The sacramentality of the petrine ministry


  • Laurence Richardson


Summary: I. Introduction. II. The Witness of the First Christians. III. Scripture Roots. IV. Analogy of Time and Place. V. Conclusion.

The quest for antecedent theological associations in Scripture of the Aramaic כיפא (kephā’) suggested by the words of Jesus at Caesarea Philippi, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Mt 16 :18), leads to the miraculous water-bearing rock of Exodus. Later texts of Scripture show this miracle portrayed as a theological type of the continuous providence of God towards his chosen people. Furthermore, this type is found as linked to that of the manna. Early Christian tradition as depicted in the New Testament and archaeological evidence at Caesarea Philippi corroborate these conclusions. The accumulation of this evidence opens the way for an explanation of the Petrine ministry as that of being in the nature of a sacrament.