Skip to comments.What the Lord means when He says the “Gates of Hell will not prevail”
Posted on 03/07/2013 11:52:03 AM PST by NYer
Recently I have found a persistent line of questioning in reference to the traditional understanding of the Lord’s promise to the Church: the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it (Matt 16:18) . Yesterday on the blog a reader stated the question quite well:
This is just a curiosity question, but why is it that gates is always phrased by Catholics as if they were an offensive weapon being wielded against the Church? Ive never heard them used as such ….
But in the normal usage of the word gates wouldnt it be that the Church is doing the attacking against [the domain of] Hell, but that Hells gates will not be able to hold out (ie, prevail) against the Churchs onslaught [in Christ]? Gates dont normally go around attacking things on their own
Further, while the word may simply refer to the large entrance gate to a city or fortress, it also typically refers to the exit the people go out of. And in this sense, word focuses on “what proceeds out of something.”
And thus we see some of the subtleties of the word pules. Now, for the translator, “gates” is a perfectly adequate translation. But for the reader and interpreter, more is required.
Contextually, it would seem rather clear that Jesus does not have literal gates in mind. First, Hell does not have literal iron gates. Further, since Jesus speaks of the gates as “not prevailing,” it would also seem that he has in mind something more than inanimate metal gates of some sort. For as our reader states, it does not pertain to gates to do much more than just sit there.
Further still, the verb κατισχύσουσιν (katischusousin = will prevail) is a future, indicative, active verb. Now, inanimate objects tend to be acted upon, and thus they generally take passive verb forms, not active ones. For again it does not pertain to inanimate object to act, but to be acted upon.
And thus, contextually, it seems clear that our Lord here uses the word ”gates” in a figurative, rather than a literal sense. Figuratively, he probably means that the powers of Hell would not prevail against the Church. And, as stated above this is a common figurative meaning of the Greek word πύλης (gates) in ancient usage.
However, we need not understand this text in merely an “either-or” way. Many biblical texts admit of a number of different interpretations which need not be seen as mutually exclusive, even if they are rather different. For, one of the geniuses of human language and expression is that it can admit of many potential meanings.
And so, there may be a certain pastoral sense in which we can read this text in a way that it describes the Church, attacking the strongholds of the Hell in this world, and of gaining back territory for the Kingdom.
However, in this interpretation, we would once again want to avoid an overly literal sense of the term “Gates of Hell.” For in nowise, would the Church seek to storm The actual entrance of Hell so as to enter it. Rather, the gates of hell are to be sealed off by the Lord And locked from the outside (e.g. Rev 20:3). Of course, once again, these are not likely literal iron gates of some sort, But are at some sort of barrier or boundary marker indicating the limits of Hell, and it’s influence.
In this limited, and I would argue secondary sense, one might might see the Church as storming the ”gates of Hell” and Hell not being able to prevail against her.
Another interesting question that arises in this passage is a precise definition of the Greek word used for “Hell” in this passage. The Greek Word is ᾅδου (hadou or hades).
Here too, many insist that the term only means “the place of the dead,” and is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew concept of Sheol. Thus according to this position, Hades refers only to the place where all the dead went prior to the coming of Christ, and never means the place of the damned.
But again, the actual New Testament texts seem to bespeak a greater flexibility than an either-or argument would imply.
It is certainly true that “Hades” most often translates the Hebrew concept of Sheol. In this sense, Hades does not mean the theological place of the damned, where Satan and the other fallen angels dwell.
But it would also seem that there are uses of “Hades”to refer to the place of the damned, to the place of utter and permanent exclusion from the presence of God.
For example, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man is in torment in “Hades.” But here, the torment does not seem a mere temporary abode until the Messiah comes to call him. Jesus seems to describe a fiery place of torment, and the rich man is not sleeping in death but is quite alive and aware. Neither does he, or Father Abraham, seem to look to a day when this separation will be ended. Rather, there is mention of a “great abyss” over which no one can cross. The arrangement seems quite definitive, quite permanent, and the description more like that of Gehenna (γέεννα), the more common term Jesus uses to indicate Hell.
Further, in the Book of Revelation 20:1415, there is the description of death and Hades being thrown into the lake of fire. And thus, even if there is a distinction between Hades and Gehenna, they now seem, in a text like this, to be quite coterminous, indeed they become one reality.
So in the text that concerns us here, when Jesus speaks of the powers of Hell not prevailing, it would not seen that he has in mind simply Sheol (Hades), or purgatory. For why would Sheol or purgatory wage war against the Church?
Hence, contextually, it seems stronger argument that the Lord in using “Hades” to mean here what we moderns mean by the word “Hell,” namely, the theological place of the damned, to include Satan, the fallen angels, and human persons who have chosen to exclude themselves from the Kingdom of God.
As with all Biblical texts, reasonable scholars will differ, even within the Catholic Church. What I have tried to do here, is to show that the traditional Catholic understanding that the powers of Hell would not prevail against the church is at least a valid interpretation of the text, and at best, a better interpretation of the text.
Gates are defensive. They are used to either keep someone in or keep them out. When one prevails against a gate, it means they are able to open or close it, regardless of what the owner of the gate wants.
It’s kind of exciting within the context of the gate in question.
Actually, I got my words backward. I meant to say that when the gate does not prevail...
How do you really know what the Lord means?
Because Our Lord promised the Holy Spirit would be sent to His Church to teach Her all things (John 14:26). And She has been sharing Her learning with the world since the beginning at Pentacost (Acts 1).
Also, consider that Our Lord meant something. Are your children free to interpret what you mean when you instruct them or do you explain it until they see what you are meaning to convey? So it is with Christ. The Church has been given the commission to teach (2 Cor 2:17) the world because the Words of Christ are not open to personal interpretation.
Did the gates of Hell prevail when Peter denied his Lord three times?
I clicked thinking this was a conclave thread..
re: “Did the gates of Hell prevail when Peter denied his Lord three times?”
The short answer - no. The gates of hell will not withstand the attacks of the Church. Even if you take the Catholic position that Peter IS the Rock upon which the Church is built, Peter is NOT the Church personified. Was Peter bringing an attack against Hell at the moment he denied Christ? No. Was he even trying to? I don’t think so. He was falling to the temptation of fear and cowardice. He was the one under attack.
Also, remember that Jesus told him already that this was going to happen, but that Peter would eventually be reconciled with his Lord.
Maybe I’m not sure what you are getting at, but those are my thoughts on your question.
I suppose my thoughts are that Peter is NOT the Rock upon which the Church is built. That Rock is Christ. And He is the Church personified. Without Him (and His sacrifice) there would be no Church. The Church could survive without Peter and there is no mention of any successors to the Apostles after they had deceased. Certainly no successor to the chair of Peter or a Pope. Paul considered himself no less equal than Peter. The very idea of a papacy is anti-Biblical as well as anything suggesting that anyone other than Christ is the foundation of the Church.
No, they did not. Jesus, recognizing Peter's human frailty , gives him the opportunity to restore his fidelity. In John 21, following the Resurrection, we find the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Simon Peter tells the disciples that he is going fishing and they decide to go along with him. They return to shore around dawn and see a man standing on the shore. He asks if they have caught anything. He then tells them to cast their net over the right side of the boat and they will find something. The catch is so large they are unable to pull in the net. When they get to shore they find a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. The man instructs them to bring some of their fish. The stranger on the shore tells them to "Come, have breakfast!"
After breakfast, Jesus says to Peter:
Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?* He said to him, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him, Feed my lambs.
He then said to him a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him, Tend my sheep.
He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, Do you love me? and he said to him, Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you. [Jesus] said to him, Feed my sheep.i
3 times Peter denied Jesus after being with Jesus 3 years. On the 3rd visit since His resurrection, He asks Peter 3 times "Do you love Me? 3 times, Peter said he loved him. This was the 3rd time and only time He appeared at Galilee; just as the Scripture said.
Notice, too, the charcoal fire, that appears at the time of Peter's denial and again at Peter's acceptance. With God, there are no coincidences. Jesus broke him with the 3rd time and Peter was grieved; brought low by the Lord, now Peter is ready to serve and what a service He did. As you continue with John 21, Jesus predicts how Peter's faith will be tested.
Amen, amen, I say to you,j when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, Follow me.
The Apostle and first "Bishop of Rome", Peter, was imprisoned, tortured, and crucified in Rome in 64 CE under the Roman emperor, Nero. Some scholars set the date at October 13, 64 CE. The earliest documented mention of Peter's death is in a letter from Clement, bishop of Rome (AD 88-97), to the Corinthians. It is in "The Acts of Peter" (2nd century CE), that we find the story of Peter being crucified upside-down, supposedly at Peter's request, because he was "unworthy to die in the same manner as my Lord."
re: “I suppose my thoughts are that Peter is NOT the Rock upon which the Church is built. That Rock is Christ. And He is the Church personified. Without Him (and His sacrifice) there would be no Church. The Church could survive without Peter and there is no mention of any successors to the Apostles after they had deceased. Certainly no successor to the chair of Peter or a Pope. Paul considered himself no less equal than Peter. The very idea of a papacy is anti-Biblical as well as anything suggesting that anyone other than Christ is the foundation of the Church.”
I completely agree with your statment above. I am not Catholic and though I believe Peter to have been a great influence on the early church - I agree with you that he was not the “Rock” Jesus spoke about. I guess I am confused about your orignial question about the getes of Hell prevailing in Peter’s denial.
Did Satan succeed in tempting Peter to deny his Lord? Yes. The Gates of Hell prevailed against Peter. Jesus withstood every temptation. He withstood the Gates of Hell. He is worthy to be called the Rock upon which the Church is founded.
There are precedents for leadership succession in the Old Testament.
"Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses". Deut. 34:9
Jesus refers to the "chair of Moses" (a precedent for the chair of Peter) in Matthew 23.
"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not." Matthew 23:1-3
Jesus is the cornerstone; the apostles (led by Peter) were the foundations.
"Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone..." Eph. 2:20
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations: and in them the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Rev. 21:14
"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. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:18-19
The keys were given to Peter, not Paul. Stewardship is passed to each successor of Peter in his turn.
The context of prevail in this case could be restated as “prevail in the end” or “ultimately over come”.
You’re projecting on to this verse more what I would call wishful thinking far beyond it’s meaning.
It’s like those that claim faith alone saves. That works play no part in your salvation. It’s special level of ignorant with blinders on.
An analogy would be the allies in WWII. They didn’t win every battle but the axis didn’t ultimately prevail.
The prophesy of Daniel 2 is important here.
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:
Why would the Lord have to tell us that there will be a kingdom set up in the latter days that won’t be destroyed if weren’t possible for it to be destroyed in the first place?
In other words, if the kingdom of God is the Church and as you claim it can’t be destroyed, then why does the Lord have to tell us that in the latter days, long after the Catholic Church was created, that He will set up a kingdom that can’t be destroyed?
This only makes my point that there ONLY twelve apostles. There is nothing to say keys were not given to the other eleven apostles. It only makes sense if each of them represents a wall and each had a gate which would require a key. Our jury of twelve will each have a hand in the binding in Heaven and earth. There is no room for for succession in this instance. In Joshuas' case someone had to finish the journey that Moses had started. Moses, as you recall, was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
The gates of hell/hades didn’t prevail, the righteous dead there were freed by Jesus Christ.
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Well, I can see that you aren't a Catholic. Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?
If not, would you mind telling us what denomination you are affiiated with?
Also, since "Daniel 2" does not say that "the latter days are long after the Catholic Church was created", and in fact that is not written or defined like that anywhere in the Bible, you are obviously basing that inference on some private interpretation that is not really stated like that anywhere in the Bible.
Could you explain where you did get that interpretation from, and exactly what you are basing it on?
I'll try to check back tomorrow for your response.
Glad he pointed out that the church is able to smash the gates of hell.
In modern days, it means when the church goes up to and smashes evil.
It hasn’t gotten a lot of publicity, but many Christian peaceful demonstrations have stopped communist takeovers in Portugal and Brazil, and of course here in the Philippines, we had the EDSA revolution where a million Pinoys stopped Marcos’ soldiers from arresting General Ramos who supported Cory Aquino’s winning the election.
Christ's statement was made to Peter regarding the Church. You are referring to those freed from Sheol.
Why? Christ clearly stated it to Pater. When he first saw Simon, "Jesus looked at him, and said, So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter)" (John 1:42). The word Cephas is merely the transliteration of the Aramaic Kepha into Greek. Later, after Peter and the other disciples had been with Christ for some time, they went to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). Jesus told him that this truth was specially revealed to him, and then he solemnly reiterated: "And I tell you, you are Peter" (Matt. 16:18). To this was added the promise that the Church would be founded, in some way, on Peter (Matt. 16:18).
Then two important things were told the apostle. "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules. Later the apostles as a whole would be given similar power [Matt.18:18], but here Peter received it in a special sense.
Peter alone was promised something else also: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19). In ancient times, keys were the hallmark of authority. A walled city might have one great gate; and that gate had one great lock, worked by one great key. To be given the key to the cityan honor that exists even today, though its import is lostmeant to be given free access to and authority over the city. The city to which Peter was given the keys was the heavenly city itself. This symbolism for authority is used elsewhere in the Bible (Is. 22:22, Rev. 1:18).
Says you. This does not mean the same thing was not told or given to the other twelve apostles. It just wasn't recorded. Twelve walls, twelve gates, twelve apostles.
Says me? No, says Matthew. For one who is a Bible Believing christian, that is a rather strange comment.
There is ample evidence in the New Testament that Peter was first in authority among the apostles. Whenever they were named, Peter headed the list (Matt. 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13); sometimes the apostles were referred to as "Peter and those who were with him" (Luke 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Matt. 18:21, Mark 8:29, Luke 12:41, John 6:68-69), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Matt. 14:28-32, Matt. 17:24-27, Mark 10:23-28). On Pentecost it was Peter who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing in the Church age (Acts 3:6-7). It is Peters faith that will strengthen his brethren (Luke 22:32) and Peter is given Christs flock to shepherd (John 21:17). An angel was sent to announce the resurrection to Peter (Mark 16:7), and the risen Christ first appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). He headed the meeting that elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:13-26), and he received the first converts (Acts 2:41). He inflicted the first punishment (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic (Acts 8:18-23). He led the first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and announced the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7-11). It was to Peter that the revelation came that Gentiles were to be baptized and accepted as Christians (Acts 10:46-48).
Jesus was referring to those who will be saved, not specifically the apostles.
Your whole institution depends on the supreme Petrine apostleship interpretation and so every Catholic must have that bias reinforcement when looking at the Scriptures.
The scriptural basis is quite clear and has endured the test of time.
Protestants can look at the Bible with "fresh eyes" and see the bigger picture.
Can there be more than one interpretation of the Bible? No. The word "truth" is used several times in the New Testament. However, the plural version of the word "truth" never appears in Scripture. Therefore, there can only be one Truth. When it comes to interpreting Scripture, individual non-Catholic Christians claim the same infallibility as the Papacy. If one were to put two persons of the "same" non-Catholic Christian denomination (i.e., two Presybterians, two Lutherans, two Baptists, etc.) in separate rooms with a Bible and a notepad and ask them to write down their "interpretation" of the Bible, passage for passage, shouldn't they then produce the exact same interpretation? If guided by the Holy Spirit as Scripture states, the answer should be "Yes." But would that really happen? History has shown that the answer is "No." Now, in the case of Catholics, the Church which Christ founded and is with forever (Matthew 28:20) interprets the Bible, as guided by the Holy Spirit, (Mark 13:11) for the "sheep" (the faithful). The Church (not individuals) interpret Scripture. In Catholicism, Scripture is there for meditation, prayer and inspiration, not for individual interpretation to formulate doctrine or dogma.
To have the Bible as the only and sole authority of Christianity is to invite chaos into His Church. There are at least 5 Protestant denominations created every year based on a different interpretation of the Bible. Theoretically, anyone who owns a Bible can create their own denomination based on their own interpretation of Scripture. Taken to its logical conclusion, chaos is what happens when the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura" is applied. And Christ stated "A tree is recognized by its fruit" (Matthew 12:33) and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura produces "bad fruit" (disunity, confusion and separation).
Peace to you, as well.
In Acts 1:15-26, the first thing Peter does after Jesus ascends into heaven is implement apostolic succession. Matthias is ordained with full apostolic authority. Only the Catholic Church can demonstrate an unbroken apostolic lineage to the apostles in union with Peter through the sacrament of ordination and thereby claim to teach with Christ's own authority.
As noted in Matt. 16:19; 18:18, the apostles are given Christ's authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all. Without a central authority in the Church, there would be chaos, as I just indicated in post #31.
Big words from the great boasting Church! How about the first thing GOD ordained was to replace Judas as the twelfth Apostle? Twelve tribes - twelve Apostles. Good grief. There, again, is NO apostolic succession. Twelve walls, twelve tribes, twelve keys, twelve Apostles. That's it. Not a succession of walls, gates, keys or Apostle wannabes.
That’s your understanding of the meaning of the passage. Others disagree. I provided a scriptural example of the gates of Hell not prevailing. You disagree.
Is that about right?
Had He done that, the same thing would have happened to the new ones as happened to the old ones. So He just let it go because men can choose for themselves good or evil.
I am sad that the god you worship could be so careless. My God is omnipotent, far seeing and able to do anything He desires. IF He wanted Apostolic succession then we would have it. We don't therefore He didn't.
Peace be to you.
There is a difference between individual freewill and the course of human events. The difference between micro and macro. All things work to the will of God.
Lets cede that point for the sake of this conversation...
But if one were to actually research this supposed succession through Peter, one will surely find that the pedigree is very poorly laid out, and that the claim thereon is found wanting - The lineage is utterly without foundation, as is the concept of the laying on of hands between each successor (some of them being appointed by conquerors, and some that won their titles by intrigue). The succession is hardly more than questionable.
And NYer suggests in #32 that the appointment of Matthais is indicative of some power... Yet Yeshua appointed Paul... As BipolarBob suggests in #33, there are only twelve named gates in the New Jerusalem - One for each Apostle - My question wrt that would be, whose name is on that twelfth gate: Judas the betrayor, Matthais who was elected by the hand of men, or Paul who was appointed by Yeshua Himself? The answer to that question would necessarily change the definition of this discussion.
And lastly, what of the succession of the others, where no record has been kept at all? Doesn't that render the whole matter of authority to be moot? Who is to say that some successor did not lay hands upon the Baptists (as an instance) some time back in the ethereal past?
While I am tentatively in agreement with this statement, It seems there must be times where there are exceptions to the rule - Paul being the notable case... And we have yet to determine whether Apostleship was meant to be simply concurrent, or exponential - And what then does that mean, as there should still be at least 12 historic discipleships inherited to this day (if Apostolic succession is to be paid mind to). What then do we do to unearth them all? A difficult proposition, as there is no definitive record (as would be as necessary here as in the pedigree of kings).
Or can it be that the laying on of hands is not the efficacious mechanism? Apostleship is mentioned as one of the gifts - Perhaps it is the direct appointment by Yeshua that is the necessary element, at which point, spiritual progeny is of no consequence... There is a precedence for such a thing in the prophets. There certainly is a notion toward laying on of hands and passing the mantle wrt the Biblical record concerning prophets, but it does not hold true in every case. Equally true, we can find examples of healing from afar, both in the record and today.
I am not being combative in this, but rather interested in how you can preserve the structure you detail in the face of sure errata.
[roamer_1:] The succession is hardly more than questionable.
I agree. This is something that can't be fudged. Especially between 70 AD and 325 AD. The leader of the several groups calling themselves "Christians" was elected by the people and not by the laying on of hands by an Apostle.
Then the point seems to be necessarily moot, as there is nary a record to support a pedigree of any kind. That pedigree may well be there mind you, but for our purposes, without the record, the claim is without standing, and the laying on of hands would be so obfuscated as to be without evidence. How then does one proceed?
[roamer_1:] [...] there are only twelve named gates in the New Jerusalem
You lost me here. I don't see any correlation between the gates and the Church. The gates would just be symbolic of the 12 tribes. And just because there were 12 Apostles, doesn't mean there couldn't ultimately have been 24 or 36 or whatever number the Lord called.
No, New Jerusalem distinctly names twelve foundations after each of the tribes, and twelve gates after each of the Apostles (I may have that reversed). The point being twelve NAMED objects - I would just like to know how that can be when there are 14 named Apostles - I can understand Judas being omitted, but that leaves us with two candidates (Paul and Matthias) to fill his slot - One appointed by men, and one appointed by Yeshua Himself - Which one gets the spot?
This is an highly significant question, as the Roman church bids us all to pay attention to their hierarchy on the basis of Matthias' election.
When Paul was converted and was no longer Saul, he would have had to gone to someone in the Church that had authority and be baptized as Christ commanded everyone to do. Then gone to one of the Apostles to be given the authority of an Apostle. Because that's the way Christ set it up and Paul would have to obey the rules just like everyone else.
That is problematic, as Paul spent 3 years in the desert with Yeshua, and began his ministry and office before he had contact with any of the other apostles.
[roamer_1:] Doesn't that render the whole matter of authority to be moot? Who is to say that some successor did not lay hands upon the Baptists (as an instance) some time back in the ethereal past?
Because it doesn't work that way. A house divided can't stand and God would not have two sides of His kingdom in contention with each other. AND the power to move mountains and heal etc... ultimately is God honoring that persons authority and doing the deed. The person has no actual power of themselves. So, no matter who they lay hands on, ultimately God has to be the one to agree to that persons appointment.
Agreed, at least in principle. But then, Where are they now? Is it that the succession is hidden, but still ongoing? How does any hierarchy apply? I am not without sympathy for the fact that the gifts are present in the Roman church, but they are also very present in many denominations, and probably with most effect in the Pentecostals... If they are evident throughout, how can an hierarchy be supported (it would seem any authority in BOTH/ANY camps would cancel out the necessity of hierarchy in ANY/OTHER)?
However, the power given by God to the prophets and Apostle has to be on the earth because Rev 11 clearly says it is. At least just before the second coming of Christ.
On that much we will agree. But I see no evidence of those two higher offices in anything resembling a church.
The Bible also does not even say they ARE deceased (for most of the Apostles - including Peter). Does that mean they never died either, just because it is not recorded in the Bible?
One more point regarding Biblical terminology: if the word "grandfather" does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible, does that mean there is no such thing as a grandfather?
We should all keep in mind too that the fact that Peter was a repentent sinner really has no bearing whatsoever on the matter of the "gates of hell" prevailing or not prevailing. God has consistently chosen to use sinful human beings to infallibly teach "faith and morals" to other sinful human beings, even before He began to build His Church.
For example, most Christians agree that every single "Book" in the Bible infallibly teaches "faith and morals", even though each one was written by a sinful human being, under the inerrant and unceasing guidance of the Holy Spirit.
David wrote many of the Psalms in the Old Testament after he committed adultery and murder, Saul/Paul wrote his New Testament letters after he persecuted Jesus, and Peter wrote 1 Peter and 2 Peter as now contained in the New Testament after he publicly denied his Lord.
In His perfect and sovereign will, God has also chosen to have a series of sinful human beings appointed to be His Pope (serving as the "Prime Minister" to the King of Kings), starting with Peter, and has given them a number of special gifts, including the certainty that they will infallibly teach "faith and morals according to Almighty God", both to the Church that Jesus built (as He had solemnly promised he would), as well as to the rest of the world. This infallibility when teaching "faith and morals" extends also to the "Magisterium", or "Teaching Authority" of the Church that Jesus built (as He had solemnly promised), and consists of the Pope and the Bishops in union with the Pope in their teaching office or authority.
With God, all things are possible
No, it does not. To say that "brass" = "the Roman Empire" because "brass" = "the Roman Empire" obviously employs the logical fallacy of circular reasoning.
You have to make the case for your interpretative assertions, and allow others to judge the merit (or lack thereof) of your interpretive accuracy and abilities. You can't just say they are so, and say "isn't it obvious" - you have to make the case for your personal interpretations.
And to say it means that because YOU SAY SO is another way of declaring that your own reasoning and interpretation is infallible. The problem with that is that declaring your own personal interpretation to be infallible is a completely false assertion, and another person could simply disagree with you based on their OWN claimed personal infallibility, and then you would go back and forth debating the merit level of each other's personal infallibility.
That's why we don't let teams in sporting contests decide whether there was a score or not, or a foul was committed, or a pitch was a ball or strike, etc. The two teams would never agree on anything, so we use referees and umpires to interpret all the actions in a game (in a fair and honest way hopefully).
God understands that particular human weakness, so he specifically picked a designated group of people to be "umpires" and "referees", so to speak, and interpret Scripture and the correct teachings from God on faith and morals for God's only Church, and for the rest of the world as well. (The difference is that God ensures that the decisions of his "referees" and "umpires" on teachings of faith and morals are NEVER WRONG. They are infallible concerning those teachings on faith and morals, per God's holy design, whether you choose to accept that or not.)
It sounds like your thinking mirrors some of the teachings of Seventh-day Adventists, and perhaps some of the Mormon teachings as well, or those of the Jehovah's Witnesses. You obviously did not wish to publicly divulge what denomination you are affiliated with, but perhaps you could answer this question: Do you believe that Ellen G. White was a true prophetess of God?
Where the heck did you get that idea from? I don't believe that statement is anywhere in the Bible either. If I'm wrong, please tell me - what is the Chapter and Verse from the Bible that says someone's successor will be exactly like them, and will be able to do all things exactly like their predecessor did (beyond the specific authorities which Jesus Christ explicitly pledged they would have)? If you can't find a verse that explicitly declares that, then that idea had to come from either your own head, or from some other source outside the Bible.
Would you assert, for example, that King Rehoboam, the successor of King Solomon as the King of Judah, possessed exactly the same gifts and abilities and attributes that King Solomon possessed?
That's like saying Mr. John Smith Jr. will have all of the attributes of John Smith Sr. because he is a successor within that family.
I think most people would strongly agree that it would be absurd and ridiculous to assume that successors in anything in life perfectly possess all of the exact same qualities and attributes of their predecessors. That does not in any way reflect reality, and is not a Biblical teaching either.
(I'm heading over to another thread now, which is discussing "Apostolic Succession".)
"Because Our Lord promised the Holy Spirit would be sent to His Church to teach Her all things (John 14:26)."Let's take a look at John14:26 in context:
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?Jesus was teaching a group of people, and answering one follower's question for him and those others listening, and by extension us(as God had His inspired words recorded) for our edification.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jesus has a personal relationship with those that follow Him, and the message was for them (and us) Not a Church organization. For his church, yes.
It's best to not just throw out a scriptural reference and declare it means something it does not.
And She has been sharing Her learning with the world since the beginning at Pentacost (sic) (Acts 1).God shares his meaning of scripture through the Holy Spirit to followers who are born again and have that personal relationship with Him (His church)---not a "C"hurch organization.
Plus there was no Catholic church back then at Pentecost.
And your scriptural reference does not say anything about the "C"urch.
Acts 1, Jesus speaking to His followers, believers:
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.It's quite clear He was NOT giving that to any Church---referenced by you as She and Her.