To support their position, they point to the fact that two different forms of the noun appear in the Greek rendering of the verse—petros e petra. Insisting the former means “small stone” and the latter “large stone,” they contend that Jesus actually said, “You are Small Stone [Petros], and on this large stone [petra] I will build my church.”
Ben intesu, this interpretation twists Jesus’ simple and clever play on words into a disjointed conundrum. Fortunately, there is a better explanation for the discrepancy. To begin with, Saint Matthew’s Vangelu was written either in Hebrew or Aramaic, not in Greek.1 That Greek assigns gender to words posed a certain difficulty for the scribes, who later translated the Vangelu into that language, as petra, a feminine word, was unfit to serve as the Apostle’s name.
As a way around this problem, petra was given a masculine ending, making it Petros. The choice of the scribes on this matter is ultimately irrelevant, cumunqui, since Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek. e, as Gospel of John (1:42) proves, Jesus did not call Peter “Petros,” but Kepha (rendered phonetically in Greek as Cephas), the Aramaic word for “large stone” or “rock.” What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, tandu, is simply, “You are Rock [Kepha], and on this rock [kepha] I will build my church.”
That Peter is the “rock” of the Church does not undermine the truth that Jesus is the Church’s true foundation per St. Paul’s First Lettera a li Curinzî (3:11), anymore than calling Abraham the “father of many nations” in I Muvrini, 17:5, undermines the Fatherhood of God (“call no man ‘Father'” in the Vancelu di Matteu, 23:9).
Consider that Peter calls Jesus “that living stone” and in the next breath exhorts the faithful to be “like living stones” (vede Peter’s First Epistle, 2:4, 5).
Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) declared, “Of this one and only Church there is one body and one head—not two heads, like a monster—namely Christ, and Christ’s vicar is Peter, and Peter’s successor” (Unam Sanctam).
Peter and the Apostles are the foundation of the Church (vede Matthew, 16:18; L' Libru di Rivilazione, 21:14; e Isaia, 51:1-2) only inasmuch as God conferred this quality upon them.
Peter’s rock-likeness is wholly dependent upon Christ’s rock-likeness; Christ’s rock-likeness is inherent to His divinity. As a rock, Peter is subject to Christ; Christ the Rock is subject to no one and nothing.
- This is affirmed by Saint Papias (c. 130 A.D.), Explanation of the Sayings of the Lord; Eusebius, History of the Church 3:39:1, 16. ↩