The New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14).
One metaphor that has been disputed is Jesus Christ’s calling the apostle Peter "rock": "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
Some have tried to argue that Jesus did not mean that his Church would be built on Peter but on something else.
Some argue that in this passage there is a minor difference between the Greek term for Peter (Petros) and the term for rock (petra), yet they ignore the obvious explanation: petra, a feminine noun, has simply been modifed to have a masculine ending, since one would not refer to a man (Peter) as feminine. The change in the gender is purely for stylistic reasons.
These critics also neglect the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and, as John 1:42 tells us, in everyday life he actually referred to Peter as Kepha or Cephas (depending on how it is transliterated). It is that term which is then translated into Greek as petros. Thus, what Jesus actually said to Peter in Aramaic was: "You are Kepha and on this very kepha I will build my Church."
This tract demonstrates that the Church Fathers, those Christians closest to the apostles in time, culture, and theological background, clearly understood that Jesus promised to build the Church on Peter.
Need a bunch for your parish? Order in packs of 50 here.
What is Candlemas? 02/02/2010
Why Are Priests Celibate? 09/06/2009
Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned 08/10/2009
Call No Man Father 07/13/2009
Feast of the Holy Trinity 02/26/2009
May, the Month of Mary 02/24/2009
St. Francis de Sales 01/06/2009
The Essential Catholic Survival Guide 12/09/2008
Learn About Mary 11/24/2008
The Faith Database - A Resource for Every Catholic 10/17/2008