Christian Text And Critical Use Of Primary And Secondary Sources
Who is Jesus? The answer is ultimately revealed in the highly controversial Matthew 16:13-20 passage through Peter’s confession and Jesus’ response. This paper, through careful analysis of the greek text and critical use of primary and secondary sources, draws out an exegesis of three essential themes found within the passage. Firstly, Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is Messiah as being a fundamental basis for the building of a new community. Secondly, the highly debated wordplay between Πέτρος and πέτρα, and the definition of Peter’s new role. Finally, the meaning of ‘binding and loosing’, and what that means for the church.
Examination of Greek text for Matthew 16:13-20
‘Jesus’ was a common name up to the beginning of the 2nd century especially among Jews. The name expressed his humanity. So when Jesus asked (ἐρωτάω) the disciples who the Son of Man was, he was, in a way demanding or probing a response from them, so he could provide a counter-question for their understanding. The use of who (τίς) evokes that Jesus was being interrogative. When Jesus says ‘people’ he might have inflected the limited nature of humanity to thinking compared with God. It is interesting to note that Jesus rarely referred to himself as the son of God, rather the son of man. Jesus was careful about revealing himself too quickly, he much preferred to describe himself as a ‘humble’ son of man. This not only speaks of his humanity, but also links in with the Daniel 7…