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Saint Peter as Pope by Rubens
|Birth name||Shimon or Simeon (Simon)|
|Born||1 BC[source?] |
Bethsaida, Gaulanitis, Syria
|Died||AD 67 (age 68) |
Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
|Parents||Jonah or John|
Saint Peter (Greek: Πετρος, "rock") also called Simon (Kephas) Peter is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He is often talked about in the New Testament. Most of what we know about Peter comes from the Bible. In the Gospel it is written that Jesus Christ would make Peter the "rock" (foundation) of the Church (Gospel of Matthew 16:18, you are Peter (rock), and upon this rock I will build my church).
It is not known when Peter was born. But the date of his death is said to be about the year 64 AD. He died by being nailed to a cross in Rome. This type of death is called crucifixion. According to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, Peter asked to be crucified upside down, as he felt unworthy to die as Jesus did. Most historical sources only say he was crucified this way.
Peter was married according to the gospel of Mark. The name of his wife is unknown.
Saint and Pope
The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran Church and Anglican Communion, consider Simon Peter a saint. Roman Catholics believe that the Pope is Peter's successor. For this reason, he is the rightful head of all other bishops. Eastern and Oriental Orthodox also recognise the Bishop of Rome as the successor to Saint Peter and the Ecumenical Patriarch sends a delegation each year to Rome to participate in the celebration of his feast.
In the Ravenna document of 13 October 2007 representatives of the Eastern Orthodox Church agreed that "Rome, as the Church that 'presides in love' according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch (To the Romans, Prologue), occupied the first place in the taxis (order), and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos (first) among the patriarchs. They disagree, however, on the interpretation of historical evidence from this era regarding the rights of the bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium."
Christian tradition says Saint Peter was the first leader of an early apostolic community for at least 34 years. At that time the word Pope or "Papa" was not used to name the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At that time there was only one Christian Church. Later, the Roman Catholic Church would say that Peter was their first Pope.
- Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
- Ehrman, Bart D.: Peter, Paul, And Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History And Legend, Chapter 6, Oxford University Press
US, 2006, ISBN 0-19-530013-0
- Keating, Karl: Catholicism and fundamentalism: The attack on "romanism" by "Bible Christians", Chapter 17, Ignatius Press, 1988, ISBN 0-89870-177-5
- Perkins, Pheme: Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000, ISBN 0-567-08743-3
- ""Ravenna Document" of 13 October, 2007". http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ch_orthodox_docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20071013_documento-ravenna_en.html.
- "List of Popes," Catholic Encyclopedia (2009); retrieved 2013-4-1.