Reject 'a non-Catholic' rather than examine their evidence?!
Early councils were not called by the Bishop of Rome, but by the Emperor!
You write: You cite a non-Catholic source for your imagined 'evidence' that the 'great Fathers of the Church' not only rejected the Papacy, but that they allegedly never applied Mat. 16:18 to him. One must say this is a complete fabrication, and that is why you never cited any actual quotes from these Fathers. Actually they all defended the Papacy and you demonstrate a frightening hypocrisy that is so common to all protestants. You reject the exegetical statements and beliefs of the Patristic writers. You allege to accept their beliefs and yet clearly in the same breath outright reject the authority of the Patristic writers. Every attempted reference from you to the Church Fathers is a non sequitur.
TCE: That you can dismiss a devout Catholic historian as 'a non-Catholic' shows the extent of the deception you are willing to sink to in an effort to support your delusion! Again, you rely on the Papal trick of 'dis-fellowshipping' a witness as a reason to ignore their evidence. Can you imagine how the world mocks the reasoning of cults such as Papal Rome when the same scenario in a secular law court ('we ask that this witness be rejected because he is 'a non-Catholic') would result in endless derision!
Anyone reading your claim 'that is why you never cited any actual quotes from these Fathers' when you then fail to supply a single quote from the 'Church Fathers' yourself which supports your view rather reveals the obvious - neither of us can supply a quote where a 'Church Father' supports your view - we have searched and failed to find one while you follow the rule of the cult - 'if the leader says it is so believe him or you might be killed or ex-communicated' - so you don't even look!!!
By-the-by - your sweeping slander ('you demonstrate a frightening hypocrisy that is so common to all protestants') is, we know, lost in a crowd of such un-Christian statements by you and also very common to the Papal Roman Catholics who write to TCE (just check the e-mails in this section!). And this, alone, reveals the spirit behind Papal Rome - but it is totally supported by the usual behaviour of all cults, none less than Papal Rome - the utter inability to refute our statements of fact and refutation!
You write: Your non Catholic source claims that all the Church Councils from Nicaea in the 4th century to Constance allegedly agree that St. Peter is not the Rock. His claim is illogical. He indicates that he accepts these Councils and yet in his profound ignorance he fails to note that these are Catholic Councils that reiterated Catholic dogma in all areas. Consequently, as a result, your claims are weak.
TCE: de Rosa wrote: 'For the Fathers, it is Peter's faith - or the Lord in whom Peter has faith - which is called the Rock, not Peter. All the Councils of the church from Nicaea in the fourth century to Constance in the fifteenth agree that Christ himself is the only foundation of the church, that is, the Rock on which the church rests. ... not one of the Fathers speaks of a transference of power from Peter to those who succeed him.... There is no hint of an abiding Petrine office.'
Refute these claims if you think you can, for your feeble claim that 'Consequently, as a result, your claims are weak' also cuts no mustard. You need to find quotes from the Councils you claim will support your views - but you have failed to find even one!
Papal Roman Catholics accept without question papal claims that the office originated with Peter without making any real attempt to verify the historical and Biblical facts behind the claim. Another truth about the claims of Papal Rome is that it was centuries before the Bishop of Rome attempted to dominate the rest of the Church, and many centuries more before this primacy was generally accepted by the 'ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16). An example of the exposure of this fact is found in the fact that Leo the Great's letter to Flavian in 449 was not accepted until the Council of Chalcedon had approved it - as Döllinger emphasises:
'[Pope] Leo [I] himself acknowledged that his treatise could not become a rule of faith till it was confirmed by the bishops' (Döllinger, ibid., p59).
Early writings reveal no mention of a special role for the Bishop of Rome, or the title 'Pope'!
There were eight councils of the Church before the schism in 1054 split into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, when the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other. None of these eight councils was called by the Bishop of Rome, but by the emperor, who also put his stamp of approval upon their decrees. As for papal authority, despite your feeble attempts to ignore or discredit such an excellent Catholic historian, he reminds us:
Why should anyone believe that Christ - the Servant King - passed pomp and luxuries to Peter!
'Pope Pelagius (556-60) talks of heretics separating themselves from the Apostolic See, that is, Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria plus Constantinople. In all the early writings of the hierarchy there is no mention of a special role for the Bishop of Rome, nor yet the special name of 'Pope' ... Of the eighty or so heresies in the first six centuries, not one refers to the authority of the Bishop of Rome, not one is settled by the Bishop or Rome ... No one attacks the [supreme] authority of the Roman pontiff, because no one has heard of it' (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 205-06).
The Easter Synod of 680 called by Pope Agatho was the first ecclesiastical body that asserted the primacy of Rome over the rest of the Church, but this was not an ecumenical council of the entire Church, so its decision was not generally accepted. As de Rosa points out:
'...not one of the early Fathers of the church say in the Bible any reference to papal jurisdiction over the church. On the contrary, they take it for granted that bishops, especially metropolitans, have the full right to govern and administer their own territory without interference from anyone. The Eastern church never accepted papal supremacy; Rome's attempt to impose it led to the schism. ... one looks in vain in the first millennium for a single doctrine or piece of legislation imposed by Rome alone on the rest of the church. The only general laws came out of Councils such as Nicaea. In any case, how could the Bishop of Rome have exercised universal jurisdiction in those early centuries when there was no [Roman] Curia, when other bishops brooked no interference in their dioceses from anyone, when Rome issued no dispensations and demanded no tribute or taxation, when all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome, had the power to bind and loose, when no bishop or church or individual was censured by Rome? Further, for centuries, the Bishop of Rome was chosen by the local citizens - clergy and laity. If he had jurisdiction over the universal church, would not the rest of the world want a say in his appointment? When he was believed to have [universal] supremacy the rest of the church did demand a say in his election. This came about only in the Middle Ages' (ibid., pp. 248-49).
It requires ingenious interpolation to derive from the simple statement 'On this rock I will build my church' a Petrine office, apostolic succession, papal infallibility, and all the pomp, ceremony, and power surrounding the pope today. As de Rosa points out ironically:
'... it required skill to take statements made by a poor Carpenter to an equally poor fisherman and apply them to a regal pontiff who was soon to be called Lord of the World' (ibid., p25).
Papal Rome has a fraudulent foundation and the entire edifice of this cult is built upon a supposedly infallible papacy, apostolic succession, an intricate hierarchy of priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, et al, the magisterium of bishops who alone can interpret the Bible, the requirement that for his alleged infallibility the pope must speak ex cathedra to the entire Church on matters of faith or morals, and a myriad of associated inventions and pretensions. The fact that none of these concepts is even remotely suggested, must less specifically stated, either in Matthew 16:18 or elsewhere in Scripture is dismissed by the 'apologists' for Papal Rome, who can only look hopefully to 'tradition' for support but, in fact, rely on a maze of deceit and serious fraud as they struggle to support the myth of their 'church'.
Questions on Matthew 16:16-18 that Rome never answers!
Thus, over the centuries, Papal Rome developed ingenious arguments to develop their theory that the Christ who had 'nowhere to lay his head' (Matthew 8:20), who lived in poverty and was crucified naked, was to be represented by a regal pontiff who lived in palaces with hundreds of rooms each, was waited upon day and night by scores of servants, and wore magnificent gold-embroidered silk robes! That Christ passed on to Peter such pomp and luxuries, which neither of them knew, is both ludicrous and blasphemous.
The glories and powers enjoyed by popes are not even remotely related to Peter's life of purity and poverty and we know that the fisherman apostle wrote: 'Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk' (Acts 3:6). We have recorded elsewhere the pathetic attempt by one 'pope' to repeat these healing miracles! Papal luxuries and pompous claims of authority over kings and kingdoms were not known in the Church until centuries later as ambitious popes gradually extended and solidified their authority and control over earthly rulers and proceeded to call themselves by such titles as 'supreme ruler of the worlds', 'king of kings', 'God on earth,' even the 'redeemer' who 'hung on the cross as Christ did,' as they asserted that 'Jesus put the popes on the same level as God' (August Bernhard Hasler, How the Pope Became Infallible, Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1981, p48). Peter and the other apostles would have denounced such pretentious fraud as blasphemy.
Genuine apostolic powers do not exist in Papal Rome!
Finally, to further crush the claims you make for Matthew 16:16-18:
1. Peter is referred to in this passage in the second person ('you'), but 'this rock' is in the third person.
2. 'Peter' (petros) is a masculine singular term and 'rock' (petra) is feminine singular. Hence, they do not have the same referent. Even if Jesus did speak these words in Aramaic (a claim which is impossible to prove!) this language does not distinguish genders and the original inspired Greek - a language God chose to use to preserve the New Testament text and spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - does make such distinctions.
3. The same authority Jesus gave to Peter in Matthew 16:18 is given to all the apostles in Matthew 18:18.
4. No Catholic commentator gives primacy in evil to Peter simply because he was singled out by Jesus' rebuke a few verses later: 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man' (Matthew 16:23). Why then should they give primacy in authority to Peter since Jesus singled him out in his response to Peter's affirmation? It only makes sense for Jesus to reply to Peter since only Peter spoke, even though he represented the group.
5. Authorities, some Catholic, can be cited that Peter is not the referent, including John Chrysostom and St. Augustine. The later wrote: 'On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed. I will build my Church. For the Rock (petra) is Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built' (Augustine, 'On the Gospel of John,' Tractate 12435, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series I, 7:450).
As noted above, Jesus gave all the apostles the same power ('keys') to 'bind' and 'loose' that he gave to Peter (cf. Matthew 18:18). These were common rabbinic phrases used of 'forbidding' and 'allowing.' These 'keys' were not some mysterious power given to Peter alone but the power granted by Christ to his 'church' by which, when they proclaim the Gospel, they can proclaim God's forgiveness of sin to all who believe. As the admittedly humanist John Calvin noted, 'Since heaven is opened to us by the doctrine of the gospel, the word 'keys' affords an appropriate metaphor. Now men are bound and loosed in no other way than when faith reconciles some to God, while their own unbelief constrains others the more' (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 4:6.4).
To repeat ourselves further, the Scriptures affirm that the church is 'built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the capstone' (Ephesians 2:20). Two things are clear from this: First, all the apostles, not just Peter, are the foundation of the church; second, the only one who was given a place of unique prominence was Christ, the capstone. Indeed, as we wrote earlier, Peter himself referred to Christ as 'the cornerstone' of the church (1 Peter 2:7) and the rest of believers as 'living stones' (v5) in the superstructure of the church. There is no indication that Peter was given a special place of prominence in the foundation of the church above the rest of the apostles and below Christ. He is just one 'stone' along with the other eleven apostles (Ephesians 2:20).
Peter's role in the New Testament falls far short of the Catholic claim that he was given unique authority among the apostles. While Peter did preach the initial sermon on Pentecost, his role in the rest of Acts is scarcely that of the chief apostle but as one of the 'most eminent apostles' (plural, 2 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV). By inspiration of God the apostle Paul revealed that no apostle was superior to him when he affirmed, 'I was in no way inferior to these most eminent (chief) apostles' (2 Corinthians 12:11).
No one reading Galatians carefully will come away with the impression that any apostle is superior to the apostle Paul. For Paul claimed to get his revelation independently of the other apostles (Galatians. 1:12; 2:2), to be on the same level as Peter (Galatians. 2:8), and he even used his revelation to rebuke Peter (Galatians. 2:11-14).
Likewise, the fact that both Peter and John were sent by the apostles on a mission to Samaria reveals that Peter was not the superior apostle (Acts 8:4-13). Indeed, if Peter was the God-ordained superior apostle, it is strange that more attention is given to the ministry of the apostle Paul than to that of Peter in the Book of Acts. Peter is the focus through parts of chapters 1-12, but Paul is the dominant figure in chapters 13-28.
Though Peter addressed the first council (in Acts 15), he exercised no primacy over the others. The decision came from 'the apostles and the elders [in agreement] with the whole church' (Acts 15:22-23). Many scholars feel that James, not Peter, presided over the council, since he was the one who gave the final words to the council (cf. v13-21).
In any event, by Peter's own admission he was not the pastor of the church but only a 'fellow presbyter [elder]' (1 Peter 5:1-2). He only claimed to be 'an apostle' (1 Peter 1:1) and nowhere claimed to be 'the apostle' or the chief of apostles. He certainly was a leading apostle, but even then he was only one of the 'pillars' (plural) of the church, along with James and John, not the pillar :
Galatians 2:9 (NASB) - 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed [Greek: dokéo - be accounted, of reputation] to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
However Peter's role is understood in the early church, there is absolutely no reference to any alleged infallibility he possessed and the word 'infallible' never occurs in the New Testament. When parallel words or phrases do occur they are used in reference to Scripture alone, not to anyone's ability to interpret it. Jesus said, for example, that 'Scripture cannot be set aside' (John 10:35) and 'until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law' (Matthew 5:18 NASB).
This is not to say that Peter did not have a significant role in the early church. He was certainly one of the initial leaders of the apostolic band and, as already noted, along with James and John he was one of the 'pillars' of the early church (Galatians. 2:9). It was Peter who preached the great sermon at Pentecost when the gift of the Holy Spirit was given, welcoming many Jews into the Christian fold. It was Peter also who spoke when the Spirit of God fell on the Gentiles in Acts 10. However, from this point on Peter fades into the background and Paul is the dominant apostle, carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 13-28), writing about half of the New Testament (as compared to Peter's two Epistles) and even rebuking Peter for his hypocrisy (Galatians. 2:11-14)! In short, there is no evidence in Matthew 16 or any other text for the Roman Catholic dogma of the superiority, to say nothing of the infallibility, of Peter.
Papal Historical Revisionism hides the truth
Most important, whatever apostolic powers Peter and the other apostles possessed, it is clear that they were not passed on to anyone after their deaths. For to be an apostle one had to be a first-century eyewitness of the resurrected Christ. This is the criterion repeatedly mentioned by the New Testament (cf. Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:5-8). Therefore, there could be no true apostolic succession in the bishop of Rome or in anyone else.
These select individuals were given certain unmistakable 'signs of a true apostle' (2 Corinthians 12:12). These sign-gifts included the ability to raise the dead on command (Matthew 10:8), heal diseases immediately that were naturally incurable (Matthew 10:8; John 9:1-7), perform immediately successful exorcisms (unlike the fake slow counselling-type 'exorcisms' boasted of by Papal Rome - and not a few fake Christians of a 'Charismanic', rather than Charismatic inclination!) (ref. Matthew 10:8; Acts 16:16-18), speak messages in languages they had never studied (Acts 2:1-8; cf. 10:44-46), and pass on supernatural gifts to others so that they could assist them in their apostolic mission of founding the church (Acts 6:6; cf. 8:5-6; 2 Timothy. 1:6). On one occasion the apostles pronounced a supernatural death sentence on two people who had 'lied to the Holy Spirit,' and they immediately fell down dead (Acts 5:1-11).
It is noteworthy that these special miraculous powers ceased during the life of the apostles. The writer of Hebrews (~A.D. 69) referred to these special sign-gifts of an apostle as already past when he spoke of the message 'announced originally through our Lord' which 'was confirmed [in the past] to us by those who heard him [namely, apostles]. God also testified to it by signs, wonders, and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will' (Hebrews 2:3-4 NIV). Jude, writing late in the first century (after A.D. 70), speaks of 'the faith that was once for all entrusted [in the past] to the saints' (Jude 3), exhorting his hearers to 'remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold' (Jude 17 NIV). Here, too, the miraculously confirmed apostolic message was spoken of as past by A.D. 70. Despite the profusion of apostolic miracles (cf. Acts 28:1-10) up to the end of the Book of Acts - A.D. 60-61), there is no record of any apostolic miracle in Paul's later Epistles after this time. Indeed, when some of his trusted helpers were sick and Paul was apparently not able to heal them (Phil. 2:26-24; 2 Timothy. 4:20), he asked for prayer for them or recommended that they take medicine instead (1 Timothy. 5:23). The special apostle-confirming miracles had apparently ceased even before the death of the apostles.
Moreover, these special miraculous signs were given to the apostles to establish their authority as the representatives of Christ in founding his church. Jesus had promised them special 'power' to be his witnesses (Acts 1:8). The apostle Paul spoke of 'the signs of an apostle' in confirming his authority to the Corinthians, some of whom had challenged it (2 Corinthians 12:12). Hebrews 2:3-4 speaks of the special apostolic miracles as being given to confirm their witnesses to Christ. Indeed, it was the pattern of God from the time of Moses on to give special miracles to his servants to confirm that their revelations were from God (Exod. 4; 1 Kings 18; John 3:2; Acts 2:22).
In summation, since to be an apostle one had to be a first-century eyewitness of the resurrected Christ, since these apostolic witnesses were given certain unmistakable 'signs of an apostle' to establish their authority, and since these special miraculous powers ceased during the life of the apostles, it follows that no one since the first century has possessed apostolic authority.
In brief, the absence of these special apostolic gifts proves the absence of the special apostolic authority. What remains today is the teachings of the apostles (in the New Testament), not the office of an apostle nor its authority. The authority of apostolic writings has replaced the authority of the first-century apostolic writers.
No justification for making themselves the absolute and infallible rulers over the Church, much less the world, could be found in the writings of the early Fathers and certainly not in Scripture. Therefore the popes had to find other support. The means they chose was to rewrite history by manufacturing allegedly historical documents. The first of these bold forgeries was The Donation of Constantine, which we have already mentioned - starting on this page under this title:
What do the writings of the 'Church Fathers' and 'St. Augustine' prove?
The pseudo-Isidorian Decretals were allegedly early papal decrees compiled by Archbishop Isidore (560-636) but they were actually fabricated in the ninth century. And these pathetic frauds became the foundation for much of Papal Rome's 'tradition' which is still relied upon today.
Historian J.H. Ignaz von Döllinger recorded that before the appearance of 'the Isidorian Decretals no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility. The popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege' (Döllinger, op. cit., p62). Maybe he went too far in this latter claim - considering the many other un-Scriptural claims they have made in their history! Döllinger explained further that these fraudulent Decretals would:
'… gradually, but surely, change the whole constitution and government of the Church. It would be difficult to find in all history a second instance of so successful and yet so clumsy a forgery.'
Döllinger also wrote of this fabrication (in 1869):
'For three centuries past it has been exposed, yet the principles it introduced and brought into practice have taken such deep root in the soil of the Church, and have so grown into her life, that the exposure of the fraud has produced no result in shaking the dominant system' (ibid., pp76-77).
The Isidorian Decretals involved about a hundred concocted decrees allegedly promulgated by the early popes, along with counterfeit writings of supposed Church authorities and synods. These fabrications were just what Pope Nicholas I (585-67) needed to justify his claims that the popes 'held the place of God on earth' with absolute authority over kings, including even the right to 'command massacres' of those who opposed them. And all of these evils could be carried out 'in the name of Christ'.
The succession of popes after Nicholas emulated his ways, each of them using their predecessors' actions to justify his own, thus building a seemingly larger case for infallibility upon an entirely fraudulent foundation. Writing in the nineteenth century, Papal Roman Catholic Church historian R.W. Thompson, comments:
'Such times as these were adapted to the practice of any kind of imposture and fraud which the popes and clergy considered necessary to strengthen the authority of the papacy. ... the personal interest [and] ambition of Innocent III led him to preserve all these forgeries with care, so that. ... the 'pious fraud' might become sanctified by time ... The result he hoped and sought for has been accomplished. ... '[These] false Decretals, which are now universally considered to have been bold and unblushing forgeries ... constitute the cornerstone of that enormous system of wrong and usurpation which has since been built up by the papacy, to revive which Pope Pius IX has now put forth his Encyclical and Syllabus [of Errors]. ...' (R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 372).
Papal Roman Catholics do not want to hear that the 'apostolic tradition' they have been told supports their popes (and is to be regarded upon the same level as Scripture) was actually a deliberately manufactured fraud. The doctrines built upon these forgeries became so interwoven into Catholicism that even after the hoax was exposed the popes were reluctant to make the necessary correction and pope after 'infallible' pope endorsed the counterfeit. Clearly it is now impossible to break from centuries of accumulated lies and so the recent popes have tacked their sinking ship in another direction - Ecumenism - in an attempt to embrace all religions and come out as the 'top dog' in the One World Religion!
Pope Pius IX relied upon the fraud, though it had already been exposed for three centuries, to build his case for pressuring the bishops to make papal infallibility an official dogma at Vatican I. But the testimony of history conclusively refutes both apostolic succession and papal infallibility - as we have already shown (see references on this page).
What do 'The Letters of St Augustine' prove?
Checking 'The Ante-Nicene Fathers' works we find no record of 'the rock' being applied to the apostle Peter in any way that could encourage Papal Roman Catholics to believe their false doctrine regarding Matthew 16v18 - and every mention of 'the rock' is correctly applied to the Lord Jesus Christ!
When we reach 'The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers' (Editor Philip Schaff) we find (in 'The Letters of St Augustine', Vol. 1, p1098) the same admission, speaking of the 'terrible wonders wrought at Sinai' that 'the smitten rock is called Christ, because it was a symbol of Christ'. When this symbol is so easily and logically accepted of Christ because of this long-standing connection - as it is through the 'The Ante-Nicene Fathers' and most of 'The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers' (until other influences become apparent) - it becomes all the more obvious why Papal Rome's eisegesis (the process of imposing your own unproven interpretation into and onto the text) of Matthew 16v18 is just that - a false 'interpretation'.
In Vol. 3 of the same works (p92), speaking of Exodus 33:19-23 ('And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for man shall not see me and live. and Jehovah said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon the rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand until I have passed by: and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back; but my face shall not be seen') Augustine writes:
'But whilst we are absent from the Lord, and walk by faith, not by sight, we ought to see the 'back parts' of Christ, that is His flesh, by that very faith, that is, standing on the solid foundation of faith, which the rock signifies, and beholding it from such a safe watch-tower, namely in the Catholic Church, of which it is said, 'And upon this rock I will build my Church.'
So we find another ridiculous example of eisegesis - despite the lack of a shred of evidence to support the link to the 'Catholic Church'.
You write: Your source also conveniently never cited the specific Acts of these Councils but alleges bare assertions. It is a fact that these Councils teach St. Peter is the Rock. Your claim that St. Peter is not the Rock of Mat. 16:18 is quite frankly ridiculous in the highest degree. You also allege that the Rock is 'his faith' while at the same time staunchly claiming only Jesus Christ is the Rock - is this not a contradiction? The word 'faith' never appears in the verse, nor in the immediate or extended context. It is a pure invention and protestant corruption of scripture. You understand scriptures according to how you want to believe them, and not what Christianity teaches.
TCE: If, as you claim, 'these Councils teach St. Peter is the Rock' you might at least supply quotes. You don't but, even if you did, they would not over-turn the Word of God and the interpretation we have already supplied on our pages (see earlier references). You claim that we 'allege that the Rock is 'his faith' while at the same time staunchly claiming only Jesus Christ is the Rock' and we find that Augustine opined 'by that very faith, that is, standing on the solid foundation of faith, which the rock signifies' - yet you consider this to be 'contradiction?' It is apparent that writing that Peter had faith in the Rock that Scripture defines clearly as the Lord Jesus Christ is simply too obvious to your blind eyes?
You then accuse us of 'pure invention and protestant corruption of scripture [and of] understand[ing] scriptures according to how you want to believe them, and not what Christianity teaches' while you have accepted what Papal Rome tells you to believe without supplying a single quote from 'these Councils' yourself - thus you couple your slander with bare assertion!
Again, we only need to turn to this host of Scriptures, such as:
Deuteronomy 32v4: The Rock, His work is Perfect; For all His ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, Just and right is He.
God the Rock is Perfect - while Peter the apostle was an imperfect man!
1 Samuel 2v2: There is none holy as YHWH; For there is none besides Thee, Neither is there any Rock like our God.
There is no rock like our God the Rock - so how could the fallible man Peter stand in for the Perfect Rock?
Speaking of the enemies of Israel and her God we see the Word of God declares:
Deuteronomy 32v31: For their rock is not as our Rock, Even our enemies themselves being judges.
Did Peter ever claim to be 'The Rock'?
To further strengthen our opinion we have looked carefully at 'The Letters of St Augustine'. There we find Augustine making a very large variety of comments on 'the rock', which reveal a range of Scriptural and un-Scriptural views:
1. he repeatedly states that Christ is the Rock - which is fully Scriptural;
2. he emphasises that Jesus is the Rock that the 'wise man' builds on;
3. he points out the fallibility of Peter who is commended in the 'Petrine Passage' for his 'faith' but rebuked in 'get thee behind Me, Satan' for his worldliness;
4. he clearly points out that Peter was re-named 'the rock' (little pebble!) by Christ long before the Matthew 16v18 declaration;
5. he also careers into another un-Biblical interpretation' - '... that the sea is the present world, and the Apostle Peter the type of the One Church. For Peter in the order of Apostles first, and in the love of Christ most forward, answers oftentimes alone for all the rest.'
6. But it is noticeable that his interpretation of the relationship between Christ, the Rock, and the rock Peter is not one that Papal Rome would be totally appreciative of: 'For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. 'Therefore,' he saith, 'Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock' which thou hast confessed, upon this Rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;' that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, 'will I build My Church.' I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon thee.'
7. He also makes a very strong point from Scripture concerning the real relationship between those who sought to build on the wrong 'rock' (see 1 Corinthians 1v11ff.): 'For men who wished to be built upon men, said 'I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas,' who is Peter. But others who did not wish to be built upon Peter, but upon the Rock, said, 'But I am of Christ.' And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, 'Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?' And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter.' This certainly clarifies the view that Augustine had of the 'rock' Peter compared to the Rock that is Christ!
8. he shows how apostle Peter was certainly not infallible before Pentecost: 'The very same Peter a little while before blessed, afterwards Satan, in one moment, within a few words! '
9. Even while giving Peter an un-Scriptural position in the church he points out that readers should 'Mark the difference of the reasons ... that he who was a little before blessed, is afterwards Satan? Mark the reason wherefore he is blessed. 'Because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.' Therefore blessed, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee. For if flesh and blood revealed this to thee, it were of thine own; but because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven, it is of Mine, not of thine own. Why of Mine? 'Because all things that the Father hath are Mine.' So then thou hast heard the cause, why he is 'blessed,' and why he is 'Peter.' ... Let us, looking at ourselves in this member of the Church, distinguish what is of God, and what of ourselves.'
10. he emphasises that it was the Lord Jesus Christ 'The Rock (Petra) made Peter true, for the Rock was Christ. ... but then waivers into a more confused rendering that Papal Rome could make use of: 'Peter is from petra, a rock, but the petra [rock]; is the Church; in the name of Peter, then, was the Church figured. And who is safe, unless he who builds upon the rock? '
11. he indulges in another entirely fanciful interpretation of the Old Testament passage (Numbers 20v11): 'The rock was smitten twice with a rod; the double smiting signified the two wooden beams of the cross.'
12. but he also makes it clear that he knew the True Rock: ' ...it was not said, The Rock signified Christ; but, 'That Rock was Christ.''
13. He addresses the passage (John 13v36ff.) where Peter promises Jesus that he will lay down his life for Him, but Jesus tells him that he will deny Him three times ('before the cock crows'), and concludes that 'The Rock (petra) has not yet solidified thee by His Spirit.'
14. he makes it clear, again, by emphasising 'faith' as the important factor in Peter's confession: 'What meaneth, 'Upon this rock I will build my Church'? Upon this faith; upon this that has been said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Upon this rock,' saith He, 'I will build my Church.' Mighty praise! '
15. another statement shows that he clearly recognised that the church was built on Christ the Rock: 'For Christ Himself is the tower, Himself for us hath been made a tower from the face of the enemy, who is also the Rock whereon hath been builded the Church.'
So, combined with the 'Retractions', we can see clear evidence revealing Augustine's switch in his interpretation of Peter as 'the rock' in a way that would meet with the approval of Papal Rome, and that he clearly recognised, in less dithering moments, that the truth is that Christ alone is the Rock on which the Church is built!
It goes without saying that Augustine joins the many other 'saints' and 'Church Fathers' who fail to write consistently and thereby reveal that they are in no way part of an 'apostolic succession'. The discerning Christian can search the New Testament diligently and fail to find any genuine apostles of the first order exhibiting such a 'carried about by every wind of doctrine' attitude:
Ephesians 4:14 (NASB) - 'As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming'
With one notable exception, of course: impetuous Peter in Matthew 16:23 and Galatians 2:11ff.!
Here is a full list of these verses from Augustine's works:
Vol. IV, p426
It was the carnal mind that made Peter dread the smiting of the rock, when, on the occasion of the Lord's foretelling His passion, he said, 'Be it far from Thee, Lord; spare Thyself.' And this sin too was severely rebuked, when the Lord replied, 'Get thee behind Me, Satan; thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things which be of God, but those which be of men.'
Vol. IV, p591
The Lord, we know, builds the Church on a rock; and those who hear His word and do it, He compares to a wise man who builds his house upon a rock, and who does not yield or give way before temptation; and those who hear and do not, He compares to a foolish man who builds on the sand, and when his house is tried its ruin is great.
Vol. IV, p713
The Retractions (I. xxi.) correct some points which had been held in this work. (I.) According to the Ambrosian view, Augustin here identified Peter with the rock, on which the Church was to be built; but afterwards he regarded that rock as Christ, who was the subject of the Petrine confession; on Christ was the Church to be built, and to the Church as thus reared, were given the keys.
Vol. VI, p253
' ... on the third day, when He was yet in Galilee, Jesus wrought the miracle of the turning of the water into wine at Cana. All these incidents are left unrecorded by the other evangelists, who continue their narratives at once with the statement of the return of Jesus into Galilee. Hence we are to understand that there was an interval here of several days, during which those incidents took place in the history of the disciples which are inserted at this point by John. Neither is there anything contradictory here to that other passage where Matthew tells us how the Lord said to Peter, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church.' But we are not to understand that that was the time when he first received this name; but we are rather to suppose that this took place on the occasion when it was said to him, as John mentions, 'Thou shall be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, A stone.' Thus the Lord could address him at that later period by this very name, when He said, 'Thou art Peter.' For He does not say then, 'Thou shalt be called Peter,' but, 'Thou art Peter;' because on a previous occasion he had already been spoken to in this manner, 'Thou shalt be called.'
TCE: We can read the passage which reveals this truth (John 1:40-42): One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Vol. VI, p719ff.
1. THE Gospel which has just been read touching the Lord Christ, who walked on the waters of the sea; and the Apostle Peter, who as he was walking, tottered through fear, and sinking in distrust, rose again by confession, gives us to understand that the sea is the present world, and the Apostle Peter the type of the One Church. For Peter in the order of Apostles first, and in the love of Christ most forward, answers oftentimes alone for all the rest. Again, when the Lord Jesus Christ asked, whom men said that He was, and when the disciples gave the various opinions of men, and the Lord asked again and said, 'But whom say ye that I am?' Peter answered, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' One for many gave the answer, Unity in many. Then said the Lord to Him, 'Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.' Then He added, 'and I say unto thee.' As if He had said, 'Because thou hast said unto Me, 'Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God;' I also say unto thee, 'Thou art Peter.' ' For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and that in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (Petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (Petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. 'Therefore,' he saith, 'Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock' which thou hast confessed, upon this Rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;' that is upon Myself, the Son of the living God, 'will I build My Church.' I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon thee.
2. For men who wished to be built upon men, said 'I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas,' who is Peter. But others who did not wish to be built upon Peter, but upon the Rock, said, 'But I am of Christ.' And when the Apostle Paul ascertained that he was chosen, and Christ despised, he said, 'Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?' And, as not in the name of Paul, so neither in the name of Peter; but in the name of Christ: that Peter might be built upon the Rock, not the Rock upon Peter.
3. This same Peter therefore who had been by the Rock pronounced 'blessed,' bearing the figure of the Church, holding the chief place in the Apostleship, a very little while after that he had heard that he was 'blessed,' a very little while after that he had heard that he was 'Peter,' a very little while after that he had heard that he was to be 'built upon the Rock,' displeased the Lord when He had heard of His future Passion, for He had foretold His disciples that it was soon to be. He feared lest he should by death, lose Him whom he had confessed as the fountain of life. He was troubled, and said, 'Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be to Thee.' Spare Thyself, O God, I am not willing that Thou shouldest die. Peter said to Christ, I am not willing that Thou shouldest die; but Christ far better said, I am willing to die for thee. And then He forthwith rebuked him, whom He had a little before commended; and calleth him Satan, whom he had pronounced 'blessed.' 'Get thee behind Me, Satan,' he saith, 'thou art an offense unto Me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.' What would He have us do in our present state, who thus findeth fault because we are men? Would you know what He would have us do? Give ear to the Psalm; 'I have said, Ye are gods, and ye are all the children of the Most High.' But by savoring the things of men; 'ye shall die like men.' The very same Peter a little while before blessed, afterwards Satan, in one moment, within a few words! Thou wonderest at the difference of the names, mark the difference of the reasons of them. Why wonderest thou that he who was a little before blessed, is afterwards Satan? Mark the reason wherefore he is blessed. 'Because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.' Therefore blessed, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee. For if flesh and blood revealed this to thee, it were of thine own; but because flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven, it is of Mine, not of thine own. Why of Mine? 'Because all things that the Father hath are Mine.' So then thou hast heard the cause, why he is 'blessed,' and why he is 'Peter.' But why was he that which we shudder at, and are loth to repeat, why, but because it was of thine own? 'For thou savorest not the things which be of God, but those that be of men.'
4. Let us, looking at ourselves in this member of the Church, distinguish what is of God, and what of ourselves. For then we shall not totter, then shall we be founded on the Rock, shall be fixed and firm against the winds, and storms, and streams, the temptations, I mean, of this present world. Yet see this Peter, who was then our figure; now he trusts, and now he totters; now he confesses the Undying, and now he fears lest He should die. Wherefore? because the Church of Christ hath both strong and weak ones; and cannot be without either strong or weak; whence the Apostle Paul says, 'Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.' In that Peter said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' he represents the strong: but in that he totters, and would not that Christ should suffer, in fearing death for Him, and not acknowledging the Life, he represents the weak ones of the Church. In that one Apostle then, that is, Peter, in the order of Apostles first and chiefest, in whom the Church was figured, both sorts were to be represented, that is, both the strong and weak; because the Church doth not exist without them both.
TCE: This is another absurd 'Augustinian allegorization' and so obviously at odds with Paul's inspired words that he here quotes. When 'the Apostle Paul says, 'Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak', he is clearly talking about mature apostles and Christians who are imitating the apostles as Paul instructed ('Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ' - 1 Corinthians 11:1) and never making the foolish comparisons that Augustine specialised in (he was never more ridiculous than when he used the account of the Good Samaritan (use Search Engine on Home Page) to postulate the most incredible and ridiculous allegorization.
Vol. VI, p1138
What then is 'of One Substance'? Let me make use of similitudes to you, that what is imperfectly understood may be made clear by example. As, suppose, God is gold. His Son is gold also. If similitudes ought not to be given for heavenly things from things earthly, how is it written, 'Now the Rock was Christ? So then, Whatsoever the Father is, This is the Son also; as I have said, for example, 'The Father is gold, the Son is gold.' For he who says, 'The Son is not of the Very Substance which the Father is;' what else says he but, 'The Father is gold, the Son is silver '? If the Father be gold, and the Son silver; the Only Son hath degenerated from the Father. A man begets a man; of what substance the father is who begets, of the same substance is the Son who is begotten. What is, 'of the same substance '? The one is a man, and the other is a man; the one hath a soul; so hath the other a soul; the one hath a body, so hath the other a body; what one is, that is the other.
TCE: this un-Scriptural, confused statement by Augustine could be used equally by the Mormon cult or the 'Word-Faith' cult to support their false doctrines!
Vol. VI, p1178
Peter then was true; or rather was Christ true in Peter? Now when the Lord Jesus Christ would, He abandoned Peter, and Peter was found a man; but when it so pleased the Lord Jesus Christ, He filled Peter, and Peter was found true. The Rock (Petra) made Peter true, for the Rock was Christ.
Vol. VII, p103
'And he brought him to Jesus; and when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Joannes: thou shall be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, Peter.' It is not a great thing that the Lord said whose son Peter was. What is great to the Lord? He knew all the names of His own saints, whom He predestinated before the foundation of the world; and dost thou wonder that He said to one man, Thou art the son of this man, and thou shall be called this or that? Is it a great matter that He changed his name, and converted it from Simon to Peter? Peter is from petra, a rock, but the petra [rock]; is the Church; in the name of Peter, then, was the Church figured. And who is safe, unless he who builds upon the rock? And what saith the Lord Himself? 'He that heareth these my words, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man building his house upon a rock' (he doth not yield to temptation). 'The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth my words, and doeth them not' (now let each one of us fear and beware), ' I will liken him to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: the rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.' What profit is it to enter the Church for him who builds upon the sand? For, by hearing and not doing, he builds indeed, but on the sand. For if he hears nothing, he builds nothing; but if he hears, he builds. But we ask, Where? For if he hears and does, he builds upon the rock; if he hears and does not, he builds upon the sand. There are two kinds of builders, those building upon the rock, and those building upon the sand.
Vol. VII, p151
When, therefore, He had said to His disciples, 'Will ye also go away?' Peter, that Rock, answered with the voice of all, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.' Pleasantly savored the Lord's flesh in his mouth. The Lord, however, expounded to them, and said, 'It is the Spirit that quickeneth.' After He had said, 'Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he shall not have life in him,' lest they should understand it carnally, He said, 'It is the Spirit that quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and life.'
TCE: while Papal Rome would approve the statement on Peter as 'that Rock', Augustine's statement on the flesh that 'profiteth nothing' would also be dismaying to their view of 'the Eucharist'. The statement 'Pleasantly savored the Lord's flesh in his mouth' with no sign of connection or context is presumably not a copyist error?
Vol. VII, p226
The Lord Himself, even our Savior Jesus Christ, is called the corner-stone, to build up two in Himself. He is called also a rock, from which water flowed forth: 'And that rock was Christ.' What wonder, then, if Christ is called rock, that neighbor is called wood?
TCE: Another mysterious and nonsensical musing ('that neighbor is called wood')?
Vol. VII, p229
IN a certain place in the Gospel, the Lord says that the prudent hearer of His word ought to be like a man who, wishing to build a house, digs deeply until he comes to the foundation of stability on the rock, and there establishes in security what he builds against the violence of the flood; so that, when the flood comes, it may be rather beaten back by the strength of the building than bring ruin on that house by the force of its pressure. Let us regard the Scripture of God to be, as it were, the field where we wish to build something. Let us not be slothful, nor be content with the surface; let us dig deeply until we come to the rock: 'And that rock was Christ.'
Vol. VII, p342-3
Moreover he adds: 'And did all drink the same spiritual drink.' They one kind of drink, we another, but only in the visible form, which, however, signified the same thing in its spiritual virtue. For how was it that they drank the 'same drink'? 'They drank,' saith he 'of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.' Thence the bread, thence the drink. The rock was Christ in sign; the real Christ is in the Word and in flesh. And how did they drink? The rock was smitten twice with a rod; the double smiting signified the two wooden beams of the cross. 'This, then, is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that if any man eat thereof, he shall not die.' But this is what belongs to the virtue of the sacrament, not to the visible sacrament; he that eateth within, not without; who eateth in his heart, not who presses with his teeth.
TCE: We mentioned 'the double smiting signified the two wooden beams of the cross' earlier.
Augustine clutches this allegorization out of thin air - for Scripture tells us a very different story about the actions of Moses when 'the sons of Israel' complained bitterly, particularly about the lack of water:
Numbers 20:5-13 (NASB) - 5 'Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink.' 6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to them; 7 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 8 'Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.' 9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, 'Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?' 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. 12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.' 13 Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the LORD, and He proved Himself holy among them.
What is the problem for Augustine? 'Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel!
The offense for which Moses was excluded from the promised land may have consisted of several factors:
1. God commanded him (Numbers 20:8) to take the rod in his hand, and go and 'speak to the Rock', and it 'would yield water'. Somehow Moses did not think speaking would be sufficient and therefore struck the rock without any command so to do.
2. He also 'struck the rock twice' which, certainly in this case, indicated a rare distraction of his spirit and a serious loss of attention to the Holy Presence of YHWH God.
3. He also allowed his spirit to be carried away, perhaps by anger and exasperation at the people's disobedience (it is not as if this was the first time!) and therefore spoke unadvisedly: 'Listen now, you rebels ...'(Numbers 20:10).
4. Most importantly, he did not acknowledge God in the miracle which was about to be wrought, but made it sound as if the honour should go to himself and Aaron: ' ... shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?'
It was a sad demonstration of hostility by Moses, the meekest man on the earth (Numbers 12:3), showing that we can fail in our strengths as well as our weaknesses. Moses may have been upset because, when the people complained, the Lord didn't reveal His glory and judgment as He had done before. But no matter what mitigating causes we might produce, the fact still remains that Moses didn't honour the Lord or obey His orders. By striking the rock, he also gave an incorrect and unapproved nuance of a type of the Messiah who gives Living Water to His people (Exodus. 17:1-7; John 7:37-39). Our Lord gave Himself for us on the cross only once and doesn't have to be crucified twice (Hebrews 9:26-28). We also know that this was not the first demonstration of anger, stubbornness, or neglectfulness (e.g. Exodus 4:24) exhibited by Moses and, as Aaron appears to have been party to this act (as well as having committed previous rebellious acts (cf. Psalm 106:33), he was also excluded from the promised land.
The remarkable thing is that God gave the water, even though Moses' attitudes and actions were faulty:
'He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities' (Psalm 103:10)
'If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?' (Psalm 130:3).
God in His grace met the needs of His people because He is a God of compassion and infinite goodness, but He did not overlook Moses' sins.
How Augustine could derive 'the double smiting signified the two wooden beams of the cross' from Moses' mistake is truly astonishing!
Continuing this examination of Augustine's works:
Vol. VII, p525
Christ is many things metaphorically, which strictly speaking He is not. Metaphorically Christ is both a rock, and a door, and a corner-stone, and a shepherd, and a lamb, and a lion. How numerous are such similitudes, and as many more as would take too long to enumerate! But if you select the strict significations of things as you are accustomed to see them, then He is neither a rock, for He is not hard and senseless; nor a door, for no artisan made Him; nor a corner-stone, for He was not constructed by a builder; nor a shepherd, for He is no keeper of four-footed animals; nor a lion, as it ranks among the beasts of the forest; nor a lamb, as it belongs to the flock. All such, then, are by way of comparison. But what is He properly? 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [God was the Word].' And what, as He appeared in human nature? 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us [in us].'
Vol. VII, p583
But darkness will come upon you, if your belief in Christ's eternity is of such a kind as to refuse to admit in His case the humiliation of death. 'And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.' So may he stumble on that stone of stumbling and rock of offense which the Lord Himself became to the blinded Jews: just as to those who believed, the stone which the builders despised was made the head of the corner. Hence, they thought Christ unworthy of their belief; because in their impiety they treated His dying with contempt, they ridiculed the idea of His being slain: and yet it was the very death of the grain of corn that was to lead to its own multiplication, and the lifting up of one who was drawing all things after Him. 'While ye have the light,' He adds, 'believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.' While you have possession of some truth that you have heard, believe in the truth, that you may be born again in the truth.
Vol. VII, p635
' ...it was not said, The Rock signified Christ; but, 'That Rock was Christ.''
Vol. VII, p643
WHILE the Lord Jesus was commending to the disciples that holy love wherewith they should love one another, 'Simon Peter saith unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou?' So, at all events, said the disciple to his Master, the servant to his Lord, as one who was prepared to follow. Just as for the same reason the Lord, who read in his mind the purpose of such a question, made him this reply: 'Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now;' as if He said, In reference to the object of thy asking, thou canst not now. He does not say, Thou canst not; but 'Thou canst not now.' He intimated delay, with out depriving of hope; and that same hope, which He took not away, but rather bestowed, in His next words He confirmed, by proceeding to say, 'Thou shall follow me afterwards.' Why such haste, Peter? The Rock (petra) has not yet solidified thee by His Spirit. Be not lifted up with presumption, 'Thou canst not now;' be not cast now into despair, 'Thou shalt follow afterwards.' But what does he say to this? 'Why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake.' He saw what was the kind of desire in his mind; but what the measure of his strength, he saw not. The weak man boasted of his willingness, but the Physician had an eye on the state of his health; the one promised, the Other foreknew: the ignorant was bold; He that foreknew all, condescended to teach. How much had Peter taken upon himself, by looking only at what he wished, and having no knowledge of what he was able! How much had he taken upon himself, that, when the Lord had come to lay down His life for His friends, and so for him also, he should have the assurance to offer to do the same for the Lord; and while as yet Christ's life was not laid down for himself, he should promise to lay down his own life for Christ! 'Jesus' therefore 'answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?' Wilt thou do for me what I have not yet done for thee? 'Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?'
Vol. VII, p911
So does the Church act in blessed hope through this troublous life; and this Church symbolized in its generality, was personified in the Apostle Peter, on account of the primacy of his apostleship. For, as regards his proper personality, he was by nature one man, by grace one Christian, by still more abounding grace one, and yet also, the first apostle; but when it was said to him, 'I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven,' he represented the universal Church, which in this world is shaken by divers temptations, that come upon it like torrents of rain, floods and tempests, and falleth not, because it is founded upon a rock (petra), from which Peter received his name. For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed. I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself also built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is rounded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church.
Vol. VII, p1035
For 'the devils also believe and tremble,' as the Scripture tells us. What more could the devils believe, than that they should say, 'We know who thou art, the Son of God?' What the devils said, the same said Peter also. When the Lord asked them who He was, and whom did men say that He was, the disciples made answer to Him, 'Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' And this he heard from the Lord: 'Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.' See what praises follow this faith. 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.' What meaneth, 'Upon this rock I will build my Church'? Upon this faith; upon this that has been said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Upon this rock,' saith He, 'I will build my Church.' Mighty praise! So then, Peter saith, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God:' the devils also say, 'We know who thou art, the Son of God, the Holy One of God.' This Peter said, this also the devils: the words the same, the mind not the same. And how is it clear that Peter said this with love? Because a Christian's faith is with love, but a devil's without love. How without love? Peter said this, that he might embrace Christ; the devils said it, that Christ might depart from them. For before they said, 'We know who thou art, the Son of God, they said, 'What have we to do with thee? Why art thou come to destroy us before the time?' It is one thing then to confess Christ that thou mayest hold Christ, another thing to confess Christ that thou mayest drive Christ from thee.
Vol. VIII, p550
But now there was read in the Gospel, how the Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness was being tempted of the devil. Christ entirely was tempted of the devil. For in Christ thou wast being tempted, because Christ of thee had for Himself flesh, of Himself for thee salvation; of thee for Himself death, of Himself for thee life; of thee for Himself revilings, of Himself for thee honors; therefore of thee for Himself temptation, of Himself for thee victory. If in Him tempted we have been, in Him we overcome the devil... 'On the Rock Thou hast exalted me.' Now therefore here we perceive who is crying from the ends of the earth. Let us call to mind the Gospel: 'Upon this Rock I will build My Church.' Therefore She crieth from the ends of the earth, whom He hath willed to be builded upon a Rock. But in order that the Church might be builded upon the Rock, who was made the Rock? Hear Paul saying: 'But the Rock was Christ.' On Him therefore builded we have been. For this reason that Rock whereon we have been builded, first hath been smitten with winds, flood, rain, when Christ of the devil was being tempted. Behold on what firmness He hath willed to stablish thee. With reason our voice is not in vain, but is hearkened unto: for on great hope we have been set: 'On the Rock Thou hast exalted me.'...
Vol. VIII, p550
'Thou hast led me down, because Thou hast been made my hope: a tower of strength from the face of the enemy' (ver. 3). My heart is vexed, saith that Unity from the ends of the earth, and I toil amid temptations and offenses: the heathen envy, because they have been conquered; the heretics lie in wait, hidden in the cloak of the Christian name: within in the Church itself the wheat suffereth violence from the chaff: amid all these things when my heart is vexed, I will cry from the ends of the earth. But there forsaketh me not the Same that hath exalted me upon the Rock, in order to lead me down even unto Himself, because even if I labor, while the devil through so many places and times and occasions lieth in wait against me, He is to me a tower of strength, to whom when I shall have fled for refuge, not only I shall escape the weapons of the enemy, but even against him securely I shall myself hurl whatever darts I shall please. For Christ Himself is the tower, Himself for us hath been made a tower from the face of the enemy, who is also the Rock whereon hath been builded the Church. Art thou taking heed that thou be not smitten of the devil? Flee to the Tower; never to that tower will the devil's darts follow thee: there thou wilt stand protected and fixed. But in what manner shalt thou flee to the Tower? Let not a man, set perchance in temptation, in body seek that Tower, and when he shall not have found it, be wearied, or faint in temptation. Before thee is the Tower: call to mind Christ, and go into the Tower....
You write: You also demonstrate a deficient knowledge in English Grammar and Greek. Jesus Christ says: 'thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.' The Greek word for 'this' - as in this rock - is the demonstrative pronoun taute. It means 'this very' rock or 'this same rock.' Taute is used when it is desired to call attention with special emphasis to a designated object, whether in the physical vicinity of the speaker or the literary context of the writer. Even the king James [sic] invalid man fabricated [sic] so called [sic] and alleged 'bible' [sic] which is riddled with so many serious errors as [sic] the protestants [sic] themselves readily and enthusiastically admit [sic], translates taute as 'the same' in 1 Corinthians 7:20 and 'this same' in 2 Corinthians 9:4. Jesus Christ's statement to St. Peter has this meaning: thou art Peter and upon this very Rock I will build my Church. From the context given, 'this rock' naturally refers to Peter. It just so happens that Jesus Christ also changes his name from Simon to a name which means Rock. So the desperate protestant makes a logical disconnect from the obvious Scriptural Teaching, and basic grammar to accommodate their unbiblical man made beliefs and traditions. Even many eminent protestant scholars admit it is so obvious that Peter is the Rock; and that it is futile in the face of the facts to continue denying Peter is the Rock.
TCE: Your opening jibe - 'You also demonstrate a deficient knowledge in English Grammar and Greek' - comes from a writer who cannot even spell in English consistently (see the many notes referencing these errors - [sic] - even in your point above)! It is a pity that you cannot see that 'the same' and 'this same' can equally refer to the points we have already commented on sufficiently in regard to Matthew 16v18-19 under these headings (see this page):
'Binding and Loosing'
As we pointed out previously, and contrary to your desperate claims, the important point in this passage is the word petra not petros. The Greek word petra occurs sixteen times in the New Testament: eleven times it means a ledge of rock, and five times it is used metaphorically and refers to Christ (Matthew 16:18; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4 (twice); 1 Peter. 2:8).
Romans 9:32-33 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Could Matthew 16:18 be an exception? In 1 Corinthians 10:4 the 'rock' (petra) is said to be Christ. Note that Peter himself used that term of Christ (1 Peter. 2:8, compare v4-8):
1 Peter 2:4-8 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Whereas the Greek word for stone (lithos) is used throughout this passage, when it refers to Jesus ('...a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence') petra is used again!
In the second place, Jesus' parable of the two builders and the two foundations teaches the same thing. The house that was built upon the 'rock' (ten petran) stood the test of the rains, the floods, and the winds (Matthew 7:24-27) and the reference is logically to Himself. To the same effect, also, is Paul's teaching that Christ is the foundation of the building of God (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the chief corner stone (Ephesians. 2:20-22). Petra is a ledge, much more substantial than petros, which is a single rock, and this distinction is nowhere confounded in literature. We have already responded to the claim that Jesus spoke Aramaic and pointed out that we cannot tell whether the distinction of terms was made in the Aramaic. We also have too little Aramaic from the time Jesus walked the earth as the Man of Sorrows to prove or disprove any point. Of course, it is also not certain that Jesus said this in Aramaic.
Any objections that the view you disparage makes Jesus speak of Himself in the third person in Matthew 16:18 (kai epi taute te petra) fails to consider that He clearly does this in John 2:19, where He speaks of Himself as a temple. It is also notable that some of those who heard Him say this, either did not understand His meaning or did not want to understand it, and came forward as false witnesses to misquote Him before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:59-61):
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
Note also that the granting of the 'keys' to Peter does not present any difficulty, for Christ gave him the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven' not of the Church (Matthew 16:19) and this subject - and the authority to 'bind and loose' (Matthew 16:19) - has already been explained on this page under this heading:
Whenever Papal Roman Catholics write sentences, such as this presented by you: 'Even many eminent protestant scholars admit it is so obvious that Peter is the Rock; and that it is futile in the face of the facts to continue denying Peter is the Rock' we do not need to wonder why they do not quote the names of those they believe are 'eminent'. The fact, as you have demonstrated so clearly by quoting J.N.D. Kelly (who we have promptly used to strike further blows into your straw men!), is that, while he is hardly eminent even in 'Protestant' circles, he is probably of the highest echelons in scholarly terms compared with your popes who we have repeatedly proven to be laughable, heretical charlatans (ref. Sixtus V and his re-written 'Bible')!!!
We could not fail to notice how you have also utterly contradicted yourself by your rejection of the credentials of Papal Roman Catholic historians, such as von Döllinger who exposed the errors of your cult but, later, you have selectively chosen the 'evidence' of a 'Protestant' historian, J.N.D. Kelly, without any quibbles about his beliefs - simply because you think you can use him to support your claims!
(Continued on page 313)