Jesus Christ Is The Rock The Church Is Built Upon

W.F. Martin

One of the Catholic errors is that Peter was the rock upon which Christ built His church. The first mention of a rock in the Bible is in Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. Remarking on this passage, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Isaiah prophesies concerning the coming Messiah: Isa 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Paul and Peter both refer to this verse in the New Testament. Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 1 Pet 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 1 Pet 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 1 Pet 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Throughout Scripture, the term "Rock" applies to the Messiah, not to Peter. The passage the Roman Catholic Church uses is Mat 16:18 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. The word Jesus used for Peter is "petros", which is "a piece of rock"; the word Christ used for Himself is "petra", which is "a mass of rock" (source: Strong's Concordance). So Christ was using a play on words. He told Peter, "I say to you that you are a little rock, and upon this Big Rock (meaning Himself) I will build my church." Just before this pronouncement, Jesus had asked the disciples Who He was. Peter said that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. That is when Jesus said He would build His church upon Himself as the promised Messiah sent from God.

Peter recognized he himself was not the rock, but that Jesus was and is the Rock. Why don't you?

It's silly to think Christ would die for His Bride, the Church, and then have the foundation be someone other than He Himself. And He didn't. It's His death and resurrection, His Bride, and His Marriage, not Peter's. Peter isn't the Head of the Church, nor is the Pope. For them to be the Head, they would have to married to the Bride instead of Christ! Ludicrous!

1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

If you will look honestly at the usages of the terms "rock" and "stone" throughout Scripture, you will quickly see Christ is the Rock of our Salvation. Over 35 times in the Old Testament, God is referred to as the Rock.


Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.

2 Sam 22:47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

Psa 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

This particular verse shows why Christ was scourged and crucified, because Scripture had to be fulfilled, and Moses struck the Rock (Christ) twice, therefore God struck Christ twice.

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Most recent revision March 2003