The best commentary on scripture is scripture. Matthew 16:13-23 13 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? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 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. 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. 19 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. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Discussion: 1. Who is the subject of this discussion? It is Jesus. 2. Who is the subject of the New Testament? It is Jesus. 3. Do other Gospels provide context for Matthew 16? Yes, Mark 8:27-33 (no mention of rock). Luke 9:18-22 (no mention of rock). 4. As a result of this scripture does Peter ever refer to himself as the rock or even a bishop (pastor) of any church? No, in fact he acknowledges his sinfulness, Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 5. To whom is Jesus speaking? All the disciples present but primarily the 12 apostles. Notes: 1. The obvious subject of Matthew 16:13 is Jesus Christ our Lord. “…Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Also, in verse 15, “But whom say ye that I am?” 2. The word rock is found in the Bible 55 times. All references are direct or indirect references to God and particularly Christ, i.e. Deuteronomy 32:15 “…the Rock of his salvation” and 1 Corinthians 10:4 “…that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 3. In Peter’s only reference to “rock” in 1 Peter 2:8 he refers to The Lord Jesus Christ. “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” Even here, he refers to the O.T. where Isaiah 8:14 prophesied the future coming of Christ. It could be easy to make an errant casual determination of what Matthew 16:13-23 says. When some truth is mixed with an error it can appear to be plausible. Once an error occurs and additional dogma is adopted with it; it becomes difficult to correct. Once accepted and purported as truth, personal pride and reputation can play a strong role in perpetuating an error. Further, error becomes a tradition among those who accept and adhere to it. When power and wealth are added to pride and tradition, the error becomes nearly impossible to correct. When generations are trained to accept an error it may be so strongly entrenched attempts to refute are ignored. There may be good intention for the truth which accompanies the error. The intention can become overwhelming to any attempt at correcting the error.