The Apostle Peter’s Place in the Ecclesiology of the Gospel of Matthew: An Inquiry into the Theological Meaning of “the Rock” and “the Keys of the Kingdom” in Matthew 16:18-19
In this article the author exegetically and theologically analyzes one of the tradition ally controversial passages from the New TestamentMatthew 16:18-19, which speaks about the socalled primacy of the Apostle Peter and the “keys of the king dom” given to him. More specifically, the article attempts to clarify and define the lexical and theological meaning of the concepts used in the passage studied and explicate them in the context of Matthean ecclesiology. It is argued that initially Jesus is the one to whom real and supreme au thority belongs, but it is to Peter that he entrusts the keys of the Kingdom, thus officially making him the spiritual leader of the primitive church. Yet, he does so only after Peter has professed him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. As a re sult, Peterviz. a person of Simon the Apos tle, firmly believing and courageously con fessingbecomes the rock, the foundation of the Church of Christ, due to his faith and confession. Thus, close links between Jesus himself, Peter, and the community of believers have been established which should be maintained when interpreting Matt. 16:1819.
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