Why did Jesus use the term "gates" in Mt 16:18?


#1

What is the Catholic point of view on why Jesus uses the word “gates” in Matthew 16:18?

I know in general what we, as Catholics, believe the verse is saying regarding the Church. But, I am wondering why Jesus chose the word “gates”, and not simply “satan”, or “evil”… or even, “nothing passing through the gates of hell”.

How do the gates, themselves, figure into it? Gates are structures… they don’t fight. It seems to me that a gate would only “prevail” against someone who is pushing against it. In what sense is Christ’s Church pushing against the gates of hell, and how does it tie into our beliefs regarding the meaning of Matthew 16:18?


#2

Hello Fiat Lux, this is what the Douay Rheims bible online says in the commentary:

18 “The gates of hell”… That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself, or his agents. For as the church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is, the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the church of Christ.

drbo.org/chapter/47016.htm

God bless,
Noel.


#3

[quote=Fiat Lux]How do the gates, themselves, figure into it?
[/quote]

The “gate” (entrance) of a fortress is heavily symbolic. It is the most heavily armed part of the fortress (which is why Frodo did well not to take on the Black Gate). That is where the banners and signs would be placed to identify the lofty status of the occupant. And that’s the means by which the occupant leaves the fortress to do his activities in the world.

It is the most prominent and powerful part of the fortress. In a significant way, it represents the fortress itself.

Jesus compares hell to a fortress, just as he compares heaven to a house of mansions. The gate of the fortress is the “business end.”


#4

It also depends on what translation you are using. The Ignatius Revised Standard reads

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

No gates to be had here.


#5

[quote=StCsDavid]It also depends on what translation you are using. The Ignatius Revised Standard reads…
[/quote]

But the Greek term is clearly “gate.” IRS is being a bit interpretative here.


#6

[quote=Fiat Lux]What is the Catholic point of view on why Jesus uses the word “gates” in Matthew 16:18?

I know in general what we, as Catholics, believe the verse is saying regarding the Church. But, I am wondering why Jesus chose the word “gates”, and not simply “satan”, or “evil”… or even, “nothing passing through the gates of hell”.

How do the gates, themselves, figure into it? Gates are structures… they don’t fight. It seems to me that a gate would only “prevail” against someone who is pushing against it. In what sense is Christ’s Church pushing against the gates of hell, and how does it tie into our beliefs regarding the meaning of Matthew 16:18?
[/quote]

Actually, Christ may have meant something special by His use of *POO-lays, *“gates.”

The Door Type in the Bible symbolizes “Chist.” There is a very clear Index Verse affirming this…

**9 **I am the gate. John 10:9.

Typologically, Christ probably envisioned Himself holding the damned in Hell.


#7

[quote=Fiat Lux]What is the Catholic point of view on why Jesus uses the word “gates” in Matthew 16:18?..
[/quote]

It’s a prophetic reference to Microsoft.


#8

gates refers to opening and closing, locking and unlocking, binding and loosing. read the gospel along with OT reading, on the appointment of the king’s steward, who had power of the keys, for more enlightenment. the gates and the keys go together as symbols of authority and access. the gates of hell contrast to the gates of heaven, recall that when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden the gates were shut and locked against them literally, meaning that the gates of heaven were shut until Christ opens them after his death, bringing the righteous who have died into heaven at that time. the gates and keys metaphor relates not only to “place” and to “treasure”, the king’s wealth, but to the law and authority, that is, binding and loosing, since the king’s steward had the authority to promulgate (or abrogate) and enforce law in the king’s name.


#9

According to the Ignatius Study Bible on Matthew, there was a tradition that the cornerstone of the Jewish temple was built over an opening in the ground that was thought to be the literal entrance – the gate, if you will – to hell (in the OT sense, Sheol, the shadowy place of the dead). In ancient times, of course, all great cities had massive gates. This cornerstone, therefore, protected the forces of hell from over-running the temple and by extension, the people of God.

The implication of Jesus’ pronouncement in Matthew 16, then, is that Peter, as the Rock on which Jesus’ Church would be built, would be that rock, that cornerstone, that would block the forces behind the gates of hell that might prevail against the Church. In fact Peter (and by implication all his successors, since this office was clearly meant to last as long as the Church lasts) was given the keys to this gate giving him effective control and authority.


#10

I’ve read that we can interpret the master of this fallen world to be Satan. Christ came to establish a beachhead in occupied territory. If Christ’s Church were to fail then the “gates of hell” could have said to have held against this insurgency.


#11

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]It’s a prophetic reference to Microsoft.
[/quote]

Oops. This was supposed to have one of these :wink: at the end.


#12

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]It’s a prophetic reference to Microsoft.
[/quote]

Haaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

First of all, thanks for the great quip!

Second of all, you owe me about $800.00 for making me spew milk at my computer screen and keyboard!

NotWorthy


#13

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