Is St. Peter the Rock on Which Jesus Founded His Church

Rock? Peter Rebuked! Priestshood. Papal Infallibility!

Leroy made many comments about several issues on the post (click)–>Peter/Petra Controversy.

He contended that the Church was built on Christ’s confession not Peter, that Peter was rebuked by Paul and therefore disqualified in some way from being pope, dismissed infallibility of the Pope, and proclaimed the priesthood of all believers. You can read his whole comment by clicking on the link above.

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??

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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    Where do Catholics get this stuff?

    Q.Where did Christ: Teach us to erect statues of His mom and make beaded necklaces to hold and pray to His mom with? Teach us to erect statues of dead people, great servants of God or not, and put them in our churches?

    BFHU: But where in Scripture is it forbidden? Statues and pictures were used to remind thousands of generations of Christians, unable to read, about the stories and people of the Bible, as well as heroes of the faith. That is a very good thing and still a wonderful tradition in our churches. There is nothing scripturally wrong with it.

    Q. Is Peter really the Rock upon whom the church is founded, or is Christ the eternal Rock whom Peter confessed, the real foundation?

    BFHU Both. Of course, Jesus is the Foundation but there is no denying that Jesus said to Peter

    ” Rock (Peter), upon this Rock I will build my Church”

    Q.Peter is not strong enough to be the foundation of the Church of Christ, only Christ is!!!

    BFHU: Not by himself, but supported by Jesus he can do all things, in Christ.

    Q.We all represent Christ here!! Christ in us is the true Rock of the Church.

    BFHU That is true in one way. But it does not refute the Truth that Jesus founded a Church and He founded it upon Peter and gave him and his successors the Keys of the Kingdom to bind and loose. (a Hebrew idiom that means to rule)

    Q.Where did Christ:Teach us to believe that Mary never sinned and has already ascended to heaven, making her equal to Jesus Christ?

    BFHU Mary is not equal to Jesus. We believe in the Trinity. Mary is fully human and not divine. She is human in exactly the same way as Adam and Eve were in the fullness and sinlessnes of humanity. Adam and Eve sinned. Mary by the graces and power of God, not her own strength, did not sin. Gabriel addresses her as FULL OF GRACE. This is her title. If one is FULL of grace there is no room for sin.

    Q. Christ is the only one who is sinless!!

    BFHU: No. Many humans may have a fallen nature but are not guilty of sin. Innocent babies and children who have not reached the age of accountablility. Nevertheless, they all need a savior. As did Mary. She was saved from a fallen nature, before she sinned .

    Q. We all await the resurrection, He is the first-fruits. You deny the grace of God when you say that Jesus couldn’t be born by a woman, a normal human like you and me, yes a servant of God, but human, with sin, dead, alive in the spirit, yes, but powerless to save you.

    BFHU: God could have been born by any woman He chose. But why not create a pure vessel to reside in for nine months and to be your mother?

    Q. Read Acts. Baptism is a symbolic act by a conscious choice, by a repentant person to turn from sin and choose Christ for salvation. That’s what Baptism is. A baby can’t do that. A baby can’t repent. A baby doesn’t know what sin is. You can splash all the water on their head that you want, but don’t call it what it isn’t. It’s not baptism. Jesus got baptized when he was 30.

    BFHU Please see my post Infant Baptism You make many assertions in your comments about baptism. Please back them up with scripture. I believe that what you have said above is Protestant Tradition about Baptism. Not asserted in Sacred Scripture.

    Q. I know these aren’t all the teachings and maybe you’ll say they aren’t right, and maybe you don’t practice them, but you are still supporting them. And I know also that many Protestant churces are full of idolatrous worship and bad doctrine. If you look up the true doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, you will find these and many others. If these teachings aren’t found in the Scriptures, even in the Apocrypha which I enjoy, good Jewish history, then where are they from? Man? You can try to support these things with interpretation from the Scripture but in the end, they just aren’t there and you are left standing on the teachings of deceived men.

    BFHU We accept and believe in the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. BUT…it must be interpreted. We have historical, 2000 year-old, interpretations to draw upon. Protestant interpretations are only about 500 years old or less. I will go with the ancient faith, thank you.

    Q. The Bible is the only objective (unbiased) source we have to know that what we teach is the truth. If man’s teaching can’t be found in the Scriptures, then how can we know it’s true? Jesus taught the Law and the Prophets, the Scriptures. That’s what we have to teach today, the Scriptures. Don’t you want to know that you know the truth? for sure?

    BFHU I do want the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. I have examined the scriptures and the historical claims of the Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church. I did not want to be Catholic but I had no Choice when I examined the competing claims or the Protestants and the Catholics. You might want to read my Conversion Story

    Q. Please, read the Scriptures.
    BFHU; As you may have seen from my Conversion Story, I have certainly done this extensively.

    Q.You must worship in spirit and truth. The apostles didn’t even imagine the things that the Catholic church is doing.
    BFHU How can you KNOW what the apostles imagined? John clearly says that the world could not contain all the books if they were to be written about everything Jesus did. John 21:25

    Q.Turn from idolatry. Repent. Turn to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    BFHU I know you mean well. But Sola Scriptura is a Protestant Tradition of men.

    Protestant Argument against the Papacy Reduced to Rubble

    The scenario: You participate in an employee Bible study every day on your lunch hour. This particular Monday, Fred, a new employee, is introduced to the group. He announces he’s a former Catholic and is also a part-time minister at a nondenominational “Bible church” in a nearby town. As you begin, Fred opens his Bible and begins to “explain” why the papacy is “unbiblical.” The other Catholics in the room look to you expectantly. They know you’ve been attending a Catholic apologetics training course at your parish, and as you look around, you realize you’re the only one in the room who is ready to respond.

    Click on the link below to read the rest of the story….
    A Bedrock Protestant argument against the Papacy gets reduced to rubble.

    Jesus Called Peter Satan. How Could He Have Been Pope?

    Q. If Jesus was making Peter His Prime Minister in the Church then why did He call Peter Satan a few verses later?
    A. Peter was still very human, subject to sin, and the influence of Our Enemy.
    Because, Peter, in trying to dissuade Jesus from the cross, came under the influence of Satan and tempted Jesus not to take up His cross, Jesus clearly perceived the true source of Peter’s seemingly compassionate words and denounces Satan and his influence on Peter.

    “Get behind me Satan”. He was addressing Satan not calling Peter Satan. Then, speaking to Peter, Jesus says,
    You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

    This was Peter’s first lesson in learning how to discern the voice of Satan and the Voice of Christ.

    Conversation: Peter or His Confession?

    Q. So what is the support for the contention that the Catholic Church is the prescribed “organization of believers” despite their unchristian behavior over many centuries.

    A. Well, we have 1500 more years of history as an organization than the Lutherans and Presbyterians. And there are more Catholics worldwide than all of the Protestant denominations put together. So, I do not doubt that we have logged a lot more unchristian behavior in the past 2000 years. But just wait until the Lutherans have been around for 2000 years and have as many members as we do, then we can compare fairly our records of sanctity and sinfulness?

    Q. The origin of the belief in the papacy, appears to be the passage in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says, “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.”

    A. Actually the origin of the papacy is not rooted/derived/ or founded upon the passage of Matthew 16. It is rooted in Christian history. But because Protestants have no regard for history and will only listen to evidence in Scripture, we do our best to give you the best Biblical evidence to support and explain our beliefs. Remember we do not derive our religion out of scripture alone like the Protestant sects do.

    Q. There are two different viewpoints on what this scripture is saying. The Catholic Church, of course, says that Jesus is putting Peter in charge and he was therefore the first Pope. The other viewpoint is that Jesus was saying that the church was to be built upon Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question posed to Peter just preceding the passage in question. Peter’s response was that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

    I cannot find any additional support that Jesus meant that Peter would be the foundation of the church (the rock Jesus would build his church on),

    Q. In Matthew 16, is Jesus going to build His Church on Peter’s confession or on Peter?

    A. Both, in one way, because certainly the Church is built on “Christ the Son of the living God”. However, the plain sense of Mt. 16 has to be speaking about Peter. Peter is the Rock on which the Church will be built. After all, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter and what does the name Peter mean? Rock.

    In addition to this, in v. 18 “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church”, the pronoun “this” must have a noun that it is referring to, an antecedent. Antecedents are usually 0ne of the closest nouns that came before the pronoun. In this case that noun would be Peter. Often, when trying to refute the Catholic use of this scripture to show that Peter is the rock on which Jesus will build His church some have said,

    “No, the rock is not Peter it is Peter’s confession, that is the rock on which Christ will build His Church.”

    That seems reasonable until you think about the rules of grammar. The pronoun “this” is in verse 18. Peter’s confession is in verse 16. That is two verses, three sentences and seven nouns away.

    16: Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.“
    17: And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
    18: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on THIS rock I will build my church.

    If pronouns in English or any other language could have seven nouns in between the pronoun and the antecedent it would be incomprehensible. For example:

    I have a car and I love to drive. I also have a truck. My house has a two-car garage with a pool. IT is beautiful.

    What does IT refer to? What is beautiful? The pool or maybe the whole house. Who would contend that the writer meant that the car was beautiful? And yet, that is the sort of grammatical gymnastics required to assert that Peter’s confession was the rock upon which Jesus would build His Church.