Skip to comments.Urologists offer pizza with a vasectomy
Posted on 03/16/2012 6:57:25 AM PDT by JoeProBono
click here to read article
Leviticus 15:16 "When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening"
Nobody else is present. As opposed to the distinction when a female is present two verses later.
Leviticus 15:18 "When a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening."
Emission of semen is different in this chapter than that referred to in Deut 23:10 as merely a nocturnal emission.
Deuteronomy 23:10 "If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there."
Therefore I conclude that these verses refer to 3 different types of emissions. That which one has with a woman (Lev 15:18), that which one has during the course of sleep (Deut 23:10) and that which one has that is self-generated (Lev 15:16).
Regardless, where does this say that we can ONLY justify our beliefs through Scripture references?
I have demonstrated where we are not to add to what God has commanded as you requested. You have yet to demonstrate that God abhors vasectomies as you claimed. You, or any other, can claim God hates various things. But if God has not stated that He does, it is an emply claim and this is exactly what Christ condemned in the Pharisees when He stated in Mat 15:3 "Jesus replied, And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?". The Pharisees claimed washing hands was of utmost concern, the Catholic church claims no vasectomies. Both are based on tradition and not on a true understanding of God's Word.
Again, regardless, where does this passage say that we can only justify our beliefs through Scripture references?
The passage in Galatians is to illustrate that if it is counter to God's Word, it is NOT of God and the person is to be eternally condemned. Including a Pope. Do you recall Philip and the Ethiopian? Acts 8:35 "Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." The good news IS the gospel - and ALL of Scripture contains the good news as Philip showed the Ethiopian. Further illustrated in Acts 28:23 "From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets." Therefore, this passage in Galatians illustrates that any doctrine that runs counter to God's Word, in its entirety, is to be condemned.
The fact is that sola-scripture-reference is a Protestant tradition, begun by Luther.
Luther realized that the Catholic tradition of only the priesthood having access to God's Word (via Latin) was a recipe for control of the masses. He rebelled against that and wished all men could have equal access. Many died after Luther providing the common man the ability to read God's Word in their language. Not unlike the Pharisees killing Jesus for disagreeing with their traditions. Since the translation of the Scriptures into various languages and the ability of the common man to study about God himself and not needing to rely on what others tell him of God, we have subsequently discovered that some oral tradtitions of the Church are based on human tradition, not on Christ.
It's also un-biblical
Not exactly and therefore, we must examine "oral tradition" more closely.
Col 2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
I'm glad that you accept the validity of celibacy
You missed the entire point of Matt 19:12. Some are eunuchs by the hand of men, some of themselves. Therefore, your claim that God hates vasectomies, or mutilation as you referred to it, is not based on any scripture but human tradition, which Christ demonstrated is secondary to the actual commands of God.
Forbidding people to marry is what is counter to God's word not celibacy in and of itself: 1 Timothy 4:3 "They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth." If a person is called to marry, or not marry, it is no nevermind to me. Just like what Paul stated elsewhere. But to command someone they must be unmarried to enter God's work is unbiblical.
Finally, again, God looks on the heart, meaning He does not care whether someone is physically deformed or not. Your previous post asked if I thought God preferred mutilated flesh. My answer was God prefers a humble and contrite heart but man pays attention to the external to determine acceptability. He does not prefer mutilated over unmutilated nor does He prefer unmutilated over mutilated. Those are important to man but not to God.
These proscriptions relate to cleanliness. They do not relate to sinfulness. For example, rape is sinful, but it also related to cleanliness.
These proscriptions relate to cleanliness. They do not relate to sinfulness. For example, rape is sinful, but it also related to cleanliness.
Are you proposing that God specified a cleansing routine for masturbation even though it would be followed by an execution (if the assertion that it is wicked holds)?
I have listed below the reasons why the claim that God abhors vasectomies cannot be validated with Scripture. Church doctrine is addressed below this list.
1. Cleansing routines for all alone emissions (as opposed to with a woman or night-time emissions). Is masturbation (or spilling seed) really forbidden then? There is no Law forbidding it.
2. No cleansing routines for forbidden practices (ie, homosexuality or beastiality). Combine 1 and 2 and conclude that masturbation (spilling seed) isn’t a forbidden encounter.
3. Reuben and Lot’s daughters were not destroyed by God even though they violated what would later become Law. Was Onan’s sin therefore the spilled seed of which there is no law? Why did God destroy him when He didn’t ever specify a rule against it yet He did condemn sleeping with father’s wife and sleeping with daughters and didn’t destroy Reuben or Lot’s daughters?
4. There are myriad examples of God dealing harshly and immediately with individual pride (Aaron and Miriam opposing Moses, Korah opposing Moses, Satan falling from heaven, Herod not glorifying God). As opposed to a distinct lack of God dealing harshly and immediately with individual sins of a sexual nature culminating with Jesus’ merciful treatment of the woman adulteress (neither do I condemn you - go and sin no more). He also prevented sexual encounters with Sarah and Rebekah at various times. Therefore the conclusion that Onan was guilty of the sin of Pride rather than a sin of a sexual nature.
5. Emasculation (eunuchs and the mutilated) became admissable in the assembly with Jesus’ declaration echoed by Paul.
6. Mutilators of the flesh were those that relied on overly strict observance of the Law for salvation. Thus Paul’s recitation of his previous strict moral code and how utterly useless it was for access to grace by faith. The context is about grace vs. observance of Law, not sins of a sexual nature.
7. Body as the temple of HS not to be united with prostitutes - based on context it is not a reference to vasectomies, masterbation, emasculation or eunuchs.
Therefore, the only argument left is based on traditional Church doctrine. Is this a biblically acceptable practrice (maintaining doctrine that is extra-Biblical)?
Probably most important is the example of the Pharisees who were masters at using the Law and the Prophets to fit their notion of righteousness. Because they were in the position of spiritual leaders, they controlled access to God and were harshly condemned by Christ for this practice. The practice of creating rules and regulations based on human tradition rather than on God’s Word which resulted in preventing access to God by the common man (Mark 7:6-8). They killed Him for pointing this out. Paul warned the Colossians about arguments based on human traditions (Col 2:8).
My conclusion is therefore that the claim of God abhoring vasectomies is not based on scripture but on doctrine passed down as tradition. This practice is not sound Biblically and is in danger of being condemned as harshly as the similar practice of the Pharisees.
1 AND 2 The Catholic view that I have read is that Lev 15:16 and the Deut. verse are not a situation of one meaning nocturnal emissions and one being self-induced. BOTH relate to nocturnal emissions. Your logic is that since there are different cleansing rituals then they must be different “offences”. Both cleansing rituals may apply to the same “offence”.
3 Our God is a merciful God.
4 What about Sodom and Gomorrah? What about the last verse in revelation identifying homosexuals as not going to Heaven?
5 and 6 “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this let him receive it” (Mt 19:12). The first two cases mentioned are becoming a eunuch due to factors outside their power. The third case refers to celibacy, not self-mutilation.
7 This refers to anything that defiles the body - not just one type of defilement.
The Hebrew uses different words for the two situations. Leviticus is translated seed of copulation while Deut is translated uncleanness that chanceth him at night. Very clear to me that these are distinctly different situations where a man must cleanse himself (clearly no other person involved). At the most conservative, it is an awfully unclear and gray situation upon which to create such a staunch doctrine. Stating God abhors it when it is so unclear at best is very poor doctrinal practice.
What about Sodom and Gomorrah? What about the last verse in revelation identifying homosexuals as not going to Heaven?
No doubt about these. However, my point was that God punished individuals for their sin of pride almost immediately. Whereas Sodom and Gomorrah as well as at the last judgment (and at the flood and the Caananites), sins of a sexual nature are punished corporately as well as far after the fact. Onan's death would be a huge aberration if it were for spilling seed. Nowhere is it absolutely clear that this is even a concern, whereas homosexuality (and pride) is abuntantly clear.
The third case refers to celibacy, not self-mutilation
How do you know? The same word is used in all three cases but we must assume the third time means something non-physical to comply with doctrine? Regardless, eunuchs made by the hand of men can refer to modern day vasectomies, which was why I started this discussion. Again, Jesus' statement demonstrates that this practice is NOT abhorant to Him, whether a birth defect, performed by another human or self-generated (physical or just a mental decision).
This refers to anything that defiles the body - not just one type of defilement.
Vasectomies and masturbation are assumed to be a defilement but nowhere are either listed as being so. Not in the OT, not in the NT. One cannot use this verse and broad brush any act as being a defilement - it must be listed somewhere - else we are in danger of adding to God's commands. The context is speaking about uniting with a prostitute - becoming one with her - not one with oneself.
Sexual immorality is defined in Levitical law - extensively and specifically. The NT reiterates that these practices are not ok. Assuming something to be on the list is what God condemns as "adding" to His commands. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this practice as well - adding to what God commanded. He called it their traditions.
The example in Matthew and Mark, Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they listed as sinful not washing prior to eating. The OT had rules regarding washing hands but the Pharisees took it beyond what was specified. Likewise God has rules in place regarding sexual encounters. Adding to those rules and making doctrine of it, even if originally motivated by purity, is prohibited.
So to summarize:
- Leviticus and Deut. are unclear.
- we disagree about Sodom and Gomorrah
- looks like Saint Paul’s statement we can’t agree on either
So lets discuss defilement and I’ll give you another verse: Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
In the context of Jesus statement, how can one engage in “self-pleasure” and not be sinning? A similar line of thought would apply to coitus interruptus as this is essentially mutual masturbation. Can you at least see how Catholic Doctrine would develop based on these verses? Remember no Christian denomination that I know of thought “pulling out” was NOT sinful until about 1800 or 1900 years after the life of Jesus. There is a reason for this.
Not for me they aren't. I was giving the benefit of the doubt to Catholic doctrine being based AT BEST on foggy interpretation.
we disagree about Sodom and Gomorrah
Not really. God destroyed an entire region of people based on their long period of violation of what would be clearly defined as the sin of homosexuality. We agree on this. What I am attempting to highlight is the contrast to Onan who was an individual, killed immediately, for something that was never defined as sin. Unless he was killed for his pride which fits extremely well with other scriptures. Thus my claim.
looks like Saint Pauls statement we cant agree on either
Quite possibly. I'm extremely hesitant to lump activities that are not defined to be sin into a general bucket of sin.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Excellent verse. Which demonstrates that God looks on the heart to find the violation of sin, while man did and continues to look at the outward, regardless of what lies in the heart.
For instance, one can be married and masturbate or mutually masturbate sans lusting after another woman. Conversely, one can be married and lust after another woman, while in the act of making love to one's wife. Jesus defined the second instance as sin, not the first.
Can you at least see how Catholic Doctrine would develop based on these verses?
I absolutely can see how this doctrine came to be. However, Satan doesn't necessarily lie to us with an obvious lie. It is usually couched in very correct Scriptures - look at how he tempted both Eve and Jesus - with incorrect usage of what God said, God's Word if you will. Look at Peter's rebuke by Jesus - Peter's heart was to always have Jesus near to them and to save Him agony and death, but this was diametrically opposite to the will of God. Also, Peter's rebuke by Paul - Peter appeared to be for all to walk in purity and holiness, but it turned out to be for selfish reasons - he couldn't stand up to the Judaisers who couldn't bear to not adhere to the Law.
I would not have had an issue if the claim would have been "The Catholic church abhors vasectomies". But the claim was that "God abhors vasectomies" - and nowhere is this listed in scripture. Furthermore, to claim it is a command of God is a sin itself as Jesus demonstrated with His volumenous interactions with the Pharisees over what was considered "lawful".
Remember no Christian denomination that I know of thought pulling out was NOT sinful until about 1800 or 1900 years after the life of Jesus.
Latin was the only acceptable language in which to read scriptures according to the status quo until around the 1500's . Black skin was considered the "mark of Cain" or the result of the curse put on Caanan into the 1900's as well by a large number of Christians. Jesus demonstrated many times that long-held traditions held little value if they were not supported by God's Word. Many have died, including Jesus, for opposing long held traditions of the religious majority.
For most Catholic worshipers, they are comfortable with this doctrine and the myriad others. If one wishes to live in conformity with this standard of one's church, that is none of my business. It becomes my business when that standard reaches beyond the voluntary parishoners and is proclaimed to be God's standard, rather than the Church's standard. I understand why it is the Church's standard. I fail to see that it is God's standard.
I was really trying to debate on scripture alone, since that is what you believe. Additionally, I was trying to avoid debating things related to the authority of the Catholic Church. This also relates to the authority to interpret scripture, or in many cases, put bounds on acceptable interpretations.
Once the authority is accepted scripturally, then one can see how the church’s interpretation of various things MUST be accepted.
Additionally, once you believe that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church as God’s church then we are not just giving the church’s interpretation, we are really giving God’s interpretation.
Matthew 16:18-20 is of course a critical scripture. Its interpretation must be based on what the early church thought at the time. Just like when interpreting the US Constitution, conservative (strict constructionist) judges ask what the founders/framers thought at the time of the writing as opposed to just reading the words. Just reading the words is really a liberal view as the “meaning” of the words actually change over time.
Here's why, and it is based on the original Hebrew and Greek which we agree is the proper way to understand the actual meaning that God had when He used the words He did.
I'll start with the foundational verse upon which I believe ALL Catholic doctrine rests to establish the authority of the Church through Peter.
Matt 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Reading that verse in English we can get the impression that Peter (interpreted rock) is the rock that Jesus refers to. Very easy to look at it that way and arrive at that meaning.
However, if we look at the Greek, there are two different words used to identify the two different references to rock. Therefore, we must conclude that the Spirit of God had the author of Matthew utilize different words for a very specific reason. Let us examine both those words and what they mean in English.
Peter = Petros translated “a rock or a stone”. Performing a word search on Petros throughout the Greek returns only references to the Apostle Peter. Nothing regarding building material, a foundation, or any other imposing rock of any size, big or small.
upon this rock = Petra translated a rock, cliff or ledge. Further translated a projecting rock, crag or rocky ground. Performing a word search on Petra we find many examples dealing with being a foundation. Not the least of which is the wise man that built his house upon the Petra. Obviously a great large rock that is seen as immovable and immense.
Could it be that Peter, called rock, was renamed Petra by Jesus and therefore is the foundation of the church? Examining the word Petra further in the New Testament we find that it is used by both Paul and Peter as well as a reference point to the Hebrew equivalent.
1 Cor 10:4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
Both rock references in this passage use Petra. It is clear that Petra refers to Christ, not Peter as he was not present with Moses for the wilderness journey. It is clear Paul understood Petra to be Christ.
1 Peter 2:8 A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
The rock used here also is Petra in Greek. Peter is not referring to himself here but obviously to Christ from the prophet Isaiah and His message of salvation through faith that makes the house of Israel stumble.
Paul also speaks of the rock the same in Romans 9:33 As it is written:
See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame
Are we supposed to trust in Peter to never be put to shame? Paul didn't follow this command when he rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy. If Paul thought that Petra was Peter, he would never have rebuked him, but rather trusted in him and his interpretation of Scripture.
Examining the cross reference in the passage above we find it is found in Isaiah 8:14 where we find this:
“and he will be a sanctuary;
but for both houses of Israel he will be
a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
a trap and a snare. “
Examining the same word that in Greek is Petra we find that in Hebrew it is Tsuwr which translated means rock, cliff and also rocky wall or rock with a flat surface or block of stone. Again, a reference not to a small rock but to something huge and immense. Therefore TSUWR = PETRA.
Performing a word search for TSUWR we find this:
Isaiah 44:8 “Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.
The Rock referred to is TSUWR = PETRA. God Himself states there is no other TSUWR (PETRA) besides Him.
Let us reexamine the context of the original passage in Matthew 16. If Jesus intended Peter to be the foundation of His Church in verse 18 and that the gates of hell would not overcome it, how in the world did Satan overcome it by verse 22? Not a very strong or long-lasting foundation by any means. However, if Jesus refers to Himself as Petra (which is consistent with every other passage regarding Petra and Tsuwr), then when Peter rebuked Jesus he demonstrated that he was not trusting in Him and he (Peter) was immediately put to shame - exactly as Isaiah stated and Paul reiterated.
If Paul refers to Petra as Christ, if Peter refers to Petra as Christ, if Isaiah refers to Petra (Tsuwr) as Christ and God Himself states there is no other Petra but Himself, I fail to see how it could possibly refer to anyone but Christ without some highly creative exegetical gymnastics. However, if Petra only refers to Christ, it is self-consistent with every other passage regarding Petra and/or Tsuwr.
Therefore I conclude that Jesus was referring to Himself as the Rock upon which He would build his church, not Peter.
Additionally, 1 Corinthians 1:12 demonstrates that the early church was beginning to divide themselves by whom they followed. What I mean is this: One of you says, I follow Paul; another, I follow Apollos; another, I follow Cephas; still another, I follow Christ.
In this passage we find the beginnings of what you and I are continuing today - disagreements based on who's teaching we follow. Some followed Cephas (Aramaic for Peter or Petros), some followed Christ. Paul stated this should not be - there should not be quarrels among us but we should be united. And I agree, we should be united in following Christ and Christ alone.
Thank you for your analysis of Matthew 16:18. But can you look at Matthew 16:18-20, after reading Isaiah 22, in particular verses 20-23. This context, the similarity in language, reveal that Jesus was purposely invoking these Isaiah’s verses.
This is critical because this is some of the best scripture supporting Peter being assigned an office - that he is an office holder.
Except that Jesus didn't demonstrate that He "invoked" Scripture. He demonstrated time and again that He quoted it verbatim. The time for vaguely invoking a Scriptural reference is not when supposedly conferring such a high office. That is the time for clear, concise and direct language that removes all doubt of intent. See Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Samson, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, King Saul, King David, Jeremiah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul. All very clear and very direct.
Also using the exact verbiage found in Isaiah, the passage in Rev 3:7 shows us precisely and without question Who Isaiah prophesied about - Christ, not Peter. Other verbiage contained in the same Isaiah passage demonstrate it could be no other except Jesus (throne of his father....all glory of his family rests on him...). Jesus was in David's lineage for the throne. Jesus, not Peter, was given glory by His Father - John 17.
This is critical because this is some of the best scripture supporting Peter being assigned an office
Except that Jesus used similar verbiage in giving the same duties to all His disciples, not just Peter. For example, in Matt 18 Jesus uses the phrase bound on earth and loosed on earth for all His disciples. Matt 13 He tells His disciples He has given to them the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Paul tells the Colossians that he was given the commission to disclose the mystery of God, which is Christ.
In other words, all the Apostles corporately were given the key, the secret, the cipher to enable others to find the kingdom of heaven, which is salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Thus Christ's affirmation of a little child being the greatest in the kingdom of heaven because without this humility, no one would see it. The humility being that it is nothing we can possibly do ourselves - God's kingdom is completely and utterly beyond our grasp, regardless of how "good" we are, without faith in Christ.
Recall again that the early Corinthian church had already begun to divide itself into followers of Paul, or Apollos, or Peter or Christ. Followers of Peter would naturally focus on finding scriptures that would somehow support their view that Peter was to be followed more than any other. The scriptures that you have provided were most likely used 2000 years ago for this purpose and through time, this "tradition" became doctrine. However, these scriptures work in elevating Peter only by taking away from the glory and honor of Christ - claiming the name and position of Petra for Peter rather than for Christ and claiming Isaiah is speaking of Peter rather than Christ and the honor and glory that accompany that prophesy.
Peter did end up being the spokesman of the Apostles at the beginning. However, he was not recognized as the sole declarer of the truths of God nor was he recognized as the final authority on understanding the mystery of God in Christ by any of the other Apostles or authors of the books of the NT. Even he didn't recognize himself as being that final authority (1 Peter 5:1).
In fact, quite the opposite was true. Peter was rebuked when he placed higher importance on following the code of Law rather than on following the Words of Christ. I see this exact trend occurring today even with our discussion. Catholic doctrine holding the tradition that what Church leadership says is higher priority than what the Word of God actually says.
Jesus did invoke scripture, in addition to quoting it verbatim. But if Jesus quoted verbatim then he would not have been commissioning Peter. An exact quote would have made things less clear. The keys had a meaning - they meant you were the holder of an office. Notice that the other other apostles did not receive the keys.
An example (one of many) of Jesus invoking scripture without quoting it:
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and [a]brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be [b]just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lots wife.
Here Son of Man is referenced without quoting a specific verse in OT, just as keys are referenced with Peter without quoting Isaiah.
Catholics believe that Bishops CAN bind and loose like Apostles. That is why they were given this power in Matthew 18. But the Pope has special authority, as indicated in Matthew 16. They just didn’t get the keys.
But back to Matthew 16-18,19:
Peter recognizes Christ’s Kingship, so Christ makes Peter the equivalent of Eliakim. Eliakim was Prime Minister of the House of David just as Peter was Christ’s vicar on Earth.
Revelation 3:7 This verse talks of Jesus holing a key, but not in the same way as Eliakim. If it was, then it would repudiate Jesus’ kingship as Eliakim wasn’t a king, he was a prime minister.
Put another way - It is Jesus’ key - but Peter takes care of it. Just as Eliakim did for the House of David.
Rereading your breakdown on the various versions of Greek used to denote rock...How do you know those Greek words were the words of Jesus? Do not most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Syrian Aramaic? Many believe that Jesus would not have used the words petra or petros. Many believe Jesus used the Syrian Aramaic word Kephas (this words is referenced in many bibles). There is no diminutive, feminine ,etc. in Syrian Aramaic - there is only one rock.
I don't wish to argue semantics. I call it drawing a parallel. Regardless of invoking or parallelism (parables), even when He did it in this style, it is still clear which scripture He's referring to. Sodom, Gomorrah, Lot's wife, days of Noah, marriage in the beginning, Jonah three days in the fish etc. Eliakim? Not so much.
But if Jesus quoted verbatim then he would not have been commissioning Peter. An exact quote would have made things less clear.
How so? If Eliakim was the caretaker of the key and Peter was meant to be the new caretaker, why obfuscate it? Why not directly quote it as the offices would be identical?
The keys had a meaning - they meant you were the holder of an office. Notice that the other other apostles did not receive the keys.
Yes, I understand they describe holding an office. Peter was to be given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. However, I will demonstrate that the other disciples, and the apostle Paul, were also given this same responsibility, not just Peter.
Isaiah 22:22 "the key to the house of David". Notice it is singular and inferring David's royal line. Suggesting the key is to the throne or the authority to rule. Rev 3:7 "the key of David". Also singular, also inferring the royal line. This key suggests the authority to rule on a throne - many scriptures speak of the throne of David, the line of David - as king. Matt 16:19 "keys of the kingdom of heaven". Notice the keys are to a completely different object. It is not to the throne but rather entrance to God's heaven (elsewhere called kingdom of God). We can see the difference throughout scripture - eg. children are called the greatest in the kingdom of heaven yet nobody is suggesting that they will sit on the throne of David. If we humble ourselves, we can gain entrance to heaven, but surely we will not sit on David's throne - only Jesus has that privilege. Luke 1:32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David".
Jesus rebuked the teachers of the law in Matt 23:13 "You shut the kingdom of heaven in mens faces." as well as Luke 11:52 "you have taken away the key to knowledge." In one version the authors call it shutting the kingdom while in another taking away the key to knowledge. Therefore, I suggest that the key to the kingdom is the message Christ was bringing. Further demonstrated in Matt 13:11 "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them."
The similarities between these few verses relating keys to the kingdom, secrets of the kingdom, key to knowledge (and the entire concept of "kingdom of heaven (God)") demonstrate that the keys to the kingdom is actually the entirety of the truth of Christ contained in scripture (I have previously demonstrated that the message of Jesus is contained in the entirety of OT and NT scriptures). That is, as Paul calls it, the "mystery of God in Christ". The keys to the kingdom refer to the gospel or the good news - specifically salvation by grace through faith. Paul describes the mystery in Ephesians 3 and states that the Spirit revealed it to the apostles and prophets.
It was imperative that Jesus give these keys (or secrets or cipher) to the disciples so that they, in turn, could proclaim to the world the details of the new covenant. Thus the great commission.
Peter is not holding, and never did hold, the key of David. Jesus has that key and is holding that key and was holding that key when John penned the letters to the 7 churches in the first century. Not Peter or any that followed him. Peter did, however, hold the keys to entrance into heaven. But not by himself - the other disciples and eventually other apostles and prophets also possessed those keys. The keys or secrets or mystery or cipher is the gospel of Jesus.
The verses I have listed approximate much more closely the meaning in Matt 16:19 than do the verses in Isaiah. In other words, Isaiah 22 parallels Rev 3 and Matt 16 parallels Matt 13 much more closely than the similarities found in Isaiah 22 and Matt 16.
As far as Cephas (Kephas) being used rather than Petros or Petra, yes, Jesus would have spoken most likely in Aramaic because He was sent to the Jews and not the Greeks. And the name Cephas (Aramaic for Petros) is found a few times even in our English translations. However, I hope you are not suggesting that the Holy Spirit was incapable of preventing an error in the writing of the NT in Greek because of the usage of two different words for rock.
Finally again, I refer you to the divisions that had already started in the early church that we find today. Followers of Cephas, followers of Paul, followers of Apollos and followers of Christ. In order to follow Cephas rather than Paul (or Apollos or Christ) one would naturally look for reasons to make Cephas more prominent than the others. We see the results of that attempt today and again I suggest that in order to elevate Peter to prominence, one must diminish the message of Christ.
“As far as Cephas (Kephas) being used rather than Petros or Petra, yes, Jesus would have spoken most likely in Aramaic because He was sent to the Jews and not the Greeks. And the name Cephas (Aramaic for Petros) is found a few times even in our English translations. However, I hope you are not suggesting that the Holy Spirit was incapable of preventing an error in the writing of the NT in Greek because of the usage of two different words for rock.”
There is no error in NT Greek. The bible is inerrant. I believe that the Holy Spirit had a reason for two words for rock being used in the Greek. I believe that reason is clear and simple. Peter is a man. But rock is feminine in Greek. Jesus would not give Peter a feminine name so the Greek translators prevented that by masculinizing rock.
Jesus would not give Peter a feminine name so the Greek translators prevented that by masculinizing rock.
You are correct in that Petros is a masculine proper noun while Petra is a feminine noun. Yet both Paul and Peter refer to Jesus with the feminine noun Petra. I don't think the implication is that Jesus is subservient to Peter because Petra is feminine and Petros is masculine. Nor do I think the implication is that the authors refused to give the name Petra to Peter merely because it was a feminine noun but rather because the Holy Spirit was delivering a message of foundational importance.
Peter and Paul do not call Jesus Petra. They do not assign him a feminine name.
There is a big difference between:
1 Corinthians 10:4
and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ.
English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.
One personifies the term rock to apply to Jesus, while the other is a case of God renaming someone, as God did to important people in salvation history. English is not a good language for understanding that nouns can be masculine or feminine. To call Simon Bar-Jonah “P”etra could imply that he was NOT masculine as he is getting renamed (note upper case). To call him a “p”etra (lower case) would not be interpreted as Simon Bar-Jonah being not masculine.
What is critical here is the whole blessing Jesus applies to Peter. There is a blessing of Peter in 17,18, and 19. Of course he IS referring to Peter in the middle of the blessing as the rock upon which he will build his church. He is not interjecting something else in the middle of this critical triple blessing.
Have we not heard of triple blessings in the OT before? Is this another invocation of the OT? yes
English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven. 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Conversely, Christ is referred to as Petra several times in the NT and never Petros. Christ is called the foundation of the church and that no one can lay a different foundation other than Christ. Christ is also the chief cornerstone in the foundation of the apostles and prophets (note the plural usage of apostles, not a singular mention of one, let alone Petros). Recall the wise man who built his house on the rock. Luke describes him as digging down into the rock (Petra) to lay the foundation. Similarly Christ is that rock (Petra), foundational bedrock, upon which the church is built, not small stone Petros - the concept of Peter being Petra upon which the church is built doesn't jibe with the entirety of Scripture, OT or NT. It isn't suggested in the OT or NT that a mere human can be a solid rock. Yet God is numerous times. And in the Isaiah passage we have discussed, God says there is no other Petra besides Him.
Let us examine the context of Matt 16:16-20. Jesus was asking who various entities said He was finishing with who they said He was. Context was about Him initially.
16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Context is still about Christ. Peter understood who Jesus was.
17 And Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Jesus pointed out that God was the originator of this thought in Simon's mind. Context is still about Christ.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.
Jesus gave the name Petros (small rock) to Simon, but the context was still about Him (Jesus) as Petra - the foundational bedrock of the coming church. Jesus’ church, not Peter's church. Simon is referred to as Petros or Cephas, but not Petra anywhere by anyone. Yet Jesus is referred to as Petra, several times.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[c] in heaven.
Context is still about Christ because what is (are) the keys of the kingdom of heaven? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ (the words of Christ, the Word or the entirety of Scripture). He is speaking to the whole of His disciples here as this commission is given to all of them elsewhere as well. Christ came to earth to be God's message of salvation - He is the keys, the secrets of the kingdom of God. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Christ alone.
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Context is still about Christ.
The context of the entire passage is about Christ, not Peter. Jesus is not singling him out for the office of caretaker of the keys nor of being a foundation. All the disciples were given the same charge. The keys to the kingdom, the secrets of the kingdom, the foundation of the church, the bedrock that makes Israel stumble, the chief cornerstone - these all refer to Christ, and it is this message of Himself that Jesus is speaking about in this passage.