Upon This Rock

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While reflecting on the passages of Matthew 16:13-20, some thoughts occured to me. The Roman Catholic Church proclaims that the Bible in Matthew 16:18 states that Peter is the "rock" upon which the "Catholic Church" was formed.1

Matthew 16:18 said

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

When taken out of context that certainly seems plausible. However, when using a little logic and english grammar a different account is revealed. When we apply the slogan from str.org, "Never read a Bible verse" we can see the proper context of v18.

Matthew 16 said

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” — v13

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” — v15

Upon reading the preceeding passages, we see the subject matter is about "who Jesus is" and not whether or not Peter is a rock or pebble. Peter's new name has no bearing here because it is not the subject in context. Jesus Himself expressed this point.

Matthew 16:16-17 said

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

English codifies that in these passages via the word "this." 

Matthew 16:16-18 said

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

The phrase "this rock" is referring to the knowledge of who Jesus is. So we can see that Jesus is the rock, not Peter. The end of this pericope is validated again by what Jesus said:

Matthew 16:20 said

Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
Jesus did not want it revealed yet because he still had work remaining before his purpose on the cross.
 
Additional Reading:  
NOTES:
  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
    #442, #552, #862

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