Peter in the Bible

Who was Peter in the Bible?

Originally called Simon, a very common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona. His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus. His native town was Bethsaida, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee and was trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably died while he was still young, and he and his brother were brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome. There the four youths, Simon, Andrew, James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all the advantages of religious training and were early instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They did not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before the Sanhedrin, he looked like an "unlearned man".

Peter and Jesus Christ

Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means "a mass of rock detached from the living rock." The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him. We are not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced on the mind of Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of Galilee. There the four (Simon and Andrew, James and John) had had an unsuccessful night's fishing. Jesus appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon's boat, bade him launch forth and let down the nets. He did so and enclosed a great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought before Simon's eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at the feet of Jesus, crying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". Jesus addressed him with the assuring words, "Fear not," and announced to him his life's work. Simon responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after this, we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.

He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and becomes a "fisher of men" in the stormy seas of the world of human life, and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading events of our Lord's life. It is he who utters that notable profession of faith at Capernaum, and again at Caesarea Philippi. This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and our Lord in response used these memorable words: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

Saint Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and the first leader of the early Church. Additional names for Peter in the Bible include “Simon, Simeon Peter, and Cephas.” The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke list Peter as the very first disciple called on by Jesus, followed closely by Peter’s brother Andrew, then James and John. Peter’s journey to an apostle of Christ is found throughout the New Testament. According to church tradition, the gospel of Mark is actually a collaboration with John and Mark, who wrote it as a summarizing of Peter’s life. Then, Peter’s difficulty of spreading the Good News is found in the Book of Acts, and he wrote two letters to new Christians which were adopted into the Bible.

Discover notable Bible verses about the life of Peter in this collection of scripture quotes!