Question

What did Jesus mean about “rock” (petra or petros in Greek) at the Mat 16:18-19? (note: if You do not mind, please answer me with complete evidence by the issue around it e.g: papacy etc) 

Answer

The context of this verse involves Jesus requesting His disciples to tell Him who they think He is. Several of the disciples tell Jesus who other people are saying He is, and finally Peter confesses that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” in verse 16. In verse 18, Jesus is speaking to Peter. He calls Peter “you.” Then Jesus says “upon THIS rock I will build my church…” The word “this” refers back to the truth that Peter confessed in verse 16. Therefore Christ’ church is built on the fact that He is “Christ, the Son of the living God.”

In regard to a connection to the papacy, this verse is not related to the catholic church whatsoever. It refers to the church that Christ instituted in Acts 2 after His resurection. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 warns of a falling away from the faith that sounds like many religions of today including catholicism- specifically “…forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods…” Also, in Matthew 23:9, Jesus forbids us to call anyone on earth “father.” If you would like to further discuss God’s church that is spoken of in Matthew 16:18 please feel free to email me directly.

By Michael Molloy

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