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In Christianity, the Confession of Peter
Confession of Peter
(anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate
Vulgate
Latin section title: Confessio Petri) refers to an episode in the New Testament
New Testament
in which the Apostle Peter
Apostle Peter
proclaims Jesus
Jesus
to be the Christ
Christ
(Jewish Messiah). The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20.[1][2] The proclamation of Jesus
Jesus
as Christ
Christ
is fundamental to Christology; the Confession of Peter
Confession of Peter
and Jesus' acceptance of the title "Messiah" form a definitive statement in the New Testament
New Testament
narrative regarding the person of Jesus
Jesus
Christ.[3][4] In this New Testament
New Testament
narrative, Jesus not only accepts the titles Christ
Christ
and Son of God, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter, unequivocally declaring himself to be both Christ
Christ
and the Son of God.[4] In the same passage Jesus
Jesus
also selects Peter as the leader of the Apostles, and states: "Upon this rock I will build my church". Most Christian denominations
Christian denominations
agree that the statement applies to Peter, but they diverge on their interpretations of what happens after Peter.[5] The Confession of Peter
Confession of Peter
is also the name of a liturgical feastday celebrated by several Christian churches, often as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.[6][7]

Contents

1 Gospel accounts

1.1 Background and setting 1.2 Proclamation and acceptance 1.3 Selection of Peter

2 Denominational issues

2.1 Interpretations 2.2 Commemorations

3 See also 4 References

Gospel accounts[edit] Background and setting[edit] In the New Testament, this pericope and the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus
Jesus
which follows it appear towards the middle of the Gospel narrative and jointly mark the beginnings of the gradual disclosure of the identity of Jesus
Jesus
to his disciples.[8][9] The setting is near Caesarea Philippi
Caesarea Philippi
in northern Palestine and is at the beginning of the final journey to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
which ends in the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.[2] Peter's Confession begins as a dialogue between Jesus
Jesus
and his disciples in Matthew 16:13, Mark 8:27 and Luke 9:18. Jesus
Jesus
begins to ask about the current opinions about himself among "the multitudes", asking: "Who do the multitudes say that I am?"[2] The disciples provide a variety of the common hypotheses at the time, ranging from John the Baptist
John the Baptist
to Elijah, Jeremiah,[10] or one of the (other) prophets.[2] The Cambridge Bible
Bible
for Schools and Colleges, following Jewish medieval rabbi David Kimhi
David Kimhi
and theologican John Lightfoot, suggests that Jeremiah
Jeremiah
"is mentioned as a representative of the Prophets, because in the Jewish Canon the book of Jeremiah
Jeremiah
came first of the Prophets, following the books of Kings."[11] Earlier in the Gospel narrative, these hypotheses about Jesus' identity were provided in Mark 6:14-16 by those in the court of Herod Antipas when he wondered if Jesus
Jesus
was John the Baptist
John the Baptist
restored to life.[2][12] Proclamation and acceptance[edit] In the three Gospel accounts, after asking about the views of "the multitudes", Jesus
Jesus
asks his disciples about their own opinion: "But who do you say that I am?" Only Simon Peter answers him: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God".[1][13] Only in Matthew 16:17 Jesus
Jesus
blesses Peter for his answer, and later indicates this revelation is the foundational rock of the Church. This begins with:

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

In blessing Peter, Jesus
Jesus
not only accepts the titles Christ
Christ
and Son of God which Peter attributes to him, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter.[4] In this assertion, by endorsing both titles as divine revelation, Jesus
Jesus
unequivocally declares himself to be both Christ
Christ
and the Son of God.[4] The reference to "my Father" is distinguished in that in the New Testament, Jesus
Jesus
never includes other individuals in such references and only refers to his Father, however when addressing the disciples he uses your Father, excluding himself from the reference.[14] Selection of Peter[edit]

Pietro Perugino's depiction of the "Giving of the Keys to Saint Peter" by Jesus, 1492

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus
Jesus
then continues:

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.

The word "Peter" in this verse is, in Greek, "petros", while this "rock" is "petra". It is a play on words, but if the original language was Aramaic the word in both cases is simply "kepha". A distinction that petros meant a stone and petra a solid piece of rocky ground is sometimes suggested, but Greek use in antiquity seems to have been less precise.[15] The word "church" (ekklesia in Greek), as used here, appears in the Gospels only once more, in Matthew 18:17, and refers to the community of believers at the time.[3] The "gates of hell" (of Hades) refers to the underworld, and the abode of the dead, and refers to the powers opposed to God not being able to triumph over the church.[16] The keys of the kingdom of heaven refer to the metaphor of the Kingdom of Heaven being a "place to be entered" as also used in Matthew 23:13, where the entrance to it can be shut.[16] Peter's authority is further confirmed by: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". As discussed below, various Christian denominations
Christian denominations
have assigned different interpretations to the authority granted in this passage. All three of the Synoptics end the account with Jesus
Jesus
telling the disciples not to reveal that he was the Messiah to anyone, a statement which in the 20th century gave rise to theory of the Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark. Denominational issues[edit] Interpretations[edit]

Plaque at Nantes Cathedral: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

Various Christian denominations
Christian denominations
interpret Matthew 16:18 in different ways. Although most denominations agree that the statement applies to Peter, they diverge on their interpretations of what happens after Peter.[5] In the Roman Catholic Church, Jesus' words, "upon this rock I will build my church" are interpreted as the foundation of the doctrine of the papacy, whereby the Church of Christ
Christ
is founded upon Peter and his successors, the Bishops of Rome.[17] Jesus' next statement, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." are interpreted as the foundation of the doctrine of papal infallibility.[18] Some Protestants
Protestants
believe that the verse states that Peter was the foundation stone of the Church, but do not accept that it applies to the continuous succession of popes, as the Bishops of Rome. The statement "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" is usually taken to mean that the Church will never become extinct.[5][18] Some Protestant evangelical groups adhere to the interpretation that it is Peter's "confession" itself that is "the rock on which will be built the Church of Jesus", i.e. The church will be built on Jesus
Jesus
alone as the foundation stone of his church. This interpretation usually uses the argument of the difference between petros and petra in Greek ("You are Peter [petros] and on this rock [petra] I will build my church.") The Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
and Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
churches also reject the succession of popes and see Jesus' words, "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven" as bestowing first upon Peter what was later bestowed upon all of the Apostles collectively. The Orthodox believe in the infallibility of the Church as a whole, but that any individual, regardless of their position can be subject to error.[5] Ecumenical meetings among different denominations have taken place regarding these interpretations, but no final agreement has emerged.[5] Commemorations[edit] The Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter on 22 February in the General Roman Calendar. In the General Roman Calendar of 1960, the feast is celebrated on 18 January. Some Anglican and Lutheran
Lutheran
churches celebrate the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter on 18 January.[7] The Confession of Peter
Confession of Peter
is the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, is actually an octave rather than a week and was originally known as the Octave of Christian Unity. It is an international Christian ecumenical observance that began in 1908. It spans from 18 January to 25 January (the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul).[7] See also[edit]

Bible
Bible
portal

Chronology of Jesus Denial of Peter Life of Jesus
Jesus
in the New Testament Transfiguration of Jesus

References[edit]

^ a b c Who do you say that I am? Essays on Christology
Christology
by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 page xvi ^ a b c d e The Collegeville Bible
Bible
Commentary: New Testament
New Testament
by Robert J. Karris 1992 ISBN 0-8146-2211-9 pages 885-886 ^ a b The Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
by Rudolf Schnackenburg 2002 ISBN 0-8028-4438-3 pages 7-9 ^ a b c d One Teacher: Jesus' Teaching Role in Matthew's Gospel by John Yueh-Han Yieh 2004 ISBN 3-11-018151-7 pages 240-241 ^ a b c d e The People's New Testament
New Testament
Commentary by M. Eugene Boring, Fred B. Craddock 2004 ISBN 0-664-22754-6 page 69 ^ Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship by Brett Scott Provance 2009 ISBN 978-0-8308-2707-7 page 59 ^ a b c Exciting Holiness: Collects and Readings for the Festivals by B. Tristam ISBN 1-85311-479-0 Canterbury Press 2003 pages 54-55 ^ The Christology
Christology
of Mark's Gospel by Jack Dean Kingsbury 1983 ISBN 0-8006-2337-1 pages 91-95 ^ The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels by Stephen C. Barton ISBN 0-521-00261-3 pages 132-133 ^ In Matthew's account only: Matthew 16:14 ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Matthew 16; John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels on Matthew 16
Matthew 16
and on Matthew 27, all accessed 25 January 2017 ^ The Gospel of Mark, Volume 2 by John R. Donahue, Daniel J. Harrington 2002 ISBN 0-8146-5965-9 page 336 ^ Christology
Christology
and the New Testament
New Testament
by Christopher Mark Tuckett 2001 ISBN 0-664-22431-8 page 109 ^ Jesus
Jesus
God and Man by Wolfhart Pannenberg 1968 ISBN 0-664-24468-8 pages 53-54 ^ Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr by Oscar Cullman 2011 ISBN 1602584133 page 20 ^ a b The Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
(Sacra Pagina Series, Vol 1) by Dainel J. Harrington 1991 ISBN 978-0-8146-5803-1 page 248 ^ Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church by Stephen K. Ray 1999 ISBN 978-0-89870-723-6 pages 11-15 ^ a b Papal infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue by Mark E. Powell 2009 ISBN 978-0-8028-6284-6 pages 35-40

Confession of Peter Life of Jesus: Ministry

Preceded by Blind Man of Bethsaida Miracles of Jesus New Testament Events Succeeded by The Transfiguration Miracles of Jesus

v t e

Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
chapter 16

Verse

Matthew 16:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Places

Caesarea Philippi

Terms

Confession of Peter Keys of the kingdom

← chapter 15 Gospel of Matthew chapter 17 →

v t e

Gospel of Matthew

Bible

Chapter

Matthew 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Verse

Matthew 1:1-25 2:1-23 3:1-17 4:1-25 5:1-48 6:1-34 7:1-24 27:1-66 28:1-16

Places

Bethany Bethlehem Bethsaida Capernaum Egypt Galilee Jerusalem Jordan River Judea Samaria Sea of Galilee

People

Andrew Caiaphas Herod James Jeremiah Jesus
Jesus
Christ John John the Baptist Joseph Judas Iscariot Mary Mary Magdalene Matthew Philip Pontius Pilate Rachel Simon Peter Thomas Zebedee

Groups Angels Pharisees Sadducees Sanhedrin

Events

Star of Bethlehem Magi Baptism of Jesus Sermon on the Mount

Lord's Prayer

Golden rule Walking on water Last Supper Crucifixion of Jesus

Sources

Greek Text Latin Vulgate Wycliffe Version King James Version American Standard Version World English Version

←  Book of Malachi
Book of Malachi
(chapter 4) Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark
(chapter

.