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Author Topic: The Keys given to Peter  (Read 2993 times) Average Rating: 0
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John
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« on: May 21, 2004, 07:34:23 PM »

Hello everybody.  I'm new to this website and just trying to come to a better understanding of Orthodoxy.  If it's ok, I would like to ask some questions-- just to get a better feel for Orthodoxy-- but not to challenge it.  I feel it is always better to understand other people's interpretations than to refute them.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but there is no definitive, infallible statement on the translation of Mathew 16: 18-19 within the Orthodox tradition.  Am I right on this?  But is there a consensus Orthodox understanding on this passage?  Or is it more a matter of freedom of interpretation?

My second question is: What is the understanding and significance of the keys given to Peter here?  And how does this relate to Isaiah 22, if at all?


Third Question (a little bit more inquistive, but to the point) Why should we not read Peter's ability to loose and bind as a singular power, even though Jesus addresses him and the conferral of this power in the singular, (I.E., Jesus says what you (singular) bind will be bound, etc.)  while Matthew 18:18 is given in the plural?



Thank you very much.  I honestly appreciate your response.

In Peace,

John

P.S. I would like to add that I am Roman Catholic, for those who didn't read my initial post.  But I hope that doesn't count against me.  I only seek...  Smiley
« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 07:45:17 PM by John » Logged
Ben
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2004, 07:38:53 PM »

This topic has been discussed here before, I suggest you do a search. But I am sure you'll get a bunch of responses.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2004, 07:45:51 PM »

This topic has been discussed here before...

Welcome John.

Try here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=2188;start=0

and here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=2701;start=0
« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 07:47:18 PM by Tom+ú » Logged
John
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2004, 07:55:32 PM »

Hello Ben!  Thanks for your repsonse.

Yes, I did look through the archives.  And this does seem to be a perrenial topic.  Smiley  But I didn't see these specific questions brought up.  I only ask because these are personal stumbling blocks for me.  Perhaps I should dig deeper into the archives!

John
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2004, 07:59:12 PM »

There have many many threads on this topic, one I believe that ended up to be 23 pages long. Go through those, and I am sure you will find what you are looking for you.
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2004, 08:07:34 PM »

Hi TomS.

I had read both of those threads before (the first more carefully than the second-- Woo, that's a lot of reading!) but they seem to be more about Peter as Rock and the historical evidence behind that.


Since it looks like a lot are weary with this topic, then if anyone would rather PM with a response, I'd be ok with that.  Smiley

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2004, 10:14:05 PM »

John,

You might have better luck PMing a few of the defenders of the Orthodox P.O.V. in one of the linked threads above.  I don't know if anyone would want to go out of the way to initiate a PM about a "bowl of petunias*" subject, but with a polite PM I'm sure many would try to attempt to answer your questions.  I also would direct you to email Fr. John Matusiak, the communications director for the OCA.  Part of Fr. John's ministry is giving official orthodox statements of a variety of topics.  His email address is info@oca.org  I am sure there are many other knowledgeable Orthodoxy clergy who can also help you, but I have had great success with Fr. John so I reccomend him highly.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 10:31:09 PM »

John,

You might have better luck PMing a few of the defenders of the Orthodox P.O.V. in one of the linked threads above.  I don't know if anyone would want to go out of the way to initiate a PM about a "bowl of petunias*" subject, but with a polite PM I'm sure many would try to attempt to answer your questions.  I also would direct you to email Fr. John Matusiak, the communications director for the OCA.  Part of Fr. John's ministry is giving official orthodox statements of a variety of topics.  His email address is info@oca.org  I am sure there are many other knowledgeable Orthodoxy clergy who can also help you, but I have had great success with Fr. John so I reccomend him highly.  

*A Douglas Adams literary refrence:

Quote
"Oh no, not again," is what flashed through the mind of a bowl of petunias that had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet, according to Douglas Adams in "A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy." This being a naturally untenable position for a bowl of petunias it immediately began to plummet. Mr. Adams further speculates that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought, "Oh no, not again," we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we currently do.

"Oh no, not again," is what flashes through the mind in the last fleeting moments of sanity as we suddenly find ourselves miles high in the grip of another manic episode. Questions regarding exactly how we came to be sky high fade into insignificance as gravity forces itself upon us, we loose control, and we start the plummeting. But once we have cleaned up the mess, and are back on our feet, safely on the ground, it is time to try and understand a little more about our nature. We may never understand why it is that at times we find ourselves sky high, but we may learn how to make it happen less often, or at least to make it less messy when it does happen.
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2004, 11:33:18 PM »

John,

You might have better luck PMing a few of the defenders of the Orthodox P.O.V. in one of the linked threads above.  I don't know if anyone would want to go out of the way to initiate a PM about a "bowl of petunias*" subject, but with a polite PM I'm sure many would try to attempt to answer your questions.  I also would direct you to email Fr. John Matusiak, the communications director for the OCA.  Part of Fr. John's ministry is giving official orthodox statements of a variety of topics.  His email address is info@oca.org  I am sure there are many other knowledgeable Orthodoxy clergy who can also help you, but I have had great success with Fr. John so I reccomend him highly.  


Yes by all means contact Fr.  John through the OCA website...he will respond, promptly and fully and if you have another question as a follow up he will respond to that too. Most of what I learned about Orthodoxy I learned from Fr. John  Smiley He is tireless.
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2004, 09:10:42 AM »

Access the following websites for an Orthodox analysis of Peter and the 'ROCK' -

http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/rock.html

http://aggreen.net/peter/st_peter.html

If you check the footnotes in the "Orthodox Study Bible' regarding this passage (Matthew 16:19) you will find the Orthodox interpretation of what it means -

[Caps are mine]

16:19 KEYS OF THE KINGDOM clearly  implies a special authority to Peter himself, but never separated from his confession of faith.  While Peter was the leader of the disciples and of the early church, ALL THE APOSTLES WERE EMPOWERED WITH CHRIST'S AUTHORITY (18:18).  Further, Peter was not a leader OVER THE OTHERS, but A LEADER AMONGST THEM, as seen in the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) where elders, or presbyters, met with the apostles together AS EQUALS.  Papal claims in later centuries must not be confused with the NT witness regarding Peter, nor should the role of Peter in the NT be minimized in opposition to those claims.
Binding and loosing is a reference to the teaching, sacramental, and administrative powers of the Apostles which were transmitted to the bishops of the Church.

Orthodoc
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2004, 10:19:55 AM »

Thanks, everyone.  I'll probably email OCA.org.  

David-- nice Douglas Adams reference!   Grin

John
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MatthewPanchisin
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2004, 09:30:47 AM »

I was trying to find out if the return of the Kazan Icon to Russia would be televised or if a video internet feed would be available online, if anyone knows please let me know. Anyway while searching in some RC site I came upon the below statement which really sums up the RC notions regarding Peter. It is note worthy that this was not always the RC belief but is now in place and accepted. It is an interpretation that has never been held by the Orthodox Church, we can note various Orthodox Church Fathers who no doubt spoke of Peter highly, but never as in the way that would proclaim any one human being as infallible when speaking excathedra. One could arrive at such conclusions if one took things out of context and built a case for it, however such an action would be detrimental to unity as history has shown. There is truth in history when it is looked upon with the objective of seeking the truth. Suffice it to say all Orthodox Bishops are Shepard's, as such we can see from the RC perspective written below that incorrect notion of "shepherd over them" is another cause of non-unity. I suppose that they must look at us as not being humble before the seat of Peter, these things are very strange to me they don't even sound right when I read them.

In John 21:1517, with only the other disciples present (cf. John 21:2), Jesus asks Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"in other words, is Peter more devoted to him than the other disciples? When Peter responds that he is, Jesus instructs him: "Feed my lambs" (22:15). Thus we see Jesus describing the other disciples, the only other people who are present, the ones whom Jesus refers to as "these," as part of the lambs that he instructs Peter to feed, giving him the role of pastor (shepherd) over them. Again, a reference to Peter having more than merely a primacy of honor with respect to the other apostles, but a primacy of pastoral discipline as well.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2004, 09:33:02 AM by MatthewPanchisin » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2004, 12:47:03 PM »

I will dig around but do recall an Orthodox view that this Peter/Rock/Keys relates to the episcopate, Peter and his confession being an archetype. Trying to think back to where I found this. If successful will post a reference on this thread.

(By and by, I did read a trashy novel recently which brought in a key, Simon Magus and a hidden tomb. If the key fell into wrong hands it would bring down the whole (Roman) Catholic Church). Rubbish, but it kept me out a mischief for a little while.
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2004, 01:33:14 PM »

Does anyone have references/documents relating  to the Bishop of Rome/Popes privileges prior to the schism ?

That would be a tie in to this subject/topic.

james
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2004, 04:29:15 PM »

Dear James,

There is much information available, but in a short summary I think if you read the below text which is a post on the subject matter from Matthew Steenberg of monachos.net who is at Oxford furthering his studies you'll get the general idea.  Steenberg is very objective and non-prejudiced in many of his commentaries at least from my perspective.

"Some of the most straightforward remarks in this regard actually come down to us from St Gregory the Great, pope of Rome in the sixth-seventh centuries A.D. His remarks were occasioned by the Emperor's application of the title 'Ecumenical Patriarch' to St John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople. Gregory was deeply disturbed by this title, not because he felt that its attribution to a patriarch other than that of the see of St Peter was improper, but because he felt the very notion of such a title or rank was incorrect (we must keep in mind that St Gregory understood 'ecumenical' to mean universal in authority and power, which is not how the term as it is used in the title 'ecumenical patriarch' has come down to us today'). In response to this, St Gregory writes to St John:


"Certainly Peter, the first of the Apostles, himself a member of the holy and universal Church, Paul, Andrew, John -- what were these but heads of particular communities? And yet all were members under one Head [...] the prelates of this Apostolic See [i.e. Rome], which by the providence of God I serve, had the honor offered them of being called 'universal' (oikoumenikos) by the venerable Council of Chalcedon. Yet not one of them has ever wished to be called by such a title, or has seized upon this ill-advised name, lest if, in virtue of the rank of the pontificate he took to himself the glory of singularity, he might seem to have denied it to all his brethren [...]"
(Excerpted from Book 5 of the collected epistles of St Gregory the Great of Rome, Epistle 18).

Later he writes in a similar vein:

"This name of Universality was offered by the Holy Synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the apostolic see which by the Providence of God I serve [i.e. the see of Rome]. But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated. But far be this from the mind of a Christian that any on should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honor of his brethren..."
(Book 5, Epistle 43)

When, a short time later he writes to the Emperor (Maurice) on the matter, he is yet more emphatic:

"Now I confidently say that whosoever calls himself, or desires to be called, Universal Priest, is in his elation the precursor of Antichrist, because he proudly puts himself above all others."
(Book 7, Epistle 33)

Later, he writes to the Bishop of Alexandria (Evlogios):

"Your Blessedness [...] You address me saying, 'As you have commanded'. This word 'command' I beg you to remove from my hearing, since I know who I am and who you are. For in position you are my brother, in character my father. [...] In the preface of the epistle which you have addressed to myself, who forbade it, you have thought fit to make use of a proud appellation, calling me Universal Pope. But I beg you, most sweet Holiness: do this no more, since what is given to another beyond what reason demands, is subtracted from yourself [...] For if your Holiness calls me Universal Pope, you deny that you are yourself what you call me universally."
(Book 8, Epistle 30)

There are multiple things of note in these quotations, but among them I might simply point out Gregory's own insistence that, prior to his own day (he reposed in A.D. 604), no bishop of Rome had ever claimed episcopal primacy of authority."

« Last Edit: August 25, 2004, 04:34:22 PM by MatthewPanchisin » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2004, 06:29:55 PM »

Matthew,

Besides the universal authority issue, the Bishop of Rome had other privileges or why would they have been discussed at the Council of Florence ? Maybe it was'nt authority issue but one of guidance of some sort .

james
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