Matthew 16:19 NIV

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

Were these keys given only to Peter or the rest of the disciples?

  • 2
    "I will give you … ". "You" here is singular.
    – Dottard
    Feb 28, 2020 at 10:10
  • Isa 33:5,6 "The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure". Feb 29, 2020 at 2:31
  • See also Matthew 18:18.
    – Lucian
    Mar 7, 2020 at 8:03

2 Answers 2


The KJV and YLT (which both convey the singular 'thee' when it is necessary to do so) have :

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. [KJV]

and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens.' [YLT]

The interlinear of the Biblehub presentation shows that the word σοι, soi, (to you) is grammatically singular in each case.

"PPro-D2S" = Personal Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person, Singular.

It is noticeable that Peter was the first to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, requiring the vision of the sheet and the unclean and clean animals to educate him into doing so, before meeting Cornelius at Caesarea, (Acts 10).

And it is noticeable that Peter may well have been the first to write scripture in the Greek language. (I mean, obviously apart from translating Hebrew to Greek as in LXX.) His first epistle is addressed to the diaspora and is, arguably, the first scripture written after the ascent of Jesus Christ. Some, of course, will dispute this. It cannot be proved.

It could also be said that Peter "unlocks" the writings of Paul by giving his approbation to Paul's words, calling them "scripture", 2 Peter 3:16. Again, this is an interpretation.

But the above indicate what might be the ways in which we see Peter using the "key" of Christ-given authority to unlock that which was previously beyond reach.

  • Could it be that the "Key of Peter" is the same as the "Key of David"? Feb 28, 2020 at 11:18
  • @Constantthin That is a good question. Perhaps you could ask it and see what response you receive. I would certainly consider it, myself.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 28, 2020 at 11:24
  • @NigelJ Is the same, then, expanded to include the entire church in 18:18? The language is very similar. Feb 28, 2020 at 13:13
  • @MikeBorden That, too, is a thought. And worthy of a further question, I would suggest.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 28, 2020 at 13:15

Was it Peter only who received the keys of the kingdom in Matthew 16:19?

Matthew 16:19 NIV

19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven."

Peter alone was given the keys of the kingdom. He used these "keys" entrusted to him to open up ,for Jews Acts 2:22-41, for Samaritans Acts 8: 14-17, for the Gentiles Acts 10:34-38 , the opportunity to receive God’s spirit with a view to their entering the heavenly Kingdom.

For Jews Acts 2:22-41 (NASB)

22 reads: “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and [c]signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know."


For Samaritans Acts 8: 14-17 (NASB

14 "Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized [a]in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit."

And for the Gentiles Acts 10:34-38 (NASB)

Gentiles Hear Good News

34 Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who [a]fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36 The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching [c]peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)— 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, [e]and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

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