The words refer evidently to Isaiah , where God declares that Eliacim, the son of Helcias, shall be invested with office in place of the worthless Sobna: In all countries the key is the symbol of authority.Thus, Christ's words are a promise that He will confer on Peter supreme power to govern the Church.Finally, (c) what some have called the "short recension" proves to be no recension at all but merely an abridgment of a Syriac version of the middle recension.
Peter is to be His vicegerent, to rule in His place.
"And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." Further the character and extent of the power thus bestowed are indicated.
He is therefore assigning to Peter, of course in a secondary degree, a prerogative which is His own, and thereby associating the Apostle with Himself in an altogether singular manner.
"And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." In the following verse (Matthew ) He promises to bestow on Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Since then a great variety of interpretations have been put forward by Protestant controversialists.