Series: Profiting From Peter
A Challenge to Joyful Steadfastness
Any good introduction will have at least seven (7) elements that help with interpretation and application. Last week we began with the first of those seven elements, the Authenticity of the epistle.
When we consider the authenticity of any portion of Scripture we have to ask ourselves several key questions:
1. Traditional Evidence
2. Internal Evidence
3. External Attacks
1. Four (4) Centers of Christianity
2. Four (4) Manuscript Families
3. Two Types of Translations
- Formal Equivalence
- Dynamic Equivalence
Truth for Today
As we have said any good introduction will have at least seven (7) key elements that aid us in the proper interpretation and application of the Scripture we are studying. We have looked at the first two (2) of those elements, the Authenticity of the Book and the Apparatus from which the text was taken. We now move to ...
C. The Author
1. The The Designation of the Author
Reading this name would tell the recipients immediately who the writer was. He is the only man in the New Testament with this name. Peter or Petros, means a rock or stone. This is the Greek form of the Aramaic name of Kephas.
This name was given to Pete by Jesus at his call to discipleship, "You are Simon the Son of Jonah, you shall be called Cephas, which is translated a stone." (John 1:42, NKJV)
He was originally known by his Jewish name of Simon, or by the Hebrew form Symeon. Eventually there was a shift from Simon to Simon Peter and then simply Peter. In non-Jewish circles he used the name Peter. Hiebert suggests that Peter may have prized this name given to him by Jesus. Maybe it was a constant reminder to be as steadfast in character as the name implied.
He is usually referred to as Peter in the New Testament. He is actually referred to some 210 times. Paul is only referred to some 162 times.
"...an apostle of Jesus Christ..."
This term designates his office. This is Peter's title. It is also his authority to write to these churches with the expectation that they receive his letter and submit to his authority.
The apostolate is the only order of ministry in the New Testament that indicates the unique relationship in which it stood to Jesus Christ. This word alone designates Peter as an authorized agent or representative of Jesus Christ. It designates that the agent was appointed to carry out a particular mission, when the mission was accomplished or completed, the appointment lapsed.
This is why the apostles prophets were the foundation of the church. It is also why their ministry did not continue past the organization of the new organism and the completion of the Scriptures.
2. The Description of the Apostle
We have four (4) lists of the twelve (12) apostles in the New Testament. (Matt 10:2-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:13-16; Acts 1:13)
The first name in each list is "Peter." He stands out as a leader as also as a spokesperson for the group.
"Simon, whom He also named Peter" (Luke 6:14)
The list is broken in to three (3) groups of four (4). Group one includes Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Peter is always at the head of the list.
Peter is part of the most intimate group of disciples to the Lord. He has been with him the longest. He heads the group that has the most trusted position within Jesus' inner circle. Peter is with Jesus at all the key times in his ministry. For example, at the:
- Garden of Gethsemane
Peter was known to be eager, aggressive, bold, and outspoken.
Peter was also known as Simon Bar-jonah (Matt 16:17.) The word "bar" means son. Peter, or Simon is the son of a man named Jonah. Peter's father was John, also known as Jonas or Jonah. We do not know anything more about the parents of Peter.
Peter was originally from Bethsaida but later he moved to and lived in Capernaum. He fished for a business on the Sea of Galilee.
We also know that Jesus predicted that Peter would die as a martyr for the cause of Christ. (John 21:18-19)
However we don't have the time or manner of Peter's death. It was not recorded in the Bible. Church records state that Peter was crucified. Eusebius stated that Clement knew that before Peter was put to death that he had to watch the torture and death by crucifixion of his wife.
Clement wrote that as Peter's wife was lead to her cross, Peter called to her and said, "Remember the Lord." Then Peter requested to be crucified upside down saying he wasn't worthy to be crucified upside down, saying he wasn't worthy to be crucified like his Lord.