Is Peter the rock on which Christ's church is built?
Once again....while reading a very well-known Christian author, I read a reference to Jesus allegedly telling Peter that he (Peter) was the rock upon which Jesus was going to build His Church. Of course the reference is Mathew 16:17 where Jesus says, "...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
If we are just reading one word at a time....or one verse at a time...instead of the whole passage in context, it is understandable how we might imagine that this is what Jesus was saying. Just because the name Peter comes from the Greek word petros... which means stone, we assume that interpretation. But what I see in reading the red words in my Bible is that Jesus often used a literary device which I refer to as "THE TURN" (admittedly, I just made that term up myself)
Just for one example, I refer to Luke 21:16-18
Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
OK the turn here is that in v. 16 He states plainly that some will be put to death...and in v. 18 he assured them that not a hair of their head would perish.
So the turn is that in verse 16&17 He is referring to what is going to come to pass in the natural realm...and in verse 18 He has TURNED and is referring to the heavenly realm. That's just one example...there are more....but I digress....
So back to Luke. If we take our reading back a couple of verses....Jesus is asking Peter who people say that He is...and who Peter thinks that He is.... Peter gets the correct answer when he says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
THIS IS THE ROCK upon which Jesus is building his Church! Sure there is a little play on words with respect to Peter's name....it means stone....But it is the BEDROCK TRUTH of what Peter has just stated which is the Gibralter on which Christ is going to build his church.
Just look at how much harm has been done by the notion of the apostolic succession of the Popes etc...the church built on Peter...and all it's various offshoots. Yet all through history Christ has been simultaneously building His church...with living bricks...