Crumbs from the Lord's Table

Peter the Rock / Stone misconception revisited

Sola Scriptura or Bible alone revisited
Sola Fide or Faith alone revisited
The One Church built by Christ
Peter the Rock / Stone misconception revisited
What the Bible says of Jesus' Only Church
1. Church is the Pillar of Truth, Manifold of Wisdom
2. A Church Witnessing unto all nations, so undoubtedly one Visible to all
3. One Single Visible Church in succession till His return
4. Revelation 12 - Church in the wilderness - not an invisible church
5. No separate invisible on earth ; One General Assembly: Visible on Earth with invisible in Heaven
6. An Imperfect Kingdom with Good & Bad Co-existing
7. The Vineyard appointed to new imperfect servants with successive authority till His return
Church Fathers say their church is Catholic
What the founder of Sola Scriptura & Sola Fide said of the Catholic Church
Did Luther or any other have the authority from the Lord or His Church
Who then is the Whore of Babylon?
The Catechism of the Catholic church on the separated communities and their Salvation
The various Christian denominations and their evolution
Catholic Apologetics Links

Peter the Stone or Rock misconception


For those debating the meaning of the word Peter as to rock or stone, do have a look at the Protestant official Bible, the King James version for the usage of the word stone or rock.


Read through the parable of the Sower in the 3 gospels as well as the description of the tomb in which the Lord was buried in all 3 gospels.


Judge yourselves the meaning whether rock and stone mean one and the same to the King James translator(s). Every other protestant translation this same usage is seen.


Parable of the Sower


M't:13:5: Some fell upon stony places,


M't:13:20: But he that received the seed into stony places,


M'r:4:5: And some fell on stony ground,


M'r:4:16: And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground;

Lu:8:6: And some fell upon a rock;


 Lu:8:13: They on the rock are they,


Tomb of the Lord


M't:27:60: And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.


M'r:15:46: And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.


Lu:23:53: And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.



To mean 'rock', the word 'stone' is used, and vice versa, and thus to the translators, both words mean the same. Then the usage of The word ‘Cephas’ in John 1:42 would obviously mean ‘rock’ though the translator mentions it as ‘stone’, because he (the translator) retains the original Aramaic word ‘Cephas’ which means rock. In Aramaic the word to denote ‘stone’ is ‘lithos’.


Joh:1:42: And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon

the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.


So the usage of stone by the translator of KJV means rock because he retains the Aramaic Cephas which means rock and not any other. Sola scriptura followers look to out of Bible sources when looking for the meaning of ‘Peter’ rather than the ‘Scripture alone’. The Bible clarifies that its true form is Cephas. And Cephas means rock. 


Other instances in The King James version where the original name given by Jesus to Simon is mentioned.


1Co:1:12: Now this I say, that every one of  you saith, I am of Paul; and I of

 Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.


1Co:3:22: Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death,

 or things present, or things to come; all are yours;


1Co:9:5: Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other

 apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?


1Co:15:5: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:


Ga:2:9: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars,

 perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas

 the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they

 unto the circumcision.


One other person besides God was given the designation of rock in the Old Testament, in Isaiah 51:1-2, Abraham, the rock on which the nation of Israel was founded. 


Isa 51:1,2: Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye

 that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are

 hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  Look

 unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I

 called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.


Renaming in the Bible has been seen only in the place of significant persons due to certain positions designated by God to these persons Eg.


Abram to Abraham

Ge:17:5: Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name

 shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.


Jacob to Israel

Ge:32:28: And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:

 for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.


Thus similarly Simon to Cephas or Peter

M't:16:17-18 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon

 Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father

 which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon

 this rock I will build my church;


Thus we see, that Abram was renamed Abraham because God had made him ‘a father of many nations’, as the name suggests’; and Jacob to Israel because ‘as a prince he has power with God and with men, and has prevailed’. Finally, likewise Simon Bar Jona to Peter or Cephas  because it was on this Cephas  that Jesus was going to build His church.


The first instance of Christ instituting His church on earth we see in Mt 16:19 where He says to Peter,


M't:16:17 - 19: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon

 Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father

 which is in heaven.And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon

 this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail

 against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:

 and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and

 whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


Here Jesus renames Simon son of John to Peter and goes on to say, Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my church. And then gives Peter the keys to the kingdom, and authority to bind and loose on earth as to bind and loose in heaven.


Peter is handed the “Keys to the Kingdom and the authority to open and shut, the same authority of Christ Himself as in Rev 3:7& 8. ‘The key of David’ (Rev 3:7,8). The owner of the ‘key’ Jesus Himself gives it over to Peter in the New Testament. This same bestowal of authority is seen in the Old Testament in Isaiah 22:20 to 24. This key meaning the authority of a Prime Minister or ‘government’, is transferred to the next generations as seen in the Old Testament.


Rev 3:7, 8 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things

 saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that

 openeth, and no man shutteth; and  shutteth, and no man openeth; I know

 thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut

 it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied

my name.


Isa:22:20 – 24 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant

 Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and

 strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his

 hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the

 house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his

 shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none

 shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for

 a glorious throne to his father's house. And they shall hang upon him all the

 glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small

 quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.


And at a later period in Mt 18 we see the 12 collectively or ‘the church’ being given the authority to bind and loose but not the key.


M't:18:17, 18: And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if

he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a

 publican.  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall

 be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed

 in heaven.


To them he conferred the power to bind and loose, but as a body. With the exception of Peter in chapter 16, They did not receive such authority as individuals. The other eleven received the power to bind and loose only as a body. They must act in unison, at the very least in pairs. How do we know this? Jesus’ very next words, "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." Some may claim that this has nothing to do with authority here but something related to forgiving a fellow brother or binding Satan. But the instance in Isaiah 22:20–24 proves beyond doubt that that is not the case.


In Jude 1:9 & Dan 12:1, we see of a chief among the angels, the Archangel Michael, (Archangel meaning chief angel), a chief angel fighting for the Lord's people and Revelation 12:7 calls his team ‘Michael and his angels’.

1)      Why is there then a doubt about a chief among the apostles, when the Bible clearly defines Peter as being renamed ‘Rock’ or ‘Cephas’ and his group often called ‘disciples and Peter’(Mt 16:7); ‘Peter and they that were with him’ (Luke 9:32); ‘Peter with the eleven’ (Acts 2:14); ‘Peter and the rest of the apostles’ (Acts 2:37); ‘Peter and the other apostles’ (Acts 5:29); ‘other apostles and Cephas (1Cor 9:5). Nowhere in the Bible do we see the usage 'John and the others', or 'James and the others', or Thomas and the others' or even 'Paul and the others'. Those who object to Peter's primacy, let them look as to why in the Bible this kind of usage is applied only to Peter. The answer is simple. Peter was appointed by the Lord to 'strengthen the others' (Lk 22:32) and also, the Chief Shepherd Jesus had appointed Peter to feed His sheep as well as the lambs (Jn 21:15-17), a duty given to no other.


2)      Peter’s name always appears ‘first’  in the list of apostles in the gospels and Acts (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14; Jn 21:2; Acts 1:13). In the list in Mathew 10:2, the words ‘The first’ is added to the name of Peter. And wherever his name appears in the gospels and Acts, the name appears first among the others (M't 17:1; M't 17:24; M't 26:37; M'r 5:37; M'r 9:2; M'r 13:3; M'r 14:33; Lu 8:51; Lu 9:28; Lu 22:8; Ac 3:1; Ac 3:3; Ac 3:11; Ac 4:13; Ac 4:19)


3)      Peter is seen as the leader by the commoners of the time & Jesus and by the apostles as well (M't:17:24;  Mt 26:40; Lk 22:32; Jn 20:3-6)


4)      After the resurrection, the Lord appears first to Peter (1Cor 15:5)


5)      It is Peter who initiates all the ministries and councils (Act 1:15 – 20 the election of another in place of Judas); (Acts 2:5, 14 to 47 & Gal 2:8 initiating the preaching ministry among the Jews); (Acts 3:6 initiating the healing ministry); (Acts 4:6 – 20 first address among the Jewish rulers and elders); (Acts 5:3 to 11 the only one seen to use judgement over the disciples);  (Acts 9:32 pastoral visit ‘throughout all quarters’); (Acts 9:34 & 40 serving like his Master);  (Acts 10:10 to 48 authorised to initiate ministry of salvation to the Gentiles).


6)      Among the apostles there were ones considered pillars (2Cor 11:5; Gal 2:9).


No other apostle is described in such detail in the Bible. 

This sequence of bestowal of authority to Peter as chief and the rest of the twelve as the subordinate authority in the church can be found in the Gospel of Luke as well, in Luke 22:24-32


Lu:22:24-32: And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be

 accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles

 exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are

 called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among

 you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not

he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they

 which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a

 kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink

 at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of

 Israel. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have

 you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy

 faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.



In Luke 22:24-33, Christ defines what it should be ‘to be the greatest among the twelve’ & the ‘chief among the twelve’, i.e. the greatest and the chief among them should be the one who serves like Christ is among them as he that serveth. He then confers the kingdom to the twelve ‘just as the Father conferred it to the Son’ (the same authority). Then goes on to show that of the twelve, He has prayed for Peter (not said that He prayed for all of them but ‘for Peter’) that his faith does not fail, and this Simon is the one who should strengthen the brethren once he returns from testing times.


The Kingdom entrusted to the twelve and Peter appointed to be the one who is to ‘serve’ the rest of them as the chief. And Peter is seen carrying out this duty since the beginning of the ministry Acts 1 by taking the initiative of electing one in place of Judas, in Acts 2 by initiating the preaching ministry, in Acts 3 by initiating the miracle ministry and Acts 10 by extending the ministry to the Gentiles for which revelation was made by God to Peter alone. These being only a few examples. Numerous incidents showing his prominence can be seen in the Bible. Even St Paul when he received his ministry from Jesus, he went up to Jerusalem which was the Holy See then after 3 years for what reason? ‘To see Peter’. And he abode with him fifteen days, and goes on to say that ‘But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother’. Some may ask, if Peter was the chief, then how is it that Paul rebukes Peter at Antioch (Gal 2:1). A similar instance we can see in 2Samuel 12 where when King David rebuked by Nathan the prophet when David was in the wrong, but it does not mean that David was a commoner does it.


Ga:1:18, 19 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and

 abode with him fifteen days..But other of the apostles saw I none, save James

 the Lord's brother.


Christ here does not simply say I appoint to you this generation of the kingdom but ‘the  Kingdom’ as the Father appointed to the Son. Thus the apostolic authority is pertaining to the ‘Kingdom’. The kingdom does not end with the death of Peter. Then this authority is continuous to all generations, till the end of the kingdom or ‘when He returns’ or rather ‘Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing’.


This bestowal of authority we can see is the fulfillment of His parables as in


M'r:13:34-37: For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his

 house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and

 commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when

 the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the

 cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.


This authority over ‘the house’ is till the end generation, i.e. till He returns. And thus we see the transfer from one to another, as in the selection of one in place of Judas, and appointing of elders by the aposles or chief elders. ‘The house’ has both good and bad servants co-existing, i.e those ‘watching’ and those neglectful or ‘sleeping’. And these again pertaining to a visible kingdom then.


The church built by the Lord on Peter is the One True church. This as all acknowledge, is the Catholic church.

Psalms:127:1: Except the LORD build the house, they labour

in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman

waketh but in vain.



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