Matthew 16:17-19

JeannieLarsen's picture

I was reading something yesterday and for some reason it came into my head at 2am and has had me awake ever since.
I was reading a commentary that Nicholas Ridley made shortly before he was martyred about Matthew 16:17-19 It said.
"To whom Christ answered, "I say, thou art Peter, and upon this stone I will build My Church;" that is to say, upon this stone--not meaning Peter himself, as though He would have constituted a mortal man so frail and brickle a foundation of His stable and infallible Church; but upon this rock-stone--that is this confession of thine, that I am the Son of God, I will build My Church. For this is the foundation and beginning of all Christianity, with word, heart, and mind, to confess that Christ is the Son of God."
I always understood it to mean that He would build upon Peters strength of mind and strength of Faith. Using him as more or less an example for us as the Church to follow.
But this makes more sense to me than my thoughts did. But I tend not to trust my mind completely, it tends to do what ever it wants sometimes..... especially at 2am...
I found a commentary by John Calvin at; on the same passage but it didn't help, I think it confused me more. It says;
"And on this rock. Hence it is evident how the name Peter comes to be applied both to Simon individually, and to other believers. It is because they are founded on the faith of Christ, and joined together, by a holy consent, into a spiritual building, that God may dwell in the midst of them, (Ezekiel 43:7.) For Christ, by announcing that this would be the common foundation of the whole Church, intended to associate with Peter all the godly that would ever exist in the world. “You are now,” said he, “a very small number of men, and therefore the confession which you have now made is not at present supposed to have much weight; but ere long a time will arrive when that confession shall assume a lofty character, and shall be much more widely spread.” And this was eminently fitted to excite his disciples to perseverance, that though their faith was little known and little esteemed, yet they had been chosen by the Lord as the first-fruits, that out of this mean commencement
there might arise a new Church, which would prove victorious against all the machinations of hell."
But Robert Jamieson puts it.
"Not on the man Simon Bar-jona; but on him as the heavenly-taught confessor of a faith."
That was of no help at all.
I had never heard of Nicholas Ridley before I started this book so I don't want to just say "oh he was martyred for his Faith in Jesus Christ so he must be right" So I'm seeking second and third and fourth opinions.
What do you think? Which way do we as "Calvinists" iterpret it. Or am I way off base on the whole thing and should start over? (I guess you can tell I have an issue with self dought) Or do you know any others that do good trust worthy commentaries I could look up?
Thanks in advance.

jwmcmac's picture

Ridley is closer than the

Ridley is closer than the other you quoted.

But really, I think we would have to essentially ignore the entirety of Scripture to get away from the Person of Peter being the Rock. The Person, Peter, and his Profession are one and the same thing . . . just as CHRIST and HIS WORD and HIS Actions are one and the same.

When has a man of Scripture ever been separated from his mission or his very being in the way Peter is divided from His Words and Actions? Has Scripture ever had a man's name to be changed without He, Himself, his very person, being the focal point? The mission, the Name, the Person are one.

From this moment forward in Scripture and in History, Peter is the leader of the Apostles and the soon to be Head of the Earthly Church . . . CHRIST being the Head of the Whole and entire Church which now resides in Heaven and on Earth.

Peter remained behind when CHRIST went back to the FATHER, promising to send the HOLY SPIRIT to guide the Church, HE coming upon Her in the Upper Room at Jerusalem when the Apostles were gathered together with Mary, the Mother of the LORD awaiting HIS coming.

It is Peter who went forth Preaching first.

Peter is always first after that.

Peter pays the tax for both CHRIST and Himself from the same coin, as they are together in their being the Rock of the Church, Peter the visible Rock, CHRIST the invisible and visible Rock WHO is in Heaven.

As offices continue in any Earthly institutions, in both the Jewish dispensation and in the Christian, the office of Head of the Earthly Church continues to this day.

The Church, having the Power and Authority to Bind and Loose, on Earth and in Heaven, does so in the Governance of the Church, in matters of Faith and Morals.

Anyway, to a Catholic, and to the many Calvinists converts who have come to the Catholic Faith, the totality of the Scripture does not make sense without the Person of Peter, and all that that implies (his profession of Faith as well as his office), as being the Rock upon which CHRIST built the visible part on Earth of the visible and invisible Church.

Though this may not be what you were looking for . . . this is meant to try to explain the Catholic view of the Doctrine concerning this passage.

GOD Bless you and us all.