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Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham'un al-Safa, Simon the Pure.; tr, Aziz Petrus (died between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon (), Cephas (), or Peter the Apostle, was one of the
Twelve Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, partic ...

Twelve Apostles
of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
, and one of the first leaders of the
early Church The history of Christianity concerns the Christianity, Christian religion, Christendom, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various Christian denomination, denominations, from the Christianity in the 1st century, 1st century to ...
. According to
Christian tradition Christian tradition is a collection of tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use th ...
, Peter was crucified in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
under Emperor
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
. He is traditionally counted as the first
bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...
or
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
and also by
Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), ...
tradition as the first
patriarch of Antioch Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. With ...

patriarch of Antioch
. The ancient Christian churches all
venerate Veneration in Noto St Conrad of Piacenza (San Corrado) Veneration ( la, veneratio; el, τιμάω ), or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional d ...
Peter as a major
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saint
and as the founder of the
Church of Antioch The Church of Antioch ( ar, كنيسة أنطاكية) was one of the five major churches of the pentarchy in Christianity before the East–West Schism in 1054, with its primary seat in the ancient Greek city of Antioch (present-day Antakya, Tu ...
and the
Diocese of Rome The Diocese of Rome ( la, Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana; it, Diocesi di Roma) is the diocese, ecclesiastical district under the direct jurisdiction of the Pope, who is Bishop of Rome and hence the supreme pontiff and head of the worldwide Catholi ...
, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his successors. According to
Catholic teaching Catholic theology is the understanding of Catholic doctrine or teachings, and results from the studies of theologians. It is based on Biblical canon, canonical Catholic Bible, scripture, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by t ...
, Jesus promised Peter a special position in the Church. In the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, Peter appears repeatedly and prominently in all four gospels as well as the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
. He is the brother of
Saint Andrew Andrew the Apostle ( gr, Ἀνδρέας ''Andreas''; Aramaic: ܐܢܕܪܐܘܣ), also called Saint Andrew, was an Apostles, apostle of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is the brother of Saint Peter. He is referred to in the Eastern Orthod ...

Saint Andrew
, and both brothers were
fishermen A fisher or fisherman is someone who captures fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which ...

fishermen
. The
Gospel of Mark The Gospel according to Mark ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μᾶρκον , translit=Euangélion katà Mârkon), also called the Gospel of Mark, or simply Mark, is the second of the four Gospel#Canonical_gospels, canonical gospels and of ...
in particular was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. He is also mentioned, under either the name Peter or Cephas, in
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
's
First Letter to the Corinthians The First Epistle to the Corinthians ( grc, Α΄ ᾽Επιστολὴ πρὸς Κορινθίους), usually referred to as First Corinthians or 1 Corinthians is a Pauline epistle of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καιν ...
and the
Epistle to the Galatians The Epistle to the Galatians, often shortened to Galatians, is the ninth book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the ...
. The New Testament also includes two
general epistles The catholic epistles (also called the general epistlesEncarta-encyclopedie Winkler Prins (1993–2002) s.v. "katholieke brieven". Microsoft Corporation/Het Spectrum.) are seven epistles of the New Testament. Listed in order of their appearance in t ...
,
First Peter The First Epistle of Peter, usually referred to simply as First Peter and often written 1 Peter, is a book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) ...
and Second Peter, that are traditionally attributed to him, but modern scholarship generally rejects the Petrine authorship of both.
Dale Martin Dale Basil Martin (born 1954) is an American New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Christi ...
2009 (lecture). .
Yale University Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
. Accessed 22 July 2013
Lecture 24 (transcript)
However, there is a growing number of scholars that have resuscitated the Petrine authorship of the Petrine epistles. Outside of the New Testament, several
apocryphal Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebrew Bible, being excluded by the non-Hellenistic Jews fr ...
books were later attributed to him, in particular the
Acts of Peter The Acts of Peter is one of the earliest of the apocrypha Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebre ...
,
Gospel of Peter The Gospel of Peter ( grc, κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, ), or the Gospel according to Peter, is an ancient text concerning Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, ...

Gospel of Peter
, Preaching of Peter,
Apocalypse of Peter The Apocalypse of Peter (or Revelation of Peter) is an early Christian text of the 2nd century and an example of apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. It is not included in the standard canon of the New Testament, but is mentioned ...

Apocalypse of Peter
, and Judgment of Peter, although scholars believe these works to be pseudoepigrapha.


Names and etymologies

The New Testament presents Peter's original name as Simon ( ''Simōn'', in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
). In only two passages, his name is instead spelled "
Simeon Simeon is a given name, from the Hebrew (Biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the ...

Simeon
" ( in Greek). The variation possibly reflects "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as aut ...
to a male child Simeon/nowiki>.html" ;"title="Simeon_(son_of_Jacob).html" ;"title=".e., Simeon (son of Jacob)">Simeon/nowiki>">Simeon_(son_of_Jacob).html" ;"title=".e., Simeon (son of Jacob)">Simeon/nowiki> along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name [in this case, Simon]". He was later given by Jesus the name ''Cephas'', from Aramaic כֵּיפָא (''Kepha''), literally meaning "rock" or "stone". In translations of the Bible from the original Koine Greek, Greek, his name is maintained as ''Cephas'' in 9 occurrences in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, whereas in the vast majority of mentions (156 occurrences in the New Testament) he is called Πέτρος (''Petros''), from the Greek and Latin word for a rock or stone (''petra'') to which the masculine ending was added, rendered into English as ''Peter''. The precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and, particularly in its application by Jesus to Simon, like a "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character. Both meanings, "stone" (jewel or hewn stone) and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Aramaic and Syriac language, Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic ''cepha'' means "stone, ball, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; that in the Attic Greek ''petra'' denotes "grown rock, rocky range, cliff, grotto"; and that ''petros'' means "small stone, firestone, sling stone, moving boulder". The combined name (Simon Peter) appears 19 times in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
. In some Syriac language, Syriac documents he is called, in English translation, Simon Cephas.


Biographical information


Sources

The sources used to reconstruct the life of Peter can be divided in three groups: * the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
writings, such as the
Pauline Epistles The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute. Among these epistles are some of the earliest extant ...
(where
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
calls him "Cephas" and "Peter"), the
Petrine Epistles Petrine may refer to: * Saint Peter the Apostle, in Christianity, as in ''a Petrine text'' ** Petrine Cross ** Petrine ministry, the office of the Pope * Peter the Great, in Russia, as in ''the Petrine Revolution'' ** The ''post-Petrine era'', the H ...
(traditionally attributed to him, but their authorship is disputed), the
Canonical Gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel"), but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out. In this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrative of the words an ...
and the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
; * the
New Testament apocrypha The New Testament apocrypha (singular apocryphon) are a number of writings by Early Christianity, early Christians that give accounts of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God in Christianity, God, or the teachings of his ...
attributed to him, such as the
Gospel of Peter The Gospel of Peter ( grc, κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, ), or the Gospel according to Peter, is an ancient text concerning Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, ...

Gospel of Peter
, the Preaching of Peter, the
Acts of Peter The Acts of Peter is one of the earliest of the apocrypha Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebre ...
, the Acts of Peter and Andrew, the Acts of Peter and the Twelve, the
Acts of Peter and Paul The Acts of Peter and Paul is a pseudepigraphical Pseudepigrapha (also :wikt:anglicized, anglicized as "pseudepigraph" or "pseudepigraphs") are false attribution, falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a ...
, the
Letter of Peter to Philip The Letter of Peter to Philip is a Gnostic Christian epistle found in the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt. It was dated to be written around late 2nd century to early 3rd century CE and focuses on a post-crucifixion appearance and teachings of Jesus ...
, the Letter of Peter to James the Just, the
Apocalypse of Peter The Apocalypse of Peter (or Revelation of Peter) is an early Christian text of the 2nd century and an example of apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. It is not included in the standard canon of the New Testament, but is mentioned ...

Apocalypse of Peter
and the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter. Scholars agree that these are late
pseudepigrapha Pseudepigrapha (also anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or und ...
with little historical value, though they may contain some historical kernel; * the writing of the Apostolic Fathers and the Church Fathers, such as
Papias of Hierapolis Papias ( el, Παπίας) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popul ...

Papias of Hierapolis
,
Pope Clement I Pope Clement I ( la, Clemens Romanus; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its p ...

Pope Clement I
,
Polycarp Polycarp (; el, Πολύκαρπος, ''Polýkarpos''; la, Polycarpus; AD 69 155) was a Christian bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with ...

Polycarp
,
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
and Ireneus. In the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early Church."Peter, St" by F. L. Cross, ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church'', Oxford University Press, 2005


Accounts

Peter was a Jewish fisherman in
Bethsaida Bethsaida ( ar, بيت صيدا, from Hebrew/Aramaic ''beth-tsaida'', lit. "house of A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897. us ...
(
John 1 John 1 is the first Chapters and verses of the Bible, chapter in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The author of the book containing this chapter is anonymity, anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed ...

John 1
:44). He was named Simon, son of Jonah or John. The three
Synoptic Gospels The gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testame ...
recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in
Capernaum Capernaum ( ; he, כְּפַר נַחוּם, Kfar Naḥūm, Nahum's village; ar, كفر ناحوم, Kafr Nāḥūm) was a fishing village A fishing village is a village, usually located near a , with an based on catching and harvesting ...

Capernaum
(
Matthew 8 Matthew 8 is the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew The Gospel according to Matthew ( el, Κατὰ Ματθαῖον Εὐαγγέλιον, translit=Katà Matthaîon Euangélion), also called the Gospel of Matthew, or simply Matthew, is ...
:14–17,
Mark 1 Mark 1 is the first chapter Chapter or Chapters may refer to: Books * Chapter (books), a main division of a piece of writing or document * Chapter book, a story book intended for intermediate readers, generally age 7–10 * Chapters (bookstore ...
:29–31,
Luke 4 Luke 4 is the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christianity, Christian Bible, traditionally attributed to Luke the Evangelist, a companion of Paul the Apostle on his missionary journeys. This chapter details Jesus' ...
:38); this passage clearly depicts Peter as being married or widowed. 1 Corinthians 9:5 has also been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter (then Simon) was a fisherman along with his brother,
Andrew Andrew is the English form of a given name common in many countries. In the 1990s, it was among the top ten most popular names given to boys in List of countries where English is an official language, English-speaking countries. "Andrew" is freq ...

Andrew
, and the sons of
Zebedee Zebedee ( ; grc, Ζεβεδαῖος, Zebedaîos; he, , Zəḇaḏyâ), according to all four Canonical Gospels Gospel originally meant the Christianity, Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which ...
, James and John. The
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
also depicts Peter fishing, even after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be " fishers of men" ( Matthew 4:1819,
Mark 1 Mark 1 is the first chapter Chapter or Chapters may refer to: Books * Chapter (books), a main division of a piece of writing or document * Chapter book, a story book intended for intermediate readers, generally age 7–10 * Chapters (bookstore ...
:16–17). In the
Confession of Peter In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious ...
he proclaims Jesus to be the
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
(
Jewish Messiah The Messiah in Judaism () is the savior and liberator figure in Jewish eschatology, whose role is to restore Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek ...
), as described in the three Synoptic Gospels: , and . It is there, in the area of
Caesarea Philippi Caesarea Philippi (; lat, Caesarea Philippi, literally " Philip's Caesarea"; grc, Καισαρεία Φιλίππεια ''Kaisareía Philíppeia'') was an ancient Roman city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon Mount Hermon ( ar ...
, that he receives from Jesus the name Cephas (Aramaic ''Kepha''), or Peter (Greek ''Petros''). A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the
boat A boat is a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It m ...
that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of (
Luke 5 Luke 5 is the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν , translit=Euangélion katà Loukân), also called the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, tells of the origins, birth ...
:3). Jesus then amazes Simon and his companions James and John (Andrew is not mentioned) by telling them to lower their nets, whereupon they catch a huge number of fish. Immediately after this, they follow him (
Luke 5 Luke 5 is the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν , translit=Euangélion katà Loukân), also called the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, tells of the origins, birth ...
:4–11). The
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
gives a comparable account of "The First Disciples" (
John 1 John 1 is the first Chapters and verses of the Bible, chapter in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The author of the book containing this chapter is anonymity, anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed ...

John 1
:35–42). In John, the readers are told that it was two disciples of
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
(Andrew and an unnamed disciple) who heard John the Baptist announce Jesus as the "
Lamb of God Lamb of God ( el, Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, Amnòs toû Theoû; la, Agnus Dei, ) is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Eu ...
" and then followed Jesus. Andrew then went to his brother Simon, saying, "We have found the
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Ag ...
", and then brought Simon to Jesus. Three of the four gospels—Matthew, Mark and John—recount the story of
Jesus walking on water 200px, ''Jesus walks on the water'', by Ivan Aivazovsky (1888) Jesus walking on the water, or on the sea, is depicted as one of the miracles of Jesus 250px, '' Christ Walks on Water'', by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888. The miracles of Jesus are proposed ...
. Matthew additionally describes Peter walking on water for a moment but beginning to sink when his faith wavers (
Matthew 14 Matthew 14 is the fourteenth Chapters and verses of the Bible, chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Bible#Christian Bibles, Christian Bible. It continues the narrative about Ministry of Jesus, Jesus' ministry in Gali ...
:28–31). At the beginning of the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 500px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...

Last Supper
, Jesus washed his disciples' feet. Peter initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus told him: "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me", Peter replied: "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head" (
John 13 John 13 is the thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the four ...
:2–11). The
washing of feet Maundy (from Old French ''mandé'', from Latin '' mandatum'' meaning "command"), or the Washing of the Feet, or Pedelavium, is a religious rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into ...
is often repeated in the
service of worship A church service (or simply a service) is a formalized period of Christian communal worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more ...
on
Maundy Thursday Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday (also known as Great and Holy Thursday, Holy and Great Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names) is the day during Holy Week In some traditions of , Holy W ...
by some
Christian denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...
. The three
Synoptic Gospels The gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testame ...
all mention that, when Jesus was arrested, one of his companions cut off the ear of a servant of the
High Priest of Israel High Priest ( he, כהן גדול ''Kohen Kohen ( he, כֹּהֵן' Cohen, "priest", pl. Cohanim, ' "priests") is the Hebrew word for "priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a ...
(
Matthew 26 Matthew 26 is the 26th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, part of the New Testament. This chapter covers the beginning of the passion narrative, which continues to Matthew 28 , chapter 28, containing the narratives of the Jewish leaders' plot to ki ...
:51,
Mark 14 Mark 14 is the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christianity, Christian Bible. It contains the plot to kill Jesus, his anointing by a woman, the Last Supper, and his predictions of his betrayal and Saint Peter, ...
:47,
Luke 22 Luke 22 is the twenty-second chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christianity, Christian Bible. It commences in the days just before the Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread, and records the plot to kill Jesus Christ, the ins ...
:50). The Gospel of John also includes this event and names Peter as the swordsman and
Malchus Malchus () was the Servant (domestic), servant of the Jewish Kohen Gadol, High Priest Caiaphas who participated in the arrest of Jesus as written in the Gospel, four gospels. According to the Bible, one of the Disciple (Christianity), disciples, ...
as the victim (John 18:10). Luke adds that Jesus touched the ear and miraculously healed it (
Luke 22 Luke 22 is the twenty-second chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christianity, Christian Bible. It commences in the days just before the Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread, and records the plot to kill Jesus Christ, the ins ...
:49–51). This healing of the servant's ear is the last of the Miracles of Jesus, 37 miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible. Simon Peter was twice arraigned, with John, before the Sanhedrin and directly defied them (Acts 4:7–22, Acts 5:18–42). After receiving a Peter's vision of a sheet with animals, vision from God that allowed for the eating of previously unclean animals, Peter takes a missionary journey to Lod, Lydda, Jaffa, Israel, Joppa and Caesarea Maritima, Caesarea (Acts 9:32–Acts 10:2), becoming instrumental in the decision to evangelise the Gentiles (Acts 10). Simon Peter applied the message of the vision on clean animals to the gentiles and follows his meeting with Cornelius the Centurion by claiming that "God shows no partiality"(Acts 10). According to the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
, Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to Samaria (Acts 8:14). Peter/Cephas is mentioned briefly in the opening chapter of one of the Pauline epistles,
Epistle to the Galatians The Epistle to the Galatians, often shortened to Galatians, is the ninth book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the ...
, which mentions a trip by
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
to Jerusalem where he meets Peter (Galatians 1:18). Peter features again in Galatians, fourteen years later, when Paul (now with Barnabas and Saint Titus, Titus) returned to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:7-9). When Peter came to Antioch, Paul opposed Peter to his face "because he [Peter] was in the wrong" (Galatians 2:11). Acts 12 narrates how Peter, who was in Jerusalem, was put into prison by Agrippa I (A.D. 42–44), but was liberation of Saint Peter, rescued by an angel. After his liberation Peter left Jerusalem to go to "another place" (Acts 12:1–18). Concerning Peter's subsequent activity there is no further connected information from the extant sources, although there are short notices of certain individual episodes of his later life.


First leader of the early Church

The Gospels and Acts portray Peter as the most prominent apostle, though he denied Jesus three times during the events of the crucifixion. According to the Christian tradition, Peter was the first disciple to whom Jesus appeared, balancing Peter's denial and restoring his position. Peter is regarded as the first leader of the early Church, though he was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord". Because Peter was the first to whom Jesus appeared, the leadership of Peter forms the basis of the Apostolic succession and the institutional power of orthodoxy, as the heirs of Peter, and he is described as "the rock" on which the church will be built.


Position among the apostles

Peter is always listed first among the Twelve Apostles in the gospels and in the Book of Acts. He is also frequently mentioned in the gospels as forming with James, son of Zebedee, James the Elder and John the Apostle, John a special group within the Twelve Apostles, present at incidents at which the others were not present, such as at the Transfiguration of Jesus, at the raising of Jairus' daughter and at Agony in the Garden, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter often confesses his faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Peter is often depicted in the gospels as spokesman of all the Apostles. John Vidmar, a Catholic scholar, writes: "Catholic scholars agree that Peter had an authority that superseded that of the other apostles. Peter is their spokesman at several events, he conducts the election of Matthias, his opinion in the debate over converting Gentiles was crucial, etc. The author of the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
portrays Peter as the central figure within the early Christian community.


Denial of Jesus by Peter

All four canonical gospels recount that, during the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 500px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...

Last Supper
, Jesus foretold that Peter would deny him three times before the following cockcrow ("before the cock crows twice" in Mark's account). The three Synoptics and John describe the three denials as follows: # A denial when a female servant of the high priest spots Simon Peter, saying that he had been with Jesus. According to Mark (but not in all manuscripts), "the rooster crowed". Only Luke and John mention a fire by which Peter was warming himself among other people: according to Luke, Peter was "sitting"; according to John, he was "standing". # A denial when Simon Peter had gone out to the gateway, away from the firelight, but the same servant girl (per ''Mark'') or another servant girl (per ''Matthew'') or a man (per ''Luke'' and also ''John'', for whom, though, this is the third denial) told the bystanders he was a follower of Jesus. According to John, "the rooster crowed". The Gospel of John places the second denial while Peter was still warming himself at the fire, and gives as the occasion of the third denial a claim by someone to have seen him in the garden of Gethsemane when arrest of Jesus, Jesus was arrested. # A denial came when Peter's Galilean accent was taken as proof that he was indeed a disciple of Jesus. According to Matthew, Mark and Luke, "the rooster crowed". Matthew adds that it was his Accent (sociolinguistics), accent that gave him away as coming from Galilee. Luke deviates slightly from this by stating that, rather than a crowd accusing Simon Peter, it was a third individual. John does not mention the Galilean accent. In the Gospel of Luke is a record of Christ telling Peter: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." In a reminiscentMay, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. scene in John's epilogue, Peter affirms three times that he loves Jesus.


Resurrection appearances

Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians contains a list of resurrection appearances of Jesus, the first of which is an appearance to Peter. Here, Paul apparently follows an early tradition that Peter was the first to see the risen Christ, which, however, did not seem to have survived to the time when the gospels were written. In John's gospel, Peter is the first person to enter the empty tomb, although the women and the beloved disciple see it before him. In Luke's account, the women's report of the empty tomb is dismissed by the apostles, and Peter is the only one who goes to check for himself, running to the tomb. After seeing the graveclothes he goes home, apparently without informing the other disciples. In the John 21, final chapter of the Gospel of John, Peter, in one of the resurrection appearances of Jesus, Restoration of Peter, three times affirmed his love for Jesus, balancing his threefold denial, and Jesus reconfirmed Peter's position. The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter on the Sea of Galilee is seen as the traditional site where Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples after his resurrection and, according to Catholic tradition, established Peter's supreme jurisdiction over the Christian church.


Leader of the early Church

Peter was considered along with James the Just and John the Apostle as pillars of the Church. Legitimised by Jesus' appearance, Peter assumed leadership of the group of early followers, forming the Jerusalem ''ekklēsia'' mentioned by Paul. He was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord." According to Lüdemann, this was due to the discussions about the Paul and Judaism, strictness of adherence to the Jewish Law, when the more conservative faction of James the Just took the overhand over the more liberal position of Peter, who soon lost influence. According to Dunn, this was not an "usurpation of power", but a consequence of Peter's involvement in missionary activities. The early Church historian Eusebius (c. AD 325) records Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 190) as saying: James D. G. Dunn proposes that Peter was a "bridge-man" between the opposing views of Paul and James the Just [italics original]: Paul affirms that Peter had the special charge of being apostle to the Jews, just as he, Paul, was apostle to the Gentiles. Some argue James the Just was Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, bishop of Jerusalem whilst Peter was
bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...
and that this position at times gave James privilege in some (but not all) situations.


"Rock" dialogue

In a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples (), Jesus asks, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" The disciples give various answers. When he asks "Who do ''you'' say that I am?", Simon Peter answers, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then declares: A common view of Peter is provided by Jesuit Father Daniel J. Harrington, who suggests that Peter was an unlikely symbol of stability. While he was one of the first disciples called and was the spokesman for the group, Peter is also the exemplar of "little faith". In , Peter will soon have Jesus say to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?", and he will eventually deny Jesus three times. Thus, in light of the Easter event, Peter became an exemplar of the forgiven sinner. Outside the Catholic Church, opinions vary as to the interpretation of this passage with respect to what authority and responsibility, if any, Jesus was giving to Peter. In the Eastern Orthodox Church this passage is interpreted as not implying a special prominence to the person of Peter, but to Peter's position as representative of the Apostles. The word used for "rock" (''petra'') grammatically refers to "a small detachment of the massive ledge", not to a massive boulder. Thus, Orthodox Sacred Tradition understands Jesus' words as referring to the apostolic faith. ''Petros'' had not previously been used as a name, but in the Greek-speaking world it became a popular Christian name, after the tradition of Peter's prominence in the early Christian church had been established.


Apostolic succession

The leadership of Peter forms the basis of the Apostolic succession and the institutional power of orthodoxy, as the heirs of Peter, and is described as "the rock" on which the church will be built. Catholics refer to him as chief of the Apostles, as do the Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodox. In Coptic Orthodox Church liturgy, he is once referred to as "prominent" or "head" among the Apostles, a title shared with Paul in the text (''The Fraction of Fast and Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria''). Some, including the Orthodox Churches, believe this is not the same as saying that the other Apostles were under Peter's orders.


Antioch and Corinth


Antioch

According to the Epistle to the Galatians (), Peter went to Antioch where Paul rebuked him for following the conservative line regarding the conversion of Gentiles, having meals separate from Gentiles. Subsequent tradition held that Peter had been the first Patriarch of Antioch. According to the writings of OrigenOrigen's homilies on Luke VI, 4. Patrologia Graeca 13:1814 and Eusebius in his ''Church History (III, 36)'' Peter had founded the church of Antioch. Later accounts expand on the brief biblical mention of his visit to Antioch. The ''Liber Pontificalis'' (9th century) mentions Peter as having served as bishop of Antioch for seven years, and having potentially left his family in the Greek city before his journey to Rome. Claims of direct blood lineage from Simon Peter among the old population of Antioch existed in the 1st century and continue to exist today, notably by certain Semaan families of modern-day Syria and Lebanon. Historians have furnished other evidence of Peter's sojourn in Antioch. The ''Clementine literature'', a group of related works written in the fourth century but believed to contain materials from earlier centuries, relate information about Peter that may come from earlier traditions. One is that Peter had a group of 12 to 16 followers, whom the Clementine writings name. Another is that it provides an itinerary of Peter's route from Caesarea Maritima to Antioch, where he debated his adversary Simon Magus; during this journey he ordained Zacchaeus as the first bishop of Caesarea and Maro as the first bishop of Tripoli, Lebanon, Tripolis. Fred Lapham suggests the route recorded in the Clementine writings may have been taken from an earlier document mentioned by Epiphanius of Salamis in his ''Panarion'' called "The Itinerary of Peter".


Corinth

Peter may have visited Corinth, Greece, Corinth, and maybe there existed a party of "Cephas". First Corinthians suggests that perhaps Peter visited the city of Corinth, located at Greece, during their missions. Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in his Epistle to the Roman Church under Pope Soter (A.D. 165–174), declares that Peter and Paul founded the Church of Rome and the Church of Corinth, and they have lived in Corinth for some time, and finally in Italy where they found death:


Connection to Rome

In a tradition of the early Church, Peter is said to have founded the Church in Rome with Paul, served as its bishop, authored two epistles, and then met martyrdom there along with Paul.


Papacy

The Catholic Church speaks of the pope, the bishop of Rome, as the successor of Saint Peter. This is often interpreted to imply that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. However, it is also said that the institution of the papacy is not dependent on the idea that Peter was Bishop of Rome or even on his ever having been in Rome. Pope Clement I, St. Clement of Rome identifies Peter and Paul as the outstanding heroes of the faith.


Coming to Rome


New Testament accounts

There is no obvious biblical evidence that Peter was ever in Rome, but the first epistle of Peter does mention that "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son." It is not certain whether this refers to the actual Babylon or to Rome, for which Babylon was a common nickname at the time, or to the Jewish diaspora in general, as a recent theory has proposed. While the church in Rome was already flourishing when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans about AD 57, he greets some fifty people in Rome by name, but not Peter Incident at Antioch, whom he knew. There is also no mention of Peter in Rome later during Paul's two-year stay there in Acts 28, about AD 60–62.


Church Fathers

The writings of the 1st century Church Father
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
(c. 35 – c. 107) refer to Peter and Paul giving admonitions to the Romans, indicating Peter's presence in Rome. Irenaeus, Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130 – c. 202) wrote in the Christianity in the 2nd century, 2nd century that Peter and Paul had been the founders of the Church in Rome and had appointed Pope Linus, Linus as succeeding bishop. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) states that "Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome ''(A.D. 190).''" According to Origen (184–253) and Eusebius, Peter "after having first founded the church at Antioch, went away to Rome preaching the Gospel, and he also, after [presiding over] the church in Antioch, presided over that of Rome until his death". After presiding over the church in Antioch for a while, Peter would have been succeeded by Evodius and thereafter by Ignatius of Antioch, Ignatius, who was a student of John the Apostle. Lactantius, in his book called ''Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died'', written around 318, noted that "and while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and stedfast temple unto the Lord."


Simon Magus

Eusebius of Caesarea (260/265–339/340) relates that when Peter confronts Simon Magus at Judea (mentioned in Acts 8), Simon Magus flees to Rome, where the Romans began to regard him as a god. According to Eusebius, his luck did not last long, since God sent Peter to Rome, and Simon was quenched and immediately destroyed. According to Jerome (327–420): "Peter went to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero." An apocryphal work, the ''Actus Vercellenses'' (7th century), a Latin text preserved in only one manuscript copy published widely in translation under the title Acts of Peter, sets Peter's confrontation with Simon Magus in Rome.


Death and burial


Crucifixion at Rome

In the epilogue of the Gospel of John, Jesus hints at the death by which Peter would glorify God, saying: "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 is interpreted by some as a reference to Peter's crucifixion. Theologians Donald Fay Robinson and Warren M. Smaltz have suggested that the incident in Acts 12:1-17, where Peter is "released by an angel" and goes to "another place", really represents an idealized account of his death, which may have occurred in a Jerusalem prison as early as AD 44. The Muratorian fragment, dated to the second century AD, notes that the primary eyewitness to Acts, Luke the Evangelist, Luke, was not present at Peter's death. Early Church tradition says that Peter probably died by crucifixion (with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which the emperor (Nero) wished to blame the Christians. This "dies imperii" (regnal day anniversary) was an important one, exactly ten years after Nero ascended to the throne, and it was "as usual" accompanied by much bloodshed. Traditionally, Roman Empire, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion at Vatican Hill. In accordance with the apocryphal
Acts of Peter The Acts of Peter is one of the earliest of the apocrypha Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebre ...
, he was crucified head down. Tradition also locates his burial place where the St. Peter's Basilica, Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica's high altar.
Pope Clement I Pope Clement I ( la, Clemens Romanus; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its p ...

Pope Clement I
(d. 99), in his ''Letter to the Corinthians'' (Chapter 5), written c. 80–98, speaks of Peter's martyrdom in the following terms: "Let us take the noble examples of our own generation. Through jealousy and envy the greatest and most just pillars of the Church were persecuted, and came even unto death. …Peter, through unjust envy, endured not one or two but many labours, and at last, having delivered his testimony, departed unto the place of glory due to him." The apocryphal Acts of Peter (2nd cent.) (Vercelli manuscript, Vercelli Acts XXXV) is the source for the tradition about the famous Latin phrase "Quo vadis?, Quo vadis, Domine?" (in Greek: ), which means "Where are you going, Lord?". According to the story, Peter, fleeing Rome to avoid execution meets the risen Jesus. In the Latin translation, Peter asks Jesus, "Quo vadis?" He replies, "''Romam eo iterum crucifigi"'' ("I am going to Rome to be crucified again"). Peter then gains the courage to continue his ministry and returns to the city, where he is martyred. This story is commemorated in an Annibale Carracci painting. The Quo Vadis (church), Church of Quo Vadis, near the Catacombs of Pope Callistus I, Saint Callistus, contains a stone in which Jesus' footprints from this event are supposedly preserved, though this was apparently an ''ex-voto'' from a pilgrim, and indeed a copy of the original housed in the San Sebastiano fuori le mura, Basilica of St Sebastian. The death of Peter is attested to by Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240) at the end of the 2nd century in his ''Prescription Against Heretics'', noting that Peter endured a passion like his Lord's. In his work ''Scorpiace 15'', he also speaks of Peter's crucifixion: "The budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross." Origen (184–253) in his ''Commentary on the Book of Genesis III'', quoted by Eusebius of Caesaria in his ''Ecclesiastical History (III, 1)'', said: "Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer." The Cross of St. Peter inverts the Crux immissa, Latin cross based on this refusal, and on his claim of being unworthy to die the same way as his Saviour. Pope Peter I of Alexandria, Peter of Alexandria (d. 311), who was bishop of Alexandria and died around AD 311, wrote an epistle ''on Penance'', in which he says: "Peter, the first of the apostles, having been often apprehended and thrown into prison, and treated with ignominy, was last of all crucified at Rome." Jerome (327–420) wrote that "at Nero's hands Peter received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord."


Burial

Catholic tradition holds that Peter's inverted crucifixion occurred in the gardens of Nero, with the burial in Saint Peter's tomb nearby. Caius (presbyter), Caius in his ''Disputation Against Proclus'' (A.D. 198), preserved in part by Eusebius, relates this of the places in which the remains of the apostles Peter and Paul were deposited: "I can point out the trophies of the apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who founded this Church." According to Jerome, in his work ''De Viris Illustribus (Jerome), De Viris Illustribus'' (A.D. 392), "Peter was buried at Rome in the Vatican near the triumphal way where he is venerated by the whole world." In the early 4th century, the Emperor Constantine I decided to honour Peter with St. Peter's Basilica, a large basilica. Because the precise location of Peter's burial was so firmly fixed in the belief of the Christians of Rome, the church to house the basilica had to be erected on a site that was not convenient to construction. The slope of the Vatican Hill had to be excavated, even though the church could much more easily have been built on level ground only slightly to the south. There were also moral and legal issues, such as demolishing a cemetery to make room for the building. The focal point of the Basilica, both in its original form and in its later complete reconstruction, is the altar located over what is said to be the point of Peter's burial.


Relics

According to a letter quoted by Bede, Pope Vitalian sent a cross containing filings said to be from Peter's chains to the queen of Oswy, Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria in 665, as well as unspecified relics of the saint to the king.Wall, J. Charles. (1912), ''Porches and Fonts.'' Pub. London: Wells Gardner and Darton. p. 295; The skull of Saint Peter is claimed to reside in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran since at least the ninth century, alongside the skull of Saint Paul. In 1950, human bones were found buried underneath the altar of St. Peter's Basilica. The bones have been claimed by many to have been those of Peter. An attempt to contradict these claims was made in 1953 by the excavation of what some believe to be Saint Peter's tomb in Jerusalem. However along with this supposed tomb in Jerusalem bearing his previous name Simon (but not Peter), tombs bearing the names of Jesus, Mary, James, John, and the rest of the apostles were also found at the same excavation—though all these names were very common among Jews at the time. In the 1960s, items from the excavations beneath St Peter's Basilica were re-examined, and the bones of a male person were identified. A forensic examination found them to be a male of about 61 years of age from the 1st century. This caused Pope Paul VI in 1968 to announce them most likely to be the relics of Apostle Peter. On 24 November 2013, Pope Francis presented part of the relics, consisting of bone fragments, for the first time in public during a Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Square. On 2 July 2019, it was announced that Pope Francis had transferred nine of these bone fragments within a bronze reliquary to Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Bartholomew of Constantinople. Bartholomew, who serves as head of the Eastern Orthodox Christian church, described the gesture as "brave and bold." Pope Francis has said his decision was born "out of prayer" and intended as a sign of the ongoing work towards communion between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. The majority of Saint Peter's remains, however, are still preserved in Rome, under the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.


Epistles of Peter – Rome as Babylon

Church tradition ascribes the epistles First Epistle of Peter, First and Second Epistle of Peter, Second Peter to the Apostle Peter, as does the text of Second Peter itself, an attribution rejected by scholarship. First Peter implies the author is in "Babylon", which has been held to be a coded reference to Rome. Early Church tradition reports that Peter wrote from Rome. Eusebius of Caesarea states: If the reference is to Rome, it is the only biblical reference to Peter being there. Many scholars regard both First and Second Peter as not having been authored by him, partly because other parts of the
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
seem to describe Peter as an illiterate fisherman. Most Biblical scholars believe that "Babylon" is a metaphor for the pagan Roman Empire at the time it persecuted Christians, before the Edict of Milan in 313: perhaps specifically referencing some aspect of Rome's rule (brutality, greed, paganism). Although some scholars recognize that Babylon is a metaphor for Rome, they also claim that Babylon represents more than the Roman city of the first century. Craig Koester says outright that "the whore [of Babylon] is Rome, yet more than Rome". It "is the Roman imperial world, which in turn represents the world alienated from God". At that time in history, the ancient city of Babylon was no longer of any importance. E.g., Strabo wrote, "The greater part of Babylon is so deserted that one would not hesitate to say ... the Great City is a great desert." Another theory is that "Babylon" refers to the Babylon (Egypt), Babylon in Egypt that was an important Babylon Fortress, fortress city in Egypt, just north of today's Cairo and this, combined with the "greetings from Mark" (1 Peter 5:13), who may be Mark the Evangelist, regarded as the founder of the Church of Alexandria (Egypt), has led some scholars to regard the First Peter epistle as having been written in Egypt.


Scholarly views

Some church historians consider Peter and Paul to have been martyred under the reign of Nero, around AD 65 after the Great Fire of Rome. Presently, most Catholic scholars, and many scholars in general, hold the view that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero. While accepting that Peter came to Rome and was martyred there, there is no historical evidence that he held episcopal office there. According to two extensive studies published by the German philologist in 2009 and 2013 respectively, "there is not a single piece of reliable literary evidence (and no archaeological evidence either) that Peter ever was in Rome."Pieter Willem van der Horst, review of Otto Zwierlein, ''Petrus in Rom: die literarischen Zeugnisse. Mit einer kritischen Edition der Martyrien des Petrus und Paulus auf neuer handschriftlicher Grundlage'', Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009, in ''Bryn Mawr Classical Review'
2010.03.25
First Letter of Clement, Clement of Rome's First Letter, a document that has been dated from the 90s to the 120s, is one of the earliest sources adduced in support of Peter's stay in Rome, but Zwierlein questions the text's authenticity and whether it has any knowledge about Peter's life beyond what is contained in the New Testament
Acts of the Apostles The Acts of the Apostles ( grc-koi, Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων, ''Práxeis Apostólōn''; la, Actūs Apostolōrum), often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament The New T ...
. The letter also does not mention any particular place, only saying: "Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him" (ch. 5). A letter to the Romans attributed to
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
might imply that Peter and Paul had special authority over the Roman church, telling the Roman Christians: "I do not command you, as Peter and Paul did" (ch. 4), although Zwierlein says he could be simply referring to the Epistles of the Apostles, or their mission work in the city, not a special authority given or bestowed. Zwierlein questions the authenticity of this document and its traditional dating to c. 105–10, saying it may date from the final decades of the 2nd century instead of from the beginning. The ancient historian Josephus describes how Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions, and it is likely that this would have been known to the author of the ''Acts of Peter''. The position attributed to Peter's crucifixion is thus plausible, either as having happened historically or as being an invention by the author of the ''Acts of Peter''. Death, after crucifixion head down, is unlikely to be caused by suffocation, the usual "cause of death in ordinary crucifixion".


Feast days

The Roman Martyrology assigns 29 June as the Calendar of saints, feast day of both Peter and
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
, without thereby declaring that to be the day of their deaths. Augustine of Hippo says in his Sermon 295: "One day is assigned for the celebration of the martyrdom of the two apostles. But those two were one. Although their martyrdom occurred on different days, they were one." This is also the feast of both Apostle (Christian), Apostles in the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Roman Rite, the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter is celebrated on 22 February, and the anniversary of the dedication of the two Papal Basilicas of St. Peter's Basilica, Saint Peter's and Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Saint Paul outside the Walls is held on 18 November. Before Pope John XXIII's revision in 1960, the Roman Calendar also included on 18 January another feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (denominated the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome, while the February feast was then called that of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch), and on 1 August the feast of Liberation of Saint Peter, Saint Peter in Chains. In the Orthodox Daily Office every Thursday throughout the year is dedicated to the Holy Apostles, including St. Peter. There are also three feast days in the year which are dedicated to him: * 16 January, Liberation of Saint Peter, Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and All-Glorious Apostle Peter — commemorating both the chains which Acts 12:1–11 says miraculously fell from him, and the chains in which he was held before his martyrdom by
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
. *29 June, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul — This is a major feast day and is preceded by a period of Lenten fasting known as the Apostles' Fast. * 30 June, Synaxis of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Twelve Apostles — commemorating of Apostles in Christianity, Tvelve Apostles. Peter is Calendar of saints (Church of England), remembered (with
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
) in the Church of England with a Festival (Anglicanism), Festival on June 29, 29 June, Peter the Apostle may be celebrated alone, without Paul, on 29 June.


Primacy of Peter

Christians of different theological backgrounds are in disagreement as to the exact significance of Peter's ministry. For instance: * Catholics view Peter as the first pope. The Catholic Church asserts that Peter's ministry, conferred upon him by Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels, lays down the theological foundation for the pope's exercise of pastoral authority over the Church. * Eastern Orthodox also believe that Peter's ministry points to an underlying theology wherein a special primacy ought to be granted to Peter's successors above other Church leaders but see this as merely a "primacy of honor", rather than the right to exercise pastoral authority. * Protestant denominations assert that Peter's apostolic work in Rome does not imply a connection between him and the papacy. Similarly, historians of various backgrounds also offer differing interpretations of the Apostle's presence in Rome.


Catholic Church

According to Catholic belief, Simon Peter was distinguished by Jesus to hold the Primacy of Simon Peter, first place of honor and authority. Also in Catholic belief, Peter was, as the first Bishop of Rome, the first Pope. Furthermore, they consider every Pope to be Peter's successor and the rightful superior of all other Bishop (Catholic Church), bishops. However, Peter never bore the title of "Pope" or "Vicar of Christ" in the sense the Catholic Church considers Peter the first Pope. The Catholic Church's recognition of Peter as head of Churches Militant, Penitent, and Triumphant#Catholic Church, its church on earth (with Christ being its heavenly head) is based on its interpretation of two passages from the canonical gospels of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, as well as sacred tradition.


John 21:15–17

The first passage is John 21:15-17 which is: "Feed my lambs... Tend my sheep... feed my sheep" (within the Greek it is Ποίμαινε i.e., to feed and rule [as a Shepherd] v. 16, while Βόσκε i.e., to feed for v.15 & v. 17)—which is seen by Catholics as Christ promising the spiritual supremacy to Peter. The ''Catholic Encyclopedia'' of 1913 sees in this passage Jesus "charging [Peter] with the superintendency of all his sheep, without exception; and consequently of his whole flock, that is, of his own church".


Matthew 16:18

The second passage is Matthew 16:18:


=Etymology

= In the story of the First disciples of Jesus, calling of the disciples, Jesus addresses Simon Peter with the Greek term Κηφᾶς (''Cephas''), a Hellenized form of Aramaic ܟ݁ܺܐܦ݂ܳܐ (''keepa''), which means "rock", a term that before was not used as a proper name: Jesus later alludes to this nickname after Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah: ) is a direct transliteration of the Syriac (), and ( he, כֵּיפׇא \ כֵּיף) is a direct transliteration of the Greek. The Hebrew word ( he, כאפא) is also a direct transliteration of the Syriac. (''cƒ.'' ''Interlinear Peshitta Aramaic New Testament Bible'
Matthew xvi. 18
).
:I also say to you now that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it., Matthew 16:18 The Peshitta Syriac versions of the Bible, Syriac version renders Jesus' words into Aramaic language, Aramaic as follows: Paul of Tarsus later uses the appellation Cephas in reference to Peter.


=Interpretation of Matthew 16:18

= To better understand what Christ meant, St. Basil elaborates:Basil li. De poenit. cƒ. Matth. v. 14; Luke xxii. 19 In reference to Peter's occupation before becoming an Apostle, the popes wear the Fisherman's Ring, which bears an image of the saint casting his nets from a fishing boat. The keys used as a symbol of the pope's authority refer to the "keys of the kingdom of Heaven" promised to Peter. The terminology of this "commission" of Peter is unmistakably parallel to the commissioning of Eliakim ben Hilkiah in Isaiah 22:15-23. Peter is often depicted in both Western and Eastern Christian art holding a Key (lock), key or a set of keys. In the original
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
the word translated as "Peter" is ''Πέτρος'' (Petros) and that translated as "rock" is ''πέτρα'' (petra), two words that, while not identical, give an impression of one of many times when Jesus used a play on words. Furthermore, since Jesus presumably spoke to Peter in their native Aramaic language, he would have used ''kepha'' in both instances. Peshitta, The Peshitta Text and Peshitta#Old Syriac texts, the Old Syriac texts use the word "kepha" for both "Peter" and "rock" in Matthew 16:18. John 1:42 says Jesus called Simon "Cephas", as Paul calls him in some letters. He was instructed by Christ to strengthen his brethren, i.e., the apostles. Peter also had a leadership role in the early Christian church at Jerusalem according to The Acts of the Apostles chapters 1–2, 10–11, and 15. Early Catholic Latin and Greek writers (such as St. John Chrysostom) considered the "foundation rock" as applying to both Peter personally and his confession of faith (or the faith of his confession) symbolically, as well as seeing Christ's promise to apply more generally to his twelve apostles and the Church at large. This "double meaning" interpretation is present in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church. Protestant arguments against the Catholic interpretation are largely based on the difference between the Greek words translated "Rock" in the Matthean passage. They often claim that in classical Attic Greek ''petros'' (masculine) generally meant "pebble", while ''petra'' (feminine) meant "boulder" or "cliff", and accordingly, taking Peter's name to mean "pebble," they argue that the "rock" in question cannot have been Peter, but something else, either Jesus himself, or the faith in Jesus that Peter had just professed. These popular-level writings are disputed in similar popular-level Catholic writings. The New Testament was written in Koiné Greek, not Attic Greek, and some authorities say no significant difference existed between the meanings of ''petros'' and ''petra''. So far from meaning a pebble was the word ''petros'' that Apollonius Rhodius, a writer of Koiné Greek of the third century B.C., used it to refer to "a huge round ''boulder'', a terrible quoit of Ares Enyalius; four stalwart youths could not have raised it from the ground even a little". The feminine noun ''petra'' (πέτρα in Greek), translated as ''rock'' in the phrase "on this rock I will build my church", is also used at 1 Cor. 10:4 in describing Jesus Christ, which reads: "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." Although Matthew 16 is used as a primary proof-text for the Catholic doctrine of Papal supremacy, some Protestant scholars say that prior to the Reformation of the 16th century, Matthew 16 was very rarely used to support papal claims, despite it being well documented as being used in the 3rd century by Stephen of Rome against Cyprian of Carriage in a "passionate disagreement" about baptism and in the 4th century by Pope Damasus as a claim to primacy as a lesson of the Arian Controversy for stricter discipline and centralized control. Their position is that most of the early and medieval Church interpreted the "rock" as being a reference either to Christ or to Peter's faith, not Peter himself. They understand Jesus' remark to have been his affirmation of Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Son of God. Despite this claim, many Fathers saw a connection between Matthew 16:18 and the primacy of Peter and his office, such as Tertullian, writing: "The Lord said to Peter, 'On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven' [Matt. 16:18–19]. ...Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church."


Epistles of Paul

The church in Rome was already flourishing when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans about AD 57.Franzen, p. 26 He greets some fifty people in Rome by name, but not Peter Incident at Antioch, whom he knew. There is also no mention of Peter in Rome later during Paul's two-year stay there in , about AD 60–62. Some Church historians consider Peter and Paul to have been martyred under the reign of Nero,"Paul, St" Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005Pennington, p. 2 around AD 64 or 68.Wylen, pp. 190–192Dunn, pp. 33–34


Protestant rejection of Catholic claims

Other theologically conservative Christians, including Confessional Lutherans, also rebut comments made by Karl Keating and D.A. Carson who claim that there is no distinction between the words ''petros'' and ''petra'' in Koine Greek. The Lutheran theologians state that the dictionaries of Koine Greek, Koine/NT Greek, including the authoritative Bauer lexicon, Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich Lexicon, indeed list both words and the passages that give different meanings for each. The Lutheran theologians further note that: Oscar Cullmann, a Lutheran theologian and distinguished Church historian, disagrees with Luther and the Protestant reformers who held that by "rock" Christ did not mean Peter, but meant either himself or the faith of His followers. He believes the meaning of the original Aramaic is very clear: that "Kepha" was the Aramaic word for "rock", and that it was also the name by which Christ called Peter. Yet, Cullmann sharply rejects the Catholic claim that Peter began the papal succession. He writes: "In the life of Peter there is no starting point for a chain of succession to the leadership of the church at large." While he believes the Matthew text is entirely valid and is in no way spurious, he says it cannot be used as "warrant of the papal succession." Cullmann concludes that while Peter ''was'' the original head of the apostles, Peter was not the founder of any visible church succession. There are other Protestant scholars who also partially defend the historical Catholic position about "Rock." Taking a somewhat different approach from Cullman, they point out that the Gospel of Matthew was not written in the classical Attic form of Greek, but in the Hellenistic Koine Greek, Koine dialect in which there is no distinction in meaning between ''petros'' and ''petra''. Moreover, even in Attic Greek, in which the regular meaning of ''petros'' was a smallish "stone," there are instances of its use to refer to larger rocks, as in Sophocles, ''Oedipus at Colonus'' v. 1595, where ''petros'' refers to a boulder used as a landmark, obviously something more than a pebble. In any case, a ''petros''/''petra'' distinction is irrelevant considering the Aramaic language in which the phrase might well have been spoken. In Greek, of any period, the feminine noun ''petra'' could not be used as the given name of a male, which may explain the use of ''Petros'' as the Greek word with which to translate Aramaic ''Kepha''. Yet, still other Protestant scholars believe that Jesus in fact ''did'' mean to single out Peter as the very rock which he will build upon, but that the passage does nothing to indicate a continued succession of Peter's implied position. They assert that Matthew uses the demonstrative pronoun ''taute'', which allegedly means "this very" or "this same", when he refers to the rock on which Jesus' church will be built. He also uses the Greek word for "and", ''kai''. It is alleged that when a demonstrative pronoun is used with ''kai'', the pronoun refers back to the preceding noun. The second rock Jesus refers to must then be the same rock as the first one; and if Peter is the first rock he must also be the second. Unlike Oscar Cullmann, Confessional Lutherans and many other Protestant apologists agree that it's meaningless to elaborate the meaning of "Rock" by looking at the Aramaic language. While the Jews spoke mostly Aramaic at home, in public they usually spoke Greek. The few Aramaic words spoken by Jesus in public were unusual, which is why they are noted as such. And most importantly the New Testament was revealed in Koine Greek, ''not'' Aramaic. Lutheran historians even report that the Catholic church itself didn't, at least unanimously, regard Peter as the rock until the 1870s:


Eastern Orthodox

The Eastern Orthodox Church regards Apostle Peter, together with Apostle Paul, as "Preeminent Apostles". Another title used for Peter is ''Coryphaeus'', which could be translated as "Choir-director", or lead singer. The church recognizes Apostle Peter's leadership role in the early church, especially in the very early days at Jerusalem, but does not consider him to have had any "princely" role over his fellow Apostles. The New Testament is not seen by the Orthodox as supporting any extraordinary authority for Peter with regard to faith or morals. The Orthodox also hold that Peter did not act as leader at the Council of Jerusalem, but as merely one of a number who spoke. The final decision regarding the non-necessity of circumcision (and certain prohibitions) was spelled out by James, the Brother of the Lord (though Catholics hold James merely reiterated and fleshed out what Peter had said, regarding the latter's earlier divine revelation regarding the inclusion of Gentiles). Eastern and Oriental Orthodox do not recognize the Bishop of Rome as the successor of St. Peter but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople sends a delegation each year to Rome to participate in the celebration of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. In the declaration of Ravenna, Ravenna Document of 13 October 2007, the representatives of the Eastern Orthodox Church agreed that "Rome, as the Church that 'presides in love' according to the phrase of St. Ignatius of Antioch ("To the Romans", Prologue), occupied the first place in the ''taxis'', and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the ''protos'' among the patriarchs, if the Papacy unites with the Orthodox Church. They disagree, however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the bishop of Rome as ''protos'', a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium." With regard to Jesus' words to Peter, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church", the Orthodox hold Christ is referring to the confession of faith, ''not'' the person of Peter as that upon which he will build the church. This is allegedly shown by the fact that the original Septuagint uses the feminine demonstrative pronoun when he says "upon this rock" (ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ); whereas, grammatically, if he had been referring to Peter, he would allegedly have used the masculine.


Syriac Orthodox Church

The Fathers of the Syriac Orthodox Church tried to give a theological interpretation to the primacy of Apostle Peter. They were fully convinced of the unique office of Peter in the primitive Christian community. Ephrem the Syrian, Ephrem, Aphrahat and Maruthas who were supposed to have been the best exponents of the early Syriac Christianity, Syriac tradition unequivocally acknowledge the office of Peter. The Syriac Fathers, following the rabbinic tradition, call Jesus "Kepha" for they see "rock" in the Old Testament as a messianic Symbol (yet the Old Maronite Syriacs of Lebanon still refer to Saint Peter as "Saint Simon the Generous" or Simon Karam"). When Christ gave his own name "Kepha" to Simon he was giving him participation in the person and office of Christ. Christ who is the Kepha and shepherd made Simon the chief shepherd in his place and gave him the very name Kepha and said that on Kepha he would build the Church. Aphrahat shared the common Syriac tradition. For him Kepha is in fact another name of Jesus, and Simon was given the right to share the name. The person who receives somebody else's name also obtains the rights of the person who bestows the name. Aphrahat makes the stone taken from Jordan a type of Peter. He wrote: "Jesus son of Nun set up the stones for a witness in Israel; Jesus our Saviour called Simon Kepha Sarirto and set him as the faithful witness among nations." Again he wrote in his commentary on Deuteronomy that Moses brought forth water from "rock" (Kepha) for the people and Jesus sent Simon Kepha to carry his teachings among nations. God accepted him and made him the foundation of the Church and called him Kepha. When he speaks about the transfiguration of Christ he calls him Simon Peter, the foundation of the Church. Ephrem also shared the same view. The Armenian version of De Virginitate records that Peter the rock shunned honour. A ''mimro'' of Efrem found in Holy Week Liturgy points to the importance of Peter. Both Aphrahat and Ephrem the Syrian, Ephrem represent the authentic tradition of the Syrian Church. The different orders of liturgies used for sanctification of Church buildings, marriage, ordination, ''et cetera'', reveal that the primacy of Peter is a part of living faith of the Church.


New Apostolic Church

The New Apostolic Church, which believes in the re-established Apostle ministry, sees Peter as the first Chief Apostle.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that Peter was the first leader of the early Christian church after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the Church accepts apostolic succession from Peter, it rejects papal successors as illegitimate. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, recorded in multiple revelations that the resurrected Peter appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery in 1829, near Harmony Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, in order to bestow the apostleship and keys of the kingdom as part of a Restoration (Latter Day Saints), restoration of priesthood authority. In interpreting , Latter-day Saint leader Bruce R. McConkie stated, "The things of God are known only by the power of his Spirit," and "that which the world calls Mormonism is based upon the rock of revelation." In his April 1981 General Conference (LDS Church), general conference address, McConkie identified the rock of which Jesus spoke as the rock of revelation: "There is no other foundation upon which the Lord could build His Church and kingdom. ...Revelation: Pure, perfect, personal revelation—this is the rock!"


Non-Christian views


Judaism

According to an old Jewish tradition, Simon Peter joined the early Christians at the decision of the rabbis. Worried that early Christianity's similarity to Judaism would lead people to mistake it for a branch of Judaism, he was chosen to join them. As he moved up in rank, he would be able to lead them into forming their own, distinct belief system. Despite this, he was said to remain a practicing Jew, and is ascribed with the authorship of the Nishmas prayer.


Islam

Muslims consider Jesus a prophet of God. The Qur'an also speaks of Jesus's disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the Prophets in Islam, prophet of God". Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, names them and includes Peter among the disciples. An old tradition, which involves the legend of Habib the Carpenter, mentions that Peter was one of the three disciples sent to Antioch to preach to the people there. Twelver Shia Muslims see a parallel in the figure of Peter to Ali at Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad's time. They look upon Ali as being the vicegerent, with Muhammad being the prophet; likewise, they see Peter as the vicegerent, behind Jesus in Islam, Jesus the prophet and Masih. Peter's role as the first proper leader of the church is also seen by Shias to be a parallel to their belief in Ali as the first caliph after Muhammad.


Bahá’í Faith

In the Baháʼí Faith, Bahá’í Faith "the primacy of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, is upheld and defended." Bahá’ís understand Peter's station as The Rock upon which the church of God would be founded to mean that Peter's belief in Christ as the Son of the living God would serve as the foundation for Christianity, and that upon this belief would the foundation of the church of God, understood as the Law of God, be established. Peter appears in the writings of Baháʼu'lláh, Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, often referred to as The Rock:
O followers of all religions! We behold you wandering distraught in the wilderness of error. Ye are the fish of this Ocean; wherefore do ye withhold yourselves from that which sustaineth you? Lo, it surgeth before your faces. Hasten unto it from every clime. This is the day whereon the Rock (Peter) crieth out and shouteth, and celebrateth the praise of its Lord, the All-Possessing, the Most High, saying: “Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled!” -from ''Summons of the Lord of Hosts, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts'' by Bahá’u’lláh


Writings

Traditionally, two canonical epistles (1 Peter, 1 and 2 Peter) and several apocryphal works have been attributed to Peter.


New Testament


Epistles

The
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
includes two letters (''epistles'') ascribed to Peter. Both demonstrate a high quality of cultured and urban Greek, at odds with the linguistic skill that would ordinarily be expected of an Aramaic-speaking fisherman, who would have learned Greek as a second or third language. The textual features of these two epistles are such that a majority of scholars doubt that they were written by the same hand. Some scholars argue that theological differences imply different sources, and point to the lack of references to 2 Peter among the early Church Fathers. Daniel B. Wallace (who maintains that Peter was the author) writes that, for many scholars, "the issue of authorship is already settled, at least negatively: the apostle Peter did not write this letter" and that "the vast bulk of NT scholars adopts this perspective without much discussion". However, he later states, "Although a very strong case has been made against Petrine authorship of 2 Peter, we believe it is deficient. ...Taken together, these external and internal arguments strongly suggest the traditional view, viz., that Peter was indeed the author of the second epistle which bears his name." Of the two epistles, the First Epistle of Peter, first epistle is considered the earlier. A number of scholars have argued that the textual discrepancies with what would be expected of the biblical Peter are due to it having been written with the help of a secretary or as an amanuensis. Jerome explains: Some have seen a reference to the use of a secretary in the sentence: "By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand". However New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman in his 2011 book ''Forged'' states that "scholars now widely recognize that when the author indicates that he wrote the book 'through Silvanus', he is indicating not the name of his secretary, but the person who was carrying his letter to the recipients." The letter refers to Roman persecution of Christians, apparently of an official nature. The Roman historian Tacitus and the biographer Suetonius do both record that Nero persecuted Christians, and Tacitus dates this to immediately after the fire that burned Rome in 64. Christian tradition, for example Eusebius of Caesarea (''History'' book 2, 24.1), has maintained that Peter was killed in Nero's persecution, and thus had to assume that the Roman persecution alluded to in First Peter must be this Neronian persecution. On the other hand, many modern scholars argue that First Peter refers to the persecution of Christians in Asia Minor during the reign of the emperor Domitian (81–96), as the letter is explicitly addressed to Jewish Christians from that region: Those scholars who believe that the epistle dates from the time of Domitian argue that Nero's persecution of Christians was confined to the city of Rome itself, and did not extend to the Asian provinces mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1–2. The Second Epistle of Peter, on the other hand, appears to have been copied, in part, from the Epistle of Jude, and some modern scholars date its composition as late as ''c.'' 150. Some scholars argue the opposite, that the Epistle of Jude copied Second Peter, while others contend an early date for Jude and thus observe that an early date is not incompatible with the text. Many scholars have noted the similarities between the apocryphal Second Epistle of Clement (2nd century) and Second Peter. Second Peter may be earlier than 150; there are a few possible references to it that date back to the 1st century or early 2nd century, e.g., 1 Clement written in ''c.'' AD 96, and the later church historian Eusebius wrote that Origen had made reference to the epistle before 250. Jerome says that Peter "wrote two epistles which are called Catholic, the second of which, on account of its difference from the first in style, is considered by many not to be by him"''(De Viris Illustribus 1).'' But he himself received the epistle, and explained the difference in style, character, and structure of words by the assumption that Peter used different interpreters in the composition of the two epistles; and from his time onward the epistle was generally regarded as a part of the New Testament. Even in early times there was controversy over its authorship, and Second Peter was often not included in the biblical canon; it was only in the 4th century that it gained a firm foothold in the New Testament, in a series of synods. In the East the Syriac Orthodox Church still did not admit it into the canon until the 6th century.


Mark

Traditionally, the Gospel of Mark#Authorship and sources, Gospel of Mark was said to have been written by a person named John Mark, and that this person was an assistant to Peter; hence its content was traditionally seen as the closest to Peter's viewpoint. According to Eusebius' ''Ecclesiastical History'', Papias of Hierapolis, Papias recorded this belief from John the Presbyter: Clement of Alexandria in the fragments of his work ''Hypotyposes'' (A.D. 190) preserved and cited by the historian Eusebius in his ''Church History'' (VI, 14: 6) writes that: Also Irenaeus wrote about this tradition: Based on these quotes, and on the Christian tradition, the information in Mark's gospel about Peter would be based on eyewitness material. The gospel itself is Anonymous work, anonymous, and the above passages are the oldest surviving written testimony to its authorship.


Pseudepigrapha and apocrypha

There are also a number of other apocryphal writings, that have been either attributed to or written about Peter. These include: *
Gospel of Peter The Gospel of Peter ( grc, κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, ), or the Gospel according to Peter, is an ancient text concerning Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, ...

Gospel of Peter
, a partially docetism, Docetic narrative that has survived in part *
Acts of Peter The Acts of Peter is one of the earliest of the apocrypha Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebre ...
* Acts of Peter and Andrew *
Acts of Peter and Paul The Acts of Peter and Paul is a pseudepigraphical Pseudepigrapha (also :wikt:anglicized, anglicized as "pseudepigraph" or "pseudepigraphs") are false attribution, falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a ...
* Acts of Peter and the Twelve *Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter *A
Letter of Peter to Philip The Letter of Peter to Philip is a Gnostic Christian epistle found in the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt. It was dated to be written around late 2nd century to early 3rd century CE and focuses on a post-crucifixion appearance and teachings of Jesus ...
, which was preserved in the Nag Hammadi library *
Apocalypse of Peter The Apocalypse of Peter (or Revelation of Peter) is an early Christian text of the 2nd century and an example of apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. It is not included in the standard canon of the New Testament, but is mentioned ...

Apocalypse of Peter
, which was considered as genuine by many Christians as late as the 4th century *The Epistula Petri, the introductory letter ascribed to the Apostle Peter that appears at the beginning of at least one version of the Clementine literature


Non-canonical sayings of Peter

Two sayings are attributed to Peter in the gnostic Gospel of Thomas. In the first, Peter compares Jesus to a "just messenger". In the second, Peter asks Jesus to "make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life." In the
Apocalypse of Peter The Apocalypse of Peter (or Revelation of Peter) is an early Christian text of the 2nd century and an example of apocalyptic literature with Hellenistic overtones. It is not included in the standard canon of the New Testament, but is mentioned ...

Apocalypse of Peter
, Peter holds a dialogue with Jesus about the parable of the fig tree and the fate of sinners. In the Gospel of Mary, whose text is largely fragmented, Peter appears to be jealous of "Mary" (probably Mary Magdalene). He says to the other disciples, "Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?" In reply to this, Levi says, "Peter, you have always been hot tempered." Other noncanonical texts that attribute sayings to Peter include the Secret Book of James and the
Acts of Peter The Acts of Peter is one of the earliest of the apocrypha Apocrypha (Gr. ἀπόκρυφος, ‘the hidden hings) The biblical Books received by the early Church as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebre ...
. In the Fayyum Fragment, which dates to the end of the 3rd century, Jesus predicts that Peter will deny him three times before a Rooster, cock crows on the following morning. The account is similar to that of the canonical gospels, especially the
Gospel of Mark The Gospel according to Mark ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μᾶρκον , translit=Euangélion katà Mârkon), also called the Gospel of Mark, or simply Mark, is the second of the four Gospel#Canonical_gospels, canonical gospels and of ...
. It is unclear whether the fragment is an abridged version of the accounts in the synoptic gospels, or a source text on which they were based, perhaps the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. The fragmentary
Gospel of Peter The Gospel of Peter ( grc, κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, ), or the Gospel according to Peter, is an ancient text concerning Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, ...

Gospel of Peter
contains an account of the death of Jesus differing significantly from the canonical gospels. It contains little information about Peter himself, except that after the discovery of the empty tomb, "I, Simon Peter, and Andrew my brother, took our fishing nets and went to the sea."


Iconography

The earliest portrait of Peter dates back to the 4th century and was located in 2010. In traditional iconography, Peter has been shown very consistently since early Christian art as an oldish, thick-set man with a "slightly combative" face and a short beard, and usually white hair, sometimes balding. He thus contrasts with
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
who is bald except at the sides, with a longer beard and often black hair, and thinner in the face. One exception to this is in Anglo-Saxon art, where he typically lacks a beard. Both Peter and Paul are shown thus as early as the 4th century Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter in Rome. Later in the Middle Ages his emblem, attribute is one or two large keys in his hand or hanging from his belt, first seen in the early 8th century. More than many medieval attributes, this continued to be depicted in the Renaissance and afterwards. By the 15th century Peter is more likely to be bald on the top of his head in the Western church, but he continues to have a good head of hair in Orthodox icons. The depiction of Saint Peter as literally the keeper of the gates of heaven, popular with modern cartoonists, is not found in traditional religious art, but Peter usually heads groups of saints flanking God in heaven, on the right side (viewer's left) of God. Narrative images of Peter include several scenes from the ''Life of Christ in art, Life of Christ'' where he is mentioned in the gospels, and he is often identifiable in scenes where his presence is not specifically mentioned. Usually he stands nearest to Christ. In particular, depictions of the ''Arrest of Christ'' usually include Peter cutting off the ear of one of the soldiers. Scenes without Jesus include his distinctive martyrdom, his rescue from prison, and sometimes his trial. In the Counter-Reformation scenes of Peter hearing the cock crow for the third time became popular, as a representation of repentance and hence the Catholic sacrament of Confession (sacrament), Confession or Reconciliation.


Patronage


Revisionist views

L. Michael White suggests that there was a serious division between Peter's Jewish Christian party and Paul's Hellenizing party, seen in e.g. the Incident at Antioch, which later Christian accounts have downplayed. Another revisionist view was developed by supporters of the Christ myth theory, which holds that the figure of Peter is largely a development from some mythological doorkeeper figures. According to Arthur Drews and George Albert Wells, G. A. Wells, if there was a historical Peter, then all that is known about him is the brief mentions in Galatians.George Albert Wells, "St. Peter as Bishop of Rome"


In art

File:Saint Pierre tentant de marcher sur les eaux by François Boucher.jpg, ''Saint Peter Attempting to Walk on Water'', by François Boucher, 1766 File:'The Release of St. Peter', oil on canvas painting by Bernardo Strozzi, c. 1635, Art Gallery of New South Wales.jpg, ''The Release of St. Peter'' by Bernardo Strozzi, 1635 File:Christ giving the Keys of Heaven to St. Peter by Peter Paul Rubens - Gemäldegalerie - Berlin - Germany 2017.jpg, ''Jesus gives Peter the keys to Heaven'' by Pieter Paul Rubens, 1614 File:0 Statue de Saint Pierre par Arnolfo di Cambio - Basilique St-Pierre - Vatican (1).JPG, Peter Enthroned, by Arnolfo di Lapo, Arnolfo di Cambio (13th-century statue in St Peter's Basilica, Rome) File:V&A - Raphael, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1515).jpg, ''The Miraculous Draught of Fishes'', by Raphael, 1515 File:Duccio di Buoninsegna 036.jpg, ''Jesus calling Simon Peter and Andrew'' by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308–1311 File:Aparición del apóstol San Pedro a San Pedro Nolasco.jpg, ''An apparition of the Apostle Peter to Saint Peter'' Nolasco, by Francisco Zurbarán, 1629 File:Alessandro Turchi - Saint Agatha Attended by Saint Peter and an Angel in Prison - Walters 37552.jpg, Alessandro Turchi, ''Saint Agatha Attended by Saint Peter and an Angel in Prison'', 1640–1645 File:Pietro Perugino 034.jpg, Fresco by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel, 1480–1482 File:St_Peter_(c.1510-20)_(V%26A).jpg, Statue of St. Peter (c. 1510–1520) at the V&A File:Lieto vaakuna.svg, St, Peter in the coat of arms of Lieto


In music

*Orlande de Lassus, Rolland de Lassus, ''Les Larmes de Saint Pierre'', 21 spiritual madrigals (1594). *Marc-Antoine Charpentier, ''Le Reniement de Saint Pierre'' H.424, for soloists, chorus and continuo (date unknown).


See also

*''Apocalypse of Simeon Kepha'' *List of Catholic saints *List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources *List of popes *Saint Peter and Islam *Saint Peter and Judaism *Saint Peter's Square *Saint Peter's tomb *San Pietro in Vincoli *St. Peter's Basilica *Sword of Saint Peter


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * Kruger, Michael J. “The Authenticity of 2 Peter”, Journal of Evangelical Society, Vol. 42, No. 4 (1999), 645-671.


External links


Church Fathers on the Peter's PrimacyChurch Fathers on Peter's SuccessorsThe Jewish St PeterJewish Encyclopedia: Simon CephasVeneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and All-Glorious Apostle Peter
Orthodox icon and synaxarion
The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter
icon and synaxarion
The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter & Paul
sermon of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
Catholic response to Protestant claims that Peter never visited Rome
Books on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome {{DEFAULTSORT:Peter, Saint Saint Peter, 60s deaths 1st-century Christian martyrs 1st-century Romans Angelic visionaries Asian popes Papal saints Patriarchs of Antioch People executed by crucifixion People executed by the Roman Empire People in the Pauline epistles Popes Roman Catholic missionaries in Italy Saints from the Holy Land Married Roman Catholic bishops Twelve Apostles Year of birth unknown 1st-century popes Christian saints from the New Testament Ancient Jewish fishers People from Bethsaida Converts to Christianity from Judaism Anglican saints