soon the book by Luke Rivington (PDF scans are up, HTML in a month when I can edit it).

Phil P


#19

[quote=CARose]How wonderful that your church has such a long and illustrious history.
As you most likely know, the succession of the apostles follows the person, which in this case was Peter. Peter went with his office intact to Rome, where the Martyrdom served to build the Church and ultimately spread it throughout the Western world.
[/quote]

Actually I acknowledge no such thing about Apostolic succession. Rome’s church was founded by Peter and Paul. And Peter isn’t counted as the first Pope…
St. Peter is not seen as the sole founder of Rome’s Christian church, nor is he seen as its first bishop! Irenaeus wrote that Peter was not alone… “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.”[1]

In a much larger exerpt … “Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say, ] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate.”[2] That is, Linus is the first Bishop, NOT St. Peter If you read on, he counts St. Clement as third from Linus (not St. Peter)… “Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric.”[3]

Notes on the First Pope
[1] Irenaus, “Against Heresies”, Book III.1.1 (quoted at ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7297_1937859)
[2] Ibid. Book III.3.2-3
[3] Ibid. Book III.3.3

end part 1


#20

[quote=CARose]You can see additional evidence of the Primacy of Peter (as you say, among the Apostles), in the Acts of the Apostles. When there was a question concerning the Gentiles (I believe it was on whether converts needed to be circumcized), it was brought to Peter in Jerusalem for a formal determination. This was the first Council of the Church, and as you can see in Scripture, the ultimate decision rested with Peter.
[/quote]

Actually the only thing I agree with you about is that we can see how the Apostles viewed each other in the book of Acts.
“This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.” (Acts 15:2).

That a) they were in dispute, and b) they sought the elders, not Peter alone.
When we look at the first council, that of Jerusalem (in Acts 15) it was presided over by James, who also rendered the final judgment, even as
Peter was present. ”When they finished, St. James spoke up: ”It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.”
Eusebius wrote of this in his church history (note he also quotes Clement – a supposed Papal prince). “This James, whom the early Christians surnamed the Righteous because of his outstanding virtue, was the first, as the records tell us, to be elected to the Episcopal throne of the Jerusalem church. Clement, in Outlines Book VI, puts it thus: “Peter, James, and John, after the Ascension of the Saviour, did not claim pre-eminence because the Saviour had especially honoured them, but chose James the Righteous as Bishop of Jerusalem.”[1]

Looking at Acts 15:22 we see “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers” That is, the council in session decided, not a pontiff, Peter.

There are a few important things to note about this council. St. James was the bishop of Jerusalem, therefore the meeting was held in his See, and thus he presided, not Peter, because Jerusalem was then the most important Christian centre.

Some Roman Catholics claim that when St. Peter spoke, all were silent. When someone spoke, whomever it was, no one else spoke over them. That’s called politeness
Thus…
"When they finished, St. James spoke up:…"
That is, St. James waited his turn.
Earlier…
Acts 15:12
"The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and St. Paul
telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the
Gentiles through them. "
They too had the floor, and everyone was silent.
c) MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL James clearly made the decision
Acts 15:19
"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for
the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Note also…
Acts 15:23
"With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your
brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
24
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and
disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
25
So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear
friends Barnabas and Paul-- 26 men who have risked their lives for the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ
That is, ‘we’ decided this, ‘we’ voted on this. Not “Peter” decided this.
Thus
"But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing
imperiously."
St. John Chrysotomon, Homily III on Acts 1:12[2]
Notes on Acts

[1] “The History of the Church” – II.I quoted in Ibid, pp38-9, also at ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-07.htm#P938_461218
[2] Whelton, p33 and at ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-11/npnf1-11-10.htm#P272_117779

End part 2


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