Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jesus gave "keys" of the kingdom./kindom "to Peter and to community as a whole"


In Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18: 18, Jesus gave the "keys" to the Kingdom/Kindom of God to Peter and to the community.
Gary Wills, Pultizer prize winning author, sums up the scholarship: " But Jesus, in the same gospel, gives the same power not to Peter exclusively but to the followers as a body: 'In truth I tell you (hymin, plural) that whatever you tie on earth will have been tied in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven "( Mt. 18:18).
"From this Augustine concluded that Peter is just ' a representative of the church'- and in fact the community as a whole had the power to include or exclude members in the early gatherings."
Gary Wills, What Jesus Meant, pp. 80-81.



Excerpt from Bishop Tom Gumbleton's Homily in ncronline
Reflection on scripture passage: Christ giving keys of kingdom to Peter and the Community
"But in fact, that interpretation did not become part of the church's
tradition until the fourth century, when Constantine (the Roman emperor) had
been baptized and the church began to exist with freedom in the Roman
Empire. It began to take on some of the traits of that empire -- power,
prestige, wealth -- so this interpretation of this passage developed in that
fourth century.

Before that, in the earliest tradition, the passage was interpreted as Peter
being a type, an image of all the disciples. So Jesus is saying then, "It is
on all my believing disciples that I build my church. To all my disciples I
give the power to bind or to loose." That's the earliest interpretation and
that's reinforced, actually, when you go just a little bit further into
Matthew's gospel in the 18th chapter, and Jesus is speaking, not to Peter,
but to all the disciples, the whole community. "I say to you, whatever you
bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; whatever you unbind on earth, heaven
will keep unbound."

So it wasn't Peter, and now the pope, that has the full authority and power
within the church, it's the whole community, the church. That's what Jesus
said to his disciples and that was the earliest interpretation of this
passage.

Later on in the Eastern part of the church, the passage was interpreted as
Jesus building the church on faith -- it was the faith of Peter that was
emphasized -- so the church was built on the faith of believing Christians.
Later on, in fact, in the Middle Ages, people began to interpret the passage
that it's on Jesus himself, the Christ, that the church is built. Yet we
have taken this one interpretation and have, in fact, enlarged upon it so
that we have a church where one person (and this, if you think about it, is
really extreme) has all legislative power. The pope can make any law, end
any law, at any time, at any moment.
This is not a healthy thing, actually, for our church. We have to remember
that when Jesus first began to preach and to teach, he was gathering a
community of disciples. Jesus never organized a church. All of this only
developed over a period of time, so it's changeable. It seems to me, and to
many in the church today, that we need to change."
--Bishop Tom Gumbleton This homily was given at St. Hilary Parish, Detroit, Mich.

1 comment:

Father Mitchell said...

Bishop Grumbleton is not a Roman Catholic so why is he pretending. We do not make up our faith according to our fancies in this short life even going to the extreme foolishness of making up words like kindom. You people have too much time on your hands. If you hate the Roman Catholic Church so much - then do us all a favour and start your own.