Simon Peter

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Saint Peter, icon from the 6th century, Catherine's Monastery (Sinai)

According to the New Testament, Simon Peter (* in Galilee ; † around 65 - 67 , possibly in Rome ) was one of the first Jews to call Jesus Christ to follow him . He is represented there as a spokesman for the disciples or apostles , the first confessor, but also a denial of Jesus Christ, an eyewitness to the risen Lord and one of the leaders ("pillars") of the early Jerusalem community . In addition, there are significantly later notes by various church fathers , according to which Peter was the first bishop of Antioch and founder and head of the community in Rome and suffered martyrdom there.

Simon's historicity is assumed based on consistent information in the earliest parts of the text of the Gospels and archaeological finds. The New Testament, however, contains only a few reliable biographical details about him. Later notes are often seen as legendary .

The Roman Catholic Church takes the primacy claim the papacy back over the universal Church on the assumption that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome was, and Christ had Peter and that the following bishops of Rome a priority as leaders, teachers and judges of all Christians given. The Popes are therefore also called "Successors of Peter". The other churches reject this claim. However, Peter is also the first bishop of Rome and a saint for the ancient oriental , orthodox , ancient catholic and the Anglican churches . The Protestant churches remember him with a memorial day.


All the sources on Simon Petrus come from Christian tradition. Possible biographical information can be found primarily in the Gospels, the letters of Paul , other letters of the Apostles and the Acts of the Apostles by Luke . These sources tell of Peter in the context of their missionary and theological preaching intentions. They are critically examined by historical-critical biblical studies.

Additional information on Simon Petrus can be found in the First Letter of Clement , in the Church Fathers Irenaeus and Eusebius, as well as in Tertullian . These sources date from the 2nd to 4th centuries and owe their emergence, dissemination and tradition not least to the ecclesiastical interests of authors and traders who, in dealing with heretical currents within early Christianity, the biblical canon , the monarchical bishopric and the idea of apostolic succession . On the one hand, they emphasize the importance of Peter for the primacy of Rome over the other patriarchates and, on the other hand, portray him as an example of a "sinful saint" whose denial and subsequent repentance and conversion show that salvation is open to all people.

Acts of the Apostles to Simon Peter are generally judged to be legends that contain largely ahistorical narratives.

Archaeological evidence of the veneration of Peter in Rome date from the 1st century. Whether they prove his stay and his burial there is highly controversial.

Information in the New Testament


All the Gospels know the disciple by the name of Simon ; With one exception ( Lk 22.34  EU ), Jesus always addresses him like that. It is the Greek form of the biblical name Simeon (Hebrew Shim'on ), according to the Tanach one of the sons of Jacob and the progenitor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel . Patriarch names were particularly popular among Palestinian Jews of the period and were also frequently used in Greek translation. Since Simon's brother Andreas also has a Greek name, this form of name seems to be the more original. Acts 15,14  EU and 2 Petr 1,1  EU call him Symeon , a Graecization of the Hebrew name form.

In Mt 16.17  EU Jesus names his disciple by the patronymic Simon Barjona ("Simon, son of Jonah"). There are various theories about possible political connotations of this address and the question of whether the father of the two apostles could have been Jonah or, as it is called elsewhere in the New Testament, John (Hebrew Jochanan ), there are various theories (see below, section “ Origin and calling ”).

Paul of Tarsus usually calls the apostle Kephas (Κηφᾶς), a Graecized form of the epithet Kefa (Kēp ', in Hebrew letters כיפא), an Aramaic word that is hardly used as a proper name and actually means "stone". Gal 2,7–8  EU translates the name twice into Greek to Πέτρος (Pétros) , which also means “stone” and is related to the Greek word for “rock” (πέτρα). In Hebrew, the word kēp (כֵּף) also has the basic meaning "rock" or "stone". Both the Semitic and the Greek word denote an ordinary natural stone (throwing stone, quarry stone, pebble), in Hebrew also a rock (e.g. Jer 4,29  EU ), in Aramaic can (more rarely) also a rock, boulder or a Be meant rock peak.

Jesus himself is said to have given Simon the nickname Kefa ; where and when, the Gospels deliver differently. Some exegetes assumed that Simon only accepted the surname as an apostle of the early church, and that this was subsequently attributed to Jesus (cf. Jn 1:42). Most researchers (including Peter Dschulnigg , Joachim Gnilka , Martin Hengel , John P. Meier , Rudolf Pesch ) assume, however, that Simon already had this nickname in the first circle of disciples, since Kephas was the actual name in some of the oldest NT scriptures ( Gal 2.9  EU ) or the nickname used from the beginning ( Mk 3.16  EU ; Mt 4.18; 10.2) of the apostle is mentioned. It is also mostly assumed that the nickname was actually given by Jesus. John P. Meier points out that the Gospels conspicuously avoid mentioning the name Peter or Cephas in the mouth of Jesus in many places; he thinks it is conceivable that this name was intended for use in relation to the disciples, but not in relation to Jesus.

It was also assumed that the original meaning of the name emerged from the assumed word meaning "gemstone" in Aramaic, which could emphasize Simon's special role as the spokesman for the first called. The shift in meaning to “rock” as the foundation of the church should then be understood as a post-Easter reinterpretation. The assumed translation of kefa as "gemstone" or "gemstone" for the (distinctive) naming of a person, which was assumed following Rudolf Pesch, cannot be adequately proven from the Aramaic point of view, since the use of the Aramaic root kp as a personal name has not been proven and hardly at all Examples of the use of the word in the meaning of “precious stone” are known in which this understanding would not be suggested by compositions, attributive additions (such as “good stone” in the sense of “noble” or “valuable”) or a clear context.

The Protestant Heidelberg Judaist and Talmud translator Reinhold Mayer (1926-2016) suspected that Jesus' naming was based on the idea of ​​the foundation stone of the Jerusalem Temple, an ironic allusion to the unusual name of the high priest Kajaphas (קיפא), who was in office at the time. The names Kaiphas and Kephas , which are vocalized differently in Greek transcription , differ in the Hebrew script only in the initial consonants ( Koph for Qajfa instead of Kaph for Kefa ), which sound very similar. This means that the name has a (possibly quite serious) claim to the replacement of the high priest by the leader of the group of twelve around Jesus, who himself claimed the title of king as part of his messianism . The "amazing consonance of the epithet of Simon with that of the highest incumbent at the Jerusalem Temple" also casts for the Catholic exeget Martin Martin Ebner shed new light on the much-puzzled epithet of Simon Petrus. If there was intent, "Jesus would have made a symbolic expropriation with this delicate nickname choice".

Similar to Jesus Christ , Simon Peter also became a proper name with the Latin translation of the Bible, Vulgate (around 385).

Origin and calling

St. Peter as a fisherman of men above the portal of the church dedicated to him in Figueres

Like Jesus, Simon came from Galilee and, according to the Gospel of Mark, he was recognizable as a Galilean by his language (Mk 14.70 par.). He was one of the first disciples Jesus called to follow him. The traditions deal practically only with the time after this calling; There is no information about the age and birth of Simon or about the origin and social status of his family.

According to Joh 1.42  EU , Simon's father was called Johannes . In Mt 16.17  EU , Jesus addresses him as Simon Barjona , Aramaic “son of Jonah ”. Jonah should be understood here as the short form of John. As an adjective, barjona also means “impulsive” or “uncontrolled”. Some interpreters saw this as evidence of a possible earlier membership of Simons with the Zealots , since in the later Talmud Jewish freedom fighters were referred to as barjonim (plural).

Simon had a brother named Andreas , who was probably younger than Simon, since all apostellists name him first. Both were fishermen on the Sea of ​​Galilee . According to Mk 1:16, Jesus met them on the shore of the lake casting their fishing nets and asked them to follow him. They then left the nets and followed him. When the other ten were called, Jesus gave Simon the nickname “Peter” ( Mk 3.16  EU ).

Simon was married; one does not find out the name of his wife. He lived with her, her mother and his brother Andrew in their own house in Capernaum (Mk 1,21,29 f .; Lk 4,38; Mt 8,14). Original Christians could have built one of their first pilgrimage sites on its remains . Some archaeologists suspect this, as remains of walls from the 1st century were excavated under a Byzantine octagonal church from the 5th century. The only clear evidence of a Peter's house , which could have been used as a house church early on , are, however, lime inscriptions that name Jesus with sovereign titles and Peter and show traces of ritual meetings. They date from the 3rd century at the earliest.

According to Mk 1:31 , Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law , whereupon she entertained the disciples. It is true that Jesus called on Simon as well as the other disciples from his closest circle of followers to leave their families (Mk 10.28 f.). A rejection of marriage as such is not found in the Gospels. The most striking peculiarity of Jesus' teachings on marriage was that he forbade divorce (Mt 5:32). According to Paul's testimony, like other apostles and relatives of Jesus, Peter lived with his wife around the year 39 and took her with him on trips (1 Cor 9: 5). Some women from Galilee are said to have already wandered around with him and his followers during Jesus' public ministry (Mk 15.41; Lk 8.2).

According to Luke 5: 1–11, Simon was called to be a “fisherman of men” after Jesus delivered his inaugural sermon in the synagogue of Capernaum and healed his mother-in-law. The calling follows an unexpectedly large fish catch, after which Simon confesses: “Lord, get away from me! I am a sinful person. ”Here Luke calls him Peter for the first time, then also when choosing the twelve (Lk 6:14). He explains the nickname just as little as Markus . According to Acts 10:14, 28 Simon first observed the Jewish dietary regulations and did not associate with non-Jews .

Also according to Mt 4,18, Simon is casually called "Peter" from his calling. Matthew only emphasizes the epithet after Simon had known Jesus as the Messiah and he then promised him that he would build his church on “this rock” (Mt 16:16 ff.).

According to John 1:44, Peter and his brother came from Bethsaida . Whether the place of birth or just a previous place of residence is meant here remains open. As a disciple of John the Baptist, Andrew is said to have met Jesus first, recognized him as the Messiah and then led his brother Simon to him. Immediately after seeing him, Jesus gave him the nickname “Cephas” (Jn 1: 35-42).

According to all the Gospels, Simon Peter was a leader in the disciples' circle. He comes first in all the lists of the apostles in the NT; also where he is mentioned together with James the Elder and John . He was therefore one of the three apostles who were particularly close to Jesus. According to Mk 9.2-13 ( Transfiguration of Christ ), they were considered the only ones of the twelve to whom God revealed the divinity and future resurrection of his Son even before his death. They also accompanied Jesus in his last hours in the garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14.33).

Christ confessor

According to Mk 8.29 ff.  EU , Peter answers Jesus' question to his disciples, who they think he is, with the creed: “You are the Christ!” This title appears here for the first and only time in the mouth of one of the apostles, followed by Jesus' command of silence to all of them not to say anything about him to anyone (v. 30). So Peter speaks here on behalf of all first called.

But immediately afterwards, after Jesus first announced his predestined path of suffering to the disciples, "Peter took him aside and began to correct him" (v. 32). So he tried to divert Jesus from this path to the cross. Thereupon Jesus had harshly rebuked him (v. 33):

“Get behind me, you Satan! Because you don't have in mind what God wants, but what people want. "

“Satan” means “opponent” or “adversary” in Hebrew. Peter is compared here with the tempter Jesus in the wilderness, who also wanted to keep the Son of God from his path of suffering (Mt 4: 1–11); in other passages of the NT he is brought into the vicinity of Satan (Lk 22:31).

In the Matthew variant (Mt 16:16), Simon answers:

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!"

With this he repeats here the confession of all disciples to the divine sonship of Jesus, which they make after Jesus has calmed the storm (Mt 14.33). As with Mark, there is no further confession of Christ by the disciples here, but later Jesus' own affirmation of the Messiah question in the interrogation by the Sanhedrin (Mk 14.62; Mt 26.63).

Recipient of the rock pledge

According to Mt 16:18  EU , Jesus answered Simon's confession of Christ with a special promise:

“But I say to you: You are Peter [Greek. petros ] and on these rocks [Greek petra ] I will build my church [ ekklesia ] and the powers [greek. pylai , literally gates] of the underworld [Greek. hades ] will not overwhelm them. "

This verse is unique in the NT. To this day, it is still controversial whether it is a real Jesus word, when and why it originated, where the individual expressions come from and what they mean here.

The word petros , which is seldom found in ancient Greek literature , like the Aramaic kefa , usually referred to a single natural stone, round pebbles or chunks, but not a rock suitable as a building site; petra, on the other hand, means rock (as a single rock or as a rock bed, under certain circumstances the hewn stone block inserted into a wall can also be referred to). Among the proverbs about the discipleship there is in Mt 7.24  EU the parable of the man who built his house “on the rock” (epi tän pétran) , which is usually given generically as “built on the rock”. Mt 16:18 could also be based on this word of Jesus, if it is a question of a subsequent formation.

The expression “stone” evokes Jewish metaphors: In the biblical tradition of Zion , the “holy stone” in the holy of holies of the Jerusalem temple was at the same time the entrance to the heavenly world, a sealing stone against the flood and the world of the dead (e.g. Isa 28: 14-22) . However, this stone was not called "rock" and was never shown as a building foundation.

Evangelical interpreters who reject the foundation of the Petrine ministry in the rock word often take the opinion that in Mt 16:18 only the name Petros ("stone") refers to Simon Peter himself, while the word petra ("rock") refers to it Refer to Christ who is himself the foundation of his church. These interpreters underpin their understanding with reference to other Bible passages in which Jesus compares himself with a corner stone ( kephalé gōnías , "head of the corner" according to Ps 118,22  EU ) or a building block (lithos) ( Mt 21,42  EU par) or as such is designated ( 1Petr 2,4). From the syntax of the statement in Mt 16:18, however, this interpretation is incomprehensible, since the expression “this rock” in the second part of the sentence is clearly related to the aforementioned Petros and not to the speaker (Jesus) himself. The semantically not seamless one The transition from the proper name Petros (translated "stone") to petra ("rock") and its designation as building site is rather a play on words that thematize the close relationship of the two words without giving up the reference to the person addressed. Whether this play on words or an ambiguous use of the term kefa is also possible in Aramaic, which would be the prerequisite for considering the word originally Jesuan, is disputed.

Ekklesia (literally "the called out", from the Greek verb kalein , "to call") referred to the convened assembly of citizens in profane Greek . In the Septuagint , the Hebrew term kahal is translated into Greek with ekklesia , which when combined with God (Kyrios) means the chosen people of God Israel, whereby the motif of the gathering of Israel (“recall” from exile ) shines through. In the context of Mt 16:14 f. The expression is related to the circle of twelve, the first called twelve disciples of Jesus, who in the Gospels represent the descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel , d. H. the end time assembled Israel as a whole. In the early letters of the NT, the word is first used to designate the individual Christian community, although in 1 Cor 12:28  EU a further understanding seems to already sound like Paul. The term is only used expressly as a designation for the totality of Christians (universal church) in the Deuteropaulin letters ( Col 1,18  EU , Eph 5,23  EU ) that were probably created later .

The expression “my ekklesia ” is only passed down as a saying of Jesus at this point. This is a main argument against the authenticity of the logion, because it is considered very unlikely that the historical Jesus could have used a term to characterize his followers, which could be translated in Greek as ekklesia . In addition, in terms of editorial history, the verse appears as an insert in the template Mk 8.27-30. According to Karl Ludwig Schmidt, the term Ekklesia originally refers to a special community within the people of God, which (similar to the Qumran community) presents itself as the "chosen" in the expected final judgment (Mk 13.20 ff.) Or separated ("saints") (cf. Acts 9: 13, 32, 41, etc.), but at the same time remained part of Judaism and did not give up the Torah commandments and the temple cult. Accordingly, a development in the Jewish-Christian environment would be conceivable.

“Gates of Hades” was a regular expression in Hellenism for the place where the dead came. Behind every mortal (“flesh and blood”) they irrevocably closed (Isa. 38:10).

For Hans Conzelmann , the verse comes from a church founded by Peter in Syria or Asia Minor , which Jesus put the word in Jesus' mouth after Peter's death. For here the “gates of the underworld” would be contrasted with the resurrection of those who confess Christ and the continuation of their community beyond the death of the individual.

Ulrich Luz interprets “my ekklesia ” as the whole of Christianity, since Jesus could only build one community and the promise linked to the widespread biblical image of God's people building houses (Mt 7:21). The verse is a Greek play on words, not an Aramaic sentence translated into Greek. The early epithet Simons, Kefa , which Jesus could have given him, is interpreted here in retrospect of his already completed work as an apostle. Since other NT passages (Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14) also speak of apostles as the foundation of the church, the verse was probably written after Easter in a Greek-speaking community. Following Karl Barth , Luz understands Jesus' promise that the ekklesia will not be "overwhelmed" as a comparative statement: According to this logion, the gates of the underworld, the epitome of the realm of the dead, which no mortal can leave on their own initiative, are no stronger than the church built on the rock. This is promised to last until the end of the world, since Jesus promises her his presence also in the future (after death and resurrection) (Mt 28:20).

Christ denier

Peter and the Rooster (miniature from the Chludow Psalter , 9th century)

The teachings of Jesus' disciples follow Peter's confession of Christ and his rebuke ( Mk 8:34  EU ):

“If you want to be my disciple, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Because whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will save it. "

This invitation to follow the cross is the background to Peter's later failure in the course of Jesus' passion , when, in order to save his life, he denied not himself but Jesus (Mk 14: 66-72).

The contradiction between speaking and acting was already evident with Peter in Galilee: on the one hand, he trusted Jesus' call to follow Jesus ("Come here!"), On the other hand, his faith waned at the first headwind, so that only Jesus saved him from sinking into the sea could (Mt 14.29 ff.). According to Jn 13: 6-9, he did not want Jesus to wash his feet. At the time, this act was typical slave service : Peter therefore resisted being served by Jesus as his master as if he were a slave. The washing of the feet was, however, a symbolic share in salvation and connected with Jesus' commission to all disciples to serve one another in the same way.

Jesus announced to Peter on the way to the Mount of Olives (according to Luke at the last supper of Jesus ) that he would deny him three times that same night . Like all other disciples, he rejected this far from himself ( Mk 14.27–31  EU par.):

“And if I had to die with you - I will never deny you. Everyone else said the same. "

But shortly afterwards he fell asleep when Jesus in Gethsemane especially needed and requested the assistance of the disciples (Mt 26:40, 43 f.). Then, according to Jn 18:10, he is said to have tried to prevent Jesus from being arrested by force of arms: He is identified here with that nameless disciple who, according to Mark 14:47, cut off the ear of a soldier of the temple guard. His failure culminates in the denial of Jesus, during this in front of the council as the Messiah and future Son of Man known and his death sentence received (Mk 14,62). When the crowing of a rooster at dawn reminded Peter of Jesus' prophecy, he began to weep (Mk 14: 66-72).

Peter lacked the strength to act according to his faith when it came down to it. It was only after Pentecost , according to Acts 5:29, that he appeared before the high council as a death-defying confessor who fulfilled the mission of the Holy Spirit as a missionary and leader of the early church in an exemplary manner. Paul, on the other hand, reports that out of fear of the Jewish Christians around James , Peter gave up table fellowship with Gentiles and "feigned" law-abidingness in front of some Jews instead of walking according to the "truth of the Gospel" (Gal 2: 11-14).

Some exegetes conclude from this that it is ambivalent. Others see Peter as an example of the behavior of all disciples who abandoned Jesus in view of his impending death (Mk 14:50). In the NT it stands for the close proximity of faith and unbelief, witness service and culpably refused to follow the cross in the whole church.

Witness of the Risen One

Codex Egberti , fol. 90r. Jn 21: 1-19 depicts: Jesus reveals himself to the disciples returning from the miraculous fishing trip

In the New Testament, Peter is one of the first to be met by the risen Jesus. In a list that he may have taken from the early church in Jerusalem, Paul mentions Cephas in First Corinthians as the first Easter witness ( 1 Cor 15 : 5 PA ):

"He appeared to Cephas and then to the twelve."

The Gospel of Luke also transmits a confessional sentence which perhaps comes from the earliest Easter tradition of the early Christians and names Simon as the authoritative witness ( Lk 24.34  EU ):

"The Lord was really risen and appeared to Simon."

In the Lukan narrative context, the disciples gathered in Jerusalem say this sentence before the risen One appears to them too.

The Gospel of Mark names Peter, along with the other disciples, as addressees of an announced Jesus apparition in Galilee ( Mk 16.7  EU ).

According to the Gospel of John, it was not Peter but Mary Magdalene who saw the risen Christ first. According to Jn 20: 1–10, she first discovers the empty tomb and tells Peter and her favorite disciple about it. Then they race to the grave, enter it and see the linen bandages and the rolled-up handkerchief of the crucified one ( Jn 20 : 3-6  EU ). Then they go "home" again. Then Jn 20: 11-18 tells of the apparition to Mary Magdalene, which is the only narrative New Testament christophany before an individual. According to Jn 20: 19-23, the risen One appeared to the assembled disciples only on the evening of the same day.

The so-called “fake” (because it was added later) conclusion of the Gospel of Mark (Mk 16: 9-20) tries to bring the various accounts of the appearance into a harmonious sequence. The text follows Jn 20 and names Mary Magdalene as the first eyewitness of the risen Christ. From such differences in the Easter texts of the Gospels, NT historians usually conclude that the apparitions of Jesus (Christophanien) and the discovery of his empty tomb were originally narrated independently of one another, which were then combined in different ways.

The final chapter of John's Gospel (Jn 21) (probably also added late) reports that Jesus appeared again to Peter and six other disciples from the circle of twelve in Galilee. Analogous to his calling story, when Peter was called to follow Jesus after a wonderful fishing trip ( Lk 5 : 1–11  EU ), he is also aware this time through an oversized fish catch that the man on the bank is the risen Jesus. Just as he had denied Jesus three times, Jesus now asks him three times: "Do you love me?", Which he affirms each time. Thereupon Peter received three orders: “Feed my sheep!” And the renewed call “Follow me” ( Jn 21 : 15–19  EU ). This late history of appearances and the associated dialogue between Peter and the risen Christ are interpreted by exegetes as an indication that Peter's denial of Jesus still aroused offense among readers many decades after his death and had to be dealt with theologically.

Missionary of the early church

Almost all the news of Peter's post-Easter ministry comes from the book of Acts . According to Acts 1, 2 ff. Following Lk 24, the early church in Jerusalem came into being through the appearance of the risen Jesus Christ before the assembled eleven disciples in Jerusalem and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Pentecost miracle . According to Acts 1,4.13, the eleven disciples hid in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit overcame them according to Acts 2.1 ff. This is followed by Peter's first public sermon in Jerusalem. It interprets Jesus' appearance as God's predetermined fulfillment of the spiritual promise in Israel's salvation history and culminates in the statement ( Acts 2,36  EU ):

"So let the whole house of Israel know with certainty: God made him Lord and Messiah, this Jesus, whom you crucified."

As a result, 3000 people are said to have professed their new faith on the same day. According to Acts 2.5, this first Christian community is said to have included members of different peoples and languages.

However, Peter soon came into conflict with the Jerusalem authorities and had to answer to the high council (Acts 4: 8 ff .; 5:29). This time he is said not to have denied his faith, but to have freely confessed; justified with the sentence ( Acts 4.20  EU ):

"We cannot possibly be silent about what we have seen and heard."

This formulation is one of the roots of the phrase Non possumus, which is often used in church history . Peter was probably at the beginning a representative of the Israel mission, which was supposed to precede the universal mission of the peoples (Gal 2,8; Mt 10,5; cf. Lk 24,47). After the execution of Stephen and the persecution of his followers in the early church, Peter and other apostles also proselytized outside Jerusalem. According to Acts 8: 14-25, he also came to Samaria to give the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized. This underlines his authority beyond the early church.

Peter also reported spontaneous healings and raising the dead analogous to Jesus' miracles of healing , for example in Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9: 32-43). This emphasizes the continuity between the healing work of Jesus and that of the early Christians, which was part of their commission (Mk 16: 15-20; Mt 10: 8).

Rembrandt van Rijn : St. Peter in Prison (1631)

As a Jew who proclaimed Christ as the fulfillment of Jewish promises, Peter kept according to Acts 10.13 f. adhere to the food and purity laws of the Torah . But in a dream he is said to have received God's commission to sit at the table with the centurion Kornelius , one of the “god-fearing” Romans. Thus, according to Lukan representation, Peter began the early Christian mission to the Gentiles . It sparked conflicts with other Jewish Christians who required non-Jews to keep Jewish commandments. According to Acts 10.47 and 11.17 f. Peter defended the baptism of the Gentiles and his fellowship with them at the table, saying that they too had received the Holy Spirit beforehand. This would have been recognized by his Jerusalem critics.

Sebastiano Ricci : Saint Peter being liberated by an angel (San Pietro, 1710)

After Pontius Pilate was deposed as governor of Judea (36), the Jewish king Herod Agrippa I (41-44) persecuted the early Jerusalem community and had one of their apostles, James the Elder , beheaded. Peter was also arrested and chained between two guards in a prison cell. But an angel miraculously delivered him so that he could continue his mission outside Jerusalem (Acts 12: 1-19).

Paul first visited the early church after Gal 2 at 36 and initially only met Peter there. On the second visit (around 48) he met Peter, James the Just and John together as "pillars" of the early church (Gal 2,9). At this apostolic council his lawless mission to the Gentiles was recognized. According to Acts 15: 7–11, Peter appeared as their advocate: Luke emphasizes the harmony between the two in this question.

However, Paul reports of a conflict with Peter after this meeting in Antioch on the Orontes (Gal 2: 11-14): There Peter, as a representative of the early church, first practiced table fellowship with the newly baptized non-Jews, i.e. recognized their baptism (cf. Acts 9, 32). But then followers of James from Jerusalem would have criticized this (cf. Acts 11: 3). Thereupon Peter backed away from them and ended the table fellowship with the non-Jews. For this he, Paul, had publicly reprimanded him and reminded him of the consensus reached at the apostolic council to completely dispense with the observance of the Torah for baptized Gentile Christians.

With this, Paul drew a different picture of Peter than Luke. For him he was the representative of the “Gospel to the Jews”, who continued to impose Torah commandments on non-Jews after they were baptized. Some exegetes see this as an indication of tensions that continued after the apostles' council, which Luke later tried to gloss over.

Notes at the end

The New Testament does not provide any information on the work of Peter after the apostolic council. According to the testimony of Galatians, the only thing that is certain is that soon afterwards he was staying in the community of Antioch, which consisted of Jews and Gentiles, and that he had a stronger position there than the latter during the clash described by Paul. The "Kephas party" in Corinth (1 Cor 1:12) mentioned by Paul shows that its influence extended beyond Syria. On Paul's last visit to Jerusalem, which ended with his capture and subsequent deportation to Rome, Peter was no longer there.

The New Testament describes neither a trip to Rome by Peter nor his death. It is true that in the synoptic tradition (including Mk 10.39; 13.9-13) Jesus foretells persecution and death for all disciples; Peter also declares his readiness to do so (Lk 12:33; Jn 13:37). But only Joh 21,18 f. EU hints at its special end:

“When you were young, you girded yourself and you could go where you wanted. But when you get old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will strap you and lead you where you don't want to. Jesus said this to indicate the death by which he would glorify God. After these words he said to him: Follow me! "

Joachim Gnilka interprets “girding” as shackling the outstretched hands and guiding - literally “dragging” - to the undesired place as walking to the crucifixion of those who are bound to a crossbar . Jesus' death on the cross is also interpreted in the Gospel of John as a glorification, so that the announcement (Jn 13:36) and the repeated call of Peter to follow Peter (Jn 21:19, 22) refer to a similar martyrdom. The New Testament does not say where this took place.

Udo Schnelle believes the passage in the supplementary chapter 21 of the Gospel to be a correction by the editors in order to relativize the predominance of the “ favorite disciple ” over Peter, which is also characteristic of the Gospel of John , which documents the steadily growing influence of the figure of Peter in the Christian tradition: “Probably the Johannine traditions had to be placed under the authority of Peter in order to continue to be regarded as a legitimate interpretation of the Christ event. "

In Romans (around 56-60) Paul refers to the persecution of the Christians there (Rom 12) and greets some of them by name; the name Peter is missing, however. The Acts of the Apostles, which does not contain a complete chronology , but describes in detail the transition from the mission of the Jerusalem apostles to the Gentiles mission of Paul, finally reports on his unhindered missionary activity in Rome (Acts 28: 17-31). According to many New Testament scholars , the author of the Acts of the Apostles would certainly have noted Peter's presence in Rome if he had known about it.

Writings attributed to Peter

Peter’s letters

The New Testament contains two church letters named Peter as the author. The first letter of Peter , which the apostle is supposed to have dictated to a “ Silvanus ” according to the end of the letter (1 Pet 5:12), contains encouragement for “Christians” who are in an acute, but apparently still locally limited, persecution situation and concludes a "greeting from Babylon" (1 Pet 5:13). It was therefore considered to have been written in Rome as early as the 3rd century, since "Babylon" appears in Jewish and Christian literature as a cover name for "Rome" in the sense of a cipher for a particularly depraved, sinful cosmopolitan city (e.g. in Rev 14: 8; 16 , 19; 17,5.9 et al). The majority of the letter was dated to around 90, not infrequently with reference to possible persecution under Emperor Domitian (81–96); Graham Stanton therefore also takes the years shortly after Domitian's accession to power as the drafting time. However, the extent and historicity of this persecution have been increasingly questioned since the 1970s. Dietrich-Alex Koch therefore assumes the time of the first legally regulated persecution of Christians under Emperor Trajan as a letter situation (after 100 to about 115); Marlis Gielen , in the wake of Koch, considers the term of Pliny as governor of Trajan in Asia Minor 112/113 to be the terminus post quem and suspects the emperor Hadrian's journeys to Asia Minor around 130 as the context in which the letter was created The late phase of Domitian's reign continues to be plausible and ties it to the ruler's increasingly anti-Semitic measures, which “also occasionally affected Jewish Christians”. Experts who accept that the apostle Peter himself wrote the letter date the letter to around or even before 60.

Around the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, the biblical interpretation arose - which is still used in isolated cases today - that Peter really was in Babylon when he wrote the letter. However, the Mesopotamian city had been destroyed for a long time in the first century. There are no other indications of a missionary trip by Peter to the Jewish settlement areas of the Parthian Empire (also called “Babylonia” in Jewish tradition) . The “co-elected” mentioned in greeting verse 5:13 is sometimes equated with the wife of the apostle, and Mark, who is referred to by the author as “my son” (identified with the evangelist Mark ), is regarded as her biological descendant. A direct biographical evaluation of the information in the end of the letter of the 1st Peter epistle for the life of the apostle Peter is considered unproductive in biblical studies, since the “chosen one” can also refer to the congregation and “Babylon” and “my son” are just as well used in a figurative sense can. It is possible that the names Markus and Silvanus / Silas also penetrated the Petrine tradition from the Pauline tradition.

The 2nd letter of Peter is designed as Peter's “testament” shortly before his death (2 Pet 1.13–15) and expressly confirms the teachings of Paul (2 Pet 3.15). Due to its presumed dependence on the letter of Jude , the text of which has been adopted almost completely, it is dated no earlier than two decades after the apostle's death, but usually not before 110. The second letter of Peter does not give any indication of the place of origin. The inclusion of the letter in the canon of the New Testament was unclear for a long time because of the uncertain authorship of Peter and was not generally recognized at the time of the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea .

Gospel of Mark

Papias of Hierapolis (probably around 130) that led Mark's Gospel to a John Mark back of the New Testament first in Jerusalem (Acts 12), then within Barnabas and Paul (Acts 15; Colossians 4:10; 2 Tim 4:11 ; Phlm 1.24) is mentioned. Only in 1 Peter 5:13 does a Mark appear as Peter's companion. Possibly the papia tradition has its starting point here. According to Papias, Mark served Peter in Rome as an interpreter and wrote down his gospel according to the apostle's reports and discourses, so that Peter is his actual source. A similar statement can also be found in Clemens of Alexandria († around 215). According to the prevailing opinion, the papia tradition on Mark-Peter cannot be classified as historically credible, especially since no specifically "Petrine" theology can be found in Mark's Gospel. In contrast, important scholars such as Martin Hengel , who in 2008 again pleaded for the historical reliability of Papias traditions, hold on to a Petrine stamping of the Gospel.

The reports of Papias and Clemens were handed down by the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea in his church history in the 4th century AD and taken up by other early Christian authors such as the church father Jerome . In this way the idea of ​​the Gospel of Mark as a tradition authorized by Peter entered the hagiographic tradition of Christianity.


In addition, there are some apocrypha attributed to Peter or relating to him , which the Old Church did not include in the NT:

Eusebius of Caesarea and the Decretum Gelasianum rejected the first four of these writings as heretical and non-canonical. Nevertheless, they were particularly popular in the eastern Mediterranean region, where they inspired other legendary and apocryphal writings on Peter. These included:

  • the deeds of Paul and Peter (also: Pseudo-Marcellus-Akten)
  • the deeds of Peter and Andrew
  • a Syrian teaching by Simon Kepha in Rome
  • a Syrian story of Saints Peter and Paul
  • an old Slavic Vita Petri
  • a Latin martyrdom beati Petri apostoli a Lino conscriptum
  • an excerpt from the Latin Josephus (De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae)

and other legends of martyrdom about Peter, most of which were based on the Acts of Peter and which were supplemented into the Middle Ages.

Among the Coptic manuscripts from Nag Hammadi were also found:

  • the deeds of Peter and the twelve apostles
  • a letter from Peter to Philip
  • another apocalypse of Peter .

The information about Peter contained in these writings are mostly considered to be ahistorical, legendary motifs, which were largely based on already existing Peter texts of the NT and either fictitiously painted them out or consciously contradicted them.

Peter in Rome?

Peter and Paul as an engraving in a Roman catacomb, 4th century

Martyrdom in Rome

The First Letter to Clement, which, according to the predominant opinion, was written between 90 and 100 during the reign of Emperor Domitian in Rome, highlights in chapters 5 and 6 the exemplary suffering of Peter and Paul, which many Christians followed:

“Because of jealousy and envy, the greatest and most righteous pillars have been persecuted and fought to the death. [...] Peter, who because of unjustified jealousy endured not one and not two, but many troubles, and who thus - after bearing testimony - came to the place of glory that was due (to him). "

This indicates for the first time a violent death of Peter in Rome, without naming his exact place and the circumstances. “Bearing witness” and then “attaining glory” were typical motifs of Jewish Christian martyrs theology. The note appears as a review of Bishop Clement of Rome . Since there was no nationwide persecution of Christians before Domitian, it is mostly related to the persecution under Nero in the year 64, which was limited to Rome . The Catholic New Testament scholar Joachim Gnilka sees the following information in the context of a letter from a "large number of chosen people", including women, and their "cruel and horrific abuse" as detailed knowledge of eyewitnesses and concludes from this that there is a local tradition of the Neronian persecution.

According to Tacitus ( Annales 15, 38-44), this happened as a sudden reaction to the anger of the population because of the great fire in Rome at the time , without trial and usually not as a protracted crucifixion, but delivering Christians to predators, burning alive or drowning. Only after that, according to Sulpicius Severus , Nero is said to have passed laws against the Christians in Rome and forbade their beliefs. Since Clemens names “jealousy and envy” and “a lot of toil” as motifs and Peter puts Paul aside, who, as a Roman citizen, had legitimately appealed to the emperor and received an individual trial, some researchers assume that Peter will be executed later at around 67.

Filippino Lippi : Depiction of the crucifixion legend Peter (15th century, detail)

Around 300, Eusebius of Caesarea referred to a tradition of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome at the time of Nero, known since around 150. Bishop Dionysius of Corinth (around 165-175) said about the two apostles:

"And they taught together in the same way in Italy and were martyred at the same time."

Caravaggio : Crucifixion of Peter (Cerasi Chapel, Rome, around 1600)

He also handed down the legend, first handed down in the apocryphal Acts of Peter in the 2nd century, that Peter was crucified upside down at his own request.

First bishop

Andrea Vanni: mosaic portrait of Peter (1390)

The later patriarchates of Alexandria , Antioch and Rome, later also Jerusalem and Constantinople , attributed their foundation directly or indirectly to Peter and claimed him as the first bishop of their community in order to raise their rank in the competition of the patriarchates for church leadership. The NT does not support any of these bishop claims, which are therefore considered to be ahistorical. Paul's teaching activity for about a year in Antioch (Acts 13:16 ff.) And his conflict with Peter there (Gal. 2: 11-14) contradicts his alleged leadership position in this community.

Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 135-202) reports that the apostles "founded and established" the Church throughout the world. Around this time, the already existing tradition of a stay in Rome was expanded by Peter to the view that he had founded and led the congregation in Rome as bishop. This is likely to be ahistorical, because Peter was still working in Jerusalem when, according to Acts 18: 1, Paul met Christians from Rome in Corinth (around 50). Accordingly, there was already no Christian community founded by either of the two.

Around 405, Hieronymus (348-420) summarized all the apostolic legends circulating at the time in his book On Famous Men : including a stay in Rome, the office of bishop and simultaneous martyrdom of Peter and Paul under Nero, with Peter as crucifixion with his head to earth. He claimed a 25-year Roman term of office of Peter from the inauguration of Emperor Claudius (40) to the end of the imperial period of Nero (68) and thus contradicted the information of the NT, according to which Peter was a leader of the early Jerusalem community at least until the apostles' council (around 48) was (Acts 15,7) and then worked in Antioch (Gal 2,11-14). Its construction should already support the leadership claims of the Roman bishop.

Eusebius quotes in his Church History (II. 1) Clement of Alexandria (150–215):

"For they say that after the ascension of our Savior, although they were preferred by our Lord, Peter and James and John did not seek honor, but chose James the Righteous to be Bishop of Jerusalem."

According to this, the three “pillars” of the early church should have named James the Righteous as the sole leader of the early church. According to Hieronymus, Hegesippus (90–180) is said to have already known about it. This transfer of office would have made a trip to Rome possible for Peter. But as the by-election of Matthias (Acts 1.26) shows, the circle of twelve should initially be retained as a joint governing body. According to Acts 6.5 and Acts 15:22, the general assembly of all members of the early church did not elect apostles, but new leaders. James later appeared according to Acts 21.15 ff. Together with the “elders” as leaders of the early church. The Testimonium Flavianum narrates that he was stoned by the high council in 62. According to Hegesipp's quotes, his grandchildren are said to have been arrested and interrogated by Eusebius under Emperor Domitian : Then they still had a leading role in Christianity two generations later.

A ruling dynasty was unknown to the early Christians of the first generation and contradicted their self-image: According to Jesus' commandment to serve together, all Christians were equally “saints” (Rom 15:25). Gospel texts on the disciples 'dispute over rank (including Mk 10: 35-45) reject a leadership privilege for some of those called by Jesus and criticize the desire for it as a denial of Jesus' gift of self. It is true that the witnesses of the Easter apparitions of Jesus had the undisputed authority (1 Cor 15: 3–8) as missionaries: Not they, but community synods made decisions for everyone (Acts 15:28 and others).

The monarchical episcopate arose after 100; the letters of Ignatius written at that time do not yet know it. It gradually gained acceptance in parallel to the formation of the NT canons up to 400 and shaped the Orthodox and later the Catholic state church. It responded to the growth of Christianity and adopted Roman administrative structures.

Since around 1850, church historians have increasingly questioned Peter’s notes as ahistorical. In 1955, Karl Heussi denied all the notes that suggested a stay in Rome and a bishopric for Peter, but met with opposition from his Protestant colleague Kurt Aland . Uta Ranke-Heinemann took up Heussi's criticism. Joachim Gnilka, on the other hand, considers a leadership role for Peter in the Christian community in Rome and his death under Nero to be possible without recognizing his episcopate and a successor as a bishop. Otto Zwierlein denies any literary evidence for this thesis and regards the entire ancient church tradition as fictional. Zwierlein's thesis received contradictions both from the Roman Institute of the Görres Society and from the Section for Classical Studies of the Görres Society. The points of criticism were again rejected as unjustified by Zwierlein.

Peter's tomb

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

Since around 200 a certain place on the Vatican Hill has been venerated as Peter's grave. Emperor Constantine the Great had St. Peter's Basilica built above it from 315 to 349, which was torn down in 1507 and replaced by the construction of St. Peter's Basilica . Its altar was placed above the assumed Peter's tomb. The remains of the funerary monument are now hidden behind the Christ mosaic of the pallia niche in the Confessio under the papal altar.

Tomb with Christ mosaic and
pallia niche below the papal altar in St. Peter's Basilica

Eusebius saw the earliest possible testimony to the tombs of Peter and Paul in Rome in a quote from the Roman presbyter Gaius (Church History II. 25: 5-7):

“I can show the apostles' tropaia . Because if you want to go to the Vatican or on the road to Ostia , you will find the tropaia of those who founded this church. "

The Greek expression tropaion usually referred to a monument or victory mark. Gaius evidently knew such a structural structure, which possibly marked the assumed places of execution of both apostles, whose martyrdom was interpreted as a victory. Only 100 years later, Eusebius interpreted the quote as a reference to graves.

Pius XII. opened the grottoes under the altar of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time for archaeological excavations from 1940 to 1949. They revealed that there were two parallel rows of graves in a west-east direction on the slope of a hill. They were filled in when construction began on the first St. Peter's Basilica - a process that only the Roman emperor himself could order - and the filling was supported with walls: this effort was apparently intended to align the basilica's floor plan with a specific point in the necropolis . Under her altar were the remains of a small columned monument with a canopy and a small niche in the wall behind it in a larger burial courtyard, which was dated to around 160. The excavation team announced this discovery in 1951 as the discovery of St. Peter's grave, but was rejected by archaeologists because of inadequate documentation and methodological errors during the digging. The Vatican then allowed further excavations from 1953 to 1958 and again in 1965, the results of which were more widely documented and discussed than before, but also did not provide any certainty about the tomb of Peter.

A simple earth grave from the late 1st century was found under the pillar monument. Only Christian graves in the ground around the empty grave contained bones of people of different ages and genders. Some researchers consider the arrangement to be an indication of the veneration of this site as Peter's tomb around 150. It is assumed that the niche had contained a round memorial stone - called cippus - from around 140 , which was supposed to mark the place of the martyrdom of Peter and was the tropaion mentioned by Gaius . The archaeologist Margherita Guarducci interpreted inscriptions in the wall behind the pillar monument, including the letters PETR ... EN I , as a designation for Peter's relics , but hardly found scientific approval. Similar graffiti were found at other excavation sites in Rome, proving that Christians there remembered Peter and Paul as martyrs.

The head relics of the apostles Peter and Paul were kept in the Papal Chapel Sancta Sanctorum in the Lateran Palace in the early Middle Ages before they were transferred to the Lateran Basilica by Urban V in 1367 , where they are still located in the ciborium above the main altar.


Within Christianity

Development of the primacy of Peter

Pietro Perugino: Christ gives Peter the key to the kingdom of heaven (fresco in the Sistine Chapel, 1480–1482)

According to the Roman Catholic view, Peter is the representative of Christ and, as the first bishop of Rome, head of all local bishops (episcopus episcoporum) . He therefore occupies a unique leadership position, bestowed by Christ, over all other local churches, which also includes a judicial office and an authoritative teaching office. He passed this power on to all his successors so that every Roman bishop is the rightful head (Pope) of the “universal church”. This view primarily refers to the “rock word” (Mt 16:18) and the “key word” (Mt 16:19), with regard to the teaching office also to Lk 22,32  EU (“strengthen your brothers”) and Jn 21 , 15 ff.  EU (“feed my lambs”). The “rock word” represents a perfection of Eljakim's installation ( Isa. 22.20 ff.  EU ) - here as a rock that cannot be overpowered instead of a yielding stake.

Tertullian was the first to understand Mt 16:18 around 220 as an appointment to a bishopric, but emphasized that Jesus only gave this to Peter personally, not to all bishops or the bishop of Rome. Cyprian of Carthage ( On the unity of the church 4; cf. 59th letter) interpreted the verse around 250 as the appointment of Peter as head of the church. Every bishop, not just that of Rome, follow him in this office. Such legal interpretations remained rare exceptions for centuries.

Origen and Ambrose related “this rock” to the person addressed and interpreted “Gates of Hades” as a metaphor for “death”. So Simon is promised here that he will not die before Jesus comes again. Hieronymus contradicted this interpretation. He related the verse to Peter's creed, which even after his death protected the church against hostile powers and afflictions, such as heresies , until Jesus' return. Even John Chrysostom (Homily 54 on Matthew to 407) took this interpretation:

“You are Peter, and on this rock I want to build my church, i. H. on the faith you have confessed. "

Even Augustine of Hippo pointed the commitment typological as role models for all believers, not as a proxy for a hereditary leadership position.

Calixt I was the first Roman bishop to claim leadership throughout the church in individual issues such as the date of Easter without justifying this with the rock word. The Roman Bishop Damasus I represented the Petrusprimat for the first time around 400 , after church district supervisory offices (metropolitan constitution) had emerged.

Peter statue in St. Peter's Square in Rome

The complete primacy idea, which also included the “power of the keys” (the highest judicial office in Christianity) and teaching authority, was the first to represent Leo I (440–461). For him Peter was not only princeps apostulorum (leader of the apostles), but also vicarius (representative of Christ) for the entire church. For him, this also applied to the successor Peter , i.e. to all subsequent Roman bishops who inherited the Peter's privileges according to ancient law of inheritance as if they were identical with the testator. Even after this theoretical development, this claim only slowly asserted itself in medieval Christianity.

Historically, the Petrusprimat emerged from the idea of apostolic succession , which was founded not with specific biblical passages, but with church-historical circumstances and old church bishop lists such as that of Irenaeus of Lyon (around 300).

While the First Vatican Council in 1869–1870 added the dogma of the Pope's infallibility to the primacy of Peter , the Second Vatican Council confirmed this claim to leadership, but relativized it with the idea of ​​collegiality of bishops. In 1983 the Codex Iuris Canonici stated:

"Just as St. Peter and the other apostles form a single college according to the direction of the Lord, so the Pope as successor of Peter and the bishops as successor of the apostles are linked to one another in the same way."

Reformation interpretation

Like the Orthodox Church, the Protestant and Anglican churches that emerged from the Reformation reject the teaching of a “Petrine office” and thus the Pope's claim to leadership and his church.

Martin Luther contradicted the papacy's double claim to the highest church judge and teaching office for the first time in 1519 exegetically and theologically in a separate work. In 1520 he rejected the Roman Catholic interpretation of Mt 16.18 f. with reference to Joh 18,36  EU and Lk 17,20 f. EU back again:

"From what sayings everyone clearly understands that the kingdom of God (this is what he [Jesus Christ] calls his Christianity) is not bound to Rome, nor to Rome, neither here nor there, but where faith is within."

In Mt 18:18 and Joh 20:22 f. I have given Christ the office of keys to all disciples and thus Mt 16,18 f. even designed so

"[...] that St. Petro will be giving the keys instead of the whole community and not for his person."

The key promise establishes neither a special power of attorney for Peter nor a government power of the apostles, but only includes the sacrament of penance . May she give consolation and grace to all believing sinners of Christ, who they should pass on to one another. Jn 21.15 ff. (“Feed my lambs!”) Does not establish a rulership in Christianity, but instruct and encourage all preachers with Peter to preach only Christ against all opposition. The Pope must also bow to this. With his presumptuousness to interpret the Petrine office as government and teaching office, he placed himself above God's word in order to abuse it as a means of power. To declare people heretics simply because they disobey the Pope is against the Scriptures. Paul himself emphasizes in 1 Cor 3:11: "No one can lay any other foundation than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

According to the evangelical understanding, Peter is a special disciple of Jesus, but only as an archetype and example of all believing people who, despite their confession of Christ, repeatedly fail and despite their failure receive God's promise of present forgiveness and future salvation . Also, the belief is Protestant Understanding no inherent power of Peter, but pure gift of grace Deputy intercession of Jesus, the Crucified ( Lk 22,31  EU ff):

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan desires you to sift through like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith will not cease. And when you are converted one day, strengthen your brothers. "

According to a widespread evangelical exegesis, this prayer of Jesus was fulfilled with the reconciliation of the risen Jesus with his disciples and the resulting reconstitution of the circle of disciples after Easter. The church is therefore not based on a historical succession of individual successors to Peter. Rather, all who, like Peter, become disciples of Jesus are his followers and thus part of the community that Christ has called to be his witnesses. God is equally close to all people in Christ, so that apart from Christ, no further mediators are necessary and possible. For Luther, this “ priesthood of all believers ” forbade any relapse into the hierarchical-sacral understanding of ministry that had been overcome since the vicarious Atonement of the Crucified , derived from the temple cult of Judaism .

The Gospel of Matthew in particular leaves no doubt that the Christian community can only be built on the faithful obedience of all its members. Because there the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus is opened with the promise ( Mt 5,14  EU ):

"You are the light of the world!"

It ends with the claim ( Mt 7.24  EU ):

"Therefore, whoever hears and does this speech of mine, is like a clever man who built his house on the rock [ petra ]."

Accordingly, Peter did not have his own first vision, but received the Risen One's commission together with all the disciples to teach all the baptized from the nations to obey the commandments of Jesus: The associated promise of Christ's presence of spirit is the real “rock” on which the church be built (Mt 28:19 f.). The work of the Holy Spirit cannot be forced into human forms and rituals and “nailed down”.

Manfred Kock emphasizes for the Evangelical Church in Germany :

“The promises to Peter in Matth. 16: 17-19 and John 21: 15 ff. Apply to the whole church and are effective in all of its offices. A hierarchy of offices, as well as a historical automatic successor, is not found in the tradition of the Holy Scriptures. The criterion for following Christ is confession as Peter said it, but not Peter himself as a confessor. "

Depiction above the main entrance of the Church of St. Peter in Heidelberg-Kirchheim

Memorial days

The feast day of Peter and Paul is June 29th for all major Christian churches such as the Evangelical, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian or Coptic. In honor of Peter and Paul, a light fast , the so-called Apostolic Fast , is customary in the Orthodox Church , which begins a week after Pentecost and lasts until this day.

Another day of remembrance is the above-mentioned confession of Christ by Peter. This day is celebrated by various Christian churches on January 18th . Also on January 18, since 6/7. Century celebrated in today's France Kathedra Petri until Pope John XXIII. merged it with the Kathedra Petri festival on February 22nd . Kathedra Petri, also called Petri chair celebration , commemorates the vocation of Simon Peter as prince of the apostles (cf. Mt. 16,17-19 EU ).

The feast of St. Peter in Chains is also based on a biblical episode . It commemorates the miraculous liberation of Simon Peter from the prison into which he was thrown after Pontius Pilate was deposed (see ( Acts 12 : 1–19  EU )).

Patronage, patron saint and invocation

Peter is one of the most important Catholic saints and is considered the patron saint

Like St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, numerous places ( St. Peter ) and churches ( St. Peter's Church ) are named after Peter worldwide . Furthermore , the newly founded city of St. Petersburg was named after him, the patron saint of the then Tsar Peter I.

Peter is also the patron saint of professions butchers , glaziers , carpenters , locksmiths , blacksmith , foundry , watchmakers , potters , masons , brick making , Steinhauer , Webspinner , weavers , Walker , fishermen , fishmongers , boatmen . He also protects the repentant, penitent, penitent, virgins and castaways .

Catholic believers invoke Peter as a saint against: possession , epilepsy , rabies , fever , snakebite , foot ailments and theft .

Peter in popular beliefs and customs

Is widespread, Peter as the doorman of the sky to assume that refers to the biblical saying of the "Keys of the Kingdom" which also make his Holy Attribute: With his keys he is called Heaven Porter presented, which rejects the waiting souls of the dead or gets involved .

In popular belief , he is also made responsible for the weather , especially rainy weather .

Iconography and saints attributes

The key symbol of the Petrus figure at the Überwasserkirche Münster
Raffael (1516–1518): Transfiguration , Vatican Pinakothek
Raphael: Disputa del Sacramento - detail: Peter, Adam, John the Evangelist, David, Laurentius and Solomon
The figure of Peter with two keys in the Asamkirche (Munich)

Peter is usually represented as an old man with curly hair and a beard (archfather) with the  attributes key, ship, book, rooster or upside down cross. Especially the key or keys of Peter are his main attribute; they often appear as heraldic symbols in the papal coat of arms , the coat of arms of the Vatican City as well as numerous church institutions with Petrus patronage (e.g. Archdiocese of Bremen , Diocese of Minden , Diocese of Osnabrück , Archbishopric Riga , Petershausen Abbey near Konstanz, St. Peter Abbey in the Black Forest ) or cities, municipalities or federal states that emerged from them (e.g. Bremen and Regensburg .) The coat of arms of the city of Trier also shows it (blazon): “In red, the standing, nimbled and gold-clad St. Peter with an upright, turned-away golden one Key in the right hand and a red book in the left. ”The face is also depicted on the coat of arms of Trzebnica (Trebnitz) .

In church art, Peter is often depicted as a Pope wearing the triple tiara on his head, holding a cross staff in one hand and an open Gospel with the other hand. The depiction with two keys for binding and loosening on earth and in heaven is not unusual ( Matthew 16:19  EU ).

The image of Peter with the fishing net in the vestibule of the west portal of the Church of Our Lady in Trier is unusual . The statue, created in 1991/92, is the work of the sculptor Theo Heiermann .

Outside of Christianity

In Haitian Voodoo , Simon Petrus is syncretistically equated with the figure of Loa Legba , a popular loa that is revered as the "key to the spiritual world" (hence the identification) and is often referred to as Papa Legba .

Peter in art

Denial of Jesus by Peter , painting by Carl Bloch , 19th century

The most important representations of Peter of the Renaissance, which take up the Gothic type, probably come from Raphael , about left in the upper zone of the Disputa (fresco, 1509, Stanza della Segnatura , Palazzo Vaticano) and twice in Raphael's Transfiguration of Christ ( Transfiguration , 1516– 1518, Pinacoteca Vaticana) in the middle under the transfigured and broadly seated in the left corner of the lower zone, but here not with the heavenly keys, but with the book of life in hand. The apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter also plays an important role in the preliminary drawings for the last painting by Raphael, recently recognized by Gregor Bernhart-Königstein as the Last Judgment.

Well-known figure:

Simon Petrus (center) - Detail from the mural The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The legends of Peter entered into the veneration of the saint in Catholicism and repeatedly served as the theme of artistic works. The film “ Quo vadis? ”From 1951, based on the 1895 novel of the same name .


Basic knowledge

Peter in the NT and early Christianity

  • Oscar Cullmann : Peter. 3rd edition, TVZ Theologischer Verlag Zürich, Zürich 1985 (first edition 1952 edition), ISBN 3-290-11095-8 .
  • Rudolf Pesch : Simon-Petrus. History and historical significance of the first disciple of Jesus Christ. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-7772-8012-7 .
  • Raymond Edward Brown, Paul J. Achtemeier, Karl P. Donfried, John Reumann: The Peter of the Bible. An ecumenical inquiry. Katholisches Bibelwerk / Calwer, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-7668-0492-8 .
  • Carsten Peter Thiede (Hrsg.): The Petrusbild in the more recent research. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1987, ISBN 3-417-29316-2 .
  • Peter Dschulnigg: Peter in the New Testament. Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-460-33122-4 .
  • Lothar Wehr : Petrus and Paulus - adversaries and partners: the two apostles in the mirror of the New Testament, the apostolic fathers and earlier testimonies to their veneration (=  New Testament treatises , NF, Volume 30). Aschendorff, Münster 1996, ISBN 3-402-04778-0 (Habilitation thesis University of Munich 1995, VII, 416 pages).
  • Wilhelm Lang: The Peter legend. Washings and legends of early Judaism and Christianity. Scientific publishing house, Schutterwald / Baden 1998, ISBN 978-3-928640-40-4 .
  • Timothy J. Wiarda: Peter in the Gospels: Pattern, Personality and Relationship (= Scientific Studies on the New Testament , Volume 2). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-16-147422-8 (English).
  • John P. Meier : A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Vol. 3: Companions and Competitors. New York, NY 2001, pp. 221-245.
  • Joachim Gnilka : Peter and Rome: the image of Peter in the first two centuries. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-451-27492-2 .
  • Martin Hengel : The underrated Peter: two studies. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-16-148895-4 .
  • Mathis Christian Holzbach: The pragmatic textual meaning of the appointments of Simon Petrus and Saul Paulus in the Lukan double work. In: Linus Hauser (ed.): Jesus as a messenger of salvation. The proclamation of salvation and the experience of salvation in early Christian times. Detlev Dormeyer on his 65th birthday. Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 2008, pp. 166–172.
  • Jürgen Becker : Simon Petrus im Urchristentum , Biblisch-Theologische Studien 105, Neukirchener, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2009, ISBN 978-3-7887-2394-1 .
  • Otto Zwierlein : Peter in Rome. The literary evidence. With a critical edition of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul on a new handwritten basis (= Studies on Ancient Literature and History 96). 2nd, revised and supplemented edition, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York, NY 2009/2010, ISBN 3-11-024058-0 .
  • Otto Zwierlein: Critical to the Roman Petrus tradition and the dating of the first letter to Clement. In: Göttingen Forum for Classical Studies 13 (2010), pp. 87–157 ( online, PDF file, 854 kB ).
  • Stefan Heid (Ed.), With Raban von Haehling a . a .: Peter and Paul in Rome. An interdisciplinary debate . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 2011, ISBN 978-3-451-30705-8 .
  • Christian Gnilka , Stefan Heid , Rainer Riesner : martyrs. Death and tomb of Peter in Rome. 2nd Edition. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-7954-2414-5 .
  • John P. Meier: Petrine Ministry in the New Testament and in the Early Patristic Traditions. In: James F. Puglisi et al .: How Can the Petrine Ministry be a Service to the Unity of the Universal Church? Cambridge 2010.
  • Otto Zwierlein: Peter and Paul in Jerusalem and Rome. From the New Testament to the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. De Gruyter, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-030341-4 .

Interpretation and meaning


  • Michael Hesemann : The first Pope. Archaeologists on the trail of the historical Peter. Pattloch, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-629-01665-0 .
  • Engelbert Kirschbaum : The graves of the Apostle Prince St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome. Supplementary chapter by Ernst Dassmann . 3rd, revised and expanded edition. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1974 (first edition: Scheffler, Frankfurt am Main 1957), DNB 750148462 .


Web links

Commons : Simon Petrus  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Erhard Dorn: The sinful saint in the legend of the Middle Ages. Fink, Munich 1967, p. 44.
  2. ^ A b c d John P. Meier: Petrine Ministry in the New Testament and in the Early Patristic Traditions. In: James F. Puglisi et al .: How Can the Petrine Ministry be a Service to the Unity of the Universal Church? Cambridge 2010. p. 17 f.
  3. Hans Ulrich Weidemann: Fischer, Felsen, Frontmann: Simon Petrus in der Urkirche. (PDF; 381 kB) In: Petrus. Where God is, there is future. Published in the series: Topics in Religious Education - Secondary Level I + II, published by the Institute for Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Issue 3, 2011, pp. 8–15; here: p. 9.
  4. ^ A b Marcus Jastrow : Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature . New York 1926, p. 634 (2nd column below): Artt. Hebrew כֵּיף, כֵּף u. aram. כֵּיף, כֵּיפָא.
  5. ^ A b Robert Payne Smith : Thesaurus Syriacus. Vol. I, Oxford 1879, Col. 1663: Art. ܟܻܦ, ܟܻܦܳܐ.
  6. a b c Rudolf Pesch: Simon Petrus. History and historical significance of the first disciple of Jesus Christ. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1980, pp. 25-34.
  7. Erich Dinkler: Petrus. In: Religion Past and Present. 3. Edition. 1961, volume 5, p. 247 ff.
  8. Peter Dschulnigg: Peter in the New Testament. Stuttgart 1996.
  9. ^ Joachim Gnilka: Peter and Rome. The image of Peter in the first two centuries. Freiburg 2002.
  10. Martin Hengel: The underestimated Peter. Two studies. Tuebingen 2006.
  11. The Catholic theologian Hans Ulrich Weidemann from Siegen mentions this in his previously cited essay (PDF; 381 kB) following the h. M. of research “an indisputable fact” (p. 11). John P. Meier ( A Marginal Jew. Vol. 3, pp. 224–226) considers it very probable after his examination of the tradition in the Gospels, but not verifiable.
  12. A Marginal Jew. Vol. 3, p. 226.
  13. Otto Böcher: Petrus I. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie. 4th edition. 1996, Volume 26, p. 268.
  14. Reinhold Mayer, Inken Rühle: Was Jesus the Messiah? History of the Messiahs of Israel in three millennia. Tübingen 1998, p. 60.
  15. Martin Ebner: The twelve apostles - a story with surprises. In: WUB 1/2011, pp. 11-17, here: p. 14.
  16. Peter Dschulnigg : Simon Petrus / Petros (of Johannes; Cephas). In: Josef Hainz u. a. (Ed.): Lexicon of persons for the New Testament. Patmos, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-491-70378-6 , pp. 281-285; here: p. 281.
  17. Martin Hengel : The Zealots. Studies on the Jewish freedom movement in the period from Herod I to 70 AD (= work on the history of late Judaism and early Christianity, volume 1). Brill, Leiden / Cologne 1961, p. 57.
  18. Gerd Theißen, Annette Merz: The Historical Jesus. Göttingen 2005, p. 160 f .; Stanislao Loffreda, Virgilio Corbo: La maison de Pierre révélée par les fouilles , 1982; James F. Strange, Hershel Shanks: The House of Peter. In: Carsten Peter Thiede (Hrsg.): Das Petrusbild der neueerenforschung , Wuppertal 1987.
  19. Anders Runesson, Architecture, Conflict, and Identity Formation. In: J. Zangenberg, HW Attridge, DB Martin, Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee , Tübingen 2007 = WUNT 210, pp. 240–242.
  20. ^ Fritz Rienecker: Linguistic key to the Greek New Testament. Giessen 1970, p. 43.
  21. This took (contrary to today's H.M., as represented by U. Luz) z. B. Karl Adam at ( Das Wesen des Katholizismus. 11th edition 1946, p. 106 ff.). The logion is based on an originally Aramaic play on words with the name Kephas . It was not until the Greek adaptation that it became necessary for linguistic reasons to use different words ( pétros and pétra) .
  22. ^ KL Schmidt : Article Kaleo , in: G. Kittel (Hrsg.): Theological dictionary for the New Testament. Volume III, Stuttgart 1938, Col. 529 ff.
  23. Hans Conzelmann: Geschichte des Urchristentums , p. 136.
  24. Ulrich Luz : The Gospel according to Matthew, 2nd part, Mt 8-17. Evangelical-Catholic commentary on the NT. 4th edition. Benziger, 2007, ISBN 3-545-23137-2 , p. 458.
  25. Jürgen Becker : The resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the New Testament. Easter experience and understanding of Easter in early Christianity. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-149426-0 , p. 251.
  26. Jürgen Becker: The resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the New Testament. Tübingen 2007; especially: pp. 73-75, pp. 85, pp. 251 f. (u. ö.).
  27. Otto BöcherPeter I . In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE). Volume 26, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1996, ISBN 3-11-015155-3 , p. 269.
  28. Helmut Köster : Introduction to the New Testament in the context of the history of religion and cultural history of the Hellenistic and Roman times. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1980, p. 597.
  29. ^ Joachim Gnilka: Peter and Rome. 2002, p. 110.
  30. Udo Schnelle : The first hundred years of Christianity: 30–130 AD. 2nd edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, p. 503.
  31. Christoph Markschies : The ancient Christianity. Piety, ways of life, institutions. 2nd edition, Beck, Munich 2012, p. 37 f.
  32. Udo Schnelle: Introduction to the New Testament . Göttingen 1996, p. 460; like. Klaus-Michael Bull: The 1st Peter (1Petr). In: ders .: Biblical Studies of the NT , online publication on (Biblical Science Portal of the German Bible Society; accessed on June 24, 2016).
  33. So Werner Georg Kümmel , careful Udo Schnelle (1996); see. Jörg Ulrich: Euseb, HistEccl 111 : 14-20 and the question of the persecution of Christians under Domitian. In: ZNW 87 (1996), p. 287, note 63.
  34. ^ Graham Stanton: 1 Peter. In: James DG Dunn, John William Rogerson (Eds.): Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Cambridge 2003, pp. 1493–1503 (here: pp. 1494 f. In the Google book search).
  35. Jörg Ulrich : Euseb, HistEccl 111 : 14-20 and the question of the persecution of Christians under Domitian. In: ZNW 87 (1996), pp. 269-289 (here especially pp. 269 f .; 287-289); Otto Zwierlein: Critical to the Roman Petrus tradition and the dating of the first letter to Clement. In: GFA 13 (2010), pp. 87–157 (here: p. 144); also (although waiting, see p. 22; 37) Christoph Markschies: Das antike Christianentum. Piety, ways of life, institutions. 2nd edition (first edition 2006), Beck, Munich 2012, p. 40 f.
  36. Dietrich-Alex Koch: History of early Christianity. A textbook. 2., corr. Ed., Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, pp. 477–479.
  37. Marlis Gielen: The first letter of Peter. In: Martin Ebner , Stefan Schreiber (eds.): Introduction to the New Testament. 3rd, revised. Edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2020, ISBN 978-3-17-036108-9 , pp. 521-533 (here: pp. 529 f.).
  38. Udo Schnelle: The first hundred years of Christianity: 30–130 AD. 2nd edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, pp. 443–447 (quote: p. 445).
  39. Klaus Berger : Commentary on the New Testament . Gütersloh 2011, p. 909 f.
  40. Cf. Ignaz Döllinger : History of the Christian Church. Volume 1, p. 65 f., Note 4, in the Google book search.
  41. ^ A b Graham Stanton: 1 Peter. In: James DG Dunn, John William Rogerson (Eds.): Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Cambridge 2003, p. 1503.
  42. See the announcement of the lecture by the Working Group for Churches Faithful to the Bible on November 14, 2015; accessed on June 24, 2016.
  43. a b Udo Schnelle: The first hundred years of Christianity: 30–130 AD, 2nd edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, p. 500.
  44. ^ A b Scot McKnight: 2 Peter. In: James DG Dunn, John William Rogerson (Eds.): Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Cambridge 2003, pp. 1504-1511 (1504).
  45. Udo Schnelle: The first hundred years of Christianity: 30–130 AD, 2nd ed., Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, p. 504 f.
  46. Klaus-Michael Bull: The 2nd Peter (2Petr). In: ders .: Bible study of the NT. Online publication on (Biblical Studies Portal of the German Bible Society; accessed on June 24, 2016).
  47. How the Gospels got their names. The legends of the ancient church. (PDF; 510 kB) In: WUB 2/2014, p. 12.
  48. Martin Hengel: The four gospels and the one gospel of Jesus Christ. Studies on their collection and creation. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 3-16-149663-9 . See Paul Metzger: Review in H-Soz-Kult, October 27, 2008 (accessed on July 13, 2016).
  49. List after Karlfried Froehlich: Petrus II. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie. 4th edition. 1996, vol. 26, p. 274; Original texts, if known, in: Wilhelm Schneemelcher (Ed.): New Testament Apocrypha in German translation. 6th edition. Mohr & Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147252-7 .
  50. Christfried Böttrich: Petrus, fisherman, rock and functionary. Leipzig 2001, p. 25 f.
  51. ^ Joachim Gnilka: Peter and Rome. 2002, p. 117.
  52. ^ Stanislas Dockx: Chronology of the life of Saint Peter. In: Carsten Peter Thiede: The image of Peter in recent research. 1987, p. 101.
  53. ^ Joachim Gnilka: Peter and Rome. 2002, p. 111, note 6.
  54. Adversus Haereses III
  55. Dietrich-Alex Koch: History of early Christianity. A textbook. 2., corr. Edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, p. 126 f., 253.
  56. ^ Kurt Dietrich Schmidt: Outline of the Church History. 9th edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1990, p. 77.
  57. ^ Karl Heussi: The Roman Petrus tradition in a critical view. Tuebingen 1955.
  58. Kurt Aland: The death of Peter in Rome. Comments on his denial by Karl Heussi. In: Kurt Aland: Church history drafts. Gütersloh 1955, pp. 35-104.
  59. ^ Uta Ranke-Heinemann: Peter in Rome? In: Raul Niemann: Petrus. Rock of contention. Stuttgart 1994, pp. 62-75.
  60. Joachim Gnilka: Petrus und Rom , 2002, p. 114.
  61. Otto Zwierlein: Peter in Rome. The literary evidence. With a critical edition of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul on a new handwritten basis. 2nd, revised and supplemented edition, 2010; Otto Zwierlein: Critical to the Roman Petrus tradition and the dating of the first letter to Clement. In: Göttingen Forum for Classical Studies 13, 2010, pp. 87–157 ( PDF ); Discussion: Christian Gnilka , Stefan Heid, Rainer Riesner : Blood witness. Death and tomb of Peter in Rome. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2010; Stefan Heid (ed.): Petrus and Paulus in Rome. An interdisciplinary debate. Herder, Freiburg i.Br. u. a. 2011; Otto Zwierlein: Peter and Paul in Jerusalem and Rome. From the New Testament to the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. De Gruyter, Berlin 2013; Christian Gnilka, Stefan Heid, Rainer Riesner: martyrs. Death and tomb of Peter in Rome. 2nd edition, Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2015; Brief summary of Zwierlein’s position: Peter in Rome . Interview with Otto Zwierlein (2013) PDF
  62. quoted from Christfried Böttrich: Petrus, Fischer, Fels and Functionary. Leipzig 2001, p. 228 f.
  63. Erich Dinkler: Peter and Paul in Rome. The literary and archaeological question about the tropaia ton apostolon . Gym. 1980, pp. 1-37.
  64. ^ Pietro Zander: Iuxta corpus Beati Petri in Vaticano: Pio XII e le esplorazioni archeologiche sotto la basilica di San Pietro. In: I Papi della Memoria: La storia di alcuni grandi Pontefici che hanno segnato il cammino della Chiesa e dell'Umanità (exhibition catalog, presented by Centro Europeo per il Turismo ). Gangemi Editore, Rome 2012, pp. 101-106.
  65. Christfried Böttrich: Petrus, fisherman, rock and functionary. Leipzig 2001, p. 232 ff.
  66. Heinz Ohlig: The papacy and its history. Is the Roman Bishop Successor to Peter? (2005) ( Memento of July 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  67. ^ Kurt Dietrich Schmidt: Church history. 9th edition. Göttingen 1990, p. 138.
  68. CIC, Can. 330
  69. Martin Luther: Resolution Lutherana super propositione sua decima tertia de potestate papae. Weimarer Edition II, pp. 183–240.
  70. Martin Luther: Von dem Papsttum zu Rom (1520), Weimarer Edition VI, p. 292 ff.
  71. Manfred Kock: The Papal Office from a Protestant Perspective ( Memento from February 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Lecture on September 4, 2001, Karl Rahner Academy in Cologne)
  72. ^ January 18 in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints
  73. For further examples cf. Ottfried neubecker, Wilhelm Rentzmann: heraldic lexicon . Battenberg, Munich 1974, index p. 401, column 3 under key .
  74. ^ Webster University : Descriptions of Various Loa of Voodoo , 1990
predecessor Office successor
- Bishop of Rome
(The term Pope was first used after 384.)
- Bishop of Antioch
Euodius of Antioch
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on April 19, 2004 in this version .