Matthew 16:16-18 (NASB95): "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus said to him, ' Blessed are you, Simon Barjona , because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven . 'I also say to you that you are Peter , and upon this rock I will build My church ; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.'"
In the Greek, The name Peter is Petros which means stone or boulder. The word "rock" in the verse is petra in the Greek which means a mass of rock or the bedrock. The Greek for "church" is ekklesia which can be an assembly of Christians or can be all of the Christians wherever they are.
So we see that Peter and the rock are two different words so Peter is not the rock Jesus is talking about here. And the church is not one denomination but all Christians. So that means that this is not the beginning of a denomination as some think.
If the rock is not a person what is the rock that the church is built upon? We find the rock in verse 16: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
If Jesus was not the Christ, or the Messiah as some call him, and was not the Son of God then there would be no Christianity. These facts are the bedrock of Christianity. Those who don't believe that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of god cannot be Christians. This is the basic fact of the faith. Those that don't believe these things about Jesus are stone cold.
By Dean Masters
Unaltered article may be used with the copyright intact