The whole Roman Catholic structure is based on three false presuppositions:Therefore, we will deal with all three of these “presuppositions” in some detail, beginning in this article with the first one. Nate’s words will be in blue. The passage in question is Matthew 16:16-20:
1. That the text of Mathew 16:16-20 means that Peter was the foundation of the Church, that the Church was built on him;
2. That Peter went to Rome and was the first bishop in Rome;
3. That Peter s successors are the bishops of Rome under the primacy of the Pope.
If even one of these presuppositions is a lie, then the Church of Rome has no foundation. Biblically speaking all three presuppositions are fabrications, as we will show.
“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’”PETER’S REVELATION
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’. (Mt 16:13-14)On what basis does Nate claim that the disciples had “a distinct knowledge” of Jesus as the Messiah? There is no scriptural evidence of this; in fact, Peter was the first to be told that this revelation had not come from men (i.e., other disciples) but rather from the Father. Nate has made an unbiblical claim, and so his argument fails.
"As Peter means 'rock', the natural interpretation is that 'upon this rock' means upon thee. No other explanation would probably at present day be attempted...But there is a play upon words, understand as you may. It is an even more far-fetched and harsh play on words if we understand the rock to be Christ; and a very feeble and almost unmeaning play upon words if the rock is Peter's confession" (Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, p. 355)"[Nate] To hold the view that Peter himself is the rock, is to deliberately pervert the plain sense of the Lord s own words.
“Blessed are YOU, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to YOU, but my Father in heaven. And I tell YOU, YOU are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever YOU bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever YOU loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:17-19)That’s right, 7 times Jesus speaks to Peter alone in the singular form of the word “you” in blessing him, changing his name, giving him the keys of the kingdom, and giving him the authority to bind and loose. Jesus most certainly did not mean to address Peter 7 times but then turn around and say, “but on this confession I will build my church.” It is actually Nate's interpretation which would serve to “pervert the plain sense of what Jesus said". The Greek phrase, “on this rock” is epi tautee tee petra. The word tautee means “this” – it is the demonstrative adjective which specifies someone most closely associated with “rock” in the sentence. Not only does tautee mean “this”, it actually is used in an even more forceful way, “this very” or “this same”. For example, “let every man abide in the same (tautee) calling in which he was called.” (1 Cor 7:20, see also Acts 13:33, 2 Cor 8:6, 9:5). The phrase “this very” is used in Luke 12:20, “This very (tautee) night your soul is required of you” (see also Acts 27:23). Therefore, Matthew 16:18 could be translated as “you are rock and on this very rock I will build my church.” As Robert Sungenis writes, “The Greek word tautee can also serve as a demonstrative pronoun if it does not have a noun following. In this instance the rendering would have been “you are Peter and upon this (tautee) I will build my church.” Here we see that the demonstrative pronoun would naturally refer back to the nearest referent, Peter (a rock), upon which Jesus would build his church. In light of this possible usage, the addition of “rock” may just reinforce that tautee, as a demonstrative adjective, is denoting a connection between “Peter” and “rock”. (Jesus, Peter, and the Keys, p 24). To quote Protestant scholar John Broadus again:
"Let it be observed that Jesus could not here mean himself by the rock, consistently with the image, because he is the builder. To say 'I will build' would be a very confused image. The suggestion of some expositors that in saying 'thou art Peter and on this rock' he pointed at himself, involves an artificiality which to some minds is repulsive." (Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, p. 356)OUR FOUNDATION
“And now from the lips of Peter, Jesus heard what he recognized to be the same temptation again [as he had heard from Satan in the wilderness]. Peter, in effect, was trying to dissuade him from obeying his Father’s will. Peter had no idea that this was what he was doing; he was moved only by affectionate concern for his Master’s well-being and did not like to hear him utter such ominous words. ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected’ (Mk 8:31). But he was, for the moment, playing the part of an adversary, however inadvertently, for as Jesus told him, ‘you are not on the side of God, but of men’ (Mk 8:33) - The Hard Sayings of Jesus [Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 1983] 148.This has nothing to do with Peter’s ability to lead the new church, or even make infallible judgments. During this instance he was not making a statement on faith or morals; he was trying to protect his Master, since he did not know what Jesus was on earth to do.
“as it is written, ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone (lithos) that will make people stumble, and a rock (petra) that will make them fall, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’”The imagery here is of a man stumbling over a small stone or being made to fall over a rock; in contrast, the imagery is NOT that of a man being crushed under the weight of some massive bedrock.
"Although it is true that petros and petra can mean "stone" and "rock" respectively in earlier Greek, the distinction is largely confined to poetry. Moreover the underlying Aramaic is in this case unquestionable; and most probably kepha was used in both clauses ("you are kepha" and "on this kepha"), since the word was used both for a name and for a "rock". The Peshitta (written in Syriac, a language cognate with Aramaic) makes no distinction between the words in the two clauses. The Greek makes the distinction between petros and petra simply because it is trying to preserve the pun, and in Greek the feminine petra could not very well serve as a masculine name." (The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Volume 8 (Matthew, Mark, Luke)THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
"The word Peter petros, meaning "rock" (Gk 4377), is masculine, and in Jesus' follow-up statement he uses the feminine word petra (Gk 4376). On the basis of this change, many have attempted to avoid identifying Peter as the rock on which Jesus builds his church. Yet if it were not for Protestant reactions against extremes of Roman Catholic interpretations, it is doubtful whether many would have taken "rock" to be anything or anyone other than Peter." (Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary--New Testament, vol. 2)
“Thus says the Lord GOD: Now go to this steward , to Shebna, the master of the place, who is hewing a tomb for himself high up, carving out a room for himself in the rock, [and ask] ‘What right have you here, and what relatives have you here for you to hew yourself a tomb in this place?….I dismiss you from your office, I remove you from your post, and the same day I call on my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I invest him with your robe, gird him with your sash, entrust him with your authority; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah. I place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; should he open, no one shall close; should he close, no one shall open. I drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a throne of glory for his father’s house.” (Isaiah 22:15-16, 19-23)The similarities are unmistakable:
|Isaiah 22||Matthew 16|
|office = master of palace||office = chief shepherd (Jn 21:17)|
|Key of the House of David||Key of the kingdom of heaven|
|recipient = Eliakim||recipient = Peter|
|power to open/close||power to bind/loose|
And what about the ‘keys of the kingdom’? The kyes of a royal or noble establishment were entrusted to the chief steward or majordomo; he carried them on his shoulder in earlier times, and there they served as a badge of the authority entrusted to him. About 700 B.C. an oracle from God announced that this authority in the royal palace in Jerusalem was to be conferred on a man called Eliakim…So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be, so to speak, chief steward. (The Hard Sayings of Jesus, pp 143-144)Note also that the authority is not his own, but rather is entrusted to him. Eliakim received authority from God, just as Peter received Jesus’ authority. What authority were they given? It is the authority to bind and loose, which has specific Rabbinical meaning of establishing rules and governing. R.T. France writes:
These terms [binding and loosing] thus refer to a teaching function, and more specifically one of making halakhic pronouncements [i.e., relative to laws not written down in the Jewish Scriptures but based on an oral interpretation of them] which are to be “binding” on the people of God. In that case Peter’s ‘power of the keys’ declared in Matthew 16:19 is not so much that of the doorkeeper, who decides who may or may not be admitted to the kingdom of heaven, but that of the steward (as in Is 22:22, generally regarded as the Old Testament background to the metaphor of keys here), whose keys of office enable him to regulate the affairs of the household. (Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1989 p 247)Jesus was speaking in the terms that the listening Jewish people would understand about how His church was to be set up. Of course, Jesus ultimately holds the Key to the house of David and has the power to open and shut (Rev 3:7), but this authority was delegated to the master of the palace, or chief steward in Peter through successive leadership positions.
“For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith…. For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants , not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of us all).” (Romans 4:13,16)I think that being known as the “father of us all” indicates an important role, and similarly, Simon underwent a transformation into Peter, the rock upon whom Jesus would build His church. It is still (and always will be) Jesus’ church, but Jesus set up Peter as the steward or master of the palace on earth. Accordingly, Peter's name is mentioned 195 times in the NT, far more than the next apostle. And, when mentioned, his name almost always comes first (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the "first" (10:2), and to further demonstrate the significance of being named first, Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last. Note also in Mt 10:2, Peter was not chronologically first, but the Greek protos meaning "foremost", etc.
"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you (plural "you" in Greek) like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you (singular "you" in Greek) must strengthen your brothers" - Lk 22:32Therefore, the importance of Peter is clear, and this fact is recognized by many intellectually honest Protestant scholars who recognize Peter’s importance in Scripture, including Gerhard Maier (leading Lutheran theologian), Donald A. Carson III (Baptist Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Seminary), J. Knox Chamblin (Presbyterian New Testament Professor Reformed Theological Seminary), William Hendriksen (Reformed Christian Church Professor of New Testament Literature at Calvin Seminary), John Peter Lange (German Protestant scholar), John A. Broadus (Baptist author), Craig L. Blomberg (Baptist Professor of New Testament Denver Seminary), David Hill (Presbyterian minister and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biblical Studies University of Sheffield, England), Suzanne de Dietrich (Presbyterian theologian), and Donald A. Hagner (Fuller Theological Seminary) - Jesus, Peter & the Keys: a Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy, Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, and David Hess...