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
If God said "Thou shalt not kill" then why did he flood the whole world leaving only Noah and his family alive, and how is the destruction of Sodom justified (killing people for engaging in "immoral" sex), is God exempted from morality?
Do you think atheists go to hell, why or why not?
What evidences of evolutionary theory are strongest in their removal of God from the picture?
You say past time can't be infinite or we would never get to the present. Isn't that just Zeno's Paradox?
Do you have forgiveness for the failures and mistakes in your life?
Atheist The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Sam Harris Atheist God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Christopher Hitchens Atheist Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith Richard Carrier Atheist Hitler Homer Bible Christ: The Historical Papers of Richard Carrier 1995-2013 Richard Carrier Atheist Not the Impossible Faith Richard Carrier Atheist The God Delusion Richard Dawkins Atheist Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism Richard Carrier Atheist Atheism: A Philosophical Justification Michael Martin