In Part I of this series we examined the Catholic lie that Peter and Paul founded the church at Rome. This next lie, that Peter is the rock upon which the church is built, is based upon the views of individual men, bishops and priests, and their writings within the Catholic Church; which the Catholic Church has pronounced as traditions to be upheld higher than the scriptures.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus made Peter the rock of the Church, and that the Church rests upon Peter; that Peter was the head of the apostles, and thus held the highest position of all of the Apostles. Consequently, the Pope maintains that he inherits, as it were, the chair of Peter, and the authority of Peter for the entire Roman Catholic Church over all other bishops. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that this supposed inherited authority that Jesus gave to Peter in Matt. 16:19 with the keys to the kingdom devolves upon the one bishop, the head of the Church, the Pope.
Ignatius, bishop of Syria Antioch, 115 A.D.in his Epistle to the Smyrnaeans: “Follow, all of you, the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the father; and follow the presbytery as the apostles. Let no man do aught pertaining to the Church apart from the bishop….. Wheresoever the bishop appears, there let the people be, even as wheresoever Christ Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church.” Chapt. 8.
Iranaeus, bishop of Lyon, writing in Book III of Against the Heresies: “By pointing out the apostolic tradition and faith announced to mankind, which has been brought down to our time by successions of bishops, in the greatest, most ancient, and well known church, founded and established by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, at Rome, we can confound all who in any other way… gather more than they ought.”
Tertulian, Catholic priest around 195 A.D. and writing in Scorpiace (Chapt 10) in 208 A.D.: “For though you think that heaven is still shut up, remember that the Lord left the keys of it to Peter here, and through him to the Church, which keys everyone will carry with him, if he has been questioned and made confession [of faith].” He later retracted that in his De Pudicitia, stating then that the keys given to Peter pertained only to Peter’s authority.
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage in 248 A.D., maintained in his writings that the Rock is Peter, and that the Church rests upon Peter, and that consequently the church rests upon the bishops in the tradition of Peter’s authority as given him. Writing in De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate, “He who deserts the chair of Peter, upon whom the Church was founded, does he trust himself to be in the Church?”
Augustine, bishop of Hippo, taught writing in Sermo, “But since in a figure Peter represented the Church, what was given to him singly was given to the Church.”, and in Contra Epistolam Manichaei, “There are many other things which rightly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church… The succession of the priests keeps me, from the very seat of the apostle Peter (to whom the Lord after his resurrection gave charge to feed his sheep) down to the present episcopate.”
Pope Innocent, in 416 A.D. in a letter to Decentius ( bishop of Eugubium) wrote , “Who does not know or observe that it [the church order] was delivered by Peter the chief of the apostles to the Roman church, and is kept until now, and ought to be retained by all, and that nothing ought to be imposed or introduced which has no authority, or seems to derive its precedents elsewhere?”
These are but a few of the writings of the titled officers of the Catholic churches, and much more could be quoted. A tradition of reverencing the actual chairs in which the Apostles supposedly sat, while supposedly occupying positions the Roman Catholic Church declares they held as bishops of the congregations, became enshrined in Catholic teaching so that they have even designated a chair of Peter that they claim he sat upon while in Rome. This chair became a symbol of the authority the Roman Catholic Church assigned to Peter, and thus entailed upon the highest bishop, the pope.
The kindest thing we can say is that all of these men were misguided. And, still, all of this teaching is a distortion of the scriptures, reducing the spiritual down to a man-made game of who gets the highest authority and highest position and highest chair in the Roman Catholic Church. It contradicts Jesus’ teaching that his disciples were to serve others, and were not to elevate themselves above others. (John 13:4-16; Matt. 20: 20-27).
Again, the Catholics twisted the word of God to rationalize a hierarchy within a central organization which has grown over centuries into a degradation anointing itself in the name of Jesus Christ while ignoring the true spirit of His teachings and scriptures.
They have lied again, in order to support an authority they violate with every pronouncement against God’s word. Their authority is self-proclaimed in order to have dominion and control over all the earth. Anyone who teaches doctrine contrary to the word of God, the Bible, has no authority from God.
Let’s examine what the Bible really says about the keys Jesus gave to Peter. Bold emphasis is mine.
In Matt. 16:17-19, Jesus blesses Peter for his confession that Jesus is the Son of God, and tells him,
“……Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And 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.” (KJV)
“ 17And Jesus answering said to him, `Happy art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [it] to thee, but my Father who is in the heavens. 18 `And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; 19 and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.’” (Young’s)
Young’s Literal translation helps us understand verse 18 a little better. Jesus tells Peter that he is “a rock”. Not THE rock, but a rock. The next question then is how the demonstrative “this” is used before the next “rock”. The Catholic church has insisted that “this” rock is the rock immediately preceding in verse 18, which is named in the KJV as “Peter” (Petros). They are making a grammatical error in treating the word “this” as a pronoun. Pronouns (he, she, him, her) have antecedents, and in grammar antecedents are the last noun or person in the sentence which the pronoun would replace. (Ex. John gave his book to Jane. The pronoun “his” refers back to the antecedent noun, John.)
But, “this” is not a pronoun; “this” is a demonstrative. Demonstratives (this, that, these, those) in grammar are referring to objects in a direction or proximity to a particular person. (Ex. This pen I am holding. That book on the table over there.)
In verse 18 “this rock” is Jesus. He is referring to himself, naming himself, as Peter just confessed Him to be the Son of God. Picture Him standing before Peter and pointing a finger at himself as he says, “upon this rock”. Jesus is the rock of Israel as prophesied throughout the entire Old Testament. (Psa. 118:22; Is. 28:16) Peter was “a rock” that would help build the church, but Jesus was THE rock, the cornerstone, and it was Jesus upon whom the church would be built. To state otherwise is contrary to all Old Testament scripture concerning the Messiah.
The Roman Catholic Church has twisted this scripture to rationalize and claim an authority they do not have.
Peter’s faith and confession, that Jesus is the Son of God was rewarded as Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom. Keys are symbols in earthly man’s view of authority as they are the items which opened locked doors to safes, storehouses, spice chests, and other doors to great wealth. And, the keys Jesus gave to Peter also opened doors of great wealth. They opened the doors to the spiritual kingdom of Christ.
It was Peter who opened the door of the Kingdom to the Jews on the day of Pentecost. And, it was Peter who opened the door of the Kingdom to the Gentiles at the House of Cornelius in Acts 10. In both instances the Holy Ghost fell upon those present. The Jews (those of the circumcision) were astonished that the Gentiles were receiving the same gift of the Holy Ghost as they had received, and began to understand that “…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10: 34-35.
The keys given to Peter were not to provide him with a higher position than the other disciples, but to perform a function in establishing the spiritual kingdom of Christ. This kingdom is open to all those who will answer the call of the gospel of Christ. Peter tells exactly what a man or woman must do to answer that call and be saved in Acts 2. Believe, repent, confess, and be baptized (immersed) for the remission of sins, and then are you covered by the blood of Christ. Only then have you put on Christ, and have been added to the church of Christ, the body of Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church, is not the church of Christ; it is not the body of Christ. They have no right to name the Pope as a Vicar of Christ when they distort the word of God. The Roman Catholic Church has lied throughout the last 18 centuries claiming an authority they do not have, and have repeatedly twisted the scriptures to ensure they maintain control and authority on earth. They have twisted the scriptures into another gospel which is anathema, and thus are not of God.
5 thoughts on “Lies of the Roman Catholic Church – Part II; Peter is Not THE Rock of the church”
Not flesh and blood but the Father hath Reveiled and upon this rock I will build my church. the rock is clearly the revelation from the Father, without revelation we can’t interpret His word. the rock is the Christ, the Son of God King James Bible
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Daniel- the rock Jesus spoke of was not the “revelation” but himself. He is the cornerstone (Isa. 28:16), the stone cut without hands (Dan. 2:34). The revelation came through direct knowledge of Jesus Himself.
Strong’s Gr. 601 – “apokalupto” – to uncover, bring to light, reveal, make known and under Thayer’s Greek Lexicon is the meaning at 2.c. – “is used of God revealing to men things unknown (Daniel 2:19; Theod., 22, 28; Psalm 97:2 ( 1 Samuel 2:27, cf. 3:21), especially those relating to salvation: — whether by deeds, Matthew 11:25; Matthew 16:17; Luke 10:21 (by intimacy with Christ, by his words and acts); …” (Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/601.htm)
How did God reveal Himself to His people – through His word. In times past He did so through direct communication to the patriarchs, and then through the prophets and judges who then spoke directly to the people (Heb. 1:1). What was Jesus doing in the 1st century AD during His manifestation on earth but revealing, making known God’s will to His disciples. God revealed it to Peter through His messenger and prophet Jesus (Mal. 4:1-2, Luke 10:22).
Barne’s Notes at Matt. 16:17, “…Flesh and blood have not shown it. In spite of my appearance, my lowly state – my lack of resemblance to what you have expected, you have learned it as from God.” They had been taught this by Jesus’ miracles, his instructions, and by the direct teachings of God upon their minds. To “reveal” is to make known, or communicate something that was unknown or secret.”
Excerpt from the Cambridge Bible – “…By these words the sum and substance of Peter’s confession is repeated and confirmed. The heavenly Father had revealed it to Peter by the teaching of Jesus Christ, and thus inscribed it on the apostle’s heart….”
Divine revelation is the word of God. We have His divine revelation through His word. Jesus was teaching His disciples what the Father gave Him to teach. The disciples had been with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry. Peter learned it through direct word of mouth from the Source of all things (John 1:1).
The revelation of Matt. 16:17 is not as some suppose a mysterious “knowing” but a very evident and objective result of contact with Jesus.
The word “rock” is Strong’s Gr. 4073, and is a large connected mass of rock, or projecting rock. Peter’s name, “Petros” is Strong’s Gr. 4074, and is a stone, or pebble; a small rock. The church was built upon the rock of Israel, and the rock was Christ (1 Cor. 10:4).
Ellicott’s Commentary at Matt. 16:18,
“… On the assumption of a distinction there follows the question, What is the rock? Peter’s faith (subjective)? or the truth (objective) which he confessed? or Christ Himself? Taking all the facts of the case, the balance seems to incline in favour of the last view. (1.) Christ and not Peter is the Rock in 1Corinthians 10:4, the Foundation in 1Corinthians 3:11. (2.) The poetry of the Old Testament associated the idea of the Rock with the greatness and steadfastness of God, not with that of a man [Deuteronomy 32:4; Deuteronomy 32:18; 2Samuel 22:3; 2Samuel 23:3; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:31; Psalm 18:46; Isaiah 17:10; Habakkuk 1:12 (Hebrew)]. (3.) As with the words, which in their form present a parallel to these, “Destroy this temple” (John 2:19), so here, we may believe the meaning to have been indicated by significant look or gesture. The Rock on which the Church was to be built was Himself,…” (Source: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/16-18.htm)
What is your response to Roman Catholics who point to Eliakim in Isaiah Ch 22, who is installed as the one who is over the household. The term “over the household” is a hebrew term “al habayit”. Basically he is the prime minister of the kingdom. So you have the king who is in charge, and you have the al habayit, the one over the household. So when the king is away, the al habayit has all the authority of the king. The Catholics draw a connection between Isaiah 22 where it says, “I will place on his shoulder (al habayit’s shoulder) the key to the house of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. The Catholics use this argument to say Peter and his successors in the papacy are al habayit, in charge of the household.
The 2nd part of my question is how do you respond to Catholics who argue that the binding and loosing granted to Peter is continued on through the papacy for priests to forgive sins and other authoritative functions.
They are misappropriating scripture in order rationalize a position of authority which they do not rightfully have. The valley of vision in the prophesy of Isaiah 22 concerns an unfaithful servant -Shebna- who is condemned (vs. 15-19) and replaced with a faithful servant – Hilkiah (vs. 20,21) who becomes a type or foreshadow of the Messiah. See Adam Clarke’s commentary on this chapter here: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/isaiah-22.html.
So, the RCC, pope etc are again putting themselves in the place of Christ, and unlawfully assuming His authority to increase their power and control over people who will not read and study for themselves, but want to have someone tell them what to think.
The power to forgive sins is God’s power, and was breathed onto the Apostles by Christ, and then by the pouring forth of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the upper room. The power of the Holy Spirit gave them God’s judgment. It was not their judgment, but God’s. The verb tense was the perfect tense or fulfilled action, meaning God had already determined the judgment of whether to forgive or not to forgive and told the apostles through His Spirit the outcome which they declared. See this article here which explains nicely – https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/forgiveness/john-20-23/
You might like to read Part 5 of this series about the blasphemy of the RCC priesthood.
Thank you for the reply