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Peter Biography Outline
The life of Apostle Peter is one of the greatest stories that Bible has. Apostle Peter is known to be one of the most outspoken of all the Apostles in Bible. His story is one of the most changed lives that Bible tells us.
Peter’s Life before Meeting Christ
Peter’s birth as per the biblical records has happened in 1BC and he seems to have died in 67 AD. Peter was born Simon and the name Peter was given by Jesus himself, meaning “Petra” or rock. This is a direct indication of the greatness of the strength of belief of Peter. Peter came from a family of Galilean fishermen from the village of Bethsaida and also had a brother named Andrew. Before Peter’s calling, like all others, Peter also led a sinful life. Peter was the very first disciple of Jesus along with his brother Andrew. Luke 5:68 tells us how sinful Peter felt in Jesus presence.
Fishermen in that age were really rough people with vile tongue using vulgar language. They were highly energetic and had terrible tempers that made them even more evil. They led a very physically very demanding life. They were also known to be fearless lot because of the storms that they weathered in the Sea of Galilee.
When Jesus told Peter and Andrew that they should follow Him, they simply left everything without so much of even a thought (Luke 59:1) and followed Jesus. When they left everything it meant EVERYTHING – their fishing nets, boats and the only source of livelihood that they knew – they did it in faith.
Peter’s Life with Christ
Peter being one of the first Disciples of Christ, he was frequently his spokesman who communicated both good and bad. Peter is credited with the discovery of the true identity of Jesus as the Son of the Living God (Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20, Matt. 16:16-17). When Jesus called Peter, Peter immediately knew that this was the God’s calling and so he did not hesitate. Jesus promised to make Peter the “fisher of men” (Mark 1:17).
Peter was not just a disciple – he was the Apostle – the one who proclaimed the gospel. There is a clear definition of who is an Apostle – it has to be someone who was with Jesus in his early years like Peter or someone who saw the risen Jesus. Jesus is said to have told his disciple of the coming of age and commands them to take charge, and it is from this point of time that the disciples became Apostles.
There is clear evidence that the Gospel of Mark is that of Peter. Peter dictated his Gospel-ship to Mark who was a companion of many years. The Gospel of Mark is resplendent with examples and finer details of eye witness perspectives of Peter. John Mark was never a disciple of Jesus nor was he an Apostle. It is pretty evident that the Gospel of Mark is actually the story of Peter that was retold and written down by Mark. This is evidenced from the fact that Mark was never present with Jesus Ministry but, many of the intimate details have been described by Mark.
Glorious Ending of Peter
Jesus is said to have told of Peter’s death “when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and take you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18-19). According to Church historians Peter was stretched out by his hands and then dressed in a garb of the prison and taken to be crucified – a place where no one wanted to go.
Peter was a transformed man – an angry, arrogant, ill-tempered, hardy fisherman to a humble, loving servant of the God – till the day of his death. On the day of his death – he even was rejoicing that he would be united with his Saviour. He spend the 40 years of his 65 years of life proclaiming the Gospel. Peter became of the 12 Apostles that rule the world with Jesus Christ in the God’s Kingdom.
Eastman, David. n.d. “Epiphanius’ and Patristic Debates on the Marital Status of Peter and Paul.” Vigilae Christianae, 69 499-516.
Grant, Michael. 1995. Saint Peter: a biography. NY: Scribner.
King, Robert Alan. 2012. A Biography of Saint Simon Peter. AZ: Casa Grande.
Leahy, Kevin. n.d. “A Study of Peter as a Model for Servant Leadership.” Inner Resources for Leaders, 2(4) 1-10.
O'Collins, Gerald. n.d. “Peter as Witness to Easter.” Theological Studies, 73(2) 263-285.
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