Author Topic: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?  (Read 1135 times)

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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« on: September 03, 2017, 04:30:35 PM »
When Googling it, it seems to refer to everything from greenlight for sex to skepticism about a proposed deal. Does the phrase have any general meaning?

I found the phrase in a song (the song has in fact that very name) that I ended up liking, that's why I'm wondering. Below is lyrics, the phrase highlighted by me.

Quote
No control / no surprise
Tossed the keys to the kingdom
Down that hole in my eye
I’m my own / casualty
I fuck up everything I see
Fighting in futility

We start the final war
Tell me what’s worth fighting for
When we know there’s nothing more
We take the hand or fist
Just to sell ourselves for this
The path we least resist

No control / no surprise
Tossed the keys to the kingdom
Down that hole in my eye
I’m my own / casualty
I fuck up everything I see
Fighting in futility

I give you what you came for / this is not the same though
Got a different method but I still can bring the pain so
Y’all stuck in that same flow / I got that insane flow
High as y’all can get you’re never really in my range though
Yes I’m half anglo / half fried panko
All prime-time rhymer / let the bass bang low
All you fucking lames go / aiming at my name, know
Careful what you shoot because you might hit what you aim for

No control / no surprise
Tossed the keys to the kingdom
Down that hole in my eye
I’m my own / casualty
I’m my own
Casualty

I'm not allowed to say certain things. RAWR!

Try and do...Try and do the other thing.

Online Mr. Beagle

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 04:40:41 PM »
Attributed to Jesus in Matthew 16:19

"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."

In context, he is purportedly giving his apostle Peter a lead role since he sees who Jesus really is. Thus the Catholic Church and their purported first Pope, Peter.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2017, 04:45:04 PM »
To me, it's a bit of a rhetorical flourish that's evocative of, "access to everything / everything you want." 

Also, I can't remember a single time I've seen/heard it used so I'd wager that it's rarely used. 
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Online daniel1948

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 05:13:52 PM »
Off the top of my head, I'd say that giving someone the keys to the kingdom means giving them blanket permission to do whatever they like. Carte Blanche.

Jesus giving Peter the "keys to the Kingdom" is just plain nuts. I suspect that it's a later interpolation. "... whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," is basically giving Peter power over God. Jesus was a Jew and never would have presumed to give his earthly successor authority over God. At most, Jesus might have given Peter the keys to the gate, to use under God's supervision.

But it fits with the Catholic Church's interest to be able to claim that its pope is God's vicar on Earth, with the power to admit or deny admission to heaven, and claim that God will abide by the Church's decision.

It's common for a city mayor to present the "keys to the city" to an important visitor, as a formal and stylized welcome. It doesn't really mean that they can flaunt the law. It just means "We're happy you're visiting."
Daniel
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 05:43:32 PM »
Thanks for the replies. :)

Yes, carte blanche seems like a reasonable translation.

Offline seamas

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 01:35:10 PM »
Off the top of my head, I'd say that giving someone the keys to the kingdom means giving them blanket permission to do whatever they like. Carte Blanche.

Jesus giving Peter the "keys to the Kingdom" is just plain nuts. I suspect that it's a later interpolation. "... whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," is basically giving Peter power over God. Jesus was a Jew and never would have presumed to give his earthly successor authority over God. At most, Jesus might have given Peter the keys to the gate, to use under God's supervision.

But it fits with the Catholic Church's interest to be able to claim that its pope is God's vicar on Earth, with the power to admit or deny admission to heaven, and claim that God will abide by the Church's decision.


It would definitely predate that, as at the time (1st century AD)  the church of Rome was but one of the five major (catholic) churches.  This was several hundred years before the East-West schism and the Bishop of Rome (pope) was not seen as as an authority over the other bishops.

Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 02:46:45 PM »
Thanks for the replies. :)

Yes, carte blanche seems like a reasonable translation.

I agree; and point out that it is not at all a common expression.
It does sound a lot like "key to the City" which is kind of a joke trophy that a mayor might give to someone who did good things for his town.  It doesn't generally come with any actual benefits.  So "key to the kingdom" might be like that except the city is Heaven.

Amend and resubmit.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 03:00:13 PM »
Attributed to Jesus in Matthew 16:19

"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."

In context, he is purportedly giving his apostle Peter a lead role since he sees who Jesus really is. Thus the Catholic Church and their purported first Pope, Peter.

Wasn't there also a pun involving Peter(which means rock) being the rock upon which the church would be founded?

For what ever its worth at this point, when used in modern speech or writing, "carte blanche" is close enough to my understanding and I agree, its not particularly common these days. 

@Daniel, I suspect your understanding of Catholic doctrine is a bit dated. 

Offline seamas

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Re: What does the phrase "keys to the kingdom" mean?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 02:20:26 PM »
Wasn't there also a pun involving Peter(which means rock) being the rock upon which the church would be founded?


His name was Simon (or Simeon). It became Peter because Jesus apparently said he would be the rock, etc.

 

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