Matthew 16:19

And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be what has been bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be what has been loosed in heaven.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
But let none suppose that Peter received that name here; he received it at no other time than where John relates that it was said unto him, “Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted, Peter.” Chrys.: And pursuing the metaphor of the rock, it is rightly said to him as follows: “And upon this rock I will build my Church.” ...
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Epiphanius the Latin

AD 403
For Christ is a rock which is never disturbed or worn away. Therefore Peter gladly received his name from Christ to signify the established and unshaken faith of the church …. The devil is the gateway of death who always hastens to stir up against the holy church calamities and temptations and persecutions. But the faith of the apostle, which was founded upon the rock of Christ, abides always unconquered and unshaken. And the very keys of the kingdom of the heavens have been handed down so that one whom he has bound on earth has been bound in heaven, and one whom he has set free on earth he has also set free in heaven. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
And I will give to thee the keys This is another metaphor, expressing the supreme power and prerogative of the prince of the apostles. The keys of a city, or of its gates, are presented or given to the person that hath the chief power. We also own a power of the keys, given to the other apostles, but with a subordination to St. Peter and to his successor, as head of the Catholic Church. And whatsoever thou shalt bind All the apostles, and their successors, partake also of this power of binding and loosing, but with a due subordination to one head invested with the supreme power. (Witham) Loose on earth. The loosing the bands of temporal punishments due to sins, is called an indulgence: the power of which is here granted. (Challoner) Although Peter and his successors are mortal, they are nevertheless endowed with heavenly power, says St. Chrysostom, nor is the sentence of life and death passed by Peter to be attempted to be reversed, but what he declares is to be considered a divine ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
As soon as the Lord had taken His disciples out of the teaching of the Pharisees, He then suitably proceeds to lay deep the foundations of the Gospel doctrine; and to give this the greater solemnity, it is introduced bythe name of the place, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi.” When about to confirm the disciples in the faith, He would first takeaway from their minds the errors and opinions of others, whence it follows, "And he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?”. So by this instance of the Apostles, the followers of the Bishops are instructed, that whatever opinions they may hear out of doors concerning their Bishops, they should tell them to them. That is, shall not separate it from the love and faith of Me. This power was committed specially to Peter, that we might thereby be invited to unity. For He therefore appointed him the head of the Apostles, that the Church might have one principal Vicar of Christ, to whom the different me...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
By asking, “Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?” He implied that something ought to be thought respecting Him beyond what appeared, for He was the Son of Man. And in thus enquiring after men’s opinion respecting Himself, we are notto think that He made confession of Himself; for that which He asked for was something concealed, to which the faith of believers ought to extend itself. This is the true and unalterable faith, that from God came forth God the Son, who has eternity out of the eternity of the Father. That this God took unto Hima body and was made man is a perfect confession. Thus He embraced all in that He here expresses both His nature and His name, in which is the sum of virtues. This confession of Peter met a worthy reward, for that he had seen the Son of Godin the man. Whence it follows, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed artthou, Simon Bar-jonas, for flesh and blood has not revealed this unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. "Others take it in the simple ...


AD 420
This Philip was the brother of Herod, the tetrarch of Ituraea, and the region of Trachonitis, who gave to the city, which is now called Panaeas, the name of Caesarea in honour of Tiberias Caesar. Beautifully is the question put, “Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?” Forthey who speak of the Son of Man, are men: but they who understood His divine nature are called not men but Gods. He says not, Whom do men say that I am? but, “Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?” that He should not seem to ask ostentatiously concerning Himself. Observe, that wherever the Old Testament has ‘Son of Man,’ the phrase in the Hebrew is ‘Son of Adam.’. It was as easy for the multitudes to be wrong in supposing Him to be Elias and Jeremias, as Herod in supposing Him to be John the Baptist; whence I wonder that some interpreters should have sought for the causes of these several errors. Observe how by this connexion of the discourse the Apostles are not styled men but Gods. For when He had said, “Whom sa...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
He says not, Whom do the Scribes and Pharisees say that I am? but, Whom do men say that I am? searching into the minds of the common people, which were not perverted to evil. For though their opinion concerning Christ was much below what it ought to have been, yet it was free from wilful wickedness; but the opinion of the Pharisees concerning Christ was full of much malice. The disciples having recounted the opinion of the common people, He then by a second question invites them to higher thoughts concerning Him; and therefore it follows, “Jesus saith unto them, Whom say ye that I am?” You who are with Me always, and have seen greater miracles than the multitudes, ought not to agree in the opinion of the multitudes. For this reason He did not put this question to them at the commencement of His preaching, but after He had done many signs; then also He spoke many things to them concerning His Deity. When the Lord enquires concerning the opinion of the multitudes, all the disciples answe...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then He mentions also another honor. And He said not, I will entreat the Father (although the manifestation of His authority was great, and the largeness of the gift unspeakable), but, I will give you. What dost Thou give? Tell me. The keys of the heavens, that whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven. How then is it not His to give to sit on His right hand, and on His left, Matthew 20:23 when He says, I will give you? Do you see how He, His own self, leads Peter on to high thoughts of Him, and reveals Himself, and implies that He is Son of God by these two promises? For those things which are peculiar to God alone, (both to absolve sins, and to make the church in capable of overthrow in such assailing waves, and to exhibit a man that is a fisher more solid than any rock, while all the world is at war with him), these He promises Himself to give; as the Father, speaking to Jeremiah, said, He w...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
And by a remarkable distinction it was that the Lord Himself puts forward the lowliness of the humanity which He had taken upon Him, while His disciple shews us the excellence of His divine eternity. The gates of hell are the torments and promises of the persecutors. Also, the evil works of the unbelievers, and vain conversation, are gates of hell, because they show the path of destruction. For as with a zeal beyond the others he had confessed the King of heaven, he is deservedly entrusted more than the others with the keys of the heavenly kingdom, that it might be clear to all, that without that confession and faith none ought to enter the kingdom of heaven. By the keys of the kingdom He means discernment and power; power, by which he binds and looses; discernment, by which he separates the worthy from the unworthy. It follows, “And whatsoever thou shalt bind;” that is, whomsoever thou shalt judge unworthy of forgiveness while he lives, shall be judged unworthy with God; and “whatsoev...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He spoke as God, with authority, "I will give unto thee." For as the Father gave you the revelation, so I give you the keys. By "keys" understand that which binds or looses transgressions, namely, penance or absolution; for those who, like Peter, have been deemed worthy of the grace of the episcopate, have the authority to absolve or to bind. Even though the words "I will give unto thee" were spoken to Peter alone, yet they were given to all the apostles. Why? Because He said, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted." Also, the words "I will give" indicate a future time, namely, after the Resurrection. "The heavens" also mean the virtues, and the keys to the heavens are labors. For by laboring we enter into each of the virtues as if by means of keys that are used to open. If I do not labor but only know the good, I possess only the key of knowledge but remain outside. That man is bound in the heavens, that is, in the virtues, who does not walk in them, but he who is diligent i...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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