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Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples*. Originally named Simon, Peter was a Galilean fisherman (Mark 1:16; Luke 5:2; John 21:3), the son of John (Matt. 16:17; John 1:42; 21:15-17) and brother of Andrew. According to a tradition preserved in John 1:35-43, the brothers came from the village of Bethsaida (John 1:43; 12:21) and had been disciples of John the Baptist before they became disciples of Jesus. Peter was married (Mark 1:29-31; 1 Cor. 9:5). He is said to have owned a house in Capernaum (Mark 1:29). The traditional site of ‘Peter’s house’ has been excavated, though most of the structure on the site is from a later period.

The name ‘Peter’ is the Greek word for ‘rock’ (petra) and translates an Aramaic nickname (CephaÕ) that also means ‘rock.’ The Greek rendering of the Aramaic name, Cephas, is also used for Peter in the nt (John 1:42; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal. 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14). Peter’s emergence as a leader among Jesus’ disciples is reflected in the story found in Matt. 16:18-19 that Jesus bestowed the nickname ‘rock’ on Simon as a sign of his future role as upholder and interpreter of the traditions established by Jesus.

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