Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of Matthew 16:18.
- King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition
View Wesley's Notes for Matthew 16:18
16:18 On this rock - Alluding to his name, which signifies a rock, namely, the faith which thou hast now professed; I will build my Church - But perhaps when our Lord uttered these words, he pointed to himself, in like manner as when he said, Destroy this temple, #John 2:19|; meaning the temple of his body. And it is certain, that as he is spoken of in Scripture, as the only foundation of the Church, so this is that which the apostles and evangelists laid in their preaching. It is in respect of laying this, that the names of the twelve apostles (not of St. Peter only) were equally inscribed on the twelve foundations of the city of God, #Rev 21:14|. The gates of hell - As gates and walls were the strength of cities, and as courts of judicature were held in their gates, this phrase properly signifies the power and policy of Satan and his instruments. Shall not prevail against it - Not against the Church universal, so as to destroy it. And they never did. There hath been a small remnant in all ages.
View People's Bible Notes for Matthew 16:18
Mt 16:18 Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. This is the first time Jesus speaks of his church, and here, as not yet founded. Three terms are to be noted: (1) "Peter", in the Greek, "Petros", meaning a single stone; (2) "Rock", in the Greek, "Petra", which means the solid, immovable bed-rock, a great mass like a cliff, and (3) "church", Greek, "ecclesia", those "called out", the fellowship of believers, the organized society of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. There is probably no passage in the word of God that has called forth more discussion. The Papal church insists that Peter is the rock upon which Christ founded his church. The Catholic position is based upon the fact that Peter means a stone, and the Savior's language might be rendered, "Thou art a stone and upon this rock I will build my church" (see Joh 1:42). The Catholic view is untenable, for (1) The Savior does not say, "Thou art a stone, and upon thee I will build", etc., or "Thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build". He changes the word in the Greek from "Petros" (Peter, a stone) to "Petra", a rock, or ledge of rock--a solid bed-rock. (2) Every saint is a stone (see 1Pe 2:5). The Lord declares that Peter is one these living stones, made such by his confession of faith, and ready to be built into the church, the spiritual temple, formed of living stones, and built upon the rock. So is every confessor of Christ. In order to settle what the Savior does mean by the "rock", we must consider Mt 16:18,19 together, and keep in mind the entire figure. This figure portrays (1) a Builder, Christ; (2) a temple to be built, composed of lively stones, the church; (3) a foundation for that temple, the rock; (4) the gates of an unfriendly city or power which shall seek its destruction, hell, or more correctly, Hades, the unseen abode of the dead, the grave; (5) a door-keeper of the church, or spiritual temple, with his keys, Peter. Peter's place in the figure is not that of the foundation, but that of the key-holder, or turnkey. The only difficulty is in settling what the Lord means by the "rock". Since this rock is the foundation of the church, the central principle, the fundamental idea, we are aided to a correct decision by the teachings of the Word elsewhere. We learn [through Paul] "That other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ". This excludes Peter or any human platform (1Co 3:11). Christ is often called a stone: (1) "the stone that the builders rejected" (Mt 21:42 Mr 12:10 Lu 20:17); (2) "the chief corner stone" (Eph 2:20); (3) "the stone that is the head of the corner" (Mt 21:42 Mr 12:10 Lu 20:17 Ac 4:11 1Pe 2:7); (4) "the spiritual rock which is Christ" (1Co 10:4). Faith in Christ held in the heart, and confessed with the lips is the very foundation of the spiritual life and of the church. This constituted the fundamental difference in apostolic days between Christians and unbelievers, the church and the world. It does still. It is the essence of the teaching of the New Testament that the platform or foundation of the Christian society, the church, is this belief that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God" (see Mt 16:16 Joh 6:69). It is then Peter's grand confession, faith in the Spiritual Rock, the faith that lays hold of Christ, belief that he is the Anointed of God, the Divine Savior, that the Lord pronounces the rock upon which he will found his church. That this view is correct is shown by a correct understanding of the declaration. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. "The gates of Hades" (Revised Version). From the gates of the city always marched forth its armies. The powers of hades are represented by its gates. Hades is not hell (Gehenna), but the unseen abode of the dead that holds the departed within its gates. Just after these words the Lord talks of his death, or entering hades. Six months later the Sanhedrin sent him to death for making the same confession Peter had just made. See Mt 26:64-67. They expected to demonstrate that the confession of his divinity which he had made was false by sending him to hades, which they supposed would hold him and prevail against the confession of the ROCK. He was sent there from the cross, but the gates of hades did not prevail, for they could not hold him, and the living Savior, rising triumphant from the tomb, was the unanswerable argument that his own and Peter's confession was a rock that could never be moved. His resurrection demonstrated that he is the Rock. Hades did not prevail.
virginia's comment on 2013-02-08 14:19:48:
Peter, upon this rock.
jennifer corgan's comment on 2012-12-04 22:48:21:
I would love to send this to Ross earl Hoffman too.
jan613's comment on 2012-09-21 13:21:59:
I believe that Matthew 16:18 is referring to "the Rock" (metaphorically) being the foundation - of His Church. His Church are those that believe He is the Son of God and follow his two commandments in the New Testament (after all, if those two are followed - all 10 old ones are also) I think he said "that thou art Peter" to emphasize by stating his name, that he is correct (He is Christ, Son of God & upon that rock - foundation of your life in Christ) and though he is just a man, he will be given the keys to the Kingdom and Hades will be kept at bay, by believing He is Christ. By emphasizing Peter's name, it stresses to me that I can replace my name in there, because I believe!!!! Yeah God, Jesus, Holy Spirit
Butch's comment on 2011-07-26 16:03:00:
There can be only 1 head of the Church & that is Jesus. He paid the supreme price for it. He said " Flesh and Blood has not revealed this" It was the Holy Spirit that revealed that to Peter. We are all just servants. There is no evidence to support that Peter was ever in Rome. What I got out of this scripture is the only way we able to stand in Our Salvation; Is to have have an experience that flesh and Blood has revealed. The one we will never forget
ben weaver's comment on 2011-03-10 11:33:09:
V.18 Thoughts on when and how to prevail. If hades (the underworld) does not prevail, apparently the church does. Is this agressive victory only at the resurrection of the just in Christ, or is it being won during our life on earth? Jesus continues to compliment Peter by saying that he would posses the keys of the kingdom of heaven while on earth. Wouldn't believers on this solid rock also be able to bind the underworld powers and loose those that are enslaved to sin. We've got the power in the name of Jesus.
Rob's comment on 2011-03-02 05:07:44:
I agree with most of the comments above. Here is another line of reasoning to consider. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says that woman has a head which is man, man has a head which is Christ, and Christ has a head which is God. Whatever privileges were given to Peter does not dimishish the fact that he has a head and that is Christ. As the scripture point out "The head of every man is Christ." What else do we know about Christ? Ephesians 1:22 says that God made him head over all things to the congregation. This means that those who are given oversight in the congregation still answer to Jesus as their head. They must exercise their authority in imitation of Christ and accoring to Christ teachings not their own. Please keep these thoughts in mind as I continue.
The Catholic Church has elevated Peter and all who succeed him as Pope. This non-biblical or Latin term means "father or Papa." Jesus specifically taught his disciples which included Peter not to call anyone on earth "father" in a religious reverencial way. (Matthew 23:9, 10) The Jewish religious leaders desried titles of sorts. Jesus instead said that all you are brothers. Since the Catholic Church says that it is perfectly scriptural to call these men Popes they are in effect saying that Peter an all who succeed him are fathers of the church. If they are fathers then this makes them head. However, if Paul said that Jesus is head and if the Catholic Church says Peter and the rest are heads then the Church has two heads. They go against the headship arrangement for the Christian Congregation and they go agaisnt s direct order from Christ not to be called father.
People can call Peter a rock all they want and as mentioned by the comments above he was rock like in his faith and in his confession of Jesus being the Christ, Son of the living God. He certainly was outspoken and often times did speak for the other apostles during Jssus time and after. But this did not make him Pope or father of the Church.
Thank you for allowing my comment.
ben weaver's comment on 2010-12-27 12:53:35:
The first mention of the one church Jesus is building. This Bible word "church" has been wrongly used to mean; meeting house, the regular meeting of a sect, or the religious organization itself. Since the word meant "assembly of called out ones", there are other Bible uses of "church". In Acts 7:38, "church in the wilderness" refers to the assembly of those called out of Egypt. The church or body of Christ that he said he would later build, most likely began after the resurrection when believers were delivered and translated into his kingdom (Col.1:13 & Heb.9:17). The Apostle Peter was not yet converted at the last supper(Lu. 22:32). Possibly, when Jesus said,"Tell it unto the church" in Matt. 18:17, He was referring to another assembly, since his church would only be built later. Believers are they which have been called out of this failing world system and are being assembled into a living organism. The gates of hell fail to defend its demonic prison when His church, with His weapons, invade its borders. The weapons of our warfare...are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down anything that attempts to imprison people from experiencing God (2 Cor. 10:4). We are the aggressors with a promised victory. Thanks be to God, through Jesus, we are more than conquerors.
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