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Peter’s Primacy in the Gospels Catholic Answers Radio Show

Peter’s Primacy in the Gospels Catholic Answers Radio Show

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Published by Michael Barber

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Published by: Michael Barber on Oct 29, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Petrine Primacy and Other Issues Relating to Peter in the New Testament
 
Michael Barber © 2012
Is Peter the Rock?
 “I tell you, you are
 Peter 
[
 petros:
masculine, ‘little stone’], and on this
rock
[
 petra:
feminine, ‘foundationstone’ (cf. Matt 7:24–25)] I will build my church . . .”
Reasons Why Peter is the “Rock”
1.
 
Grammatical Constraintsa.
 
 Jesus would not say the Church would be built upon a
 petros
b.
 
 Jesus could not give a man a feminine name:
 petra
is feminine! (= “Petrina”)“The reason for the different Greek form is simply that Peter, as a man, needs a masculinename, and so the form
 Petros
has been coined. But the flow of the sentence makes it clearthat the wordplay is intended to identify Peter as the rock.”—R.T. France
1
 “The play on the word “rock” (you are rock and upon this rock . . .) does not work withcomplete success in Greek, where it is now necessary to switch gender from Petros to Petra .. . .”—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
2
 2.
 
If no connection, why change Peter’s name
here
? Why not “Simon” or
lithos
 “Had Matthew wanted to say no more than that Peter was a stone in contrast with Jesus the Rock,the more common word would have been
lithos
(“stone” of almost any size). Then there would havebeen no pun—and that is just the point!”—D.A. Carson
3
 3.
 
If originally spoken in Aramaic the Greek doesn’t Matter because only one word in play!a.
 
Known as
 Kephas
(John 1:42; 1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14) and as “Peter”!b.
 
Peter called “Bar-Jonah” (Matt 16:17) suggesting Aramaic original4.
 
Peter is clearly the
 stone
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a
hindrance
[
σκάνδαλον
/
 skandalon
: a “stumbling 
 stone
”] to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”—Matthew 16:235.
 
Apostles as Foundationsa.
 
“James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars. . .”— Galatians 2:9b.
 
Apostles as foundationSo then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with thesaints and members of the household of God,
20
built upon the
  foundation of the apostles
and prophets. . .”— Ephesians 2:20And the wall of the city 
had twelve foundations
, and on them the twelve names of 
the twelve apostles of the Lamb
.— Revelation 21:146.
 
Even Protestant scholars recognize Peter as the rock “. . . attempts that have been made, largely in the past, to deny this in favor of the view that theconfession 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.”—Donald Hagner
4
 
1
 
Gospel of Matthew,
621.
2
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
Called to Communion,
60.
3
D. A. Carson,
 Matthew,
368.
 
4
Donald Hagner,
 Matthew,
2:470.
 
 
Peter’s Primacy in the Gospels and Acts
1.
 
Only
Peter is given keys2.
 
Peter’s primacy in Jesus’ ministry a.
 
A
lways
named first among 12 (cf. Matt 10:2//Mark 3:16//Luke 6:14//Acts 1:13 Matt 4:18)b.
 
Peter
 always
first among inner-circle (i.e., Peter, James and John)i.
 
Healing of the Little Girl (Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51)ii.
 
Transfiguration (Matt 17:1//Mark 9:2//Luke 9:28)iii.
 
Garden of Gethsemene (Matt 26:37; Mark 14:33)c.
 
Usually spokesman for apostlesi.
 
Confession offFaith (Matt 16:17/Mark 8:29//Luke 9:20)ii.
 
 Jesus’ teaching on the rich entering kingdom (Matt 19:27/Mark 10:28//Luke 18:28)iii.
 
Transfiguration (Matt 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33)d.
 
 Jesus finds a to pay the temple tax for Peter
 and 
himself (Matthew 17:24–27)e.
 
Peter as “first” (cf. Matt 10:2)f.
 
 Jesus prays for Peter at the Last Supper Jesus tells Peter at the Last Supper that he has prayed for him in particular among theapostles: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you [
ὑμᾶς
], that he might sift youlike wheat,
32
but I have prayed for you [
σοῦ
] that your [
σου
] faith may not fail; and when you [
σύ
] have turned again, strengthen your [
σου
] brethren.”—Luke 22:31–323.
 
Primacy in earliest Church in Actsa.
 
Peter announces need to replace Judas
dutifully followed without hesitation (Acts 1:15–26)b.
 
Peter addresses crowds on Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:14–36)i.
 
After speech crowds Address “Peter and the rest of the Apostles”ii.
 
Peter himself responds (cf. Acts 2:37–40)c.
 
Peter performs the first miracle after Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:1–10)d.
 
 When Peter and John are arrested, Peter speaks for them (cf. Acts 4:8–12)e.
 
Peter deals with Ananias/Sapphire who “laid [offering] at the apostles’ feet” (cf. Acts 5:1–11)f.
 
People nrought to the “apostles” so that
 Peter’s
shadow might fall on them (cf. Acts 5:12–16)g.
 
Peter is prominent 2x apostles before high priests (cf. especially Acts 5:29)h.
 
Peter and John go to lay hands upon baptized Samaritans (cf. Acts 8:14–17)i.
 
Simon approaches Peter, and Peter who rebukes him; asks
 Peter 
to pray for him (cf. Acts 8:18–24) j.
 
Peter goes out to all the Christians (Acts 9:32)k.
 
Peter is sought by Roman Centurion (Acts 10)l.
 
Peter first opposes circumcision party (cf. Acts 11:1–18); “silences” them (Acts 11:18)m.
 
After Herod kills James, seeks Peter (cf. Acts 12:3)n.
 
Peter plays crucial role at the Council of Jerusalemi.
 
“After there had been much debate” Peter speaksii.
 
Immediate response: Assembly falls silent (Acts 15:6:29)
 
Peter vs. Paul?
1.
 
A rivalry?But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
12
Forbefore certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
13
And with him the rest of the Jews actedinsincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity.
14
But when I saw that they  were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you,though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”— Galatians 2:11–142.
 
A Closer reading of Galatiansa.
 
 Visits
 Peter 
 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem
to visit Cephas
, and
remained with him fifteendays
.
19
But I saw 
none of the other apostles except James
the Lord’s brother.
20
(In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!)—Gal 1:18–20b.
 
Consults with ApostlesThen after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along  with me.
2
I went up by 
revelation
; and
 I laid before them
(but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,
lest somehow I should berunning or had run in vain
.—Gal 2:1–2c.
 
Peter entrusted with the Gospel to the Circumcised“. . . when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised,
 just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 
 
8
(for
he who worked through Peter   for the mission to the circumcised 
worked through me also for the Gentiles)”—Gal 2:7–8d.
 
A Pillar“. . . and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and
Cephas
and John,
who were reputed to be pillars
” (Gal 2:9a)e.
 
Given right hand of fellowship with condition“. . . gave to me and Barnabas
the right hand of fellowship
, that we should go to the Gentilesand they to the circumcised;
10
only t
hey would have us remember the poor 
, which very thing I was eager to do.”— Gal 2:9b–103.
 
Did Peter and Paul have a falling out after Antioch?a.
 
Paul affirms Peter’s role in later lettersi.
 
For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren.
12
 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong toApollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”
13
Is Christ divided? WasPaul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?— 1 Cor 1:11–13ii.
 
Do we not have the right to our food and drink?
5
Do we not have the right to beaccompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brethern of the Lord and Cephas?
6
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?— 1Cor 9:4–6iii.
 
1 Cor 15:5: [Jesus] appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.b.
 
Peter Affirms Paul in 2 PeterSo also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
16
speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard tounderstand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do theother scriptures.— 2 Peter 3:15–164.
 
Paul’s Self-Description is
 Based 
on Peter’s Call in Matthew 16

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