Peter the Apostle

Peter (also known as Simon) was one of the original 12 apostles. He became the leader of the apostles, after Jesus' ascension. Peter was originally from Bethsaida on the northern shore of the sea of Galilee. Peter was married. He was a fisherman with his brother Andrew. His home was in Capernaum. When Jesus called him to be an apostle, he was given the added name Cephas (Aramaic: "stone," Greek: "Petros," which in English is rendered as Peter).

Peter was one of the three main apostles, along with James and John, who were chosen by Jesus to be present during certain important moments of His ministry.

One trait of Peters character that stands out in the New Testament account, is his impetuosity.

Peter was famous for many things: For being at Jesus' transfiguration, for walking on water at Jesus' bidding, for rebuking Jesus for what seemed to him negative thinking (prompting Jesus' sharp reply "Get behind Me Satan"), for his statement to Jesus during the washing of feet during the Last Supper, for his denials of knowing Jesus when Peter was in the courtyard of the high priest, for drawing a sword when Jesus was being arrested, and for being granted the singular privilege of an individual post-resurrection appearance by Jesus (Luke 24:34, 1Cor 15:5).

When Jesus asked him "Who do you say I am?" Peter made that famous statement, "You are the Christ (Messiah) the Son of the Living God." (Matthew 16:15-16).

Under the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter healed the sick and raised the dead. He made a trip to Antioch (Galatians 2:1), and possibly Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:12). It is believed that Peter later traveled to Rome, and was martyred there by crucifixion in 64 AD. He is said to have requested that he be crucified upside down, because he said he wasn't worthy of dying in the same way as Jesus.

Peter wrote two Epistles, called Peter 1 and Peter 2, in the New Testament. Papias, a disciple of the Apostle John, wrote that Mark's Gospel was influenced by Peter's writings.

The name Peter, in the Greek language, which was spoken by people in the land of Israel during the 1st Century, as was Aramaic and Hebrew, means "rock." So, too, does the name Cephas, which is an Aramaic word for "rock," as used by Jesus in John 1:42.


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