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Matthew 16:18-20 The Passion Translation (TPT)

18 I give you the name Peter, a stone.[a] And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church—my legislative assembly,[b] and the power of death[c] will not be able to overpower it![d] 19 I will give you the keys[e] of heaven’s kingdom realm to forbid on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release on earth that which is released in heaven.”[f] 20 He then gave his disciples strict orders not to tell anyone that he was God’s Anointed One.


  1. Matthew 16:18 Or Keefa, the Aramaic word for “stone” or “pebble.” See Matt. 4:18 and footnote. There is an obvious pun only found in the Hebrew Matthew. The Hebrew word for “stone” is eben, and the Hebrew word for “build” is ebeneh. The Greek text does state that Peter is the “rock” on which the church is built. However, the implication is that it is Peter’s revelation from the Father and his confession of Jesus as the Son of God that becomes the “bedrock foundation” for the church. The earliest writings of the church fathers all acknowledge that the Rock is Jesus Christ, not Peter. See Deut. 32:18, 30-31; Ps. 18:46; Isa. 8:14; 17:10; 51:1-8.
  2. Matthew 16:18 The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia and means “legislative assembly” or “selected ones.” This is not a religious term at all, but a political and governmental term that is used many times in classical Greek for a group of people who have been summoned and gathered together to govern the affairs of a city. For Jesus to use this term means he is giving the keys of governmental authority in his kingdom to the church. See R. Scott and H. G. Liddell, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 206; J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 196; and Oskar Seyffert, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, pp. 202–203.
  3. Matthew 16:18 Or “the gates of hell,” a metonymy for the power of death.
  4. Matthew 16:18 Or “all the forces of hell will never have the power to win a victory over it!” There is no power of darkness that can stop the advancing church that Jesus builds.
  5. Matthew 16:19 The “keys” are symbols of authority and ruling power. See Isa. 22:22.
  6. Matthew 16:19 Or “Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” Or “That which you forbid on earth must be that which is already forbidden in heaven, and that which you permit on earth must be that which is already permitted in heaven.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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