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Matthew 16:13-20

Peter’s Confession

16:13 When 1  Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, 2  he asked his disciples, 3  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 16:14 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, 4  and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16:16 Simon Peter answered, 5  “You are the Christ, 6  the Son of the living God.” 16:17 And Jesus answered him, 7  “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood 8  did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades 9  will not overpower it. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” 16:20 Then he instructed his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. 10 

1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

2 map For location see Map1 C1; Map2 F4.

3 tn Grk “he asked his disciples, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant and has been left untranslated.

4 sn The appearance of Elijah would mean that the end time had come. According to 2 Kgs 2:11, Elijah was still alive. In Mal 4:5 it is said that Elijah would be the precursor of Messiah.

5 tn Grk “And answering, Simon Peter said.”

6 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.

7 tn Grk “answering, Jesus said to him.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant, but the syntax of this phrase has been modified for clarity.

8 tn The expression “flesh and blood” could refer to “any human being” (so TEV, NLT; cf. NIV “man”), but it could also refer to Peter himself (i.e., his own intuition; cf. CEV “You didn’t discover this on your own”). Because of the ambiguity of the referent, the phrase “flesh and blood” has been retained in the translation.

9 tn Or “and the power of death” (taking the reference to the gates of Hades as a metonymy).

sn In the OT, Hades was known as Sheol. It is the place where the unrighteous will reside (Matt 11:23; Luke 16:23; Rev 20:13-14). Some translations render this by its modern equivalent, “hell”; others see it as a reference to the power of death.

10 tc Most mss (א2 C W Ï lat bo) have “Jesus, the Christ” (᾿Ιησοῦς ὁ Χριστός, Ihsou" Jo Cristo") here, while D has “Christ Jesus” (ὁ Χριστὸς ᾿Ιησοῦς). On the one hand, this is a much harder reading than the mere Χριστός, because the name Jesus was already well known for the disciples’ master – both to them and to others. Whether he was the Messiah is the real focus of the passage. But this is surely too hard a reading: There are no other texts in which the Lord tells his disciples not to disclose his personal name. Further, it is plainly a motivated reading in that scribes had the proclivity to add ᾿Ιησοῦς to Χριστός or to κύριος (kurio", “Lord”), regardless of whether such was appropriate to the context. In this instance it clearly is not, and it only reveals that scribes sometimes, if not often, did not think about the larger interpretive consequences of their alterations to the text. Further, the shorter reading is well supported by א* B L Δ Θ Ë1,13 565 700 1424 al it sa.

tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.

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