Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Matthew 16:18ff (Super Hanc Petram)

The Jesuit commentator Maldonatus says:

"'There are, among the ancient authors those who interpret SUPER HANC PETRAM to mean upon this faith, or upon this confession of faith, by which thou hast acknowledged Me to be the Son of God, as S. Hilary, S. Gregory of Nyssa, S. Chrystostom, and S. Cyril of Alexandria. S. Augustine, going even further, interprets SUPER HANC PETRAM to mean upon Me Myself, that is, upon Christ Himself, since Christ is the Rock. And Origen says that SUPER HANC PETRAM means upon all those who hold this faith'" (Qt. in F.N. Oxenham, The Validity of Papal Claims, page 26).

"For what was said to him was not 'Thou art the rock,' but 'Thou art Peter.' But the rock was Christ, having confessed whom (even as the whole Church confesses) Simon was named Peter. Which of these two interpretations is the more likely to be correct, let the reader choose" (Augustine, Retractions, Book 1, Chap. 21). Now as for the interpretation he preferred and expounded in sermons, Augustine made it clear that he 'frequently explained [that] the words of our Lord' refer to 'him whom Peter confessed when he said: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'" (Ibid.).

"But, as a matter of fact, so far from this being the 'clear' meaning of this text [that Peter is the rock], there is nothing whatever in this text itself to make this meaning 'clear,' and there is a great deal in other parts of Scripture which renders such a meaning inadmissible" (F.N. Oxenham p. 25. The Validity of Papal Claims).

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