|St. Peter as the Rock! Part II
READ: Matthew 16: 17-19. Mat 16:17 And
Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou,
Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not
revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and
upon this rock I will
build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the
kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind
upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be
loosed also in heaven. (NAB
Dr. Hahn -
"Jesus gave Simon Peter His pledge to build His Church upon Peter!"
"NOTICE: Jesus said; "I will build MY CHURCH," [JESUS' CHURCH] not Peter's Church, so the
church built upon Peter is the Church of Jesus Christ!"
(ME) I would like to add a note about the word "Church". Jesus only uses the word "Church"
twice in the gospels. The first time is right here, when He founded His Church on St. Peter.
The second when He in [Matthew 18:17] (FCD P. 273) transferred to the Apostles a whole
series of powers - i.e. the power of binding and loosing also legislative, juridical and punitive
power. CCC Par. 553.
In [Matthew 18:18] The Power "to bind and loose" connotes the authority to absolve sins, to
pronounce doctrinal judgments, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Par. 881,
The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college
of the Apostles united to it's head.
Back to Dr. Hahn - Jesus gave Peter the, "Key's of the Kingdom of Heaven". When Jesus
speaks of the, "Key's of the Kingdom", He is referring to an Old Testament passage. (ISAIAH
22:20-22.) Isa 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim
the son of Helcias, (21) And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy
girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. (22) And I will lay the key of the house of David upon
his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.
We see in this passage that the Prime Minister was given the "Key's of the Kingdom". By
entrusting to Peter the, "Key's of the Kingdom", Jesus established the office of Prime Minister
for administering the church as His Kingdom on earth. The "Key's" then, are a symbol of
Peter's office and Primacy to be handed onto his successors, thus it has been handed down
through the ages! In the Old Testament the King would appoint a head steward or "Prime
Minister", who had the authority not only over the other stewards in the household, for
example: there might be a person in charge of the kitchen, and another in charge of the
treasury, etc... All officials reported to him, all official documents required his seal, all matters
of state came under his scrutiny. He also had the authority to give orders in the Kings Name;
even to signing the Kings Name on documents! (In other words "the Prime Minister", would
have the complete trust of the King and in all pertinent matters the Authority normally
reserved for the King)! If Jesus was founding the Church upon Himself, then giving Peter the
"Key's", makes no sense! (FCD, P. 287,)
Christ made Peter the foundation of His Church, that is, the guarantor of her unity and
unshakable strength, and promised her a duration that will not pass away (Mt. 16:18).
However, the unity and solidity of the Church is not possible without the right Faith. As such
he must be infallible in the official promulgation of Faith, in his own person and in his
successors since by Christ's decree the Church is to continue for all time. Again, Christ
bestowed on Peter (and on his successors) a comprehensive power of binding and loosing.
As in Rabbinical speech one understood by binding and loosing also the authentic
declaration of the law, so the power is also therefore contained therein of authentically
declaring the law of the New Covenant, the Gospel. God in Heaven will confirm the Pope's
judgment. This supposes that, in his capacity of supreme Doctor of the Faith, he is
preserved from error.
Catholic Dictionary, P. 301,
[Matthew 28:19-20] "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them...[...]
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;"
This teaching is infallible: "And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of
the world" (ibid.)
Keys of Death and Hades." & [3:7], "...who has the Key of David"; Jesus can designate
someone to watch over the Household while He is away. He can choose a "Head Steward",
and give him the "Keys", which open all the doors, so the head steward would have the
POWER to make decisions in his master's absence, having all authority given to him, to run
the Household. Jesus does this in [Matthew 16:18]. Jesus did not give the "Keys" to the other
Apostles! (John 21:15-17) "When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon 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..." Jesus doesn't make this statement to any
other apostle, He is putting Peter in a position of leadership! Jesus as head shepherd, [John
10:16] is appointing His successor.
"I am the good shepherd"; designates, to take care of the flock, Peter; as He says; "Feed My
lambs." [John 21:15-17] To feed the lambs would be the act of the shepherd or whoever he
designates. Making Peter the Head of the Church Jesus established!
Jesus did not tell the other Apostles to "feed His lambs".
(FCD, P. 281,) The primacy was conferred when Christ, after His Resurrection, gave the
mandate to Peter, after the latter's threefold assurance of His love: "Feed my lambs!. . . Tend
my sheep!. . . Feed my sheep!" (John 21:15-17).
(ME) I would like to point out that the "lambs" could be seen not only as the children and the
sheep as the adults but the lambs might also be the neophytes, the new believers and the
sheep the Christians who are old in the faith. Thereby covering the whole "body of Christ"!
Back to the FCD Here, (in the gospel of John), as in Matthew 16:18, the words are directed
solely and immediately to Peter. The "lambs" and the "sheep" designate Christ's whole flock,
that is, the whole Church (cf. John 10). "Feed" in ancient and biblical language means, in its
application to human beings, rule or govern (cf. Acts 20:28). By Christ's thrice mandate,
Peter obtained, not re-appointment to the Apostolic office - he did not lose this through his
denial - but the supreme power of government over the Church.
(FCD P. 287,) Christ installed Peter (and his successors) as supreme pastor over the whole
flock (John 21:15-17). The task of teaching Christian truth and of protecting it from error is
part of the function of the supreme pastor. But he could not fulfill this task if, in the exercise
of his supreme teaching office, he himself was subject to error. Christ prayed that Peter
should be fortified in faith and commissioned him to fortify his bretheren. Luke 22:31: "Simon,
Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and thou, being once converted, confirm thy
bretheren." The reason Christ's praying for Peter especially was that Peter, after his own
conversion, should confirm the bretheren in their faith (Lk. 22:32), which clearly indicates
Peter's position as head of the Apostles. Peter's leading position in the primitive community
shows that he fulfilled the Lord's mandate.
Now, if these words are directed to Peter personally, then they must, in accordance with
Matthew 16:18, be also understood as referring to those in whom Peter is perpetuated as
Head of the Church; for the endangering of faith, which exists at all times, makes the
protection of the faith a pressing task of the Head of the Church at all times. In order to fulfill
this task effectively, in matters of faith and morals infallibility is essential.
PRAY - COME HOLY SPIRIT
In [GALATIANS 1:18], we see that Paul goes to Peter on matters of the Faith! In [EPHESIANS
2:19-20]; Paul tells us; Eph 2:19 "Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners:
but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the domestics of God, Eph 2:20 Built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:"
This statement shows that Jesus set up the Church, through the Apostles, which as the
Capstone He holds together. It also shows clearly that the Church that we all should be
following is the one of the Apostles! This is one proof, in hundreds, of the Catholic Church
being the True Church, the fact that we can trace our line of Popes from Pope Benedict XVI
all the way back to Peter, to Jesus!
AGAIN [MATTHEW 16:18]!
One last point!
I am not an expert in ancient Greek so I have never offered this particular teaching before
but it is often expressed to me.
I have people that say St. Peter could not be the 'rock' that Jesus refers to in Mt. 16 because
Jesus changes from the feminine to the masculine gender when He talks with St. Peter. The
following is an explanation 'gleaned' from CatholicPages.com
"Now people could say, "Wait a second. There is a distinction in the Greek language between
petros," Peter's name and petra. Petros can mean stone, whereas petra can often mean "big
rock." The problem with that is two-fold. First of all, Jesus probably didn't speak Greek when
He was with the disciples. I mean that is held by 99.9 percent of all scholars. It's
overwhelmingly unlikely that Jesus in His normal conversations spoke Greek. What's almost
certain is that He spoke Aramaic and in the Aramaic there is only one word that could
possibly be used and Kouman and other scholars have pointed to the fact that if Jesus spoke
Aramaic, He only could have said, "You are Cephus, and on this Cephus I build my Church."
So given our knowledge of the Aramaic language, there is no possibility for Jesus to have
made the distinction between "little stone" and "big rock." The Aramaic language doesn't
Well, somebody could say, "The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to use two different words. Well,
that's true, because "petra" is the word in Greek that is normally used for "large rock," but - I
should say petra is the Greek word that means "large rock" but it's in the feminine form. In
other words, the gender of this Greek word, petra, large rock, is feminine. You do not apply a
feminine form of the word in order to name a male. You adopt it by giving the masculine form.
In other words what Matthew was doing, guided by the Holy Spirit, is something that was
rather obvious and practically necessary. That was to take the Greek from Jesus' saying and
start by saying, "I will build my Church on this massive stone, this 'petra' in the feminine but
then to show that Peter gets the name, "Rock" in its proper masculine form.
You wouldn't name him Josephine or Rockina or, you know, something like that. You give him
the masculine form of the word. I should also add that there is absolutely no archeological
evidence from antiquity for anybody having been named Peter before Simon. In other words,
Jesus was taking a word that had never been used as far as all the many records we have
are concerned, never was used to designate an individual person and Jesus gives that
name, gives that word to Simon."
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH!
Church to teach unless He gave them some
way to teach the Truth!
We also know that Jesus is the Head of the Household,
[Matthew 10:25], "If they have called the master of the
house Be-elzebul, how much more will they malign those
of His household."
This is also a prophecy from Jesus that the Head of His
Church. (the master whom He appoints): and the rest of
His Church, (household); [or as Paul says "the
household of God"; 1 Tim 3:15], will be accused of being
controlled by the evil one!