St. Peter and "The Rock"
Icon of Sts. Peter and Paul from the web site of the Autonomous Antiochan Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
— Gospel of St. Matthew 16:18

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.

— Jesus to Peter, Gospel of St. Luke 22:31-32

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

— Gospel of St. John 21:15-17

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St. Peter and Spouse

Is Peter the Rock?: A Look at Matthew 16 - By Thomas R. Valentine. This excellent article begins: "The question as to whether the rock of Matthew 16:18 on which the Lord Jesus Christ declares He will build His Church is to be identified with Saint Peter the Apostle has certainly generated a great deal of debate, disagreement, and argumentation. There are three fundamental perspectives: (1) the rock is Saint Peter the Apostle, (2) the rock is the Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Peter being a 'stone', and (3) the rock is the confession of Saint Peter. It is doubtful whether anything new can be added to any discussion of this issue, but it is hoped that an historical overview of the issue will be beneficial."

Sermon About Peter and Paul by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo [Ipponesia] - In this sermon, Blessed Augustine, considered the "father" of the Latin church's theology, argues so eloquently against the notion that Peter is the "rock." A quote from the sermon: 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the final days of His earthly life, in the days of His mission to the race of man, chose from among the disciples His twelve Apostles for preaching the Word of God. Among them, the Apostle Peter for his fiery ardour was vouchsafed to occupy the first place (Mt 10:2) and to be as it were the representative person for all the Church. And therefore it is said to him, preferentially, after the confession: "And I give thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and if thou bindest upon the earth, it will be bound in the Heavens: and if thou loosenest upon the earth, it will be loosened in the Heavens (Mt 16; 19). Wherefore it was not one man, but rather the One Universal Church, that received these "keys" and the right "to bind and loosen." And that actually it was the Church that received this right, and not exclusively a single person, turn your attention to another place of the Scriptures, where the same Lord says to also all His Apostles: "Receive ye the Holy Spirit" -- and further after this: "Whoseso sins ye remit, are remitted them: and whoseso sins ye retain, are retained" (Jn 20:22-23); or: "with what ye bind upon the earth, will be bound in Heaven: and with what ye loosen upon the earth, will be loosened in the Heavens" (Mt 18:18). Thus, it is the Church that binds, the Church that loosens; the Church, built upon the foundational corner-stone -- Jesus Christ Himself (Eph 2:20) doth bind and loosen. Let both the binding and the loosening be feared: the loosening, in order not to fall under this again; the binding, in order not to remain forever in this condition. Wherefore "by the passions of his own sins -- says Wisdom -- is each ensnared" (Prov 5:22); and except for Holy Church nowhere is it possible to receive the loosening.

The Rock of Apostle Peter - By Panagiotis Boumis, translated by David Turner. This is a contribution to the interpretation of the biblical passage: Matthew 16.18. the introduction states: “The passages of Holy Scripture with which Roman Catholic theologians usually support the Pope’s primacy as heir to the Apostle Peter are the following: Matthew 16:13-19, Luke 22:32, and John 21:15-17. In this present short study we shall deal mainly with the verse 16. 18  from the section of St Matthew’s Gospel, following the synoptic process of canonical methodology. It is this verse, after all, which is provided as the basis of the Roman Catholic Church's governing system and its claims to papal primacy. It helps if the reader understands and reads Greek because the author draws heavily on early texts in Greek. This is from the web site of MYRIOBIBLOS, the e-text library of the Church of Greece. (Links at the top of the article lead to its translation in many languages.)

Thou Art Peter - By  Fr. John Maxwell, rector of Ss. George & Alexandra Mission, Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The article appeared in The Dawn, the publication of the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America.

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