In Matthew 16, Jesus, without doubt, created the perpetual office of the chief steward of the household of God. In our modern terms, the papacy. …Simon, thou art ‘the pope’ and on the ‘papacy’ I will build my church. They are different words, pope and papacy, just like in the rock metaphor. A biblical Greek word may have been, Leitourgos(public servant) and leitourgia(office of the public servant).
The word ‘papacy’, like petra and leitourgia, meaning the office would have had a feminine grammatical gender. It’s not sexist, its descriptive of the noun. “Petra” is the perpetual office of the papacy and not the pope himself.
I think that everyone would agree that the office would be a large immovable object if it was intended to last beyond Simon, and Petros,(Pope) the smaller stone, would be of lessor significance than the office of the chief servant, which is larger than any one person.
But, why the use of the Metaphor of the Rock? I have ideas from the Old Testament, but I’d like to know if there has been scholarship on it.
Obviously, Jesus spoke on the subject a few months earlier in His ministry. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus said that a “wise man” (and He was) would build his house on a rock. The winds and the storms would blast the house, but the house would survive. (My paraphrase)
Then, in Matthew 16, Jesus said Simon, you are are Rock, and on this “Rock” He would build His “house” …and the"winds" of hell would batter against it but not prevail.
So, the office of the Chief Servant in the household of God may get battered by the “winds” and the “storms” but would not prevail. Jesus is in the boat. He would never leave the Church, the Household of the Living God.
I think there are fascinating reasons for using the metaphor “Rock” in the Old Testament also.
Am I on the wrong path? Is there scholarship on the use of “Rock”?
Thanks, and Best to you, Patrick
Just think, did St. Paul say, " Mr. Rock, Sir"