Study of Matthew 16:18 – Peter and the Rock

A thorough study of Matthew 16, both exegetically and from the early church. (By Brittany C. Burnette, a student of Dr. Dan Wallace at Dallas Seminary, Texas. )

William Webster also has a thorough study of Patristic references to Matthew 16:18 and issues related to that. 

The Petrine school of interpretation. (Brittany Burnette)

Part 2 of the Petrine interpretation.  (B. Burnette)  Cyprian’s writings are especially important to understand, especially his disagreement with Stephen, the bishop of Rome, in 256-257 AD.   The bishop of Rome, Stephen, claimed he was the “bishop of bishops” or top bishop, and Cyprian and Firmillian of Caesarea and 86 bishops together called a council in Carthage, in North Africa in 258 AD and rebuked Stephen for his arrogant claim, and decreed, “no one bishop has the right to claim that they are “bishop of bishops”.  Clearly, they disagreed with the claim of the bishop of Rome, which later in history, came back around in the Papacy.  The Eastern Orthodox Churches disagree with the claims of the bishop of Rome.  Their view is closer to Cyprian and Firmillian’s more ancient view.  Clearly, the Papal claims are not biblical, nor are they found in early Church History.

William Webster has an excellent book on The Matthew 16 Controversy.  The information there should be added to Brittany Burnette’s study.  See here also.

Some of Webster’s research is in articles on Cyprian and debate with Steve Ray.

Part 1- Webster vs. Steve Ray on the Papacy.

Part 2 – Webster vs. Steve Ray on the Papacy. 

Part 3 – Wesbter vs. Steve Ray on the Papacy. 

The Christological school of interpretation.  (Brittany Burnette)

The Petra = Peter’s confession of faith school of interpretation. (Brittany Burnette)

Part 2 of the Petra = Peter’s confession of Faith (Fide) interpretation. (Brittany Burnette)

Also, at Triablogue, there are many articles on the Papacy and Matthew 16 by John Bugay, Steve Hays, and Jason Enwger.  Just search under Papacy and you will get a wealth of information.

 

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About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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5 Responses to Study of Matthew 16:18 – Peter and the Rock

  1. senpai says:

    Hi Ken i like to learn more about christian apologetics but i don;t think i am suited to the role especially when i am bad in making a coherent answers that are consistent due to knowledge. is there any material that can help me thoroughly learn the topics for apologetic so i can at least be able to answer questions in a logical manner

  2. Ken Temple says:

    You could start here:
    http://carm.org

    and here: (Dr. James White)
    http://www.aomin.org

    and here:
    http://www.beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com
    ( I write there also sometimes)

  3. Ken Temple says:

    Some good books dealing with Apologetics and apologetic issues:
    Always Ready, by Greg Bahnsen

    Apologetics for the Glory of God, by John Frame

    More than a Carpenter, by Josh McDowell

    Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis

    Knowing God, by J. I. Packer

    The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel

    Jesus Under Fire, edited by Michael J. Wilkens and J. P. Moreland

    Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell

    Inerrancy, edited by Norman Geisler

    DVD – Unlocking the Mystery of Life
    http://www.unlockingthemysteryoflife.com

  4. Ken Temple says:

    At this site, you can look up subjects under “A through Z”. That has been helpful also, especially questions about specific groups and teachings.
    http://www.apologeticsindex.org

  5. De Maria says:

    Hi again, Ken, We read Scripture differently. This is an explanation of the Catholic point of view.

    — 1 — Jesus Christ declared the Pope infallible when He said:

    Matthew 16:18-19
    King James Version (KJV)
    18 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.
    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    — 2 — Peter means “Rock”.

    Why did Jesus give Simon the name, “Rock”?

    Perhaps you never wondered. Here’s why. Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

    Exodus 7:1
    King James Version (KJV)
    7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

    Exodus 18:13-15
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law,
    Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    Exodus 19:9
    King James Version (KJV)
    9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.
    God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name, Rock along with the keys to the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19) and appointed him Shepherd over the Church (John 21:15-17).

    — 3 — Jesus appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock.

    John 21:15-17
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
    This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in the God’s name.

    Matthew 16:18 walk through
    — 4 — 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter,

    Jesus, speaking to Simon, names him “Rock”. That is the meaning of the name “Peter”. Heretofore, the only Rock in Scripture has been God. Therefore, Jesus has given Simon, His own name. This is significant. It means that Simon is now God’s representative upon earth. The rest follows logically.

    — 5 — and upon this rock I will build my church;

    Since Peter is Christ’s representative, it is logical that Jesus would organize His Church around St. Peter. This is why we can say that the Church is the Body of Christ. It is Christ’s CORPORATION. St. Peter is the Chief Officer. The Apostles the Board of Directors.

    — 6 — and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Again, because Peter is Christ’s representative, it is logical that the Church will prevail against the gates of hell. Hell is in a state of siege from the moment that Jesus was conceived. Upon His death, Jesus stormed hell and set the captives free:

    Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

    From this point on, the Catholic Church which Jesus established has kept Satan in a state of siege. From the moment that any man is baptized, they are snatched out of Satan’s hands and joined to the Church:

    Acts 2:38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.….47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    The Catholic Church sets the captives free in the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the gates of hell do not prevail against that infallible institution which Jesus Christ built upon that infallible office.

    — 7 — 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Everything which Peter binds upon earth is bound in heaven. Everything he looses upon earth is loosed in heaven. That is not only infallibility. That is also saving power. God has given the office of Peter awesome power. And all that we can do is sit back and gasp:

    Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

    This is how I read Matt 16:18.

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