Matthew 16:18

This is discussed on page 230 (PDF 242) **Scenarios, Discourse, and Translation**, Richard A. Hoyle, 2008 SIL International http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf Statistics: Posted by Stirling Bartholomew — October 19th, 2017, 12:54 pm
κάγω δε σόι λέγω ότι συ ει Πέτρος και επι ταυτη τη πέτρα οικοδομησω μου την εκκλησιαν και πυλαι άδου ου κατισχυσουσιν αυτής. First of all, please excuse some of the words that don't have all of the accent marks, breath marks and iota subscripts. My Greek keyboard does not have some of those options. Now to the text. Since this is such a controversial passage regarding "επι ταυτη τη πέτρα", I would like to get some feedback on what other NT Greek students believe the pronoun "this" is referring back to in this context only (i.e. Jesus, Peter, or Peter's confession of faith). Can we determine that definitively from a grammatical standpoint? Thanks. Jeffrey Dangel Statistics: Posted by Jeffrey Dangel — October 18th, 2017, 4:04 pm
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Hey, Stephen. Thanks for your reply. So, as far as you know, there is no certain way to tell what επι ταύτη τη πέτρα (upon this rock) is referring back to.
Another question we could ask is whether John believed the pronoun referent could be clearly identified. Given the number of interpretaions that are possible, it seems that he felt he didn't need to be clear about it in the grammar. A fourth possibility to add to three that you are considering is that it may be that Jesus was pointing at the physical ground.
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 4:11 am
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Since ταύτη is a Demonstrative Prounoun Dative Feminine Singular, and the definite article τη and the noun πέτρα are both in the Dative Feminine Singular, then basically that is all the grammatical agreement information we are going to get for “upon this rock”? It would be nice if you could go back to Peter, Jesus, or his confession of faith and one of those words was in the Dative Feminine Singular form as well and you would know what “upon this rock” is referring to grammatically. Then, you could say, “yes, I know ταύτη refers to Jesus himself or I know it’s a reference to Peter or his confession. Yet, that is not the case, right?
It wouldn't make any difference if there were another feminine noun in the context. πετρα is feminine; its gender is not affected by anything else it might refer to or be equivalent to. And certainly the case doesn't matter. A noun's case is determined by its use in the sentence, not by anything it might refer to or be in apposition to or whatever.
Let me add to what TPMc has said by saying that full grammatical (number, gender and case) agreement tend to occur in quite small contexts. Number is derived from the real world, gender is derived from nouns and as TPMc says case is derived from the role that it has taken in the sentence - being an adverb, or depending on the needs of a verb or preposition.
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
In other words, we’re left to interpreting this phrase by means of New Testament word studies and context, as well as what else we know about how Scripture uses these words and concepts in other passages.
A comparison of interpretations of scripture will have to look into more than just how the scripture uses the words. There may be certain motivations in the history of how the scriptures were used and applied, that will explain why one method of interpreting or other is supported by one exegete or another. The method you're describing is just one of a number of approaches to finding an understanding of the text. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 21st, 2017, 9:27 am
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Hey, Stephen. Thanks for your reply. So, as far as you know, there is no certain way to tell what επι ταύτη τη πέτρα (upon this rock) is referring back to.
Another question we could ask is whether John believed the pronoun referent could be clearly identified. Given the number of interpretaions that are possible, it seems that he felt he didn't need to be clear about it in the grammar. A fourth possibility to add to three that you are considering is that it may be that Jesus was pointing at the physical ground.
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 4:11 am
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Since ταύτη is a Demonstrative Prounoun Dative Feminine Singular, and the definite article τη and the noun πέτρα are both in the Dative Feminine Singular, then basically that is all the grammatical agreement information we are going to get for “upon this rock”? It would be nice if you could go back to Peter, Jesus, or his confession of faith and one of those words was in the Dative Feminine Singular form as well and you would know what “upon this rock” is referring to grammatically. Then, you could say, “yes, I know ταύτη refers to Jesus himself or I know it’s a reference to Peter or his confession. Yet, that is not the case, right?
It wouldn't make any difference if there were another feminine noun in the context. πετρα is feminine; its gender is not affected by anything else it might refer to or be equivalent to. And certainly the case doesn't matter. A noun's case is determined by its use in the sentence, not by anything it might refer to or be in apposition to or whatever.
Let me add to what TPMc has said by saying that full grammatical (number, gender and case) agreement tend to occur in quite small contexts. Number is derived from the real world, gender is derived from nouns and as TPMc says case is derived from the role that it has taken in the sentence - being an adverb, or depending on the needs of a verb or preposition.
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
In other words, we’re left to interpreting this phrase by means of New Testament word studies and context, as well as what else we know about how Scripture uses these words and concepts in other passages.
A comparison of interpretations of scripture will have to look into more than just how the scripture uses the words. There may be certain motivations in the history of how the scriptures were used and applied, that will explain why one method of interpreting or other is supported by one exegete or another. The method you're describing is just one of a number of approaches to finding an understanding of the text. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 21st, 2017, 9:27 am
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Hey, Stephen. Thanks for your reply. So, as far as you know, there is no certain way to tell what επι ταύτη τη πέτρα (upon this rock) is referring back to.
Another question we could ask is whether John believed the pronoun referent could be clearly identified. Given the number of interpretaions that are possible, it seems that he felt he didn't need to be clear about it in the grammar. A fourth possibility to add to three that you are considering is that it may be that Jesus was pointing at the physical ground.
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 4:11 am
 
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
Since ταύτη is a Demonstrative Prounoun Dative Feminine Singular, and the definite article τη and the noun πέτρα are both in the Dative Feminine Singular, then basically that is all the grammatical agreement information we are going to get for “upon this rock”? It would be nice if you could go back to Peter, Jesus, or his confession of faith and one of those words was in the Dative Feminine Singular form as well and you would know what “upon this rock” is referring to grammatically. Then, you could say, “yes, I know ταύτη refers to Jesus himself or I know it’s a reference to Peter or his confession. Yet, that is not the case, right?
It wouldn't make any difference if there were another feminine noun in the context. πετρα is feminine; its gender is not affected by anything else it might refer to or be equivalent to. And certainly the case doesn't matter. A noun's case is determined by its use in the sentence, not by anything it might refer to or be in apposition to or whatever.
Let me add to what TPMc has said by saying that full grammatical (number, gender and case) agreement tend to occur in quite small contexts. Number is derived from the real world, gender is derived from nouns and as TPMc says case is derived from the role that it has taken in the sentence - being an adverb, or depending on the needs of a verb or preposition.
Jeffrey Dangel wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 12:56 am
In other words, we’re left to interpreting this phrase by means of New Testament word studies and context, as well as what else we know about how Scripture uses these words and concepts in other passages.
A comparison of interpretations of scripture will have to look into more than just how the scripture uses the words. There may be certain motivations in the history of how the scriptures were used and applied, that will explain why one method of interpreting or other is supported by one exegete or another. The method you're describing is just one of a number of approaches to finding an understanding of the text. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 21st, 2017, 9:27 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:29 am
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:01 am
I don't want this to get lost - Timothy is correct here, and this is the one direct response to the question in the OP. ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα. For WAYK folks, it's analogous to this dialogue: τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή.
Jonathan, I question your assertation about it referring to πέτρα. I think it agrees with πετρα in number, case and gender, when it functions syntactically here as a demonstrative adjective with πέτρα or in apposition to πέτρα. In your example, αὕτη is used syntactically as demonstrative pronoun referring back to what was before, viz. the thing that the questioner was gesturing towards. That is a good illustration of a different syntax.
I don't want to quibble too much about metalanguage, but I think the reference is semantic rather than syntactic. Syntactically, αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή or ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ does not necessarily imply a reference unless the context does. If Jesus were pointing to a physical rock on the ground when he said ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, nobody would ask what he was referring to by looking at what he had said previously. It's not the syntax. Which is why the syntax doesn't answer the question here.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:29 am
The demonstrative adjective in Matthew 16:18 lends its demonstrative force to πέτρα. In effect it is saying "there was a πέτρα just mentioned, and I'm gunna build my Church on it."
I don't think that's syntactic. When he says "on this rock", everyone thinks, "what rock?", and they have to think about what he just said to look for an answer. And ταύτῃ agrees with πέτρᾳ in the phrase ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, it doesn't syntactically agree with whatever Jesus meant. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:03 am
And then context, culture, history, and other things help guide our understanding of which possibilities are most likely.
Perhaps, theology (our own or Biblical) and belief (the Faith). Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 24th, 2017, 11:46 am
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:01 am
I don't want this to get lost - Timothy is correct here, and this is the one direct response to the question in the OP. ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα. For WAYK folks, it's analogous to this dialogue: τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή.
Jonathan, I question your assertation about it referring to πέτρα. I think it agrees with πετρα in number, case and gender, when it functions syntactically here as a demonstrative adjective with πέτρα or in apposition to πέτρα. In your example, αὕτη is used syntactically as demonstrative pronoun referring back to what was before, viz. the thing that the questioner was gesturing towards. That is a good illustration of a different syntax. The demonstrative adjective in Matthew 16:18 lends its demonstrative force to πέτρα. In effect it is saying "there was a πέτρα just mentioned, and I'm gunna build my Church on it." By confusing reference and agreement, your assertion repeats the same mistake that occurs in the OP. The part of PTMc response that has been quoted as authoritative is in fact incomplete. Any correct answer must indicate that demonstrative-ness is demonstrative-ness and agreement is agreement. It must also say that when used syntactically as a demonstrative adjective, a demonstrative indicates that the noun with which it is in apposition to and in agreement with refers to something or someone else in the discourse. The basic principle that the poster needs to come to understand is that at the syntactic level there is agreement, while at the discourse level there is reference. Any clear answer that explains or differentiates between those two is adequate. Any direct answer that does not tease out the difference between syntax and discourse (by either naming them or implying them) is inadequate. (Going into deeper discussion of the grammar - either translational to justify why the English "this" could be used with validity or how this type of demonstrative serves a discourse rather than an emphatic function, iedoes not mean for example this rock and no others - is probably not necessary to bring out this particular point that the original poster has a misunderstanding about). A better than adequate response will foster understanding of what the OP poster needs to understand. To be clearer still, a similar example from any number of those available could provided to illustrate the point and let the poster's mind go through the steps, such as:
Mark 12:43 wrote:ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων βέβληκεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον· This widow we see now, which is the same one as we saw before ...
The αὕτη prompts us to think which widow we were just talking about.
Luke 2:17 wrote:Ἰδόντες δὲ διεγνώρισαν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου τούτου.
We are prompted by the τούτου to think about which child was just being talked about in the narrative. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 24th, 2017, 11:29 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 23rd, 2017, 4:12 pm
Basically, once you get free of the constraints of familiar English, with well-worn wheel ruts to guide its interpretation, the possibilities multiply.
And then context, culture, history, and other things help guide our understanding of which possibilities are most likely. Grammar alone is not enough to interpret a passage. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 6:03 am
 
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
October 21st, 2017, 4:11 am
It wouldn't make any difference if there were another feminine noun in the context. πετρα is feminine; its gender is not affected by anything else it might refer to or be equivalent to. And certainly the case doesn't matter. A noun's case is determined by its use in the sentence, not by anything it might refer to or be in apposition to or whatever.
I don't want this to get lost - Timothy is correct here, and this is the one direct response to the question in the OP. ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα. For WAYK folks, it's analogous to this dialogue: τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 6:01 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα.
Yes, I used the wrong word.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
(Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock.
Yup. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 1:15 pm
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα.
Yes, I used the wrong word.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
(Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock.
Yup. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 1:15 pm
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
Syntactically, αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή or ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ does not necessarily imply a reference unless the context does.
I agree. I said the referent was found independent of the syntax. There is another level of understanding that shouldn't be ignored
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
If Jesus were pointing to a physical rock on the ground when he said ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, nobody would ask what he was referring to by looking at what he had said previously.
Gesturing is a non-verbal communicative strategy. Any bodily movement made with the intent of conveying meaning is a speech act. The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα. (Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock. To put it another way, without the ταύτη, we would not be wondering whether the rock was Jesus, Peter's confession or Peter himself (or any other tongue-in-cheek grammatically possible suggestions). Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
Syntactically, αὕτη ἐστιν ἡ ἐπιστολή or ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ does not necessarily imply a reference unless the context does.
I agree. I said the referent was found independent of the syntax. There is another level of understanding that shouldn't be ignored
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
If Jesus were pointing to a physical rock on the ground when he said ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ, nobody would ask what he was referring to by looking at what he had said previously.
Gesturing is a non-verbal communicative strategy. Any bodily movement made with the intent of conveying meaning is a speech act. The point of my penultimate post was to point out the error in this statement:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 12:35 pm
ταυτη is not referring back to anything, it refers to πετρα.
It is incorrect. ταυτη doesn't refer to πετρα. It agrees with πετρα. (Agreement is a feature of syntax.) ταύτη ἡ πέτρα refers to something or somebody, which or who is either literally or metaphorically a rock. To put it another way, without the ταύτη, we would not be wondering whether the rock was Jesus, Peter's confession or Peter himself (or any other tongue-in-cheek grammatically possible suggestions). Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — October 24th, 2017, 1:09 pm
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 11:46 am
 
Jonathan Robie wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 6:03 am
And then context, culture, history, and other things help guide our understanding of which possibilities are most likely.
Perhaps, theology (our own or Biblical) and belief (the Faith).
The syntax of English doesn't answer all questions we have about English texts. The syntax of Greek doesn't answer all questions we have about Greek texts. Human beings do interpret these texts differently, even when we have the same grasp of the language. Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 24th, 2017, 12:39 pm
 
Peter Streitenberger wrote: Maybe this passage explains the Name "Petros" out of the function of Simon as a Stone built on the rock (I'm just reasoning a bit)? You're a Stone and that's why I call you Petros. Definitely a play of words - but what comes first - the Stone or the Name?
Cf. John 1:42:
ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν (= Σίμωνα) πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωάννου, σὺ κληθήσῃ Κηφᾶς, ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος.
There has been considerable discussion over the question whether Κηφᾶς/Cephas, the Aramaic equivalent of Greek πέτρος, is really identical to the apostle Πέτρος, as he is generally thought to be. No doubt Matthew does "etymologize", but Matthew's account of the naming and the occasion with which it's associated doesn't seem to square with John's, It's hard to escape the conclusion that for Matthew the name is associated with the solid foundation of the ἐκκλησία. Maybe this passage explains the Name "Petros" out of the function of Simon as a Stone built on the rock (I'm just reasoning a bit)? You're a Stone and that's why I call you Petros. Definetly a Play of words - but what comes first - the Stone or the Name? Yours Peter Statistics: Posted by Peter Streitenberger — November 27th, 2013, 7:48 am