What really constitutes the ‘New Testament Church"? In this lesson, we will attempt to sort this all out and determine which of the many denominations is actually the same Church founded by the Lord. And, we will understand why it matters so much.Preview This Lesson
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We must begin in our discussion of “Which Church?” with the Scriptural definition of the Church.
What is the Church?
Foremost in this discussion, we begin with the words of Jesus, himself. Jesus clearly describes the Church as being founded on the faith of Peter: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18).
Here are the actual Greek words of the passage, with the English words underneath:
I will build
Debate on the meaning of this Scripture and these words has been constant among Protestant theologians for the past almost six-hundred years. Some argue that a significance difference exists between the Greek name "Peter" (Petros) and the term for "rock" (petra), yet they ignore the obvious explanation: petra, a feminine noun, has been modified to have a masculine ending, since Jesus would not refer to a man (Peter) as feminine. The change in the gender is purely for stylistic reasons.
“These critics also neglect the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Greek, and, as John 1:42 tells us, Jesus actually referred to Peter as Kepha or Cephas (depending on how it is transliterated). Moreover, the word for “rock” in Aramaic is also kepha. It is these Aramaic words that are then translated into Greek as Petros and petra. Thus, what Jesus actually said to Peter in Aramaic was: ‘You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.’”
But many still try to make this anointing of Peter as the rock upon which Jesus founded his Church something otherwise. They argue, and they leave the dispute only to start yet another Protestant church.
Christ proclaiming Peter as the Rock
What is undisputed, however, is that an uninterrupted Apostolic line of Bishops, starting with the Bishop of Rome,Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Apologetics #9: Which Church? is part of the following course(s):