Petros-Petra

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    In Matthew 16:18, Jesus calls Peter"Petros" as He sez He will build His church upon "this rock".(petra)

    Is 'petros' a stone or small rock, while 'petra' is a larger or stronger rock?
     
  2. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes, that is my understanding exactly.
     
  3. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanx. This is one of the arguments I use to show the RCs the office of Pope is NOT SCRIPTURAL after all.
     
  4. Aash

    Aash
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could someone please elaborate, because the small pebble and large rock argument doesn't work.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,172
    Likes Received:
    369
    In the verse, Jesus uses two different terms for "rock". I've always heard it said (growing up Catholic) that both verses mean "rock" and thus Jesus was saying that on this rock, meaning Peter, that He would build His church. So the church was built on Peter.

    Instead, Jesus used two different but related words. He called Peter basically a pebble whereas what He was building His church on was a large stone. In reading the passage, it is Peter's faith that the church was to be built on - the same faith that all believers have. It is not built on Peter but the faith. Using two different words really shows this. If He had called Peter the same word that He had used for the other rock, the thought of building the church on Peter would have better support (although not rock solid - LOL).

    Make sense?
     
  6. Aash

    Aash
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    annsni, you are saying Jesus used two different words.

    I disagree.

    Jesus says "you are Peter (rock) and on this rock I will build my Church.
     
    #6 Aash, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2008
  7. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Growing up as a Catholic, I was taught as you were.

    As you stated, when you look at the two different words Jesus used, the meaning becomes clear...that the church was to be built on Peter's faith --the faith that we have as believers in Christ.
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I could be wrong, but to my knowledge it is a difference in the Greek noun case from petra to petros. The difference in case comes from the difference in gender of the words. Petra is a feminine word in Greek normally so Christ changed the gender and thus the ending form.

    It is a stretch to suggest one is larger than the other. Just a thought, :)
     
    #8 preachinjesus, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2008
  9. Aash

    Aash
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what you guys are saying is that there is a distinction in the Greek between Peter's name and petra. Petros means small stone/pebble and Petra meaning 'big rock. This kind of thinking is simply untenable. Evangelical scholars are honest enough to admit that your argument is an example of eisegesis.(reading one’s theology into the text.) You can try to say that its Peter's faith but clearly it is Peter.

    PreachinJesus is correct about the point on gender.

    Petra in the Greek is normally the word used for large rock, but Petra is the feminine form of the word. (just like spanish Tia=aunt and Tio=uncle) You do not apply a feminine form of the word in order to name a male. You adopt it by giving the masculine form. You can't name him Rockina. You give him the masculine form of the word.

    As I said before, "You are Peter (Rock) and on this Rock I will build my Church."
     
  10. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    I agree. If Jesus had called Peter "petra," that would be tantamount to calling him a woman. The form "petros" is needed to preserve masculine gender.

    Of course, it is possible that the conversation took place in Aramaic, and in that case, the distinction of gender would be a moot point.

    I personally believe that Peter was the "rock" upon which Christ built the church. It does not follow that Peter was any kind of "pope" or that Jesus was inaugurating some apostolic succession. It simply means that Peter was the principle figure for the establishment of the church after Christ's ascension (cf. his speech at Pentecost).

    From D.A. Carson in the Expositor's Bible Commentary:
    It is important to remember that Cephas is Peter's Aramaic (and probably original) nickname.
     
  11. Aash

    Aash
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    As it has been commented on Jesus most likely didn’t speak Greek when He was with the disciples. This is held by 99.9% of scholars. He spoke Aramaic. There is ONE word for rock Cephus. "You are Cephus(Rock), and on this Cephus(Rock) I will build my Church." In Aramaic, the identification of Peter as the rock is clear. There is no way for Jesus to make a distinction between little stone/pebble and big rock. The Aramaic language doesn’t allow it. Also biblical evidence in Jn 1:42 Jesus used Aramaic naming Peter. "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).

    (Baptist) Donald A. Carson in his Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary — New Testament, vol. 2 says:

    The word Peter petros, meaning “rock” (Gk 4377), is masculine, and in Jesus’ follow-up statement he uses the feminine word petra (Gk 4376). On the basis of this change, many have attempted to avoid identifying Peter as the rock on which Jesus builds his church. Yet if it were not for Protestant reactions against extremes of Roman Catholic interpretations, it is doubtful whether many would have taken “rock” to be anything or anyone other than Peter.

    (Baptist) John A. Broadus in his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew says:

    Many insist on the distinction between the two Greek words, thou art Petros and on this petra, holding that if the rock had meant Peter, either petros or petra would have been used both times, and that petros signifies a separate stone or fragment broken off, while petra is the massive rock. But this distinction is almost entirely confined to poetry, the common prose word instead of petros being lithos; nor is the distinction uniformly observed.

    But the main answer here is that our Lord undoubtedly spoke Aramaic, which has no known means of making such a distinction [between feminine petra and masculine petros in Greek]. The Peshitta (Western Aramaic) renders, “Thou are kipho, and on this kipho”. The Eastern Aramaic, spoken in Palestine in the time of Christ, must necessarily have said in like manner, “Thou are kepha, and on this kepha”.... Beza called attention to the fact that it is so likewise in French: “Thou art Pierre, and on this pierre”; and Nicholson suggests that we could say, “Thou art Piers (old English for Peter), and on this pier.”

    Donald A. Hagner says in his Word Biblical Commentarys says:

    The natural reading of the passage, despite the necessary shift from Petros to petra required by the word play in the Greek (but not the Aramaic, where the same word kepha occurs in both places), is that it is Peter who is the rock upon which the church is to be built.... The frequent attempts that have been made, largely in the past, to deny this in favor of the view that the confession itself is the rock... seem to be largely motivated by Protestant prejudice against a passage that is used by the Roman Catholics to justify the papacy.
     
  12. Zenas

    Zenas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    Just as Carson, Broadus and Hagner, all cited by Aash in the post above, interpret Peter as the rock, so does Craig Blomberg in The New American Commentary (Broadman Press):
    In the long run it doesn't make a lot of difference whether the "rock" is Peter or Peter's confession. The more intriguing and important question is how are we to view the "keys of the kingdom" in v. 19.
     
  13. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    This is a Baptist only forum. Aash, I'd like to thank you for your input but you need to observe the BB rules.
     
  14. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree that the petro/petras distinction seems to be a popular "urban legend" type thing. I've heard this one a lot.

    But I don't agree with the reasoning of how it sounds in Aramaic just because Jesus was probably speaking in Aramaic. God has the NT written in Greek and He knew that it would be recorded that way. So I don't think the Aramaic argument is relevant.
     
  15. Zenas

    Zenas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marcia, I agree with your conclusion but not necessarily with your premise. If the original manuscript was in Greek you are right. However, many scholars believe that Matthew wrote the first gospel in Hebrew rather than Greek.
     
  16. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, I was unaware of that. Still, wouldn't God know we were going to get in Greek and not Hebrew?
     
  17. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Overstated. Very few legitimate scholars espouse this notion. That is, almost none do.
     
  18. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    72
    I disagree. It is quite relevant. It is not determinative, but it does illuminate the possibilities of interpretation.
     
  19. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    But it's all just speculation. We should go by the ms copies that we have, not what language we think the text could have been written in. We have no sure evidence of that, so we should go by the Greek.
     
  20. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is PETROS ever used as "rock" anywhere? Is it always used as a male name, derived from the noun PETRA which means rock?
     
    #20 jonathan.borland, Dec 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2008

Share This Page

Loading...