PETER THE ROCK THAT AGES OR JESUS THE ROCK OF AGES
There is no indication of Peter being the prime Bishop in Rome or Rome as the governmental center for the whole Church. In 50 A.D. Claudius commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. “…Since the Jews were continually making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius) expelled them from Rome…” (Suetonius 75-160 A.D. Suet. Vita Claudii . xxv. 4 ) This would include Peter who was an apostle to the Jews. If Peter was obedient he would have left with the Jews that were expelled as his commission was to reach them. If not he would have been killed with the other Jews.
When Paul writes to the Romans in 58 A.D. He does not address the letter to Peter nor does he even make mention of him, although he takes the time to list 27 other names to greet. Paul does not refer to Peter in any of his 4 letters written from a Roman prison 60-61 A.D. (Eph. Col. Phil. Philemon) Why is this?
Most Agree that Babylon was code word for Rome (see Rev.17:1-9, 18:10,21)Peter
Jerusalem, Judea was the center of the Jewish church of which Peter was the apostle to. The first 15 chapters of Acts and the book of Galatians we see Peters ministry to Jerusalem and surrounding areas until 45 A.D. We find that it was Paul who was sent to the gentiles, the other apostles said they would stay with the Jews (this includes Peter). Rome was a long ways from Jerusalem and was never considered a Jewish province. It was Paul who went out (with Barnabas and Mark) to the gentiles, the other apostles stayed in the area of their brethren. In Acts 15 we see multiple leaders of the Jerusalem church meet. When a dispute arose, Paul initiated a meeting. They gathered in Jerusalem church which James the Lords half brother was in charge and Peter was just one of the many elders. (James is called the brother of Jesus. In Gal.1:19 Jude calls himself the brother of James. These are the same brothers mentioned as Mary's family that came to find Jesus several timesMt.13:55 and Mk.6:2-3 <RC5.htm>). James had the leadership role stating “Wherefore my sentence is on his declaration the letter was sent back to Antioch. Acts 16:4 “ they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.” Notice it was decided by all not one, not by James and not Peter, and it was not in Rome. There was no doctrine incorporated by the Roman church found in the Bible.
Lets not forget who actually wrote the majority of the New Testament. In Scripture Peter wrote 2 letters, Paul wrote 12. We find that Peters 2nd letter was not fully accepted as inspired for a long time which certainly conflicts with him being the Pope, the head of the Church. Writing an inspired letter that is in scripture would not be questioned by the mother church for they would validate it. (The Gospel of Peter was rejected as also the Apocalypse of Peter -probably forgeries). Who decided this letter was to be included? Certainly not the church Peter was ruling over otherwise there would have been no delay.(canonizing the bible <RC15.htm>)
In Acts 18:2 it writes that Emperor Claudius commanded all the Jews to leave Rome, this would have included Peter. Unless of course he stayed, he would then be executed for disobeying (some say he did die in Rome which means he couldn't have been a Pope over the whole Church). In 2 Timothy written from Rome just before Paul was martyred he writes, “Only Luke is with me” (2 Tim. 4:11). So there is no biblical justification for a Papacy and a single church ruling from Rome over all the church.
Church historian Michael Walsh in the illustrated history of the Popes, ...Papal authority as it is now exercised, with its accompanying doctrine of Papal infallibility, cannot be found in theories about the Papal role expressed by early Popes and other Christians the first 500 years, Philip Schaff one of the greatest church historians writes the oldest links in the chain of Roman bishops are veiled in impenetrable darkness.
The Pope is considered the head of the Church (Catechism 883) the Bible teaches something quite different. Eph. 5:23 “Christ is head of the church”;Col.1:17-18 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church.” We can be deceived if we are “not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.”( Col. 2:19) Our spiritual growth is not dependent on the Church but Christ as the head.
The Pope is called the only authority over the church (Catechism 816). We find Peter considered himself a fellow elder (one among many) and is treated this way throughout scripture( 1 Pt.5:1-2). He is not the apostle overall the other apostles. In Peters 2nd epistle he states he is an apostle, not THE apostle. While Roman Catholics point to his name being first all the time this is simply not so in (although it often is). In Gal.2:9 he is named as one of the pillars, not THE pillar, and James is mentioned first and John last. Leadership in the New Testament is always plural, never singular. Peter makes no unique claims for himself but calls himself an eyewitness with the other apostles 2 Pt.1:16. So one cannot find this coming from his own mouth.
The subject of the papacy is one of great importance, claiming to be the “Vicar of Christ,” is the very foundation of Romanism. Without it, Roman Catholic Church cannot be what she is today. ( there can be no apostolic succession because it is from Peter). It is on this doctrine to keep in mind that the Romanism today stands or falls.
The word Petra for rock is used 16 times in the New Testament. 11 times of a massive cliff rock, a bedrock, 5 times symbolically of Christ himself. (EX.1 Cor.10:4 The rock in the wilderness is Christ)
The name Peter (Petros) a masculine noun means small rock or stone. In Mt. 16:18 is the first time it is used saying “I will build my church”, a future event when the Spirit is sent and the body of Christ is formed. Jesus said “ I say unto you ,you are Peter (Petros) and upon this Rock (Petra feminine noun meaning a massive rock) I will build my church.” First we see who the rock is, second we see it is Jesus building the church not Peter. it is Jesus who states I will build my church, he protects it and gives increase to it. When we think about a foundation for a building it needs to be reliable, this comes through testing. There is only one who the Bible speaks as the rock that cannot be moved, that is Christ. All one has to do is look at Peter and we find he was moved numerous times showing he cannot be the foundation of the Church. The church is built upon the rock, Christ.
If Jesus were actually referring to Peter as the rock, Jesus would not have used the MASCULINE word petros for the rock. Jesus instead used a different Greek word for “this rock” a FEMININE word petra indicating something other than Peter. Since the Holy Spirit guided the apostles writings into all truth we should expect the precise words used to convey the meaning (John 14:26; 16:13). Arguments such as they spoke in Aramaic don't hold up either. Maybe they did speak this language but it was written in the Greek and therefore the distinction. The ones that were there and heard what Jesus said wrote it in Greek.
The Scripture also states the Church is also built upon the foundation of the apostles who were connected directly to Christ (Eph 2:20). The first stones of that building (the church) were laid next to the chief cornerstone (the rock) by their ministry. We find their names written in the foundations of the new Jerusalem, (Rev. 21:14). Notice they are collectively together, nowhere do we find Peter separately. Petros means a (piece of) rock; but the Scripture is saying very clearly Peter is related to the Rock because of his confession, not the rock himself. And he is not the only one to have this confession. The true rock (Petra) is massive. For the Church to spread throughout the world this rock it is built upon must be large enough to extend throughout the world and through time to support the Church. The word “church” literally means “those called out,” from the world. it can be applied to the church visible- or invisible, i.e., all those who are real Christians, a visible assembly or an “unassembled assembly” a spiritual house that is sometimes visible.
It was not Peter who was the rock, for the Old Testament of which both he and Paul both agree on explains who the rock is. Ps.18:31: “For who is our God except the Lord and who is our rock except our God. who is the church built on? Throughout the Old Testament the rock was synonymous with God 2 Sam 22:32: “For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? Deut 32:15: “Israel forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” Deut 32:18: “Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.” Ps. 62:2: “He only is my rock and my salvation” Ps. 95:1: “calls God, “ the Rock of our salvation.” In 1 Cor.3:10 Paul claims to as a master builder saying there is no other foundation that can be laid, which is Jesus Christ. Christ is the one we build on and if built on any other, it will not endure the fire of testing for our work. “If anyone’s work which he has built on endures, he will receive a reward”(1 Cor.3:14). Paul's statement is No human being was ever referred to as a rock in the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, neither are they found in the New Testament. The “Rock” (stone, cornerstone) is reserved only for Jesus Christ (Matt 21:42; Isa. 28:16; Cor. 3:11; 10:4; Eph 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-8).
Isa. 44:8: “Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.” This should settle any idea of anyone else being called the foundation stone for the Church.
Moses was told by the Lord in Exod. 17:6: “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” Paul using the Old Testament example explains in 1 Cor. 10:4: “and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” In the New Testament it is the same rock.
The altars built in the Old Testament were a type of the rock who was God. They were altars of offering and sacrifice, the rock that was laid in Zion was the foundation stone and the Church was built on this rock, a offering and sacrifice. The Church is made of those who confess just as Peter (through revelation) that he was the Son of the living God, God the savior. This is why they were told not to tell others what Peter had said, but to allow others to come to this conclusion on their own.
For one to confess this it means that they also believe in the gospel to save them. Not a Church , sacraments, baptism or any other thing. But the gospel itself instantly and gloriously transfers God's mercy to the sinner by admitting his guilt and believing on the saviors work. (1 Cor.15:1-4)
Matt 7:2:4 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The saying were pointing to the Messiah, to act on what he said was to build on the foundation of the rock. Is this Peter? No of course not, it is Christ (Lk.20:17-19 tells us it is Jesus who is the rock).
Who would know better than anyone else what Jesus meant? Peter right! Lets see how Peter interprets what the church now claims is applied to him.1 Pt.2:6 Peter quotes this verse of Rom.9:33 which is from Isa.28:16. The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language and the rock refers to Christ, Paul agrees with Peter on the rock that stumbled Israel and uses the very same Old Testament scripture. Rom 9:31-33: “but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Is Peter the first Pope? When you read Peter's statement in context, one understands immediately what he is talking about, it is that simple. Roman Catholicism says the rock is Peter, Peter says otherwise. Peter, the very one to whom Jesus is speaking to states in 1 Pt.2:4 “Coming to Him (Christ) as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men. It was Christ we come to. Peter here tells every Christian that he is a small stone along with the rest of us vs.5,” built up into a spiritual “temple,” and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone (the rock). Peter quotes Isaiah, the prophet, who was speaking of prophetically of the coming of The Messiah. This question must be explained by the Catholic. God Himself and has built the Church. If Peter really was the “cornerstone “Why didn't Isaiah say “Behold I lay in Rome a chief cornerstone?” Because it was laid in Zion not Rome.This crucial to understand where the authority lies. And what kind of a stone is he that wavers in his faith. So the rock couldn't possibly be Peter who is just man. Imagine no ekkleesia (Church) without Peter? Since when is God so dependent on one man to do his work? God has not entrusted any human being to build the ekkleesia or have it built on them. He built it upon HIMSELF, by Jesus Christ.
It is the stone that the builders rejected that became the chief cornerstone, the rock that the church is built on. As Peter says God laid in Zion a stone a chief cornerstone which is the foundation stone to the building, which is the Church. A cornerstone is a huge rock, this is the rock that Christ was speaking of. And it must be something that is eternal, a living stone to last through all the ages.
In 1 Pt.2:7, “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious stone (Peter is not saying I am precious) and he who believes on him will by no means be put to shame.” Is this Peter we are to believe on? Peter goes on saying in v.7 “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, “and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.” Who was rejected? Christ. What is the church built on? Christ. Who is one to believe on? Christ. Who do you trust and believe in? Christ. If one trusts in Peter they will be ashamed. Certainly not Peter nor any other apostle called themselves the foundation or had one to believe on them. we are told to believe on the stone, speaking of Christ. 1 Pt.5:4 Peter goes on to identify the chief shepherd as Jesus. Not himself!
Therefore to you who believe he is precious but to those who are disobedient (disbelieve) the stone that the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone. Who was rejected? Christ. what is the church built on? Christ. Who is one to believe on? Christ. who do you trust? Christ. If one trusts in Peter they will be ashamed, he is the wrong foundation. Ps.18:31 “For who is our God except the Lord and who is our rock except our God. who is the church built on? In 2 Cor.3:10 Paul claims to be a master builder and says there is no other foundation that can be laid, which is Jesus Christ. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Eph.2:20, “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” The cornerstone was a massive rock cut as the foundation stone which is put in the corner and out of both sides would come the apostles and prophets.
The Builder and Maker of the church is Christ himself; as he states, “I will build it”. The Church is a living temple which is a dwelling place for the holy Spirit and we are temple made up of living stones which He is building together. Peter writing to the Christians dispersed through the Roman provinces in Asia (1 Peter 1:1) in 1 Pt.2:5 You also as living stones are being built up to a spiritual house.” Heb.3 “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.” V.6 “But Christ as a Son over his own house whose house we are.” Christ is the head of the house which is the body of Christ. He is the architect (builder) of all things even the church is built by and on Christ. Christ is the head of the body, together and as individuals we are directed by Him, not by a priesthood or a Pope.
The Popes say that Peter was the rock, but Peter himself said Jesus is the rock (1 Peter 2:4-8). He even preaches this to all of Israel in Acts 4:11speaking of Christ, “This is the stone the builders rejected (Christ) which has become the chief cornerstone”, he then proclaims there is salvation in no other “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” That rock is our salvation, this is what the Church is built upon. Salvation is found in the person of Christ not in the church or in sacraments. It is found in the rock just as Jesus said, he would build his church on this confession. The rock was the confession of Peter’s revelation, this is the very reason why he is commended. This is something the Father testified all through Christ’s ministry. Sometimes it was audible as at the baptism and the transfiguration when the Father spoke “this is my beloved son” and accompanied it by supernatural signs. It is this confession of Jesus being the Son of God that the universal church is built on.
Luke 20:17-19: “Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone?” Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people-- for they knew that He had spoken this parable against them.” Have you fallen on this stone who is Christ? Which stone are you on? For if you have not fallen on the stone, it will one fall on you and crush you.
Was (only) Peter given the keys of the kingdom (Mt.16:19)
“I will give you the keys of heaven,” if this means it is to Peter only, than there can be no Roman Catholic justification for it being given to anyone afterwards. Yet there is no scripture that entertains this idea of apostolic succession.
“I will give you the keys” at the time was future tense, meaning after Jesus' resurrection; when He ascended on high, He gave those gifts (Eph. 4:8) empowered the apostles with the Holy Spirit so they may employ their authority under Christ. Peter had the pronouncement of the keys given to him first but not him alone. This power of authority was actually given, not to Peter only, but to all the apostles. This is a delegated spiritual power; it is a power pertaining to all the things of the kingdom of heaven. The figure of the keys is of a building with keys that are used to open from the outside. Jesus gives to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, meaning that he will make him the instrument of opening the door of faith to the world, first to preach the gospel to the Jews and then the Gentiles. In this way what is bound on earth is bound in heaven.
It is Christ the Risen Lord who has “the keys of death and of Hades” (Rev. 1:18; 3:7) He has “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” which he gives to Peter (and the others) as a “gatekeeper.”
The master of the house gives the keys to the steward, but it was not to only one,
but many. This promise was renewed and given to all the disciples Mt.18:18. Put in
context is about church discipline. Notice it says “whatever you bind on earth
will be bound in heaven...Again I say to you that if TWO of you agree on earth
concerning anything they ask...” The keys included doctrine, called the key of
knowledge. As the apostles were instructed by Christ they taught others, and by
the teaching of the Holy Spirit. “Since the power of binding and loosing, which
is here conferred upon Peter, is ascribed (Matt 18:18) to the apostles generally,
the power conferred upon the former is set in its proper light, and shown to be of
necessity a power of a collegiate nature, so that Peter is not to be regarded as
exclusively endowed with it, either in whole or in part, but is simply to be
looked upon as first among his equals” (Meyer on Matt 16:19; 18:18).
Peter had the privilege to use the keys by presenting the gospel in Acts 2 to the Jews first, in Acts 8 to the Samaritans and in Acts 10 to the Gentiles. But he was called to be the apostles to the Jews which certainly would disqualify him from being in Rome ruling over gentiles. (That was Paul's ministry. If he did visit Rome it was not to stay or rule there.)
To “bind and loose” in the vernacular of the Jews at that time, signified to prohibit and permit; to teach or declare a thing to be unlawful was to bind; to be lawful, was to loose. As the leadership was ripped from non believing Israel and given to the apostles; some things forbidden by the law of Moses were now to be allowed, as the eating of such and such meats; some things allowed there were now to be forbidden. Acts 10:13-16And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.” By God loosening the restrictions permitting non kosher foods to be eaten Peter understands the vision through the gentiles. Peter used these keys in a legislative sense of ‘loosing” as Peter saw God’s spirit moving to declare the gentiles clean. Just as it was revealed to him in previously by a vision in Acts 10:9-48. The Lord was telling him to eat what was on the sheet. Peter refused because it was forbidden to eat unclean animals under the mosaic Law. After three times of the Lord saying to eat because they are now clean, Peter then begins to contemplate what the vision meant. This had a two-fold meaning that the foods once forbidden were now permitted from this Peter concludes as he sees that the Lord had cleansed all by his blood so to the gentiles can be saved.
Peter also used the keys in judicially “binding” punishing Annanias and Sapphirra for their lying to the Holy Spirit.
“Now there arose a dispute among them, which of them was reputed to be the greatest. But he said to them, 'The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and they who exercise authority over them are called Benefactors. But not so with you. On the contrary, let him who is greatest among you become as the youngest, and him who is chief as the servant.'“ (Luke 22:24-26).
The Pope has people bow down to him and kiss his ring (this was often a sign of worship). When men bowed to Peter in Acts 10:25-26 he refused them telling them to “stand up, I myself am a man” If Peter is to be the example should not the Pope follow it?
The fact that the apostles had an argument among themselves shows they certainly did not understand that Peter was to be Pope. Jesus had the chance to correct them if this were so. Also, the occasion of the argument was the night of the betrayal- the last night of the Lord's earthly ministry- and yet the apostles still did not understand that Christ had given Peter a position of primacy. Even after the so called “ exaltation of Peter” in Mt.16:16 where Jesus said He would give Peter the keys of the kingdom, less than two chapters later we see that He gave it to them all (Mt.18). Why do this if it is exclusive? Because ALL the apostles were to be the foundation not only one of them. The Lord settled the argument, not by stating that He had already made Peter head, but by declaring that the Gentiles have their head rulers, “But not so with you.” Jesus very plainly taught that no one would occupy any such place as a ruler (or Pope) exercising authority over the whole church. Peter said they will all abandon you but not I. What did Jesus say? Before the night is over ( the rooster crows) you will deny me 3 times. Not a good sign for one who would lead the Church.
1 Peter 1:1 Peter's letters employ his apostleship in the introduction. Because he is addressing churches which he had no immediate connection with him, but with Paul. Paul later states: “For I consider that I am not at all INFERIOR to the most eminent apostles” (2 Cor. 11:5). Notice that Paul uses the plural form “APOSTLES,” not “A or THE apostle.”
The Bible makes it clear the foundation of the church is not on one apostle but
all of them.
Eph 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some
evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for
the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” There is no pope
mentioned for the church's instruction. Peter states in 2 Pet 3:2 “that you may
be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment
of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior”
pt.2 We have one Father