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prolificus's avatar

If Peter was the rock upon which the Church was built, why does the New Testament contain more correspondence written by and about Paul than Peter?

Asked by prolificus (6285 points ) April 24th, 2010

In Matthew 16, Jesus says to Peter, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (1).

Yet, as the early Church unfolded as described in the Book of Acts, Peter’s name appears 74 times (2). Paul’s name appears 179 times (3).

There are 13 Pauline Epistles (4), compared to Peter’s two writings (5).

If Christians base a large amount of their faith on the written word, and if Peter is the rock, shouldn’t there be more ascribed to Peter than to Paul in the New Testament?

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23 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Its quality not quantity that’s important

eponymoushipster's avatar

Peter is mentioned first in the book of Acts, and it was to him that the keys of the kingdom were given.

Paul was a convert, and started his ministry much later. but Peter, being, if you’ll review the Gospels, the most vocal of the original 12 apostles, also took the lead in the formation and direction of the early Christian congregation. also, to note, paul was not one of the original apostles, nor did he serve as one of the apostolic body, directing the early congregation in the first century. he served more as a missionary than a director.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

The Petrine Theory (Interpreting that verse to mean that Peter founded the Church of Rome) is a Catholic idea that was invented after most (if not all) of the New Testament was written.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The only Peter and Paul I know are the one’s who hooked up with a woman named Mary and told us a story about Puff the Magic Dragon. I’m not sure if he’s mentioned in the bible or not though. Probably not.

SeventhSense's avatar

If one believes the writings of some sects such as Roman Catholicism it would be claimed that Peter was the first Pope. Of course there’s no evidence of this nor any evidence that Jesus ever placed an emphasis on a personality over a principle. Some have claimed that the “Rock” that Jesus referred to was Peter’s reply and faith in answering Jesus’ question:
“Whom do men say I am”
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”
In answering he replied upon this rock i shall build my church. Not a church to be built upon a man but his confession of faith in the Christ.

eponymoushipster's avatar

If Peter was the first “pope”, then why are catholic priests not allowed to marry, when it’s clear that Peter had a mother-in-law?

SeventhSense's avatar

How’s this for a condemnation of the religion.
1 Timothy 4
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith….3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;

anartist's avatar

The Vatican is built on top of him.

Judi's avatar

Many people believe that Peter was not the rock but what Peter had Just said was the rock.
He had just said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

filmfann's avatar

Peter was the rock, Paul was the builder.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Judi
Well there must be a rock. Do I hear an echo in here?

Judi's avatar

@SeventhSense ; great minds think alike. I guess I should have read the other responses!Lurve!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Judi
Did you die your hair? It looks nice.

Judi's avatar

yes, went brunette For now.

SeventhSense's avatar

Sophisticated and stylish.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Christianity may be a misnomer, “Paulism” may be a better term. What Yeshua of Nazareth founded as a reform movement in Judaism, Saul of Tarsus highjacked and created his own religion. I’m not a biblical scholar, but shouldn’t the words attributed to the only apostles that actually were Yeshuas companions (Peter, John and some of the “apocrypha”) have precedence?

We also have to consider that the Council of Ephesus was highly selective in the books they chose to recognize and themselves represented the faction currently in favor by the Roman authorities in the fourth century. There was an effort made after this Council to destroy any writings that lacked their approval. Some believe that the “gnostic” faction, which was out of official favor at the time, may have a truer flavor of the original intent of Yeshua.

I’m an agnostic, so this is all just entertaining speculation to me.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

I have heard that verse (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) interpreted as the name Peter did mean rock, which is why Jesus said his name first. But he was referring to himself being the rock on which the church would be built.

anartist's avatar

Which came first, the words written in the original version of this scripture, or the name Peter [Petros, Boutros]? Maybe they were simultaneous. Perhaps the name is allegorical.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@anartist J.E.Walsh’s “The Bones of St. Peter” is a fascinating read about the excavation and discoveries under the basilica.

anartist's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land thanks for info. The little Wikipedia article made something sound hinky, especially that monsignor who “hid the bones” that were declared to be St Peter by the pope when they were “discovered”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Walsh goes into detail about Monsignor Kaas. He didn’t actually “hide” the bones. He removed them to a storage container, which he labeled in Latin. The archeology team didn’t know about this and the bones didn’t make it onto their list until 1953. Kaas’ label did indicate exactly where the bones were from. Dr. Guarducci found the box containing the bones after Kaas’ death.

Kaas was the papal administrator for all of the Vatican buildings. During the excavation in 1939–46, he would inspect the dig site each day after the archeologists left to be sure that no “relics” had been left lying about. Apparently the reliquary chamber had been opened but not examined on one day. Kaas saw the bones and transferred them into a storage box. When the archeologists returned the next day, they found nothing in the chamber and concluded that the chamber had always been empty. Ten years later, Dr. Guarducci figured out what had happened. As the Wiki article says the bones were determined to be of a man in his late sixties, of that time period. Walsh’s book also described that the bones were wrapped in a cloth of gold and Imperial purple, the exact shade was reserved for emperors. So at some point these bones had been wrapped in an emperors cape and transferred to the chamber above the original soil grave. So the bones were those of a man of the correct age and time, whose remains were later given imperial honors. Not bulletproof evidence, but enough to convince Paul VI.

anartist's avatar

Especially if Paul VI wanted the bones to be St Peter’s. And when did the purple and cloth-of-gold appear? Perhaps Monsignor Kaas added therm from somewhere else. There are an awful lot of peculiar circumstances surrounding so many relics.

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