Simon Peter: Son of a Son of a Rock

Jesus and his disciples in Matthew 16 where the "rock" was associated with Simon Peter
Jesus and His disciples in Matthew 16, when the meaning of the “new” name that had previously been given to Simon Peter would have been made clear. (image source: Hole, William, 1846-1917, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Songs, sailors, and Simon’s sonship

Jimmy Buffett’s album “Son of a Son of a Sailor” along with it’s title track was released in 1978. About 12-13 years later, I was in High School and can remember purchasing the album as one of my first Compact Disc’s (CDs). I remember how eager I was to play “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” the song I had bought the CD for, but the title track is the first on the album and it was the first to echo through my speakers. In my minds eye, I can still see myself kneeling down, placing the disc in the tray of my Pioneer CD player, pressing play, and hearing the sound of those ship bells ring for the first time. The addition of Buffett’s guitar, Greg “Fingers” Taylor’s harmonica, and the rest of the instruments of the Coral Reefer band made for a masterful tune. Thus began an obsession with the iconic crooner that lasted at least two decades and included more than 40 visits to see Buffett in various venues around the country with fellow “Parrotheads.”

I have many fond memories of those years and have never really lost my appreciation for Buffett’s music, though my love for the tunes and the times cannot compare to love for the Lord and the wonder of His Word. Now, I will occasionally cycle through a few Buffett songs on the road with the window down on a warm sunny day, or maybe inside during winter when cabin fever sets in but reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word is a superior joy.

He certainly doesn’t appear to be a believer but Jimmy Buffett is well known for the Margaritaville “state of mind” (and corresponding song) and a beachcomber style he’s popularized, making over a half-billion dollar fortune in 50+ years. What many may not know is that he was raised a Roman Catholic and has alluded to his religious upbringing in song, books, and interviews, many times over the years. In a lesser known song (though most Parrotheads know it well) named “We are the People Our Parents Warned Us About” he begins by decrying: “I was supposed to have been a Jesuit priest…”

Getting back to “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” I recently read a blog post and commented with some observations I’ve made regarding Simon Peter’s name and Jesus’ use of the word “rock” in Matthew 16:18. Afterwards, it occurred to me there are a number of parallels one can draw between the famous Buffett song and Simon Peter. Buffett’s background and the importance of that verse in Roman Catholicism are unintentional irony, I’m sure, but they inspired me to write this.

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The Origin of the Eliakim-Peter Typology, Part 2: Rambling Reformers

St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572 formed the geopolitical backdrop for "defenders and interpreters" (rambling reformers) who promoted temporal authority of the papacy
Perhaps the most notorious episode of Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation violence. In 1572, during marriage celebrations for a Catholic princess and a Protestant king, 2,000+ French Protestants were murdered on the streets of Paris. News of event sparked more massacres around the country. The “popular” element of the violence was striking: victims were often known to perpetrators and Catholic powers praised the killings. French Protestants saw a wave of exile and conversion.[1]Gibbons, Katy. “Five of the Most Violent Moments of the Reformation.” The Conversation. (The Conversation US, Inc., 24 Jan. 2022).
(image source: Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, via Wikimedia Commons)

An apologetic army of seeks reinforcements from rambling reformers of the past

In the first post of this series, we saw how the Eliakim-Peter typology claim has become a popular defense for the papacy in recent years and how it appears to have made it’s first appearance in the U.S. in the early 1990’s, courtesy of a popular “Protestant” convert to Roman Catholicism. I mentioned how the claim was dredged from the recesses of the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation, after laying dormant for around four centuries. The claim grew slowly after it’s reintroduction but now the curious case of theological amnesia is fully cured and a new generation of philosophers is poised to twist and distort Scripture, using their newfangled typology as bait, fishing for men who are wading in the Tiber, hungry with angst. To accomplish their mission, the new army of sacramental soldiers will need to improve upon the work of the defenders and interpreters of old, who we will meet in this post. The new army is scrounging for morsels in church history and is only just beginning to rediscover their forgotten fathers from the Early Modern period. The historical reinforcements they seek are ones I spent months searching for and I’ll these Rambling Reformers here.


1Gibbons, Katy. “Five of the Most Violent Moments of the Reformation.” The Conversation. (The Conversation US, Inc., 24 Jan. 2022).

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The Origin of the Eliakim-Peter Typology, Part 1: Keys, Stewards, and Fathers, Oh My!

The key of David, typology, and the papacy
Isaiah 22:22 – “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” is echoed in Revelation 3:7 – “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.'”

What is the Eliakim-Peter Typology claim?

The Eliakim-Peter typology is a now popular interpretation of Isaiah 22:15-24 that involves constructing a multi-faceted, complex typological relationship between it and two New Testament passages (Matthew 16:18-19 and Revelation 3:7). The interpretation attempts to correlate various Biblical and cultural concepts, words, and phrases from those passages. In recent years, it has become perhaps the most popular apologetic defense of the papacy. I will examine the particulars of the “interpretation” in a subsequent post but for the sake of simplicity, the current discussion is mostly focused on tracing the origin of the claim that Eliakim in Isaiah 22 prefigured Peter in Matthew 16 (and the papacy). I will also examine the recent developments in, and popularity of the claim.

The Origin of the Eliakim-Peter Typology, Part 1: Keys, Stewards, and Fathers, Oh My! Read More »

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