Christian apologists often claim Peter to be foremost amongst the apostles. Peter is glorified as establishing the Church. Above all he is said by some to have lived inside “Jesus’ relationship with God”. Peter is made to have precedence over Paul’s testimony.
Christianity has maintained that Daniel was a prophet foreseeing the Messiah in the days of the Pharisees and Sadducees. But apologists prefer to point to Rome as the culprit despite the fact that the Jews always wrote about their governance only. If their governance was correct then their future would be guaranteed.
Christianity denies Judas Maccabees as being the “Rock” that set up the everlasting kingdom as told in Dan. 2. To Christianity no “everlasting kingdom” could possibly be set up before the Christ of the first century.
Ancient scribes always required two witnesses and preferably three before definitive judgements could be made – two olive branches. Gabriel brought to Daniel’s attention the pre-exilic age starting with David’s command to build the Temple. Daniel’s 9:24-27 vision (not prophecy) combined the pre-exilic sacred year recording soundly recorded in Kings and Chronicles with the chronological post-exilic history. Together, as one, they provided two witnesses (this will be covered in further articles).
Now the topic of this midrash ensample is the difference between what was known to be designated the “Rock” and that being designated a small “stone”. As many throw stones this will be very controversial.
One has to review how institutionalized religion has changed the original midrashic import. We know Judas Maccabees holds centrepiece in Jewish history as the “Rock” and this has to be reconciled with statements such as a saying of Jesus to Simon, “thou art Peter (petros) and upon this rock (petra – stone) I will build my church” – Matt. 16:13-18. Midrash is of assistance in this regard.
Midrash – Peter (PETROS)
Peter from PETROS – masculine means, a stone, a piece of rock. John’s account in 1:40-42 is as follows: “…Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother saith unto him, We have found Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought Peter to Jesus. He (Jesus) said, Thou art Simon (hearing) the son of Jona (a dove): thou shalt be called Cephas, which by interpretation, is a stone (PETROS – piece of rock). Cephas, the surname of Peter is from KEPHAS in Greek derived from KEPH in Hebrew meaning a hollow rock. Peter Cephas means a stone, piece of rock or a hollow rock (see Strong’s/Young’s concordance).
Peter was a small hollow rock or stone. “A sower went out to sow his seed…And some fell upon a rock (or stony places from PETRODES rocky, stone). However, as soon as the seed fell upon stony ground or a mass of stony ground, after springing up, it withered – stones lack moisture (water comes from jagged large rock). Now here is Peter, when the heat was put on him: – “A damsel came unto him saying, Thou also was with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest” – Matt. 26:69,70. Peter was not the “Rock” (he was not equivalent to the “stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands” – Dan. 2:45 – Judas Maccabees) for he withered and denied Christ three times.
Midrash – rock (PETRA)
“Rock” from PETRA – feminine indicates the ability “to make” to be creative according to the commandments “to make”. However the word “petra” means small “stone” or small “rock” and so we are immediately alerted that Peter’s foresight may not have been applied. And we are forewarned that small stones (petra) are offensive:
– “a stumbling stone (petra) and rock of offence” – Rom. 9:33
– “a rock (petra) of offence, (even to them) which stumble – 1 Pet. 2:8
– Jesus said to Peter “Get thee behind me, Satan: though art an offence to me” – Matt. 16:23
The symbol of small stones was mentioned in the book of Samuel – “if he begotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone (a little stone, kernel – tseror) to be found there” – 2 Sam. 17:13. This was said of the betrayal by Ahithophel who sought to deceive disgraced Absalom (David’s third son). No man was going to be left within the city, no small stone.
The importance of small stones was often to mark the way of travellers. Yes small stones mark the way.
What then of the words, “upon this rock (PETRA) will I build my church” – Matt. 16:18? PETRA is the feminine of PETROS – feminine meaning life-giving (matriarchy as opposed to Peter – patriarchy), in figurative scripture. PETRA is a mass of rock – mass, a body, as in the messianic body. Christ would never build a church under the auspices of Peter a hollow rock
Now the word “rock” (PETRA) must be investigated further.
The writers of 1 Cor. 10:1-4 have something to say about the “rock” but keep in mind the Scriptures are symbolical writings, using objects to convey spirited experiences. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual rock (PETRA – feminine) that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”- 1 Cor. 10:4. So Christ, an indefinable, anointed momentum, that was denied by Peter, became available to all small stones through Christ, personifying the unity of oneness and intent that came to the small stones at the time of Herod the Great and the oligarchical rule of the religio-civil rulership of their Jewish nation.
Christ is also called “a living stone”, “a chief corner stone in Sion,” “the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner”. These texts are taken from 1 Pet. 2:4-7. The word “stone” is from LITHOS (not femine PETROS) and means a stone (lit. or fig.):- (mill, stumbling-) stone. Christ was the foundation stone.
In the story of the Exodus was a cloud that followed them and all passed through the sea. Seas, waters, flood, all refer to peoples. All in the Exodus passed through countries of people near Egypt without attack. This is how the description goes: “The Lord caused the sea to go back, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” – Exd. 14:21. “And did all eat the same spiritual meat” – Exd. 16: 5,35.
Christ, was this experience, spiritual essence.
Eph. 2 telling of spiritual Jew and Gentile becoming one, writes, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood (kindred) of Christ…no more strangers…but fellow citizens with the saints…And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner (stone)” – Eph. 2:20.
We can all accept that Christ (the anointed) is the “chief corner” but Peter, ever just a small stone, would never achieve Shemite renown. Both 1 Pet. 2 and also Eph. 2:20 (added by translator) is replicated midrash from Ps. 118:22. “The stone (which) the builders refused is become the head (stone) of the corner.” Peter also refused. “Stone here is Hebrew is EBEY meaning to build, or the builder (fulfilling the Commandments “to make”, remember) now enabled the inkhorn.
Peter was not educated like the Ancients scribes, craftsmen of their profession. Peter did not understand the midrashic methodology from time immemorial. Peter denied Christ, but still became a signpost. Paul letters and epistles and John’s Revelation, a book that reveals and discloses Jesus Christ are books that comprehend midrash. Paul’s epiphany was an awakening to the scanning message of the Ancient scribes, a message built precept by precept, stone by stone. John’s Revelation is entirely made of midrashic ensamples drawing together all types from alpha to omega. This book is to be opened in apocalyptic time, a universal time, a time of marriage.
It seems quiet clear that the statement, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” is the “rock” (feminine PETRA) upon which “I (Christ) will build my church.” “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members (stones) in particular”- 1 Cor. 12:27. “…Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” – Eph. 5:23. Christ is our one body, our one Spirit, our one hope, and our one Lord – Eph. 4.
Bear in mind the word “Christ” is a title, Christ the anointed, messiah, and king. Christ is always our Melchisedic king and high priest – King of righteousness, King of peace. Such wonderful attributes, such counselling. Christ is our first begotten of love, the Father of all, bringing forth beneficial substance and new spiritual ways. Redeeming happiness and prosperity is available for all from the beginning of days until the end of days.
So Peter was never the equivalent to Judas Maccabees. Peter represented the masculinity and never the creative femininity that was the force and power that brings ascension, movement, change and an ongoing newness to the old ensamples.
We can transcend on our pathways that has forks in the road but signposts to direct the way.