The Greek word used in that passage (Matthew 16:18) is ekklÃªsia, which means simply "congregation," a term Jews often applied to their own faith communities (e.g. the word appears in reference to Jewish congregations all throughout the Greek translation of Deuteronomy, for example). That statement from Jesus, however, does only make sense if indeed Jesus intended to found a new faith community of Jews. More likely the statement was invented after the fact and only attributed to Jesus to justify the church hierarchy then arising.
Jesus is reported to have said of Peter something like you are the rock upon whom I will build my church. How does 'church' make sense to 1st century Jews? If Jesus the Jew never intended to establish a new religion, why church and not temple?
The Atheist Perspective
Can you provide an example of phylum to phylum or class to class or even order to order evolution that has been observed and repeated?
Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?
What is the purpose of marriage in your worldview? Why should people get married? How do you define a successful marriage, and how do you go about achieving that?
Is God omnibenevolent?
The Quran does not say the tree was a tree of knowledge, but the Bible does. The Bible also makes Adam's deed a sin, Quran says not. Why is acquiring knowledge a sin in your book, and why is it so bad all subsequent generations are supposedly damned?
Atheist Atheism: A Philosophical Justification Michael Martin Atheist The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Sam Harris Atheist Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Richard Carrier Atheist God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Christopher Hitchens Atheist Humanism: A Very Short Introduction Stephen Law Atheist Not the Impossible Faith Richard Carrier Atheist Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism Richard Carrier Atheist Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013 Richard Carrier