04 May, 2011

Continuing discussion with "John the Baptist"

(John The Baptist) Its interesting that the Rock in Matthew is Jesus and not peter. Through out all the Bible the Rock has always been Jesus, not peter.

(Cristoiglesia) Clearly in this instance Jesus is speaking to St. Peter in the presence of the other disciples and is in the process of changing Simon’s name to Peter. Throughout the Old Testament name changes are significant and most often represent a calling to special service to God. In this case Jesus is emphasizing the fact that Simon, being known as Peter, is the prime minister of His Church as prophesied.

Matthew 16:18: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."

Of course, this is the verse where our Lord appointed Simon as the leader of the disciples, head of the Church on earth and the Pope. It is believed by some Protestants that they can defend their position of Simon not receiving the authority from Jesus by using the original Greek.

The claim made is that there is a difference between the Greek words “petra” and “petros”. Now, if this discussion between Jesus and Simon had occurred a few centuries earlier before Attic Greek had ceased to be and lost in antiquity it might be a valid argument. However, in the first century when this discussion occurred the Greek language was Koine Greek instead. In Koine Greek there is no difference in the meaning between “petra” and “petros” except in Koine Greek “petra” is feminine and “petros” is the masculine form. So what I am saying is that one is making a great error in interpretation to assign the Attic Greek meanings large stone and small stone, which was used in ancient Greek poetic writings, when that language was gone for centuries in usage.

Now, let us look at the Aramaic which is the familial language spoken by Jesus and the disciples which is the language which this discussion recorded in the Scriptures in Koine Greek occurred. We know that Jesus spoke in Aramaic because His words on the cross are in Aramaic (Matt 27:46). In fact, the book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic according to most scholars including myself. Also in the St. Paul’s letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians we see the word Cephas a total of eight times which is the English equivalent of kepha. Kepha always means rock. So, in Matthew 16:18 it would read using the Aramaic “You are Kepha and on this Kepha I will build my Church.” There is no big rock and pebble as evidence was given in the then dead Attic Greek. So in the original language Jesus does not offer a contrast but instead He clearly is calling Simon the rock.

If one is not yet convinced that the rendering in Attic Greek is improper let us look at Matthew 16:18 with the Attic Greek interpretation and see which one makes the most sense…. “Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven. And I tell you, you are just a little pebble and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Instead of the Koine Greek “you are Rock (Petros) and upon this rock (petros) I will build my Church. He goes on to give Simon Peter the keys to heaven showing the authority of the rock named Peter. As the King of Kings Jesus is making Peter His prime minister of His kingdom and we can see the foreshadowing from Isaiah 22: 21-22 and the leader of the flock from John 21:15-17. It shows in Isaiah the passing on of the keys from one to another for authority of the kingdom just as the authority of the papacy is passed on.

(John the Baptist) Its irrelevant what you or the catholic church says for neither one of you have the truth. The truth is that Jesus is the Rock the church was built on not peter.

(Cristoiglesia) It is interesting that you claim to be a follower of the Bible and yet deny the teaching of Scripture that says that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. So, your argument against the Church that Christ founded not having the truth is, in fact, contrary to the teaching of Scripture. I assume you ignore this teaching as it threatens your prejudice against Christ’s Church and your own desire to support your disobedience by ignoring this teaching and remaining outside of his Church preferring instead those false teachers that satisfy your itching ears.

(John the Baptist) In Matthew 18 Jesus also gives all authority to all the disciples not just to peter.

(Cristoiglesia) Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Here Jesus is speaking to and about Peter. Perhaps you are speaking of Matthew 18:18 when Jesus said the following:

Matthew 18:18 (New International Version, ©2011)
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven.

Here Jesus was indeed speaking to all the disciples and giving this authority to them and thus to the Church. This, however, does not detract from the clear teaching of Scripture that St. Peter is the prime minister of the Church appointed by Christ to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

(John the Baptist) Therefore what you says is irrelevant for you do not have the truth.

(Cristoiglesia) As I quoted from Scriptures Christ’s Church the Catholic Church does have the assurance of truth as the Bible calls the Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. What I have shown you is the teaching of the Church for 2000 years. May the Holy Spirit inspire you top the truth proclaimed in Christ’s own Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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