This is confirmed by several commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew (cf. Also, note Augustine’s statement that he understands Peter here as representative of the Church. I don’t speak for my Church, either. Could Petros be (lower case) petros, as in “a stone/rock”, an individual rock/stone (no Greek article present, with the English indefinite article supplied in translation), with “Peter” understood as secondary (no Greek article)? : And I tell you…‘You are Peter, Rocky, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of the underworld will not conquer her. Therefore let this most holy and great synod sentence the before mentioned Dioscorus to the canonical penalties.”, —Council of Chalcedon, Session III (A.D. 451). The 1 way I can’t see it being interpreted unless you have ulterior motives is yo say Jesus was calling Peter the rock he would build his church on. (*poke* also to Jessica’s comment below, which I’m not sure will have been e-mailed to you), Pingback: The Same Gospel: A Plea to Protestants « The Lonely Pilgrim, Pingback: Authority « All Along the Watchtower. . If there is a distinction between them at all, it is between petra, a great mass of rock, and petros, stone as a monumental building material — for building, say, a Church. But, yes, it’s possible, and maybe even likely, that the anarthrous Petros was to indicate emphasis. In the thread entitled “How John Calvin Made me a Catholic,” Jason asserted that the “Greek grammar” of Matthew 16:18 does not allow for the interpretation that Peter is the rock upon which the Church was built. On numerous occasions in the Gospels, the Evangelists quote Jesus’s Aramaic directly. I challenged Jason to make his case from the Greek text, but he has yet to respond. chosen for great honor, As an Anglican it is quite difficult to dissent from the teaching of the Church, as it is such a broad church that it incorporates everything from people who are just about Calvinists to people like me who consider themselves Catholic. The common Protestant argument is that petra here refers to Peter’s confession or Peter’s faith. All rights reserved. Thanks so much for the comment. What’s more, you are his holy priests.Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. Aramaic was not as advanced a language as the other semitic languages. Therefore clearly, Jesus wasn’t referring to the same rock in both cases, so the argument goes. This Greek word means "an assembly" or "a group of people called together for a purpose." Perhaps it is “blind loyalty” that would reject my argument without good reasons. In all honesty, there is no way for us to be 100% sure which view is correct. Jesus had asked the disciples who they said he was: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, some other prophet? Matthew 16:18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Given this, other interpretations of the Biblical text are possible. All that is passed around is stereotypes and bitter tales. I am an Orthodox catechumen, so my answer may not be perfect. I’m not sure what the official Church position is on that today, since the Church hierarchy is pretty well set up under the pope as a supreme head. Here it is transliterated into Roman characters: kagō de soi legō hoti su ei Petros, kai epi tautē tē petra oikodomēsō mou tēn ekklēsian, kai pulai hadou ou katischusousin autēs. Matthew 17. Πύλη means “gate or door” 141 and occurs 10 times in the New Testament, with four of those occurrences in Matthew (7:13, 7:14, and 16:18). In fact, the literary structure of Jesus’s proclamation mirrors Peter’s exactly: “You are the Christ”; “You are Peter.” And Jesus’s other pronouncements here are perhaps even more important, more indicative of Peter’s singular authority, than His pronouncement of Peter as “Rock”. σίαν καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς, ואף אני אמר אליך כי אתה פטרוס ועל הסלע הזה אבנה את קהלתי ושערי שאול לא יגברו עליה׃, ܐܦ ܐܢܐ ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܠܟ ܕܐܢܬ ܗܘ ܟܐܦܐ ܘܥܠ ܗܕܐ ܟܐܦܐ ܐܒܢܝܗ ܠܥܕܬܝ ܘܬܪܥܐ ܕܫܝܘܠ ܠܐ ܢܚܤܢܘܢܗ ܀, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Nestle 1904, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Westcott and Hort 1881, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Westcott and Hort / [NA27 and UBS4 variants], ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Greek Orthodox Church, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Tischendorf 8th Edition, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894, ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 16:18 Greek NT: Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550. Whenever there is a spat going on within the Church in the media, it is usually these people behind it. It appears, then, that the masculine form πέτρος, as a word for “a stone,” had generally fallen into disuse in Koine Greek by the New Testament era. You can’t separate where the history of this catholic theology came from & where every other fraud & forgery came from. But with even a basic understanding of the ancient languages, the wordplay that Jesus and the Evangelist were implementing here becomes clear: These verses cannot be interpreted any other way but as an explicit declaration of Peter’s authority. But, then again, why wouldn’t Matthew be consistent and use the dative form (Πέτρῳ) of this new name in the “upon this rock” clause? The popes issue opinions, but most often they clarify things that have already been said in the past. Caleb Clark, “Exposition of Matthew 16.18,” in The Biblical Repository and Classical Review, third series, no. Matthew could have used Πέτρῐνος, which is derived from πέτρα, to make the connection clearer. In Greek you encounter a problem arising from the fact that nouns take differing gender endings. Do you really think that Matthew — or Mark — invented the name Πέτρος? 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. Generally, Bible scholars tell us this means “rock.” I’m not an Aramaic expert, but according to Marcus Jastrow’s Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud, and Midrashic Literature (London: Luzac, 1903), the word כיפא‎ is generally translated “a rock, stone, ball” — and there is not another Aramaic word defined that means “stone”, and no other word to make a distinction between a bedrock and a smaller rock. Pingback: Saints Peter and Paul: Apostles to the Protestants? In Matthew 16:18, the word Jesus used for "church" is ekklesia (Strong's #1577), and it is so translated in the King James Version 115 times. Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy) Ware is an excellent writer, a convert, and just an incredibly erudite man (and very British). I’m sure you are aware of Tertullian and Origen as two who do not align with the RCC interpretation. This is just as powerful a declaration as the one you want to quibble over. Matthew 16:18 18 And I tell you that you are Peter , b e and on this rock I will build my church , f and the gates of Hades c will not overcome it . and on this rock{Greek, petra, a rock mass or bedrock.} It could refer to an idea but not a person. Thanks for the comment, David. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a](A)and on this rock I will build my church,(B)and the gates of Hades[b]will not overcome it. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. But not Peter himself. 200BC by Jewish scholars). Thus, if we assume for the sake of argument Matthean priority, then the analysis must be reconsidered accordingly. Beyond the New Testament, Peter was referred to as Πέτρος in the First Epistle of Clement, for which a strong argument can be made to date as early as the A.D. 70; in the Epistles of Ignatius, probably around the turn of the second century; in fragments of Papias, probably around the same time. You state that LSJ and BDAG do not differentiate between petros and petra, yet they both do. The point of departure for most people is the Second Vatican Council (1965–1968), a.k.a. 2 He answered them, [] “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Curiously though, this use of πέτρος in the sense of “stone” does not continue to the New Testament. And they never were, until the time of Luther. « The Lonely Pilgrim. "and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of HadesThat is, the realm of the deadwill not overcome it. Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Bibles. A petros is a small rock or a piece of rock; a petra is the bedrock or a massive rock formation. Catholics seem to have an unhealthy devotion to institution instead of having faithfulness to God who is responsible for the sending of His Son Jesus. From my recollection (off the top of my head here), the pope really started taking on more and more power by necessity when the Roman government collapsed. But I do remember that, as Ken said, he stepped in and assumed a good bit of temporal power in Rome as the civil authorities collapsed. I am not the only member of the Coptic Orthodox Church I know of who thinks that other churches might have a slightly better description than our church does. His faith? This usage appears common throughout Homeric and classical Greek and even continues into early Koine Greek (cf. I believe you dismiss too quickly the possibility that Jesus knew Greek. Now, I’m not resting solidly on this, because I’ve seen what appears to be inconsistencies within PPs with respect to the presence/absence of the article, and I’ve not fully tested this. At Matthew 16:17-18 (NASB) we read a conversation between Peter and Jesus. Supremacy, no. Jesus himself is the rock the church is founded on. And on this Rock I will build my Church. a calling out, a meeting, an assembly — but concretely and universally in Christian lit. The Middle Ages saw pope after pope trying to rewrite history to make the Catholic Church into something it was not. I personally don’t think there’s any reasonable argument for Matthaean priority. The use of “this” would have been enough to assume the connection to those so persuaded, would it not? For example, Κάσσανδρος (Cassander) for Κασσάνδρα (Cassandra), Εὐφημίος (Euphemios) for Εὐφημία (Euphemia), Ὕπατιος (Hypatios) for Ὑπατία (Hypatia), and so forth. The original post stands on more than this one turn of phrase. Though I don’t intend on engaging on 16:19, I do think one must consider the similar verbiage found in 18:18 in one’s analysis of 16:19. Also the Coptic Orthodox Church, unlike some of the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, with which it shares communion, officially requires that all converts be rebaptised. I would think that if I converted, it would be hard to dissent, as I would have made a choice. Yeshua does not believe in other gods, ... Matthew 16:16-18 By reading this verse from its scriptural, Hebrew perspective the true meaning is placed back into the words and this dynamic exchange taking place in … Augustine, Psalm against the Party of Donatus, 18 (A.D. 393), “Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness. Peter was in Rome longer and ended his life there. To this point, note the response of some apparent Jews to Jesus Aramaic cry on the Cross (Mark 15:34)—they misunderstood him as calling Elijah. ‘Chalcedon451’ on my blog was a member of an Oriental Orthodox Church, and he agrees with you, A. Why doesn’t it just use petros twice and say, “You are petros and upon this petros, I will build my church”? — and these are all in communion with each other? Since Πέτρος is the only possible Greek word he could have used in the first clause — that being Peter’s name — then it appears there is no other way to render the passage. I think that much, all Christians agree upon. The language doesn’t say that. As I was looking up info relative to Matthew 16:18 and its interpretations, I came across this post. I have no problem with this article’s defense of the original interpretation, but how you go from Peter being the rock upon which the Church is built to such things as the line of Popes (a longitudinal sanctioned Vicar of Christ status for elected individuals) kinda’ escapes me. It is used in the NT for a strictly Jewish assembly (Acts 8:38), and it is used for an unruly mob (Acts 19:32), plus some sort of legal authority (19:39). Seeing these words in stone did more to move me to this truth, and toward the Catholic Church, than almost anything else: my banner above is a photograph I took of this same declaration, in Latin, around the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, over the high altar and St. Peter’s tomb. The Reformation was bitter and nasty on both sides, especially for the English, who kept changing sides, and every time they did there were persecutions and martyrs — but the American Civil War, World War I and World War II even, were nasty and bitter also, and yet the North and the South are getting along pretty well now; the English and French and Germans don’t really like each other but are living peaceably enough. In 8:14 it could be argued that the article is governing “house” because that’s the main focus, and/or concrete nouns sometimes lack the article in PPs. The word is not used in the common sense in the patristic corpus, or in later Byzantine Koine Greek, as far as I can tell (cf. Due to the article in the Greek before petra the rock can only refer to simon who is rock, it tells you rock is a definitive and not a quality like Jesus rockness nor the rockness of Peter’s proclamation, and it is anaphoric meaning it refers to the prior use of at least a synonym for rock. Matthew 16:18 The Greek word for Peter means rock. 16:18 And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock will my church be based, and the doors of hell will not overcome it. I’m still a newb. His peace be with you. Are you aware that Augustine, a recognized Doctor by the Catholic Church, changed his mind, as well? The very first use of Θεος is in 1:1 in a PP with the article (let’s leave out 1:1c). I have another friend who’s a Coptic convert. Nowhere in literature of any kind will you find the word THIS referring to a person. I have an Orthodox-convert friend (he’s commented a few times here; in fact, he just commented below while I was typing this) and he acknowledges that Peter was the prime Apostle — but he pointed out that the Orthodox claim Peter as the first bishop (or patriarch) of Antioch, too (and the Liber Pontificalis acknowledges as much) — though the See of Antioch doesn’t really exist anymore and there are half a dozen churches that claim to be its rightful successor. Saint Ignatius writes: “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be,” not “wherever the Pope of Rome shall appear.”, This is a fairly short article on the Orthodox position: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/ecumenical/maxwell_peter.htm. First, I did not say that those lexicons “do not differentiate” between those words. When a noun is used without the definite article, it is called, in grammatical terminology, an anarthrous noun. What slightly complicates this is that there are uses of πέτρος in the common sense (“a stone”) in other Greek literature contemporary to the New Testament and even centuries afterward — for example, in authors such as Philo, Plutarch, and Lucian. I am still very curious about Orthodox — I have a book sitting on my desk right now, in fact, I’m meaning to read, The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware. But, the OP makes a more definitive statement that the Catholic interpretation is the correct one. What confused me in making the above statement is the definition in the LSJ, which give simply “stone”; I did not adequately follow through the references. It would be very strange indeed if the only case of this word in the New Testament to refer to a “rock” came at the moment of such a dramatic declaration — indeed, at the moment of Peter’s renaming by Jesus, as far as the Gospel of Matthew is concerned. But, then again, in John 1:42 we have Jesus saying to him, “You will be called Cephas” upon first calling him (with the narrator defining the term as Petros); however, we don’t know if this means ‘from now on’, or ‘at some point in the future’. a rocky peak or ridge, Hom. But when πέτρα is used of a person in the NT, each and every time that person is Christ. Or “this king” (Psalm 24:10)? 16 And the Pharisees and Sad′ducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. The word ekklēsia is not strictly designated for the Church—though, of course, here Jesus means precisely that (the article is present, plus the pronoun “My” is used). So πέτρα is the only possible Greek word he could used for the second clause of his statement. There is no other meaning and the church fathers built from this meaning spiritually. You are assuming an English grammatical mindset. I feel that God has appointed our pope and bishops to lead us by the Holy Spirit, and I will trust in their guidance. Stark The Church of Rome says that because the Aramaic/Syriac original of Matthew 16:18, underlying the existing Greek text, uses the word KE'PHA' both as the proper name given to Simon bar Jonas and as the word for the Rock upon which Christ promised to build His Church, that therefore Peter (Aramaic, Ke'pha') is the rock and the … For a standpoint of personal preference, I kind of appreciate having a supreme head, and more-or-less unity throughout the worldwide Church, rather than so many autocephalous churches. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock [] I will build my church, and the gates of hell [] shall not prevail against it. That said, I prefer how the Slavs do things, style wise. What distinction could he possibly be wanting to make? By all appearances, judging by the New Testament and later Koine literature, the common noun πέτρος had fallen into disuse. And this Church, symbolized in its generality, was personified in the Apostle Peter, on account of the primacy of his apostleship. It’s very easy, for both Catholics and Protestants, to reduce arguments for the papacy to a caricature (that term “Vicar of Christ” is especially misunderstood), since, it’s true, what is supported by Scripture is a much more modest claim than what we see in the modern papacy. 16:18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Well, forgive me, but from my limited understanding, when we speak of the Orthodox Church, we’re not including those who are monophysites – like the “Oriental Orthodox,” or those whose bishops cannot claim apostolic succession. If you ask any priest who doesn’t know you, he will tell you that this is church doctrine and give you a theological explanation. is greatly disturbing & vastly inhibits his credibility. In any case, I think we’d agree that in 16:16 Petros…petra is paronomasia, but I don’t know if we’d agree on what it may mean exactly. Actually the word petrol can be used in the plural. And, in John’s Gospel—which is recognized more and more as being more ‘Jewish’ than ‘Greek’—both Kepha and Messias are translated by the narrator. “This man” doesn’t refer to a person (Matthew 12:24, Mark 15:39, Luke 23:4, John 7:46)? As an Anglo-Catholic I think obedience is important; my problem is knowing who to obey , Pingback: ‘Peter speaks through Leo’ « All Along the Watchtower, Pingback: The Roman Catholic Controversy: Claims of Authority « The Lonely Pilgrim, Pingback: The Roman Catholic Controversy: Sola Scriptura « The Lonely Pilgrim, Pingback: A Biblical Argument for the Authority of the Papacy | The Lonely Pilgrim. If Matthew did wish to declare that Peter was of a lighter sort of rock than πέτρα, he would have used the word λίθος for “stone”, as he used elsewhere (cf. Peter himself explains in 1 Peter the 2nd chapter what Matthew 16:18 means. Sixteen Eleven theme by me (a child theme of Twenty Eleven theme by WordPress). In this case, the definite article is used. But they are each autocephalous, no? Yet, if Petros is a masculinized Petra(s) and if the immediately following PP refers to this same entity (i.e., assuming the demonstrative pronoun refers to “Petros”) would it be more likely that petra would be anarthrous? Matthew 16:18-19 AMPC And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. The grammatical construction allows for either view. ΠέτροςAccording to "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature" (BDAG) they state that Πέτρος || Peter (as translated in Matthew 16:18) is translated "stone" in Hom.+; Jos., Bell. 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