Matthew 16:17 Commentary - Abbott's Illustrated New TestamentVerse 17
Bar-jona; the son of Jona. (John 21:15.)--Flesh and blood, man.
Matthew 16:18,19. Peter is a Greek word, meaning rock. Peter held a very prominent and conspicuous place among the apostles, during our Savior's life; and he was afterwards foremost in counsel and action, in the early efforts made for the promulgation of the gospel. This continued until at length the apostle Paul entered the field; and from that time Peter disappears from the sacred history. His prominence while it remained, was due to the boldness and energy, of his personal character--qualities in which he excelled all others, until he was excelled himself by Paul, who united the boldness and energy of Peter with the calmness and steadiness of John.--The Romish church rely mainly on this passage, so far as they rely at all on the direct authority of the Scriptures, for supporting the claims of the bishop of Rome to be the head of the church,--considering him the successor of the apostle Peter. That the apostles, however, did not understand these words as investing Peter with any official supremacy, is evident from the conversation in respect to precedency, which afterwards arose among them, (Matthew 18:1, stated more fully in Mark 9:33,34,) and also from Salome's request. (Matthew 20:20,21.) The preëminence of Peter was personal, not official; and accordingly we find him acting, after the Savior's ascension with boldness, promptness, energy, but without any traces of official authority over the other apostles.
Matthew 16:22,23. The false positions into which Peter was continually placing himself by his forward and unreflecting, though prompt and energetic action, show very plainly that he did not possess a character to fit him for a post of preëminent authority. He had many excellent qualities for action; but he was not calm, patient, and trustworthy enough for command.
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Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
The electronic edition of John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott's The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Translated Out of the Original Greek, and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised; with Explanatory Notes has been produced from a copy of the printed text published by O. A. Browning and Company (Toledo, OH, 1878). The title on the spine of the book is Abbott's Illustrated New Testament, and on the half-title page, The Pictorial New Testament; with Notes; by Jacob and John S. C. Abbott.