I hope you don't mind moving in a little different direction. FWIW, I don't see much point in talking with RC's about this passage they are so caught up in church membership as a means to salvation there's not much point.
In looking at this passage I believe the key to understanding it is the wording "gates of hell". Gates don't move other than on a hinge, so it's a huge leap to think that "gates" are attacking Christians gathered together to worship and fellowship. A better understanding of a "gate" is how it's used to keep in something or keep out something. So in this passage where Jesus has declared that believing He is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" is the foundation of His church" and then adds the comment about "gates" He must be referencing something that is holding in believers.
Following this line of thought it occurs to me that what Jesus is really talking about are those believers in Abraham's bosom (see Luke 16:25). Prior to the crucifixion the debt for our sins was not paid. Where did these believers go and what contained them? I believe these believers were being contained in Abraham's bosom by the "gates of hell" and after the crucifixion these same gates could not contain those held in Abraham's bosom. I believe this understanding is more consistent with Scripture than the idea that some "gates" are attacking an institution.
Exactly...I've been saying that for years because that's what the bible says...
Jesus has the keys to the gates of Hell and the gates are wide open...For the time being...
The Catholic religion doesn't have a clue what the verse says or means...They use this Abraham's Bosom as their unGodly purgatory and and the average Catholic doesn't even know the gates are wide open...They (their purgatory) couldn't keep a Christian in even if the Christian is a blind paraplegic...
There is no cleansing period or place...You better have it right when you take your last breath on this earth...
Gates also are opened and closed with a key. The second strand in the braided rope of Petrine authority is the image of steward. The steward in a royal household appears throughout the Old Testament record. The patriarch Joseph works with a steward in the palace in Egypt. King Saul has a steward, as does the prince Mephibosheth, but the most important image of steward in the Old Testament for understanding Matthew 16 is in Isaiah 22.
There the prophet foretells the fall of one royal steward and the succession of another. Shebna is being replaced by Eliakim, and the prophet says to the rejected Shebna, "I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open" (Is 22:21-22).
The true holder of the keys to the kingdom is the king himself, and in the Book of Revelation we see that the risen and glorified Christ holds the power of the keysthe power to bind and loose. John has a vision of Christ who says, "I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Rv 1:18).
So the king holds the keys of the kingdom, but he delegates his power to the steward, and the keys of the kingdom are the symbol of this delegated authority. The keys not only opened all the doors, but they provided access to the store houses and financial resources of the king. In addition, the keys of the kingdom were worn on a sash that was a ceremonial badge of office. The passage from Isaiah and the customs all reveal that the role of the royal steward was an office given by the king, and that it was a successive officethe keys being handed to the next steward as a sign of the continuing delegated authority of the king himself (See "A Successive Ministry," above).
Isaiah 22 provides the Old Testament context that Jesus disciples would have understood completely as he quoted this particular passage in Matthew 16. When Jesus said to Peter, "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," his disciples would recognize the passage from Isaiah. They would understand that not only was Jesus calling himself the King of his kingdom, but that he was appointing Peter as his royal steward. That John in Revelation sees the ascended and glorified Christ holding the eternal keys only confirms the intention of Jesus to delegate that power to Peterthe foundation stone of his Church.
Catholic scholars are not alone in interpreting Matthew 16:17-19 as a direct quotation of Isaiah 22. Stephen Ray, in Upon This Rock, cites numerous Protestant biblical scholars who support this understanding and affirm that Jesus is delegating his authority over life and death, heaven and hell, to the founder of his Church on earth.
Not at all.
"I believe these believers were being contained in Abraham's bosom by the "gates of hell" and after the crucifixion these same gates could not contain those held in Abraham's bosom. I believe this understanding is more consistent with Scripture than the idea that some "gates" are attacking an institution."
This approach seems to respect the "timeline" effect of the Scriptural story. That is, you are noticing the unfolding plot as it reveals a little at a time. The captives had not yet been "freed". If readers would take this approach with the rest of the four Gospels, they would be shocked to find Jesus is not teaching "Christianity", but the Law. "You have heard that the ancients were told,'Thou shalt not commit murder'...But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court...enough to go into the hell of fire." Hmmm.
This section is the context of the so-called "Lord's prayer" which many folks recite as if it is appropriate for Gentile believers. They fail to read the ending..."For if you do not forgive men, then your Father will NOT forgive your transgressions." Is this the Gospel? Perhaps in Rome.