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Peter and The Keys

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  • Peter and The Keys

    Peter and The Keys

    After telling Peter that he (Jesus) was going to build his church on Peter, and thereby making him the leader and Jesus’ representative on earth (Mt 16:17-18) he continues in the next verse to declare Peter’s authority.

    “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:19)

    To understand the significance of the keys we need to start in Revelation.
    "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
    The words of the holy one, the true one,
    who has the key of David,
    who opens and no one shall shut,
    who shuts and no one opens.”
    (Rev 3:7)

    This Jesus, who holds the key of David, who opens and closes is the same Jesus who says to Peter:

    “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    This passage was addressed to Peter and the passage needs to be interpreted with an understanding of a 1st century Jew.

    Prior to this Jesus has asked the apostles who he is. Peter has replied that he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. He would understand that Jesus was the promised one who would sit on the throne of David (see Lk 1:32), the promised Davidic King who would rule for ever. All through Matthew’s gospel Jesus is referring to the kingdom. And Peter with his new revelation from the Father would understand this. (See also the thread - Peter's Profession of Faith)

    Therefore when Jesus gives Peter the keys we have to look at the symbolism of that in terms of Davidic kings.

    The passage refers back to Isaiah 22: 20-23 when God deposes Shebna as the master of the palace and installs Heliakim instead:
    "In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
    and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him,
    and will commit your authority to his hand;
    and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
    And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David;
    he shall open, and none shall shut;
    and he shall shut, and none shall open.
    And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place,
    and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house."

    Note the three lines I have emboldened which parallel verse 19 and Rev 3:7. Peter is being installed as the new master of the palace, the chief official in the kingdom under the king (Jesus).

    The master of the Palace was the highest official in the land.

    What does scripture say about such a person:
    1. He will be a father to the inhabitants
    2. He will be clothed with a robe
    3. He will be girded with a girdle [or sash]
    4. He will be given keys and authority.

    The Pope (father) has a robe, a sash and keys as the symbols of his authority.

    The Popes chair (seat) is the symbol of his teaching authority. That is why we say he speaks authoritatively when he speaks ex-cathedra (from the chair).

    To understand this we need to go back to Exodus 18:13 where Moses sat in judgement over the whole people. He sat from morning until evening and was becoming worn out. His father-in-law, Jethro, enquired about this of him. Moses answered his father-in-law,
    “The people come to me to consult God. Whenever they have a disagreement, they come to me to have me settle the matter between them and make known to them God’s decisions and regulations.” (Ex 18:15-16).

    Jethro said this was unwise and advised Moses to appoint people to judge lesser cases and Moses should:
    “Enlighten them in regard to the decisions and regulations, showing them how they are to live and what they are to do.” (vs 20)
    and Moses should just judge the more difficult cases. Thus Moses delivered God’s “decisions and regulations”, showing them “how they are to live and what they are to do”.

    The teachers of Israel continued to teach with authority “how they are to live and what they are to do”. This is why Jesus said about them:
    “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you” (Mt 23:2-3).

    Not that Jesus is not saying they sat in a literal chair of Moses. He is speaking figuratively.


    Early Christian Witness

    [T]he Lord said to Peter, "On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven" [Matt. 16:18-19]. ... Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed (Tertullian Modesty 21:9-10 [A.D. 220]).


    "For it is no small difference that Peter received the keys not of one heaven but of more, and in order that whatsoever things he binds on earth may be bound not in one heaven but in them all, as compared with the many who bind on earth and loose on earth, so that these things are bound and loosed not in [all] the heavens, as in the case of Peter, but in one only; for they do not reach so high a stage with power as Peter to bind and loose in all the heavens" (Tertullian, Commentary on Matthew 13:31 [A.D. 248]).

    In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis [Acts 9 ;3 2-3 4] (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 17;27 [A.D. 350]).
    Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear "I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Augustine, Sermons 295:2 [A.D. 411]).

  • #2
    peter was told to go forth and preach the word
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    • #3
      To understand a book, we start at the beginning, not the end. Such is true with Scripture.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by saintandrew4life View Post
        peter was told to go forth and preach the word
        Hello saintandrew4life,

        Welcome to the forum.

        Indeed, Peter as well as the rest of the disciples were commissioned: Mark 16:15 - And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

        God bless,
        William
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        • #5
          Peter was given a special authority that was not given to the other apostles. He was the first to preach to the Jews at Pentecost. When Samaritans were converted he and John laid hands on them so that they received the Holy Spirit. He preached the gospel to the Gentiles and they received the Holy Spirit. The error of the Catholic Church isn't in ascribing such a high position to Peter but in teaching that he passed this authority on to his successors.

          He used the keys to open the door for all classes of people to be saved and that door remains open. Neither the Pope not any other person on earth possesses those keys today.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #6
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            Peter was given a special authority that was not given to the other apostles. He was the first to preach to the Jews at Pentecost. When Samaritans were converted he and John laid hands on them so that they received the Holy Spirit. He preached the gospel to the Gentiles and they received the Holy Spirit. The error of the Catholic Church isn't in ascribing such a high position to Peter but in teaching that he passed this authority on to his successors.

            He used the keys to open the door for all classes of people to be saved and that door remains open. Neither the Pope not any other person on earth possesses those keys today.
            Well, you can say that about they keys but you provide no evidence to support your claim, whereas I did.

            Regarding the passing on of authority - see my post "Authority and Apostolic Succession" in this forum.
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            • #7
              Regarding Revelation 3:7, the subject of who has the keys is that Jesus has them, as He is the Holy One, True One, who has the key of David, meaning Jesus is in David's bloodline. The church is built on the Rock of salvation, namely Jesus Himself, not the small stone, Peter. The judgement seat of Christ allows believers passage to Heaven and the Great White Throne judgment locks out the unbelievers. Peter is not the judge, God is, and judgment is what determines our rewards as believers or degrees of damnation for the unbelievers, based on our works as such. Everything regarding Peter on this issue is in post 5.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                Regarding Revelation 3:7, the subject of who has the keys is that Jesus has them, as He is the Holy One, True One, who has the key of David, meaning Jesus is in David's bloodline. The church is built on the Rock of salvation, namely Jesus Himself, not the small stone, Peter.

                And Jesus gives the keys to Peter which symbolises Jesus giving Peter special authority. He does not give them to any other apostle.

                Like Heliakim being given the keys to the Palace put him as second in command to the King so Peter is second in command to the King (Jesus) in his eartly kingdom.

                The Church is built on Peter the Rock - that's what Jesus said and I believe Jesus.

                Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                The judgement seat of Christ allows believers passage to Heaven and the Great White Throne judgment locks out the unbelievers. Peter is not the judge, God is, and judgment is what determines our rewards as believers or degrees of damnation for the unbelievers, based on our works as such.
                I can't see any relevance of this to anything I posted


                Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                Everything regarding Peter on this issue is in post 5.
                There is a lot more about Peter than in post #5. You could start with the OP which you haven't addressed.
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                • #9
                  Cornelius, I referred to Revelation 3:7 from the OP. Further, Peter is the petros, masculine Greek for small stone. Jesus is the petra or greek for the Rock. He is known as the Rock of Ages for a reason. The thing you don't see relevance to is how we get into Heaven or hell. It has nothing to do with keys, but rather judgement from Jesus Christ. You have not won any argument or accepted any truth in this thread, but I'm tired of bandying back and forth here. So, I just quit.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                    Cornelius, I referred to Revelation 3:7 from the OP. Further, Peter is the petros, masculine Greek for small stone. Jesus is the petra or greek for the Rock. He is known as the Rock of Ages for a reason. The thing you don't see relevance to is how we get into Heaven or hell. It has nothing to do with keys, but rather judgement from Jesus Christ. You have not won any argument or accepted any truth in this thread, but I'm tired of bandying back and forth here. So, I just quit.
                    So far you have not even attempted to answer the points I made in the OP - just tried to divert into rocks & stones.

                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                      Cornelius, I referred to Revelation 3:7 from the OP. Further, Peter is the petros, masculine Greek for small stone. Jesus is the petra or greek for the Rock. He is known as the Rock of Ages for a reason. The thing you don't see relevance to is how we get into Heaven or hell. It has nothing to do with keys, but rather judgement from Jesus Christ. You have not won any argument or accepted any truth in this thread, but I'm tired of bandying back and forth here. So, I just quit.

                      I heard my name. I'm not defending the Catholic Church, especially just after Roman Catholic Ireland became the world's first country to vote for SSM, following the lead of Pope "who am I to judge" Frances (the Pope who think he's above God and so his perverted judgment should override God's judgement on sodomy).

                      You're right. Mat 16:18 does not establish Peter as a Pope, for many reasons, including your observation about the different genders of the word for rock. If Peter were the rock upon which Jesus was going to build His church, He would have used the same word for the rock twice.



                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cornelius View Post


                        I heard my name. I'm not defending the Catholic Church, especially just after Roman Catholic Ireland became the world's first country to vote for SSM, following the lead of Pope "who am I to judge" Frances (the Pope who think he's above God and so his perverted judgment should override God's judgement on sodomy).
                        Wrong and irrelevant to this thread.

                        Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
                        You're right. Mat 16:18 does not establish Peter as a Pope, for many reasons, including your observation about the different genders of the word for rock. If Peter were the rock upon which Jesus was going to build His church, He would have used the same word for the rock twice.


                        Jesus didn't use Petros or Petra. He used the Aramaic Kephas (transliterated Cephas in the Greek). Kephas is a rock - a big one.
                        I've covered Peter the Rock in the thread "Peter's Profession of Faith" Can you comment there and stop diverting form the OP now?

                        Have you no comment on the OP?
                        Last edited by Bede; 05-25-2015, 01:13 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Score so far is:

                          Catholic = 7

                          Protestant = 1

                          Come on guys, you have some catching up to do.
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                          • #14
                            I'm going to moderate here. Remember, Bede is posting these topics in the Roman Catholic Subforum. Although non-Roman Catholics are free to ask questions, I ask that you be respectful of this subforum which is specifically for Roman Catholic discussion pertaining to doctrine specific for them. Feel free to ask questions, but keep the discussion civil and respectful to those members. This is "NOT" the Apologetics/Debate section of the forum.

                            God bless,
                            William
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              I told Bede I quit the thread. I can't help it if he continues haranguing me about it.
                              Comment>
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