Christianity Knowledge Base
Saint Peter the Apostle
Pope-peter pprubens
West: Prince of the Apostles, First pope
East: Pre-eminent Apostle
Bornc. 1 BC
DiedAD 67
Rome, by crucifixion
Venerated inCatholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy
Major shrineSt. Peter's Basilica
Feastmain feast (with Paul of Tarsus) June 29 (Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism)
Chair of St Peter in Rome January 18 (Pre-1960 Roman Calendar)
Confession of St Peter January 18 (Anglicanism)
Chair of St Peter February 22 (Roman Catholic Church)
St Peter in Chains August 1 (pre-1960 Roman Calendar)
AttributesKeys of Heaven, pallium, Papal vestments, man crucified head downwards, vested as an Apostle, holding a book or scroll. Iconographically, he is depicted with a bushy white beard and white hair
PatronageSee St. Peter's Patronage

Simon Peter was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. He got the name "Peter" when Jesus said he'd build his church on this rock. ("Peter" comes from the Greek for "rock.") Paul sometimes called him "Cephas," which means the same thing in Aramaic. Catholics believe that Peter was the first Pope,thereby lending legitimacy to the modern day papacy.

Peter, along with James and John, was among the "inner circle" of Jesus' disciples (ex. Mark 5.12), and therefore witnessed some events that were not seen by the other apostles, including the Transfiguration.

He is the central figure in much of the first twelve chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Two epistles bear his name and some scholars argue that he was the source material that allowed Mark to write his Gospel. Many apocryphal books deal with his preaching and deeds, and church tradition has a well developed story of his martyrdom.

But, amidst all of this the question must be raised, who was Peter? This man that is held in such high regard by some and who has captured the imagination of no few, who is he? There are two basic sources that a person may look to for information in this regard. First, the Bible itself has a wealth of information regarding Peter. Second, church history, tradition, and even apocryphal writings may shed some amount of light on the life of Peter, most notably his later life and ministry.

Early Life[]

To begin one must examine Peter's early life before the fateful day when he was introduced to the Messiah. It is true that the Bible is somewhat silent on the issue of Peter's early life. Indeed the Gospels mention very little of Jesus' own early life, and even less of the lives of his disciples. No specific date is available for the birth of Peter. One may assume that since he was running a fishing business when he met Jesus that he was "in his early thirties, born, like Jesus, some time before the turn of the century," (Thiede). Regardless of when he was born his original name was Simon or Symeon (Cullmann). If his name was Symeon which is "used of Peter...only in Acts 15.14 and II Peter 1.1" (Cullman), then it is clear that his parents named him with a Hebrew name. It has been supposed the Simon was merely a transliteration of the Hebrew name Symeon, however, a strong case can be made for Simon being Hellenistic because it was already attested to in Aristophanes' plays (Cullman).

According to the Gospel of John, Peter was from the city of Bethsaida (1.44). He was also the son of a certain Jonah, or perhaps John (Cullmann). Bethsaida was raised to the status of city by Phillip the Tetrarch, he was a Hellenizer who furthered Graeco-Roman culture throughout his area of influence (Thiede). It may then have been quite likely that Peter was acquainted well with Hellenistic culture and the Greek language. It may also be safely assumed that Peter had some knowledge of both Aramaic and Hebrew, as well. It is also likely that he had received the standard education that any Jewish male might have in the first century which consisted of education in reading, writing and, of course, memorization of the Torah (Thiede). It may also be possible that Peter had some connection to the Zealots (Cullmann). The Johannine account gives some reason to believe that before his introduction to Jesus he may have been among the disciples of John the Baptist (Cullmann, John 1.35-42). Finally it must also be mentioned that several passages explain that Peter had a wife (Mark 1.30; 1 Cor. 9.5).

Synthesizing the accounts of Jesus' first meeting with Peter is the first task in discussing his life as a disciple of Jesus.. Mark 1.16 and Matthew 4:18, feature Peter and Andrew as the first of Jesus' disciples whom he calls "on the shores of the Sea of Galilee," (Thiede). John 1.35-42 also seems to indicate that Peter was among the first disciples, however not everyone agrees that Peter was among the disciples of John (Thiede 22). Regardless, it would appear that Peter was one of the first, if not the first, of the disciples who were called by Jesus. Even Encyclopedia Britannica agrees with this, saying that Peter was called by Jesus "at the beginning of his ministry." If the Johannine account is favored, Jesus bestows the title "Cephas," (meaning "Rock", Gk. Petros) on Peter at their first meeting with the words, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas," (John 1.42b). On the other hand the first occurrence of the name in the Gospel of Mark, which may have been compiled from source material given to John Mark by Peter himself, is in a list of the disciples (Mark 3.16). The account recorded in the Gospel of Matthew has Jesus bestowing the name on Peter after the latter confesses, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God," (Matthew 16:16-17). It is possible to harmonize these variations if one is "determined to do so," (Cullmann). However, the wiser use of ones time may be to rest on one of two conclusions. The first possible conclusion is that Jesus spoke about the giving of the name at various times throughout his ministry and that the writers are simply including a sampling of those different times. The second possible conclusion is that the exact memory of the moment "Jesus gave Peter the title had been lost," (Cullmann).

The Apostle Peter's Life during Jesus' Ministry[]

Simon Peter was a devoted and loyal follower of the Lord. He remained faithful to Christ all throughout His earthly ministry, after His Ascension, and up to the time of his martyrdom. Although Peter had human weaknesses and made human mistakes, his steadfast love and devotion to the Lord as well as his strong faith in Him did not weaken. The Apostle faithfully carried out the preaching and healing mission which Christ had given to him and the other Apostles, and dutifully fulfilled his role as “the rock” upon which Christ had begun building His Church.

In the gospels, Simon Peter is present at every event during Christ’s earthly ministry although his name is not mentioned in all of the passages relating these events. We can easily surmise from the verses themselves, however, that Peter was present along with the other eleven, and later, with the Seventy [Seventy-Two in some readings]. There are also rmarkable events during Christ’s ministry where only Peter, John and James are present with the Lord.

Occasions Where the Apostle Peter is Noted as Being Present[]

  • At Christ's Calling of the Twelve Apostles

According to the book of Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ began His teaching ministry soon after having been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Matthew informs us that Jesus His [and His mother Mary’s] hometown of Nazareth and went to stay in Capernaum--the hometown of Peter and Andrew. It was from this fishing village of Capernaum that the Lord called Peter [and Andrew] to be His disciple. The Bible tells us that Capernaum was a place by lake, in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. This area had become so spiritually [and perhaps even morally] darkened in its way of life that scripture refers to it as "the Galilee of the Gentiles”. These two regions are prophesied in the Bible book of Isaiah as the places in darkness whereupon the light would dawn. One source notes that the “woe” spoken of by Christ Jesus against the city of Capernaum [ka-per'-na-um] has been fulfilled to the uttermost (Matthew 11:23 Luke 10:15). They report that this city had so completely perished that “the very site is a matter of dispute today”. When Jesus made His departure from His hometown of Nazareth, He stayed in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) and made it the center of His preaching work and the working of miracles for the greater of His public ministry. (Matthew 11:23, Mark 1:34) In this city, Christ healed the centurion's son (Matthew 8:5, etc.), the nobleman's son (John 4:46), Simon Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:31, etc.), and the paralytic (Matthew 9:1, etc.). Here he cast out the unclean spirit (Mark 1:23, etc.); and perhaps here was where He raised Jairus' daughter to life (Mark 5:22, etc.). “In Capernaum the little child was used by Christ to teach the disciples humility, while in the synagogue Jesus delivered His ever-memorable discourse on the bread of life (John 6).” The site refers to the accounts given to us in Gospels that show Capernaum to be a city of considerable importance. [Also see Matthew 11:23 Luke 10:15]. The inhabitants of the city were very prideful due to prosperity. A few sites are believed to be the biblical city of Capernaum. One is Tell Chum, a ruined site on the lake shore, nearly 2 1/2 miles west of the mouth of the Jordan. Another is Khan Minyeh, fully 2 1/2 miles farther West, at the Northeast corner of the plain of Genessaret. Dr. Tristram suggested `Ain El-Madowwerah, a large spring enclosed by a circular wall, on the western edge of the plain. But it stands about a mile from the sea; there are no ruins to indicate that any considerable village ever stood here; and the water is available for only a small part of the plain. [1] We have to marvel at the fact that this is the very first region to which Jesus comes to call his disciples.

The verse in which we find this account is Matthew 4:12-13, 17-20. It reads, “12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to [Galilee]. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

  • When Jesus Walked on Water

Perhaps the most endearing event in the Gospel is the time when the Apostle Peter made the attempt to walk across the lake in order to meet up with the Lord. His willingness to take such a great risk in order to please Jesus was a clear manifestation of his great love and adoration for Him, a deep and overwhelming love that would drive him to try to do what no one else would dare. Even at this early stage of his calling, Peter was willing to risk his life, if it meant pleasing God.

We read of this account at Matthew 14:22-26 where it says, “22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

  • When Asked by the Lord of His True Identity

During this private discussion whereby the Lord Jesus questioned His Apostles about His identity, Peter made the confession that earned him the title, “the rock.” His immediate response was, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Christ instantly recognized this as knowledge coming only from His Father in Heaven. Christ then gave Simon Peter the role of leadership in the church and called him “Peter” for he was now “the rock” upon which Christ would build His church on earth.

This account can be found at Matthew 16:13-20. It states, “13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

  • At the Lord’s Foretelling of His Death

Peter displays his great love for the Lord in an innocent but incorrect way this time by refusing to accept what has been prophesied to occur. He is outrightly rebuked by the Lord for this sentiment.

The verse at Matthew 16:1-23 reads, “ 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

  • At the Transfiguration

Peter is present with John and James when Christ becomes transfigured on the mountain. He recognizes Moses and Elijah who are with the glorious Lord. In a trance or dream-like state, Peter offers to prepare a tent for them and Christ. The Apostles are greatly terrified and fall facedown to the ground when they hear the voice of God speaking to them of His love for His Son.

Matthew 17:1-9 reads, “1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

  • When Payment is Made to the Tax Collector

In keping with His belief that one should pay Caesar's things to Caesar and God's things to God, Jesus has Peter pay the tax collector the payment he demanded.

This tax payment is recorded at Matthew 17:24-27 and reads,

“24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" 25 "Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?" 26" From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. 27 "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." ]

  • When Christ Predicts Peter’s Denial

The all-knowing Lord tells Peter, before it happens, that he will deny Him three times before the rooster even crows, a prediction which the Apostle Peter finds impossible to accept.

This account is shown at Matthew 26:31-35 where it says,

"31 Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." 33 Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." 34 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." 35 But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same. ]

  • During Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsamane

This is, next to the Lord's crucifixion, the most heart-rending episode in the Gospel. This account can be found at Matthew 26:36-46. It states,

"36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." 42 He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

  • During Jesus’ Arrest at Gethsemane

Another emotionally devastating scene is where our Lord is being betrayed into the hands of the enemy by Judas Iscariot. It is the last time that that the Apostles will see and hear the Lord before His death and resurrection. The ones closest to this event are Peter, James and John. The Roman officiers, the teachers of the Law and High Priest make their unlawful arrest.

You can read of this account at Matthew 26:47-55 where it says,

"47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him." 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" 55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

  • When the Lord is Led to Trial

The Lord Jesus Christ prophetically obeys the rulers and follows them to the Temple's court to face questioning, although aware of the outcome.

This account is given at Matthew 26:57-58, and reads,

"57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. ]

  • During Christ’s Trial at the Courtyard of the High Priest

This is the time when Saint Peter does something which brings him great sorrow and regret. Because of his overwhelming fear of the roman guards, he denies the Lord three times as was predicted by Jesus earlier that evening. This fear was completely overcome later, and we see Peter boldly standing up to all of the rulers of Jerusalem, the High Priest, the teachers of the law, and the Roman guards.

The account of this event can be read at Matthew 26:69-75. It reads,

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." 74 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man. Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Other Times When the Apostle Peter was Present with the Lord[]

The Apostle Peter was present along with Christ's other Apostles whenever the Lord held private discourses with them. He was also present during all of Christ’s public teachings when he would teach lessons by means of parables, or when He would admonish the people for their sinful behavior or their inability to accept Him whom God had sent. Peter saw how Christ healed many from various diseases and delivered them from demons. The gospel accounts do not mention the names of the apostles during these times although we can gather from the text that all were present.

From Saint Peter’s speeches, we understand how much he treasured all that the Lord had said for he conveyed this teaching to the people so that they too would know the purpose of Christ’s coming and the means by which they could be saved. One of Peter’s greatest speeches was when he spoke to a crowd of listeners during Pentecost, immediately following the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Below are a few of the many occasions when the Apostles were in the presence of our Lord but were not mentioned by name:

  • When They Were Anointed by Christ to Preach and to Heal

The Apostle Peter, along with Christ’s eleven other Apostles, received the commission to go out and preach the message of the Kingdom of God to the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus also gave them the power [See Holy Spirit] by which they would carry out His command. They were specifically told to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons.

This account can be found at Matthew 10:5-10, and reads, “5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

  • At Jesus' Feeding of the Five-Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21)
  • At Jesus' Feeding of Four-Thousand (Matthew 15:29-39)
  • At Jesus' Healing the Boy Possessed by a Demon (Matthew 17:14-22)
  • At Jesus’ Healing of the Two Blind Men (Matthew 20:29-34)
  • During Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:6-11)
  • At the Withering of the Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-21)
  • During Jesus’ Discussion of the Seven Woes for Jerusalem (Matthew 23: 1-3)
  • During Jesus’ Discussion of the Separation of the Sheep from the Goats at His Second Coming (Matthew 25:31-46)
  • At Bethany when Jesus is Anointed by Mary (Matthew 26:6-13)
  • At The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30)
  • At Jesus’ Giving of the Great Commission and His Ascension into Heaven
Next to the Lord's crucifixion and resurrection, perhaps the most memorable and most glorious event in the entire New Testament is His Ascension into heaven, which followed His giving forth of "The Great Commission" to preach, heal and deliver. The passage which discusses this deeply moving event can be found at Matthew 28:16-19. The verse reads, "16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It is important to note that Jesus Christ did and said so much more than we read about in the New Testament. The Apostle John explains how His deeds were so numerous that they could not be contained in one book.

After the Resurrection: The Early Church[]

After our Savior ascended back into heaven, His Apostles and disciples knew it was now up to them to continue Christ’s work of building His Church here on earth. They remained steadfast in prayer, and in joyful anticipation of the promised Holy Spirit. In this way, they would be able to carry out the Lord's command.

The Apostles also knew that their original membership number [eleven] had to become a complete “twelve” again. Someone had to, therefore, replace Judas Iscariot. This activity was supervised by the Apostle Peter. After this important task was completed, the Apostles begain waiting for the promise that the Lord would be sending them from heaven.

After the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the others at Pentecost, their apostolic mission began. Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave the first in-gathering speech, and 3,000 converts were added to the church that same day.[1]

As the Apostles worked zealously to carry out The Great Commission to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cripple and blind, and deliver people from demonic possession, problems arose concerning circumcision, which foods to eat, and how to distribute food to the widows. The Apostle Peter, in collaboration with the others, directed the handling of these important matters.

When it came time for the Gospel to be preached worldwide, Peter and others in administrative roles such as James and John, sent the Apostles [i.e., Paul & Barnabas]to distant lands where the message reached people of all nations, Jews and Gentile alike.

Peter Supervises the Adding of Matthias to the Ministry[]

The biblical account in Acts chapter 1 reads, “12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17 he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." 18 (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, 'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, 'May another take his place of leadership.' 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection." 23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs. 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Peter Makes the First In-Gathering Speech for New Converts[]

The Apostle Peter’s leadership qualities of courage and zeal for the Lord are shown in this splendid address that he made to the on-lookers at Pentecost. The biblical account can be found at Acts 2:14-41.

A section of the account reads, “ 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 In the last days, God says, 
     I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 
  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, 
     your young men will see visions, 
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, 	
     I will pour out my Spirit in those days, 
     and they will prophesy. 
19 I will show wonders in the heaven above 
     and signs on the earth below, 
     blood and fire and billows of smoke. 
20 The sun will be turned to darkness 
     and the moon to blood 
     before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 
21 And everyone who calls 
     on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Nearing the end of his speech at verse 38, Peter says, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

The glorious apostle ended his discourse by calling on all of the listeners to save themselves from the corrupt generation which they were living in, seeing so clearly how the land had become corrupt and had fallen away from the true God. The verse reads, "40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar[]

Some time later, as Peter and John were going up to the Temple to pray, a crippled man was being carried to the temple gate. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, the man asked them for money. [Acts 3:1-3] The verse says that “4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter's Witness to the Onlookers about Jesus'Miraculous Healing Power[]

The verses below point out that the people who had witnessed this miracle with the beggar, were completely astounded and came running over to Solomon's Colonnade. Peter boldly explained why and how this miracle had occurred right before them.

The passaghe thus reads, “12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

Finally, the Apostle Peter told them how these days had been prophesied to occur, and he further reminded them of what God had said to their forefather Abraham. Peter said, “ 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."

Peter & John's Imprisonment and Questioning by Jewish Leaders[]

As the great Apostle continued in his zeal to preach the word of God to the people, the Jewish leaders who would not accept the Lord Jesus Christ, continued to oppose him in every way. We read in Acts 4, how both Peter and John were arrested and later had to appear before the Sanhedrin due to their preaching. This was after they had healed the crippled beggar.

Verse one of Acts 4 reads, “ 1 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.

In verses 5-22, the high priest and others questioned the Apostles about the source of their healing power; and Peter answered them truthfully concerning the Lord Jesus Christ whom, he related, is behind all the miracles they had witnessed. After this bold proclamation by Saint Peter, the rulers ordered them not to mention or preach in Jesus’ name. Desiring further to put them in jail again, didn’t because they feared the reaction of the people who had begun praising God for the healing of the crippled beggar..

This passage states, “ 5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

11 He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. '12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.”

Peter & John's Miraculous Release from Prison[]

Determined to obey God rather than man, the Apostle Peter continued to preach to the people about the salvation that comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. The leaders, in their determination to keep things as they were, opposed Peter’s message of salvation and tried desperately to put an end to it, mainly by imprisoning the apostle. Even after Peter and John’s miraculous delivery from jail by God’s Angels, the leaders remained hardened in their attitudes and made even greater efforts to crush the Truth.

Acts 5:16 informs us that the Apostles of Jesus Christ performed numerous miraculous signs and wonders among the people, and that they were highly regarded by them. The people began bringing their sick ones into the streets and laying them on beds and mats so that Saint Peter’s shadow might fall on them and they be healed. The numbers of believers grew more and more each day. The consequence of this great manifestation of God's love and grace was fervent persecution by the leaders who, because of their intense jealousy, had the Apostles arrested and put in jail— an act which unexpectantly resulted in an even greater following of the people.

Acts 5:17 thus reads, “17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 "We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside." 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

25 Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people." 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

The Apostles’ Reaction to a Scolding by the Sanhedrin[]

Acts 5:27-33 highlights the unwavering mindset of God's Apostles under Peter's leadership, even in face of death. At this point, we realize that no matter what happens from here on in, nothing will deter the Apostles from the mission set before them by the Lord. If anyone at this time harboured doubts about the strength and survival of the early church, these feelings would have no doubt been swept away by amazing things they saw taking place. Peter expresses their final resolve when he firmly tells the Sanhedrin that they must obey God rather than men. Knowing that the possibility of death awaited them, the Apostles determinedly went to Samaria and began preacing the Word of God to the people there. In Acts 9 we learn of the enormous growth in church membership. We also read how the Holy Spirit brought forth a time of peace, as it strengthened and encouraged the newly-formed Church.

These remarkable times are covered in the following passages:

  • Acts 5:27 - "Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

  • Acts 8:14-17 - "14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into[c] the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
  • Acts 9:31 - "31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord."

Later life[]

As the early church continued to grow and expand, with it came added responsibilities and concerns. These concerns centered around doctrinal issues such the circumcision of Gentile converts or the eating of certain foods that were previously prohibited by Jewish Law. By direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter was able to guide the community wisely. Other matters which concerned the early church during these times such as the distribution of foods to the Greek widows, were eventually settled as the leaders became more and more insighful to the will of the Lord in their midst.

In short, Peter’s later life became more focused on missionary activities abroad as did the later life of the other Apostles, including the newly converted Apostle Paul of Tarsus.

Key events in Saint Peter’s later life are briefly summarized below.

The Apostle Peter’s Missionary Journeys to Joppa, Lydda and Caesarea[]

  • Peter at Joppa

Saint Peter’s early missionary journeys took him to the maritime cities of Joppa and Lydda where he cured infirmities and raised the dead to life. The book of Acts, chapter 9, tells of Peter’s journey to Lydda to see a man named Aeneas. Aeneas was a paralytic we are told, and had been bed-ridden for eight years when Peter visited him. The Apostle then prayed over him and Aeneas was instantly healed of his infirmity. [See Acts 9:32-35] [2]

  • Peter at Lydda

At another time, the Apostle Peter traveled to Joppa, a place located near Lydda. Here, a disciple of Jesus named Tabitha had become very ill and had died. Her mourners spoke well of her to Peter and told Peter how she had made clothes for them. The Apostle prayed over Tabitha and she too was raised to life, resulting in a mass conversions of the city’s inhabitants to the faith. [See Acts 9:36-42] [3]

  • Peter's Journey to Caesarea

Cornelius, a very pious and charitable man, was visited by an Angel of God. The Angel, after expressing God's approval of his righteous acts, told Cornelius to send for Simon Peter. Cornelius then made arrangements for the Apostle Peter to come to his home.

The account at Acts 10:1-8 reads, " At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!" 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea." 7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

Peter’s Vision

Peter’s missionary journey to Caesarea was under the sole guidance of the Holy Spirit. Before he was sent out on this mission, God gave him a vision that revealed God’s impartiality to the foods he had created and had made pure. The Jews had not been allowed to eat certain foods because of the purity laws set forth under the Mosaic Law Covenant. However, under the New Covenant, Jews had been set free from these dietary restrictions. The Spirit strictly forbade Peter from calling those foods impure, that God had purified.

9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

14 "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

  • Cornelius’ Men Visit Peter’s House

Cornelius’ entire household was present when Peter visited them, and all received the Holy Spirit as the Apostle gave witness to the truth of Jesus Christ, leading Peter to realize that God is not impartial but is a God who welcomes into His Kingdom anyone who is God-fearing and believes in the Christ, Jew or Gentile.

This account is related to us at Acts 10:17 which reads, "While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."

21 Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"

22 The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say."

23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

  • Peter at Cornelius' House

The account states, "23... The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."

27 Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"

30 Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.

32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.' 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."

34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Peter’s Release from the Jerusalem Jail[]

In the days of Claudius Caesar a great famine came upon the whole earth. A disciple named Agabus had prophesiec this event through Holy Spirit earlier [see Acts 11:28], an from his prophesy, the disciples sent relief ministrations to the faithful who were residing in Jerusalem. Around the same time, we read that King Herod [Acts 12] begain vexing certain ones in the Church at Jerusalem. Herod killed James the brother of John with the sword. Verse 3 of the same chapter informs us that he made plans to arrest Peter also since he saw that his actions had pleased the Jews. Soldiers apprehended Peter and put him in prison. This was all done at the command of Herod who intended to bring the Apostle forth to the people after Easter.

It is stated that “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Before he could be brought forth the next day as planned, the Angel of the Lord came to the prison and release Saint Peter from his bondage. The verse which explains this account reads, “ 7And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands”[Acts 12:7].

Peter’s Missionary Journey East [Antioch][]

Nothing is revealed concerning Peter’s travels after his liberation from the Jerusalem prison. It is known, however, that the Apostle later made extensive missionary tours in the East. And it is certain that he remained for a time at Antioch. The Christian community of Antioch was founded by Christianized Jews who had been driven from Jerusalem by the persecution (Acts 11:19 ). We learn from Saint Paul’s epistle to the Galatians that Saint Peter resided among the Antioch Christians and became involved in a terrible dispute with him over whether or not the Gentiles should be circumcised in order to be saved. [2]

The Issue Concerning Circumcision[]

While Paul and Barnabas were preaching the good news of the Kingdom in Antioch, Jewish believers began teaching the Gentiles that they could not be saved unless they were circumcised and obeyed the Law of Moses. This brought about a great dispute between the Jewish believers, Paul and Barnabas, and others. So Paul and Barnabas along with their supporters decided to present this question before the Jerusalem Council [See Acts 15:1-4]. The Apostles and the elders in the Church then got together to discuss this problem.

The Apostle Peter addressed the issue before the group [Acts 15:7-8], explaining how Christ had made known to him that the Gentiles should hear the message of the gospel from him and believe. Peter also reminded them how the God of infinite knowledge who knows all hearts, displayed His acceptance of the Gentiles by granting them the gift of Holy Spirit just as he had done for the Jewish apostles and disciples.

Peter pointed out even further that God made no distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles because He had “purified their [Gentiles] hearts by faith” [Acts 15:9]. The Apostle Peter expressed his dissatisfaction with the men's act of putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the necks of the Gentiles which neither the Jews nor their forefathers had been able to bear. His strong final statement cleared up this issue, and nothing more was said. Peter said at Acts 15:11, “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." The meeting was followed by a clear and complete explanatory "Letter to Gentile Believers".[4]


Caravaggio-Crucifixion of Peter

Crucifixion of Saint Peter

The Acts of Peter record a legend in which Peter flees Rome when Nero began his persecution in AD 64. The legend says that Jesus appeared to him and asked him where he was going, Peter needed no more words and immediately turned around and headed back to the city (Grant 152). However there is an earlier, and far more respected text which may shed light on Peter's martyrdom; that text is the First Epistle of Clement (Cullmann). The epistle is commonly held to have been composed during AD 96 (Cullmann). The information on Peter is found in a section of the letter where Clement is making an argument that is vaguely reminiscent of Hebrews 12 and 13 where the author of that letter speaks of attested exemplars. In this section Peter is listed as one who bore many torments and afterwards went to a "place of glory" (1 Clem. 5.4-5). Nevertheless this text does not give a particular location for Peter's death. It is an unsatisfactory response to say that the place could not have been Rome because Clement knew nothing of Peter's martyrdom except what he mentioned. It is much more likely that Clement assumed "that it [the place of Peter's death] was known; moreover, he is not giving a report about martyrs but an example of the results of envy and strife" (Cullmann). "Constantine the Great was so convinced of the fact" (Grant) that Peter had died and been buried in Rome that he built St. Peter's Basilica over the site where tradition held Peter had been buried in the early 4th century. There had, apparently, been a shrine where the basilica was built since the late second century (Grant).

If it can be safely assumed that Peter died in Rome circa AD 65 (Reicke) than the final question that must be answered is the means of his death. Tradition has long held that Peter was crucified, like Jesus himself. One scholar has said, "those who mention the manner of his death are unanimous are this point" (Thiede). Those who look for Canonical evidence sometimes point to the Gospel of John when it says, "'Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.' (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) " (John 21.18-19a) as proof that Peter would die by crucification. The Acts of Peter tells the story of his martyrdom and adds that he refused to be crucified right-side up, but demanded to be crucified upside down so as not to compete with Jesus. Although this tradition does come from the Acts of Peter it should not be immediately dismissed since it is mentioned by Origen and may have been "in line with the desire for novelty among the Roman henchmen" (Thiede). The vast majority of literary sources point to Peter having been martyred in Rome at some point during the reign of Emperor Nero (Cullmann). However, even with this evidence the means of Peter's death cannot be confirmed unequivocally (Grant).

Saint Peter statue

Saint Peter statue, Israel.


Peter's life has been examined, from his humble beginnings in a back water province of the Roman Empire, to his meeting with the Son of the Living God, to his death, presumably, in the capital of the greatest of the ancient empires. Throughout his life Peter proved to be a man of faith; he stepped out on a wind-tossed sea to be with his Lord. He was often quick to act and slow to think in his early years, showing him to be a man of action. He had no qualms about cutting off the ear of someone who came to take his Lord away from him. Yet, many years later, it can be seen that Peter had matured a great deal and that, although he remained a man of both faith and action, he had brought these into at least some type of balance. Perhaps it is this human struggle and maturity, this humanity, that makes Peter one of the most interesting Biblical characters to study.

Notes & References[]

  1. 1 Chronicles 17: 10-12 “10 …”'I declare to you that the LORD will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son.”
  2. This account in Acts chapter 9 reads,” 32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
  3. This particular passage in Acts 9 reads, “ 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas, who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!" 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha [Dorcas], get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
  4. The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers Acts 15:22 "Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. 23With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.


  • Peter by Oscar Cullman
  • Saint Peter: A Biography by Michael Grant
  • The Anchor Bible: The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude by Bo Reicke
  • Simon Peter: From Galilee to Rome by Carsten P. Thiede
Catholic Church titles
New creation Pope
before 64

Succeeded by
New creation Bishop of Antioch

Succeeded by

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
  • Infobox and information within only