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The Rock, the Keys and the Gates of Hell

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Katzpur, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Matthew 16:13-20 states, "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

    He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 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. 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.

    Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ."

    Four questions:

    1. Who or what was "the Rock" on which He built His Church?
    2. What were the keys of the kingdom of heaven supposed to enable Peter to do? What kinds of things would he have the authority to bind in heaven?
    3. What did Christ mean when He said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church?
    4. Why didn't He want anyone to know at that point that He was the Christ?
     
  2. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    The Greek used for Peter and Rock are different, which is why they are translated differently. I truly believe that the Rock was the truth of Peter's statement.

    Some would point out that there is no difference in Aramaic for "rock". They assume that Jesus only spoke aramaic.

    One thing I would love to hear... does "Rock" mean Peter in Aramaic?

    The Keys was the sermon he preached on the Day of Pentecost: the birthday of the church.

    He made the statement about the gates of Hell, because it was truth!

    As for not being known... the time for his sacrifice had not yet come.
     
  3. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    1. The testimony of the Savior (by revelation)
    2. He would do whatever Christ would do were he there. Marriages, families, etc.
    3. The Greek is muddled. It's not that the gates wouldn't prevail against the church, they wouldn't prevail against something that was rightfully theirs (or the souls kept in prison) - Christ has the keys to Hell and can let loose those He wishes
    4. He kept many things to Himself and still does. Certain people have the spiritual maturity to possess certain knowledge and others don't; that's why Christ spoke in parables.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    1.

    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.

    The Lord is here making a play on words; in the Greek. "Peter" is petros, meaning a small stone, whereas "rock" is petra, meaning a great rock mass, solid and immovable. Even if Jesus were speaking in Aramaic, in which both meanings are expressed simply by Cephas, He was making a distinction between the two which Matthew (under divine inspiration) translated by using the two different Greek words. The massive rock foundation on which Christ would build His Church was Peter's great confession of Jesus as the Creator and the Son of the living God. Peter (representing the twelve and, indeed, all who would make the same confession) would be a living stone in the Church built on the foundation of such confession (1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:19-22).

    This is the first, and definitive, use of the word "church" (Greek ekklesia, or "out-called assembly") in the New Testament. This church built by Christ clearly consists of all who acquiesce volitionally and spiritually


    16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.



    2.
    The "keys" here are not literal keys but rather a metaphor for the message that would open the way to salvation for those hearers who would respond. A similar figurative use of a "key" is in Luke 11:52, where Jesus charged the lawyers of His day with taking away "the key of knowledge." Peter, representing all the apostles, used these keys (the gospel message) to open the door to the Jews at Pentecost, then to the believers of Samaria, then to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 2:14-41; 8:14-17; 10:17-48).​

    3.
    "Hell" here is the Greek Hades, not the ultimate lake of fire but the present pit in the heart of the earth where the souls of the lost, as well as a host of fallen angels, are confined awaiting judgment. When Christ spoke these words, the souls of believers were also there, but during His three days in the grave, Christ stormed the gates of Hades and set these redeemed captives free, taking them with Him to Paradise (Ephesians 4:8-10). In like manner, He assures those in His Church that they also can deliver lost souls from imminent confinement behind the gates of Hades as they proclaim the great confession of Christ as the redeeming Son of God to all who will heed the gospel.​
    4.
    The gospel records give no indication that the disciples ever acknowledged Jesus was the Christ prior to this confession of Peter's, although they almost certainly realized it. By this stage of His public ministry, He evidently planned to concentrate on teaching and training His disciples for their own future ministry.​
     
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  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Beats me!

    I'm sorry, but you lost me there. He told Peter that He was going to give Him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Are you saying that the keys to the kingdom of heaven were a sermon? Or did I misunderstand you?

    Well, I'll go along with that, but couldn't you be a little bit more specific in terms of what He meant by that phrase? I suspect a lot of people see "the gates of hell" as being some sort of hyperbole intended to represent evil, Satan's power, or even to mean "Nothing will prevail against my Church." If this is the case, do you think He was trying to say that nothing anyone could do would be able to corrupt the doctrines He taught or that His Church would remain forever in the same pure state in which He established it? I ask because it appears that with some 30,000 different Christian denominations in the world today, all teaching different doctrines, somebody somewhere along the line evidently prevailed against His Church.

    Kathryn
     
  6. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I agree, pretty much. I believe that the "rock" was the rock of revelation, the only means by which anyone can come to know the truth of all things.

    I agree.

    I don't see the Greek as being muddled at all. As a matter of fact, the phrase, "the gates of hell" meant something quite different to Jesus' audience than it does to most Christians today. To them, it didn't conjure up demons or devils or anything at all to do with Satan. It meant nothing more than "the entrance to the underworld, or abode of the dead." I believe that Jesus was saying nothing more than that even death would not stop His gospel from being preached. I don't believe that He was promising that the Church He was to establish would never become corrupted by men.

    I think you're probably right. I don't know for sure, though, why He wouldn't have wanted everyone to know who He was at that time.

    Kathryn
     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I disagree that Peter was the Rock. I believe that He built His Church on the rock of revelation, the means by which Peter had gained his testimony of the truth. I believe He chose Peter because Peter showed by his answer that He was in tune with the spirit and would be receptive to revelation from the Savior after His death.

    So do you believe He actually established a Church with a specific organization and structure, or do you accept the doctrine of "the invisible Church"?

    I agree that the keys were not literal keys, but I believe they represented more than His message. Keys are something that (even symbolically) would give someone access to something that would otherwise be prohibited. I see the keys as representing the authority given specifically to Peter to act in the name of Jesus Christ in performing the saving ordinances He had established.

    Very interesting. Are you saying that people are alive in Hades today? I guess I'm just curious as to what your last sentence means. How can those in the Church deliver lost souls from Hades? Don't most people believe that Hades is the abode of the dead?

    I suppose you're right. I wish it were just a little bit more clear to me, though.

    Kathryn
     
  8. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    To the best of my knowledge (for those who were wondering) rock in Aramaic is 'cephas', by which name Peter is also referred to in Scripture.

    James
     
  9. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    Clearly Jesus was here saying that He himself, the one identified by Peter as the Messiah, the Son of God, was the rock-mass or foundation on which he would build his church or congregation.
    From the context of the scripture under consideration, Matthew 16:18, we learn that Peter had just given testimony that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God

    Consulting the original Greek words (by means of Strong’s Concordance of the Bible) we find that Jesus was here using two related words but which have distinctly different meanings. "Peter" (Greek, Petros—a proper noun, in the masculine gender) means "a (piece of) rock". But when speaking of the "rock" on which he would build his church or congregation, Jesus used a different Greek word, petra (a common noun, in the feminine gender), which means "a (mass of) rock". So the New World Translation properly renders this text: "Also I say to you, You are Peter, and on this rock-mass I will build my congregation." For other instances of the use of the same word see Matthew 7:24, 25; 27:51; Mark 15:46; 1 Corinthians 10:4, New World Translation. Clearly Jesus was here saying that He himself, the one identified by Peter as the Messiah, the Son of God, was the rock-mass or foundation on which he would build his church or congregation


     
  10. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    The argument that a lot of people make is a compelling one. Christ spoke Aramaic and no doubt this quote is a Greek translation of an Aramaic sentence. In Aramaic the two words are identical, cepha. The argument is that this little play on words loses its effectiveness when translated to Greek, but the tranlsators wanted to preserve the text, and did it anyway. I don't personally agree with this idea, but I can see how many people subscribe to it.

    The New World translation is a whole other story in and of itself. I have many issues with that tranlsation, but it wouldn't be appropriate here. How about a new thread?
     
  11. Sabio

    Sabio Active Member

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    This is a direct reference to spiritual warefare, the power that Jesus gave His followers to bind the forces of Satan and loose the wonders of God.
    Mark 16: 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents (demons); and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Sabio
     
  12. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    this is taken from the long conclusion from verse 8 onward if i am correct
    SHORT CONCLUSION​

    Some late manuscripts and versions contain a short conclusion after Mark 16:8, as follows:​

    But all the things that had been commanded they related briefly to those around Peter. Further, after these things, Jesus himself sent out through them from the east to the west the holy and incorruptible proclamation of everlasting salvation.​

    LONG CONCLUSION​

    Certain ancient manuscripts (ACD) and versions (VgSyc,p) add the following long conclusion, but which אBSysArm omit:​



    After he rose early on the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Mag´da·lene, from whom he had expelled seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with him, as they were mourning and weeping. But they, when they heard he had come to life and had been viewed by her, did not believe. Moreover, after these things he appeared in another form to two of them walking along, as they were going into the country; and they came back and reported to the rest. Neither did they believe these. But later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table, and he reproached their lack of faith and hardheartedness, because they did not believe those who had beheld him now raised up from the dead. And he said to them: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be condemned. Furthermore, these signs will accompany those believing: By the use of my name they will expel demons, they will speak with tongues, and with their hands they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly it will not hurt them at all. They will lay their hands upon sick persons, and these will become well."




    So, then, the Lord Jesus, after having spoken to them, was taken up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. They, accordingly, went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and backed up the message through the accompanying signs.

    Manuscript L 019 (Codex Regius of the eighth cent.) contains both long and short conclusions after vs 8, giving the short conclusion first and prefixing to each conclusion a note that says these passages are current in some quarters, while evidently not recognizing either conclusion as authoritative.... still ,maybe that is for another thread

     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hi, Sabio.

    Now that's an interpretation I've never heard before. What led you to that conclusion. I believe Jesus was describing the eternal nature of the saving ordinances He would institute when He established His Church. The scriptures tell us that whatever God does, it will be forever. Since Christ knew He would not be with His Apostles much longer, He gave Peter the authority to act in His name, performing the ordinances which would have eternal significance for all of mankind.

    Kathryn
     
  14. khan1955

    khan1955 New Member

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    As A lot of people have noted the way Jesus is talking to his disiples is that there is just one way his way and nothing in this world or any other is going to change it.Jesus metioned a few times wide is the way of destruction narrow the way to salvation,there is no other way but through me,that was the message of the Peter'Paul,John and all who followed Him. That he is the saviour the world was looking for.
     
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