Matthew 16:18
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

King James Bible
And I say also 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.

Darby Bible Translation
And I also, I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and hades' gates shall not prevail against it.

World English Bible
I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Young's Literal Translation
'And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it;

Matthew 16:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter - The word "Peter," in Greek, means "a rock." It was given to Simon by Christ when he called him to be a disciple, John 1:42

Cephas is a Syriac word, meaning the same as Peter - a rock, or stone. The meaning of this phrase may be thus expressed: "Thou, in saying that I am the Son of God, hast called me by a name expressive of my true character. I, also, have given to thee a name expressive of your character. I have called you Peter, a rock, denoting firmness, solidity, stability, and your confession has shown that the name is appropriate. I see that you are worthy of the name, and will be a distinguished support of my religion."

And upon this rock ... - This passage has given rise to many different interpretations. Some have supposed that the word "rock" refers to Peter's confession, and that Jesus meant to say, upon this rock, this truth that thou hast confessed, that I am the Messiah and upon confessions of this from all believers, I will build my church. Confessions like this shall be the test of piety, and in such confessions shall my church stand amid the flames of persecution, the fury of the gates of hell. Others have thought that Jesus referred to himself. Christ is called a rock, Isaiah 28:16; 1 Peter 2:8. And it has been thought that he turned from Peter to himself, and said, "Upon this rock, this truth that I am the Messiah - upon myself as the Messiah, I will build my church." Both these interpretations, though plausible, seem forced upon the passage to avoid the main difficulty in it. Another interpretation is, that the word "rock" refers to Peter himself.

This is the obvious meaning of the passage; and had it not been that the Church of Rome has abused it, and applied it to what was never intended, no other interpretation would have been sought for. "Thou art a rock. Thou hast shown thyself firm, and suitable for the work of laying the foundation of the church. Upon thee will I build it. Thou shalt be highly honored; thou shalt be first in making known the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles." This was accomplished. See Acts 2:14-36, where he first preached to the Jews, and Acts 10, where he preached the gospel to Cornelius and his neighbors, who were Gentiles. Peter had thus the honor of laying the foundation of the church among the Jews and Gentiles; and this is the plain meaning of this passage. See also Galatians 2:9. But Christ did not mean, as the Roman Catholics say he did, to exalt Peter to supreme authority above all the other apostles, or to say that he was the only one upon whom he would rear his church. See Acts 15, where the advice of James, and not that of Peter, was followed. See also Galatians 2:11, where Paul withstood Peter to his face, because he was to be blamed - a thing which could not have happened if Christ (as the Roman Catholics say) meant that Peter was absolute and infallible. More than all, it is not said here, or anywhere else in the Bible, that Peter would have infallible successors who would be the vicegerents of Christ and the head of the church. The whole meaning of the passage is this: "I will make you the honored instrument of making known my gospel first to Jews and Gentiles, and I will make you a firm and distinguished preacher in building my church."

Will build my church - This refers to the custom of building in Judea upon a rock or other very firm foundation. See the notes at Matthew 7:24. The word "church" literally means "those called out," and often means an assembly or congregation. See Acts 19:32, Greek; Acts 7:38. It is applied to Christians as being "called out" from the world. It means sometimes the whole body of believers, Ephesians 1:22; 1 Corinthians 10:32. This is its meaning in this place. It means, also, a particular society of believers worshipping in one place, Acts 8:1; Acts 9:31; 1 Corinthians 1:2, etc.; sometimes, also, a society in a single house, as Romans 16:5. In common language it means the church visible - i. e., all who profess religion; or invisible, i. e., all who are real Christians, professors or not.

And the gates of hell ... - Ancient cities were surrounded by walls. In the gates by which they were entered were the principal places for holding courts, transacting business, and deliberating on public matters. See the notes at Matthew 7:13. Compare the notes at Job 29:7. See also Deuteronomy 22:4; 1 Samuel 4:18; Jeremiah 36:10; Genesis 19:1; Psalm 69:12; Psalm 9:14; Proverbs 1:21. The word "gates," therefore, is used for counsels, designs, machinations, evil purposes.

"Hell" means, here, the place of departed spirits, particularly evil spirits; and the meaning of the passage is, that all the plots, stratagems, and machinations of the enemies of the church would not be able to overcome it a promise that has been remarkably fulfilled.

Matthew 16:18 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Divine Christ Confessed, the Suffering Christ Denied
'When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phllippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Words with a Freshly Honed Razor-Edge.
Now please group these six sweeping statements in your mind and hold them together there. Then notice carefully this fact. These words are not spoken to the crowds. They are spoken to the small inner group of twelve disciples. Jesus talks one way to the multitude. He oftentimes talks differently to these men who have separated themselves from the crowd and come into the inner circle. And notice further that before Jesus spoke these words to this group of men He had said something else first. Something
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer

The Great Confession - the Great Commission - the Great Instruction - the Great Temptation - the Great Decision.
If we are right in identifying the little bay - Dalmanutha - with the neighbourhood of Tarichæa, yet another link of strange coincidence connects the prophetic warning spoken there with its fulfilment. From Dalmanutha our Lord passed across the Lake to Cæsarea Philippi. From Cæsarea Philippi did Vespasian pass through Tiberias to Tarichæa, when the town and people were destroyed, and the blood of the fugitives reddened the Lake, and their bodies choked its waters. Even amidst
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Last Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem.
Jesus had for a long time been sensible of the dangers that surrounded him.[1] During a period of time which we may estimate at eighteen months, he avoided going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.[2] At the feast of Tabernacles of the year 32 (according to the hypothesis we have adopted), his relations, always malevolent and incredulous,[3] pressed him to go there. The evangelist John seems to insinuate that there was some hidden project to ruin him in this invitation. "Depart hence, and go into Judea,
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

Cross References
Psalm 129:2
"Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up; Yet they have not prevailed against me.

Jonah 2:6
"I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.

Matthew 4:18
Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Matthew 7:24
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Matthew 11:23
"And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.

John 1:42
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas " (which is translated Peter).

Acts 20:28
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

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