A FOUNDATION ROCK OF THE CHURCH: IS IT PETER OR PAUL?
Why is Peter called the rock upon which the R.C. church is built?
2,175 words. + 250 of supporting Scriptures By – Mary A. LaClair
Peter denied Christ three times, after vowing he never would. He shifted like sand. You don’t build on sand; you build on bed-rock. It is, however the statement which Peter made, his God-given thoughts, it is the fact of those thoughts, to which Jesus referred when He said He will build His church. Notice this: He said that HE, Jesus, will build His church, not that Peter would build His church.
The word catholic with lower case “c”: – (adverb) means:, universal, all encompassing: i.e. catholic tastes in music
Catholic with a capital “C”: – is commonly used as a proper noun for the Roman Catholic Church, or a member thereof
R.C. : – Roman Catholic
THIS: – the word ‘this’ is never used as a personal pronoun,. It is an adjective usually modifying a noun
YOU: – the word ‘you’ has no plural form in English. It is both singular and collective, as in members of a group. i.e. as carpenters you know how to use tools…. ‘You’ refers to the group and to each individual in the group
(humor): the word YOU has no plural – Except in the southernmost states of the US where they use the colloquialism of ‘ya’ll come’ meaning ‘you all come, everyone come, without limitation, to our BB-Q’ YOU is collective, meaning a group and everyone within that group
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are 1aPeter, and upon THIS (2)rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.” NASU (bold underline mine for emphasis)
Here, the footnote 1a at Peter says that the Greek says Peter (Petros) means ‘stone’ small stone, a piece of rock. While footnote “2” says something different.
It was when Peter made the statement of “Thou Art The Christ” that Jesus said, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but My Father who Is in heaven” “Upon this rock” ( foot-note 2 says the Greek word rock here is: foundation, bed-rock;) “I will build my church” Jesus did not say ‘upon you I will build my church’.
Notice also that He calls the church HIS church, not Peter’s church.
Peter was Simon but here Jesus changes his name to Peter. Petros:
Using the Greek-Hebrew Dictionary:
In tracing the meaning of the word Petros, used for Peter, the meaning is ‘A PIECE OF ROCK.”
In tracing the meaning of Cephas, (Kephas) it lists the surname of Peter and compares it to (Keph) a hollow rock and (to Kaphaph ) to curve.
Petros: a piece of a rock larger than a stumbling stone, as a name Petrus the apostle, and compares to NT reference where Jesus actually calls Peter a stumbling stone. This is Peter
In tracing the meaning of the word Petra, its meaning is A MASS OF ROCK,(LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY) This is Jesus.
If PETRA is a mass of rock; and if PETROS is a piece of rock; might one be able to say: Peter was/is “a chip off the old block” ?? (smile)
The further words of ‘hollow’ and ‘curved’ connected to keph or Cephas are thought provoking: Peter’s denial may be considered ‘hollow’. He threw a curve ball.
If built upon Peter, Peter denied Christ three times, after vowing he never would. He shifted like sand. His denial was hollow because he didn’t really mean what he said at the time.
Peter was weak – Jesus called him Satan, that is a weak foundation. Jesus knew all that ahead of time. You don’t build on sand, you build on bed-rock.
It is, however, the statement Peter made, his God-given thoughts: it is the fact of those thoughts to which Jesus referred which are the foundation upon which the church is built and is still being built.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon THIS (2) rock I will build My church; .. NASU (underline emphasis mine)
The word THIS is used to point to objects, used alone it is never a synonym for a person.
One is correct in knowing that the statement is the actual foundation, with Christ the Cornerstone, and that is true. Therefore, it may seem strange that Jesus commanded them to tell no one that He is the Christ. Why? Because personal revelation from the Father, like Peter had, is the foundation which God wants – a personal relationship with the Father and the Son.
If one still wishes to say that Jesus says Peter is the foundation for the Roman Catholic Church, then we owe it to ourselves to continue reading a few verses down where Jesus turns right around and then calls Peter Satan. Ouch ! Some foundation on which to build a church, huh?
“ Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” NASU
Paul, because of his writing, not Peter, has done more to build a church founded on these statements and the Gospel than Peter had done. God’s Church is built upon the Gospel. Since Jesus had not yet died and paid the price for us Peter did not have the Gospel at that time, Without the Gospel, there is no church.
The keys are given to the church to which He referred, which He was establishing, which He is still building today. ‘You’, in this instance, refers back to a church made up of people, plural. In English, the word ‘you’ is both singular and collective, there is no plural. You and I are a part of that collective YOU to which Jesus refers. In this universal church, you and I are also keeper of those keys, if we are part of His church.
…I am going to give “YOU”, the collective body of the church which I am herewith establishing, keys to the kingdom. In other words, kingdom keys, to the collective body, the church, made up of the people who have received the personal revelation of God, like you have just received, Peter…
After the Resurrection, after the Gospel had been completed, Paul, to whom the Father also personally revealed Jesus as the Christ, wrote most of the New Testament. If a man, in conjunction with Jesus and Holy Spirit, were to start building the church on something, it stands to reason that that man would be Paul, not Peter.
The New Testament is also stone on the foundation, with Jesus Christ revealed in it as the Chief Cornerstone. This is the solid foundation upon which Paul, and we as his disciples, build. Peter IS a stone in the building of the universal Church, which is the body, with Christ as the Head. Peter was restored after his mistakes, as are we! Restoration is part of the church. Peter is not to be scorned: People received healing in Peter’s shadow. Acts 5:15
Peter might be a colorful rock in the building. He certainly was a colorful guyl!
And I pay Peter a compliment in this way!
Build on this? No.
Build on this? Yes.
“… in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” – NASU
We are stones and rocks to be put in the building on the Foundation. Maybe some of you are colorful too?
It is not ironic that as Peter wrote the book of 1st Peter, he used the word ‘stones’ to identify fellow followers. . . :
1 Peter 2:4-7 AS LIVING STONES
“And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I Lay In Zion A Choice Stone, A Precious Corner Stone, And He Who Believes In Him Will Not Be Disappointed.” (Is 28:16)
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The Stone Which The Builders Rejected,This Became The Very Corner Stone “ , (Ps 118:22)
And, A Stone Of Stumbling And A Rock Of Offense”; (Is 8:14) for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.” – NASU
“At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed”. NASU
This is a picture of what should be happening in the universal church today. And I believe we are in the advent of seeing it restored once again.
Is Peter the rock, or is Jesus the Rock? – Upon which is the universal church built?
Jesus tells us He Himself is the Rock. Many times throughout Scripture “rock” with the capital “R” signifies that Jesus Himself is the Rock upon which the universal church is built.
Concerning the Roman Catholic Church, who has claimed the word ‘catholic’ for themselves, placing Peter as the head of that church, let some things be re-considered:
The statement that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God companioned with the fact ‘that flesh and blood did not reveal THIS to you but My Father who is in heaven…’
…this is the THIS upon which His universal church is built. The word “THIS” is not a synonym for a man as He did not say ‘upon you’; He said ‘upon this’. Believe it or not, isn’t it true that the church (spiritual building) IS made up of the people (stones) to whom God has personally revealed Himself? How lucky and blessed we are! …And, we, ourselves, you and I, continue to build with that foundation ! Like Peter, as repentant sinners we are also stones put upon a Rock solid foundation; the Rock being Christ Jesus, the personal knowing of Christ Jesus making us a part of the building on that Rock. Praise the Lord !
If you don’t yet have that kind of personal relationship with Lord Jesus, you can. He is risen from the dead and He is alive and His Spirit is in the world today. Just start talking to Him. Better yet, ask Him into your heart. Say, “Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving me, please reveal yourself to me and come into my heart I want to see things the way you see them, help me to be all that you want me to be. Bring the right people into my life who know you and who can help me to know you better. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.”
Had Christ intended to describe Peter, all He needed to say was: You are Peter and on you I will build My Church.
But He didn’t say that.
1 Cor 10:1-5
1 Cor 10:1-5
I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. RSV
The Rock! His work is perfect For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. NASU
“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked —You are grown fat, thick, and sleek —Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. NASU
“You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth. NASU
“How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had given them up? NASU
“Indeed their Rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this. NASU
Further Scriptures on Jesus as the Rock:
Is. 44:8; 17:10; 30:29; 26:4; 46:4;
Hab 1:12; 2
1 Sam 23:28;
Deut 32:31; 32:30; 32:18;32:15; 32:4
Now, Who is the Rock
Is it Peter or
Is it Jesus !
On which rock, Rock, would YOU build ? On a fragment, or bed-rock?
Just have some little talks with Jesus, He’d love to hear from YOU !