In Matthew 16:18, the church has been debating for 2000 years the definition of "rock" as to whether the rock signifies Peter as the first Pope, or if the rock symbolizes Peter's confession. I now believe neither is correct.
For years I had been trying to understand how the gates were offensive, in that the gates of hell were going to try and stop Peter or his confession but would ultimately fail. Then one day I saw the "Gates of Hell" on a picture of Mt. Hermon and then the blatantly obvious finally became obvious to me: Mt. Hermon is a GREAT BIG ROCK! In college, I had learned that the feminine form of rock, "petra" was huge, like the side of a mountain thrown by the Cyclops in Homer's Odyssey, but it just never occurred to me how literal this passage could be.
Peter was a PETROS but upon this PETRA Jesus would build His church! Jesus was saying, "I'm going to build my church right there (on Mt. Hermon) and the gates of hell will not stop me!"
Many don't realize the significance of Mt. Hermon. During the times of Jesus it had a town at the foot of the mountain called Caesarea Philippi, formerly Panias. It was there where the goat god Pan was worshipped. It should be noted that this was also where the tribe of Dan moved to who were attracted to its evil. The most important historical detail about this location, is that the Jews believed Mt. Hermon was the location of the great angelic rebellion when 200 Watchers came down to call men to worship them instead of the one true God.
Interesting place to build a church.
Known as an expert in all he surveys, he freely shares his opinions on politics, science & theology using diatribes based upon careless research from tertiary sources that presupposed what he thought in the first place.