Jehovah`s Witness/Matt:16:19


Hello, I hope all is well with you today.

I was wondering if you could tell me how a Jehovah's Witness interprets Mathew 16:19, which states, "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)

What are the keys of the kingdom, what is to be bound and loosed, and how does this pertain to Peter's Apostolic ministry?

Thank you for considering my question.

Hello and thank you for writing,

Our Insight on the scriptures book brings out very nicely the answer to your questions along with the scriptures, so I'll copy that here for you.  We know that keys are used to unlock things, like treasure chests or doors in order to get what's inside or to go in.  Keys can be literal and they can be figurative.  A literal sense would be if someone gave someone keys to unlock doors so someone could go in through the doorway.  And a figurative sense would be if someone said something like this, "I'll give you the keys to understanding statistics"  But in both uses the "keys" open a way.


Jesus said to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatever you may bind on earth will be the thing bound in the heavens, and whatever you may loose on earth will be the thing loosed in the heavens.” (Mt 16:19) The identification of these keys logically must be based on other Scriptural information. Jesus made another reference to the subject of keys when he said to the religious leaders, versed in the Law, “You took away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not go in, and those going in you hindered!” (Lu 11:52) A comparison of this text with Matthew 23:13 indicates that the ‘going in’ referred to is with regard to entrance into “the kingdom of the heavens.” Thus, the use of the word “key” in Jesus’ statement to Peter indicated that Peter would have the privilege of initiating a program of instruction that would open up special opportunities with respect to the Kingdom of the heavens.

Different from the hypocritical religious leaders of that time, Peter clearly did use divinely provided knowledge to help persons to ‘enter into the kingdom,’ notably on three occasions. One was on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., when Peter, under inspiration, revealed to a gathered multitude that Jehovah God had resurrected Jesus and exalted him to His own right hand in the heavens and that Jesus, in that royal position, had poured out holy spirit on his assembled disciples. As a result of this knowledge and acting upon Peter’s exhortation, “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit,” about 3,000 Jews (and Jewish converts) took the step that led to their becoming prospective members of “the kingdom of the heavens.” Other Jews subsequently followed their example.—Ac 2:1-41.

On another occasion Peter and John were sent to the Samaritans, who had not received the holy spirit even though they had been baptized. However, the two apostles “prayed for them” and “went laying their hands upon them,” and they received holy spirit.—Ac 8:14-17.

The third occasion of Peter’s being used in a special way to introduce persons into privileges as Kingdom heirs was when he was sent to the home of the Gentile Cornelius, an Italian centurion. By divine revelation Peter recognized and declared God’s impartiality as regards Jews and Gentiles and that people of the nations, if God fearing and doers of righteousness, were now as acceptable to God as their Jewish counterparts. While Peter was presenting this knowledge to his Gentile hearers, the heavenly gift of the holy spirit came upon them and they miraculously spoke in tongues. They were subsequently baptized and became the first prospective members of “the kingdom of the heavens” from among the Gentiles. The unlocked door of opportunity for Gentile believers to become members of the Christian congregation thereafter remained open.—Ac 10:1-48; 15:7-9.

Matthew 16:19 may be rendered with grammatical correctness: “Whatever you may bind on earth will be the thing bound [or, the thing already bound] in the heavens, and whatever you may loose on earth will be the thing loosed [or, the thing already loosed] in the heavens.” The translation by Charles B. Williams here reads: “Whatever you forbid on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.” Greek scholar Robert Young’s literal translation reads: “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.” Since other texts make clear that the resurrected Jesus remained the one true Head over the Christian congregation, it is obvious that his promise to Peter did not mean Peter’s dictating to heaven what should or should not be loosed but, rather, Peter’s being used as heaven’s instrument in the unlocking, or loosing, of certain determined things.—1Co 11:3; Eph 4:15, 16; 5:23; Col 2:8-10."

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Please look up the scriptures in your Bible.  I hope that helps!

Take Care,

Sister T  

Jehovah`s Witness

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Sister T


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I can answer questions related to Jehovah's Witnesses and the Bible. I love learning the truth from the Bible and helping others to learn that truth as well. I don't know everything but will answer from the Bible, I like to use illustrations as well to help a person relate to what is being said. The Bible has the last say so over any person.


I am an active baptized Jehovah's Witness and Jehovah is Almighty God,(Ps. 83:18) and his Son Jesus Christ died so that everyone exercising faith in him may not be destroyed but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). I support my fellow Witnesses on this board who are real, and Jehovah's worldwide visible organization, including the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. As God is not a God of disorder, and there could not be order if there were not ones to take the lead. Taking the lead and having a leader is not the same, our leader is Jesus Christ, and in order to have unity and order, there has to be arrangements in place. As the first century Christians had, there were men taking the lead, (Acts 6:1-6) as with Moses, (Exodus 18:21) and in our day, in following with Bible truths, we do the same. When people twist that around to us worshiping men, it is just a straight out lie! Why would the Scripture at 1 Tim. 3:1-10, 12, 13 give the criteria for men reaching out for an office of overseer if that was not meant to be? (Phil 1:1, Acts 20:17, 28, Eph. 4:11, 12, 2 Cor. 3:4-6). If we were not supposed to have men who take the lead, why was this scripture penned? James 5:14-15 "Is there anyone sick among YOU? Let him call the older men of the congregation to [him], and let them pray over him, greasing [him] with oil in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him."

If you have legit questions and want to know the truth, please ask, but if you are here to spread your lies and twists of the scriptures or get your falsehoods out, you may get rejected! The truth is from the Bible, if what you say does not harmonize with the Bible then what you say is wrong! Context and other scriptures help determine scriptures that may stump us, let scripture interpret scripture. The Bible does not contradict itself, so if what you are being taught or if what you are teaching makes it seem like the Bible is contradictory, remember it's not the Bible it's the man-made teaching! Doctrines of men! Mark 7:6, 7 "He said to them: “Isaiah aptly prophesied about YOU hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with [their] lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. 7 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men." (also Romans 10:2, 3)

Matthew 24:14 says "And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come." We are doing that today, we are living in times of Bible Prophecy and as a Jehovah's Witness, we have the privilege to be apart of a prophecy spoken by Jesus himself! The good news of the Kingdom. Ask yourself, what kingdom? then read Daniel 2:44! It's a real government. Take heed now! Listening to men over God will mean your life.(Prov 3:5,6, Ps. 146:3) A lie will never become truth, No matter how long or how many people say it or speak it. Learn what the Bible really teaches, seek out Jehovah's ways, serving God in truth is only acceptable to him,(John 4:23, 24) you can not be serving God acceptably if what you believe is a lie! Pray for understanding and ask Jehovah to search your heart and draw you! (John 6:44, 65) Now is the time to be with the people who are called by Jehovah's name! (Acts 15:14, 17, Isa. 43:7, 10, Zech 8:23)

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