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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Peter

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The son of Jonas and one of the twelve apostles. His name was originally Simon, and apparently at his first interview with the Lord he received from Him the surname CEPHAS. This is an Aramaic word, the same as Peter in Greek, both signifying 'a stone.' John 1:42 . (In Acts 10:5 he is called "Simon, whose surname is Peter.") The next notice of Peter is in Luke 5 when he was called to the apostleship. Overpowered at the draught of fishes, he exclaimed, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord;" but at the bidding of Christ he forsook all and followed Him. Matthew 4:18 ; Mark 1:16,17 ; Luke 5:3-11 .

He had a sort of prominence among the apostles: when a few of them were selected for any special occasion, Peter was always one of them, and is named first. The three names 'Peter, James, and John' occur often together, still we do not read of Peter having any authority over the others: cf. Matthew 20:25-28 . Peter was in character energetic and impulsive: he wanted to walk on the water to go to Christ, and his strong affection for the Lord led him to oppose when the Lord spoke of His coming sufferings, for which he was rebuked as presenting Satan's mind. His self-confidence led him into a path of temptation, in which he thrice denied his Lord. But the Lord had prayed for him that his faith should not fail, and his repentance was real and instant. He was fully restored by the Lord, who significantly demanded thrice if he loved Him, and then committed to him the care of His sheep and His lambs. John 21 .

When Peter confessed to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," theLord said that He would build His church upon that foundation, and added, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," with assurancethat what he bound or loosed on earth would be ratified in heaven. Matthew 16 . On the day of Pentecost we find Peter accordingly using these keys, and opening to three thousand Jews the doors of the kingdom. He afterwards admitted Gentiles in the person of Cornelius and those that were gathered with him.

Peter was the apostle of the circumcision, as Paul was of the Gentiles, and was a long time getting entirely clear of Jewish prejudices. Paul had to withstand him to the face at Antioch, for refusing under Jewish influence to continue eating with Gentiles. On the other hand, Peter, while confessing that in some of Paul's writings there were things hard to be understood, recognises them as scripture.

In the beginning of the Acts Peter's boldness in testimony is conspicuous. He was leaning on One stronger than himself and was carried on by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was miraculously delivered out of prison. The Lord had intimated to him that he would die the death of a martyr (John 21:19 ), and historians relate that he was crucified, and with his head downward by his own request: they also state that his wife died with him. He was the writer of the two epistles bearing his name.


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Peter '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/p/peter.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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