Apr 21, 2015

Views on the Non-Prevailing Gates of Hell

In Matthew 16:18, the Lord states, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (ESV). Just about every point in this verse is debated. One debated issue relates to the statement that the gates of hell will not prevail. Davies and Allison list eleven different explanations of this point (A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew: Volume 2, Commentary on Matthew 8–18, International Critical Commentary [Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1991], 631–32). Here are some of the more popular views.
  1. The attacks of satanic persons or powers will not prevail over the church
  2. The power of death will not prevail
  3. Martyrdom will not destroy the church
  4. The gates representing Satan and his minions will not be able to withstand the attack of the church
In my opinion, views 2 and 4 seem most likely.

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