Protestants Speak On Peter :The Rock ?



1)The Easton's bible dictionary (Protestant) tells us"Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means 'a mass of rock' ....It is he who utters that notable profession of faith at Capernaum (John 6:66-69), and again at Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20). This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and our Lord in response used these memorable words: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

2)The Pocket Bible Dictionary 1996 (Protestant) says "Pe'ter (Rock), Syriac,CEPHAS (Rock)... His original name was Simon or Simeon but when he was called to the apostleship the Lord gave him the name Peter (CEPHAS) Matthew.16:18, with a prophetic reference to what he should do and be for the church."

3)The Bible Encyclopedia 1941(Protestant) tells us"Note that Christ did not speak to the disciples in Greek. He spoke Aramaic, the common language of Palestine at that time. In that language the word for rock is Cepha, which is what Jesus called him in every-day speech (note that in John 1:42 he was told, "You will be called Cephas"). What Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 was thus: "You are Cepha, and upon this Cepha I will build my Church."

4)The Bible Cyclopedia, 1914 (Protestant) says"Peter. Of Bethsaida on the sea of Galilee. The Gr. For Heb. Cephas, "rock."..... As "Simon" he was but a hearer; as Peter or Cephas he became an apostle and the foundation rock of the Church. (Matt. 16:18-19)"

5)The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (Protestant), 1962, Vol. II, p. 1815 says"The Aramaic word for ‘rock’ is Cepha, and this is without a doubt the word that Jesus used in reference to Peter. In the early Aramaic-speaking Church P. (Peter) was not doubt called ‘Cephas.’...Abundant evidence in the New Testament shows that Peter acted as the head of the apostles during the earthly life of Christ as well as after Christ’s ascension into Heaven;" ...He is the first to publicly profess his faith in Christ, and on this occasion, at Caesarea Philippi, Christ promises him the primacy in His Church (Mt 16:16-19), a promise fulfilled after Christ’s resurrection when Peter makes a threefold protestation of his undying love for Him (Jn 21,15ff), to atone for his three-fold denial of Him (Mt 26:69-75)."

6)Dictionary of Biblical Literacy, 1986, p. 415 (Protestant) "Peter. Greek ‘Petra’, Aramaic ‘Cephas’, ‘Rock.’ the name Christ gave to Simon Bar-Johnah."

7)The Harper’s Bible Dictionary 1996, p. 777 says "The name ‘Peter’is the Greek word for ‘rock’ (petra) and translates an Aramaic name (Cepha’) that also means ‘rock.’ ...Peter’s emergence as a leader among Christ’s disciples is reflected in the story found in Matt. 16:18-19 that Christ bestowed the name ‘rock’ on Simon as a sign of his future role as upholder and interpreter of the traditions established by Christ..... Peter is credited with being a leader among the disciples during Christ’s ministry...Christ elicits a threefold protestation of love, corresponding to the threefold denial, from Peter before commissioning him to feed Christ’s sheep. These passages suggests that Peter’s leadership among the disciples in the post-Easter church was based on his having been the first disciple to see the risen Lord (e.g., Luke 24:34; Mark 16:7?). ... The overall picture of Peter as one of the chief leaders responsible for an expanding Christian mission, first to Jews, then to interested Gentiles, is confirmed by the picture of Peter in Acts 1-15."

8)The New World Dictionary-Concordance to the New American Bible p. 527 (Protestant) says "Peter. Simon or Simeon, which is the Greek form of the name, was son of Jonah.... From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock, translated into Greek by the word Petros (Gal. 2:7, 8)...The power entrusted to Peter is further specified as the power to tie and loose, which, in accordance with the use of the expression in the Jewish tradition, comprises the power to declare something prohibited or licit, or to impose or dispense from, an obligation. This power must be in the context of the power that Peter received, namely authority in the service of the community as it tended towards its eschatological end as expressed in the previous metaphor."

9)A Dictionary of the Bible (Protestant) says 1943 "Pe’ter,The Greek form of the Aramiac surname Cephas meaning a rock, which Christ bestowed upon Simon or more properly, Symeon ...Peter ardor, earnestness, courage, vigor, and impetuosity of disposition marked him from the first as the leader of the disciples of Jesus. He is always named first in the lists of the apostles (Matt. x 2; Mark iii 16; Luke vi 14; Acts i 13). In the more intimate circle of the most favored three disciples, he is likewise always named first...The period of leadership in the church, as exhibited in the earlier chapters of The Acts. During these years Peter justified his surname, and fulfilled the prophecy that on him should the edifice of the church be raised (Matt. 16:18). It was by his hold and strong hand that the church was lead in every step."

10)The Macmillan Concise Dictionary of World History,  1986 tells us "Peter: d AD 64? Pe’ter,The Greek form of the Aramiac surname Cephas meaning a rock, Apostle, pope, and saint. According to the Bible Peter, a fisherman of Galilee was originally known as Simon. He was chosen by Jesus to be the first leader (pope) of his disciples. During Jesus' crucifixion, Peter denied knowing him, an act that Jesus had predicted and that Peter bitterly repented of. After word of Jesus' ascension to heaven, Peter actively sought converts, and is believed to have been crucified, head downward, in Rome by Nero. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is considered to be the first Pope."

11)Nave’s Topical Bible (Protestant) Says 1999 "Peter Also called SIMON BAR-JONA and CEPHAS 'Rock' Matthew 16:16-19; "

12)Hitchcock’s Bible Names (Protestant) 1896 "Pe'ter or Cephas 'rock"

13)The Smith’s Bible Dictionary (Protestant) 1901 "Pe’ter (rock). Jesus gave Peter the name Cephas, a Syriac word answering to the Greek Peter, and signifying a stone or rock (Matt 16:18)....From this time there can be no doubt that Peter held the first place among the apostles, to whatever cause his precedence is to be attributed. He is named first in every list of the apostles; he is generally addressed by our Lord as their representative; and on the most solemn occasions he speaks in their name. The distinction which he received, and it may be his consciousness of ability, energy, zeal and absolute devotion to Christ’s person,

14)The Encarta Concise Encyclopedia  1997"Peter in the Gospels it is known that the name he received at birth was Simon. Peter (from the Greek word for "rock"Aramiac surname "Cephas") is thus a metaphorical or symbolic name that became in time the name of the man in question. The name may have arisen because Christ called Simon was the foundation stone of the church (Matt. 16:18)."

15)The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Third Edition Copyright 1994, says "Peter, Saint d. A.D. 64?, most prominent of the Twelve APOSTLES, traditionally the first bishop of Rome. His name was Simon, but Jesus called him Cephas [Aramaic, (= (rock], or, in Greek, Petros... Peter appears in the gospels as leader and spokesman of the disciples, and Jesus most often addressed him when speaking to them. When Peter confessed Jesus to be the Christ, he was told, Upon this rock I will build my church... After the Resurrection Jesus appeared and charged Peter to feed my sheep. The ACTS OF THE APOSTLES describes Peter's role as leader in the early apostolic period. According to 2d-cent. sources, he apparently left Antioch for Rome A.D. c.55 and there died as head of the local church-a martyr under NERO-traditionally crucified on the Vatican Hill. Over his supposed burial place stands ST. PETER'S CHURCH, the principal shrine of Europe. Peter is said to have helped St. MARK write his gospel, but the epistles of PETER are regarded as mistakenly attributed. His successors as bishop of Rome came to be leaders of the church (see PAPACY). "

16)The Pinfoplease Encyclopedia  1995 says"Peter, Saint d. A.D. 64?, most prominent of the Twelve Disciples, listed first in the Gospels, and traditionally the first bishop of Rome. His original name was Simon, but Jesus gave him the name Cephas [Aramaic, = rock],...Peter appears throughout the Gospels as leader and spokesman of the disciples, and Jesus most often addressed him when speaking to them (Mat. 10.2; 14.28; 15.15; 17.24; 19.27; Luke 8.51; 12.41). His honored position comes out most clearly in two high points of Jesus' ministry—when Peter confessed Jesus to be the Christ and was told 'Upon this rock I will build my church';...After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared by the Sea of Galilee and charged Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 20.1–10; 21). The first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles describe Peter's role as leader of the Twelve in the election of a replacement for Judas and in the public declaration at Pentecost (Acts 1.15–26; 2.14–40). Much attention is given to Peter's miracles and to his defense of Christianity; his deliverance from prison by an angel is a celebrated incident (Acts 3; 4; 5.1–11, 29–32; 8.14–25; 9.32–43; 10; 11.1–18; 12.1–19). He was a leader at the council of Jerusalem that was called to discuss the integration of non-Jews into the Christian organization;...From earliest times Christians looked for leadership to the successors of Peter as the bishop of Rome...The biblical passages cited to support Petrine supremacy are Mat. 16.13–20 and John 21.15–25. From the first passage comes the familiar image of the keys, which are seen to represent papal power, as well as that of St. Peter as the gatekeeper of heaven."

17)The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the bible (Protestant) 1943 says "Peter Saint, Christianity, one of the twelve Apostles His principal name, Peter, is the Greek translation of that given him (John 1:42) by Jesus; Cephas is the Grecian form of the Aramaic Kepha, "rock"(Matt. 16;18)...Peter was The true leader of the Church after Pentecost Peter was noted for his miracles and his devotion to Christ."

18)The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the King James Bible (Protestant) 1919 says "Pe'ter, Saint d. A.D. 64, The leader of the Twelve APOSTLES, Believed to be the first bishop of Rome. His name was Simon, but Jesus called him Cephas [Aramaic, (= (rock], or, in Greek, Petros...clearly Simon was the foundation stone of the church (Matt. 16:18)...The ACTS OF THE APOSTLES shows Peter's role as leader in the early apostolic period."

19)The Brundle Dictionary of the Sacred Bible (Protestant) 1843 says "Pe'ter. Simon or Simeon, which is the Greek form of the name, was son of Jonah. "From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock,... Peter was the foundation Stone of the early Church (Matt.16;18)... in book of Acts we see Peter's establishing h tois leadership and authority in the church."

20)The Dictionary of the Bible (Protestant) 1967 says " Pe'ter (Rock), Syriac,CEPHAS (Rock).... Christ put Peter and a place of authority over the early church. Calling him the foundation stone Matt. 16:18-19 "

21)National Almanac 1996 says"St. Peter, of Bethsaida in Galilee,From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock. Prince of the Apostles, was the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He lived first in Antioch and then in Rome for 25 years. In C.E. 64 or 67, he was martyred. St. Linus became the second pope."

22)Comptons Encyclopedia  1995 says "He (Peter)was the first of the apostles to whom Christ appeared after his Resurrection, commanding the repentant Peter, "Feed my lambs, tend my sheep." Reassured by this that Jesus still trusted him, Peter became a great teacher in the early days of the church. He preached throughout Palestine. Many scholars believe that he also worked in Rome for a time. Roman Catholics count him as the first bishop of Rome and the first pope. His claim to the position of head of the church is based also on the words of Jesus to Peter in St. Matthew's gospel: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." (The Greek word petros means "rock."Syriac,CEPHAS "Rock") the Romans crucified Peter in about AD 64 during the reign of Nero. Declaring that he was not worthy to die in the same way that Jesus had, Peter asked that his executioners hang him on the cross head downward.

23)History of The Early Church 1901 says "Simon was one of the twelve followers of Jesus designated as Apostles. He became the leader of the inner circle, which included James and John. Jesus confirmed Simon's leadership when he stated, 'Blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah! No mere man has revealed this to you but my heavenly Father, I, for my part, declare to you are 'Cephas' (the Aramaic word meaning 'rock'.) and on this rock I will build my Church and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.'The Aramaic 'Cephas' was translated into the Greek 'Petros', hence the anglicized name, 'Peter'."

24)Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia 1995 says "Peter in the Gospels it is known that the name he received at birth and with which he grew up was Simon. The Greek word Petros ("rock") and its Aramaic equivalent, cephas, were not in use as personal names. "Peter" is thus a metaphorical or symbolic designation that came in time to function as the name of the man in question. The symbolic name in its Aramaic form may have arisen in connection with the affirmation that the resurrected Lord appeared first to Simon, that appearance and thus Simon himself serving as a sort of foundation stone of the church."

25)Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, copyright 2000, p. 228 says"Cephas (Kephas) nickname or surname given to the apostles Peter (from Aram. Kepa, ‘rock’)."

26)The New Strong’s Guide to Bible Words, copyright 1996, p. 44 says"Cephas; 2786 Kephas (6), Rock"

27)Holman Bible Dictionary, copyright 1991 pgs. 1098-1099 says"Peter personal name meaning ‘rock.’... Cephas and Peter both mean rock... Peter is credited with being the leader of the 12 Disciples."

28)The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, copyright 1990 says"2786 Kephas, kay-fas; of chald. Or [comp. 3710]; the rock; Cephas(i.e. kepha), a surname of Peter:-Cephas"

29)The Smith’s Bible Dictionary, p. 241 says"Pe’ter. Originally Simeon, or Simon, heard. (... Peter, a rock)"

30)The Holman Concise Bible Dic-tion-ar-y, copyright 1997, p. 512 says"Peter (‘rock’) Leader of Jesus’s 12 apostles; preacher at Pentecost; took the gospel to God-fearing Gentiles"

31)The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, copyright 1972, p. 154 says"Ce’phas [from Aram. Kepha, rock]. An appellation given by Jesus to the apostles Simon...Peter is the Greek equivalent of Cephas"

32)Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, copyright 1989 p. 254 says"Cephas [See fuhs] (rock) The Aramaic named for Simon the son of Jonah (John 1:42) given to him by Christ"

33)New International Version, copyright 1984, footnote to verse John 1:42 says"Both Cephas (Aramaic) and peter (Greek) mean rock"

34)World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, copyright 1999 says"Peter, Saint (?-A.D. 64?), was a leading apostle of Jesus Christ. He was a leader of the early Christian community in Jerusalem and is a prominent figure in the New Testament. Peter's original name was Simon. Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means rock in Greek. Peter is sometimes called Simon Peter in the New Testament. In a passage from the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as saying to Peter: ‘And I say 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: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt. 16:18-19)."

35)The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Words, copyright 1996, p. 646 says"2786 Kephas, kay-fas; of chald. Or [comp. 3710]; the rock; Cephas(i.e. kepha), a surname of Peter:-Cephas"

          36) Protestant Scholar Dr. France says : "Jesus' beatitude of Peter or His blessing is given to Peter alone. The other disciples may have shared his insight  but Peter, characteristically expressed it. Matthew often illustrates Peter's place at the head of the disciples' group. He was the spokesman, the pioneer, the natural leader.It describes not so much Peter's character, that is the Rock. He did not prove to be rock-like in terms of stability or reliability but rather the name Rock or Peter points to his function as the foundation stone of Jesus' Church."

         37)In his Anchor Bible Commentary on Matthew Says : "Peter as the Rock will be the foundation of the future community, the church. Jesus here uses Aramaic and so only the Aramaic word which would serve His purpose. In view of the background in verse 19, one must dismiss as confessional interpretation any attempt to see this rock as the faith or the confession of Peter."

        38) Reformed Biblical scholars Herman Liderboss, In his Matthew commentary says, "The slight difference between these two words, petra and petros, has no special importance. The most likely explanation for the change from petros, Peter, masculine, to petra is that petra was the normal word for rock, because the feminine ending of this noun made it unsuitable as a man's name; however, Simon was not called Petra but Petros. There is no good reason to think that Jesus switched from petros to petra to show that He was not speaking of the man Peter but of his confession as the foundation of the Church. The words "on this rock," petra, indeed, refer to Peter. Because of the revelation he had received and the confession it had motivated in him, Peter was appointed by Jesus to lay the foundation of the future Church."

        39) Evangelical, Protestant scholar Professor Donald Carson In his book, God With Us, Themes from Matthew says, "Jesus was simply using a pun to say that Peter is the rock on which Jesus would build His Church."

        40) Lutheran professor, of scripture and theology Torg Forberg In his article entitled, "Peter, High Priest of the New Covenant." He says

"Peter is presented as some kind of successor to the High Priest in tradition used by the final redactorate, Matthew 16:13-19. Peter stands out as a kind of chief Rabbi who binds and looses in the sense of declaring something to be forbidden or permitted. Peter is looked upon as a counterpart to the High Priest. He is the highest representative for the people of God."

        41)  Bultmann, A Protestant Biblical scholars said, "How could He have envisioned the future development of an organized congregation of followers and appointed for them Peter as possessor of the power to teach and to discipline?"

        42) English Protestant scholar, J.N.D. Kelly In his book, Oxford Dictionary of the Popes, Wrote :

"The Papacy is the oldest of all Western institutions with an unbroken existence of almost 2000 years.

        43) Evangelical Protestant Bible scholar F. F. Bruce, In his book, The Hard Sayings of Jesus, Bruce comments on this phrase and writes:

"And what about the 'keys of the kingdom'? The keys of a royal or noble establishment were entrusted to the chief steward or major domo; he carried them on his shoulder in earlier times, and there they served as a badge of the authority entrusted to him. About 700 B.C. an oracle from God announced that this authority in the royal palace in Jerusalem was to be conferred on a man called Eliakim: 'I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open' (Isa. 22:22). So in the new community which Jesus was about to build, Peter would be, so to speak, chief steward. In the early chapters of Acts Peter is seen exercising this responsibility in the primitive church. He acts as chairman of the group of disciples in Jerusalem even before the coming of the Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26); on the day of Pentecost it is he who preaches the gospel so effectively that three thousand hearers believe the message and are incorporated in the church (Acts 2:14-41); some time later it is he who first preaches the gospel to a Gentile audience and thus 'opens a door of faiths to Gentiles as well as Jews (Acts 10:34-48)."

Catholic Apologetics Information