Cephas mean rock
In response to the question whether or not anyone takes the
Roman Cathoic view seriously, I would give a qualified yes.
Oscar Cullman asserted that when Jesus said Peter was the,
rock upon which he would build His church, He meant it. That is
to say, Peter is the first one in the Gospels to give a real
confession about who Jesus is. More importantly, Peter is the
first "Christian" to preach (Acts 2). He is the first
believer to present the Gospel to Gentiles. He does these
"inaugural" functions and then disappears from view
pretty much. What that means is that God used him in a foundational
way (foundation = rock) at the start of the Church. When that
role had been perfored, however, Peter then disappears from view.
Thus I would take Jesus as meaning that the Church would be
built on Peter in the sense he would do important first tasks, but
not in the usual Roman Catholic understanding that Peter would
forever hold the office of "rock" and could pass that office on
to others. The various bishops of Rome played no real
inaugural or foundational role in the early Church and are not
Peter's successors, as Jesus did NOT promise Peter an office
but a temporary, howbeit important, role.
IBM, San Jose, CA