Is Peter, His Confession or Christ the “rock”?


"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church"


Everyone has a right to interpret the Scriptures according to their own wisdom and faith, and as we see today, man has, with an estimated 45,000 different Christian denominations!

Christianity was one church until the Great Schism occurred around 1054 when the churches formally split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox denominations. Some of the main disagreements were over language (Greek vs. Latin), papal authority, and whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist. Reconciliations were attempted to unite the division but to no avail.

Then came another major division in the 16th century called the Protestant Reformation which split off another group from the Roman Catholic Church. Two of the main issues were objections to the selling of indulgences and the vast corruption within the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. This was led by reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and King Henry VIII with various Catholic doctrines and practices protested.

Through the centuries Christian denominations have continued to split into thousands of different denominational groups with different interpretations and meanings of God’s Word. If we had to pick one church that is the oldest and most powerful we have to conclude it is the Roman Catholic Church.

While this church has over a billion followers, mostly made up of beautiful people loving God and their saints, this church has an appalling past of horrendous crimes against humanity and good, innocent people. Unfortunately, within the church, the crimes against humanity have continued to the present day with sexual assaults upon innocent children that were hidden by the church hierarchy for decades. Rather than protecting the children the offenders were protected and allowed to continue their assaults in other dioceses they were transferred to where they continued their crimes.

One major split within the body of Christ on earth is the belief in Catholicism that they are the one true church built on the rock of Peter recorded in Matthew 16. Most of the rest of the body of Christ on earth believe either the rock is Christ Himself or the rock is Peter’s confession of faith in Christ. We must understand to the best of our ability what Jesus meant in these verses and pray for the wisdom to live our lives according to Biblical truths.

Jesus’ famous question recorded in Matthew 16 contains the verses where God the Father reveals Jesus’ identity as the embodied Christ to Simon Peter:

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias: and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 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 unto thee, That thou art Petros and upon this petra [“Petros” is diminutive and means a piece of rock or stone; “Petra” is the great foundation rock itself] 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”. — Matthew 16:13-19

Peter as the stone
Several Protestant Biblical scholars have come to their own conclusions about who or what is the meaning of “the rock” the church of Christ is built upon. The Roman Catholic Church teaches it has an unbroken line of bishops from the beginning of Christian history to the present and is the true Church of Jesus. Jesus supposedly makes Peter, the first pope, the rock of his Church, bishop of Rome, and from whom the Catholic papacy has since descended. Because of this divinely ordained apostolic succession, the pope is considered to be the supreme and authoritative representative of Christ on earth. The vicar (or earthly representative) of Christ who, together with the other bishops, exercises Christ’s authority in teaching, ruling, and sanctifying the Church.

The Greek text of Matthew 16:18 uses two separate (different) Greek words in the passage. Petros,1 the name given to the Apostle, and petra, the word used for rock. However, in Aramaic, the language Catholics believe Jesus spoke in, there is only one word for rock/kepha (and it is feminine), but when a man’s name is used, it can take a masculine form. Therefore, in Aramaic "Peter" (Petros) is merely the masculine form of the feminine noun Petra, and thus means the same thing. The maleness of Peter provides grounds for why Petros is used as it would have been unthinkable, at least for first-century Jews, to use a Greek feminine noun for the proper name of a man.

As to why petra is used for the rock, there are a few possible reasons given. One is that petra, would have been the more familiar term for “rock” to Matthew’s audience. And since the word is being used as a metaphor and not a proper masculine name, petra would have been the natural word for Matthew to use.

Therefore, the strong basis in Catholic doctrine that Peter is the rock is based on Jesus having spoken these words in Aramaic and thus there would be no difference between the word rock and Peter’s name. Official Catholic teachings state: “By the word “rock” the Saviour cannot have meant Himself, but only Peter, as is so much more apparent in Aramaic in which the same word (Kipha) is used for “Peter” and “rock.”

Albert Barnes' (1798-1870) Bible commentary on Matthew 16 agrees but with a caveat. He states the obvious meaning of the word "rock" refers to Peter himself, but the Church of Rome has abused it and applied it to what was never intended.

"Thou art a rock. Thou hast shown thyself firm, and suitable for the work of laying the foundation of the church. Upon thee will I build it. Thou shalt be highly honored; thou shalt be first in making known the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles." This was accomplished. See Acts 2:14-36,...Acts 10 (where he preached to the Jews and Gentiles). Peter had thus the honor of laying the foundation of the church among the Jews and Gentiles, and this is the plain meaning of this passage...But Christ did not mean, as the Roman Catholics say he did, to exalt Peter to supreme authority above all the other apostles, or to say that he was the only one upon whom he would rear his church. See Acts 15, where the advice of James, and not that of Peter, was followed. See also Galatians 2:11, where Paul withstood Peter to his face, because he was to be blamed - a thing which could not have happened if Christ (as the Roman Catholics say) meant that Peter was absolute and infallible. More than all, it is not said here, or anywhere else in the Bible, that Peter would have infallible successors who would be the vicegerents of Christ and the head of the church. The whole meaning of the passage is this: "I will make you the honored instrument of making known my gospel first to Jews and Gentiles, and I will make you a firm and distinguished preacher in building my church."

Jesus Christ is the rock
Many scholars believe the passage in Greek does not teach that Peter is the rock. They view two other possible interpretations to Jesus’ meaning on His use of the Aramaic word “petros”: the rock is either Peter's confession of Christ, or Christ Himself.

So what scriptural text lends some proof that the rock is Christ or about faith in Christ? Jesus is believed to have primarily spoken Aramaic, at least in everyday use, in teaching settings, possibly, Hebrew, and in other cases Greek. For example, there are signs of Greek wordplay throughout the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3–10). Then there is the recent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947 which documents have shown the extended use of both Hebrew and Greek alongside Aramaic in Roman Palestine.

Matthew most probably would have been composed by Aramaic speakers, but it would have been penned in Greek. The Greek text in Matthew 16:18 reads, “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Petros, is the name given to the Apostle and Petra, is the word used for rock. The Greek dictionary said the two words are “distinct from” each other. “Rock” was a large mass of rock, something like the Rock of Gibraltar, but “Peter” was a petros, a stone small enough to be tossed or easily moved. “This rock” is distinct from Peter as noted in Greek. Jesus does not say “On you I will build my church” but “on this rock.” Scholars present that this was probably a wordplay.

Saint Paul identified Petra as the Christ in 1 Cor. 10:3-4:

“and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (petra) was Christ.”

Jesus used the teaching on building one’s foundation upon a rock at the end of the Sermon on the Mount:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (Matt. 7:24-25)

The “rock” theme is introduced very early in the Bible beginning with Genesis 49:22 and continues to play a prominent role throughout the Scriptures. Another example is at the exodus of the nation Israel from her Egyptian bondage, the “rock” became a source of life-giving water for God’s people:

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel (Exodus 17:6; see also Numbers 20:8-12).

St. Paul in the New Testament expounds upon this rock from which the water flowed. He said:

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

In the Book of Deuteronomy, God is repeatedly called “the Rock”. There is “rock” symbolism in the Prophets. Psalms has rock imagery sprinkled throughout them, for example:

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

The New Testament makes it abundantly clear --with dozens of examples --that Christ is both the foundation, rock, and cornerstone and head of the church:

“And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)

“This Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” (Acts 4:11)

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. (Ephesians 5:23)

Cambridge Bible study asserts that:

“On these words (Matthew 16:18) mainly rest the enormous pretensions of the Roman pontiff. It is therefore important (1) To remember that it is to Peter with the great confession on his lips that the words are spoken. The Godhead of Christ is the keystone of the Church, and Peter is for the moment the representative of the belief in that truth among men. (2) To take the words in reference: (a) to other passages of Scripture. The Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Ephesians 2:20, on Christ Himself, 2 Corinthians 3:11.” (b) To history; Peter is not an infallible repository of truth. He is rebuked by Paul for Judaizing. Nor does he hold a chief place among the Apostles afterward. It is James, not Peter, who presides at the Council at Jerusalem. (c) To reason: for even if Peter had precedence over the other Apostles, and if he was Bishop of Rome, which is not historically certain, there is no proof that he had a right of conferring such precedence on his successors.

Is Peter’s confession the rock upon which Jesus builds His church?
Some scholars say that the church is built on Peter’s testimony to Jesus. When Peter answered Jesus “you are the Christ” Peter was blessed for the testimony and he was told by Jesus that he had that knowledge from within by a revelation from God the Father in Heaven.

Matthew Henry’s commentary on Peter’s confession:

“Our Lord declared Peter to be blessed, as the teaching of God made him differ from his unbelieving countrymen. Christ added that he had named him Peter, in allusion to his stability or firmness in professing the truth. The word translated rock, is not the same word as Peter, but is of a similar meaning. Nothing can be more wrong than to suppose that Christ meant the person of Peter was the rock. Without a doubt Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other! Peter's confession is this rock as to doctrine. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived.”

Another theologian said:

“The generality of protestant writers, not without the suffrage of divers of the ancients, say Peter’s confession, which he had made, is the rock here spoken of. And indeed the doctrine contained in his confession is the foundation of the gospel; the whole Christian church is built upon it.” Matthew Poole (1624–1679)

Another commentary expressed by Bishop Wordsworth’s (1807 – 1885) is the understanding of the “rock”, as a combination of the two interpretations. "What he says is this:

'I myself, now confessed by thee to be both God and Man, am the Rock of the Church. This is the foundation on which it is built.' And because St. Peter had confessed him as such, he says to St. Peter, 'Thou hast confessed me, and I will now confess thee; thou hast owned me, I will now own thee. Thou art Peter,' i.e. thou art a lively stone, hewn out of and built upon me, the living Rock. Thou art a genuine Petros of me, the Divine Petra. And whosoever would be a lively stone, a Peter, must imitate thee in this thy true confession of me, the living Rock; for upon this Rock, that is, on myself, believed and confessed to be both God and Man, I will build my Church." 

The conclusion from his comment is that Christ means himself by "this rock", so we consider that Peter's confession is equally rejected from being the foundation intended. Rather, the Church is to be built, not on confessions or dogmas, but on men - men inspired by God to teach the great truth. Thus, elsewhere the Church is said to have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), "Ye," says St. Peter (1 Peter 2:5), "as living stones are built up a spiritual house."

Another possible interpretation - Caesarea Philippi?
Little is ever commented about where Jesus and the disciples were when the confession of Peter was made to Jesus. Matthew 16:13 states that Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi. If one researches this city one may only find a bit of historical information on who built it and that there was once a temple of Pan. Finding out what the pagans worshipped in this city is never mentioned. Why?

In the 3rd century b.c. the grotto was dedicated by the predominantly Greek population to Pan and the Nymphs; hence, the nearby city was called Paneas (Panion) and later renamed as Caesarea Philippi. There were five places of worship to false gods, one right next to the other:

  • Court or temple of Pan - Pan was half human and half goat
  • Temple to the false god Zeus
  • Temple of Caesar Augustus
  • Upper Tomb to the Dancing Goat
  • Lower Tomb to the Dancing Goat

One of the acts to the god Pan was child sacrifice where people would throw children into the mouth of the cave. This sacrifice was to appease Pan and be blessed by him. In the Dancing Goat tombs, men would mate publicly with the goats.

The Gates of Hell
Caesarea Philippi was built on a rock where people’s lives revolved around false gods, death, and demonic activity. During the Roman times, the site was long associated with fertility cults, both Canaanite and Greek. A sizeable river, the Banyasi, one of the main sources of the Jordan, once issued from a nearby cave set at the bottom of the cliff. Much of the giant cave collapsed in the earthquake of 1033. The earthquake also blocked the very large spring which once gushed out of the cave.

To the pagan mind, the cave at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld, where fertility gods lived during the winter. They committed detestable acts to worship these false gods. The Greek word translated “hell” is also the name for the Underworld—Hades, the realm of all the dead, not just unbelievers.

The pagans of Jesus' day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld or to the gates of hell. To entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible deeds, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats.

Mount Hermon significance
Caesarea Philippi, is situated near a mountainous region containing Mount Hermon. In the Old Testament, this region was known as Bashan—a place with a sinister reputation. During Israel’s divided kingdom period, Jereboam built a pagan religious center at Dan—just south of Mount Hermon—where the Israelites worshiped Baal instead of Yahweh.

The rock which Jesus referred to in this passage could have been neither Peter nor Himself; but was the rock on which they were standing near—the foot of Mount Hermon, which at one time was the demonic headquarters of the Old Testament and the Greek world. What is important about Mount Hermon?

Michael Heiser has written several books on the Old Testament. Reversing Hermon2 presents his ideas about the descent of fallen angels on Mount Hermon as mentioned in the Book of Enoch: “And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon.  The two hundred angels take an oath to descend to Mt Hermon, find women to marry and have children with them. (1 Enoch 6:7-8 )

The resultant offspring were called Nephilim and were giants. Giants are mentioned in the Old Testament dozens of times, (i.e. Numbers 13:32, 2 Samuel 21:20, 1 Chronicles 20:6) but most notably In Genesis 6:4:

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

One of the giant clans were Amorites, who were part of the Canaanites. One of their pagan religious sites in Gezar was escavated in 1902. There was found an altar for collecting the blood of sacrificed infants and children. The bones of the children were buried all around the site where deplorable things had been found done to them.3

Who were these “sons of God”? The phrase “sons of God” occurs ten times in the Bible. It occurs five times in the Old Testament (Genesis 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). In the New Testament it consistently refers to Christians. But who are they in the Old Testament?

The following two passages mention the sons of God:

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. Job 1:6 (NASB)

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. Job 2:1 (NASB)

In both passages, Satan and the “sons of God” appear before the Lord. It is important to notice that the “sons of God” presented themselves before God. Therefore, since the holy angels in heaven are continually in the presence of God according to Matthew 18:10, the “sons of God” are not holy angels. Instead, they must be the followers of Satan. They are also called fallen angels, evil angels, spirits, or evil spirits in the Bible.

In Job 38:7 the “sons of God” are angels in heaven. God is speaking to Job and reviewing how the universe was created. In verse 4 God asks Job if he was present when God laid the foundation of the world. Then verse 7 God asks if Job was present when the stars sang and the “sons of God” shouted for joy. Here “sons of God” refers to the holy angels who existed at the time of the creation.

Returning to the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 and 4 these sons are also angels, but they are fallen angels. Three New Testament passages make this clear. The first is Jude 6-7.

“And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 6-7 (NASB)

Their gross immorality was sexual sin. Scripture does not provide any details about demons, who were involved sexually with the daughters of men in Genesis 6:2. Yet these angels did something to women in Genesis 6:2, 4 which created giants in the earth. They did not constrain themselves and indulged in sexual behavior that Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4-6 call sin.

2 Peter 2:4-10 aligns their sin with the time of Noah. Then after referring to Noah, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned.

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter . . . 2 Peter 2:4-6 (NASB)

In 1 Peter 3:19-20, the angels are now called spirits who are in prison and observe the timeline of the events. This occurred at the time of Noah.

. . . in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 1 Peter 3:19-20 (NASB)

Believers of Christ - their role in the world
Jews were forbidden to come to Phillippi, It was under gentile control. Yet, Jesus purposely brought his disciples close to Phillippi as he wanted to communicate to them and ultimately us, the power of God. Jesus is contrasting the Son of God, to all these false gods the people worship. Peter had a direct revelation from God that Jesus is the Christ, and he is told he is Petros.

"I will build my church upon this massive rock. I will build my church and the gates of hell should not prevail against Christ’s church." Phillippi was the gate to hell and the largest center of false god worship. Gates were for defensive mode. The church is not to be in defensive/retreat mode but God’s church is to be in offensive mode. We go out and share the gospel in every aspect our culture offers. Do we truly believe that Christ and His Church are more powerful than Satan and the culture we live in? We are each living stones building up this house. Can we actively take God’s Word accurately into our culture?

God has designed His church to be in the world but not of the world. We are not to retreat from evil, but confront it and reach souls who are caught in evil by bringing them the gospel and the truth of the Son of God. What does Jesus ask of His followers, His "lively stones" to be able to conquer this evil? To take up His cross and follow Him. You have to be willing to die. You die daily to yourself and follow Jesus. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt. 16:25)

From Caesarea, Jesus begins his trip to Jerusalem where He is crucified.

The disciples would have known the meaning of petra/rock and the "gates of hell" significance to this pagan city they were near. This is not to say Jesus is not the rock or cornerstone the church/believers are to build upon. It is not to say that Peter's testimony to Jesus being the Christ is any less part of the meaning of petra. Yet Peter knew the significance of Jesus' words even if still today we do not.

Of great importance are Peter's own words in 1 Peter 2:4-8. Surely if Peter had understood the Lord to say to him that the Church was to be built upon him, he would have told the other disciples and believers Instead we read these words that he wrote:

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: 'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

In Greek, “petros,” means, “a little stone.” But Christ said He would build His church upon another rock—in the Greek, “petra”—a large rock, meaning a "solid or native rock, rising up through the earth" . What Jesus meant by the contrast between the large and small rock was that Peter was one of the stones in the church (1 Peter 2:3-5), but that Christ, Himself, was the foundation Stone (1 Cor 3:11). The true church, the true believers, are a spiritual house in which every believer is a living stone, and Christ is the chief foundation and cornerstone. Paul unambiguously declares that Jesus is the rock, not Peter (1 Cor 3:11); and Peter denies that he, himself, is the rock. Peter’s testimony in 1 Peter 2:4-8, says that he is not the rock, but with all other believers only a little stone in the building of God’s spiritual house—the true church.

Jesus had been practically rejected by Israel and was looking out to the future and the Gentiles, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi.” Caesarea Philippi was about twenty miles north beyond the border of Palestine, and Jesus had gone up into the northernmost part of Galilee and would have been looking out toward that great Gentile world knowing of the untold millions who were still in their sins to whom His salvation was yet to come, the men for whom He was soon to die for.

The question then is asked "was Peter, as presented in Scripture, an infallible human being and sufficient rock upon which Christ could build His Church upon?" When we read about Peter we find a human being who was hotheaded and a bit boastful, and at times had some serious problems with his faith. For example, when Jesus invited him out onto the water to walk to him, he was able to do it, but then, after it had already been proven to him beyond any doubt that he was in the middle of a bona fide miracle, he doubted. (MATT. 14:22-33). Peter (petros) began to sink like a stone (petra) and Jesus had to save him from drowning.

Then there is Peter’s cowardice in the face of Jesus's trial and crucifixion, denying the Lord three times just hours after he had boasted of his willingness to follow him even unto death. (Matt. 26:75, Luke 22:61) This is not the picture of a solid foundation that will uphold the church no matter what bad weather beats against it!

When Peter answered Jesus “you are the christ” Peter was blessed for the testimony he had received from within by a revelation from God the Father in Heaven, in the divinity of Jesus. After Jesus grants Peter the keys to the kingdom, then later Jesus explains how he must die in Jerusalem (Matt. 16:21). Peter rebukes Jesus, whom he has just called the Son of God, saying, “This shall never happen to you” (Matt. 16:22). In response Jesus chastises Peter: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (Matt. 16:23).

Men are fickle, blown about by the winds of change and conflicting thoughts. God and His Word reveal the truth. Men have to have faith to not only accept the truth but remain steadfast in believing it as the truth. This revelation Peter received from God is infallible, and if the Church is built upon it, “the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” Who is the Church? The Church or universal church consists of everyone, everywhere, who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who have placed their faith in Christ, as Peter did, are the church and the stones that build it. It is this personal faith in Christ that is the hallmark of the true Christian.

The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Christ is both the foundation (Acts 4:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 3:11) and the head (Ephesians 5:23) of the church. It might be a wrong conclusion to think that here He is giving either of those roles to Peter.

It is possible Simon was renamed “petros” because he was the archetype, the first (of his contemporaries at least) to have received this personal revelation from God. He and his brother Andrew were also named as the first two of Jesus' disciples. (Matt. 4:18-22) The example of Simon Peter’s confession of faith in Christ, and all believers in faith as the body of Christ, makes us the living stones that are built onto the corner-stone which is Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-6)

Peter and the apostles did set the foundation for God's Church but the leading apostle appears to be Paul. The cornerstone, Christ, was laid first and the apostles and prophets continued building the foundation. Once the foundation is laid it is not recreated again. The mission following is that all believers are to become stones in the building, continuing to build it. The Holy Spirit continues to use evangelists, pastors, healers and unordained people to continue to build the Church and take the gospel to the unbelievers--including through you and me.


1The proper translation of Petros is Ke'pha'. On this we have the authority of the Word of God itself in the Greek original of the New Testament, where the name "Ke'pha" (in the English Bible "Cephas") is six times given as the Aramaic equivalent to Petros for the name of Simon bar Jonas. (John 1:42; 1Corinthians1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Galatians 2:9) So, we can say, based upon the authority of the original Greek of the New Testament that Petros, the name given to Simon bar Jona by the Lord Jesus (John 1:42) is the correct translation of the Aramaic/Syriac word Ke'pha'. Greek: Petros = Aramaic: Ke'pha' ("Cephas").

2Heiser, Michael, Reversing Hermon: Enoch, the Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ, Defender, 24 March 2017

3In 1902, archaeologist Stewart Macalister began excavating at Gezer. He soon realized that he was digging a Canaanite high place where the ancient inhabitants of the city had worshipped their gods. There he unearthed deeply disturbing evidence for “the iniquity of the Amorites,” sacrificial bones of babies, which corroborated the Canaanite worship practices described in the Bible. They burned babies and buried them in jars. Some children they decapitated and others they severed in half. Escavated Canaanite High Place: "the sing of the Amorites".