Posted By: Deacon John Petrus Peter and the Keys? - 01/08/04 01:32 AM
For this question I need either a Latin scholar or a Roman History buff:

In the presentation of the keys to Peter, was Jesus symbolizing a marriage of sorts?

I don't have time to research this myself, but I ponder if Jesus meant to reenact a symbol from Roman marriage law. I propose that in turning over the keys to Peter, he was imitating a ritual between a husband to his wife. I seem to recall that a wife had jurisdiction over the keys so that she could run the household.

If so, does this say anything about authority being directly tied to Peter himself? It seems to me that while a wife may share certain duties with the servants, it was clear as to who was the boss.

A side question: What did it mean when a Roman wife counterfeited her husband's keys and why would she do such a thing?

Posted By: Laudetur Iesus Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/08/04 06:10 PM
The simple answer is: no.

Jesus was not reffering to Roman Law, nor did he say it in Latin (though we latin buffs wish he had!) He was reffering to a Jewish custom called the "stuart". The Stuart took care of the city in the absence of a King. He held the keys to the kindgom and what he opened no man shut and what he shut no man opened. If you look at the following chapter after the presentation of the keys, Jesus begins talking about how he must die. Knowing that he would leave, Jesus set up a stuart to take care of the Church in his absense. This hasn't got to do with marriage so much as it has to do with Jesus leaving.

That's my oppinion at least.

Posted By: Amadeus Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/08/04 06:30 PM
Dear Joseph, my brother:

Did you mean to say "steward" and "stewardship?"

Not that I have an axe to grind against the "Stuarts!" wink

Posted By: Chaldean Catholic Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/09/04 01:28 AM
For this question I need either a Latin scholar or a Roman History buff:

I am neither a Latin Scholar nor a Roman History buff, though I love to learn as much as I can about my brethren in the Latin Church, but here is a short comment:

If you compare Mt. 16:19 with Is. 22:20-22, you will notice a striking similarity in the two passages, showing the stewardship concept mentioned by Laudetur Iesus. As for a marriage symbol, I've never heard of Matthew's passage interpreted in this way, though it is interesting.

God bless,

Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/09/04 01:47 AM
Shlomo Petrus,
Here is a sight that explains Roman Marriage Customs:


Poosh BaShlomo,
Posted By: Matthew Panchisin Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/10/04 03:10 AM
Dear John,

The explanation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew by the Blessed Theophylact says the following. I understand that The Blessed Theophylact's explanation has been historically used by slavic Orthodox monastics for quite some time.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. Once again Peter leaps forward with fervor and confesses that He is truly the Son of God. He did not say, thou art the anointed one, a Son of God", without the article, "the" , but with the article, �the Son�, that is, He Who is the One and the Only, not a son by grace, but He Who is begotten of the same essence as the Father. For there were also many other christs, anointed ones, such as all the priests and kings; but the Christ, with the article, there is but One.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father Who is in heaven. He calls Peter blessed for having received knowledge by divine grace. And by commending Peter, He thereby shows the opinions of other men to be false. For he calls him "Bar Jona", that is, son of Jona", as if saying, "Just as you are the son of Jona, so am I the Son of My Father in heaven, and of one essence with Him." He calls this knowledge "revelation", speaking of hidden and unknown things that were disclosed by the Father.

And I say also unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. The Lord gives Peter a great reward, that the Church will be built on him. Since Peter confessed him as Son of God, the Lord says, "This confession which you have made shall be the foundation of those who believe, so that every man who intends to build the house of faith shall lay down this confession as the foundation." For even if we should construct a myriad of virtues, but do not have as a foundation the Orthodox confession, our construction is rotten. By saying "My Church" He shows that He is the Master of all, for the whole universe is the servant of God. The gates of hades are those persecutors who from time to time would send Christians to hades. But the heretics, too, are gates leading to hades. The Church, then has prevailed over many persecutors and many heretics. The Church is also each one of us who has become a house of God. For if we have been established on the confession of Christ, the gates of hades, which are our sins, will not prevail against us. It was from these gates that David, to, had been lifted up when he said "O thou that dost raise me up from the gates of death" (ps. 9:13) From what gates, O David? From the twin gates of murder and adultery.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in the heavens: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in the heavens. He spoke as God, with authority, "I will give unto thee." For as the Father gave you the revelation, so I give you the keys. By "keys" understand that which binds or looses transgressions, namely, penance or absolution; for those who like Peter, have been deemed worthy of the grace of the episcopate, have the authority to absolve or to bind, Even though the words "I will give unto thee" were spoken to Peter alone, yet they were given to all the apostles. Why? Because He said, 'Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted."(Jn. 20:23) The verb in Greek for "ye remit", aphete, is second person plural, obviously not referring to one person only. Had the authority been granted to Peter alone, the text would read, "whose soever sins thou remittest", but since "ye" is plural, we understand that the gift was given to all the apostles. Also, the words "I will give" indicate a future time, namely after the resurrection. The actual granting of the authority to remit sins takes place on the occasion described in Jn. 20:23, when, after the resurrection, the Lord breaths on all the assembled disciples. "The heavens" also mean the virtues, and the keys to the heavens are labors. For by laboring we enter into each of the virtues as if by means of keys that are used to open. If I do not labor but only know the good, I possess only the key of knowledge but remain outside. That man is bound in the heavens, that is, in the virtues, who does not walk in them, but he who is diligent in aquiring virtues is loosed in them. Therefore let us not have sins, so that we may not be bound by the chains of our own sins.

Hope this helps.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
Posted By: Matthew Panchisin Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/11/04 05:13 AM
Is the explanation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew by the Blessed Theophylact particularly if reference to the "Keys" correspond with the Roman Catholic and byzantine Catholic understanding of the scripture?

It seems to me that they are quite different. Rather odd to me anyway that he would be considered a heretic and a schismatic by the Roman Catholic Church since he did not accept Papal Supremacy.

Any comments would be most welcome.


In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/12/04 02:47 PM
Dear Matthew,

Since the papal doctrines were not formulated as we have them now at the time of Bl. Theophylact, he could not be considered a heretic by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has always regarded the Orthodox Church as the True Church, even though separated from Rome that was the centre of unity for all Churches prior to 1054 AD.

Posted By: Matthew Panchisin Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/12/04 10:07 PM
Dear "Orthodox Catholic",

I read your responses regarding your understanding of The Roman Catholic Churches historical position regarding the Orthodox Church. I found myself baffled. I also read your responses regarding the Pope kissing the Koran. I found the ones below the most interesting. I mention this because I'm not capable of entering into a disscussion with you having concluded it would be to no avail.

Your Quotes

"When the Pope kissed the Koran, I believe he was paying tribute to the positive aspects of that book, without "canonizing" it in total."

"Those positive aspects have to do with the confession and worship of One God against the polytheism of the context in which it was located and others."

"There is much that we share with the monotheistic religion of Islam, despite our differences over the centuries."

"Believers must stop fighting amongst themselves and unite to fight their true enemy - atheistic materialism and moral relativism in modern society."

"I wish we Catholics and Christians had the same sort of strong personal morals that many Muslims have."

"The Pope showed respect for another monotheistic religion as the religious gentleman that he is."

"I'm sorry there are those who criticize him for that."

I don't think the spirit of the Koran confess Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be the Son of God.

No need to reply. Thanks but no thanks.

It's best that I depart from this forum.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Peter and the Keys? - 01/12/04 10:54 PM
Dear Matthew,

I'm sorry I've upset your black-and-white world.

But you are not unique in living in one as an Orthodox Christian.

There are RC's, Protestants, Muslims and many others who do so as well.

Most of the people on this forum don't live in black-and-white worlds.

That is why I, for one, have learned so much from them and hope to continue to do so.

You are free to disagree with me, of course. I disagree with people here regularly - but with the proviso that I try to understand their position and come away with an abiding respect of it.

If I cannot do that, then I do not belong anywhere near such an intellectually vibrant and responsible internet discussion community.

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