For centuries, both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches have espoused that the Church of Christ was built on Peter, the rock. Is this true, or has scripture and the words of Jesus been taken out of context and misinterpreted?
Just what "rock" was Jesus referring to when He said His church would be built "on this rock"? Can the Bible unravel this paradox and show that an error and misunderstanding has been perpetuated in the church?
Many believe that the Bible can interpret itself, so let's put this premise to a test and in fact see if the church was built on a man called Peter or whether the Rock means someone else.
Let's do a search through the Bible for the word Rock and see what scripture references are found and what meaning is Biblically given for the word Rock.
|(Deuteronomy 8:11) "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,
(Deuteronomy 8:12) lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;
(Deuteronomy 8:13) and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;
(Deuteronomy 8:14) when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
(Deuteronomy 8:15) who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;
(Deuteronomy 8:16) who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— NKJV
(Note: The rock here will be shown to be Jesus later )
|(Psalms 78:9) The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle.
(Psalms 78:10) They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law,
(Psalms 78:11) And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.
(Psalms 78:12) Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
(Psalms 78:13) He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
(Psalms 78:14) In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire.
(Psalms 78:15) He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
(Psalms 78:16) He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers.
(Psalms 78:17) But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
(Psalms 78:18) And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy.
(Psalms 78:19) Yes, they spoke against God: They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
(Psalms 78:20) Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?"
(Note this symbolizes Jesus and the crucifixion when Jesus , the Rock, was struck and His blood ran out as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world and to cleanse us from sin.)
|(Deuteronomy 32:3) For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God.
(Deuteronomy 32:4) He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Now I ask you... Who is the Rock?... It is the Lord )
|(Isaiah 17:10) Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, And have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold, Therefore you will plant pleasant plants And set out foreign seedlings;
(1 Samuel 2:2) There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
(2 Samuel 22:32) "For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
(Psalms 18:2) The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalms 31:2) Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.
(Psalms 40:2) He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
|(1 Corinthians 10:4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.|
|(Acts 4:11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Well, from scripture it shows that God is our Rock, our Rock of stronghold, God is a Rock, the Lord is my Rock, God is my Rock of refuge who sets my feet upon a Rock and establishes my steps.
Scripture shows that God is our Rock.
In fact Jesus is our Rock, since Jesus is God and in fact it was Jesus who met with Moses on the Holy Mountain at the Burning bush... What you may say???!!! Let's look at a discourse between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees in John 8:56-59.
|(Exodus 3:13) Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
(Exodus 3:14) And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
Now in the Chapter of John, Jesus makes a very important and shocking statement
|(John 8:56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
(John 8:57) Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
(John 8:58) Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
(John 8:59) Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Why was it that the scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus? Modern day man may not understand what Jesus was proclaiming, but the scribes and Pharisees knew perfectly well that Jesus was claiming He is God and that He is the Great, I AM.
|(Exodus 3:1) Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
(Exodus 3:2) And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
(Exodus 3:3) Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."
(Exodus 3:4) So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
(Exodus 3:5) Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."
(Exodus 3:6) Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
... And finally in Revelation, John tells of a vision he saw in Revelation 1:13 where he saw 7 Candlesticks,which represents the seven churches mentioned in this chapter, i.e. ( ... the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea)... and in the middle of these 7 candlesticks was one like the son of man symbolizing He is the center of all churches...
|(Revelation 1:12) And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
(Revelation 1:13) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
(Revelation 1:14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
(Revelation 1:15) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
(Revelation 1:16) And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
(Revelation 1:17) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
(Revelation 1:18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
(Revelation 1:19) "Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.
(Revelation 1:20) This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Who was in the midst, or middle of these candlesticks? It can only be Jesus. Jesus is in the center of His Church! This is NOT speaking of Peter as being in the center of the candlesticks, but Jesus.
|..In the Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionary: Candlesticks or Lampstand refers to the church, it symbolizes a Christian church..|
So with what we've pieced together from scripture, the only conclusion we can draw is that...
So, the postulation or statement that Peter is the rock that Jesus will build the church on is an ERROR in the Church. Jesus did not intend to build His church on a sinful man, but rather on Himself, the Rock.
|(Psalms 19:14) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.|
A Closing Thought
If you do not know or have drifted away from God, please consider what I've written here. Satan mocks those who reject Jesus, knowing they will have to pay for their own sins committed in their life.
Remember, belief has no affect on Reality and the reality is that God exists and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you through His Son Jesus. Please hearken to His call on your life.