Keith Hunt - Church Government - Page Eleven   Restitution of All Things

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Church Government

What the New Testament teaches on how churches should be governed

               THIRD CONTINUATION IN ANSWER TO
           NORMAN EDWARDS' CHURCH GOVERNMENT PAPER



N.E.

Self-Appointed "Minister" (Servant). "...ye know the house of
Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they
have addicted (appointed) themselves to the ministry (service) of
the saints" (l Cor. 16:15, KJV) The Greek lasso everywhere else
in the Now Testament is fixated as "appointed," "determined" or
some other decision-making word that fits its Greek meaning. The
KJV translators and others after them have used a varied
of words in this verse that hide the true meaning; of
"appointed". They could not accept the Biblical fact that
Stephanas appointed himself to the ministry or service of the
saints. That would go against their doctrine of central
appointment of all "ministers." In reality, there is nothing
wrong with a person deciding they will serve (not be a "boss"
over) the brethren. Apollos made himself a teacher and was
accepted (Acts 18:24-28, I Cor 3:6).

MY ANSWER

     Did the KJV translators really have some clandestine,
undercover, secret cloak and dagger, plan to get all the English
speaking population of the world, to believe in a ONE MAN
AUTHORITARIAN HEAD APOSTLE/ARCH-BISHOP CHURCH GOVERNMENT
TYPE OF CHRISTIANITY?
     All I can say is that if what Mr.Edwards wants you to
believe about King James and his scholars, is correct, then
overall they DID A PRETTY LOUSY AND INCONSISTENT JOB of their
translating of the Greek, to enslave the world with their idea
of correct "church government."

     I was raised and educated in England, went to a "Church of
England" school all my life till I was seventeen. I faithfully
attended "Sunday school" and entered many Bible exams. I read the
word of the Lord. I was taught it in school. Listened to many
church of England priests. Never from my personal reading of the
King James Version, or from the ministers of the church of
England, did I ever get the notion, or have implanted in my mind,
the idea or teaching that the church that Jesus built(which the
church of England claims to be part of) was ever to be a
dictatorial rank pyramid eldership organization.

It was not until AFTER COMING IN CONTACT WITH AND BEING A MEMBER
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS in the Worldwide Church of God, under the
"only apostle" of God on earth - Herbert Armstrong(as he
eventually claimed), that I was subjugated to believe,
that the NT taught a hierarchial ministerial rank system of
church government akin to the Roman Catholic church.

     I certainly did not have that interpretation encased in my
mind from reading THE ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATED BY THE KING JAMES
SCHOLARS!!

     So if those scholars translated with that object in their
minds, under the directions from King James, then they needed to
go back to theology school, for they did a dismal inconsistent
job. Why I could have done better myself, not being a Greek
scholar! If the King James translators took WILD LlBERTY(which
they did) with planting the word EASTER (where the Greek is
Pascher - Passover) in Acts 12:4, for their translation, they
sure missed the train in taking wild liberties to establish King
James' secret plan. to get everyone believing in a dictatorial
rank ministry for the church.

     I speak with some tongue in cheek, but seriously now. The
word "Easter" was a fragrant wild liberty, not even a
transliteration from the Greek. They could have taken just
as much liberty in trying to teach a pyramid structure for the NT
church. Let me give you some examples as to what I mean.

     Come back with me to the latter half, to near the end of the
first century A.D. The apostles Peter and Paul have been
executed. Most if not all of the other early elders of the church
have died in one way or another. The original 12 apostles have
either moved far away from Palestine or have died, only the
apostle JOHN is in the confines of Judea. He is old but somewhat
famous because he was one of the specific 12 chosen by Jesus.

     The King James translators of 1611 knew the above facts.
John wrote a letter to "the elect lady" and to "the well-beloved
Gaius" (2 JN. 3 JN.). WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY THEY HAD! If they were
conspiring with King James to slant the scriptures so as to
hood-wink the common person(who hardly had a Bible let alone the
NT Greek manuscripts) into believing the NT church was built upon
a pyramid ministerial rank system like that of the Roman Catholic
church, they could have easily INSERTED the word "bishop" in
John's letters to then read:

"The BISHOP unto the elect lady" and "The BISHOP unto the
well-beloved Gaius."

     They paid no attention to the Greek in Acts 12:4 when they
inserted the word EASTER, so they could have ignored the Greek
for "elder" in John's letters. if they were really up to some
sneaky, surreptitious, secretive, underhanded and veiled plan
with King James to foster the doctrine of hierarchal church
government on the people.

     They could have done the same thing in Acts 14:23 - inserted
the word BISHOPS instead of "elders." It would have fit in
nicely, because they were appointing men in different churches
not just one church. If the English mind thinks of "bishop" as
some higher head minister over lower in authority ministers, and
if the translators of 1611 wanted to teach the people that their
"Church of England" system was taught in the Bible, they sure had
an excellent opportunity in this verse in Acts.

     Look they could have done this kind of clandestine move with
other verses also. They could have done it with 1 Peter 5:1 "The
bishops which are among you I exhort, who am also a bishop..."
Wow, this was Peter, surely many were already believing Peter
to be in dictatorial authority over other less ranked
"ministers." Putting "bishop" here would have really added some
weight for King James' church government teaching.

     The word bishop could have been used in 1 Tim.5:17, 19, and
in Titus 1:5. They did use it in Titus 1:7.
     Doing all that and leaving the word "elders" in passages
such as Acts 20:17 and James 5:14 (where you could not have
many"bishops" in a single congregation, if we take the word
bishop to mean a minister in authority over other less ranked
ministers) WOULD REALLY HELP NAIL IT HOME, that is King James'
plan to teach hierarchal government in the church.

     So yes, the translators of 1611 could have done so IF
ignoring the Greek as they did in Acts 12:4, and if working on a
devious false teaching that King James wanted, nay, was
demanding, to be promoted by the NT.

     Ignoring the Greek, I could have done a better job for King
James' clandestine theology than his many scholars(who had many
minds to work his devious seductions) he hired.

     GIVE ME A BREAK NORMAN EDWARDS! It was not King James and
his scholars who were out "to teach the world" about hierarchal
church government from the NT scriptures. It was organizations
like the Worldwide Church of God and individuals such as Herbert
Armstrong, who were bent on promulgating this false heretical
doctrine, taken right out of the theology book of the Roman
Catholic church. And how did Herbert Armstrong do it for many
years? Why, not from the NT, but by harping on over and over
again about the hierarchal government in ancient Israel, and
saying God is "the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow" (which I
covered the real truth of earlier). It was in the late 70's and
80's he went further into error with trying to teach the doctrine
of Rome, namely the "supremacy of Peter" teaching (which I've
also covered in the first part of this book).

     As I've said, I was reading the NT long before, for years
before, I ever heard of the Worldwide Church of God or Herbert
Armstrong, and I never got out of it any teaching of hierarchal
church government, not when you read all the scriptures on the
subject from all the NT. Many scriptures the scholars of 1611
translated correctly and well, and which would contradict any
planned, premeditated, conspiracy on their part to promulgate a
doctrine of Rome. Why they and King James were AGAINST the church
of Rome and its "king-pin, above all others" minister - the Pope.
They and other English scholars of the 17th, 18th, and 19th
centuries OPENLY named the Roman Catholic church as the WHORE of
the book of Revelation - Babylon the great, the mother of
harlots.

     Let me comment on the specific verse quoted by N.E. -
1 Cor.16:15.

     In all my years of reading this verse BEFORE and AFTER being
a member in the Worldwide Church of God, I never came close to
the same thought as Mr.Edwards - that this was part of the
conspiracy plan undertaken by the translation scholars of 1611.

     E.N. is quite correct concerning the Greek word lasso, yet I
do not understand the big deal he is making about it. To me the
KJV translators used an English word that is even more POWERFUL
than the English word "appoint" or "determined." The word
"addicted" to my mind is akin to the word "drugged" which carries
a mighty strong, super strong connotation. Being "addicted" to
wine or heroin is stronger than being appointed to the duty of
carrying out the trash for the office staff.

     Also note, if the 1611 translators were trying to promote a
doctrine of "central appointment of all ministers" they were once
more inconsistent right within the verse itself. For they
translated the Greek word for "service" (diakonian) as the
English word ministry!
     And that word to my English mind, within the context of
religion and the church, carries the connotation of teaching and
working in the eldership function with the saints. So I could
possibly take this verse not as something the 1611 translators
were trying to cover up but just the opposite, teaching that
certain ones appointed or addicted themselves to working in the
"ministry"(eldership) of the saints.

     Ah, for the semantics of words and how we understand them
one from another within any given sentence. Interesting to say
the least, and possibly confusing to others.

     Now to the nitty-gritty!

     Mr. Edwards says it was "Stephanas appointed himself" to the
ministry or service of the saints. But look at that verse AGAIN,
look at it carefully! IT DOES NOT SAY THAT AT ALL!  Read it, it
say: ".......you know the HOUSE of Stephanas.......and that
THEY(more than one) have addicted THEMSELVES to the ministry of
the saints."

     This was not one single man or person that had appointed
himself to the ministry, BUT A WHOLE HOUSEHOLD OF PERSONS! We are
not told HOW MANY, what their AGES were, nor what SEX they may
have been - male/female. It could have been persons of BOTH sexes
that had appointed themselves to the ministry of the saints. And
if I was to take the word "ministry" (as given by the KJV
scholars) as meaning eldership or as we today often think and use
the word in religious circles, I could come up with the idea(from
the KJV) that whole families - male and female - can put
themselves into the official function of church elders.

     Gets kind of wild doesn't it. Under this light, I could
interpret this verse not as something the 1611 scholars were
trying to conceal because they wanted to teach a doctrine of
"central appointment of all ministers" but actually the very
opposite. That whole families of male AND female could addict (be
drugged on) themselves to serving in the "ministry"(spiritual
eldership) of the church.

     We clearly know from this verse that it was the "house of
Stephanas" the "themselves" and not just the man Stephanas who
was addicted to serving the saints. What is also just as clear is
that we are NOT TOLD the service they were doing for the
saints. We are not told if it was washing the chariots for
members of the church, cutting the grass, delivering groceries
for the elderly saints, grooming their horses or donkeys,
painting their stone fences, reading the Bible to the blind, or a
hundred and one other things a household of persons can get
enthusiastic about in serving others.
     We are just told the basic essentials, that here was a
FAMILY who had become drugged with setting themselves to minister
- serve(and I think we all really know that the word "ministry"
was used by the 1611 translators to mean NOT eldership but
service, just as they used it many times this way in other verses
of the NT - (see the Englishman's Greek Concordance) in some way
or ways to the brethren of the church. AND THAT'S IT!  To
speculate any further on the service given would be futile.

     Paul was pleased with their service to the brethren, and in
verse 16 he tells his readers to respect and even to be subject
to them, but does not go on to amplify his comments. We take from
that, that they knew what he meant by his remarks and also that
given in verse 18.

     What's wrong with what this household did in verse 16? Why
NOTHING AT ALL! This was just an acknowledgment on Paul's part
that such families should be held is high regards for the
ministry of work they had addicted themselves to perform for the
saints. Nothing more and nothing less.

     The KJV translators employed by the King in the 17th century
were NOT TRYING TO HIDE ANYTHING in their rendering of this verse
from the Greek into English, nor were they trying to teach from
this verse the doctrine of "central appointment of all
ministers."

     This verse says NOTHING ABOUT MAKING ONESELF A TEACHER OF
OTHERS.  But the verse in James 3: 1 SURE DOES!   And quite
frankly there are many going about today trying to be "teachers"
WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, AND NEED TO BE
LISTENING AND LEARNING. Many who were "kept under" - shackled to
only "pray and pay" - taught to "not think" - finding themselves
free from that straight-jacket, have become themselves "blind
leaders of the blind."  

     Apollos did what every saint is at liberty to do - go to the
churches in the towns and speak the truths of God if they so
desire and are so led of the Spirit to do. His example is as one
going forth to the deceived and those in various degrees of
spiritual darkness. After he was trained even more in the truths
of God, he was accepted by the brethren to teach them and to
preach to the unconverted world. He was given an opportunity to
"be proved" and to see if he did "desire the office of bishop"(1
Tim.3).
     Obviously from what is stated about Apollos in the first
chapters of 1 Corinthians, and the fact that he like Paul was
called an "apostle" it is clear that he was by GOD, and by OTHER
elders and brethren called and appointed to the
overseership/eldership within the NT Church of God.


N.E.

Selective Translations Bolsters "Bishop." The various jobs listed
in the Bible were usually described by plain, everyday words in
Greek. The KJV translators should have used plain everyday
English words to translate them. As we found with diakonos, the
translators used the "plain, everyday" words in some places, but
put in "church terminology" ("minister" or "deacon") when it
suited their purposes.. This practice leaves the English reader
to believe that the Scriptures actually support exalted "church
offices" rather than jobs for the converted people to do.
The Greek episkopos is translated "bishop" in four places where
it apparently applies to only a few men - matching the
authoritarian church concept of a boss over many congregations.
It is translated "overseer" (its true meaning) in Acts 20:28
because Paul was addressing all the elders of Ephesus (vs.
17-18). King James would not have allowed the "high office" of
"Bishop" to be mentioned in a way that made it seem nearly equal
to the "common elder" so the translators obscured it. (The
American Standard Version, produced much later, is at least
consistent and contains "bishop" here) "Overseer" would be a much
better translation for episkopos if we understand it as `"someone
that looks out for the welfare of others," not "someone that
bosses others." A similar problem occurs with the closely related
word episkope (meaning "inspection" or "overseeing"). It is
translated "visitation" in Luke 19:44 rued I Peter 2:12 where it
refers to an individual's "inspection" or "judgment", but
"bishoprick" in Acts 1:20 and even "office of bishop" in 
l Timothy 3:1 where it is made to look like a "church office."
During the first century, "overseers" were selected from elders
(older men) of the congregation to take care of the
administrative needs of a congregation."

MY ANSWER


     Are there "church offices" in the church? Well again we are
back to the semantics of words. Let's go to the human body
example that Paul used. If you want to take the function of what
the "head" does in relation to the rest of the body and call it a
"body office" then you should be free to do so. If you want to
call what the "blood" does in relation to the rest of the body a
"body office" then you have the liberty within a language to do
so. If you want to call what the "skin" does in the way of
function to the rest of the human a "body office" you have
freedom to do so.

     Language is a means of communication, to put a certain mind
thought or scene into that part of the brain dealing with
concepts. To call the "head" a "bodily office" does not of itself
mean it is inheritably superior or exalted above the rest of the
body. Certainly the body can not live or function without the
head, but then again, the body can not function or live without
the blood, or without the skin, or without the internal organs
and so on.
     One office of the body is not superior to another. All
offices must be there to make a whole, and for it to be nourished
and to grow to maturity and perfection. And that is exactly how
Paul likened the church. All functions are "offices" in that
sense of how we are using the word.
     All in the church are supposed to be converted, yet we do
not all function in the  same role within the church. We have
different duties to perform. We are then in different "offices"
the church.

     We have seen the NT does indeed break down the body of
Christ into THREE OVERALL basic "offices" or functions - the
SAINTS, the DEACONS, and the OVERSEERS/ELDERS. No one in any of
those offices are to feel "greater" or "more important" than
anyone else. The NT is full of verses that proclaim that truth.

     I believe Mr.Edwards is making a "mountain out of a mole
hill" in attributing some secret scheme to the 1611 translators.
Even if by some wild endeavour on their part they were trying to
make the NT teach a Roman Catholic type of church government
(which is hard to believe considering England had rejected Rome
and the "supremacy of Peter" doctrine), it would NOT BE POSSIBLE
by the way God had preserved His word in the Greek language
(unless the Greek itself was cast aside, and so called
"religious" men came up with a so called "word of God" that was
purely from their own minds and not the mind of the Lord).
     God's word is written in such a way that anyone trying to
form a false doctrine of complete harmony throughout, would
sooner or later have to reject the original inspired Hebrew and
Greek, and insert their own ideas. No one has ever proved that
the King James translators were not working from the inspired
languages of the Biblical text.

     Let's take episkopos as used in Titus 1:7. If the 1611
scholars were trying to teach from the NT that a "bishop" was a
man - a clergyman - in the church who was in rank above the other
ministers, priests, elders, and that he had authority over them
to tell them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, then
they should have been consistent with verse 5. If that was their
aim, their teaching plan, then they should have put the word
"bishop" in verse five also. They would have had to reject the
different Greek word used there(presbuteros), but so what, they
rejected the Greek word for Passover in Acts 12:4 did they not,
yes they did!
     They did not reject presbuteros but rendered it "elders" as
they should have. Which immediately, for even those knowing NO
GREEK but only English, tells you that an Elder is also a Bishop
- one and the same individual in the church.

     Look at Philippians 1:1. If the scholars employed by King
James to do his dirty work in teaching a pyramid structure of
government in the church, wanted the people to believe a "bishop"
in the church was someone who was the "top dog" in ecclesiastical
authority over lower pries/elders, or someone over a group of
churches and ministers, they sure messed up here.
     Paul was writing to ONE TOWN! Would they have "bishops"
plural - a number of them, in one town? I do not think so, and
the Church of England as they use the word "bishop" today, do not
have a number of them in just one town!
     To avoid people questioning their "bishop" teaching from
this verse, if they had some secret agenda, it would have been
easy to have put the English word overseers in this verse, as
they did in Acts 20:28.

     The word "bishop" can have a number of meanings in English.
Look it up in a good  Dictionary. Or talk to someone from the
Mormon church and ask them how they use the word in their
organization.

     The King James translators were probably not using the word
bishop in the way it is used today in the Church of England, nor
the way Mr.Edwards wants you to believe.
     It wasn't the Church of England that deceived Norman Edwards
for many years into believing this false doctrine of the
"supremacy of Peter" and hierarchal church government. IT WAS
HERBERT ARMSTRONG! And as far as I know Armstrong's teaching came
from the Old Testament mainly, and later from twisting a few NT
verses as the RC church does.
     Reading the NT in its entirety, putting scripture with
scripture, FROM THE KJV translation, you will never come up with
the apostolic Church of God being a pyramid or one man hierarchal
structured.


N.E.

Other Religious "Offices" Enhanced. The Greek poimen is
translated "shepherd" all other 16 times, but "Pastor" in
Ephesians 4:11 where there is a list of various functions
of the members of His body. Finally, the Greek euaggelion is
everywhere translated "gospel.'' The very similar word
euaggelistes should be translated "gospel-preacher" -
clearly connecting the relationship between the two words.
Instead, we have three references to "evangelist," assumed by
many to be an ecclesiastic rank or title, not a function."


MY ANSWER


     From the World Book Dictionary concerning the word pastor we
read: ".......3. Archaic. a herdsman or shepherd. (< Anglo-French
pastour, Old French Pasteur, < Latin pastor shepherd < pascere to
feed) ."
     So the translators of the KJV were influenced by some
Anglo-French-Latin to render the Greek as pastor in Eph.4: 11.
Any big deal? No I do not think so, and I'll tell you why soon.
Poimen in the Greek means ".......'a shepherd, one who tends
herds or flocks' (not merely one who feeds them)......." Vine's
Dictionary.
     This is what we learn about the word evangel from whence we
derive the word evangelist, the World Book Dictionary: ".......(<
Late Latin evangelism < Greek evangelion good tidings, ultimately
< eu- good + angellein announce < angelos messenger).
     So the 1611 scholars took the Greek word and transliterated
it into the Anglo-Saxon English. Again, really NO BIG DEAL,
unless you are bent on reading something  very sinister going on
in the minds of those hired to translate the Bible by King James
- a secret plot of trying to make people believe in a Roman
Catholic church government structure. And that coming from the
minds of those who had rejected Rome is very doubtful.

     The words pastor and evangelist do not carry ANY meaning
within them from the Greek, French, Latin, or Anglo, that implies
or teaches an "ecclesiastical rank." It is just NOT THERE,
period!

     Tens of thousands of people back in 1611 as today in the
English speaking world, who attend churches of various faiths, do
not acquaint any "dictatorial rank" or "authoritarian title" -
boss you about power - to the words pastor or evangelist. Just go
and ask any average church attender what thoughts come into his
or her mind when they think of the word "pastor" or "evangelist."
Most will say for pastor, a minister who serves and shepherds the
flock of God in spiritual matters. They do not think of a
minister who has dictatorial authority over other ministers that
he orders around.
     When those same people think of the word "evangelist" they
do not understand it as someone with some special official "rank"
in the church that has authority over "pastor" ministers. They
think of it as a minister who mainly preaches the word of God to
the outside unconverted persons in the world.

     To my knowledge, the Church of England in its ecclesiastical
structure, has never used a minister rank system that carried the
names APOSTLE, PROPHET, EVANGELIST. I do not believe they even
used pastor or teacher, yet I could be wrong on that.

     Well to get it from the horses mouth, I have just called the
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA, who are, they inform me, the same as
the Church of England. I asked about their official structure and
names used. It is: THREE TIERED - bottom rung is deacon - second
rung is priest - third rung is bishop. These are separate
ordinations - official appointments. They have never used as
official ordination rank(which the previous three are in their
government) with TITLES of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor.
They do use the words pastor and evangelist, but in an
un-official way, such as assigning a "lay member" the task to do
an evangelistic meeting or promotion to the public.
     So the Church of England under King James and his
translators were NOT trying to teach from Ephesians 4:11 or by
using the word "evangelist" three times, the ecclesiastic rank of
church government.

     The truth is that from the very Greek words in the sentence
of Ephesians 4:11 and the word euaggelistes, or the English words
used in the KJV, NO DOCTRINE OF "RANK MINISTERS" CAN BE FOUND
WITHOUT SOME WILD INTERPRETATION FROM THE MIND OF MAN!

     IT IS JUST NOT CORRECT TO BLAME THE TRANSlATORS OF THE KING
JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE WITH TRYING TO "enhance religious
offices" from their use of the words pastor and evangelist.
Trying to do so is, to put it bluntly(not meaning to offend
Mr.Edwards) - not good theology!

     There is NOTHING WRONG with the verse under discussion, nor
with the words evangelist and pastor. What is wrong, is the false
man made interpretation of that verse and of those words, as
Norman Edwards experienced under the ministry of the Worldwide
Church of God, led by Herbert Armstrong.
     It was H.W.Armstrong who rejected his own plain truth that
he published about "Church Government" at the beginning years of
his ministry(l have a copy of his article), to adopt a Roman
Catholic type hierarchy. And in so doing he had to twist and
pervert a few scriptures of the NT that would then fit his new
mind set on the subject, while rejecting many other verses and
passages that would sound the death bell on his "one man(he
himself) supremacy of Peter" doctrine.

It is time Mr.Edwards to put the blame of you believing such
heretical nonsense for so many years, where it belongs. Not on
the heads of the translators of King James, but on the head(one
head, though many WCG ministers followed) - the head of Herbert
W. Armstrong!
     Under his ministerial "rank" system teachers were divided
into bottom rung "local elders" then second rung "preaching
elders." After them and above them came "pastors." Above pastors
in rank were "evangelists." The rank of "prophets" was
conveniently never used as "there was none" according to HWA. And
the rank of "apostles" did not exist he stated, that is until he
called himself "God's apostle on earth" after the death of his
wife Loma.

     So even under his interpretation of Ephesians 4:11 it was
pick and choose, change some words, leave out others, and adapt
it to his ideas of how to govern what he finally called the only
true organization of God's people on earth, which was another of
his false doctrines during his last 20 years of life(he also had
some before those years).



N.E.

Matthew 16:18 Mistranslated. This one translation error known to
many. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [petros -
small stone], and upon this rock [petra - large massive rock]
will I build my church." The Greek shows His assembly or "church"
is not built on Peter but on the Messiah. The English, with no
distinction between the size of rocks, leads us to believe that
the Congregation was built upon Peter and (by deduction) his
successors. (Most top "church leaders" in big organizations claim
to be successors of Peter in some way.)


MY ANSWER

     Was this really a translation error on the part of the KJV
scholars? Was it intended to teach the church was built upon the
apostle Peter? Does the English put no distinction between the
size of the rocks?

     Just a minute, what rocks? In the English words I do not see
but ONE rock mentioned, not two. So no one was trying to put or
not put a distinction between "rocks" plural, when translating
into the English language. The translators rendered the Greek
petros as Peter because the apostles name was Peter, and Peter
means "a stone." All this fits with what we read in John 1:42,
"....Jesus beheld him, He said, You are Simon the son of Jesse,
you shall be called Cephas(Peter) which is by interpretation, a
stone." Then they translated petra as rock because that is what
it means - huge cliff or shelf of rock.

     There is NOTHING HERE in the English for understanding the
church of Jesus Christ was going to be built or founded upon the
apostle Peter.

     As a young boy(nine, ten, eleven, and into teenage) I had a
red letter NT which I read regularly, especially the words of
Christ written in red. I had read this verse of scripture many
times in those young years of my life. NEVER did it cross my mind
to take from the English translation the meaning that I was being
told by Jesus, that His church would be established upon Peter.
It was not until I was about 20 years of age that I came into the
knowledge that the Roman Catholic church used this verse to teach
the Pope was the ecclesiastical ancestor to Peter, on whom the
Church of Christ was built. Needless to say I was shocked for the
verse just does not say any such thing!
     If it did it would not have the English words it does have,
for then it would have to read: ".......You are Peter and on
YOU......." or ".......Thou art Peter and on THYSELF I will build
my church......."

     The way it is worded would not be correct English either in
1611 or today, for passing on to the English mind that a church
was to be founded on a human person such as Peter.

     We are not given an audio/visual playback, only audio is
presented to us. I believe the scene went something like this:
Jesus had drawn their attention to WHO HE WAS, Peter had answered
correctly, and to further demonstrate His special relationship
with the Father, Jesus looks at Peter, says: "And I say unto you,
that you are Peter(a stone, pebble - petros) AND" - now pointing
with His fingers to Himself - "on this(meaning Himself ROCK -
huge crag of stone), I will build by church..."

     As a young boy I was always puzzled as to exactly what Jesus
was meaning here because I had not yet put together the
scriptures that clearly showed Christ as THE ROCK(i.e. 1 Cor.10:4
rock = petra). Once that came to my attention, Matthew 16:18 fell
into correct understanding like jig-saw puzzle. A little here and
a little there until the picture is whole and without
contradiction.

     The KJV scholars were NOT trying to teach in this verse that
the church built by  Christ was founded upon the apostle Peter.
The Church of England was very much opposed to Rome and the claim
of the Papacy that their Pope was the successor of Peter who was
supposed to have been the first bishop of Rome. The very English
words used by them in their 1611 translation is proof that they
did not entertain the theology of Rome on that point of doctrine.


                       To be continued

        .............................................

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