St. Peter

   Peter was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, regarded as the most important and spokesman of the Apostles, and considered as the first Pope.

Matthew 16:18) "upon this rock I will build my church".

 

 

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Contents:

Overview

History

Sites of St. Peter

Etymology

Links

 

 

Who was St. Peter?

 

  Simon Bar-Yonah, later named by Jesus  as Peter ("rock"), was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. He is regarded as the most important and spokesman of the Apostles, and considered as the first Pope.

 

  According to the New Testament, Simon/Peter was a fisherman, born in Bethsaida in the north of the Sea of Galilee. This fishermen town was the birthplace of the Apostles Andrew, Peter, and Philip (John 1:44): "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter".

 

History

 

  St. Peter has a prominent  place in the Bible, with many references in the Canonical Gospels. The following references are listed in chronological order.

 

 
  • Peter joined Jesus as a disciple (Matthew 4 13): "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men".

 

  • Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus in Capernaum

 

  • Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of multitude on Peter's boat (Luke 5 3): "And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's" - see drawing on the upper right

 

 

 

  • Jesus transfigured in front of Peter on the high mountain  (Matthew 17 1): "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them" - see drawing on the lower right

 

  • Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah on the trip to Banias  (Mark 8 27-29): "And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? ... And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

 

  • Jesus blessed him in turn, giving him the nickname 'Peter' - meaning rock (Petros) in Greek (John 1 42): "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone". Jesus added (Matthew 16:18): "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".  One interpretation of these words are that Peter will be the founder of the Church, which actually happened years later.

 

  • Peter reversed his recognition of Jesus, with his triple denial prior to Jesus arrest and trial (Mark 14 29-30): "But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice".

 

  • Peter witnesses the empty tomb, and was the first to see it according to the Gospel of John (20 1,6) :"Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre... and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie". After then he left home without notifying the case.

 

  • Peter reaffirms his love to Jesus in one of the resurrection appearances, and Jesus reconfirm's that Peter will lead the Church (John 21 17): "...Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep".

 

    Jesus preaching on the boat of St. Peter

-Drawing by Gustav Dore (French artist, 1832-1883)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  St. Peter with James and John witness the transfiguration

     -Drawing by Gustav Dore (French artist, 1832-1883)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter leads the early Christian community, as reported by Acts of the Apostles:

 

 
  • Delivers an open-air sermon during the Pentecost (Act 2 14): "Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice".

 

  • Finds a replacement for the dead Apostle, Judas Iscariot (Acts 1 15): "And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said..."

 

  • Appears twice before the Sanhedrin (supreme court) defending their acts (Acts 4 8): "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel..."; and (Acts 5 29): "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men...".

 

  • Peter was imprisoned by King Herod, but the angle rescued him (Acts 12 1,5,17): "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church... Peter therefore was kept in prison...And he departed, and went into another place". - see drawing on the right

 

 

  St. Peter freed from prison

        -Drawing by Gustav Dore (French artist, 1832-1883)

 

  Peter then travels to Lydda (Lod), Joppa (Jaffa), Caesarea (Maritama) and Antioch on a missionary journey to convert gentiles:

   

 

Lydda:  (Acts 9 32): "And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda."

 

Joppa:  (Acts 9 36-42): Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha...  she was sick, and died... But Peter ... presented her alive".

 

Caesarea: (Acts 10 1, 10): "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius... Peter went up upon the housetop".- see drawing on the right

 

Antioch: He visited Antioch of Syria (Galatians 2:11): "But when Peter was come to Antioch...".

 

St. Peter in the house of Cornelius (on right, holding his hand)

        -Drawing by Gustav Dore (French artist, 1832-1883)

 

 

   Thus, Peter was one of the important apostles who was behind of turning the group of followers to the first stage of a newly founded Church. This was exactly as predicted by Jesus (Matthew 16:18): "upon this rock" - meaning Peter - "I will build my church".

 

  

Sites of St. Peter, featured in BibleWalks:

 

   The following table lists the sites related to Sty. Peter, which are featured in BibleWalks. Click on the site's name to see more information on each site.

 

  Site Biblical Reference Description of the site    
   St. Peter's,

Jaffa

Acts 9 40: "But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise".

  St. Peter's is an old  Franciscan    Church, located in Old Jaffa. It commemorates the visit and miracle of St. Peter in Jaffa.

Click on the photos to  enlarge them.

 

 
   St. Peter in Gallicantu,

Mt. Zion,

Jerusalem

Mark 14: 72: "And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept".

   The fabulous Saint Peter in-Gallicantu Church is built in the slopes of mount Zion. According to tradition, this was the place of the palace of high priest Caiaphas. Its name is given after the story of Peter's triple denial of Christ and the cock crowing twice.

 
   Peter's home in

 Capernaum

Matthew 8 14: "And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever".
 

   St. Peter was a fisherman, and his house was located close to the shores of the lake. This site is believed to be his house, as verified by the archaeological excavations and the later building of an octagon-shaped church over his house, erected in his honor by the early Christian worshippers.

 

 

 

 
   Sea of Galilee

 

Matthew 4 13: "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men".

  Peter and his brother Andrew  joined Jesus as disciples.

 
   Bethsaida

John 1:44: "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter".

 

 

 According to the New Testament, BethSaida was known as the birthplace of the Apostles Andrew, Peter, and Philip. A fisherman's house was excavated in Bethsaida - perhaps Peter's house?

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Etymology (behind the name):

 

Yonah, Jonah, Jona - Hebrew: "Dove".

Simon - Hebrew: Shimon, meaning: "He hears (God's words)".  In the Old Testament, Shimon was the second son of Jacob and Leah. His descendants were nomads, living in the southern part of Judah.

Bar - Aramaic: "Son". This was a common prefix to the family name, named after the father.

 

Links:

 

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