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St. Peter and "The Rock"

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posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:44 PM
another thing to note, historically is Peter never went to Rome until the end of his life. Paul was the one that spent most of his time there (He was a roman citizan) building up the Christian church. Even under house arrest, Paul still wrote and was a strong christian til the end of his days.

Peter even was not at first ever going to preach to the gentiles the Gospel of Jesus until God gave him a vision to do so.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 01:41 PM
Just going to throw this out there; I skimmed through and didn't see anyone talk about this. When Jesus renames Simon, He names him Peter, that is The Stone. Later, Jesus says that, upon this Rock I will build my church. The words used for Rock and Stone are very different. The word for Rock, petra, means a large, massive stone. Something unmovable and solid. The word used for Simon Peter's name, Petros, means a small stone, or a pebble. Christ was not talking about Peter when He said, upon this petra I will build my Church.

Peter was one of the most faithful of Christ's deciples. When Christ was walking on water, the other deciples believed, but Peter got out of the boat and walked to Him. However, Peter also had shortcomings. When asked 3 times when Christ was arrested, if he was a follower of Jesus, he denied it. The third time he even threw out a litany of curses and swore he wasn't. If Christ were to build His church on a man, and not the Word, while fairly steady it would change with cultures and human influences. He is the Alpha and the Omega, He was, is, and always will be the same. That being the case, why would the Bride Christ took, His Church, be any different?

This passage, Matthew 16:16-20, could almost be taken as a prelude to Christ telling the deciples about the Holy Spirit, too.


17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And 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.

So what is the Rock? I'm not sure, but it sounds like something steady and steadfast, and man is not up to that challenge.

In my interpretation.

Oh, there's also talk of the words petra and Petros meaning both small pebble and large rock interchangably in the first century. This is an arguement for Peter being the rock refered to in the passage. However, why would it be two different words if a difference wasn't intended? Why wouldn't it say Petros, and upon this petros I will build my church? Christ wanted us to see the difference, I think.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 10:56 PM
i did metion the "petra" type rock earlier junglejake

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 11:22 PM
Personally, I find Origen's interpretation to be quite interesting. It seems to me to be a melding of both the RCC interpretation and non-RCC interpretation-- written over 1750 years ago.

And perhaps that which Simon Peter an swered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," if we say it as Peter, not by flesh and blood revealing it unto us, but by the light from the Father in heaven shining in our heart, we too become as Peter, being pronounced blessed as he was, because that the grounds on which he was pronounced blessed apply also to us, by reason of the fact that flesh and blood have not revealed to us with regard to Jesus that He is Christ, the Son of the living God, but the Father in heaven, from the very heavens, that our citizenship may be in heaven, revealing to us the revelation which carries up to heaven those who take away every veil from the heart, and receive "the spirit of the wisdom and revelation" of God. And if we too have said like Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," not as if flesh and blood had revealed it unto us, but by light from the Father in heaven having shone in our heart, we become a Peter, and to us there might be said by the Word, "Thou art Peter," etc. For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, and upon every such rock is built every word of the church, add the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God.

Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by Origen (first half of the 3rd century)

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 05:50 AM
Adding to this discussion by also recording more of what Peter stated as his beliefs concerning what Christ had done for us:

"Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ." - I Peter 2:4-5

We are the church, we are the priesthood, we have one High Priest - Christ.

"But you are a chosen priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." I Peter 2:9

"He himself bore ours sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." - I Peter 2:24

We have been freed from sin by the Christ - we should now live for righteousness, but we are healed for good.

"Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it - not for sordid gain but eagerly." - I Peter 5:1-2.

The spiritual guidance of the new in Christ should be willingly taken on by those of maturity in the believers - not as a required "duty" or for a "position" or "power" but with a voluntary heart and eagerness to the task.

[edit on 4-26-2005 by Valhall]

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 06:56 AM
It's really tough when people are so in love and so involved with the sound of their own voices and opinions that they either don't read or just marginally skim through the posts of others on a thread. LORD WHAT EGOS!!! Junglejake you “skimmed through and didn't see anyone talk about this” when Jehosephat had mentioned it in detail earlier. So many Christians seem SOOOOOO interested in showing off their ‘Theological Insights’ that they just end up sounding like pontificating blowhards. I don’t think that many Christians in the least really “LOVE” anybody but themselves and their own theological opinions! They are in love with argument and debate and have absolutely NO intention of REALLY LISTENING to the opinions of other religions other than to “counter them" and "convert them!" As a Christian I’ve won more people to Christ by being a friend and ally first and REALY LISTENING to others without having to argue, debate and “PROVE MY POINT” to them. And even when Wicca friends of mine agree to disagree I still remain concerned for them and their welfare. And we still remain friends. Actually, it’s quite ironic, Wiccians and many unsaved people I’ve met are FAR MORE LOVING AND TOLORANT THAN MOST CHRISTIANS I KNOW!!!! How very sad to the glorious name of Christ!!!!
(and please fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t give me the old II Cor. 6:14 “…what fellowship doth light have with darkness?” That’s EXACTLY what the Pharisees quoted about Jesus’ hanging out with “sinners” and other unclean and undesirables from different walks of life! Thanks!

[edit on 26-4-2005 by lapi7]

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 07:14 AM
I know that you will recognize that lapi has 'remade' the anti-christian point.

They hate you and are intolerant of you... So they scream out that you are full of hate, and are intolerant for not adopting their view.

They scream out their idea of christianity, when in fact 99% have no clue what christ is or what he taught.

Well done lapi. You have proven where you stand.


posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 07:29 AM
I'm confused by your anger lapi.

Why did you choose to attach a negative motivation to junglejake overlooking jehosephat's posting? Rather than some "egotistical" motivation, could it not have been that junglejake was just eager to participate in the topic?

Also, where in this thread has any mention of intolerance been mentioned? The scriptures that have been referenced for sure do not point to intolerance. Why did you make those comments toward the posters in this thread?

Odd business indeed.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 07:42 AM
Your anger and insults betray you brother. I believe that they are more potent in proving my point than solidifying yours. I'm just curious jake...I take the time to listen to what the unsaved (many of them are still seeking) dislike about how they are being evangalized. I have simply stated my observations, which I happen to agree with. I could see how many Christian wittnessing techiques can be bothersom to those who are seeking God. I believe one must reach people where they're at like Jesus did. Are you calling a fellow brother in Christ an "anti-christ" for stating my point of view and diagreeing with you brother?

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 07:51 AM
Good point Vallhall,
Perhaps that was wrong to do. I betrayed myself with my own intolerance!
Suffice it to say that I still believe that many Christians might want to re-evaluate their style and motives in witnessing!

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 08:06 AM

Originally posted by lapi7
Good point Vallhall,
Perhaps that was wrong to do. I betrayed myself with my own intolerance!
Suffice it to say that I still believe that many Christians might want to re-evaluate their style and motives in witnessing!

Point well taken, lapi. And I agree that this is something all Christians should pray on daily - because there is a great deal of intolerance in some of the organizational teachings that preclude us from witnessing in the manner Christ did - to those who are searching but have not yet found.

Kind regards.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 08:16 AM
Kind regards to you too valhall. And I send kind regards and christian love to you too jake1997...even if we disagree!

posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 05:40 PM

The catholic church wasnt built on Peter. The pagan catholic church was built on the roman god Jupiter. That is why the statue of Jupiter , with the sun over its head, sits in st peters basillica. That is why the popes throne also sits there...with the huge sunburst behind it. Take a look at the link in the babyon-rome thread for the pictures.

Look, your God-given free will allows you to sit here and demean and insult the Holy Catholic Church, but you should get your facts straight before you decide to comment. The Christian Church, in early eras adopted the popular (pagan) symbols of the time, but attached new Christological meanings to them. It in no way reflects a secret "pagan conspiracy" or anything of that (ludicrous) nature. The leaders of the Church did what any of us concerned about salvation would have done. They packaged Christianity with familiar symbols, and marketed it to the pagan peoples in this fashion. Christ was born during the lambing season (which occurred in spring), and not in the dead of winter. Yet, we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25th. Is this some secret ritual to the sun god? To old man winter? How about the moon fairies? As you might have guessed, this line of reasoning is ridiculous. The obvious answer is that the pagan people were accustomed to a great feast on Dec. 25th, and it made sense to coincide one of the greatest feasts of the Christian year with one of the greatest pagan feasts of the year. It was smart marketing, people, nothing more.

As for this Petra/Petros/Peter business. It is really quite simple. I actually considered majoring in Classics (Ancient Greek/Latin language and culture) instead of Computer Science (I am now pursuing a Classics minor instead), so I am a bit more knowledgeable about ancient languages than the average person. The problem here is that you all suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of the Greek, which was a translation from Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. I have found a Catholic Apologetics site that explains a little better and a lot more simply than I could.

This is a Catholic apologist's response to a Seventh-Day Adventist missionary rasing this exact question:

As Greek scholars--even non-Catholic ones--admit, the words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant "small stone" and "large rock" in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros and petra simply meant "rock." If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used. The missionary’s argument didn’t work and showed a faulty knowledge of Greek. (For an Evangelical Protestant Greek scholar’s admission of this, see D. A. Carson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984], Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., 8:368).

A professor pointed out the latter part of this explanation in a Greek class I took before I looked up the apologetics (quote is from the same conversation as a the quote above):

"We know that Jesus spoke Aramaic because some of his words are preserved for us in the Gospels. Look at Matthew 27:46, where he says from the cross, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That isn’t Greek; it’s Aramaic, and it means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

"What’s more," I said, "in Paul’s epistles—four times in Galatians and four times in 1 Corinthians—we have the Aramaic form of Simon’s new name preserved for us. In our English Bibles it comes out as Cephas. That isn’t Greek. That’s a transliteration of the Aramaic word Kepha (rendered as Kephas in its Hellenistic form).

"And what does Kepha mean? It means a rock, the same as petra. (It doesn’t mean a little stone or a pebble. What Jesus said to Simon in Matthew 16:18 was this: ‘You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.’

"When you understand what the Aramaic says, you see that Jesus was equating Simon and the rock; he wasn’t contrasting them. We see this vividly in some modern English translations, which render the verse this way: ‘You are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.’ In French one word, pierre, has always been used both for Simon’s new name and for the rock."

For a few moments the missionary seemed stumped. It was obvious he had never heard such a rejoinder. His brow was knit in thought as he tried to come up with a counter. Then it occurred to him.

"Wait a second," he said. "If kepha means the same as petra, why don’t we read in the Greek, ‘You are Petra, and on this petra I will build my Church’? Why, for Simon’s new name, does Matthew use a Greek word, Petros, which means something quite different from petra?"

"Because he had no choice," I said. "Greek and Aramaic have different grammatical structures. In Aramaic you can use kepha in both places in Matthew 16:18. In Greek you encounter a problem arising from the fact that nouns take differing gender endings.

"You have masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns. The Greek word petra is feminine. You can use it in the second half of Matthew 16:18 without any trouble. But you can’t use it as Simon’s new name, because you can’t give a man a feminine name—at least back then you couldn’t. You have to change the ending of the noun to make it masculine. When you do that, you get Petros, which was an already-existing word meaning rock.

"I admit that’s an imperfect rendering of the Aramaic; you lose part of the play on words. In English, where we have ‘Peter’ and ‘rock,’ you lose all of it. But that’s the best you can do in Greek."

If you wish to read the whole article, it can be found here:

I hope this sheds a little more light on things.


posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 06:30 PM
do you really honestly beleve that the catholic church is the best source to prove that Peter was not the first pope? YOu say your are studing for a classics minor, yet all you do is parrot Catholic dogma which even an atheist can do now with the aid of the internet.

The bset way to analyis scripture is not ask a scholar for his opinion, but to use other parts of scripture to see if it is supported. Junglejake has done a very good job of doing that. And it proves in Peters own written words that he aws not anywhere near a High preist like Jesus. He was a fisherman, and had nothing to do with Levis, prophacy, or the Order of Melchizedek

posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 11:54 PM

Originally posted by Jehosephat
do you really honestly beleve that the catholic church is the best source to prove that Peter was not the first pope? YOu say your are studing for a classics minor, yet all you do is parrot Catholic dogma which even an atheist can do now with the aid of the internet.

The bset way to analyis scripture is not ask a scholar for his opinion, but to use other parts of scripture to see if it is supported. Junglejake has done a very good job of doing that. And it proves in Peters own written words that he aws not anywhere near a High preist like Jesus. He was a fisherman, and had nothing to do with Levis, prophacy, or the Order of Melchizedek

Assuming you are replying to Sceler, the opinions he quoted are supported by the scriptural evidence from Matthew I posted back on page 1. I think scripture is rather clear that Peter was a "big rock". Now whether this is the "big rock" as defined by the catholic church or another "big rock", is another matter. I think the quote from Origen I made on page 2 summarizes the duality of the interpretation of the scripture in question quite well.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 09:24 PM
I thought I already posted this but I didn't see it.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my ROCK
Psalm18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a ROCK save our God?
Psalm 28:1
Psalm 31:2 and at least 10 other times in Psalms where we are informed over and over again so that will comprehend it, that Christ(God) is the ROCK.

Peter is not.
Look at Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

posted on May, 3 2005 @ 10:21 AM
I direct you to the latter part of my second quote above:

For an Evangelical Protestant Greek scholar’s admission of this, see D. A. Carson, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984], Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., 8:368).

It has nothing to do with "parroting" Catholic dogma. My professor was not a Catholic, but a Protestant. Our course involved a fair amount of New Testament writings (a great source of easily translatable ancient Greek). This happened to be one of them. It is grammatical fact, not opinion or dogma. I don't believe a Lutheran professor would be "preaching" Catholic "dogma" at a public University. Please, spend 3 years studying Greek, then come back and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. When you're ready, support it with valid reasoning, not hate. I considered posting the exact grammatical reasoning, complete with noun declension tables. But, I know I would simply be wasting my time. I posted the apologetics excerpts because I was struck with the way the author presented it.

This is more than simple online trickery. This is a fact, illustrated by the grammatical structure of an ancient language that you know little to nothing about.

Allow me to post yet another quote with the same answer to this ridiculous question. Maybe you'll be able to understand this one a bit better.

Concerning the Petra/Petros Argument:

Most Protestants who use this argument only tell part of the story of the Greek version of the Bible, and leave out some key information. A little knowledge, too little, is a dangerous thing.

The argument in Greek is weak because Christ would have addressed His disciples in Aramaic, the common language of that time and region. It would be unlikely that Jesus would have addressed His disciples in Greek. In fact, Peter is referred to other places in the New Testament as "Kephas."

When Jesus is referred to as "rock" in the new Testament, He is named in the Greek by the term Lithos and generally not as Petra or Petros, which is more correctly translated as stone, and in the context of the New Testament, the foundation stones of the Temple. The old translations keep this distinction. The word that Jesus uses is different - Petros/Petra. From this difference and the context of Matthew 16:18, it is unlikely that Jesus is referring to himself as the rock.

The reason for the difference (Petros/Petra) is related to the problem of translating the words of Christ into Greek. The cultural demands of the time would not permit the naming of a man with the feminine gender (petra). Therefore, the name of Peter was altered in the Greek to a masculine form - Petros.

In Aramaic or other languages, the problem is not there. In Aramaic the naming of Peter in Matthew 16:18 would go like this:

"Thou art Kephas, and on this Kephas I will build my Church."
In fact, the same account in John had Jesus naming Peter in the Aramaic term (Gospel of John 1:42). So you see in the original language, there is no Petros/Petra distinction.

The Petros/Petra argument is an old argument that does not bear up under any reasonable scholarly examination.


The closest example I can think of in our language, (which doesn't have inflected nouns) would be naming a son "Paula" when you meant to name him "Paul." It is just not done. This was the reason that Peter was referred to as Petros. It was the masculine accusitive form of the word for used for stone. I'm sorry if the concept gives you trouble, I don't find it to be that hard to understand:

Petra = feminine acc. sng.

Petros = masculine acc. sng.


[edit on 3-5-2005 by Sceler]

posted on May, 4 2005 @ 11:55 AM
Ok St Peter is in equality to St Paul.......

quote//both St. Peter and St. Paul, that is, the title of Protokoryphaioi, i.e., "leaders" or "chiefs" of the Apostles,
gives us some insight into what the distinctions between the Disciples of Christ actually mean.
They describe functions, responsibilities, cares, and rôles;
they do not, however, refer to special privileges, prerogatives, or authority.

For, in the final analysis, despite these distinctions, all of the Apostles were equal, just as all of the Bishops of the Orthodox Church—who are their successors—, whether they be simple Bishops or Patriarchs or Œcumenical Patriarchs, are absolute equals.
This fact helps to explain both the passage which you cite from II Corinthians and the Gospel passages which Papists have wholly unjustifiably used to support the doctrine of Papal supremacy.

Concerning the rock upon which the Lord promised the Apostle Peter to found His Church.
St Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in his epistle to the clergy of Palestine after the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon writes: "When the chief and first of the Apostles Peter said, Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God,
the Lord replied,
Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,
but My Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee,
that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:17-18).
On this confession the Church of God is made firm, and this Faith, given to us by the holy Apostles, the Church has kept and will keep to the end of the world."
The Close Bond Between the Church of Christ on Earth
and the Church of the Saints in Heaven

The Apostle instructs those who have come to believe in Christ and have been joined to the Church as follows: Ye are come unto mount Zion,
and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company any of angels, company I to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 12:22-24).
We are not separated from our dead brothers in the faith by the impassable abyss of death: they are close to us in God, for all live unto Him (Luke 20:38).

What is the Church.....

N THE LITERAL meaning of the word, the Church is the "assembly," in Greek, ekklesia, from ekkaleo, meaning "to gather." In this meaning it was used in the Old Testament also (the Hebrew kahal).

In the New Testament, this name has an incomparably deeper and more mystical meaning which is difficult to embrace in a short verbal formula. The character of the Church of Christ is best explained by the Biblical images to which the Church is likened.

The New Testament Church is the new planting of God, the garden of God, the vineyard of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, by His earthly life, His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, introduced into humanity new grace-giving powers, a new life which is capable of great fruitfulness.
These powers we have in the Holy Church which is His Body.

The Sacred Scripture is rich in expressive images of the Church. Here are the chief of them:

a) The image of the grapevine and its branches (John 15:1-8).
I am the true vine and My Father is the Husbandman.
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit... Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me, I am the Vine, ye are the branches.
He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned... Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.

Thus, both for reasons of an historical character and for reasons of an inward character, the Apostles are the foundations of the Church.
Therefore it is said of the Church: It is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).
The naming of the Church as "apostolic" indicates that it is established not on a single Apostle (as the Roman Church later taught),
but upon all twelve; otherwise it would have to bear the name of Peter, or John, or some other.
The Church as it were ahead of time warned us against thinking according to a "fleshly" principle (I Cor. 3:4): "I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas." In the Apocalypse, concerning the city coming down from heaven it is said: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb (Apoc. 21:14).

5/4/2005 by helen670]

[edit on 5/4/2005 by helen670]

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