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Peter was the first person that Jesus called when he began his ministry and selected his disciples. This is the reason Peter is mentioned first in the order of names of the apostles.
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he said unto them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 5:18,19
At the end of his ministry, Jesus’ disciples were arguing among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus told them the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Peter was obviously the most outspoken one of the group - often getting himself into trouble because of it - but he was not greater than any of the others. They all had a ministry and a part in building the early church of believers (Judas excluded). Saul, who became Paul, seemed to have an even greater impact on the church and contributed the most writings that made up the New Testament. He wasn’t even in the original group of twelve, yet the Lord worked great and mighty things through him.
” epi taute te petra oikodomeso mou ten ekklesian”
If only Jesus had said “epi soi” all of this would have been settled long ago. But He had to go and say, “epi taute te petra.” Go, figure.
Read ALL of chapter 16 and ask yourself “What else does Jesus call Peter” ... then ask yourself was Jesus speaking figuratively or literally?
If figuratively, then the “rock” is not Peter but what foundation of faith that Peter spoke.
If literally, then the whole concept of Christianity falls apart.
I know this get’s beat to death all the time, but I have a number of problems with the Catholic interpretation of all of this. In no particular order....
1)If this was such a monumental occasion that the Catholic church likes to think, then why isn’t Peter’s supposed place as the “rock of Christianity” or the “nurmero uno church leader” mentioned in the other gospels or even the letters? In fact in Acts 12 and Acts 15 it is clear that James is in charge and not Peter.
2)Why is it that in all of the rest of the Bible is God refered to as rock or foundational stone but in this one instance Peter is supposedly now the “rock”?
3)Why is it that Peter in one instance in this chapter, is this supposed “rock of Christianity” upon which the gates of Hell can’t fight against, but then a few verses later he’s rebuked by Jesus as “Satan”?
4)I’m not a language scholar, but I’m wondering what proof the Catholic church has that Jesus spoke to Peter in Aramaic? When Jesus spoke in Aramaic, it was recorded as such.
5)Lastly, like someone else already pointed out, why doesn’t the Catholic church recognize that by putting Peter as the “rock of Christianity” they minimize Jesus?
There are several problems that I have with this.
1. Peter was not the subject of the conversation in Matthew 16, Jesus was.
2. 1 Corinthians 10:4 identifies Jesus as Petra.
3. Matthew 16 identifies Peter as Petros. (Catholics use the word Cephas to try to equate rock to rock, but Petra and Petros are two distinct Greek words with different definitions, i.e. a piece of rock, vs. a mass of rock). Both Greek words share the word “rock” in them, and therefore, once translated from Greek, the distinction is lost.
4. Upon this PETRA, which is Jesus is the Christ, Jesus will build his church.
5. Ephesians 2:20 does not single out Peter.
6. Matthew 18:18 Jesus was talking to disciples, and not just his Apostles. There are ways to determine if he was talking with his Apostles, which he called disciples, and there are ways to determine if Jesus was talking to all of his disciples. For example, in Luke Chapter 10, Jesus sent out 70 of his disciples, and they returned. In Acts chapter one, the Apostles had to elect a new Apostle, and the requirement of that was that they had to be a disciple of Christ, that followed them from the beginning of the ministry of Jesus to the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, in Matthew 18:18, Jesus was not only talking to his “Apostles”. If he was talking only to Apostles, it would state something like, the twelve, or Apostles. Otherwise, if those words would not be used, he was talking to ALL disciples. Therefore, all disciples of Christ has the authority to bind and loose.