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. Matt 16:18-19 (KJV)
We are greatly blessed here at Christ The Way Bookstore with many good authors, old and new, despite the fact that we have a very conservative stand and carry only the King James Bible. I have learned that the only way to be truly successful is to be in God’s will. At the beginning of my time here at the bookstore I still remember hearing that there is no possible way that we can remain in business selling only the KJV. Well, it has been many years since then and this store has been open for more than twenty-five years now! I believe that is proof positive that we can say to the Lord, “…thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psm. 138:2b)
One recurring discussion debated here at Christ The Way Bookstore is about the foundation on which Catholicism places it’s authority. I am talking about the verse found in Matt. 16:18-19. The Catholic system believes that this verse proves the beginning of apostolic succession passed down from Peter to the Popes throughout the ages. They will tell you that this Peter, who is only one of the twelve apostles, was given the authority to be vicarius principis apostolorum, ie: ‘Prince of the Apostles’; better known as the first Pope.
Although the Catholic Church believes that Jesus was talking about Peter when He said, “…upon this rock”, this clearly is contrary to sound biblical teaching. In the following, see how a Catholic Bible refutes itself and clearly shows that their teaching is false. It will answer, without a doubt, who really is the true Rock.
Catholic Authority Using The Catholic Bible
The Catholic Church claims Jesus said that Peter is the Rock on which the church is built and that he has been given the keys in heaven bestowing all universal power.
Quoting, verbatim, Matthew 16:18 from the Catholic Bible:
“I for my part declare to you, you are ‘Rock’, and on this rock will I build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.” (1)
Compare this to the verse taken from God’s Word as shown above. You see, the Catholic Bible adds a few words to help bolster their claim. Instead of saying what Jesus said, they add that Jesus said to Peter, “you are Rock”. This is not correct. Jesus said, “thou art Peter”, and not, “you are Rock”. Later on herein you will see whom he really meant. Unfortunately for our Catholic friends this renders their bible version even more contradictory than if their translators had not added, “Peter, you are Rock”, as you will see by the following evidence.
Quoting, again from the Catholic Bible; Matthew 16:19:
“I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (2)
This verse shows the Catholic Church’s authority claimed through the keys of the kingdom of heaven. This authority granted the current Pope the right to say that all other churches outside of the Catholic Church are not churches in the truest sense as they have not received the proper authority passed down through the ages. You see, using these keys, they further their doctrine of apostolic succession. Peter could then bind and loose in heaven and earth whatever he wanted and by the laying on of hands throughout the ages. The popes also gain and wield this power, universal power to supercede all powers in heaven and in earth, spiritual and/or political, as they see fit.
But for these two preceding arguments, the Catholic Church could not have retained such widespread power and hence, would long since have ceased to exist. The following is where the main problem begins and, as darkness flees in the face of light, destroys the very foundation on which this belief system is based.
Quoting, from the Catholic Bible; Matthew 18:18:
“I assure you, whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (3)
They claim that Jesus said Peter is the Rock. They claim that Peter himself has been given the keys, but let’s look at their own bible. This verse has the same claim as in chapter 16:19, word for word. But, referencing, Matt. 18:1, who is Jesus now talking to?
Quoting, from the Catholic Bible; Matthew 18:1:
“Just then the disciples came up to Jesus with the question, “who is of greatest importance in the kingdom of God?” (4)
Jesus is clearly talking not just to Peter, but to all twelve of the disciples in this verse. If the Catholic Church claims that Peter was the only one who was the first Pope, then what about this same power that was bestowed upon all the disciples in this passage of scripture? Why was no power of succession given to them? Why only Peter? This clearly destroys their claims that this authority was only given to Peter.
I will quote from God’s own Words from here on from the King James Bible. If we look at just a couple of more verses, beginning at Revelation 21:14, this verse says,
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Rev. 21:14
Why not just Peter? There is a difficulty that occurs when this verse is held up. Were the keys of the kingdom of heaven really only given to Peter? Then why all the twelve apostles names on the twelve foundations? Is it because Peter was neither that Rock nor the foundation of which Jesus spoke?
“And are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Ephesians 2:20
I ask you, who does God’s Word say that Jesus is? It says, the chief corner stone. What is the corner stone in any building? Usually the main block which is nearly always made of rock and usually only ever one single block. So, who then is the Rock?
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” I Corinthians 10:4
That Rock was Christ and not Peter! Note the capital letters in the preceding verse denoting Christ, our Redeemer, our Saviour! No mere man could ever do that blessed work of atonement on the cross. Only God in the flesh is able.
Unfortunately, as a result of contradiction in their own bible and by clear verses in God’s Word, the foundation on which the Catholic Church is built is not of rock. Peter was only a weak man through which apostolic succession was never even possible. This leaves only one way to heaven. God’s Word says that Jesus said,
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
Friend, Jesus is calling out to you. Cast away the false belief in man and come to the Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~R.
- New American Bible, J.G. Ferguson Publishing Co. ©1971, N.T., p.21, v.18, (Nihil Obistat: Rosswog, O.S.B., S.T.D.; Imprimatur: McCaffrey, O.S.B. PH.D, D.D.)
- Ibid., p.23.
- Ibid., p.22.