Friday, June 23, 2006

Rocks In My Head: Some thoughts on the Matthean view of Peter

Some Protestants, such as D.A. Carson, agree with the Catholic position that it is Peter who is being called the "Rock" in Matthew 16:18. However, they do not agree with Catholics regarding the charisms and authority they claim comes with the office. In other words, the same Protestants do not agree that a papacy was being established here, complete with successors, universal jurisdiction, infallibility, and all the other charisms Catholics claim for him and the office. Yet, I feel that because the "Rock" argument is essential to the Catholic belief in the papacy, if it can be refuted, then we must refute it. Take the "Rock" away from Peter and you take away a major factor in the Roman Catholic argument for the papacy. With that in mind...

It is argued that Jesus spoke Aramaic, thus there would be no gender difference considering Kepha would be employed. This is mere speculation because the Palestinians of His century would've spoken one or more idioms (Aramaic, Hebrew, and/or Greek) so there is no way of knowing for sure which language Jesus used when He stated the words in Matthew 16:18. It is further argued that Matthew may have been originally written in Aramaic. However, this assumes much considering there are no Aramaic Matthean manuscripts in existence and, until one surfaces (we won't hold our breath), there is no such thing. Yet, what speaks volumes to me is that the Greek Matthean manuscripts we do possess, do not employ any word which would give substance to the Catholic claims for the Aramaic. Why didn't Matthew write "Thou art Petra and upon this Petra I will build my church"? It would be silly to give Peter a feminine name. Is it because Peter was a "dude"? Then why wouldn't Christ say "Thou art Petros and upon this Petros I will build my church"? Whether it be a small stone or a rock, the message wouldn't be lost and Christ would be saying that Peter is who the church is built on. But there is nothing to lead that way. Instead, this divinely inspired Apostle differentiates between the feminine and the masculine form. No, there is nothing in the passage that would lead us to believe that Peter is the Rock. All in all, what this means to me is that Matthean support for Peter as the Rock is basically nonexistent.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meanwhile, over at Jim's blog...

Jim Swan posted my "Did Jerome Change His Mind on the Apocrypha ?" over at his blog found here. It is a refutal of the Catholic apologists who attempt to recreate Jerome's stance on the Apocryphal books. Jerome is considered a Doctor of the Catholic Church. Throughout history, only a few have been given this title, so to have someone of his stature disagree with the added books of the LXX (Septuagint) is rather embarrassing to some. Give it a read. Hopefully, by God's grace, I did a half-decent job :-)
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