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Sophia Ilongga wrote:
Hi, guys —

I am a Catholic and I have always encountered Protestants who use Greek in their arguments so I can't justify my knowledge in English using Matthew 16:18, John 1:42, and John 21:15-17.

I believe you are knowledgeable in Greek and can help me with the appropriate Greek analysis and grammar to refute their arguments.

Here's the question.

  • If Catholics from the Pope to the defenders of the Church know Greek, why are they teaching that the rock (petra in the Greek language) where the True Church was built, is Peter or petros?

Petros:
Apparently a primary word that means a (piece of) rock; as a name, Petrus, the Apostle.

Petra:
Is the feminine form of the same word Petros is a (mass of) rock, literally or figuratively.

Peter or petros was never the foundation of the true Church! There is no other foundation other than the petra: a rock mass, (not a piece of rock: petros,) which is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please help me with a proper Catholic reply.

Thanks!

Sophia Ilongga

  { Can you help me explain the use and relevancy of Petra and petros to my Protestant friends? }

Bob replied:

Sophia,

My name is Robert, in other languages it would become Roberto. That is because I am male. You wouldn't call me Roberta because that is feminine, so the author could not use Petra for the name directly without creating an embarrassing misuse of the name. The use of Petra in the opposite place could convey the sense of the massive boulder associated with the location of the profession by Peter as a metaphor. That said, all of this really is quite beside the point.

The actual conversation they had was is Aramaic and Simon became kephas in Aramaic, as you will note in the gospel of John and Paul's letters.

The whole argument the Protestants have created doesn't exist because the conversation never happened in Greek. So, this intent they ascribe to Jesus to distinguish Peter from Himself is contrived. The actual point of the real conversation does the opposite.

Jesus gives Simon a new name, Peter, just like God gives all of the important figures in the Old Testament new names when He establishes a New Covenant with them. This covenant, identifies Simon with Jesus Himself who is the Rock.

Then, Jesus gives him the keys, which are a symbol of His own Authority, so that Peter may act in his stead. There is no getting around the significance of what happened between Jesus and Peter. Protestants don't want to except it because they don't want to except the Pope.

Peace,

Bob Kirby
[Related posting]

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