Petra/Petros Controversy



Q. Isn’t the problem, with the Catholic argument that Peter is the Rock of Matthew 16, that the Greek word used by Jesus for the Rock foundation of His Church is petra but the name He uses for Peter is Petros? Doesn’t Petra, meaning a BIG rock refer to Peter’s confession whereas, petros, Jesus’ name for Simon, means small stone.

A. This is a valiant attempt by non-Catholics to explain away Biblical evidence that Jesus founded His Church on Peter. However, it simply is not convincing when one looks at the facts.

First, most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic there is only ONE word for rock. Kepha. So what Jesus actually said would have been:

You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.

Jesus was not making any distinctions, after all, between Peter and the petra that Christ would build His Church upon. But obviously Peter comes from the Greek word petros. So, of course, one would tend to wonder about the strength of this argument since we now call Simon–Peter and not Kepha. The explanation is simple. There actually are several places in the New Testament where the Aramaic IS used for Simon.

John 1:42
And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas, which, when translated, is Peter.”

1 Corinthians 1:12
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,

  • 1 Corinthians 9:5
    Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?
  • Simon’s new name has come down to us as Peter because the Greek translation of the New Testament is the stronger traditional translation used by the Church when translating into Latin and English, and other vernacular languages.
    Second-When the translation of the original Aramaic was made into Greek the word petra which denoted Peter was simply changed by the translator to petros because petra has a feminine ending and petros has the masculine ending. It would not be fitting to call the Prince of the Apostles by a girl’s name like Rockelle. In English we use the name Peter which is a Greek name but if we were to make a strict translation into English it would be Rock or Rocky. A man’s name.

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    33 Responses

    1. To whomever may be concerned:

      BFHU says that most “Scholars” believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and that therefore this is the language he used in Matthew 16:18. However, it is a fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, as well as Hebrew, Greek, Assyrian, and every other language ever spoken. This in no way lends credence to the notion that we should interpret this passage using the Aramaic word for rock. You see, even though the scholars may indeed think that Jesus spoke Aramaic that does not mean that they think he only spoke Aramaic or that He used that language in this passage. The manuscript evidence makes it almost certain that He in fact used the Greek. More importantly, the internal biblical evidence makes it certain that if Jesus used the Aramaic here, it would have been recorded that way. Notice the other passages BFHU pointed to that do in fact use the Aramaic form of Peter’s name.

      Let me further point out that if I were to use the word rock twice in two different ways, you might miss the subtle difference in meaning between the two, because it seems to be the same. This is the situation with the word love. I can use the word love twice in two very different ways, and with very different meanings. So, even if I chose to use the word love twice with two very different meanings, the meanings would be very different even though the word used is the same word. Words are equivocal rather than univocal; the context dictates the meaning that the word carries. So, even if you were to cling to the notion that Jesus used Aramaic and used the same word in both places does not necessitate that the word held the same meaning in both places. Nevertheless, as I said, the manuscript evidence and the internal biblical evidence points to the conclusion that He used Greek here.

      Beyond this, we can trust God to keep His Word. He said that His Word is immutable. He told us that even though Heaven and Earth pass away, His word will never pass away. The overwhelming manuscript evidence tells us that not only is it virtually certain that the original New Testament Scriptures were written in Greek, and that petra and petros were the Greek words used in this passage, but that at the very least, these are the meanings that were intended by the Lord whatever specific words He chose to use. Remember, words are equivocal and hold various meanings depending on context.

      If we understand what the Church is and the greatness of it, we can hardly buy the fantasy that its foundation could be a mere man. If we want to know what God says on the matter, we should turn to the Scriptures. The Scriptures that BFHU pointed out should do nicely. In the passage alluded to in the above comment Paul says, “10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, 11 for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3: 10-11).” Who was that whom the Apostle Paul said was the foundation of the Church? Jesus Christ!

      If we continue to the very sentence that BFHU boldly pointed to in an attempt to shore up a flimsy interpretation of Matthew 16:18 we see further reason to reject the notion that Peter is the foundation of the Church. In the same passage in 1 Corinthians 3: 21-23 Paul says, “So LET NO ONE BOAST ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS, for everything belongs to you, 22Paul or Apollos or CEPHAS, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, 23 and you to Christ, and Christ to God.” Clearly Paul places Cephas, who BFHU was kind enough to clarify is Peter, in the same category as any human being, and he makes Jesus Christ the foundation of the Church of Christ.

      In case you doubt that the building being spoken of here is anything other than the church, let us look at a couple of other verses. In 1 Corinthians 3: 5-9 he writes, “What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the LORD ASSIGNED EACH ONE (I emboldened and underscored the Lord assigning each one in contrast to Peter or a Pope assigning each one.). 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. 7 Therefore neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, BUT ONLY GOD, who causes the growth.8 The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. 9 For we are God’s co-workers; YOU ARE God’s field, GOD’S BUILDING.” The people of the church at Corinth (and indeed of all the church) are God’s building, and Jesus is the foundation of that building. Next read verse 16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. Therefore, the building, which the people of the Corinthian church are, is the temple of God, and Jesus Christ is the foundation of that temple, rather than Peter, who is hardly mentioned from chapter one to chapter three and indeed throughout the letter, though it is such an important passage teaching of the nature of the church and the immutability of its foundation, who is Christ Jesus the Lord.

      So, to recap, BFHU’s reasoning for interpreting Matthew 16:18 in the particular way they do is highly questionable at the outset, seeing as how Jesus spoke all languages, Greek is superior to Aramaic in conveying precise meaning, and the manuscript evidence demonstrates quite conclusively that the original Scriptures were written in Greek. Furthermore, the internal biblical evidence demonstrates that if Jesus used Aramaic in this passage it would have been recorded that way as it was in the other passages in which the Aramaic form, Cephas, was used. We also noted that even if the Aramaic were used, this would in no way necessitate the assumption that identical meanings were intended for both words in the passage, since words are equivocal and hold the meaning that the context dictates. Limitations in the vocabulary of the language used do not imply a limitation in the intended meaning by the limited words used. Additionally, we trust that God kept His word for us and notice the overwhelming manuscript evidence that the original was written using the Greek words Petros and Petra and certainly these words do in fact convey the intended meaning of the words used, no matter if He had used Aramaic. BFHU reveals how little faith they actually place in God’s ability to keep His word for us. Finally, the Scriptures themselves clearly teach us all about who actually is the foundation of the Church, and He is Jesus Christ. Therefore, BFHU’s interpretation of the passage is not possible and Peter cannot be the foundation of the Church.

      Much more could be said. I am sorry that I have not had the time to comment on all of BFHU’s recent posts. I pray that you diligently and sincerely seek for the Truth, and that He will bless your continued study.

      • Hi brother, No Jesus did not build His church on a man but on the fact that Jesus is The Christ , The Son of The Living God and this fact is what the gates of hell cannot prevail against. The gates of hell prevailed against Peter the gates of hell silenced him through execution.Peter and Paul argued doctrine concernng circumscision and Paul proved him wrong. Would then Jesus build His church on a man that was pushing circumscision? and respect to Holy Days? The evidence if heard in a court of law would show clearly that Jesus never intended to build His Church on any man. James was the leader of the early apostles anyway not Peter. Why do men in their intellectual conceit still strain at a gnat and swallow a camel? The “rock” wasn’t the only position catholocism stole from Jesus. All believers were to be priests and prestess coming into the very presence of God and relying on Christ our High Priest after the order of Melchezedic, to make intercession for us sinners.Christ’s vicar on earth! come on Infallability? please. Peter was a great brother in Christ and would surely be appaled by the present day facination on his confession and the misunderstanding surrounding it. It was seven hundred years after Christ that the Pope realized he was infallible and the council of Nicea in 325 AD had no pope. Inventions of men are frowned on by Jesus as He openly rebuked the Pharisees for altering the many scripturally inspired doctrines of men. Finally let me say that Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead so we could build His church on the chief coernerstone on the capstone on the foundation the Rock of the Old and New testiments. Of course we are light and love and rocks because we reflect the Light, God’s Love and The Rock. I could go on forever on this topic but I am done with it. What or who is it that the wise man builds his house upon?

        • Dear Leroy,
          What you say is true of course but it isn’t the whole truth. Please see this post about Peter:

          Rock: Peter or his confession?

          Jesus did not say that the gates of Hell will not prevail over Peter but they would not prevail over His Church. And the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself over 2000 years ago and over which the Gates of Hell have not yet prevailed against. Damaged? Yes but not conquered.

          All men are silenced by death eventually, but that does NOT mean that Hell has prevailed over them. You have veered into heresy here.

          As for Paul and Peter please read:

          Paul Rebuked Peter

          All believers belong to the priesthood but so did all the Jews in the OT. And just like the Jews, the Catholic Church has both a priesthood of all believers and a ministerial priesthood. Please see this post:
          Priesthood of All Believers

          Regarding Infallibility. You believe the writers of the the books of the Bible were infallible in their writings so if God could make them infallible why not the leader of the Church He founded? Please see this post: Infallible??

      • If you want to find some really good linguistic research on petros-petra-kepha, go to http://www.freetowne.com/pppk

    2. In the Aramaic Peshitta, the Aramaic word Kepha is used throughout these verses – for both rock, and Peter’s name. It is only in Greek that a different form of the word has to be used, because petra is feminine in Greek and would not be appropriate for naming Peter.

      • Hello Aramaic Scholar,

        your comment is interesting and worth thinking about for certain things and to some degree, however, it does nothing to make the Word of God of none effect, which says that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church. Much more could be said.

        Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful responses. This is indeed an extremely important issue and worthy of discussion. None of us is better or worse than any other in God’s eyes. However, doctrine can be correct or incorrect, and it is the Truth that saves, one cannot be saved in spite of not having the truth. If we receive the love of the Truth, we may become the heirs of Christ’s righteousness.

        Please, as the Bereans who were commended by the Holy Spirit did, search the Scriptures daily to see whether the things being said on this site are so. Indeed, test all things and hold fast to that which is proven good. Please recognize that there is no good reason to accept the authority of the Roman Catholic religion.

        May God richly bless your continued study.

    3. Joseph,
      We are not saved by having correct information but by Grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

      Aramaic Scholar,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    4. Dear BFHU,

      Of course Jesus died on the cross for sins without which salvation would be impossible. Nevertheless, without receiving a love of the truth and obeying the truth, we cannot be saved. I am afraid for you since you have not received a love of the truth.

      bfhu, on March 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm Said:
      Joseph,
      We are not saved by having correct information but by Grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

      Aramaic Scholar,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      However, Jesus Christ said, “If you abide in my Words, then you will be my disciples in deed and you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free (John 8:31-32).”

      and again, “…sanctify them by Your Truth, Your word is Truth (John 17: 17).”

      and again, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me (John 14: 23-24).”

      and again, “48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day (John 12: 48).”

      Paul said, “10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT RECEIVE THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2: 10-12).”

      and again, “17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (teaching) to which you were delivered (Romans 6: 17).”

      It is true that without Jesus sacrifice on the cross for our sins we could not be saved. We receive the circumcision made without hands in the putting off of the sins of the flesh in Christ, being buried with Christ through baptism, wherein also we are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:11-12). Clearly we could not be counted as dead, buried, and risen with Christ if He hadn’t actually been slain, buried, and resurrected. Nevertheless, we must love and obey the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. The truth sanctifies, one cannot be saved in spite of not having it.

      Much more could be said. Thank you for your time.

    5. Joseph,
      You are not able to judge the heart of another person as to whether they are seeking after truth or not. You are being uncharitable to judge me or anyone else as, not a seeker of truth, just because we believe differently than you.

      The fact is that my search for TRUTH led me inexorably into the Catholic Church against my desire. Precisely b/c I considered myself to be a seeker for truth, no matter where it led, I had no choice but to enter the Catholic Church, once I could find no logical way to refute her claims.

    6. Dear Pam,
      Happy Lent and may you be blessed as we enter into holy week. Such a wonderful time!

      Blessings on the beautiful and kind way you defend the faith, the Truth!

      You are a blessing to many!
      🙂 Ally

    7. Joseph mentioned a few times about the importance of context when interpreting Scripture. And it is the context when read within the entire scope of the Bible that makes this such a monumental passage.

      There are very few places in Scripture where God actually changes the name of a person. The two most obvious are Abram to Abraham and Saul to Paul. Any Jewish person at the time of Jesus recognize the significance of a name change as being a sign of a complete change in the course of a persons life.

      After this point in the Gospel the Apsotle’s name is Peter. Jesus didn’t just call him a name. He gave him a new name, signifying his new role in life. This would have been obvious to the Apostles who were present.

    8. Of the myriad of examples we can find in Scripture speaking of Jesus as the foundation of the Church, I will list but a few here:
      John 1:1-4 – Clearly equates God, with his Word and with Jesus Christ.
      Math 7:24 – Equates Listening to God’s Word as building on a Rock.
      Romans 9:33 – Refers to Jesus and that he would be a Rock of stumbling
      1 Cor 10:4 – Calls Jesus the Rock
      1 Peter 2:7 – Peter calls Jesus the Chief Cornerstone
      1 Peter 2:8 – Peter refers to Jesus as the Rock
      Eph 2:20 – Again refers to Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone.
      1 Cor 14:33 – Paul says that God is not the author of confusion.

      I have listened to all of the arguments the Catholic Church has used – for years (having been born into a family that was Catholic) and before I actually started reading the Scriptures, took, by faith (the word of men; Priests) that the Catholic church was indeed the only Church.

      What I have since learned is that the Church is actually the ‘community’ of all believers in Jesus Christ – whatever fellowship they belong to. If you are saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you are a member of the Church.

      In light of all of the Scriptural references to a Rock and in the many places that the reference to a Rock is synonymous with Jesus Christ, why in the world would anyone think that Jesus was then using that reference to define Peter?

      Knowing that God is not the author of confusion and assuming it is God’s will that we have a full understanding of his word, does it make any sense that the Son of God would use an analogy that would certainly create doubt or confusion about his supremacy, His leadership of the Church, or the Sovereignty of God?

      While the Catholic church may be one of the oldest in existence, there is very little Scriptural evidence supporting the Catholic claim that Peter was installed in any station above that of the other Apostles. There is zero Scriptural evidence that any Apostle submitted themselves to Peters ‘primacy’ or that Peter recognized a state of primacy for himself.

      Add to that the enormity of Scripture that warns us against placing our eyes on anyone – or anything but Jesus and it becomes a daunting warning to not become infatuated with anything even approximating worship or devotion to anything but Jesus Christ; The Rock. There are many reasons why it becomes convenient or even inviting to place ones faith in one institution or another but the exhortation not to fall victim to that kind of focus begins with the first two Commandments and is repeated in various forms throughout the New Testament.

      Semper Fidelis;

      John Bernard

      • “What I have since learned is that the Church is actually the ‘community’ of all believers in Jesus Christ”

        Is this something of a new revelation? With due respect, where have you been?

        “why in the world would anyone think that Jesus was then using that reference to define Peter?”

        because the bible tells me so …. Thou art Kepha (Rock, Peter) and upon this kepha (rock, peter) I will build my church. I will give you (singular) the keys of heaven (Matt 16:18). Those are the exact words spoken by Christ. Which part do you not understand?

        “Knowing that God is not the author of confusion … does it make any sense that the Son of God would use an analogy that would certainly create doubt or confusion about his supremacy, His leadership of the Church, or the Sovereignty of God?”

        No one was confused until Martin Luther tried to replace the divinely instituted authority of the church with a book. Look at the landscape of Protestantism since then, 30,000 denominations with diagonally opposite core doctrines. Who is confused? Certainly not the Catholics, which is still “one holy catholic and apostolic” from the ages. Maybe God did put something in place to insure order and discipline but it’s certainly not the bible (alone) as history and reality will attest aplenty.

        “There is zero Scriptural evidence that any Apostle submitted themselves to Peters ‘primacy’ or that Peter recognized a state of primacy for himself.”

        This is where you become completely irrelevant and lost credibility, sorry. Read your bible again.

    9. Within Catholicism, Catholics are not confused about their leadership teaches, but among the entire community of Christians (The Church) They are but one more organism that does not agree with the others.

      If I lost credibility is saying that the other Apostles did not submit to Peter; enlighten me – don’t through out insults.

      jb

      • Dear John,
        I will give the scriptures that indicate Peter’s supremacy among the apostles. I will give you scripture and not the writings of the Church Fathers because Scripture is the only thing you will accept.

        But Catholic beliefs are NOT based on Scripture alone. Catholic beliefs predated the canon of Scripture and the New Testament as we know it. In fact, the canon of the NT, was chosen because these books did not contain any error in comparison to the Teaching of the Catholic Church. There were other criteria, but if any book or writing contradicted a teaching of the Christian Church, it was NOT canonized.

        We do not derive our doctrine OUT OF THE BIBLE as Protestant do. We derive our doctrine directly from the teachings of Jesus Christ to the Apostles. You may be surprised to find out that there is NOTHING in Scripture that contradicts Catholic teaching.

        The only thing that contradicts Catholic teaching/doctrine is PROTESTANT INTERPRETATION of scripture.

        Another thing you will be surprised to know is that the Bible DOES NOT SUPPORT/TEACH/COMMAND or anything of the sort: Sola Scriptura, Scripture alone or Faith Alone. These beliefs are truly “the traditions of men” begun by a man, Martin Luther that nullify the word of God. They are only about 500 years old. The Catholic Church and all her teachings are 2000 years old.

        And now about Peter:

        He is always listed first in lists of some or all of the apostles except in one place. Peter, James and John are in the inner circle of Jesus.

        Matthew 4:18
        [ The First Disciple ] Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea;

        Matthew 10:2
        Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter,

        Matthew 16:18
        “I also say to you that you are ROCK (Peter), and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower

        Matthew 17:1
        [ The Transfiguration ] Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.it.

        Matthew 26:37
        And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed.

        Luke 8:51
        When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James

        John defers to Peter upon reaching the tomb. Protestants will say John was deferring to Peter’s age but Catholics see deference to Peter’s nascent office.

        John 20:3 So Peter and the other disciple (JOHN) started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but (John) did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside.

        Galatians 2
        Paul Accepted by the Apostles
        1 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, . 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

        Even St. Paul sought, by revelation, the approval of Peter and the other apostles.

        Peter announced that the office of Judas must be filled. Acts 1. At the first council of Jerusalem (ACTS 15) Peter decides the matter brought to the apostles by Paul. Peter, renounced the necessity of the ancient rite of Jewish circumcision. That was a BIG deal. And that took A LOT OF AUTHORITY. After Peter spoke the debate is silenced. Later, John, applies Peter’s teaching in practical matters just as our Bishops do to this day apply the Popes teaching on issues.

        That is pretty much the best i can do with scripture alone, in deference to your sensibilities. But it is not at all surprising that there is not more. There was only ONE, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It was common knowledge that Peter was the head of the Church and was made so by Jesus Christ. There was no pressing need, 2000 years ago, to spell it out for those who would protest Catholic teaching 1500 years later.

    10. BFHU;

      First I thank you for this dialogue; I would like to bring up three points, one in reference to Mathew 16:19 that the Catholic church uses to claim it’s authority through Peter, Mathew 18:18 and finally, 1 John 4:1.

      While it appears that Jesus is giving Peter the singular authority to permit and bind in Math 16:19, he gives the same authority to a much larger audience, in Math 18:18. I understand that the argument for Peters sole authority would then deduce that Math 18:18 would suggest that all spoken to at that time understood Peter to be prime, but that is still a stretch and really only can be seen if the reader assumes Jesus was establishing Peter as the ‘Rock’ of the Church.

      In addition; 1 John 4:1 creates a problem in that the Catholic church teaches (you need to understand that I spent the first 28 years of my life in the Catholic churchand received the first 5 Sacraments), that Catholics are to accept the teaching of the church by faith. I was also told on numerous ocassions, that the reading of the Bible was for the church leadership (Priests, Bishops etc.) and not for the laity…I am not asking your opinion on this point; I am telling you that was the teaching I received from the four churches I attended, three in Massachusetts and one in New Brunswick.

      How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God? You know; I am a sub-contractor and as such am required to sign a sub contract which is based on the prime contract. I am permitted to see the prime contract, and read it, in order to be satisfied that the sub contract is in fact aligned with the requirements of the prime.

      Even in Timothy there is an admonition to study to show oneself approved.

      My point is; I understand the Catholic churches stand, I am just not convinced the very Scripture that is the linchpin of the claim says precisely what they think it says in light of all of the other Scriptures, some of which I listed earlier that say emphatically, that Jesus is the ‘Rock’ of the Church.

      SF

      jb

      • Dear John,

        Good questions.

        JB: While it appears that Jesus is giving Peter the singular authority to permit and bind in Math 16:19, he gives the same authority to a much larger audience, in Math 18:18.

        BFHU: Let’s take a look at the scriptures.

        Mt. 16:19 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And 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. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

        Mt 18:18 (At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked)… 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

        You see that Jesus did give the same authority to all the apostes to bind and loose, which was a Rabbinic idiom for “the authority to rule”. Which is absolutely still true for our Bishops. However, Jesus also gave Peter a greater responsibility by giving Peter and only Peter the Keys of the Kingdom. You may dismiss this as irrelevant or just an omission from the Mt 18 passage but we see this as significant. But remember, the Catholic Church did not look at this verse and say, “Ahha! Peter is greater than the other disciples.”
        No, historically the bishop of Rome was the final authority in the Christian Catholic Church. It is easy to find. But you have to have eyes to see. Apologists for the Catholic Church point out this verse because Protestants demand scripture even though their teaching of Sola Scriptura is not found in the Bible.

        JB: I understand that the argument for Peters sole authority would then deduce that Math 18:18 would suggest that all spoken to at that time understood Peter to be prime, but that is still a stretch and really only can be seen if the reader assumes Jesus was establishing Peter as the ‘Rock’ of the Church.

        BFHU: Here you touch on a very important difference between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. For Protestants, there exists in their minds an either-or mentality. Such as, either Peter is the Rock or Jesus is the Rock. If Peter is the Rock then that detracts from Jesus/God who is designated often in the OT as the Rock of Israel, etc. Therefore Peter CANNOT be the Rock Jesus is talking about.

        But, for Catholic this mindset is not foundational as it is in Protestantism. We have a both-and mentality. Jesus/God is certainly the Rock of Israel/ God.

        1 Corinthians 10:4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

        Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

        Isaiah 30:29

        You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival,And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.

        But In Matthew 15 Jesus changes Simon’s name to Rock/Peter/Cephas and tells him He will build His Church on Rock/Peter. Of course, Jesus is also Rock. Both Peter and God are Rock, a strong foundation. We don’t have to choose either one or the other but both.

        JB: In addition; 1 John 4:1 creates a problem in that the Catholic church teaches (you need to understand that I spent the first 28 years of my life in the Catholic church and received the first 5 Sacraments), that Catholics are to accept the teaching of the church by faith. I was also told on numerous ocassions, that the reading of the Bible was for the church leadership (Priests, Bishops etc.) and not for the laity…I am not asking your opinion on this point; I am telling you that was the teaching I received from the four churches I attended, three in Massachusetts and one in New Brunswick.

        BFHU: The Catholic Church does not forbid following I Jn 4:1. The Church is our Mother. If the Mother of a child tells him not to run out into the street it is to protect her child. Should the child test the truth of his mother’s instruction and run out into the street to see if it is true? It is the same for the Catholic Church. The young and immature in the Faith need to trust the teachings of the Church because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Because levels of maturity vary it is safest for the Church to encourage her children to trust rather than test every doctrine. However, any well instructed and faithful Catholic who seeks the truth can certainly explore and test what the Church teaches. I did and converted from being a zealous Protestant to a zealous Catholic. All her Doctrines are sublime.

        But, many Catholics explore and test with an agenda, perhaps even an agenda hidden from themselves. They really want a good excuse to free themselves from certain Catholic Doctrines that they don’t like. Unpopular doctrines like the prohibition of contraception, sinfulness of homosexual intercourse, prohibition of divorce, obligation to attend Church every Sunday and Holy Day. So, they “test” the spirits and VOILA! thanks to Protestant interpretation of Scripture they find just the rationale they sought to leave the Catholic Church. They have unwittingly fallen into the very trap John warned about:

        1 John 4: 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

        Does the Catholic Church acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh?
        YES! It certainly does. Therefore, the Catholic Church is from God.

        JB: How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God? You know; I am a sub-contractor and as such am required to sign a sub contract which is based on the prime contract. I am permitted to see the prime contract, and read it, in order to be satisfied that the sub contract is in fact aligned with the requirements of the prime.

        BFHU: The Church does not forbid the reading of Scripture. We are cautioned to read it WITH THE CHURCH. But scripture reading and meditation are encouraged. There was a time when it was forbidden due to the Protestant revolt that inflamed the minds with error. But this is no longer the case. If you were told not to read scripture it was the people who told you that for whatever reason, I don’t know. But the Church does not and has not forbidden the reading of Scripture by the laity for a long time.

        You ask : How then do we ‘test the Spirits which could be prophets or teachers, if you cannot read the very word of God?

        The testing had to be done spiritually and comparing sound doctrine to the words of so-called prophet or teachers. This passage COULD NOT HAVE MEANT THAT IN ORDER TO TEST THE SPIRITS ONE HAD TO READ SCRIPTURE.

        That is impossible. Since John wrote in the 1st Century. Hardly anyone in the population could read. Even today worldwide illiteracy is 20%. So, it is an impossibility that salvation depended upon reading Scripture. And besides this at todays $8.00/hr minimum wage a Bible would have cost the equivalent of $16,000 before the invention of the printing press. For more information see Sola Scriptura

        Therefore, one does NOT have to read scripture to test the spirits.

        JB: Even in Timothy there is an admonition to study to show oneself approved.
        BFHU: Timothy was not laity. Paul was not addressing this admonition to everyone. Timothy must have had the ability to study/read and access to books.

        JB: My point is; I understand the Catholic churches stand, I am just not convinced the very Scripture that is the linchpin of the claim says precisely what they think it says

        BFHU: I understand your point. But you have fallen back into the Protestant error that the Catholic Church derives her doctrine and beliefs FROM Scripture. We do NOT. Rather scripture was born FROM the teachings of Jesus, the Apostles and the Catholic Church. So the Mt. 15 passage is NOT any sort of linchpin for the claim of Peter’s primacy. Don’t you find it unsettling that Sola Scriptura is NOT IN SCRIPTURE? SOLA SCRIPTURA IS NON BIBLICAL. SOLA SCRIPTURA IN A “TRADITION OF MAN”

        • BFHU;

          There are, of course, other questions but I would like to make point here first. I know many folks who are saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ who are not only singular in their view of who Jesus is, and what their relationship is to him. They accept the many Scriptures including Acts 4:12 that declare ‘there is no other name under heaven that is given among men by which we must be saved’ and of course the many other Scriptures that declare Jesus Christ as the narrow road; Christ himself saying John 14:6; ‘I am the way, the truth, the life; no man comes to the Father but by me’..etc.
          I can tell you that most of those people did not come to Christ, denying one church or another, just recognizing the call of God on their lives and recognizing their need for a Savior (the One Savior). While I understand and therefore accept the Catholic churches stand on Sola Scriptura, it never-the-less places restrictions of the simplicity of those Scriptures which are so completely clear that the way to heaven is salvation through Jesus Christ and that he is the only way. Adding to or taking away from that simple truth is antithetical. I grant you it is in fact the Catholic church’s position that they are the only true manifestation of the Body of Christ, but understanding that the Body of Christ is in fact a name given to the community of saved souls in Jesus Christ, it creates a bit of a chicken and egg problem. A problem because we are not a member of his Body if not saved. Typically, people hear the Gospel, Repent, Confess, are then saved and then obediently seek fellowship in the ‘Church’. This was the experience of all those saved in the New Testament. It appears the Catholic church sees this in reverse (and I am not playing here; just understanding).
          The majority of people I know who are saved, are not gathering under the banner of the Catholic church. But they also do not believe they are saved because of their ‘membership’ in a specific ‘church’ but because of the completed work of Jesus Christ. They do not castigate the Catholic church either. For them; it is a non issue because Jesus Christ is the issue. It becomes a little dangerous to declare such people as not saved if not Catholic and just as dangerous and unfair to the Catholic Laity to suggest they are saved because they are Catholic and yet that is the official position of the Vatican. It is exclusively the finished work of Jesus Christ that saves and that is clear from Scripture.
          I think there is room to question whether the Catholic church is the oldest or even original church, but adding church membership to the act of salvation, turns salvation into an equation rather than the singular sacrificial act of the God of the universe.
          You said you were a Protestant turned Catholic. I do not consider myself a Catholic turned Protestant; just a man who finally understood, in totality the meaning of the finished work of Jesus Christ. And once having understood the breadth and depth of that, submitted myself to Jesus Christ and accepted his sacrifice as his gift to me. As a Catholic growing up, I understood that ever so basically but not nearly as well as the claim that all but Catholics were going to hell. It was also exceptionally disconcerting to see the local churches (Catholic) change so fundamentally; Latin to English, the movement of the position of the altar, the changes to the area inside the altar rail (I remember being taught it was the Sacristy but I believe that to be incorrect), etc. With a church so focused on traditions and, it was difficult to continue to believe that the Catholic church doctrines were absolute, especially it’s decrees about traditions, it they could be so easily changed.
          jb

          • Dear John,
            As so often is the case you are in error about what the Catholic Church believes. The Church does not believe that only Catholics can be saved. The Church does NOT believe that all Catholics are saved. There may even be Popes in Hell. The Catholic Church does NOT believe that there is any other name under Heaven by which we are saved than Jesus Christ. You have been misinformed.

            All who are saved, have been saved or will be saved are saved only through Jesus Christ.
            And the Body of Christ is His Church. So all are saved through His Church, the one He founded upon Peter, the Catholic Church. If a Protestant is saved it is through Christ and His Church, the bulwark of Truth. Even if they reject the Catholic Church in ignorance. All pagans or those who never heard about Jesus who are saved are saved through Christ and His Church. There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. BUT, that does NOT mean that you have to be Catholic to be saved. It means that salvation comes through the Church founded by Jesus Christ in a mystical way when it is not explicit. It is a heresy that only Catholics can be saved.

            We are all a part of the Body of Christ by virtue of our Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You belong to the Catholic Church, in a separated way whether you believe it or not.

            What happened after Vatican II was travesty. The Church is only now beginning to recover. Progressives hijacked the Church and as Pope Paul VI said, “The smoke of Satan has entered the Church.” Things were unfortunately changed but no doctrine was changed. Disciplines and methods can change. But doctrine cannot change and did not change.

    11. “in light of all of the other Scriptures, some of which I listed earlier that say emphatically, that Jesus is the ‘Rock’ of the Church”

      Have you considered that it was Jesus who changed the name Simon to Rock (Jn 1.42; Mk 3.16; Lk 6.14)? For what purpose? Maybe there was a divine plan and perhaps Jesus was preparing for the moment when He declared: You are Rock and upon this rock I will build my church?

      Abram’s name was changed to Abraham because God would make him “a father of many nations” (Gen 17:5) . There is a reason why someone’s name was changed by God. Why do you “protest” God’s motives and design?

    12. Surkiko;

      Thank you for getting into this as well.

      I don’t believe any of us woul deny Jesus cjanged Peter’s name to Rock or that Abraham was told he would be the Father of many nations. That particular promise was fulfilled and Abraham’s seed indeed spawned many nations, of course some defiant of God.

      I can not tell you with absolute certainty why Jesus named Peter Rock except to say the declarations of Jesus about Peter’s response in Matthew 16 clearly are a positive response to the Peter’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah; in effect, Peter’s words aligned with God’s word about who Jesus was/is.

      I think it is important to remember that God the Father says he esteems his Word as equal and John 1, identifies Jesus as ‘The Word’. If Peter’s answer then correctly identified Jesus, through his word and Jesus in so many areas has been defined as the Rock/Chief Cornerstone/Foundation of the Church, it makes sense that Jesus was not re-defining the foundation but approving of Peter’s understanding of that very truth through his answer.

      As we continue to discuss this, do not think that I do not recognize the Catholic church as a legimate fellowship of believers or even possibly the the oldest. This discussion is, for me, reconciling teachings of the Catholic church that say, essentially, that hearing the Gospel and responding to it positively and declaring with one’s mouth that Jesus is Lord and thus Savior of your soul is somehow not enough, suggesting that the shed blood of Jesus Christ is not sufficient, that salvation requires membership in the Catholic church to somehow complete the equation.

      There are far too many Scriptures that identify Jesus as the sole Savior of souls.

      jb

    13. Why would the simple fact of rock being used as a descriptive term for God prevent you from believing that Christ may have a providential design and purpose when He changed Simon’s personal name to Rock? Moreover, the simple fact that Christ is called the foundation or cornerstone also doesn’t preclude the “apostles and prophets” being called “foundation stones” (Eph 2:20) or the New Jerusalem being built on twelve precious stones in Revelation 21. The fact that Peter’s positive confession of faith may be a lesser layer of spiritual meaning of Matt 16:18 should not cloud the obvious and lateral meaning of it. I guess that if you insist to ignore the simple and plain meaning of Matt 16:18 (A direct mandate of Christ nevertheless) plus the constant witness of the early church and Church Fathers and instead, prefer a contorted way of interpreting this scripture verse by a rogue priest Martin Luther, then you take your chance of 1 Jn 4:1 at your own risk and consequence.

      I think the real question here is if Christ is the cornerstone (and He is), then where is this church which He founded? Which denomination or faith tradition can trace its founding in a straight line to Christ? While we are at it, let’s also be mindful of Christ’s direct commission to the apostles: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). St. Paul understood when he said: “How can men preach unless they are sent?” (Rom 10:15). It is not for any Johnny-come-lately to set up shop (church) at any place and time without a direct mandate from Christ and His Church.

      Matt 16:18 is but one of the chief verses to support the position of the Catholic Church. What about in v19 when Christ gave Peter alone the keys of the kingdom of heaven? What about the time when Christ promised Peter that He would pray for him and for him to strengthen his brethren” (Lk 22:32). Or when Christ conferred upon Peter the shepherding role by instructing him to “Feed my lambs … Tend my sheep … Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17)? And lastly, yes, the power of “binding and loosing” (Matt 18:18) were given to the apostles and Peter, just like their direct and legitimate successor, the collegiate of bishops and the pope of the Catholic Church. What is your point?

      “There are far too many Scriptures that identify Jesus as the sole Savior of souls”

      I don’t know the relevancy of this, but yes, all Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the sole “Savior of souls.”

      • By the way, I meant to say “literal” instead of “lateral” in above.

        I forgot to address this:

        “reconciling teachings of the Catholic church that say, essentially, that hearing the Gospel and responding to it positively and declaring with one’s mouth that Jesus is Lord and thus Savior of your soul is somehow not enough, suggesting that the shed blood of Jesus Christ is not sufficient, that salvation requires membership in the Catholic church to somehow complete the equation.”

        A confession of faith in Christ includes true discipleship, meaning that one also has to be OBEDIENT otherwise the confession is lip service. Many Christians will divorce and remarry many times in direct disobedience to the commandment of Christ; a federation of Protestant churches will take a simple majority survey and vote to overturn an absolute truth (like sinful homosexual lifestyle and abortions). If you still think that you want to take a chance with eternity and remain outside the church instituted by Christ, then it is called freewill and it is your prerogative to handle your own destiny. But what if by the slightest chance that the Catholic Church is right? Sometimes, I wonder if some of the anti-Catholic (I know that you are not one) bigots are afraid of God when they bash Christ’s church with such hatred and malice.

        Regards,

        • “I don’t know the relevancy of this, but yes, all Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the sole “Savior of souls.””

          That is good that we agree on this point but the major point is that the Catholic church does not teach this as such; it says this AND confession of faith in the Catholic church is necessary for salvation.

          What we believe is; Salvation in Jesus grants ‘membership’ to the church. The Catholic church teaches; Membership in the church, ‘grants’ salvation. I know this is an oversimplified perception but it is accurate never-the-less.

          Do you truly beleive that Bible believing Christians outside the Catholic church think either abortion or homosexuality is all right? I hope not. We absolutely do not – and again based on Scripture.

          “If you still think that you want to take a chance with eternity and remain outside the church instituted by Christ, then it is called freewill and it is your prerogative to handle your own destiny.”

          Have no fear my friend; my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is capable of keeping me as one of his elect. I have absolute confidence in the his sacrifice and promises to me as a Believer.

          “But what if by the slightest chance that the Catholic Church is right? Sometimes,”

          And what if the Catholic church is wrong? Then I will have willingly submitted myself to the counsel of men rather than the precepts of Scripture and the promises of Jesus Christ.

          Do you believe Jesus Christ is capable of Saving men’s souls? If you do, then our combined efforts should be in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost (those who do not know him as Savior).

          This is a good discourse.

          jb

        • Hello John:

          Based on your conversation here and with BFHU, it is clear that you have had a very bad formation as a Catholic. Whatever the reason for it, your understand of Catholicism is very limited and unfortunately, contains all the usual misinformation and misconceptions. You also did not appear to understand the difference between big “T” traditions (Sacred) and the small “t” traditions or customs (like doctrines vs. liturgical reform of practices). The 60’s ushered in a time of confusion, dissent and defiance and disobedience. The church is in the world so some members of the church are also affected. Happily, the church has renewed itself and is continuing to forge forward as the bearer of Christ’s light in the world. Many wonderful Protestants are also returning “home” to mother church because herein they find the full expression of faith and truth as God originally intended. Unfortunately, there are also casualties. Like many of their Protestant brethren, Catholics are caught up in the spirit of relativism of the age. They think that they have outgrew the ancient church with all its medieval trappings. Many have became Cafeteria Catholics, meaning those who think that truths are served on trays in a buffet line and they can pick and choose what to believe and discard what they dislike or object. Which group do you belong to?

          Regards.

        • “but the major point is that the Catholic church does not teach this as such; it says this AND confession of faith in the Catholic church is necessary for salvation”

          Christ and His Church are inseparable. Why do you think it’s always either one or the other? It’s what’s known as a false dichotomy.

          “What we believe is; Salvation in Jesus grants ‘membership’ to the church. The Catholic church teaches; Membership in the church, ‘grants’ salvation”

          Oversimplication or not, you are wrong about what the Catholic Church teaches.

          ” I hope not. We absolutely do not – and again based on Scripture”

          Christians will NOT agree with each other … especially when relying on Sola Scriptura. It is the curse of the tower of babel.

          “And what if the Catholic church is wrong?”

          It is the “if” …. don’t wait to get to the other side when it is all too late to find out.

          My reading recommendation:
          1) The Catholic Catechism (so you know what the church really teaches).
          2) A book called “Evangelical is not Enough” by Thomas Howard.

    14. BFHU;

      The like it or not my friend; we are Brothers. We may have this conversation for a long time but our shared faith in Jesus Christ binds us together.

      I thought I had understood that the Catholic church had recently revisited whatever the edict/doctrine was concerning Salvation and had reiterated it’s stand that no one could be/would be saved outside the Catholic church.

      Maybe I misunderstood it.

      jb

    15. The fact is that we don’t KNOW what Jesus said in Aramaic. There is simply no way of knowing that as fact….

      If you want some seriously good research into this petros petra kepha thing, go check out this website:

      http://www.freetowne.com/pppk

      it’s good, solid linguistic research. it’s “non-partisan”. The guy just checks out all the common assertions made about Matt 16:18, and examines them. Assertions like “petros and petra were synonymous words in koine greek” (and all the other things commonly posted as “fact”).

      You’ll find it eye-opening…

    16. This may be too simple a response, but in the end are we following Peter, Cephas, Petros, or are we following Jesus. Maybe I am too simple minded but it seems that both sides of this argument are missing the point. If we follow Jesus and listen to Him and obey Him as He leads us then all of these things that seem to be walls or bind us from loving each other will fall away. If you are catholic and are following Jesus, allowing Him to guide you and change your thinking, as he seems to do for everyone, then there is no issue in the end, If you are protestant and following Jesus then you will also find His words and His ways and trust Him for the changes He instigates through that relationship.

      Again, perhaps I am too simple in my belief but I have found that the simple life of following Jesus allows Him to teach me, change me, direct me, grow me and help me to love all those He places in my path. That is something that neither the catholic or protestant church can argue with and it is my desire to keep getting better at it.

      I do care about digging into the word, learning the thoughts and patterns of our Lord and King, but I find that when we get bogged down in arguments like this then we miss the purpose of our call.

      Let the Love of God, not a wimpy love but a heart changing, mind bending, soul building love take over in this place, that we might be brothers and sisters of faith, and not contenders on a battle field that Jesus would disapprove of.

      I know, too simple but I have been letting go the baggage of the institutional church for the abiding in the True Vine for a lot of years now, and boy does it feel good!

      Don’t be dead in heart but be alive in Christ!

      Jim

    17. Dear Jim,
      I absolutely agree that the Imitation of Christ is the goal. But there are many voices out there that contend that following Peter means one is NOT following Christ; and that the Catholic Church is NOT following Christ.

      I too used to believe this. But then I found out that Peter is following Christ. The Catholic Church is following Christ too. So if I follow a follower of Christ I too am following Christ.

      • I hear ya. I have friends in both the catholic church and the protestant church, but one thing we all agree on, catholic or protestant, is that we are to follow Christ directly. No other mediator. This is scriptural.

        I think this is the confusion, not just outside of the catholic church but within the church itself. Some follow Peter, but scripture says “One God, and one mediator between God and man, the man, Christ Jesus,”

        That seems pretty pointed and means we either follow a man, Peter, who Jesus loved, or we follow Jesus, as Peter did. I think Peter would feel sad that we follow him. He knew his weaknesses, and he was chastised by Paul for weaknesses about bigotry choices at one point. Peter loved Jesus and loved the church and yet was like us, a man with a need to grow and wise up. I look up to him for his faith and love that. Was he given responsibility? Absolutely! Was he to be a barrier between us and Jesus? Never!

        The reality is that all of us may end up in Peter’s place of folks perhaps even putting us up on a pedestal for a bit. Maybe not in the same way or in the same intensity, but if we lead at all in the church then people look at us and often look up to us. As the relationship grows it is all of our responsibility to turn their eyes away from us and to Jesus. John, the baptist demonstrated this so well when he said “He must increase and I must decrease.”

        I can see Peter echoing that sentiment and feeling embarrassed that we have raised him to the level we have. I don’t ask you to agree or believe me, but I do ask myself, and then those I meet, to look at what Jesus said, look at His life, look at His followers, including Peter, and see what they heard and did. Look at their triumphs and failures and see how Jesus lovingly restored them. Peter is the example of this again. Jesus restored him asking him 3 times about his love and admonishing Peter to feed Jesus Sheep.

        Peter became a great apostle even with his failures because Jesus loved him and restored him. The cool part is that restoration is for all of us and that is what gets me excited! Jesus gave Peter a great responsibility, but is it any greater than He gives you and I? Aren’t we supposed to feed Jesus sheep as we are restored as well? Aren’t we to care for all who are within the earshot of Jesus words?

        I cannot argue as it seems we get sidetracked. If we all feed His sheep, if we all follow Him and learn of Him. If we all take His yoke upon us. If we all change our minds away from the rules and regulations and toward the Author of our faith, won’t we all be walking on the same road? Whether Peter is called the first pope or a great disciple who helped lead the early church, the whole argument falls to the wayside.

        I encourage myself first and then you to love Peter as Jesus did, Learn from what he taught, as well as recognizing his “humanness/earthly issues” from where he failed, but follow Jesus directly. Again, I think Peter would want this for everyone, no matter which side of the ugly catholic/protestant fence that we foolish people have been on. Like the berlin wall, let’s tear that sucker down!!!!!

    18. Dear If,

      Comment: I hear ya. I have friends in both the catholic church and the protestant church, but one thing we all agree on, catholic or protestant, is that we are to follow Christ directly. No other mediator. This is scriptural.

      BFHU: I cannot follow Christ directly b/c He is not here. And there is no scripture that says we must follow Christ DIRECTLY. Jesus is the One Mediator between God and man. But this is not the same as “following Jesus directly”. How would one do that in your opinion?
      Follow scripture? Scripture is not Jesus. Scripture was written by men who were not Jesus. Scripture must be read and interpreted by men who are not Jesus.

      Comment: That seems pretty pointed and means we either follow a man, Peter, who Jesus loved, or we follow Jesus, as Peter did. I think Peter would feel sad that we follow him. He knew his weaknesses, and he was chastised by Paul for weaknesses about bigotry choices at one point. Peter loved Jesus and loved the church and yet was like us, a man with a need to grow and wise up. I look up to him for his faith and love that. Was he given responsibility? Absolutely! Was he to be a barrier between us and Jesus? Never!

      BFHU: You are making a false dichotomy between following Jesus and following Peter. Peter is not here to be followed literally any more either. Jesus gave His apostles the authority to teach and rule the Church. We would know nothing of Jesus without Peter and the apostles. We follow scripture and words of Jesus

      Luke 10:16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

      • Hello again

        No worries, This may be harder for you and I to work through as this format may have it’s pluses but it also has its shortcomings cuz expression and all is left to interpretation to some degree, and then the delay of answering when it is so much better to be face to face and dialoguing.

        When I say “Following Jesus directly” I am not thinking physically down the road, I’m not sure you meant that either but it seems your words indicate that you are thinking of some kind of in-person way of following. I can see that but I have learned it is not necessary to see His face in order to follow Him directly. It has been a very real and hope filled walk, learning of Him and changing and maturing as I follow Him. This has been my personal experience so it would be extremely tough for anyone to convince me differently. .

        That said,. I am thinking Jesus leads directly in several ways, one main way being through His spirit that He sent to us, Jesus and the Spirit we speak of at the moment as still One is a fun thing to try and explain about God, adding the Father to the picture and being three distinct ways of seeing Him often called three persons, and yet truly just one God. I am thinking the time I spend reading Jesus words, guided by His spirit within me leads me in a very strong direction toward the heart of the Father, and to my mind, very personally.

        You said “You are making a false dichotomy between following Jesus and following Peter. Peter is not here to be followed literally any more either. Jesus gave His apostles the authority to teach and rule the Church. We would know nothing of Jesus with (did you mean without?) Peter and the apostles. We follow scripture and words of Jesus”

        I hear what you are saying but somehow we are looking at the same thing and seeing it two different ways. I wasnt’t intending to make a false dichotomy. When I spoke of following Peter I am thinking of his legacy through others down through the years, and I am not negating the idea of leaders and teachers and all that. I have heard some great things come out of folks mouths, including some of the popes. I would be a fool and rather silly to deny that.

        I must be cautious here, just as anyone should. I really try not to lean on my own understanding and yet I struggle to find the right words to say to convey what I feel I have learned by following Jesus in the manner of which I am speaking.

        We do have teachers and leaders and such, but they don’t take the place of our King, if that makes sense. At best they speak for Him, but not as Him. Jesus is always wanting our relationship with Him to be personal. Abiding in Him as a branch in a vine is a very personal example of the relationship He wants with us. Asking for things of the Kingdom in His name is a very personal connection for Him to encourage us to go by.

        We may have a tough time seeing eye to eye on this, but that doesn’t mean I cannot love you for being real and walking towards Jesus, whether through the aid of a teacher or leader or directly. You and I could probably quote a ton of scriptures that support what we feel is right, but in the end it is more the question, “Am I doing God’s will, sharing that His Kingdom is here? Am I being available to love every person He puts in my path, learning how to love them and how to meet needs, unbind those He asks me to unbind or take part in their lives. This is not the politics or the rules, but the very hope He has brought to us. Am I doing that?”

        I hope I was able to clarify a few of my thoughts, and I am sorry I gave you the wrong idea at first, but I am not worried about it. Someday we will be spending eternity in a place where the Author of it all will clear it up for us, if we are even interested any more, once we are home.

        Take care!

        Jim

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