Re: The foundation on which the church is built - Is it St. Peter or his faith ? or his faith
- Dear Rev. Johnachen, Mr. Mathew & Mr. Jacob,
Thank you very much for your responses.
I have come acros a few quote from St. John Chrysostom, Tertullian, Origen, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Clement of Alexandria and others where in St. Peter is referred to as the ' Foundation of the church '.
Please could you explain in what sense St. Peter is considered as the foundation of the church .
- Dear John Achan
I refer to your recent post in the forum on the above subject. Let me quote from your own article, which was published in this forum some years back, and I copied it at that time and kept it for my study reference. I don't think you changed now your biblical understandings about the faith also, when you switched over to the IOC side!!!
Issac K Joseph
(1) Certain missions were common to all Apostles, "He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." Mat.10:1, Mk. 3:13, and Lk.6:12, "As you go, preach, saying The Kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons, freely you have received, freely give" Mat. 10:7-8. Granted them Holy Spirit, peace, power to forgive and retain sins, John 20:22-23. He kindled their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures and empowered them to be witness for Him, Luke 24:45-48. He charged them to preach and make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all commandments, Mat 28:19-20. (2) Some missions, as discussed below, were not common to all but personal as for St. Peter and St. Paul.
St. Peter is entrusted with additional privileges, missions and responsibilities. At the first meeting itself Jesus treated him in a special way. Jesus promised him a surname, 'Cephas.' "You are Simon, the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" John 1:42. Cephas in Aramaic means rock. In the Old Testament rock is synonym of Yahweh. Yahweh is the rock of Israel 2 Sam 23:3, Is 30:29. He is their rock of refuge. Dt 32:37, Ps 18:3. He is their rock of deliverance, Dt 32:15, Ps 62:3. He is their everlasting rock, Is 26:4. Yahweh is the blessed rock, Ps 18:47. He is righteous, faithful rock in whom there is no wrong Dt 32:4, Ps 92:16. Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron when they had no water in the wilderness of Zin. Moses and Aaron went into the presence of the Lord. The Lord instructed them to strike the rock with their rod. They did so and water gushed out of the rock (Meribah) abundantly. Ex 17:6, Num. 20:11. St. Paul interpreted that, "that rock was 'Christ," I Cot. 10:4. The title, 'rock' thus rightly belongs to Jesus Christ. By calling Peter 'Cepah,' Jesus imputed His personality in him rather, He conferred His own title to Simon. Adoption was common practice among Jews on those days. Family title was conferred on those who were adopted, Gen. 15:2. It can be assumed without error that Peter was more like adopted kin to Jesus Christ. Heavenly father validated what Jesus conferred on Peter by revealing to him that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the living God. It was then that Jesus confirmed him the title, 'Cepah.' Jesus promised to build the Church on the leadership of Peter, "On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." Some theologians interpret that, 'Cephas' is not a citation to Peter himself but to the faith he confessed. Such opinions are absurd as, "You are Cephas-Peter," purely implies a personal reference. "Church is built upon him. "He conferred this personally upon Peter," says Tertullian. "Peter upon whom is built the Church of Christ," says Origen. "It is on one man that He builds the Church," says Cyprian.
Keys: Peter's personal commission is further fortified by assuring him the keys of kingdom of heaven and the power to bind and loose. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven," Mat 16:17-19. The key of the kingdom of heaven is not given to Church but to Peter himself. In Isaiah 22:22 we read, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open." Revelation 3:7 says He who is holy, He who is true," has the key of David, and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is legitimately holding the Keys of the Kingdom of God. "I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen. I have the keys of hell and of death." Rev 1:18. Shortly, he has overall authority of all things, created, uncreated, visible, invisible, earthly, celestial, living, dead, temporal and eternal. For, Jesus endowed all His authority to Peter by promising the keys.
Temple tax collectors' inquiry to Peter if their teacher pay tax is an ample proof that Peter was by then well known in the society as representative of Jesus. Jesus affirmed it by asking Peter to pay tax for both Himself and Peter, Mat 17:24-27. His eminent position among the Apostles prompted Satan to sift him as wheat. Jesus prayed for him so that his faith would not fail Luke 22:31-32. Jesus' special care and keen interest to retain Peter in leadership position is self-evident in these statements. Peter in his frailty denied Jesus three times. Peter's denial and its aftermath, that he will not forfeit but retain his leadership by strengthening other Apostles, were predicted well in advance, hence not by chance. On the first day after Sabbath when Mary Magdalene and other women entered the tomb to anoint with spices and the angel spoke to them that Jesus was risen from the dead and asked them, "Go tell his disciples and Peter" Mark 16:7. Special mention of Peter's name is yet another piece of evidence of his eclat position among the disciples that the angel was very much aware of. It also testifies Jesus' loving concern and special favor to Peter. The disciples disbelieved the account of resurrection as narrated by Mary Magdalene, Mark 16:1. Their words seemed to them like "idle tales." Peter arose and ran to the tomb and thus he was the first among the disciples to believe the resurrection. Luke 24:11-12. Jesus commissioned Peter to feed His flock. Peter denied Him three times, as predicted, Mat. 26:69-75. Though he wept bitterly after denial, it was necessary to affirm his conviction. Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him more than other Apostles. Peter affirmed he loved Him more than others and surrendered by saying, "You know that." Jesus then appointed him to feed His lambs (children), His sheep (women) and Goats (men). Unlike in English, Syriac version has distinct words. This fulfills all the previous promises. Our practice of declaring candidate's unwavering faith and obedience to the Church and to the bishop who ordains (Salmoosa or Amologia) has its origin from this tradition.
Peter as the most obedient and loving disciple fulfilled the assignment soon after Jesus' ascension. He took up the leadership of the disciples and disciples accepted it, as in Acts 1:15-17. Peter was the first Apostle to speak. He filled in the void in the gospels as to the end of Judas and initiated the process of selection of twelfth Apostle. Peter instead of claiming or exercising absolute authority for himself submitted to the ultimate will of God. That is why our Church as always rightly teaches that no human being but Jesus Christ Himself is the real Head of the Church. No human being, no matter whatever title he holds, can be infallible. Peter is the first Apostle to preach at the Pentecost, Acts 2:1 - 41, He was first to perform miracles, Acts 3:1-11. He was the first to preach to gentiles and convert them, Acts 10:1-11:8. Church grew as faithful multiplied daily and extended to neighboring areas and countries.
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Rev. Fr. John Kunjukunju wrote:
> Dear Mathew George
> Liturgy of St James, immediately following consecration (kroithod'Rooho kadisho) of Holy Body and Blood, the celebrant reads, "Hoi d'al shoovo d'haimonootho" founded on the rock of faith."
> Read also Acts 4:11, Eph 2:20, and 1Pet 2:6, where Christ is mentioned as corner sotne, by none other than St Peter, and St Paul; do not believe what others teach, believe what the bible teaches,
> Thank you and God Bless you,
> KK Johnachen
- Dear Issac,
Don't you know that these cross-jumpers have to take a U-turn in their faith and belief when they joined the anti-Syriac Church a/k/a Indian Orthodox? Look at John achan's GURU Muvattupuzha Athanasios bishop. That bishop once with the influence of Holy spirit wrote a famous book "Ithu Viswasathinte Kaaryam." There he described very well about Saint peter's role and position and the foundation of the Holy Church. Later this bishop also had to take a U-turn in his faith and now preaches against his own writings for his survival. This cross-jumper bishop now started to shed crocodile tears thru his own publication. And that too is for his survival. There is nothing to wonder about their actions. When they deceived the mother church and joined the rebels, they lost the Holy Spirit and gained the evil spirit. The evil spirit always force you to to take a U-turn against the truth. Also the evil spirit always urges you to rebel against the truth.
Lucipher, the once most shining star angel of heaven, wanted to be equal to God and rebelled against the eternal truth. Holiness was taken away from Lucipher and he was thrown away to eternal curse. Vattasseri bishop and his successors wanted to be equal to H.H. Patriarch and rebelled against the Holy Throne. Priesthood was taken away from them by Saint Peter's successor. They were thrown away from the Holy Church. And their successors also started to rebel against the truth and against the Holy throne. They will work day and night to destroy or close down the Holy altars. They will bring law suits against His people.They will continue this until the end of the world.
We need to pray for them.
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Issac K Joseph wrote:
> Dear John Achan
> I refer to your recent post in the forum on the above subject. Let me quote from your own article, which was published in this forum some years back, and I copied it at that time and kept it for my study reference. I don't think you changed now your biblical understandings about the faith also, when you switched over to the IOC side!!!
- Dear Mathew,
I don't know which particular quotes from these saints are you referring to. If you can send them, that will be helpful.
Here is a quote from the Holy Bible: Ephesians 2: 19-21
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."
This clearly talks about the foundation of the household of God that we are members of (ie the Hily Church).
It very clearly says the apostles and prophets and Jesus Christ himself is the foundation with Jesus Christ(and not St. Peter or St.Thomas) being the chief cornerstone of the foundation.
And with respect to your question about Matthew 16: 18 whcih says: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.", the 1997 encyclical from our Holy Father Zakka I clearly helps us interpret this. He clearly says, it is on the rock of the faith as expressed by St. Peter that our Lord is referring. I don't think I can do a better job explaining it that H.H Zakka I.
This does not mean that St. Peter didnt have Primacy among the apostles. Indeed he was the chief of the Apostles, it cannot be denied. However no particular Bishop succeeds no particular Apostle. All Bishops are successors of all Apostles.
Mathew G M
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Mathew wrote:
> Dear Rev. Johnachen, Mr. Mathew & Mr. Jacob,
> Thank you very much for your responses.
> I have come acros a few quote from St. John Chrysostom, Tertullian, Origen, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Clement of Alexandria and others where in St. Peter is referred to as the ' Foundation of the church '.