Jesus DID NOT build his church on Peter
Catholic tradition states that Jesus told Peter that on him he would build his church. This comes from one passage in the new testament found in the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 16- 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Now if taken on its own, a single verse, out of context and understanding this verse could very well support the teaching that Peter is in fact the Rock.
However when we look into this statement and the context we will see that Jesus didn’t call Peter the rock on which he would build his church.
Although the name Peter can mean rock or stone Jesus was simply calling him by the name Peter the Greek word used is Petros which is strongs 4074 when he then refers to the rock on which he will build his church the word used is actually the word for rock not the name which is petra strongs word 4073 , it is a mistake to say that he was saying you are Peter on you I will build my church.
Jesus was actually referring to Peter’s statement about him being the Christ and the son of God.
Jesus asked his disciples who people said he was
Matthew 16 -13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Simon Peter responds
Matthew 16-16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God
Jesus respond back to him
Matthew 16-17 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
Then Jesus says you are Peter on this rock I will build my church. The rock that Jesus will build his church on is the truth that he is the Christ and the son of God.
Then Jesus states he will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 16- 19And 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.
The kindom of heaven is accessed via faith in Jesus, that he is the son of God.
Matthew 7:21 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
John 6-39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Therefore the keys that Peter has been given is his very own confession, his own BELIEF that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. That belief is the key to the kingdom of heaven.
The catholic church will make the argument that Jesus spoke Aramaic and when we look at the the name of Peter in Aramaic (Kaypha) this means rock, but the texts are not written in Aramaic they are in Greek and therefore this has to be assumed and does not come from the scriptures themselves. There is no proof that Matthew was originally written in Aramaic although the catholic church will maintain the fact that it was. Most New testament scholars hold to the belief that Matthew was originally written in Greek. And the Greek does not support the claim.
They will also say that in the Greek there was no choice but to use the 2 different words as Petra is the feminine version and Matthew couldn’t have called Peter Petra. But the bible is the inspired word of God. Knowing that this may have caused confusion later on it would have been much easier to have stated you are peter on you i will build my church.
It would seem that there are 2 different interpretations of the verse one saying that Peter is the rock and another saying Jesus, so we have to put this one statement into the context of the rest of the New Testament. Does the rest of the New testament establish Peter as the rock on which Jesus would indeed build his church upon or does it point to Jesus. It has to be asked what does it even mean that Peter is the foundation of the church.
Let’s have a look at what the New testament has to say
1 corinthians 3-11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
In this verse alone we see Jesus must have been referring to himself when he said this is the rock. As no other man can lay the foundation that is Jesus.
Jesus is the rock on which the church is built, he is the foundation.
Peter himself cannot be the rock because no man can be what Jesus is.
Peter was far from a rock stable enough to build the foundation of the church.
He lacked faith when Jesus walked on the water
Matthew 14 -25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
He denied Jesus 3 times at the trial of Jesus
Luke 22- 54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. 55And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. 58And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. 59And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. 60And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. 61And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
He was even rebuked by Paul in Galatians
Galatians 2- 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
In the 1st epistle of Peter there are 2 references to Jesus being the stone and being rejected
1 Peter 2-4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1 Peter 2-7 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 in the very next verse Jesus is referred to as a stumbling stone and a ROCK of offence to those that are disobedient
1 Peter 2-8 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.
The word translated as ROCK is πέτρᾳ patra
So Peter himself called Jesus the Rock using the exact same word that Jesus used for what he would build his church on.
Matthew was aware of this too
Matthew 21-42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
The scripture he was referring to was from the old testament that mentioned the stone that was rejected an obvious reference to Jesus.
Psalm 18-22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Again this is mentioned in the book of acts
Acts 4-11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Paul in 1 corinthians calls Jesus the spiritual rock that they drank from
1 corinthians 10-4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The greek word used here again is petra the same as on the rock which Jesus would build his church himself.
The word Petra is used just 4 times in the Bible once to refer to the rock on which Jesus would build his church, twice to refer to Jesus himself and once to refer to the rock that lined the tomb of Jesus
Matthew 27-60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed
Not once in anyway does it refer to Peter.
Knowhere in the bible does it ever call Peter the foundation of the church that Jesus would build. If Peter was to be that rock then it would be reasonable to expect Jesus and the disciples to have made this clear during the rest of the bible. The writers of the New testament did not do this.
The rock on which the church is built is the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. To believe that Peter is the rock on which the church is built is to completely take away and diminish the message that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. To remove him as our foundation and install Peter which is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church has done for anyone that follows its message instead of the Bibles. The Catholic Church builds its doctrines on verses not the full Bible message in context and understanding.