02-23-10 “Upon This Rock. . . “

I would have to say that in my opinion St. Peter’s in Rome takes the prize as “Most Photogenic Interior.” I have been looking at my photo collection, and I have a disproportionate number of the inside of this awe inspiring structure. There is so much to look at, I wonder if paying attention to the Mass would be secondary? I do know that one of the Calvinist reactions against Catholicism concerned adornment. Compare this sparse interior in a Calvinist church in England.

I like this view of the interior of the dome because you can clearly see the Latin Bible verse which came to be known as “The Petrine Doctrine.” Peter became the first Pope in a 2000 year succession of Popes.

“Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam mean et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum” (“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 16:18)

Jesus may have been making a little joke when he said this to Peter because “Peter” was derived from the Greek word for “rock.” Was Jesus smiling when he said this? I ask this because in the Middle Ages there was actually a theological debate about whether Jesus ever laughed, since there is no specific documentation of this in the New Testatament.

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4 thoughts

  1. What I see in this picture is a lot of design, beautiful color and lighting. This structure would be amazing to see in person! I think that this must have taken plenty of time and effort to make this so elegant, pretty and also meaningful to some people. Over all I really enjoy this photo.

  2. Was Jesus humorous? That’s a good question! Iv’e always been curious on the personality of Jesus. Its surprising there is no documentation on whether he laughed or not.

  3. I doubt that Jesus was simply making a pun when he said that. The second half of the quote seems to indicate that Jesus was making a fairly serious declaration. I find it unlikely that the common justification for the papacy was only a joke made by Jesus.

    • I agree with you, David, and a don’t think that Christ was merely joking. I also don’t think that Peter became first Pope by accident. I can believe that Jesus might have designated Peter to be his successor in all seriousness, but with love and humor as well.

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