You Are Peter

 Edited by +Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford)


'And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven' (Matt. 16:18-19)

Why should this be reckoned a hard saying? It does, to be sure, contain some figures of speech which require to be explained -'the gates of Hades' (which RSV has interpreted for us as 'the powers of death'), 'the keys of the kingdom', 'binding' and 'loosing'. But it is not because of these figures of speech that the saying is widely reckoned to be hard - so hard, indeed, that some interpreters have tried not only to explain it but to explain it away.

One reason for regarding it as a hard saying is that Peter in the Gospels is too unstable a character to serve as the foundation for any enterprise or to be given such authority as is conveyed in these words. But the main reason for finding a difficulty in the text is strictly irrelevant to its straightforward reading and interpretation. Few Protestants, asked to name their favorite text, would think of quoting this one. It has been invoked to support the supremacy of the Roman Church over all other Churches - more precisely, to support the supremacy of the bishop of Rome over all other bishops - and those who do not acknowledge this use of it as valid have sometimes reacted by trying to make it mean something much less positive than it appears to mean.

Some have suggested, with no manuscript evidence to justify the suggestion, that the text has been corrupted from an original 'you have said' (instead of 'you are Peter'); others have argued that the Greek wording is not an accurate translation of the Aramaic form in which the saying was cast by Jesus - that what he said was, 'I tell you, Peter, that on this rock I will build my Church.' But this too is conjecture. If we can get rid of the idea that the text has any reference to the Roman Church or to the Papacy, we shall lose interest in such attempts to remove what has been felt to be its awkwardness.

          It must also be understood that the Roman Catholic Church was initially only on as the Church of the West… as it was a part of that which today is called ORTHODOXY… by many nationalistic names except the CHURCH OF THE WEST… and later became known as the “Roman Catholic” Church to signify the difference between Orthodox Catholicism and Roman Catholicism. 

          The Roman Jurisdiction of the CATHOLIC Church is of Patriarchal existence the same as the Patriarchal existence of the Greek Orthodox Church out of Constantinople (in Turkey).  Thus there are, as there have always been, five different Patriarchates which include the Roman Jurisdiction … However, be reminded of the fact that the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church did indeed schism from its root, ground and base of CHRISTIANITY in 1054 A.D. of which has other information relating to the schism and why the Roman Jurisdiction is not now and never has been the seat of CATHOLICISM whatsoever and that the Papacy is not the Lord over of all bishops… for such is an invention of the Roman Jurisdiction as relating to their own “Roman” and “Uniate” (Orthodox catholic copyists)  bishops. 

The Emperor of Constantinople, Constantine Monomathus, facing a threat of his political interest in Italy, had need of the Pope's help, and he sent a conciliatory reply asking him to send delegates to restore friendly relations.

The Pope sent Cardinal Humbert with a different mission, which he fully executed.

Humbert did not meet the Emperor or the Patriarch, but he while on horseback, entered the Church which is a desecration, and then committed a second desecration by riding on horseback into the Holy of Holies and laid on the altar of the Church of Saint Sophia in Constantinople a bull of excommunication against the Eastern Church, attempting to stigmatize it as "the repository of all the heresies of the past", and then hastily disappeared.

Certainly there is nothing in the context of " are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it," the Aramaic form, to suggest Rome or the Papacy as being above all others. But the context of the saying presents us with a problem of a different kind. All three synoptic evangelists record the incident in the neighborhood of Caesarea. All of them tell how Jesus, after asking his disciples what account people were giving of him, asked them next what account they themselves gave: 'Who do you say that I am?' To this question Peter, acting as their spokesman, replied 'You are the Messiah' (that is the form of his answer in Mark 8:29; the other Gospels have variations in wording). All three evangelists add that Jesus strictly forbade them to repeat this to anyone. But Matthew inserts, between Peter's answer and Jesus's charge to the disciples not to repeat it, a personal response by Jesus to Peter. This response begins, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.' It then continues with the words we have quoted as our hard saying.

How are we to account for the fact that the saying, with its introductory benediction, does not appear in Mark's or Luke's record of the occasion? If Matthew were the source on which Mark and Luke depended, then we could say that they abridged his record for purposes of their own, and we should try to determine what those purposes were. If, however, we are right in thinking that Mark was one of the sources on which Matthew drew, then we have to say that Matthew has amplified Mark's record by incorporating material derived from elsewhere. This is not the only place where Matthew expands Mark's record by the inclusion of material about Peter not found in our other Gospels. We may think, for example, of the episode of Peter's getting out of the boat and beginning to sink when he tried to walk to Jesus on the water (Matt. 14:28-31).

It has been argued that the passage we are considering belongs to a later period in Christian history rather than that to which Matthew assigns it. Some have seen in it the report of words spoken by Jesus to Peter when he appeared to him in resurrection - words which Matthew transferred to the Caesarea Philippi context because of the aptness of the subject-matter. Others would date them later still: is it likely, they ask, that the historical Jesus would speak of his 'church'? Certainly it is not likely that he used the word in the sense which it usually bears for us, but it is not unlikely that he used an Aramaic word which was represented in Greek by ekklesia, the term regularly rendered 'church' in the New Testament. And if he did, what did he mean by it? He meant the new community which he aimed to bring into being, the new Israel in which the twelve apostles were to be the leaders, leading by service and not by dictation.

A helpful analogy to Jesus's words to Peter is provided by an allegory found in rabbinical tradition setting forth God's dealings with humanity from the beginning to the time of Abraham. The written documents in which this allegory is found are later than our Gospels, but behind the written form lies a period of oral transmission. In Isaiah 51:1 Abraham is called 'the rock from which you were hewn', and the allegory undertakes to explain why Abraham should be called a 'rock'. It tells how a certain king wished to build a palace, and set his servants to dig to find a foundation. They dug for a long time, and took soundings twice, but found nothing but morass. (The soundings were taken first in the generation of Enosh, Adam's grandson, and then in the generation of Noah.) After further digging they took soundings again, and this time they struck rock (petra). 'Now', said the king, 'at last I can begin to build,' (Yalquit Shim’oni [medieval compilation]). In the allegory the king, of course, is God; the palace which he planned to build is the nation of Israel, and he knew that he could make a beginning with the project when he found Abraham, a man ready to respond to his call with implicit faith and obedience. It would be precarious to envisage any direct relation between this allegory and Jesus's words to Peter, as recorded by Matthew, but there is a notable resemblance.

According to John's account of the call of the first disciples, it was during John the Baptist's ministry in Transjordan that Peter heard his brother Andrew say, with reference to Jesus, 'We have found the Messiah' (John 1:41). Evidently Peter then believed Andrew's testimony, but that would have been an instance of what Jesus now described as 'flesh and blood' (a human being) telling him. There were various ideas abroad in the popular mind at that time regarding the kind of person the Messiah was and the kind of things he would do, but Jesus's character and activity, as his disciples had come to know them, probably corresponded to none of those ideas. If Peter believed Jesus to be the Messiah when he first received his call, and now confessed him to be the Messiah a year or more later, the concept 'Messiah' must have begun to change its meaning for him. Not long before, he had seen his Master repel the attempt of a band of eager militants, five thousand strong, to make him their king so that he might lead them against the occupying forces of Rome and their creature, Herod Antipas (John 6:15). The Messiah as popularly conceived ought surely to have grasped such an opportunity. Some at least of the disciples were disappointed that he refused to do so.

The fact that Peter, even so, was prepared to confess Jesus as the Messiah was evidence that a change had at least begun to take place in his thinking - that he was now coming to understand the term 'Messiah' in the light of what Jesus actually was and did, rather than to understand Jesus in the light of ideas traditionally associated with the term 'Messiah'. Hence the pleasure with which Jesus greeted his response: hence the blessing which he pronounced on him. For, like the king in the Jewish parable, Jesus said in effect, 'Now at last I can begin to build!'

It is well known that 'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church' involves a play on words. In Greek 'Peter' is petros and 'rock' is petra (the difference being simply that between the masculine termination -os, necessary in a man's name, and the feminine termination -a). In the Aramaic which Jesus probably spoke, there was not even such a minor grammatical distinction between the two forms: 'You are kepha,'he said, 'and on this kepha I will build my church.' The form kepha, as applied to Peter, appears in many of our New Testament versions as Cephas (e.g. in John 1:42; 1 Cor. 1:12), an alternative form of his name. As a common noun, the Aramaic kepha means 'rock'; the Hebrew equivalent keph is used in this sense in Job 30:6 and Jeremiah 4:29. In some modern languages the play on words can be exactly reproduced: thus in most editions of the French New Testament Jesus says to Peter, 'Tu es Pierre, et sur cettepierre je batirai mon e'glise.' But this cannot be done in English; if the play on words is to be brought out, a rendering like that of the NEB has to be adopted: 'You are Peter, the Rock; and on this rock I will build my church.' Now that someone has been found who is prepared to confess Jesus as what he really is, and not try to fit him into some inherited framework, a start can be made with forming the community of true disciples who will carry on Jesus's mission after his departure.

Peter personally might be thought too unstable to provide such a foundation, but it is not Peter for what he is in himself but Peter the confessor of Jesus who provides it. In that building every other confessor of Jesus finds a place. What matters is not the stature of the confessor but the truth of the confession. Where Jesus is confessed as the Messiah or (as Matthew amplifies the wording) as 'the Christ, the Son of the living God', there his Church exists. It is in the one who is thus confessed, and not in any durable quality of her own, that the Church's security and survival rest. While she maintains that confession, the gates of the prison-house of Hades (i.e. death) will never close on her

And what about the 'keys of the kingdom1?

The keys of a royal or noble establishment were entrusted to the chief steward or major domo; he carried them on his shoulder in earlier times, and there they served as a badge of the authority entrusted to him. About 700 b.c. an oracle from God announced that this authority in the royal palace in Jerusalem was to be conferred on a man called Eliakim: 'I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open' (Isa. 22:22). So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be, so to speak, chief steward. In the early chapters of Acts Peter is seen exercising this responsibility in the primitive church. He acts as chairman of the group of disciples in Jerusalem even before the coming of the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26); on the day of Pentecost it is he who preaches the gospel so effectively that three thousand hearers believe the message and are incorporated in the church (Acts 2:14-41); some time later it is he who first preaches the gospel to a Gentile audience and thus 'opens a door of faith' to Gentiles as well as Jews (Acts 10:34-48). Both in Jerusalem at Pentecost and in the house of Cornelius at Caesarea, what Peter does on earth is ratified in heaven by the bestowal of the Holy Spirit on his converts. This divine confirmation was specially important in his approach to Gentiles. As Peter put it himself, 'God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith; (Acts 15:8-9).

'Binding' and 'loosing' were idiomatic expressions in rabbinical Judaism to denote the promulgation of rulings either forbidding or authorizing various kinds of activity. The authority to bind or loose given to Peter in our present context is given to the disciples as a body in Matthew 18:18, in a saying of Jesus similarly preserved by this evangelist only. Again, the record of Acts provides an illustration. Where church discipline is in view, Peter's verbal rebuke of Ananias and Sapphira received drastic ratification from heaven (Acts 5:1-11) - see p. 93. And Paul for his part, though he was not one of the disciples present when Jesus pronounced these words of authorization, expects that when judgment is pronounced by the church of Corinth on a man who has brought the Christian name into public disrepute, at a meeting 'when you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,' the judgment will be given practical effect by God (1 Cor. 5:3-5). Again, when 'the apostles and the elders' came together in Jerusalem to consider the conditions on which Gentile believers might be recognized as fellow-members of the Church, their decision was issued as something which 'has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us' (Acts 15:28). Here, then, Luke may be held to provide a commentary on Matthew's record by showing how, in pursuance of Jesus's words, the keys of the kingdom were used and the power of binding and loosing was exercised in the primitive Church in preaching, discipline and legislation.

This may be added. The words in which Peter is singled out for special commendation and authority were probably handed down in a community where Peter's name was specially esteemed. The church of Antioch in Syria was one such community. There are other reasons for envisaging a fairly close association between the church of Antioch and the Gospel of Matthew, and it may well have been from material about Peter preserved at Antioch that Matthew derived these words which he incorporates into his account of what Jesus said at Caesarea Philippi.

A further understanding about PETER the APOSTLE can be gained from our article entitled PETER THE ROCK OF THE CHURCH

In seven different articles you are presented information concerning the Apostle Peter and the great schism of 1054. 

Some of the information comes from the Nag Hammadhi library which are considered Gnostic.  However, we are encouraged by the Holy Patristic Fathers to read and study all writings published so as to help us in standing firm in our Faith (Right thinking, Right understanding, Right Worship, and Right Living = ORTHODOXY) ... 

You are presented with what is believed the most important article first...

Thus, the following is presented:







Now... go back and re-read YOU ARE PETER! and PETER THE ROCK OF THE CHURCH

7. Placing into context: Peter and The Great schism of the Ecumenical Church by the Roman Catholic Jurisdiction

Return to: About Peter the Apostle

You have reached the End of the Article... But, read on...

{'s Note, Commentary & Opinion:  What does this have to do with prophecy?

It goes right back to Genesis and God's pledge to bless those who bless the children of Israel and curse those who curse them.

That is a prophecy that has seen every empire of the world come and go – yet Israel remains. It may be chastened by God. It may be dispersed. It may be divided according to His will [not man's]. But God has punished every nation that has come against Israel. Each one has been judged.

You can choose to believe it or not. It won't make any difference.

But he that touches the apple of God's eye will pay a price: "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." – Zechariah 2:8

As Zechariah 12:8-10 reveals: "In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

And one shall ask Him, "What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends" (Zechariah 13:6).

In short... any THING we do against Israel, will and has caused for this country to face such as has never before been seen... ie: environmental changes and worse that is coming... Why do think God is doing nothing concerning the incursion of Islamic Sharia Law of the Muslim's Satanic Koran (Quoran) bible?  Think about it!  Our nation is being prepared for the worse things possible that our American way of life has never before seen and most of you aren't willing to accept the truth when it is very much before your eyes... Our congress and the closeted, disguised Muslim in the White House is but a glimpse of the Satanic horror that is to come! Disclaimer Notice below and what are you doing to put the brakes on them and him?  Absolutely Nothing from what many of us have seen thus far! Nothing!  Stay warm, do nothing and it will eventually happen to you or those who you leave behind to carry on your legacy! And, there is one more thing to remember:

"And He said to them, When I sent you out without purses and without bags and shoes, did you lack anything? They said to him, Not a thing. He said to them, from now on he who has purses, let him take them, and the bag likewise; and he who has no sword, let him sell his robe and buy for himself a sword. And they said to him, Our Lord, behold here are two swords. He said to them, That is enough...." Luke: 22: 35-38  }

Apostle's Disclaimer Notice and other things

Contents & Links:

Some of the items you may come across requires Adobe ".pdf" reader.   If don't have Adobe Reader installed on your pc, click here to download it for free. You will need Adobe Reader to open pdf files. (Most pc's already have an Adobe Reader installed.) However, you may also wish to use Open Office which is another Free download that can be reached at: Which provides (for some people) a better way to create and manage documents as well as " .pdf " files and other items.

In due time we shall be using "zipped" files.  Most computers already have installed a ZIP FILE EXTRACTOR, however If you need a Zip utility program to unzip or extract zipped files, click here to download a free trial of WinZip.

Disclaimer Notice & Other things:

('s Note, Commentary, opinion & Disclaimer Notice: We Have many Contributors to our DAILY NEWS SERVICE, as well as many other Updates & Information provided - We are thankful for our Desert Angels, Our Flying Foxes, Our Flying Squirrels and our many other contributors... Even though we don't always give the credit they deserve... We want you, the viewer to know that they are a part of our life and living... They are, according to their nature & degree of ability, truly Christian in Spirit and in Truth for they have YOU, the viewer in mind as a part of their own concerns too, as we do too!


However... there is something else we wish to warn you about.


DISCLAIMER NOTICE: The views expressed at this website regarding any article not directly connected to religious content is the opinion or commentary of the author which we may not necessarily believe in, accept or support, and some religious articles we may not accept or support either. We take no responsibility or liability for the content of any news item or article presented as any information provided which you rely upon requires that you, the reader/viewer, take action to verify its worthiness on your own.  We have deduced to a minor degree, that the information provided by the author is such that warrants posting for you the viewer/reader only... and that any statements or purported facts, including any news item, is for you to verify as to its authenticity.  We take no liability and no responsibility for its accuracy whatsoever! You who are new visitors, may wish to read a very short article below entitled "The purpose for presenting our Daily News section" Sadly to say, we take no pleasure in stating that some of the items we post are not from what we would call true "Christian" organizations. But we post it because it provides another side of the proverbial story.  The Church, after all, is supposed to be a temple for sick souls (sinners) without distinction between their worse sins or otherwise, but it seems to some organizations that they say much about others, but fail and refuse to upbraid themselves and their members for their own sins...)


"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."


- Blessed St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

The purpose for presenting this Daily News section:

Daily News is very important to those who are true Orthodox Catholic Christians.  For without knowing or gaining information for understanding about what is happening in one's local area and around the world, you could  find yourself faced with denied services in the secular area, lack of income, even (although it sounds far-fetched) ability to worship openly for the time is not far off when all will have to decide if they wish to follow the Anti-Christ through the One World Church and One World Government as prophesied by the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation of St. John or follow the faith delivered once and for all which will cause for many to be denied the abilities to survive under those kind of conditions, causing for one to consider other options. 


Many of those who subscribe to, and some who have caused or are the cause for, these things to happen are involved in or with the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church (which is not the seat of all things "Catholic") as well as its protestant daughters such as the cultic Jehovah's Witnesses, the Pentecostal Churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon Church and far too many more to list. 


Yet, at this web site we do provide some of the reasons about why they are opined to be the harbingers of that which is prophesied in Holy Scripture for the bringing about of the End Times which we have already entered.  It is not necessarily their individual members or parishioners that should be blamed since they are only the "Sheep" and not the Shepherds... So do not think we castigate individual people of themselves as we castigate those "money changers" who Jesus Christ chased out of His Father's House as the Bible Describes; for they exist in these present times too.


Events are already rushing toward that time in which this is beginning to happen and will become more fully wide-spread. In these present times all you need to really do is look around both your local and larger areas as to what is really on-going through.  Things so very little or miniscule that they are barely noticeable except to the more informed observer may become apparent. 

Those little things are the laws of the land, economics, politics, the degrading and erosion of those rights and liberties afforded by the Constitution of these United States of America and many other things such as the manner with which entertainments have taken over much of the populace, entering into and becoming a major focus in worship, and more. 

We ask you, if you don't want to believe us... Have you heard, seen or found what is termed (of the many terms being used) that there are "holding areas" or "camps" or "Closed/Fenced communities" being built by GOVERNMENT? 

Here in North America, especially in the United States of America, we must admit that what Russia has come out of (a communistic, atheist country) we are entering into.  And one last thing that needs also to be understood... Something very important to those of you who are "Catholic" in the Roman sense of its jurisdiction....   And, we believe this also holds true for many who are "Orthodox" whether "Eastern" or "Western"....

[ * Non-Denominational = Synchrestic Ecumenism, Disease of Scholasticism, altering the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ to accommodate the disease of Political Correctness and CULTIC PROTESTANTISM, and the Roman Jurisdiction (Latin Church = Vatican) of the Catholic Church) breaking of - or failure and refusal to respect and abide by  - the ancient Seven Ecumenical "Do Not" Canons which leaves everything else open to God's gift of creativity... failure & refusal to abide by and have respect for those who diligently protect one of the other Pillars of the Church, the Seals of the Confessional, but "Non-Denominational" also includes worshiping Satan's religion of Muslim, Islam by praying with them and other heretics such as 'Pentecostalism,' 'Jehovah's Witnesses,' 'Mormons,' 'Church of Christ,' any so-called church with "Community Church" in their nomenclature and others who by their false and misleading dogmas and doctrines are actually against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ upon whom and for exacting reason we are called "Christian" in both spirit and truth from which non-denominational protestant sectarian claimants have departed from as being so-called Christian] Only a skilled spiritual father can help you!

Remember: You cannot ride two horses or serve two masters for one of them will be harmed by your thoughts, your very words and your actions which is to blaspheme the Holy Ghost (Spirit) who will depart from you.  And when the Holy Spirit departs, the great deceiver (unbeknownst to you) will rush in to fill the void under disguise of being the Holy Spirit!  Testing of the Holy Spirit to insure it is the Holy Spirit does not, for many a Sectarian Protestant and Roman, work because the Great Deceiver (Satan) is most skilled in worming and snaking his charms around your mind and heart to feign being the Holy Spirit.  Remember, Satan has the same gifts similar to the Holy Spirit but Satan's gifts are UN-HOLY and lead all who accept him (unbeknownst to you) to perdition.

About This Web Site  - About Who We Are  - Some of our Synod members & clergy   -   About Holy Orders & Institutions 

AOC/NAOC CODE OF CANON LAW   -    About Ancient Canons & Councils   = HIV/Aids and Cancer In America - A tribute  

 Apostolic Lines of Succession

A Message from our Spiritual Father  (constantly updated)   -   Abouna +Gregori's Own - Let The Truth Be Known  

- Clergy Database Information   

Messages from Father Lazarus

Many things relevant to the Life & Teachings of Jesus Christ  

Our Clergy Application & Agreement     Commemorations for the living and the reposed


Monk Michael's - - - Presentations NEW

Education & More  

Forgiveness - Christian Love - a different way of Praying the Our Father


Liturgies for All Occasions

Monastery of St. John Maximovitch and the Holy Theotokos (includes the Brotherhood & Community)

   On-Line Discussion Groups  -  Our Core Beliefs  -  Our Clergy  - 

Problems of Orthodoxy in the Americas - The Canonical Problem  

Quotes From Father +Thaddeus       Religious Products ??? 




Join: Apostle1group at

 Join the: Apostle1group


Join the: Apostle1 group at


"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."

- Blessed St. +John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco


"Prejudice makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater" 

Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus (1990)


Join Our Vladyka on Facebook where you may wish to ask him questions that are non-confrontational


Joseph Thaddeus

© 1972-2013 American Orthodox Church - North American Orthodox Church
International Communications Headquarters

All Rights Reserved

Mailing Address:  212 So. 16th Av., Caldwell, Idaho 83605

Telephone: (208) 459-2901


How Many Times?

TOTAL VISITORS since 1999:

Free Web Counter
Free Hit Counter


Home Page